Saturday, November 12, 2005

Original Song #9

Cathie from Canada has a post up commemorating the 30th anniversary of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald tragedy. It seems like as good a time as any to put this song up here. I was inspired by the finding of an historian that Henry Hudson may have actually made it all the way back to his base on the island of Spitsbergen after his Discovery crew mutinied, taking the ship all the way home to England without its Captain.

It is surmised that Hudson accomplished this feat by expertly using the southwestern winds of the Atlantic to get back. But since this technique would've forced him to tack north, and slowly, he eventually found himself stranded on Spitsbergen for the oncoming winter. This theory was borne from the finding of another historian's journal indicating a headstone had been spotted on Spitsbergen early in the 20th Century with Hudson's name on it. (Although I can't find a link to the story about this, I have a clipping I kept from the Montreal Gazette about it.) I imagine him here as a proud man, disgusted and enraged at his crew for not having the courage to keep pushing for the mythical Northwest Passage he sought.


Spitsbergen

With my son and seven men, I’ve been booted off my ship
Set adrift in a tiny skiff, barely fit for seafare
We've precious few provisions; just the North Star to guide us
We'll be at the mercy of the winds to get us out of here

We were dumped out in the bay; the one that bears my name
By a filthy band of thugs, all greedy for my claim
But they won’t get back home safely, back to England fair
Without Henry Hudson’s prowess, they haven’t got a prayer

For I am Henry Hudson and I swear we’ll make Spitsbergen
I'd get us back to England but we only have two sails
Those filthy mutineers’ll surely starve at sea without me
As I steer us to Spitsbergen by the sou’western gales

Well we've been at sea ten days and in the air's a bitter chill
We’re all ascared of calenture as much as falling ill
But the men won’t give up hope cause they know they’re better off
Than the scum aboard Discovery, by now surely lost

For I am Henry Hudson and I swear we’ll make Spitsbergen
I'd get us back to England but we only have two sails
Those filthy mutineers’ll surely starve at sea without me
As I steer us to Spitsbergen by the sou’western gales

Rough seas!

Land ahoy!

I almost gave up hope til that day I saw the rocks
And the stone house I’d not seen in over fifty moons
We’ll make it through the winter boys, eating seals and lemmings
We’ll be back in merry England before the month of June

For I am Henry Hudson and I swore we’d make Spitsbergen
I got us as far as here, and I know I’ll get us home
Those filthy mutineers have surely starved at sea without me
As I steered us to Spitsbergen by the sou’western gales

- 30 -

2 comments:

CathiefromCanada said...

Great song, Scott. Quite a story.

Ivan Prokopchuk said...

E-minor to A?
D natural to C?
C to B-flat?

What's your chord progression?
Like Lightfoot's?
Just curious.
--Tabla Ture