The Trouting Liar (Johnny Burke)

Oh, the trout liar is come on the train,
and now look out for news,
The catch he got in Bradley's Pond,
this side of Kelligrews;
His basket couldn't hold no more,
he was flinging them so quick,
He was forced to put five dozen
on the limb of a wit-rod stick.

And the fearful whoppers that he got,
and the ones he used to rise,
That broke his pole off to the butt.
Are ye listening to him, boys?
And they'd leap for anything at all,
such trout you never saw,
He caught three dozen on a rag.
Oh, lads, do you hear the chaw?

And others went to Bay Bulls Big,
and herrins! such a load,
He filled his basket and a bag,
and left them on the road;
He left his bait when near the pond,
then he lost his flies,
And got nine dozen on one worm.
Oh, boys, do you hear the lies?

That crowd at Brigus Junction
never saw such trout before,
And every time they cast a line
a whopper came on shore;
That may be true, we doubt it much,
but when he up and said,
He hooked one long as Cooper's car
with a Scotch cap on his head.

My father went to Kenney's Pond,
a mile outside of town,
And he caught such a terrible monster
that it nearly hauled him down;
It tipped the beam at thirty pounds,
my father said quite cool;
And was nearly as long as a dory
when he measured it with a rule.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, p.37, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Herrins - also hern, herning, herron; Atlantic herring; one of the principal fish used as bait in the cod-fishery.
Wit-Rod - also withe-rod, with-rod; a shrub with thin pliant branches; northern wild raisin; gadberry, thrashberry (Viburnum cassinoides).


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