Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The Eyemouth Fishing Disaster 2 -- the book and song

Recently I wrote about the Eyemouth Fishing Disaster. I had first started reading about this a few months ago, and it was on my list (don't we all have one of those?) to research further. As I wrote, I learned more about the disaster from a newly discovered (thanks to AncestryDNA) 5th cousin once removed, and also learned that at least two of my ancestors died on that October 1881 day.

Back cover, Black Friday
Well, that lovely cousin mailed me -- all the way from Wales -- a copy of Peter Aitchison's book about the disaster, published originally as Children of the Sea, but in its second edition, renamed Black Friday.

The book arrived yesterday. There are photographs and maps included. Here is its back cover, which gives more of a description about the back story, the disaster and its aftermath.

I started this book last night and can't wait to read all of it.

At the same time, a Facebook friend posted a link to this haunting recording by Chorda, an Edinburgh folk group, of the Eyemouth Tragedy, a folk song written apparently in about 1964 by John Watt of Fife, Scotland. Here are the lyrics that I found online in a couple of places:
Eyemouth Tragedy (lyrics)John Watt By the dire rocks o' Urquhart, though deadly were the signsOut sailed the Eyemouth 'fyvies' with a thousand baited lines.Though a glasslike sea and a cloudless sky made the elders bid them stayBut these are the times the brave men die, but the 'halflins" held the sway. Three leagues from the shore the lines were cast while the wind it held its breathAnd the sails hung limp from every mast and the sea was still as deathFor death was the bride that came that day, cut the ribbons from the creels'Twas a raging wave hit Eyemouth town and took her bonny chiels. There's many a bride has lost her groom as the death-toll quickly grew,Craigs and Collins met their doom, aye, Bargain and Fairbairn tooMaltman, Scott all Eyemouth bred, they died in the wind and rainOh, the flooer o' Eyemouth town lay dead, but her sons would rise again. The grinding turn o' the hearse wheel in October '81Made every man and woman kneel in prayer for Eyemouth's sons,For this was the price they had to pay, the livin' and the deadAnd the price that Eyemouth paid that day tae earn her daily bread.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2017 All rights reserved

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