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Fishing With Bill

This song is by Greg Brown and appears on the album Friend of Mine (1993) by Greg Brown and Bill Morrissey.

(Greg Brown)

Man what a winter,
Sorrow wide and deep.
Is it just the media industry or the whole country
That is turning into sheep?
I wanna go to a good place
With a friend of mine,
Cast our souls out in the river
And watch the whole deal shine.
Some little crick in Massachusetts, just over the hill,
Oh I, I'm goin' fishin' with Bill.

Well, Bill, I bet he is a good fly caster.
He grew up on these eastern brooks.
Me, I grew up on the midwestern cricks
Casting crappie flies for chubs and such.
But in my young imagination,
I watched a Number 20 Coachman settle down,
Sitting by the stove in that little library
Reading Roderick L. Haig Brown.
I never did fish in Vancouver. I probably never will.
I don't care. I'm goin' fishin' with Bill.

Well, it's a long and noble tradition,
Catching trout on the fly.
When you're done, with the setting of the sun,
Gonna drink a little bourbon if you're dry.
See some folks out on the river,
Cool, scientific and clean.
They look like everything just kinda stuck to them
The last time they walked through ol' L. L. Bean.
My friend, Dave, says the good fishermen are the ones who have fun and we will.
Oh I, I'm goin' fishin' with Bill.

Sittin' in a bar in Brattleboro
Thinkin' about one of his songs.
The rain was pourin' down, and I was pourin' it down,
And all I could do was hum along.
We've talked about goin' fishin' so often
At some party when the gig was done.
Well, life slips by like a little dry fly
Sliding down a deep slick run,
So let us stand steady like an old mill.
Oh I, I'm goin' fishin' with Bill.

Maybe Handsome Molly will pass by
As we cast away the hours.
Somewhere on a river somewhere far away
>From stupid people in positions of power.
Someday when we ain't folk singers
Flyin' through the friendly skies.
We won't be waiting for the big break
Or anything except the evening rise
On some spring crick in Wisconsin or maybe the Batten Kill.
Oh I, I'm goin' fishin' with Bill.
I'm goin' fishin' with Bill... um um um,
I'm goin' fishin' with Bill... yes, I am,
I'm goin' fishin' with Bill.

G: Y'know, Bill?
B: Wha? Wha?
G: I think if we just tried a little, some kinda little streamer right
Over there; go ahead and cast over...
B: What d'ya got - a blasting cap?
G: See that clump of grass over there...
B: A Number 12 blasting cap...
G: ... on the other side over there?
B: Yeah, yeah I see that.
G: I have a feelin' there's about a 5 1/2 pound rainbow under one of them...
B: Ah, 6...
G: ...just waitin' for someone to come along... and catch...
B: I'll catch the fish.
G: We need to catch just one trout here, Bill... just one...
B: What? Ya hungry?
G: ...'cause I'm hungry, I don't know about you...
B: Well, I'll catch the fish.
G: I know we're both catch and release guys. I know we believe in that,
But if we caught just one trout, we could eat it, couldn't we, so we could
Sustain ourselves and the beautiful spirit of the trout would become part of
Us... and I'm hungry.
B: Ah, ah...
G: Well, I'm not complainin' 'bout gettin' lost today.
B: We, we weren't lost, Greg, ah...
G: We've seen a lot of parts of Massachusetts I've never seen before; it's
Not that, it's...
B: ...the map was broken.
G: ...it's late and we need to catch one trout and put...
B: ...ok, ok, all right, I'll...
G: ...it on the grill if it's OK.
B: All right.

Goin' fishin' with Bill.
Goin' fishin' with Bill.
Goin' fishin' with Bill

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