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Song Parodies -> "The Wreck of M/S Argo Merchant"

Original Song Title:

"The Wrech of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

Original Performer:

Gordon Lightfoot

Parody Song Title:

"The Wreck of M/S Argo Merchant"

Parody Written by:

Susanna Viljanen

The Lyrics

Since we're into the shipwrecks, M/S Argo Merchant, a tanker under the Liberian flag (of convenience) was a true jinx ship. Or, rather, it was a floating catastrophe looking for a place to happen.
The maritime lore knows a few ships or more
who have foul name or bad reputation
While shipwreck alone does not mean all is gone
there's one ship beyond hesitation
All the people who sail know her horrible tale
as disasters were her a real penchant
A tanker by trade and Liberian, said
flew the flag that bad ship Argo Merchant

She was launched in Germany in 19-5-3
and her fourteen first years were quite boring
She was then sold abroad and then quite a load
things began to happen on scoring
It took eight months of time for that ship to arrive
From Japan to US in '67
She rammed another ship, and during her trip
three fires almost sent her to Heaven

In next year to score, she had mutiny onboard
as the broker hadn't paid sailors' wages
In Borneo strait with crude oil as her freight
she ran aground and stayed there for ages
Now that jinx of a ship had again hard-luck trip
as she was next year put on embargo
The longshoreman said that the crew was not paid
they refused unload her oil cargo

If that wasn't enough there were times to come tough
as she again hit the rocks near Salerno
Her engines broke at sea and so it was to be
she was towed to New York, that inferno!
Seven-six now was year and her boilers and gear
they broke up six times in succession
Her steering went bad and she flew Foxtrot flag
and red lights to show she's no more in control

She was banned in Philly and reception so chilly
was in Boston where she was banned to enter
And no interval at the Panama canal
she was banned there too at the center
But worst yet to be was when she hit the sea
to bring home oil from Venezuela
She had motley crew and I gess no one knew
the speech of skipper named Papadopoulos

Her LORAN broke down and and her radar went brown
as they neared the US coast waters
With no decent charts they relied stellar arts
of finding their way like their fathers
They were off fifteen miles from the course, they relied
that they had made the right calculations
That floating rustbucket ran aground at Nantucket
and left worst oil spill of US in ages

So all men of sea please now listen to me
and the sad story of Argo Merchant
Never sail full of oil if you risk hitting soil
and you will need a lot of detergent
Make sure each deckhand will then understand
the orders and language of the skipper
and repair your boat while she's still afloat
and it won't become one large a dipper!

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.3
How Funny: 4.4
Overall Rating: 4.3

Total Votes: 7

Voting Breakdown

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    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   0
 2   0
 3   1
 4   3
 5   3

User Comments

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Patrick - May 14, 2014 - Report this comment
Ships like this make me glad I live in Kansas City. Gordon Lightfoot's tune is becoming a medium for retelling all sorts of maritime and other disasters. After hearing your tale of the Argo Merchant, one almost could ask, "Where is a German U-Boat when you need one?''
Susanna Viljanen - May 14, 2014 - Report this comment
Yup. My uncle was a skipper in the Finnish merchant marine, and he had a story and another to tell about ships under flag of convenience. They more often than not are but floating junkyards. with crew who hardly can understand each others' language and skippers who usually command their ships by authoritarian means. He said that if a captain is revealed to be the master of a ship of flag of convenience, he becomes an outcast - other captains will shun him. Argo Merchant was the worst, but there are similar rustbuckets all around the seas of the world, unfortunately.
Patrick - May 15, 2014 - Report this comment
I once read a story of a US Navy minesweeper in WWII. The skipper was from Maine. The crew were Cajuns from Louisiana. They had to get a first officer from Michigan to serve as translator, otherwise the crews and captain would have had a hard time understanding each others' regional speech. Michigan is a Midwestern state, like Kansas, with a more "neutral" accent, readily understood throughout the country. In the old days of radio, broadcasters were supposed to imitate the speech of Kansas City, as being the most widely intelligible. Security code for this comment, and my judgement of your parody--555.
Alpha Skua - March 26, 2022 - Report this comment
The song always seem to have a Haunting tone to it and knowing this realy happened and no survivors because it ahppned so quick their last word WERE JUST HOLDIG OUR OWN
Phil Alexander - April 02, 2022 - Report this comment
I remember reading about the Argo Merchant in the Book of Heroic Failures when I was a child. The story amused me so, I named a Lego ship I made after her (as a sister ship to HMS Uselesses :-) )

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