Make and Break Harbour

Written by Stan Rogers and released on his first album Fogerty’s Cove.  I like it as sung by David Littlefield; it’s more folk and which leaves out the country-music-sound Stan leans towards in his album.  Although Stan wrote from the perspective of the Canadien Maritimes, I’ve family in Maine who share the same thoughts as their local fishing businesses and working towns are rendered obsolete by large companies “from away” that put profits before morals, engage in massive fishing aided by large technologies, and deplete the area before moving on.  Much like Walmart does on land.

Jos. Morneault

 

8 bars   |: /D /G /D /G :|

.          /D                  / Bm             / G                     / A
How / still lies the / bay in the / light western / airs,
.             / Em                     / G                     /  A
Which / blow from the / crimson hor- / izon,
.           / D                       / D7                   / G                 / A
Once / more we tack / home, with a / dry empty / hold,
.              / Em                   / G                  / A
Saving / gas,  with the / breezes so / fair,
.               /  D                   / Bm           / G                  / A
She’s a /  kindly Cape / Islander, / old but still / sound,
.              / Em              / G                 / A
But so / lost in the / long liners / shadow,
.                     / D                            / D7                / G
Make and  / Break and make / do, but the / fish are so / few,
.                  / A                     / G                               / D
That she / won’t be re – / placed should she / founder.

.                     / D                  / Bm          / G                       / A
Now its so / hard to not / think, of / before the big / War,
.                   / Em                 / G                       / A
When the / cod went so / cheap, but so / plenty.
.                /  D                 / D7                   / G                    /A
Foreign / trawlers go / by now, with / long seeking / eyes,
.              / Em                   / G                    / D
Taking / all where, we / seldom take / any.
.                / D                           / Bm                   / G                   / A
And the / young folk don’t / stay, with the / fisherman’s / ways
.                / Em              / G                       / A
Long a – / go they all / moved to the / cities,
.                / D                     / D7                    / G
And the / ones left be – / hind, old and / tired and / blind
.             / A                 / G                    / D
Won’t / work for a / pound, for a / penny.

Chorus:
.      / G                           / A                     / D
In / Make and Break / Harbour the / boats are so / few,
.        / Bm             / A                        / G        /A
Too / many are / pulled-up and / rotten. /   .
.           / D                      / Bm              / D                     / G
Most / houses stand / empty, old / nets hung to / dry,
.        / A                     / G                     / D         /
Are / blown away, / lost and for – / gotten. /

Break:  /G   /A   /G   /D

.                    / D                  /  Bm                  / G                         / A
Now I can / see the big / draggers have / churned up the / bay,
.                / Em                  / G                           / A          /
Leaving / lobster traps / smashed on the / bottom, /
.                / D                      / D7             / G                       / A
Do they / think it don’t / pay, to re – / spect the old / ways,
.          / Em                        / G                               / A
That / Make and Break / men have not for – / gotten.
.              / D                      / Bm               / G                 / A
For we / still keep our / time, to the / turn of the / tide,
.                 / Em                / G                     / A         /
And this / boat, that I / built, with my / Father, /
.        / D                 / D7                  / G                    /
Still / lifts to the / sky, the One / Lunger* and / I
.         / A                   / G                       / D
Still / talk like old / friends, on the / water. /

Chorus 2x

 

*Hubbard Motor Company (1898-1929) produced an engine known as a “One-Lunger”; called that because it had one cylinder. During the first few decades of the twentieth century, there were over 35 companies in CT making marine engines.  Here in the song, it’s a sort-of pet name for the fishing vessel based on the presumed engine it carried.

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