The Squid-Jiggin' Ground
A. Scammell


Oh... this is the place where the fishermen gather
With oil-skins and boots and Cape Anns battened down
All sizes of figures with squid lines and jiggers
They congregate here on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Some are workin' their jiggers while others are yarnin'
There's some standin' up and there's more lyin' down
While all kinds of fun, jokes and tricks are begun
As they wait for the squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.

There's men of all ages and boys in the bargain
There's old Billy Cave and there's young Raymond Brown
There's a red rantin' Tory out here in the dory
A-runnin' down squires on the squid-jiggin' ground.

There's men from the Harbour and men from the Tickle
In all kinds of motorboats... green, grey and brown
Right yonder is Bobby and with him is Nobby
He's chewin' hard tack on the squid-jiggin' ground.

God bless my sou'wester, there's Skipper John Chaffey
He's the best hand at squid-jiggin' here, I'll be bound
Hello! What's the row? Why, he's jiggin' one now
The very first squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.

The man with the whiskers is old Jacob Steele
He's gettin' well up but he's still pretty sound
While Uncle Bob Hawkins wears six pairs of stockin's
Whenever he's out on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Holy smoke! What a scuffle! All hands are excited
'Tis a wonder to me that there's nobody drowned
There's a bustle, confusion, a wonderful hustle
They're all jiggin' squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Holy smoke! what a scuffle; all hands are excited;
'Tis a wonder to me that there's nobody drowned.
There's a bustle, confusion, a wonderful hustle;
They're all jiggin' squids on the squid-jiggin' ground!

Says Bobby, "The squids are on top of the water;
I just got me jiggers about one fathom down."
But a squid in the boat squirted right down his throat,
And he's swearin' like mad on the squid-jiggin' ground

There's poor Uncle Billy; his whiskers are spattered
With spots of the squid juice that's flying around.
One poor little boy got it right in the eye,
But they don't give a darn on the squid-jiggin' ground.

Now if ever you feel inclined to go squiddin',
Leave your white shirts and collars behind in the town
And if you get cranky, without yer silk hanky,
You'd better steer clear of the squid-jiggin' ground.

Midi sequenced by Barry Taylor

For generations the men of Arthur Scammell's family sailed north to fish off the Labrador coast. Scammell grew up in the town of Change Islands, Newfoundland and his boyhood delight in fishing shines through in this rollicking ditty. Newfoundianders catch squid by jigging a hook up and down in the water. The fishermen keep well covered 'with oilskins and boots' because when squid are reeled in they squirt seawater and ink. Scammell wrote this song in 1944 at the age of 15.

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