Ballad of the Yarmouth Castle (Attributed to Gordon Lightfoot) Well, it's four o'clock in the afternoon And the anchors have been weighed From Miami to Nassau, She's bound across the waves She'll be headin' south through Biscayne Bay Into the open sea Yarmouth Castle, she's a-dyin' and don't know it Now the many years she's been to sea She's seen the better times She gives a groan of protest As they cast away her lines And the grumble of her engines And the rust along her spine Tells the Castle she's too old to be sailin' But the sands run out within her heart A tiny spark glows red It smoulders through the evening There's laughter overhead Now the men are served, and the cards are dealt And the drinks are passed around Deep within the fire starts a-burnin' Now it's midnight on the open sea And the moon is shining bright Some people join the party And others say good-night There's many who are sleeping now It's been a busy day And a tiny wisp of smoke is a-risin' "Oh Lord," she groans, "I'm burning!" "Let someone understand!" But her silent plea is wasted In the playin' of the band Everybody's dancin' on her deck And they're havin' such a time Then a voice says "Shut up and deal, I'm losin'" Deep within the Yarmouth Castle The fire begins to glow It leaps into the hallways And climbs and twists and grows And the paint she wore to keep her young Oh Lord, how well it burns And soon that old fire is a-ragin' Up beneath the bridge it's climbin' fast the captain stands aloft He calls up to the boatswain, 'n' says "Boatswain, we are lost" For the ragged hoses in the racks No pressure do they hold And the people down below Will soon be dyin' All amidships, oh she's blazin' now It's spreadin' fore and aft The people are a-scramblin' As the fire blocks their path The evil smoke surrounds them, And they're fallin' in their tracks And the captain in his lifeboat is a-leavin' Oh then the ship, Bahama Star Comes steamin' through the night She sees the Castle blazin' And 'tis a terrible sight "Jump down, jump down!" the captain cries "We'll save you if we can!" Then the paint on his funnels is a-fryin' "God help the ones who sleep below And cannot find the way! Thank God for those we've rescued Upon this awful day." Now the heroes, they are many, But the times are growin' slim And now from stern to bow She's a-blazin' Oh the Yarmouth Castle's moanin' She's cryin' like a child. You can hear her if you listen Above the roar so wild Is she cryin' for the ones who lie Within her molten sides? Or cryin' for herself, I'm a-wonderin' But the livin' soon were rescued The ones who lived to tell From the Star they watched her As she died there in the swells Like a toy ship on a mill pond She burned all through the night Then slipped 'neath the waves In the mornin' (sung by Gordon Lightfoot on Sunday Concert Plus) The Yarmouth Castle was an aging cruise ship that burned badly in the Bahamas in 1965. 90 people died in the fire. AS Oct00
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!