Tuesday, November 21, 2006

21 November, 2006

Day 21 for nablopomo










by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true 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 Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the 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 ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

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 supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd 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, Superior sings
In the ruins 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 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

10 Comments:

Blogger PEA said...

Gordon Lightfoot has always been one of my favourite singers and I love this song! November 10th, 1975 is a day I remember well when I heard on the news that the Edmund Fitzgerald had sank and 29 men had lost their lives.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I dont think I have ever seen all the words to this song! Thank you for printing it out!

8:49 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Swear to god, that was my favorite song when I was a kid. Thanks for posting that.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous brian said...

Growing up in Wisconsin I was 12 years old that day. I love that song. Iron ore carriers are my favorite of all ships.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

I'm seeing this differently to the others as I'm not familiar with either the song or the event. I read it purely as a description of a dreadful event and it sent chills down my spine thinking of the fear and horror those men must have felt in the merciless grip of the storm and the lake.

2:56 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Thanks for this poignant reminder of those brave men and their unfortunate fate.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder and the words to the song. Have a wonderful day!

8:41 PM  
Anonymous swampgrrl said...

That song used to make me cry as a kid. It still chokes me up.

Eat Pray Love is OK...kinda self-absorbed driveling on at times. Othertimes, it
transcendent.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gordon Lightfoot - and that song! Another trip down memory lane, thanks Rel.

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me again..I was taking a quick look at some of your previous posts and came across this. Many years ago I bought tickets to see
Gordon Lightfoot at Massey Hall in Toronto, for my husband's birthday. At the concert he (Gordon, not my husband!)announced he had a new song, and would perform it that night for the first time.
It was this song.

11:29 AM  

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