Haul, Haul Away (Cast the nets wide)

This song is loosely based on Luke 5:1-11, the Miraculous Draught of Fish, and also on Jesus call on the disciples to be "fishers of men".

The words were written by English folk-hymn writer Michael Cockett (b 1938).

It is set to a tune by English Roman Catholic singer/songwriter, pastoral musician and publisher Kevin Mayhew.  Originally copyright was held by Mayhew-McCrimmon Ltd, subsequently it has transferred to McCrimmon Publishing Co. Ltd.

The tune is unnamed.  It is in 6/8 time, and was originally published in the key of C with starting notes G E D C_ c_ d B A_ and accompanying chords C / E / F / D7 / G.

The religious song was published in the 20th Century Folk Hymnal Volume 1, and in a 1970's edition (which one, tbc) of Praise the Lord (Chapman).   After that, it appears to have sunk without trace, with no subsequent publications found.  However it has been requested by a reader of this site, who remembers singing it in a Catholic church in the United Kingdom during the 1970s.

It is similar, in both tune and lyric-pattern (but not content), to a secular song released in 2015 by folk-singer Doug Hazard.


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No downloadable versions have been found, of either performances or the sheet music. If you know where to find one, please leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page.


No on-line example of this song have been found.   However this is a non-religious song with a similar structure and tune:


Haul, haul away.
Haul, haul away.
Cast the nets wide and sink the nets deep.
And it's haul, haul away.

1 O he sat in the boat and he spoke to the crowd.
Haul, haul away.
And his voice wasn't soft and his voice wasn't loud.
Haul, haul away.
And he spoke of the just and the pure and the free,
And his voice caught the air like a net in the sea.
And it's ...

2 He said "Cast your nets wide where the water is deep."
Haul, haul away.
"O cast the nets wide and sink the nets deep."
Haul, haul away.
"Though we've worked through the night and we've nothing to show,
we will try once again just because you say so."
And it's ...

3 O the catch it was huge and the boat it was small.
Haul, haul away.
His friends came to help when they heard Peter call.
Haul, haul away.
"You must leave us" said Peter, "for we're men of sin."
But he said "Come with me and be fishers of men".
And it's ...

See more ...



  1. I also sang this song in a catholic church in Nigeria around 1973/1974. It was taught to us by an Irish nun and we sand it in a regional choir competition which we won.

  2. This hymn is present in our hymnal at our Catholic church in Mumbai. It's a beautiful song

  3. Also used to sing this in my catholic primary school in the mid 80's have hunted this song for a while but cant find anywhere!