Squid-Jiggin' Ground, The
DESCRIPTION: A song of the life of a squid fisherman. The fishermen are named, as are their homes and their peculiarities. The final stanzas warn of the messy work: "Now if ever you feel inclined to go squiddin', leave your white shirts and collars behind in the town"
AUTHOR: Arthur R. Scammell
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1929
KEYWORDS: fishing nonballad moniker work
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Fowke/Johnston, pp. 51-53, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle2, pp. 66-67, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle3, pp. 57-58, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle4, pp. 53-54, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doyle5, pp. 42-43, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Blondahl, pp. 32-33, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mills, pp. 6-7, "Squid-jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 127, "The Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text)
English-Newfoundland, pp. 52-53, "Squid-Jiggin' Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
Omar Blondahl, "Squid Jiggin' Ground" (on NFOBlondahl05)
R. Sheaves, "The Squid Jigging Ground" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Maudie Sullivan, "The Squid Jigging Ground" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
May Whalen, "The Squid Jigging Ground" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
cf. "Our Boys Gave Up Squiddin'" (tune)
cf. "The Napan Heroes" (tune)
cf. "Hitler's Song" (tune)
Hitler's Song (File: Guig177)
Our Boys Gave Up Squiddin' (File: Guig295)
NOTES [365 words]: Fowke writes, "The tale of what happens when fishermen head for 'The Squid-Jiggin' Ground' is the most widely known of all Newfoundland songs.... It was written by... Arthur R. Scammell when he was only fifteen....
"The squid is a species of cuttle-fish about ten inches long which is used as bait for larger fish. It has the peculiar characteristic of squirting forth an inky liquid when it is disturbed. Large schools of squid move in at certain parts of the Newfoundland coast during August, September, and October, and then the fishermen head out to pull them in with line and jigger."
A jigger is a line with two hooks facing in opposite directions, which was dropped in the water and bobbed up and down. According to Ron Young, Dictionary of Newfoundland and Labrador, Downhome Publishing Inc., 2006, p. 226, the result looked something like a fish, which would sometimes cause other fish to come to investigate.The prime advantage over ordinary fishing with a hook and bait was that it could catch fish even if they did not take the bait. According to Young, p. 227, the jigger has now been outlawed because it often kills fish, including fish too small to be used for food or otherwise undesirable. Knowing Newfoundlanders, I suspect their responses to that were mostly unprintable.... - RBW
Fowke-Ontario p. 166 identifies the tune as "Larry O'Gaff."
The tune is one used by The Flanagan Brothers for their 1927 release of "Mick from Tralee" (on The Flanagan Brothers, "The Tunes We Like to Play on Paddy's Day," Viva Voce 007 (1996) from Columbia 33187-F June 1927). It is close to the tune of the chorus to "Paddy's Panacea" on Voice13.
The Moore broadside, Bodleian Harding B 26(417), includes the lines "For the lad I love lies at Sebastopol.... And in an Inkerman field your true lover does lie.... We fought for three days, till the fourth afternoon, He received his death summons on the 18th of June...." Is it strange that, so close to the event, the month is so far wrong? Inkerman and Alma -- also cited -- are in October 1854. On the other hand, of course, the Battle of Waterloo was June 18, 1815, and the printer wanted to preserve the rhyme from an earlier version. - BS
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