Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The legend lives on
from the Chippewa on down
of the great lake they call gitchegumee
The lake it is said, never gives up her dead
when the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore, twenty-six thousand tons more
than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
that good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
when the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
with a crew and good captain well seasoned,
concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
when they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night, when the ship's bell rang
could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
and a wave broke over the railing
And ev'ry man knew, as the captain did too
'twas the witch of November come stealin'
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
when the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came, it was freezing rain
in the face of a hurricane west wind

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin'
'fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya'
At seven p.m. a main hatchway caved in
he said, 'fellas, it's been good t'know ya'
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
and the good ship and crew were in peril
And later that night, when it's lights went outta sight
came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Does any one know, where the love of God goes?
when the waves turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
if they'd put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up, or they might have capsized
they may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains, is the faces and the names
of the wives and the sons and the daughters

Lake Huron rolls, and Superior sings
in the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams, like a young man's dreams
the islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below, Lake Ontario
takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go, as the mariners all know
with the gales of November remembered

In a musty old hall, in Detroit they prayed
in the maritime sailors cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang twenty-nine times
for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald

The legend lives on
from the Chippewa on down
of the great lake they call gitchegumee
Superior, it's said, never gives up her dead
when the gales of November come early

-Gordon Lightfoot-


Blogger GC said...

i don't know that one
but doesn't he sing about the ghost from a wishing well?

11:02 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I'm pretty sure that the "ghost from a wishing well" song is by Gordon Lightfoot too. I think it's called, "If You Could Read My Mind, Love", or something like that.

12:01 PM  
Blogger willowtree said...

Reading this, all my mind would recall is a poem from Edward Arlington Robinson. Im not even very sure why. The Man's name was very close to Ebb and Flow, and that's the most I remember. I guess I have a bit of research to do.

8:49 PM  
Blogger GC said...

@ Willowtree
Mr. Flood's Party? or something like that.

1:14 PM  

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