Grimsby Lads

Here's to the Grimsby lads out at the trawling
Here's to the lads on the billowing deep
Shooting their nets and heaving and hauling
All the night long, and the landsmen asleep.

They sail in the cold and the grey of the morning,
Leaving their wives and their families behind;
Following the fishing, fulfilling their calling,
Their charts are all ready the shoals for to find.

Away to the north where they know will be waiting
Frost and black ice and the lash of the gale,
Trawling and hoping and anticipating
A ship bumper-full and safe homeward to sail.

From Scotland's grey shore to the cold coast of Iceland
Through White Sea and Faeroe they're working their way,
Through Dogger and Forties to stormy Bear Island:
Eighteen long hours is the fisherman's day.

The nets are inboard and the catch lies a-gleaming;
There's gutting and washing and packing below.
Ten days of fishing and home they'll be steaming:
A thousand miles gone and a thousand to go.

On Humber's brown water the new sun is gleaming;
To the fisherman's prayer the breeze sings the amen.
The smoky grey town in the stillness is dreaming;
Her sons from the waters return once again.