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THE GENERAL - Copyright 2001 by Dave Saunders
Published by Sgt Joe Music (BMI)
From the Dave Saunders CD “Fishin'"
Available for purchase from

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We all called him The General, just for courtesy’s sake
But he was really a big-mouth bass that lived up in Jackson’s Lake
Everybody in town said he was older than anyone knew
And, judgin’ by the stories I’ve been told, I’d believe that’s probably true

Abner Baxter’s bait shop was the place to buy fishin’ gear
And Abner had a contest he’d been runnin’ for thirty years
It started out when he offered ten dollars to whoever brought The General in
And every year, when nobody won, he just added another ten

That prize money started lookin’ real good to Ebenezer Becket
And he announced that he was the man who was finally gonna collect it
So, on the first day of the season, in the mornin’ about six o’clock
Every fisherman in town was gathered at the bait shop dock

Ebenezer walked out to the end of the dock, and started lookin’ around
And he saw The General waitin’ there, ten feet out and two feet down
Ebenezer made a cast, with his usual style and grace
And The General watched that bait as it sank slowly in front of his face

He circled around and moved in close and turned his tail toward the dock
Then he clamped his jaws down on that bait and took off like a shot
The line pulled tight and the rod nearly pulled right out of Ebenezer’s hand
But he held on with all he had, and that’s how the battle began

The General got out where the water was deep, and started zig-zaggin’ left and right
Ebenezer kept payin’ out line, tryin’ to keep it tight
Then all of a sudden The General turned, and headed straight back in
And Ebenezer couldn’t pick up slack as fast as that fish could swim

He was comin’ in so fast that he was leavin’ a wake
While a hundred feet of fishin’ line lay slack on the top of that lake
He headed straight underneath the dock and circled around a pilin’
And he snagged that line and broke it off, and I swear that fish was smilin’

Then he jumped clean out of the water, stood up on his tail
And shook his body ‘til we thought he was gonna lose every one of his scales
And when that bait landed on the dock, right at Ebenezer’s feet
One of the town’s best fishermen knew he’d just been beat

Well, The General won his battle, but I guess he must have lost the war
‘Cause just a few days later we found him washed up on the shore
And it didn’t seem quite dignified to just let him lay there and rot
So we dug a little hole by the edge of the lake, for his final restin’ spot

Abner declared that the contest was over, gave the prize money to the church
Ebenezer don’t seem to fish no more, not even for croppies or perch
But one day I saw him standin’ there, down by edge of the lake
And I swear he saluted The General (I guess just for courtesy’s sake)

Copyright © 2002 Dave Saunders
Portions Copyright © 2002 Bobby Addison
Contact Dave Saunders with questions regarding this site.
Last updated: 2/5/2006