Victoria Nautical Song Circles's
May 2000 Song Of The Month


Words and Music - © Brian Robertson, 1990
E-Mail Brian

Along the shore is where life began,
Fed by sea and formed by land,
Under the sun and the moon's command,
Down through the ages feeding man.

CHORUS: When the tide goes out, the table is set,
And the sea serves up her bounty bless'd;
Oh, come with me while the sand's still wet -
When the tide goes out, the table is set.

I know some people whose thinking gets stuck;
To them low tide means slime and muck.
But when I go there I'm prepared to...shuck
The oyster, the clam and the geoduck. [`goo-ey duck']


Now go a little further, put your foot in the sea,
Then try wading out, say up to your knees:
There are crab and abalone, and even seaweeds;
Fix them up right, and they're bound to please.


The driftwood fire is burning hot,
Drop your catch in the cooking pot;
C'mon everybody, find a place on a log,
Share a steaming bowl, and this grateful thought.


I was born and raised by Georgia Strait;
She's a part of me and I share her fate.
And all this poison she just can't take;
We've got to stop it now, before it's too late, ['cause]


FINALE: When the tide goes out, [When the tide goes out]
When the tide goes out, [When the tide goes out]
When the tide goes out, the table is set.

Alternative verse 5:
'Took my boots and shovel down to the sea,
To work the clamming tide, get a fam'ly feed;
But "The beach is closed," a sign decreed,
And these ancient words rang bittersweet:

A few notes from Brian:
Verse 5 is the original and is used by both SOTW and TSW {See notes about CDs} I often like to pluralize this verse as well: "Here we are by Georgia Straight, She's a part of us and we share her fate..."
I can really see this pluralized version being adapted willy nilly to other seaside places on the planet - it's easy to make up rhymes to specific bays, sounds, seas, etc.
Verse 4, the one about the driftwood fire is a later verse, and I tend to use it mostly now [including in my recording of it on Saltchuk Serenade], especially when I'm not specifically trying to get across an environmentalist message. Often I'll sing both verses [in this order] if the crowd seems to be into it.

Recorded by: Brian Robertson, "Saltchuk Serenade"
by: Shanghaied on the Willamette (Gordy Euler, Johnathen Lay) "Tasting the Salt Air"
by: Three Strong Winds (Ellen van der Hoeven, Jim Edmondson, Christina Ray) "We are Here"
Posted With Permission

To Victoria Nautical Song Circle main page or Previous Songs Of The Month List.