Let all the best fish that swim in the sea, The salmon and turbot, the cod and ling, Bow down the head and bend the knee Before fine fresh herring our king. Then lads and lassies come begin Your “hungamar féin am sowra lin;” For ‘tis we have tempted summer in At the tail of fine fresh herring. Thro’ all the winter we ran to rack, For sure the herring was out of sight! But oh! upon his silver track The moon she winked last night. It was in with the sails and away to shore, Away, away with the rise and swing Of two stout lads at each smoking oar, After fine, fresh herring, our king; Oh, there we hunted him full to land , In hissing shoals hot haste along; And then behind him from strand to strand We spread our nets so strong. Such kissing of hands and waving of caps Was never seen from girl and boy, As he leapt by scores in the lasses’ laps, Fresh herring our hope and joy.
The text shown is a variant of another text.
It is based on
- a text in English by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931), "Herring is king", appears in Father O'Flynn and other Irish Lyrics, first published 1880
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924), "Herring our king", published [1882?] [voice and piano], from the collection Songs of Old Ireland. A Collection of Fifty Irish Melodies Unknown in England, no. 34, arrangement ; London, Boosey & Co. ; dedicated to Johannes Brahms, August 1882 [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson
This text was added to the website: 2015-04-08
Line count: 24
Word count: 176