Gordon Bok Gordon Bok 2 12 2010-02-15T17:56:00Z 2010-02-15T17:56:00Z 2 354 2021 Timberhead 16 4 2481 9.6926

Karl Edstrom and the Hesper

牋牋牋牋牋??Lois Lyman; Music: Traditional


牋牋牋牋牋?A few years ago the friends of the Wiscasset Schooners were trying to raise funds to "stabilize" them.?They received a letter from Karl, who had sailed in Hesper when they were both young.?Someone went to the nursing home to tape his recollections of those days.?It was from this story that Lois made this song, and put it to the tune of The Swarthfell Rocks.


牋牋牋牋牋?My name is Karl Edstrom, I am eighty years old,

牋牋牋牋牋?And I heard that you're trying to save the Hesper.

牋牋牋牋牋?I joined her crew in 'twenty-one ?for Le Havre we were bound ?/p>

牋牋牋牋牋?I was twenty then, and I never will forget her.


牋牋牋牋牋?She was cloud-white and long, and her four masts so lofty

牋牋牋牋牋?That her topsails seemed to pierce the sky above her.

牋牋牋牋牋?She was strong and deep and wide, timberports on either side;

牋牋牋牋牋?When I looked at her, I thought that she was lovely.


牋牋牋牋牋?We sailed out of Rockland with a crew of nine men

牋牋牋牋牋?And her hold was just as full as we could pack her.

牋牋牋牋牋?She was loaded down and low with logwood and coal

牋牋牋牋牋?And her bottom was so foul we could not tack her.


牋牋牋牋牋?Caleb Haskell was master and the mate was his son

牋牋牋牋牋?And a tougher bastard never sailed blue-water

牋牋牋牋牋?For no matter what we tried he would not be satisfied,

牋牋牋牋牋?And he drove us all the time we were aboard her.


牋牋牋牋牋?When we landed in France the dockside was swarming

牋牋牋牋牋?With peddlers and ladies so charming.

牋牋牋牋牋?"Where are the men?" the laded cried: they could no believe their eyes

牋牋牋牋牋?That only nine of us had brought her to this landing.


牋牋牋牋牋?The cook got so drunk that we all ate on shore

牋牋牋牋牋?And I thought the Old Man would hire another,

牋牋牋牋牋?But the captain said: "Let him be, for he's sober out to sea,

牋牋牋牋牋?And he makes a better pie than my mother."


牋牋牋牋牋?Rolling out to Venezuela we sang and made music,

牋牋牋牋牋?Played cribbage, killed rats and stood our watches.

牋牋牋牋牋?We arrived on Christmas day, over New Year's we lay,

牋牋牋牋牋?Loading goat manure until it reached the hatches.


牋牋牋牋牋?In Charleston, Carolina, they paid off my time

牋牋牋牋牋?I said goodbye to my mates and there I left her.

牋牋牋牋牋?It's been fifty years for me since I made a life at sea;

牋牋牋牋牋?Now and then I think of Haskell and the Hesper.


牋牋牋牋牋?So here's my ten dollars to help you restore her

牋牋牋牋牋?For it makes me sad that ships like her are gone, now.

牋牋牋牋牋?But it grieves me even more to see her rotting on the shore

牋牋牋牋牋?Who rode the waves like a snowy gull in summer.



Karl Edstrom and the Hesper is recorded on Schooners and is also in the songbook One to Sing, One to Haul