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Published on Jul 3, 2011
Fiddler's Green is the happy land imagined by sailors where there is perpetual mirth, a fiddle that never stops playing and dancers that never tire. It features in an old English legend: They say that an old salt who is tired of seagoing should walk inland with an oar over his shoulder. When he comes to a pretty little village deep in the country and the people ask him what he is carrying... he will know that he's found Fiddlers Green. The people give him a seat in the sun outside the Village Inn with a glass of grog that refills itself every time he drains the last drop and a pipe forever smoking with fragrant tobacco. From then onwards he has nothing to do but enjoy his glass and pipe and watch the maidens dancing to the music of a fiddle on Fiddlers Green.
It is also the subject of numerous songs, including this Irish sea chanty "fiddler's green" about a seaman who is dying at sea.
One sailors tale published in 1832 speaks of Fiddler's Green as being "nine miles beyond the dweling of his Satanic majesty". In maritime folklore it is a kind of afterlife for sailors who have served at least 50 years at sea, where there is rum and tobacco.
Lyrics: As I walked by the dockside one evening so rare, To view the still waters and take the salt air I heard an old fisherman singing this song, Want to take me away boys me time isn't long.
Chorus: Wrap me up in me oilskins and jumpers No more on the docks I'll be seen Just tell my old shipmates I'm taking a trip mates And I'll see you some day in Fiddler's Green
Oh Fiddler's Green is a place I've heard tell Where fishermen go if they don't go to hell Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play And the cold coast of Greenland is far far away
Where the sky's always clear, and there's never a gale Where the fish jump on board with a swish of their tails Where you lie at your leisure, there's no work to do And the Skipper's below, making tea for the crew ...
When you get back in dock and the long trip is through There's pubs and there's clubs and there's lassies there too Where the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free And there's bottles of rum growing on every tree
No I don't want a harp, nor a halo, not me, Just give me a breeze and a good rollin' sea, And I'll play me old squeeze-box as we sail along With the wind in the riggin', to sing me this song