Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong - Gone Fishin'


Gone Fishin'

I'll tell you why I can't find ya:
Every time I go out to your place...
You gone fishin'. (Well how you know?)
Well there's a sign upon your door. (Uh-huh.)
"Gone fishin'". (I'm real gone man!)
Ha! You ain't workin' anymore. (Could be.)
There's your hoe out in the sun,
Where you left a row half done.
You claim that hoein', uh, ain't no fun. (Well I can prove it!)
You ain't got no ambition.
Gone fishin' by a shady wady pool. (Shangri-la, really la.)
I'm wishin' I could be that kind of fool. (Shall I twist your arm?)1
I'd say no more work for mine. (Welcome to the club.)
On my door I'd hang a sign:
"Gone fishin'", instead of just a-wishin'.
Papa Bing (Yeah Louis.)
I stopped by your place a time or two lately,
And you aren't home either.
Well, I'm a busy man Louis. I got a lotta big deals cookin'.2
I was probably tied up3 at the studio.
You weren't tied up you dog.
You was just plain old...
Gone fishin'. (Bah-boo-bah-boo-bah-boo-bah-boo-bah.)
There's a sign upon your door: (Pops, don't blab it around, will you?)
"Gone fishin'". (Keep it shady4; I got me a big one staked out.)5
Mmm, you ain't workin' anymore. (I don't have to work; I got me a piece of Gary.)6
Cows need milkin' in the barn. (I have the twins7 on that detail, they each take a side.)
But you just don't give a darn. (Give 'em four bits8 a cow and hand lotion.)
You just never seem to learn. (Man, you taught me.)
You ain't got no ambition. (You're convincin' me.)
Gone fishin'. (Bah-boo-dah-do-dah-do-dah-do.)
Got your hound dog by your side. (That's old Cindy-Lou goin' with me.)
Gone fishin'. (Mmm-hmm-hmm-hmm-hmm.)
Fleas are bitin' at his hide. (Get away from me boy, you bother me.)
(Mmm) Folks won't find us now because
Mister Satch9 and Mister Cros,
We gone fishin' instead of just a-wishin'.
Oh yeah!
  • 1. See idioms "twist someone's arm" and "(To) twist someone's arm".
  • 2. I have a lot of big deals cooking. = The studio has me in meetings, making deals/contracts with me.
  • 3. Tied up = Busy, constrained (in this context)
  • 4. Keep it shady = In this context, it means, keep it quiet, it's our hidden secret.
  • 5. I got me a big one staked out = He's got a great big fishing spot reserved for himself that no one knows about. See idioms database "staked out".
  • 6. In real life, Bing Crosby's first son was named Gary. He's saying his son can do the work while he goes fishing
  • 7. In real life, Bing had four children, two of them twins.
  • 8. Four bits = Meaning unknown. Likely refers to four coins but possibly candy
  • 9. Satchmo = Louis Armstrong's nickname
Submitted by BreezyDay on Fri, 11/01/2019 - 22:29
Submitter's comments:

"The Crosby recording came about when the singer had Armstrong as a guest on his radio show which was being taped on April 19, 1951 for broadcast on April 25 that year. As was customary, the songs to be used in the broadcast were taped in advance as a back-up in case the live broadcast versions did not go well. The song was so well received that Decca Records decided to issue the pre-recording commercially and it charted briefly in June 1951 with a peak position of #19. Crosby used the song in his concert performances in 1976 singing it with comedian Ted Rogers." Source:

Source of lyrics: Jim Dixon /
(Changes in punctuation were made and minor additions were made.)

To hear from the vinyl album, go to