As I roved out one Shrovetide Eve
Among the bramble and the cloudberry
It's then I heard a melody
A-blowing over the Northern Sea:
The song of the old men of the shells

The old men of the shells, my boys
The old men of the shells
I left the ones who love me well
To find my home in the ocean swells
And follow the old men of the shells

I made my bed so shallow
Among the marigold and marshmallow
It's then I heard the old men say
"Why deny the sea her prey?
Come follow the old men of the shells"

So deeper, deeper I made my home
Among the samphire, among the ocean foam
The curlew call my curfew bell
Leads me to my bed of pearls
To lie with the old men of the shells

And though the words they sang were few
They had the ring of something true
I listened long and began to sing
They way the unfledged bird takes the wing
I sang with the old men of the shells

I cast around to find my tune
Thinking to sing the song all alone
But wise words on a foolish tongue
Howsoever sweet they be sung
They jangle like the brassy bells of hell
They'll never please the old men of the shells

The old men of the shells, my boys
The old men of the shells
I left the ones who love me well
To find my home in the ocean swell
And follow the old men of the shells


Lyrics submitted by isaacstepek

The Old Men of the Shells song meanings
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