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The Edmund Fitzgerald


courtesy of - written by Gordon Lightfoot

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

With a load of iron ore26,000 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 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 When the wave broke over the whaling
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 the main hatchway gave 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 gulfed 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
Ole 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
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, 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 Gitchigumi
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead When the gales of November come early.

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.