Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald


by Gordon Lightfoot
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitchee 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

B - - - / F#m - - - / A - E - / B - - - //  repeat throughout
 
The ship was the pride of the American side
Comin' back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighter 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 bin feelin'

The wind in the wires made a tattle tale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every 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 gale of November came slashin'
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind

When suppertime came the old cook came on deck
Sayin', "fellows it's too rough to feed you"
At seven p.m. a main hatchway gave in
He said, "fellows it's been good to 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 'is lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind 'er
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 rooms of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsman
And further below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners well 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
And the legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitchee Gumee
Superior they said never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

 1976 Warner Brother Records::  on his "Summertime Dream"::  an account 
of the giant ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in Lake Superior in November 1975

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