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The Ballad of Jamie Russell ©

(Dedicated to the crew of The Antares, who were drowned off the west coast of Scotland)

Patrick Scott Hogg
Cumbernauld, Scotland
1991

Fae Carradale, on the Mull of Kintyre
On a trawler called the Antares -
Jamie Russell and crew fished as they knew
For prawns, mackerel, and herring.
A' thru the year they towed their gear
Tae reap the sea's bounty harvest.
On a November morning as daylight was dawning,
They steamed for the Clyde's open waters.

In came the haul from the first hour's trawl -
An' the prawns crashed onto the deck.
Then, up fae the hatch tae help clean the catch
Came Dougald, he'd just cooked the stovies.
It was calm, cold and clear when they re-shot their gear
On that quiet November morning:
Dinnertime passed and then supper-time too,
And darkness fell without warning.

A calmness descended - the sea and night blended
Stars danced high in the sky:
But way down below, where dark seaweeds grow
Manoeuvring wargames stole by.
Aye! Navy rules say, 3000 yards away
Sonar - On - for detection.
But the arrogant fools they broke their own rules,
Beneath the Antares for protection.

The crew fell asleep, afloat on the deep,
With dreams of loved one's ashore.
Jamie started to haul that very last trawl
When Trenchant hit their wires full bore:
Not a second tae think, tae breathe or tae blink -
Engulfed by the dark, freezing waters:
Sunk like a stone - their souls straight flown,
Tae be by their wives, sons and daughters.

It took almost a year for the inquest tae hear
Evidence from every side.
The verdict reached, laid the Navy impeached,
For negligence on the Clyde.
So, when sea waves break on the shores of night
And the darkness of slumber's upon you -
Don't sleep too deep, keep one eye open,
And remember the crew of Antares!

Fae Carradale on the Mull of Kintyre,
On a trawler called the Antares.
Jamie Russell and crew fished as they knew.
They were drowned by the British Polaris!


Out of the Clyde, out of the Clyde
Out of the Clyde, out of the Clyde.....


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