On The Viking Station

The Cod War along with The Falklands Conflict and Desert Storm provided us in the latter half of the 20th century with a trilogy of Tolkienesque complexity and splendour.

I'll tell you all a story the like you've never heard
About a bitter conflict and how it shook the world
How from all the North Sea trawler ports to the North Atlantic bound
Our ships set sail in the teeth of the gale for Iceland's fishing ground
It's not with a fly and a maggot it's not with a cattle prod
It's not for the haddock and not for the skate and not with a line and a rod
It's not for the stinking kipper fish we toss on the breath of God
We sold our souls to pack the hold with the grace of Old King Cod

So watch for the gannet watch for his strike now watch for the arctic tern
What did you do in the cod war as you watched the fog lamps burn
Watch for the hammer watch for the spike swing hard by the gunboat's stern
Cry Harry! Cod! And England! And round for your homeports turn

They sank 'The Pearl' and 'Oberon' and took their crews on board
And 'The Jackson' out of Fraserburgh was rammed by the gunboat 'Thor'
Now down in the bars on the dockside we have vowed to avenge them all
For there's more good men in 'The Fisherman's Friend' than all of Iceland's shores
Send for the shot and powder now shout while you light the fuse
Call on the ancient mariner to call on his ancient crew
Send for the Royal Navy with their bands and boys in blue
And Jock the Bastard's nephew's sailing up from Dunbar too

We were ten days out of harbour the sea was iron grey
We picked her up on our radar screen and tried to slip away
I was mending nets on the afterdeck in the last of the light that day
When a searchlight gleamed off the starboard beam
And out of the wind she came
Then three live rounds across our bow three live rounds fired she
Our captain versed in Gaelic cursed and we swung round hard to the lee
And we rammed her abaft of the binnacle now Jock the Bastard's creed
Says Old King Cod is a merry old sod and merry old sods are we

Intro. B E F# B
Verse B E B F# B E F# B
Chorus E B E F# E F# B