Trochus Boats

                                    Lyrics: Bill Scott/ Music: Roger Ilott © 1999

                                    Restless Music APRA/AMCOS


            Bill lives in Warwick, Queensland, Australia, these days.  This is from one of his other eight lives.  He says "When working aboard the Commonwealth lighthouse vessel, Cape Leeuwin, in the early fifties, we often saw some of the pearling fleet anchored among the reefs of the Barrier where they harvested trochus shell.  The sound of the crews' voices in song drifting across the twilit still waters haunts me still with its beauty."


Gordon – 12-string guitar

Quasimodal Chorus - vocals


            I am living dry and placid now among encircling mountains,

          An old man still remembering the days that used to be,

          But I close my eyes and live again those days of sweat and laughter,

          When we worked the trochus luggers* in the western Coral Sea.


          Sailing in a black hulled lugger with a lookout at the masthead,

          You may drift along the coral cays and anchor where you please,

          In the glassy leeside waters of some rocky offshore island,

          Though the outer reef be trembling under pounding whitened seas.



          Laddie oh… Laddie ay, Laddie oh… Laddie ay. (2x)


          You may anchor calm and safely in the shallows over coral,

          Where the waters glimmer peacock in a hundred shifting shades,

          You can hear the rippling wavelets tinkle gently on the beaches,

          And the stays and braces strumming in the southeast trades.




          To the north of Lizard Island and to the south of Iron Range,

          In my dreams I am returning to the place where I would be,

          To the laughing Torres Straitsmen singing softly in the twilight,

          To the trochus lugger's anchorage in Princess Charlotte Bay.




          *Trochus is a large mollusk,  Perhaps the boast were once lug rigged, but I've seen pictures of ketches, and Bill says he's seen motor boats called luggers.



Trochus Boats is recorded on the album Herrings in the Bay