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Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information
Redwall Wiki | Brian Jacques and Redwall Information

Swallow the Anchor was a 12" 33RPM LP released in 1971 by The Liverpool Fishermen. "Swallow the Anchor" is an old phrase meaning to retire from sea service. The album was released on the Mushroom Records UK record label, and originally sold for £1.50. It is available for streaming on Spotify, Amazon, and iTunes/Apple Music.

Matrix #s:

  • Side 1: 150 MR 9 A
  • Side 2: 150 MR 9 B

Notable Tracks[]

The album's title track, "Swallow the Anchor", appears in Jacques' book Yennoworrameanlike.

Side A features a cover of "Maggie May", a traditional Liverpool folk song in the public domain.

"The Foggy Dew" is an Irish folk ballad about the Easter Rising of 1916 written by Charles O'Neill. In the mid-1990s, a collaboration between The Chieftains and Sinéad O'Connor brought the song to more prominence. Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor walked out to their version before bouts.

"Bill Hart's Favourite", also known as "Bill Hart's Jig" is a traditional Irish tune with an unknown composer.

"The Ould Triangle" (also known as "The Auld Triangle") is a song by Dick Shannon that's generally credited to Brendan Behan, who included it in the 1954 play The Quare Fellow.

"In My Liverpool Home" is a traditional Liverpool anthem by Pete McGovern. Brian Jacques also covers a version of this on A Gig wid Brig.

The tracks "The Marmalade Tom" and "The Bingo" come from Jacques' poetry work Get Yer Wack.

"Red Haired Mary" was written by Irishman Sean McCarthy and originally released by Danny Doyle in 1967 on the EP Step It Out Mary.

"Dan O'Hara" is the true story of an Irishman who emigrated to New York City in the 1800s, but lost his entire family on the voyage over. The original writer seems lost to time.


Side A[]

Swallow the Anchor Side A
Track Title Composer Publisher Length
1 Swallow the Anchor Jacques Anvil Press/Maximum Music 2:15
2 Maggie May Trad.Arr.Fishermen Maximum Music 2:26
3 Foggy Dew Trad.Arr.Fishermen Maximum Music 2:46
4 Yate's White's Blues Jacques Anvil Press/Maximum Music 2:15
5 Bill Hart's Favourite Trad.Arr.Davis Maximum Music 1:01
6 The Ould Triangle Behan Keith Prowse Music 1:44
7 Home Boys Home Trad.Arr.Fishermen Maximum Music 3:46

Side B[]

Swallow the Anchor Side B
Track Title Composer Publisher Length
1 In my Liverpool Home McGovern Spin Publications 3:00
2 The Marmalade Tom Jacques Anvil Press 2:35
3 The Bingo Jacques Anvil Press/Maximum Music 1:47
4 Dan O'Hara Trad.Arr.Fishermen Maximum Music 2:11
5 Red Haired Mary McCarthy Segway Music 3:34
6 Leaving Liverpool Trad.Arr.Fishermen Maximum Music 3:09

Back Cover Text[]

One Sunday night at Pete McGoverns County Ward Folk Club the audience were being regaled with Billy Moore's rendition of 'Bonny Boy Growing' when half a dozen desperate looking characters (all well oiled) and armed with rods, creels and fishing gear, stamped in. During the ensuing confusion, a large wet fish was smacked on the table under the noses of Messrs Moore & McGovern "there y'are Billy lad, fry that fer yer dinner" Peter McGovern (may his shadow never grow less) said something quite unprintable & Billy (whom we hold in high regard) said "it's those bloody Fishermen again." All that remained was to change 'bloody' for 'Liverpool' and thus began 'The Liverpool Fishermen'. For some years previous to this, the Jacques brothers, Tony, Brian & Jimmy had been singing unaccompanied (unless twenty odd pints of Draught Guinness can be called an accompaniment) their stamping grounds was mainly the Liverpool dock area pubs, who frequently had an Irish Licensee & as fast as the front door shut, the back door opened. Many a night was spent boozin' and singin' until the A.M. Some time later Bobby Dyson (Guitar-Banjo) & Alan Fitzgerald (Guitar, twelve & six) joined the Jacques's & though Bobby now lives in County Durham he is still counted within the ranks. Then followed a series of gigs, typically Liverpool style, weddings & wakes & "do's" which seem to materialize from nowhere. Many an unsuspecting manager or club owner would offer to buy the ale in lieu of a cash fee (poor fool) Some even commented that it would be easier to pour it down the Mersey Tunnel. Bernard Davis plays a raucous banjo so he was next to sign up (being a good boozer helps) the group were then playing all the surrounding folk clubs & many outside towns. Material for 'Fishermen' is a blend of Irish, Liverpool, Shanty & their own material in which Liverpool (scouse) dialect monologues frequently occur also there is the ale, which plays the main part.

The members all live & work on Merseyside & having been all born & bred in the Holy City, the capital of Dublin, call it what you will, we are the Liverpool Fishermen an 'its our 'ockee! (don't knock it down.)

J.B. Jacques


Stream Swallow the Anchor on Spotify below, or by clicking here.