Pulling All Together

Alice leads a song, 2017 Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival (photo by Bill Buchan)

By Alice Winship

The chunk! chunk! Of a stone axe blow
Echoes where the cedars grow
Carving a canoe out of a log.
Up the salt chuck hear the splash
All together paddles flash
Singing with each stroke all through the fog.

Chorus: Hear the singing, the echoes ringing
            They were pulling all together; you won’t get far alone
            Give us a song to move the work along We’ll all get there together;
            We’ll bring the fish back home.

Creaking wood and clacking gear
With rushing wakes the ships appear
Sailors heave and haul through storm and gales
Hauling lumber, wheat and coal
Salting fish down in the hold
Singing as they raise the swelling sails.


Diesel engines throb and roar
Cities rise, high buildings soar
On the rivers, dams now rise up tall
Fields are green and turbines hum
But dams have cut the salmon run
Can we find a way to have it all?



This song is about the historical connection between song and the return of the salmon. Salmon were once caught native by fishers using simple gear from cedar canoes. Salmon now run the gauntlet of modern gear and spawning grounds that are much changed from their natural state.


  • Song by: Alice Winship
  • Arranged by: Alex Sturbaum
    • Lynn Applegate: lead vocal, guitar
    • Bob Jackson: harmony vocal
    • Alex Sturbaum: guitar
    • Alicia Healey: bass

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