The Red Herring

 
Performed by:
Alan Grey
Recorded in:
Aldborough
Recorded on:
29/04/1972
Recorded by:
Jim Eldon and Steve Gardham
Genre:
Animals
Keywords:
Catalogue,
Fish,
Food
 

Archival information

TYG:
31
Key:
C
Time Signature:
3/8
Roud id:
128
Laws id:
Master title:
The Herring Song
Places Cited:

Lyrics

1
What shall we do with the red herring's head?
Oh, we'll make that into feather beds, and all such things,
We've red herrings and heads and feather beds, and all such things.

Chorus
Of all the fish that swim in the sea, red herring it is the fish for me,
And all such things.

2
What shall we do with the red herring's eyes?
Oh, we'll make 'em into puddings and pies, and all such things,
We've red herrings and eyes and puddings and pies,
Red herrings and heads and feather beds, and all such things.

3
What shall we do with the red herring's gills?
Oh, we'll make 'em into physical pills, and all such things,
We've red herrings and gills and physical pills,
Red herrings and eyes and puddings and pies,
Red herrings and heads and feather beds, and all such things.

(Continues to accumulate up to…)

6
What shall we do with the red herring's tail?
Oh, we'll throw it to the shark and whale, and all such things,
We've red herrings and tail and shark and whale,
Red herrings and belly and jam and jelly,
Red herrings and fins and needles and pins,
Red herrings and gills and physical pills,
Red herrings and eyes and puddings and pies,
Red herrings and heads and feather beds, and all such things.

This after the following introduction:
A fisherman was taking his son for the first time out fishing and as they were pulling
away the son said, 'What are we catching today, Dad?
Dad says, 'We're catching red herrings today, lad.’
'Why are we catching red herrings, Dad?'
'Because of all the fish that swim in the sea red herring it is the fish for me.'

At the end of the recording Alan said there was a verse about 'roes' but he couldn't remember it. At a later session he recalled it was:

What shall we do with the red herring's roe?
Oh, we'll make it into sausage and brawn, and all such things.

We neglected to ask at the time whereabouts in the order of stanzas it appeared.

Archival information

TYG:
31
Key:
C
Time Signature:
3/8
Roud id:
128
Laws id:
Master title:
The Herring Song
Places Cited: