From the recording Bigger Faster and More


My granddad woke at dawn the better part of every week
Set out on the bayou while my Gran was still asleep
The gumbo Gran would make with what he caught would feed us all
And won her prizes at the parish hall

But soon the foreign trawlers brought their hunger to our coast
A race with bigger nets and gear for who could catch the most
They set their lines, they dragged the bottom, fishing night and day
Then gathered it and took it all away

Bigger, faster, farther, and more
We used to sell our shrimp and scallops from the kitchen door
But now it’s processed seafood that’s for sale on distant shores
Bigger, faster, and more

My dad took on the business when his father’s heart gave way
No time for cards or two-step now; he had to fish all day
Although there wasn’t much to catch, he knew the shrimping grounds
And thanked the saints for all that he found

But family farms nearby were going under; times were lean
And calloused hands can’t work as fast as factory or machine
The ones who farm as industry don’t care about the land
They seek the quickest profit that they can

Bigger, faster, farther, and more
Farming isn’t done the way that farming was before
The pesticides and fertilizer end up at our shore
Bigger, faster, and more

I didn’t know, when I took over, how to make ends meet
Gear restrictions, seasons closed; the bank turned up the heat
But shrimping’s all my family’s known; can’t think what else I’d do
We took another loan to make it through

Then suddenly a wellhead blew and all the gulf turned black
They said they stopped the oil but no one can put it back
Politicians pointed fingers, running from the blame
Leaving all of us to feel the pain

Bigger, faster, farther, and more
Choices made by others come a-knockin’ at our door
Someone somewhere else gets rich by plundering our shore
Bigger, faster, and more

Bigger, faster, farther and more
I’d like to leave this business to my daughter but I’m sure
The little guy can’t make a living from the sea no more
Bigger, faster, and more
Bigger, faster, and more

© Beth DeSombre