The Many Troubles of Transcribing “Fisherman Song”

Written in 1966 and subsequently recorded but discarded for Teaser and the Firecat in 1971 as a demo tape, “Fisherman Song” just recently got officially released on the Super Deluxe album of Teaser and the Firecat. Previously, the song could only be had from an unsanctioned release of demo tapes called 9 Lives: Solo Demos from Morgan Studios.

Have a listen:

We took it upon ourselves to transcribe the song—which is where our troubles began. The song itself was never fully completed. As such, it consists of three motifs more or less firmly coupled together and of various time signatures (among them the Greek 7/8 time). It is the third, and last, song Cat wrote for Open E tuning (the other ones are the seminal masterpieces If I Laugh and Rubylove).

The already high difficulty of playing the song is worsened by the fact that the words to the song are difficult to decipher, yes sometimes even garbled, despite there being just one verse. So far, we have figured out the following, after much dissecting the tape, with the words in bold and underlined being contested:

In an old town called Mulaya it was at Great Bay by the sea
There lived an old fisherman and this song he sang to me

We hope to get this done soon. Until then!

Any requests? Anybody wanna hear a song?

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