In 1928, when he was only 15 years old, Art Scammel composed Squid Jiggin' Ground as a high school project. Fifteen years later, in 1943, Art Scammell produced Newfoundland's second recording specifically intended for Newfoundland consumption. This was his first song and was a very successful commercial undertaking; and it was recorded as a private record "Squid-Jiggin' Ground Part 1 // Squid-Jiggin' Ground Squid-Jiggin' Ground Part 2" on the RCA label, Private Record P.R. 931 in Montreal. Somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 albums were sold.
Oh, this is the place where the fishermen gather,
With oilskins and boots and Cape Anns battened down;
All sizes of figures with squid lines and jiggers,
They congregate here on the squid-jigging ground.
Some are workin' their jiggers while others are yarnin',
There's some standin' up and there's more lyin' down;
While all kinds of fun, jokes and tricks are begun
As they wait for the squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.
There's men of all ages and boys in the bargain;
There's old Billy Cave and there's young Raymond Brown,
There's a red rantin' Tory out here in a dory,
A-runnin' down Squires on the squid-jiggin' ground.
There's men from the Harbour and men from the Tickle,
In all kinds of motorboats, green, grey and brown;
Right yonder is Bobby and with him is Nobby,
He's chawin' hard tack on the squid-jiggin' ground.
God bless my sou'wester, there's Skipper John Chaffey,
He's the best hand at squid-jiggin' here, I'll be bound.
Hello! What's the row? Why he's jiggin' one now,
The very first squid on the squid-jiggin' ground.
The man with the whiskers is old Jacob Steele;
He's gettin well up but he's still pretty sound.
While Uncle Bob Hawkins wears six pair o' stockin's
Whenever he's out on the squid-jiggin' ground.
Holy smoke! What a scuffle! All hands are excited.
'Tis a wonder to me that there's nobody drowned.
There's confusion, a bustle, a wonderful hustle,
They're all jiggin' squids on the squid-jiggin' ground.
Says Bobby, "The squids are on top of the water,
I just got me jigger 'bout one fathom down" ---
When a squid in the boat squirted right down his throat,
And he's swearin' like mad on the squid-jiggin' ground.
There's poor Uncle Billy, his whiskers are spattered
With spots of the squid juice that's flying around;
One poor little b'y got it right in the eye,
But they don't give a damn on the squid-jiggin' ground.
Now if ever you feel inclined to go squiddin',
Leave your white shirts and collars behind in the town.
And if you get cranky without your silk hanky
You'd better steer clear of the squid-jiggin' ground.