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The Waterboys — Fisherman's Blues
Album: Fisherman's Blues
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3503









Released: 1988
Length: 4:10
Plays (last 30 days): 3
I wish I was a fisherman
Tumblin' on the seas
Far away from dry land
And its bitter memories
Casting out my sweet line
With abandonment and love
No ceiling bearin' down on me
Save the starry sky above
With light in my head
You in my arms
Woo!

I wish I was the brakeman
On a hurtlin' fevered train
Crashing a-headlong into the heartland
Like a cannon in the rain
With the beating of the sleepers
And the burnin' of the coal
Counting the towns flashing by
In a night that's full of soul
With light in my head
You in my arms
Woo!

Tomorrow I will be loosened
From bonds that hold me fast
That the chains all hung around me
Will fall away at last
And on that fine and fateful day
I will take thee in my hands
I will ride on the train
I will be the fisherman
With light in my head
You in my arms

Light in my head
You in my arms
Comments (527)add comment
Riding in my friend's VW van after just spending a week at the Clayoquot Logging Protest Camp. Such a strong memory...
more and more i hear this song more i like it
 coloradojohn wrote:
Love it! Last week was a rough time here in Boulder; we were told that our beloved and sole remaining local Irish lair, Conor O'Neill's, was closing, after 17 years, (and it'd been The James for 20 before that — and a bar for over 100 years!)... Last Wednesday through Saturday were half-celebration and half-protest; the whole town came by to down shots of Tullamore Dew and pints of Guinnes, Smithwick's, Harp, Murphy's, etc. and we all ranted and bemoaned the insidious process by which we have lost so many great pubs and cafes over the years: JJ McCabe's, Tom's Tavern, Juanita's, Boulder Cafe and more... the heartless, money-grubbing weasels backed by stacks of Other Peoples' Money come sneaking in and develop condos and boutiques next door, drive everybody away with construction mess and noise that goes on forever, then, suddenly, rent and property taxes have doubled or more, and there's a showdown, and guess who loses? and, well, that's how it all looked, bloody grim indeed, and last Sunday, the final night, was a bittersweet bash with non-stop Celtic jamming, and many tears were shed at the bar, and sobs were overheard in the courtyard, and there was so much sadness and grief that it was almost too much to bear, and we all drank and prayed for strength, and left feeling like something irreplaceable and important had died... Then, yesterday, miraculously, it was announced that a more reasonable deal had somehow been struck between owner and landlord, and TONIGHT Conor's is re-opening, and you can bet music like THIS shall once again and continue to ring out to the clink of pint-glasses and the stomp of foot-jigs on the old oak floor. Aye, and it all brings to mind how apropos the sign on the mirror behind the main bar (brought over from Ireland like everything else in the place) is: "Drink is the curse of the land... It makes you curse and shoot at your landlord... and it makes you miss him..." See you there, for Celtic Spirit lives!
 
Wow!  You don't hear many David & Goliath stories these days.  Nice to hear that it was saved.
 Ben_Smedley wrote:
So uplifting, always gets a foot tapping down under. Mike Scott, what a legend.
 
I haven't enjoyed Mike Scott as much since - this was a perfect Irish Moment In Time - like when I bought If I Should Fall From Grace With God -I always get a kick out of Shane MacGowan, another damaged genius and hope he is happy now.
Is this album cover seque? Paco De Lucia-The Waterboys White framed picture.
I absolutely love this song, absolutely my favourite folksy rock song  but every time I hear it it makes me want to cry but scream the lyrics at the top of my voice. The fiddle makes the song though ....
I was 21 when this came out. I bought the album and thashed it constantly. My daughter was born that year. I haven't heard this track for 20 or more years. What a pleasant reunion. Thanks RP.
So uplifting, always gets a foot tapping down under. Mike Scott, what a legend.
This is Great! ...and I usually hate "Irish folk music"! ...and I'm of Irish descent!
This is a fine song to be listening to in these trying times, and an excellent way to start the day working from home. Cheers, RP!
 norbertZ wrote:
Reminds me on 'Waking Ned Devine' 


 
Yes! I adore this song and that movie. See also: "The Parting Glass."
Not just the fiddle that makes this song sound like the Levellers. vocals are similar, bouncing bass and the lot. this song could have been on a weapon called the word and I wouldn't have blinked. love it.
 Ihatethissong wrote:
1986 I saw U2 in San Francisco.  Some 6000 of us crammed into whatever massive cave it was.  Fire hazard for sure, we would have all roasted.  But I digress.

The Waterboys opened and during their set some of the crowd were shouting for U2.

If I were the headline band I would stick up for my openers (unless they're dicks), tell the fucks to shut or I ain't playing.

Well, that didn't happen, so the WB front man yelled at the crowd and they finished their set.

I think he yelled at them twice during the set because, of course, they didn't shut it.

But all in all, it was a great show.
 
Same experience with REM with Let's Active opening. People being rude as fuck. Let's Active a great band and I was there to see them as much as REM.
This one brings back some good memories 
Brilliant , ome motr pint for me please
I gotta admit...life is good

and this song is, too.
Reminds me on 'Waking Ned Devine' 


whooo
Introduced in my best friends basement in Mt. Pearl, Newfoundland at the age of 15. I'm there every single time I hear it. Accompanied by John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt, John Prine,Los Lobos, Tragically Hip, Stevie Ray, Robert Cray, et al.

I guess you could say Radio Paradise is a natural fit these many years later. Hahaha! Thanks Bill!
I was given this CD when it first came out.  I cross between loving the "Irishness" of it, and then becoming annoyed by the extreme violin and unattractive voice.  Today, I don't like it much.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Would love to see "This is the Sea" added to the playlist.
One of the best songs ever written, IMO.
 
yeah, that's a good one too


 LAwolf8 wrote:
I keep thinking it's a Dylan I don't have, I'll have to check out the whole album

  
There's something about the drums that's very reminiscent of Desire. 

One of the best by WB
Wow-i love this song{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Would love to see "This is the Sea" added to the playlist.
One of the best songs ever written, IMO.
 
Image result for waterboys this is the sea single
Would love to see "This is the Sea" added to the playlist.
One of the best songs ever written, IMO.
This (apparently) fan-made video is excellent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
 LowPhreak wrote:
Wooo!


 
I love that too {#Bananajam}{#Boohoo}{#Beat}{#Yell}
words that soar
sounds that elevate
the heart
 Ihatethissong wrote:
1986 I saw U2 in San Francisco.  Some 6000 of us crammed into whatever massive cave it was.  Fire hazard for sure, we would have all roasted.  But I digress.

The Waterboys and during their set some of the crowd were shouting for U2.

If I were the headline band I would stick up for my openers (unless they're dicks), tell the fucks to shut or I ain't playing.

Well, that didn't happen, so the WB front man yelled at the crowd and they finished their set.

I think he yelled at them twice during the set because, of course, they didn't shut it.

But all in all, it was a great show.

 
I saw U2 last summer in Buffalo, and just before they came on, a full moon rose over the stage (this football stadium was apparently slightly larger than the cave you saw them in ;-).  After the lights dimmed, but before U2 came on, the sound guys played Waterboys' "The Whole of the Moon".  Thought was pretty cool.  The crowd liked it.
1986 I saw U2 in San Francisco.  Some 6000 of us crammed into whatever massive cave it was.  Fire hazard for sure, we would have all roasted.  But I digress.

The Waterboys opened and during their set some of the crowd were shouting for U2.

If I were the headline band I would stick up for my openers (unless they're dicks), tell the fucks to shut or I ain't playing.

Well, that didn't happen, so the WB front man yelled at the crowd and they finished their set.

I think he yelled at them twice during the set because, of course, they didn't shut it.

But all in all, it was a great show.
I keep thinking it's a Dylan I don't have, I'll have to check out the whole album
{#Bananajam}
Bob Dylan?
Wooo!

This album, and especially this song, makes my soul happy.
Mike Scott on this song;
.
 "I'd read John Lennon's book, Lennon Remembers, when I was 12," he says. "He's asked if he would change anything and he says: 'I'd be a fisherman.' Maybe that line stuck with me. When I wrote that song, I was fed up with the rock machinery I was stuck in. I just wanted to get away from these clamouring voices."
 LAwolf8 wrote:
I keep thinking this is Dylan, I'll have to buy this one.

 
srsly?  I mean I like them both. 
I keep thinking this is Dylan, I'll have to buy this one.
 Dazzerb wrote:
greatest Waterboys track (and album) period.

(IMO!!)

 

 
Tis fabulous but their latest album is excellent and Destinies Entwined is among Mike Scott's finest...
 
 coloradojohn wrote:
Love it! Last week was a rough time here in Boulder; we were told that our beloved and sole remaining local Irish lair, Conor O'Neill's, was closing, after 17 years, (and it'd been The James for 20 before that — and a bar for over 100 years!)... Last Wednesday through Saturday were half-celebration and half-protest; the whole town came by to down shots of Tullamore Dew and pints of Guinnes, Smithwick's, Harp, Murphy's, etc. and we all ranted and bemoaned the insidious process by which we have lost so many great pubs and cafes over the years: JJ McCabe's, Tom's Tavern, Juanita's, Boulder Cafe and more... the heartless, money-grubbing weasels backed by stacks of Other Peoples' Money come sneaking in and develop condos and boutiques next door, drive everybody away with construction mess and noise that goes on forever, then, suddenly, rent and property taxes have doubled or more, and there's a showdown, and guess who loses? and, well, that's how it all looked, bloody grim indeed, and last Sunday, the final night, was a bittersweet bash with non-stop Celtic jamming, and many tears were shed at the bar, and sobs were overheard in the courtyard, and there was so much sadness and grief that it was almost too much to bear, and we all drank and prayed for strength, and left feeling like something irreplaceable and important had died... Then, yesterday, miraculously, it was announced that a more reasonable deal had somehow been struck between owner and landlord, and TONIGHT Conor's is re-opening, and you can bet music like THIS shall once again and continue to ring out to the clink of pint-glasses and the stomp of foot-jigs on the old oak floor. Aye, and it all brings to mind how apropos the sign on the mirror behind the main bar (brought over from Ireland like everything else in the place) is: "Drink is the curse of the land... It makes you curse and shoot at your landlord... and it makes you miss him..." See you there, for Celtic Spirit lives!

 
I am really pleased that your pub stayed open...enjoy the music!
One of my all time favourite songs...I sing it to my wife with tears in my eyes...
E V E R Y  T I M E this song plays my body dances, my soul sings, I hoot for joy!
Moving from Vancouver to Toronto driving across Canada in a beater hitting snow in August ...white knuckles, bald tires, I hear this for the first time...never forget, fantastic live band too 
I've heard this more than twice in the past 30 days. Is the new RP app misfiring on my end? (Getting sick of this song.)
Love it! Last week was a rough time here in Boulder; we were told that our beloved and sole remaining local Irish lair, Conor O'Neill's, was closing, after 17 years, (and it'd been The James for 20 before that — and a bar for over 100 years!)... Last Wednesday through Saturday were half-celebration and half-protest; the whole town came by to down shots of Tullamore Dew and pints of Guinnes, Smithwick's, Harp, Murphy's, etc. and we all ranted and bemoaned the insidious process by which we have lost so many great pubs and cafes over the years: JJ McCabe's, Tom's Tavern, Juanita's, Boulder Cafe and more... the heartless, money-grubbing weasels backed by stacks of Other Peoples' Money come sneaking in and develop condos and boutiques next door, drive everybody away with construction mess and noise that goes on forever, then, suddenly, rent and property taxes have doubled or more, and there's a showdown, and guess who loses? and, well, that's how it all looked, bloody grim indeed, and last Sunday, the final night, was a bittersweet bash with non-stop Celtic jamming, and many tears were shed at the bar, and sobs were overheard in the courtyard, and there was so much sadness and grief that it was almost too much to bear, and we all drank and prayed for strength, and left feeling like something irreplaceable and important had died... Then, yesterday, miraculously, it was announced that a more reasonable deal had somehow been struck between owner and landlord, and TONIGHT Conor's is re-opening, and you can bet music like THIS shall once again and continue to ring out to the clink of pint-glasses and the stomp of foot-jigs on the old oak floor. Aye, and it all brings to mind how apropos the sign on the mirror behind the main bar (brought over from Ireland like everything else in the place) is: "Drink is the curse of the land... It makes you curse and shoot at your landlord... and it makes you miss him..." See you there, for Celtic Spirit lives!
 mardisoninnc wrote:
Great song from a great album made by a great band.

 
+1
Great song from a great album made by a great band.

With light in my head
You in my arms  
        {#Sunny}
 Wilfrue wrote:
Three plays in 30 days, and I've caught them all. Good song, but....

 
Still, that's 3 more times than you would have heard it anywhere else...WHICH IS A GOOD THING!
 Wilfrue wrote:
Three plays in 30 days, and I've caught them all. Good song, but....

 
... the moment you realize you spend too much time at the computer. 
Three plays in 30 days, and I've caught them all. Good song, but....
 grahamdillabough wrote:
Why don't I have this album?  I've been loving it since it first came out!

Thanks Bill. 

 
Well I do own it and am sorry to say I haven't listened in too long.  Will seek it out in my pile of CDs and cassettes!    {#Stupid}

{#Bananajam}
Love this!  Love to be loved like this! Love to love like this!
greatest Waterboys track (and album) period.

(IMO!!)

 
Why don't I have this album?  I've been loving it since it first came out!

Thanks Bill. 
 melzabutch wrote:

What a great story! Jealous!


 


 melzabutch wrote:
GODLIKE.

Taken me back to Paddy Burkes in Boston.  Awesome memories.  Band from Limerick owned pub , 3 brothers and they introduced me to the Waterboys on the 3rd floor of the pub with their awesome playing in the early 1990's.  Thanks Bill 

 

 


God, that is such a great song.  Gives me chills each time I hear it.  I'm not sure there is a better crescendo out there! Well, there probably is, but man is that a good one!!
used as theme to angling programme on talkesport in uk
A classic!
Paddy Burke's, Roisin Dubh; aye, and drunken nights & pints in ALL the Irish pubs in Boston come to mind when I hear this lively tune!
If you don't LOVE this, you're not Irish enough!
Turned it up. Waayyyy up. Windows wide open. Hoping to share this brilliance with the neighbors!
I literally cannot hear this song too often - fantastic whoops and all!
aww hell, I'm crackin' a Blue Point Toasted Lager on this glorious sunny afternoon, Cheers Mates!  (Ahhh! righteous tune too : )
 Gegenschein wrote:
The WATERBOYs....Hurray....more of them, pls.
 
Yes!
The WATERBOYs....Hurray....more of them, pls.
GODLIKE.

Taken me back to Paddy Burkes in Boston.  Awesome memories.  Band from Limerick owned pub , 3 brothers and they introduced me to the Waterboys on the 3rd floor of the pub with their awesome playing in the early 1990's.  Thanks Bill 

 
Great Song, first heard in Leeds much earlier in my life, good memories....
It was a Celtic Rock band called The Indulgers, and wouldn't you know they treated us to a rousing version of this very song! Miracle~!
—-
Aye and it's PERFECT, headed out for a bit of the, down at Connor O'Neill's... Light in my head, you in my arms; aye, and whoop it up!
 Emwolb wrote:

So proud to say I was amongst those drunks and have to agree the show was outstanding!!! 
 
And singing loudly with locked arms?  I got goose bumps when I read that!
 Sasha2001 wrote:

One of the best shows I've ever been to - must have been 1997. I don't know who was in the lineup and I'm ashamed to say I wasn't familiar with their music at the time, but the good people at Guinness were sponsoring a festival of Irish music in New York and there many drunken Irish and Americans partying harder than I'd ever seen before or since. When Fisherman's Blue came on thousands of revellers spontaneously began locking arms and singing  louder than the music coming from the stage.  I knew at that point  it must have been a special song and it became a very special night. 
 
So proud to say I was amongst those drunks and have to agree the show was outstanding!!! 
 mattrettig wrote:
How did they get 10+ people together for rehearsal? Simpler times I guess...
 
I can tell you how they got 10 people to rehearse....Mike rented a house in Galway...Spiddal House.....brought in a mobile studio....and everybody lived together for quite a while...they all used to go for rides on rented bikes as well.
How did they get 10+ people together for rehearsal? Simpler times I guess...
 Sasha2001 wrote:

One of the best shows I've ever been to - must have been 1997. I don't know who was in the lineup and I'm ashamed to say I wasn't familiar with their music at the time, but the good people at Guinness were sponsoring a festival of Irish music in New York and there many drunken Irish and Americans partying harder than I'd ever seen before or since. When Fisherman's Blue came on thousands of revellers spontaneously began locking arms and singing  louder than the music coming from the stage.  I knew at that point  it must have been a special song and it became a very special night. 

 
Good story. I'd love to have a pint of the dark stuff and listen to this band live.

p.s.....I am 100% Irish (as far back as we can trace)


One-Oh for this number!

{#Bananajam} 
WOO!
so comfortable and welcome.
 and amen again.

alaskan_listener wrote:
This song never gets old. Always awesome.

 
amen

 


This song never gets old. Always awesome.

 
amen
{#Sunny}
This song never gets old. Always awesome.
{#Good-vibes}

wish i were a singer in this band!
I'm a freak for "WUFF".
this song makes me cry
Excellent song
One of my all time favorites 
 
 helenofjoy wrote:
This song makes me wish I was young again!  {#Bananajam}

 


T H I S .
Second time listening to this one and I can't help myself, but this song sound like one of The Levellers songs 
{#Eyes} Who's is coping who here? {#Stupid}
 RabbitEars wrote:


 
Close enough to Bunny Day for me.
From 9 to 10 {#Drummer}
Just turned up the volume and raised my marks to a 9. One of those songs that are completelly timeless,
wooo!! (I love that scream, quite mimetic with the fiddle)
absolutely an AWESOME concert experience.  if you ever get the chance, go to see these guys rock it!
Reminds me of Dylan, obviously. But also of Mark Eitzel and American Music Club. 
 Biscobret wrote:

11 --> 12

{#Dancingbanana_2}

  12 - 13

 ziakut wrote:
To me, this sounds like something that would be fun to hear "live"...more so than this.

 
One of the best shows I've ever been to - must have been 1997. I don't know who was in the lineup and I'm ashamed to say I wasn't familiar with their music at the time, but the good people at Guinness were sponsoring a festival of Irish music in New York and there many drunken Irish and Americans partying harder than I'd ever seen before or since. When Fisherman's Blue came on thousands of revellers spontaneously began locking arms and singing  louder than the music coming from the stage.  I knew at that point  it must have been a special song and it became a very special night. 

11 --> 12

{#Dancingbanana_2}
To me, this sounds like something that would be fun to hear "live"...more so than this.
 RabbitEars wrote:
 
worth saying again
Classic tune by a band that should be much more well-known - at least in America. Mike Scott was in a truly prolific period when he wrote this song.
A less well known group, the Young Dubliners, also does a wonderful version of this classic.
This song makes me wish I was young again!  {#Bananajam}
 


Fisherman's Blues is the 1988 album by The Waterboys. The album marked a change in the sound of The Waterboys', abandoning their earlier grandiose rock sound for a mixture of traditional Scottish music, country music and rock and roll.

Track listing:
  • "Fisherman's Blues" (Mike Scott, Steve Wickham)
  • "We Will Not Be Lovers" (Scott)
  • "Strange Boat" (Scott, Anthony Thistlethwaite)
  • "World Party" (Scott, Trevor Hutchinson, Karl Wallinger)
  • "Sweet Thing" (Van Morrison)
  • "Jimmy Hickey's Waltz" (Scott, Wickham, Thistlethwaite)
  • "And a Bang on the Ear" (Scott, Wickham, Thistlethwaite)
  • "Has Anybody Here Seen Hank" (Scott)
  • "When Will We Be Married" (Traditional, adapted: Scott, Thistlethwaite)
  • "When Ye Go Away" (Scott)
  • "Dunford's Fancy" (Wickham)
  • "The Stolen Child" (Words: W.B. Yeats, Music: Scott)
  • "This Land Is Your Land" (Woody Guthrie)

Jimmy Hickey's Waltz not present on 1988 Ensignvinyl release.


 


Love these guys!
I was once told with much seriousness that every bar band in Newfoundland plays this song. 
INDEED! After the RaggleTaggleGypsyO! hints in the last song, THIS ONE really gets the toes a tapping and the Celtic heart pumping!
 t00lur wrote:
Bob Dylan that I really like
 
yeah, the drumming and sound of this always reminded me of "desire" and "hard rain"
 
9->10
Beautiful {#Daisy}
♫
 Emwolb wrote:



 
Damn I hate when I do that....some other great Waterboys tunes are The Return of Pan and also The Return of Jimi Hendix
 kcar wrote:

"The Whole of the Moon"

"Old England"

"This is the Sea"

I especially like the last one... 

 



Nothing else needs to be said.  I can never get enough of this.  Thanks Bill for taking me back to beautiful memories.  need to put a pack on and go rove  aimlessly again. 
I never get tired of listening to this!
 Spiderwoman wrote:
Volume just got cranked

 
not loud enough!
LOVE. Those darn fiddles get me every time I hear this....they sing to my Irish heart!
One of those rare, absolutely perfect songs.  There is something intangible that makes this one so much more than the sum of its parts!
Driving in a friend's van on our way to the Clayoquot Sound blockade, oh so many years ago.  Love how music sparks such memories.

Now to stop commenting on songs and getting some work done! 
Beyond Godlike. 


Next shout on me at Paddy Burkes in bean Town.   



Bob Dylan that I really like