Fisherman's Blues lyrics

The Waterboys

I wish I was a fisherman
Tumblin' on the seas
Far away from dry land
And it's bitter memories
Casting out my sweet line
With abandonment and love
No ceiling bearin' down on me
'Cept the starry sky above
With light in my head
You in my arms

I wish I was the brakeman
On a hurtlin' fevered train
Crashing a-headlong into the heartland
Like a cannon in the rain
With the beating of the sleepers
And the burnin' of the coal
Counting the towns flashing by
In a night that's full of soul
With light in my head
You in my arms


Well I know I will be loosened
From bonds that hold me fast
That the chains all hung around me
Will fall away at last
And on that fine and fateful day
I will take me in my hands
I will ride on the train
I will be the fisherman
With light in my head
You in my arms
Woo Hoo Hoo!


Woo Hoo!
Light in my head
You in my arms
Light in my head
Woo Hoo!
Light in my head
You in my arms
Light in my head
Woo Hoo...

Song Details

The Waterboys
The Waterboys

Writers: Mike Scott and Steve Wickham

Band: The Waterboys

Recorded: 1986-88

Released: 1988-07-01

Category: Folk rock

Brief: The following is an excerpt from a YouTube comment by "Julian BS" with an excellent description relating to the meaning of the song:

These lyrics articulate a longing for freedom, escape, and a more spartan existence, where the constraints and memories of the current life are left behind. The imagery of being a fisherman and a brakeman on a train symbolizes this desire for liberation and a connection to something primal and natural. The open seas and hurtling trains represent unbounded possibilities, adventure, and a connection to the elemental forces of nature. Yet interwoven with this longing for escape is a deep romantic sentiment. The recurring line "With light in my head, You in my arms" adds a layer of intimacy, suggesting that the ultimate dream is to break free from life's chains and do so with a loved one by one's side. The lyrics convey a yearning for a shared journey to a place where love and simplicity reign and the complexity and bitterness of the past are lost like distant shores or towns flashing by. It is a dream of love unencumbered, and life lived harmoniously with nature and another soul...youtube.com

Covers: Emilia Clarke, The Tumbling Paddies

Album: Fisherman's Blues (July 1, 1988).

The Waterboys

The Waterboys are a British-Irish folk rock band formed in London in 1983 by Scottish musician and songwriter Mike Scott.

History and Sound:

The band's sound, while rooted in folk music, has incorporated elements of rock, soul, gospel, and even classical music.

Throughout their career, they've gone through various lineup changes, with Mike Scott remaining the only constant member.

Some of their most well-known songs include "The Whole of the Moon," "Fisherman's Blues," and "Rag Doll."

Early Success and Evolution:

Their debut album, "The Waterboys," released in 1983, achieved critical acclaim and established their unique sound.

Subsequent albums like "This Is The Waterboys" and "A Rock in the Weary Land" explored their Celtic folk roots more deeply.

In the late 80s and early 90s, they experimented with a more rock-oriented sound with albums like "Room To Roam" and "Fisherman's Blues," gaining widespread commercial success.

Breakup and Solo Career (1993-2003):

In 1993, Mike Scott disbanded the band to pursue a solo career, releasing several successful albums.

He briefly reformed The Waterboys in 2001 for a tour and album "Universal Hall," but then returned to his solo work.

Reunion and Continued Activity (2005-Present):

In 2005, Mike Scott once again assembled The Waterboys for a series of tours and recordings.

They've released several albums since then, including "Book of Lightning" and "Good Luck, Seeker," showcasing their ever-evolving sound and love for live performance.

Legacy and Contributions:

The Waterboys are considered one of the most influential bands of the British folk rock scene.

They continue to tour internationally and inspire new generations of musicians with their passionate live shows and timeless music.

Back to Irish Lyrics F Back To Top
Contact Me

Irish Boy