“Squarin' Up Time”


With their fish sold, the sailors go to the store to "square up." They spend their cash on various items, often behaving very badly when they can't have what they want. All is well until the parson strolls in, whereupon the men start offering him credit

Supplemental text

Squarin' Up Time
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Edith Fulton Fowke, editor, and Richard Johnston, music editor,
Folk Songs of Canada (first edition), p. 182. Apparently the version
published by the author, Arthur Scammell.

Oh, the fish are all caught and the squid are all jigged,
And the traps are caught up and the schooners unrigged;
All hands round the cutters are driving the smoke,
While Jacob is splicin' some left-handed rope.

(9 additional stanzas)


Newfoundland fishermen lived much like American farmers: Borrow heavily in the spring to finance their fishing trips, spend the summer fishing, return in the fall with their yield, sell it and "square up" with the bank or the merchant. - RBW

Blondahl: "The poem Squarin Up was written by Mr Scammell in 1933. This poem and some twenty others by the same author may be found in a booklet titled _Mirrored Moments_, published in Montreal in 1945." - BS

Cross references

  • cf. "Vilikens and his Dinah (William and Dinah) [Laws M31A/B]" (tune & meter) and references there


  • Omar Blondahl, "Squaring Up Time" (on NFOBlondahl02)


  1. Peacock, pp. 98-99, "Squarin'-Up Time" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Fowke/Johnston, pp. 182, ""Squarin' Up Time (1 text; the tune -- "Vilikens and His Dinah" -- is on pp. 180-181)
  3. Blondahl, pp. 35-36, "Squarin' Up" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. ST FJ182 (Partial)
  5. Roud #4548
  6. BI, FJ182


Author: Arthur Scammel
Earliest date: 1952 (Peacock)
Keywords: sailor money humorous
Found in: Canada(Newf)