Gordon Bok Gordon Bok 2 16 2010-02-15T17:48:00Z 2010-02-15T17:48:00Z 2 347 1981 Timberhead 16 3 2432 9.6926

Spirit Song of George's Banks/The Ghostly Sailors (Trad.)

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牋牋牋牋牋?One of the many fine ghost stories of the sea, this song can be found from Maine to Newfoundland.?Thanks to Valentine Doyle and Dick Swain for helping me remember it.

牋牋牋牋牋?The story that I heard was that the schooner Haskell, out of Gloucester, was anchored near George's when a sudden gale parted her ground tackle and she went charging, bare-poled, down through the fleet.?She cut the schooner Johnston almost in two, killing all her men.?On every voyage thereafter, a crew would appear on her deck at night and go through the motions of fishing.?After a few trips, no crew would even sign on her, and she rotted at the wharf.

 

Gordon & cellamba

 

牋牋牋牋牋?You may smile if you've a mind to, but perhaps you'll lend an ear

牋牋牋牋牋?We've been boy and man together, close on for forty year

牋牋牋牋牋?I've sailed across these waters from Western Banks to Grand

牋牋牋牋牋?And in some herring vessels that hailed from Newfoundland.

 

牋牋牋牋牋?I've seen some storms, I tell you, where things looked kind of blue

牋牋牋牋牋?But somehow I was lucky, and always did come through

牋牋牋牋牋?But I'll not brag, however: I'm not so much, but then

牋牋牋牋牋?I'm not much easier frightened than most of other men.

 

牋牋牋牋牋?This one dark night I speak of, we were offshore a ways

牋牋牋牋牋?I never will forget it in all my mortal days

牋牋牋牋牋?When in the darkness of my watch I felt a chilling dread

牋牋牋牋牋?That bore me down as if I'd heard a calling from the dead.

 

牋牋牋牋牋?Then o'er the rail they climbed, all silent, one by one

牋牋牋牋牋?A dozen dripping sailors ?just wait till I have done -

牋牋牋牋牋?And on the deck they assembled, but not a voice was heard

牋牋牋牋牋?They moved about together there, but never said a word.

 

牋牋牋牋牋?Their faces, pale and sea-wet shone ghostly through the night

牋牋牋牋牋?And each one took his station as if he had a right

牋牋牋牋牋?And Eastward steered the vessel till land was just in sight

牋牋牋牋牋?Or rather, I should say we saw the lighthouse tower's light.

 

牋牋牋牋牋?And then those ghostly sailors moved to the rail again

牋牋牋牋牋?And vanished in the morning mist before the sun of man

牋牋牋牋牋?We sailed right up the harbor, and every mother's son

牋牋牋牋牋?Will tell you the same story, the same as I have done.

 

牋牋牋牋牋?They are the same poor sailors ?I pray God rest their souls -

牋牋牋牋牋?That our old craft ran over one night near Georges shoals

牋牋牋牋牋?And now you have my story, to you I will confess

牋牋牋牋牋?I have believed in spirits from that day until this.

 

Spirit Song of George's Bank is recorded on the album Schooners

 

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