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Song Parodies -> "Fitzgerald"

Original Song Title:


Original Performer:


Parody Song Title:


Parody Written by:

Patrick McWilliams

The Lyrics

My annual salute to the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald and all the brave men and women who deliver the goods and keep the water flowing and the lights on. November 10, 1975, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald was sunk with 29 crewmen. Gordon Lightfoot's ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" has kept the memory of the tragedy alive to this day.
Do you hear the bell, Fitzgerald?
Did you toll it long ago, another stormy night like this?
In the twilight, Fitzgerald
Wind was humming through the wires and ice was freezing on the rail
Did you hear the rumbling sound
As unseen bulkheads down below began to fail?

Waves were surging now, Fitzgerald
As the old cook bid the crew a last farewell so solemnly
Were the men afraid, Fitzgerald?
Some were young, just starting out, while others ready to retire
All of them began to pray
To see their homes and families once more--their desire

There were storm clouds in the air that night
No stars in sight, Fitzgerald
You were sighted on the radar screen
Then went unseen, Fitzgerald
Were you searching for where safety lay
In Whitefish Bay?
Final message: you could hold your own
And then you're gone, Fitzgerald

As the family members wait at home
Your fate--unknown, Fitzgerald

Decades come and go, Fitzgerald
And every year we meet inside the musty Sailors' Hall
Then we ring the bell, Fitzgerald
One by one we read the names of those we lost, brave seamen all
Can you see it in our eyes?
Our teardrops mingle with the raindrops as they fall

There was iron ore in the hold that night
The taconite, Fitzgerald
You delivered it efficiently
To industry, Fitzgerald
A rewarding job the sailors choose
Any regrets?
We salute the mariners so brave
No one could save, Fitzgerald

A folk singer on the stage one night
The lights were bright, Fitzgerald
He recounts your storied history
The mystery, Fitzgerald
Even now the questions still remain
The loss and pain
He invokes the ancient prophecy,
Geography, Fitzgerald

Yes, he immortalized the memory
The tragedy, Fitzgerald

We will not forget the memory
The tragedy, Fitzgerald
Taconite: A form of iron ore processed into 10mm diameter pellets, the most common form for shipping by Great Lakes freighters.

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.6
How Funny: 4.6
Overall Rating: 4.6

Total Votes: 11

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   1
 2   0
 3   0
 4   0
 5   10

User Comments

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Claude Prez - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
Mmmm...Taco nite! Makin' me hungry....Seriously, well crafted. Enjoyed it.
Bored to Death - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
Same crap topic spun over-and-over. Try something new for once. Ones...
Jeff Reuben - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
Nice tribute!
Patrick - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
Claude, Jeff, thanks for your kind remarks. Many years ago Michael Pacholek started a series of parodies by various writers on the subject of this famous shipwreck. I contributed a number of lyrics to the series. As far as I know the families of the lost sailors meet once a year on the anniversary to remember. I consider this a worthy topic and try to commemorate it in my own way. "Fernando" is a song about nostalgia and lost youth and fear. I think it is a suitable basis for a song about the loss of a great ship and men who were doing a difficult, and obviously dangerous job.
Rob Arndt - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
In peacetime, the 1987 loss of the ferry Doña Paz, with an estimated 4,386 dead, is the largest non-military loss recorded. Btw, 555!
Patrick - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
I don't get to this site as much as I used to. Seems a lot of the old timers have gone away, too. I wonder whatever happened to Leo Keough. Michael Pacholek used to do an annual commemoration of "Fitzgerald". So many of the new guys are doing parodies of songs and artists I've never heard of. Guess I'll have to spend some time with youtube. I'll look up that Dona Paz story, too. I can't type the tilde over the n on this computer, it sends deletes the comment and throws the screen back to the beginning of the "New Entries" page. Odd.
Agrimorfee - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
You are never too old, Patrick. :). Nicely written parody (they don't have to be funny to be good)
CML - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
The 40th anniversary of this event took some of the "fun" out of this thing. It caused you to confront the reality of it -- people really did die in this mishap. Made it harder to joke about it
Patrick - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
That is why I stopped writing frivolous parodies about the wreck. I admit I got caught up in the competitive nature of the thing back a few years ago. I planned to write at least 29, in remembrance of the 29 men who died. I'm sure I exceeded that number, easily. Last year I used the tune of "The Battle of New Orleans", a somewhat "novel" or "humorous" song about an event in which men died, even more tragic since the treaty ending the war had already been signed. I've always been uncomfortable with the "How Funny" rating. As most long-time readers know, I don't use it. I prefer to comment on what I think. Judging parodies or any art form tends to be subjective. I don't see how one can assign a number to a figure skating performance, as opposed to say a homerun or a touchdown, which are objective achievements. I'm not sure how the rating system could be revised to accommodate such efforts as my tribute to the late, great "Tommy Turtle", one of my mentors when I joined the site. Not every parody has to be funny. Both Michael Pacholek and I have published the names of the crewmen, as a way of remembering that these were, indeed, individuals, and should not remain anonymous.
Patrick - November 10, 2017 - Report this comment
I was going to school in Indiana the night of the wreck. I remember it was storming that night in South Bend, too. The sinking was news for a couple of days. But, to the public at large it probably would have been forgotten were it not for Gordon Lightfoot.

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