Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Story Songs: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

On Nov. 10, 1975, the Great Lakes freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald, after encountering heavy winds and high waves, sank in the deep waters of Lake Superior. All 29 crew members perished in the disaster.

A year later, Canadian Gordon Lightfoot commemorated the event with his touching and thoughtful song, "The Wreck of  the Edmund Fitzgerald."  It captures the essence of the crew and vessel on its final voyage:

"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"

Lightfoot goes on to tell of the distress in the final hours as the Edmund Fitzgerald is caught in the throes of a horrendous storm:

"The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril.
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

Lightfoot is a master storyteller and his keen lyrics about that fateful day will be always be recalled when people remember the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

"And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters."



No comments:

Post a Comment