Connecticut River Shad

A topical song by David H. Littlefield of South Lyme, Connecticut, which he wrote on 18 December 2021.  Another of David’s wonderful insights into Connecticut history!

From The Daily Constitution, Middletown, CT. 27 May 1874

Connecticut River Shad (c) David Littlefield 2021

Oh, the shad run late in spring.
Connecticut shad is a wonderful thing. 
Widen the levee, tear down the ‘ol dam,
Let the shad run free again.


At Poverty Isle, just south of the bridge, at the mouth of the river in Lyme;
The shad men peel their nets from the reel and mend them in good time.


Now the boatmen work on the river at night or dawning of day’s first light.
With their long drift nets on an incoming tide – haul seine with muscle and might.


From Holyoke dam to the Hadley dyke; Hadrian’s Wall of old time.
To keep something in – keep something out; no fish with legs to climb.


So here’s to the shad biggest herring in the sea; ten thousand years of time.
White meat- dark meat, tiny little bones; row that tastes divine.
You can fry ’em in a pan, bake ’em on a board, with a cup of good strong cheer.
A company of friends, a fiddle for a dance, celebrate shad time of year.


chorus 2:

So raise up your your voice and sing.
Ct. shad is a wonderful thing.
Widen the levee, tear down the ‘ol dam.
May the shad run free again.