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Farewell To The Burn


Farewell to the burn and the salmon,
Farewell to the gaff and the lamp,
For never again in the wind and the rain
Shall we plunge through the bush and the swamp;
No more by the light on the water
Shall we pull out our victims at will,
For the bailiffs have caught us at work on the job,
Before we got off with a kill.

Thus started the battle of Swarland,
The fight of the stick and the gaff.
We fought them on land and on water,
And baffled their general staff;
And then we withdrew with the honour,
But leaving our booty behind,
While the bailiffs collected their wounded and dead,
And anything else they could find.

They took us to court and they fined us,
A fine which we paid on the nail,
But they thought for the crime of the battle
We ought to be landed in gaol;
And so we passed on to the sessions
But the judge was a bit of a sport,
And he sent us away with a smiling "Good-day!"
And warned us to keep out of court.

And so we came back to our homeland
And rolled up to Cassidy's Club
And being both tired and thirsty
We called for brown ale in a tub.
We sat and we drank and were merry
To end up this notable day,
Then we slept- 'twas the sleep of the righteous ,
That soothed all our troubles away.

Then I dreamt ('twas a wonderful vision),
Remember these dreams are not jokes.
I thought, as we walked by the river,
We found two invisible cloaks.
While wearing them no one could see us,
So we donned them and went on our way.
We wandered at will over valley and hill,
Oh, it was a most wonderful day.

We stopped for a rest by the wayside
And then by the edge of a swamp
We found a mysterious package-
A magical gaff and a lamp.
We took them and went up the river,
Where bailiffs were watching by night,
And we hauled out the fish with a hell of a swish,
It was a most marvellous sight.

The bailiffs looked on in amazement.
It made them consider and pause
To see the fish leaving the river
Without any visible cause.
Their hair stood on end and they trembled,
Then turned in their terror and fled;
They thought that the river was haunted
By the ghosts of old poachers long dead.

Now the banks of the stream are deserted.
No bailiff will ever come near,
For the dread of the ghosts has beset them
And they fear with a very great fear.
You may haul out the fish by the dozen
With never a bailiff in sight,
The water's as free as the wind on the sea,
Will you come to the river tonight?

[Go Back]


Farewell To The Burn FROM TYNE TO TWEED
Highlights from the northern end of the boxed set including artists from Alan Price, Tim Healy, Denise Welch, Kevin Whately and Robson Green to Sir Thomas Allen, Sheila Armstrong, Owen Brannigan, Terr...