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I grew up in a little town on Oregon's rocky shore
And I never was alone when I could hear the ocean's roar
My Papa loved the woods and streams that thrived outside the sand And we always had our bellies full of the bounty of the land.

We had years when the fish were plenty; elk fell when the bow was drawn And years when the fish got lost somewhere and forgot they had to spawn But Papa always managed with Mama by his side
And they worked those long hard hours that stretched from tide to tide

Fish on, Papa, Fish on
May your passion still sustain us when you're gone May the Elk and deer run free
And the fish flow from the sea
Fish on, Papa, Fish on.

I've heard all about this place up North; they call it Bristol Bay The way I've heard it told it's the Eden of our day
Over half the world's wild salmon return there every year
And the land abounds with creatures from geese to grizzly bear.

There are people there who've made their homes, lived lives full and complete Since sometime before dirt was old and honey tasted sweet
Come bankers clad in business suits; like locusts in a swarm
They want to strip the land and mine; they swear they'll do no harm.


There's so many things that a salmon must endure to get upstream Nature hasn't made it easy for Chinook, Coho or King
But we've seen a great dark die-off; we've seen populations slide Because to dodge a bear is easier than surviving human pride.

I know once the fish swam swift and thick up old Celilo Falls
For the echo of a way of life still rings through Native halls
We've lost so much in Oregon from the damning of that water May our voices join with Bristol Bay and prevent a great disaster.


My Papa he loves little more than to share food from his table And I know he'll keep on fishing past the point where he is able
May his passion for the wild and free be the gift that he imparts
May the coming generations have the the chance to know his heart.

Fish on, Papa, Fish on
May your grandkids sing this song for years to come
May the bounty of the land
Be protected by their hands
Fish on, Papa, Fish on


©2015 Kate Downing


from Scoundrels That We Are, released January 17, 2016



all rights reserved


Monday Morning Denial Eugene, Oregon

Monday Morning Denial is a folk music duo featuring husband-and-wife songwriting team Kate Downing and Nathan Moore. They craft and perform “underdog folk” songs that champion the struggles of everyday people to find hope in the midst of hard times.

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