The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee." The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead when the skies of November turn gloomy.
I first remember hearing this song when I was a little girl.
I remember thinking that it was a cool song.
At that point I didn't realize that it was about an actual event.
Gordon Lightfoot wrote "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" in 1976.
The actually event...the sinking of the ore ship the SS Edmund Fitzgerald
took place on November 10, 1975.
From what I have researched the ship was sailing on Lake Superior and sank
when it was hit by a rogue wave during a fierce storm
(this is just one theory).
They don't really know why the ship sank.
The entire 29 man crew on board the ship was lost in the freezing water
that tragic night.
I wanted to share this song, the lyrics, and a few websites
with everyone because I want to try to capture
the memory of all the crew members and how
they are immortilized by this song.
I hope you enjoy the song and hopefully you will learn something new.
This video is especially interesting because it contains news footage
and radio transmissions from the time the sinking occurred.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee." The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead when the skies of November turn gloomy. With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand 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. 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 ship's bell rang, could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'? The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound and a wave broke over the railing. And ev'ry 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 Gales 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'. "Fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya." At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said, fellas, it's been good t'know ya!" The captain wired in he had water comin' in and the good ship and crew was in peril. And later that night when 'is lights went outta sight came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Does any one 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 '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 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 November remembered. In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed, in the "Maritime Sailors' Cathedral." The church bell chimed 'til 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." "Superior," they said, "never gives up her dead when the gales of November come early!"
R.I.P to the crew of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald 11/10/1975
|Michael E. Armagost||37||Third Mate||Iron River, Wisconsin|
|Frederick J. Beetcher||56||Porter||Superior, Wisconsin|
|Thomas D. Bentsen||23||Oiler||St. Joseph, Michigan|
|Edward F. Bindon||47||First Assistant Engineer||Fairport Harbor, Ohio|
|Thomas D. Borgeson||41||Maintenance Man||Duluth, Minnesota|
|Oliver J. Champeau||41||Third Assistant Engineer||Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin|
|Nolan S. Church||55||Porter||Silver Bay, Minnesota|
|Ransom E. Cundy||53||Watchman||Superior, Wisconsin|
|Thomas E. Edwards||50||Second Assistant Engineer||Oregon, Ohio|
|Russell G. Haskell||40||Second Assistant Engineer||Millbury, Ohio|
|George J. Holl||60||Chief Engineer||Cabot, Pennsylvania|
|Bruce L. Hudson||22||Deck Hand||North Olmsted, Ohio|
|Allen G. Kalmon||43||Second Cook||Washburn, Wisconsin|
|Gordon F. MacLellan||30||Wiper||Clearwater, Florida|
|Joseph W. Mazes||59||Special Maintenance Man||Ashland, Wisconsin|
|John H. McCarthy||62||First Mate||Bay Village, Ohio|
|Ernest M. McSorley||63||Captain||Toledo, Ohio|
|Eugene W. O'Brien||50||Wheelsman||Toledo, Ohio|
|Karl A. Peckol||20||Watchman||Ashtabula, Ohio|
|John J. Poviach||59||Wheelsman||Bradenton, Florida|
|James A. Pratt||44||Second Mate||Lakewood, Ohio|
|Robert C. Rafferty||62||Steward||Toledo, Ohio|
|Paul M. Riippa||22||Deck Hand||Ashtabula, Ohio|
|John D. Simmons||63||Wheelsman||Ashland, Wisconsin|
|William J. Spengler||59||Watchman||Toledo, Ohio|
|Mark A. Thomas||21||Deck Hand||Richmond Heights, Ohio|
|Ralph G. Walton||58||Oiler||Fremont, Ohio|
|David E. Weiss||22||Cadet||Agoura, California|
|Blaine H. Wilhelm||52||Oiler||Moquah, Wisconsin|
Signing off 22:09