This was requested in the Cowpie newsletter, Gordon Lightfoot's Wreck of
the Edmund Fitzgerald
Dan Mooney - Portland, Oregon
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
[Asus2]The legend lives on from the [Em}Chippewa on down, of the [G]big lake
they [D]call Gitche [Asus2]Gumee, the lake it is said never [Em]gives up its
dead when the [G]skies of No[D]vember turn [Asus2]gloomy, with a load of
ore twenty-six [Em]thousand tons more, than the [G]Edmund Fitz[D]gerald
weighed [Asus2]empty, that good ship and true, was a [Em]bone to be chewed,
when the [G]gales of No[D]vember came [Asus2]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
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 ships bell rang, could it be the north wind they'd been feeling.
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 stealing, the dawn came late and breakfast had to wait, when
the gales of November came slashing, when the afternoon came it was freezing
rain, in the face of a hurricane west wind.
When suppertime came the old cook came on deck, saying fellas its too rough
to feed you, at seven p.m. a main hatch way caved in, he said fellas its
been good to know you. the captain wired in, he had water coming in, and the
good ship and crew were in peril, and later that night when his lights went
of sight, came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Does anyone know where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes
to hours, the searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay, if they'd
put fifteen more miles behind her, they might have split up, or they might
have capsized, they may have broke deep and took water, all that remains is
the faces and names of the wives and the sons and the daughters.
Lake Huron rolls, Superior swings, in the rooms of her ice water mansions,
old Michigan steams like a young mans 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
In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed, in the Maritime Sailors
Cathedral, the church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine 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, the lake it is said never gives up
its dead when the gales of November come early.