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Song Parodies -> "Ed Fitzgerald Going Down"

Original Song Title:

"Sunday Morning Coming Down"

Original Performer:

Kris Kristofferson

Parody Song Title:

"Ed Fitzgerald Going Down"

Parody Written by:

Patrick McWilliams

The Lyrics

It's become an annual practice of mine to remember the loss of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald, and the power of a song (by Gordon Lightfoot) to preserve the memory of men who risked and gave their lives, just as surely as a company of soldiers, to create the prosperity we enjoy.
Well, she sailed out of Wisconsin
With no way to know this voyage would be her last
And while the sky was clear and full of sunshine
Weather was turning stormy--fast!
Those inclined to superstition would proclaim
That a witch's spell had been cast
She ignored their fears and set her course
And glided on the lake to meet her fate

They'd filled her hold the week before
With processed ore for the steel mills blazing
Captain Ed took care and watched the small screen
Failing at the moment he was gazing
Then he sent the final word
"We can hold our own", an ironic turn of phrasing
And then Fitzgerald slipped beneath the water
The mystery lingers to this day

We recall the Ed Fitzgerald
Forty years the ship is gone
But there's something in the story
Keeps the memory living on
And the families still crying
Say a prayer and ring the bell
For the crew of Ed Fitzgerald
And the job they did so well

That night the Arthur Anderson
Followed on the course Edmund Fitz was sailing
As the west wind blew, a hurricane
And rogue waves quickly overtopped the railing
Then a shudder shook the hull
And somewhere far below, a fractured bulkhead failing
Then it plunged, the stricken freighter
'twas the disappearing ship of yesterday

At the Maritime Cathedral
One more time the ship's bell tolls
For the dedicated sailors
Twenty nine courageous souls
Those of us among the living
Contemplate the mournful sound
Long ago November evening
Ed Fitzgerald going down
I elected to use the most solemn melody I could find, in an attempted atonement for the many frivolous retellings of the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald I produced a few years ago.

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Voting Results

Pacing: 5.0
How Funny: 2.0
Overall Rating: 5.0

Total Votes: 2

Voting Breakdown

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 5   2

User Comments

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Michael Pacholek - November 12, 2020 - Report this comment
It wouldn't be an official Edmund Fitzgerald parody If I didn't at least comment. It's been 45 years now, the story still compels. I think you picked the right song for it. All it needs now is the voice of Johnny Cash.
Patrick - November 16, 2020 - Report this comment
I don't follow a lot of gloomy music, so I'm not as familiar with what might have been suitable melodies on which to hang my annual parody. I've used "The Battle of New Orleans", which is a light-hearted melody dealing with a doubly tragic event. I was looking through an old spiral notebook the other day and found the first two stanzas of an uncompleted Fitzgerald done to "Sink The Bismarck", which is very similar in tone and popularized by the same artist. The closest version of "Sunday Morning" I had to hand was by Ray Stevens. But, as you and my brother both know, the Johnny Cash version has the air of actual experience to it. I can't imagine Ray Stevens living those lyrics. Kristofferson and Cash, yes. Hope we'll both be around for next year's anniversary. Robert Arndt Jr always wanted someone to tell the tale of the Wilhelm Gustloff. I think that took place in the spring. Got to get working on my quadrennial inauguration parody. Last time I wrote it in two days, same as the original. Did you ever see it? With two months to think about it, I'll probably still wait to the last minute. Glad to see you read this one. Why do all the other guys get the comments?

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