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Scuttlebutt! Ain’t it a shame?

Published on June 6th, 2023

For 47 years and counting Maine’s beloved and highly acclaimed folk group ‘Schooner Fare‘ has been composing and performing songs of the sea, as well as traditional songs from the Canadian Maritimes, Ireland, Scotland, and much else. Their 1999 song ‘Scuttlebutt’ is a humorous take on the original maritime expression. They never fail to get an entire audience grunting each time the word ‘Scuttlebutt’ is sung.
– Max Fletcher; Orr’s Island, Maine


See the burly longshoreman, showing off his biceps,
Heavin’ and a’haulin’ mighty freighters in and out.
All of the townfolk think he’s quite a guy, ‘cept
He don’t lift a finger to help around the house.

Scuttlebutt! Ain’t it a shame?
Nobody knows. Nobody’s to blame.
The truth ain’t pretty. I think you’ll agree. Just
Don’t ya tell nobody that you heard it from me.

Do you see the dandy yachtsman, posing at the wheel,
The picture of a regular marina buccaneer?
But he doesn’t know his rudder from his keel.
It’s a jolly good job he doesn’t ever leave the pier.

Yonder is a fisherman, wading in a brook
On a weekend with the fellas, feelin’ wild and free–
But the bold desperado’s afraid to bait the hook
He says “Will one of you people please do this for me?”

Listen to the folk singer, feelin’ kinda jaunty,
Singin’ out the chorus of a ballad sublime.
He’s a three-chord-wonder, thinks he’s Belafonte
You know he’s gonna bore us with “one more time.”

Over and over, day after day
Comin’ and a’goin’ like ever before,
Gossip is so ugly, try as you may
It comes innuendo and out of your door.

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