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Make & Break Harbour

This song is by Stan Rogers and appears on the live album Home in Halifax (1994).

How still lies the bay, in the light western airs
Which blow from the crimson horizon
Once more we tack home, with a dry empty hold
Saving gas with the breezes so fair

She's a kindly cape islander, old but still sound
But so lost in the long liner's shadow
Make and Break and make do, but the fish are so few
That she won't be replaced should she flounder

Now it's so hard to not think of before the big war
When the cod went so cheap, but so plenty
Foreign trawlers go by now with long seeking eyes
Taking all where we seldom take any

And the young folk don't stay with the fisherman's ways
Long ago they all moved to the cities
And the ones left behind, old and tired and blind
Won't work for a pound, for a penny.

In Make and Break Harbour the boats are so few
Too many are pulled up and rotten.
Most houses stand empty, old nets hung to dry
Are blown away, lost and forgotten

Now I can see the big draggers have stirred up the bay
Leaving lobster traps smashed on the bottom
Can they think it don't pay to respect the old ways
That Make and Break men have not forgotten?

For we still keep our time to the turn of the tide
In this boat that I built with my father
Still lifts to the sky, the one-lunger and I
Still talk like old friends on the water

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