It is one of his best.
Kendall, you’re two for two in terms of picking old favorites I haven’t thought of or listened to for years. Three for three if you count the post with the lyrics to All Good Gifts from Godspell!
I’ve got about 150 of my CDs copied here (have to copy ’em — the Sahara dust destroys them quickly, I leave all my originals in the US)
But I’ve still got about 120 LPs and maybe 150 cassettes and another 50-60 CDs that are back in the US. You’re making me wish I could get a hold of some of those old LPs that are sitting in FL!
You might also be interested in this link showing what it’s like to be on one of these ore ships on Lake Superior in November. My brother’s wife, visiting from Detroit, just watched this with me. Her brother is the captain of Great Lakes freighter who was interviewed last November aboard his ship by a Toledo, Ohio, TV station while one of these “Gales of November” raged. http://www.nbc24.com/Global/story.asp?s=5737473
The “Mariners’ Cathedral” in the song is Mariner’s Church in Detroit, a former Episcopal parish, which was established six blocks down the street when the members of Old Christ Church objected to the sailors attending their genteel services. My father was a member of Mariner’s and my grandmother attended Old Christ Church.
Normally I only listen to this song in November, but I appreciated seeing the pictures put to it. The disaster and later, Lightfoot’s song, were part of my growing up years, but if you listen to the song too much it soon gets old!
I was a junior in high school when the Edmund Fitz went down. It was all over the news in my little Michigan town and there were a few people who knew someone who knew (or were related to) one of the men onboard. Amazingly enough, after moving to Texas in 1980 I actually met people who thought it was a legend (never really happened) or it happened in the 1800s or early 1900s. It was hard for me to patiently explain to them that it really did happen and how recently it took place.
It is a bit difficult to imagine the size of thse freighters. They are as large as most ocean-going freighters and will not fit through the locks in the St. Lawrance Seaway. They are built for a lifetime of plying the Great Lakes. The Edmond F. Had a shorter lifetime than expected. We, like ships, are given one day at a time by Providence.
My husband and I spent a summer in Belarus working with college students through the ministry of InterVarsity. We taught English and American culture to Russian-speaking college students in Minsk. We are Wisconsinites. We used this song to teach the Midwestern Folk Idiom. It was awesome.. and it has taken on new life in my memory as I hear it in my memory being sung with a Russian accent. 🙂
#4 DonGander wrote: “It is a bit difficult to imagine the size of thse freighters. They are as large as most ocean-going freighters and will not fit through the locks in the St. Lawrance Seaway.”
Unfortunately, you’re incorrect with respect to the E.F. and similar Great Lakes ships. I grew up on the St. Lawrence River and had the opportunity on several occasions to see this great boat transit the Eisenhower Lock at Massena, NY. The Eisenhower Lock can accommodate at ship up to 740 ft., while the Edmund Fitzgerald was 729 ft. long. The St. Lawrence Seaway, which see thousands of ships transiting it, also handles some very large ocean going ships.
As an additional point of information, Captain McSorley was a resident of Ogdensburg, NY, which is around 35 miles West of Massena. This sinking of this very recognizable ship was devastating to that whole region.
I have fond memories as a teenager flying along side of the E.F. in ski boats. Yes, it was a beautiful ship, with redish brown paint trimmed in white and put out a huge wake, when loaded.
My memories were not so fond. My most fervent praying was done one dark evening when my high school boyfriend took us out on the Detroit River in a borrowed dinghy with no running lights. The outboard died–and there it was bearing down on us in a very narrow channel! I prayed, God started the motor, and we were saved. I dumped the boyfriend soon after.
Albeit and Don Gander are both right. The “lakers” are built narrowly in order to go through the Sault (pronounced “Soo”) Saint Marie locks between Lakes Superior and Huron. They carry mostly grain, ore, and coal. I’m not sure what the other locks can handle, but I think that all but the very widest ocean-going freighters can go through the Welland Locks that bypass Niagara Falls. Those can still get as far as Chicago, but not to Duluth.
Actually Sue, I have been iin a small boat stalled in the middle of the Channel with an ocean going ship bearing down. Fortunately, we cleared out of the way only, but in time to be terrorized by huge bow waves, which turned the little aluminum boat we were in into a instant roller coaster. As you probably know, the swells seem to keep coming forever.
Incidentally, the “ski boats” I had previously mentioned were boats (such as Glastrons) with a 75hp or larger motor, which we would water ski behind. In case anyone is confused, “ski jets” weren’t invented yet. Heck, it’s dangerous enough heading up the prop wash of a ship in a 23 foot boat and a large motor, nonetheless on a two person vehicle the size of a snowmobile. Now that would be insane!