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Aug
31

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on downOf the big lake they called Gitche GumeeThe lake, it is said, never gives up her deadWhen the skies of November turn gloomyWith a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons moreThan the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed emptyThat good ship and true was a bone to be chewedWhen the gales of November came early
The ship was the pride of the American sideComing back from some mill in WisconsinAs the big freighters go, it was bigger than mostWith a crew and good captain well seasonedConcluding some terms with a couple of steel firmsWhen they left fully loaded for ClevelandAnd later that night when the ship’s bell rangCould it be the north wind they’d been feelin’?
The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale soundAnd a wave broke over the railingAnd every man knew, as the captain did tooT’was the witch of November come stealin’The dawn came late and the breakfast had to waitWhen the gales of November came slashin’When afternoon came it was freezin’ rainIn the face of a hurricane west wind
When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck sayin’“Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya”At seven PM, a main hatchway caved in, he said“Fellas, it’s been good to know ya”The captain wired in he had water comin’ inAnd the good ship and crew was in perilAnd later that night when his lights went outta sightCame the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Does any one know where the love of God goesWhen the waves turn the minutes to hours?The searchers all say they’d have made Whitefish BayIf they’d put fifteen more miles behind herThey might have split up or they might have capsizedThey may have broke deep and took waterAnd all that remains is the faces and the namesOf the wives and the sons and the daughters
Lake Huron rolls, Superior singsIn the rooms of her ice-water mansionOld Michigan steams like a young man’s dreamsThe islands and bays are for sportsmenAnd farther below Lake OntarioTakes in what Lake Erie can send herAnd the iron boats go as the mariners all knowWith the gales of November remembered
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayedIn the maritime sailors’ cathedralThe church bell chimed ’til it rang twenty-nine timesFor each man on the Edmund FitzgeraldThe legend lives on from the Chippewa on downOf the big lake they called Gitche GumeeSuperior, they said, never gives up her deadWhen the gales of November come early
Songwriter: Gordon Lightfoot
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

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