Back On The Shore

The Last Lighthouse Keeper (Alan Reid)

When the red sun goes down and slips under the horizon
And the fishing boat is heading out to sea
There's a long wide beam sweeping all across the ocean
That was tended once by someone just like me.
In the fog and the wet and windy weather
It's a beacon that has shone by night and day
And in calm or storm when that fishing boat returns
The steadfast light will guide it on its way

When the wild winds blow along the coastline
In this rugged land no one has ever tamed
The fisherman, the ferryman, the sailor
Thank the Lord for the Keeper of the Flame,
The Keeper of the Flame

I'm the last in an unbroken line of lighthouse keepers
My faither and his faither worked them too
And I served my time from the Solway to the Shetlands
By myself and sometimes with a crew.
I've seen the sullen ocean pound Sule Skerry
At the Bell Rock made acquaintance with the seal.
At the Firth of Lorne I've got up to check the horn
Or to see if there's a lobster in the creel

There are those who'd contend that the lighthouse is a prison
And the solitude an exile too severe
But I felt quite content in my tower of isolation
Far removed from all trouble, stress and care
But this world is rushing on with automation
And there's no need for a lighthouse to be manned
In the summer time I locked the door and I bade Fair Isle farewell.
I was the last lighthouse keeper in the land.