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delphinium Lyr Add: The First Time (Archie Fisher/Owen Hand) (10) Lyr Add: THE FIRST TIME (Archie Fisher) 26 Jun 03

As mentioned on another thread, this song is Archie Fisher's "The First Time," and Cilla Fisher & Artie Trezise recorded it on "For Foul Day and Fair" (Folk Legacy Records FSS-69, 1978). Here are the lyrics and other comments copied from the notes with that album:


This song was written by Archie Fisher about the feelings of his friend Owen Hand on his first trip on board a whaling ship out of Leith.

Another verse which only came to us after the recording goes as follows:

It won't be the first time you've worked hard,
For you've mined and you've dug ditches too,
And how can there be any loneliness,
With three hundred men in the crew?

    * * * * *

When you're sailin' out for the first time,
Men will tell you of trips that they've made,
Of the work and the sweat and the loneliness,
And you feel just a little afraid.

They'll tell you of whales that they've harpooned,
And of payoffs they've had in the past,
Of the men who have died, and the boredom,
And of trips that were to be their last.

They say when you've been out at six months
In that cold and desolate place,
That you won't be able to sleep at night
Or remember your own mother's face.

So when you ask them why they go whaling,
And why from their families they part,
Oh, they may shrug and say, "It's the money,"
Or that "man is a hunter at heart."

When you lie in your bunk on the first night,
And you hope that it won't be too tough,
And the roll of the ship puts you off to sleep,
You'll find out for yourself soon enough.

(repeat first verse)

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