Wednesday, April 10, 2013

50 Days, 50 Songs to the "Gordon Lightfoot: 50 Years on the Carefree Highway" Concert.

Day 26—Halfway mark

Lake Superior never gives up her dead.

If you live in Michigan, or anyplace that touches on this northernmost Great Lake, you’ve heard this expression and you know what it means. Those who perish in the depths of Superior are usually trapped “in her ice-water mansions.” (Gordon Lightfoot)

I remember the first time I heard this song played on the radio. I knew right away what it was about, as I recalled the night and the storms that had ravaged the Great Lakes. Even though we lived hundreds of miles away, we had also experienced their force. (I wrote about it here, November 10, 2010 blog.)

Written as a tribute to the ship and the 29 crew members who lost their lives on November 10, 1975, the song has become one of Gordon Lightfoot’s best known songs, climbing to number 2 on the Billboard charts, and is played at the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point.

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 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 big ship and true was a bone to be chewed

when the “Gales of November” came early.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Gordon Lightfoot

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