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 are gloomy.
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty,
The good ship and crew 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.
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
Which they left fully loaded for Cleveland.
The wind in the wire made a tattle-tale sound
As the waves broke over the railing.
When afternoon came it was freezin' rain,
In the face of a hurricane west wind.
At seven P.M., the old cook came on deck sayin'
'Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya'.
When the captain wired in he had water comin' in,
He said 'Fellas, it's been good t'know ya'
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
She takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
But the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the Gales of November remembered.
Now, in a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
At the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
And the church bell chimes till it rings twenty-nine times, once
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.