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Song Parodies -> "El Resto"

Original Song Title:

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"

Original Performer:

Gordon Lightfoot

Parody Song Title:

"El Resto"

Parody Written by:

Michael Pacholek

The Lyrics

Time to do The Old Switcheroo on a couple of legendary story-songs. Both of which, as fate would have it, have 14 verses. Finding a title was tough, and the closest I could come to one matching "El Paso" was "El Resto" -- according to, it means "the remainder," not exactly an equivalent to "the wreck," but close enough. I had to switch two line in the song for reality: At around 7:10 PM on November 10, 1975, the commanding officer of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, Captain Ernest McSorley, got on the radio, and said the last words anyone received from the ship: Not that "he had water coming in and the good ship and crew were in peril," but "We're holding our own." And they were 17 miles from Whitefish Bay, not 15. It's unlikely the bell of the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral was cast from iron hauled by the Edmund Fitzgerald, but I thought it was a nice touch.
Out on the Great Lake that’s known as Superior
I cast my eyes on an iron-ore ship.
It was the freighter named Edmund Fitzgerald.
No one yet knew it was their final trip.

Loaded with iron weighed twenty-six thousand
all of those tons on top of its own bulk.
The Edmund Fitzgerald was ship big and prideful.
No one suspecting sad fate for that hulk.

Bigger than most of the freighters on lakes
leaving a Wisconsin mill…

Captain and crew, all those men were well-seasoned.
No one could know that they soon would be killed.

So, they launched and
they headed on out on the Lake called Superior
loaded in full for Cleveland, Ohio.
Later that night, the ship’s bell started ringing.
No one yet knew that the North Wind did blow.

Tattletale sound was the wind in the wires.
Over the railing came startling wave.
Every man knew ‘twas the Witch of November.
No one yet knew they were doomed for the grave.

Late came the dawn and the breakfast did, too.
Slashing came autumnal gales…

Came afternoon of the 10th of November.
No one yet knew that their voyage would fail.

So, when the
suppertime came, the old cook told the sailors,
“Fellas, can’t feed ya, the waves are too rough.”

Back in their homeport, in old Motor City
word had not come of the ship and its fate.
At 7 o’clock came the word from the Captain:
“We’re holding our own,” but he said it too late.

Seventeen more miles, they’d make Whitefish Bay.
But, no, their lights went out of sight…

Coming tomorrow, the searchers would find them.
But they would not have no good luck tonight.

And at last does
anyone know where to find God and his love?
Minutes were turned into hours by waves.
All of those men at the trough of Superior.
Twenty-nine gone, and not one could be saved.

The big ship, it split up, in two it was sundered
taking down with it the iron, all tons.
All that’s remaining are all of the faces
and names of the wives and the daughters and sons.

Lake Huron rolls, and Superior sings.
Steaming is old Michigan…

Lake Erie sends itself into Ontario.
The mariners know it’s all danger to man.

And in a
musty old hall in the city of De-troit
everyone prays as the church bell, it chimes.
I see the bell, made from iron the boat hauled.
Twenty-nine men, and for each one, it chimes.

From out of nowhere, the wave, it had found them
on the big lake, Gitchee Gumee, they ride.
Felled were the sailors by Gales of November.
Twenty-nine men to Superior…


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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.1
How Funny: 3.9
Overall Rating: 3.9

Total Votes: 9

Voting Breakdown

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    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   2
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   7

User Comments

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AFW - October 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Very neatly fitted and switched
Old Man Ribber - October 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Nice! More "switches" than in the old Baltimore and Ohio railyard! ;D
LadyWhiteFishBay - October 26, 2010 - Report this comment
My grandfather was from WFB, Lord Palochek, the mighty winds oWFB make it much colder than MilTown, sir !
Patrick - October 26, 2010 - Report this comment
Magnificent retelling of two tragedies, a man who dies for a woman & a crew of men who died for their job. This has been a good week for swapping verses. Is anyone out there still writing these long ballad songs for the radio?

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