The Dying Fisherman’s Song, or The Raving of Sir Rupt

‘Twas midnight on the ocean,
Not a street car was in sight,
The sun was shining brightly,
For it rained all day that night.

‘Twas a Summer’s day in Winter,
The rain was snowing fast,
As a barefoot girl with shoes on,
Stood sitting in the grass.

‘Twas evening and the rising sun
Was setting in the West,
And all the fishes in the trees
Were cuddled in their nests.

The rain was pouring down,
The sun was shining bright,
And everything that you could see
Was hidden out of sight.

The organ peeled potatoes,
Lard was rendered by the choir,
When the sexton rang the dishrag
Someone set the church on fire.

“Holy smokes!” the teacher shouted,
As he madly tore his hair,
Now his head resembles Heaven,
For there is no parting there.

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10 responses to “The Dying Fisherman’s Song, or The Raving of Sir Rupt

  1. I’d like to know how and where this originated. While many versions are posted on the internet, this is verbatim of the version my father used to recite back in the early 1940s. Back then it appeared regularly in the Boston Sunday Globe, in a section titled “Songs and Poems of Long Ago.” I can only guess that it probably came into existence during or before the Great Depression

  2. My Dad used to recite it to me also and I was delighted to find it in Grandmother’s clippings.

  3. Your website is a plus, I should look over your articles again.

  4. My dad also used to recite it to us during the 40’s and 50’s, and used several different titles for it. We knew it by either “Barefooot Boy with shoes on,”
    “Midnight on the ocean”, or “Aint we Crazy”. Dad usually omitted a couple of verses, but we always laughed at the last verse, “While the organ peeled potatoes,………” etc.

  5. My dad learned it in England during WWII. But it seems to have started as a soldiers’ song in the trenches of WWI.

    • My Dad was also in WWII and recited it to us when we were kids. It was fun to find it in Grammy’s book of clippings

      • I agree; and I’m going to revive it through my local sing-along music
        ministry. Here are the Chords and corrected lyrics as best as I recall. Enjoy!

        The Ravings of Sir Rumpt in D
        An English soldiers’ song popular in WWI and WWII

        D A7
        Twas midnight on the ocean. Not a street car was in sight.
        D
        The sun was shining brightly, For it rained all day that night.
        G
        ‘Twas a summer’s day in winter, the rain was snowing fast,
        D A7 D
        while a barefoot boy with shoes on, stood sitting in the grass.

        D A7
        ‘Twas evening and the rising sun was setting in the West,
        D
        And all the fishies in the trees were snuggled in their nests.
        G
        The rain was pouring down and the sun was shining bright,
        D A7 D
        And everything that you could see was hidden out of sight.

        D A7
        The organ peeled potatoes. Lard was rendered by the choir,
        D
        When the sexton rang the dishrag how it set the church on fire.
        G
        “Holy smokes!” the teacher shouted, as he madly tore his hair,
        D A7 D
        Now his head resembles Heaven, for there is no parting there.

  6. Thank you so much. Perhaps another generation of children will enjoy hearing it!

  7. This song was recorded by Harry McClintock aka Haywire Mac in the 1920s as “Ain’t We Crazy?”. I have the 78.

  8. I just found a version of this poem in my Grandfathers 1917 USS George Washington collection when he served in WW1

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