How still lies the bay in the bright western airs Which blow from the crimson horizon Once more we tack home with a dry empty hold Saving gas with the breezes so fair She's a kindly Cape Isander, old, but still sound But so lost in the longliner's shadow Make and break, and make do, but the fish are so few That she won't be replaced should she founder
It's so hard not to think of before the big war When the cod were so cheap and so plenty Foreign trawlers go by now with long-seeing eyes Taking all, where we seldom take any And so the young folk don't stay with the fisherman's way Long ago, they all moved to the cities And the ones left behind, old, tired, and blind Can't work for "a pound or a penny".
In Make and Break Harbour the boats are so few Too many are pulled up and rotten Most houses stand empty, old nets hung to dry Are blown away, lost and forgotten.
I can see the big draggers have stirred up the bay Leaving lobster traps smashed on the bottom Can they think it don't pay to respect the old ways That Make and Break men have not forgotton?
For we still keep our time to the turn of the tide And this boat that I built with my father Still lifts to the sky! The one lunger and I Still talk like old friends on the water.