Sunday, November 11, 2007

...In The Rooms Of Her Ice-Water Mansion

(well look what made it back to my blog. it's time for a squib!)

I know I missed this anniversary by a day, but it seemed to fit pretty well under this heading. That, and I wanted to be super cool and have a link to a Gordon Lightfoot song/video on my blog.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the 729-foot ore carrier that went down on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. For many of us, the only reason we recognize the name "Edmund Fitzgerald" is because of Gordon Lightfoot, who made the ship and its fate almost as famous as the Titanic. Almost. (I don't think James Cameron is rushing to make a movie about the Edmund Fitzgerald, though.)

There have been recent programs and exhibits in this area, at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the Capitol Civic Centre, but I didn't make it to them. The program at the Capitol was described as a narrative with several musical numbers. Perhaps I read too much into it, but the one and only "musical number" I want to hear when learning about the shipwreck is by Gordon himself.

The video clip I found features not only the song, but a lot of cool underwater footage of the wreck, along with bio information of the 29 crew members who went down with the ship. It's very eerie, but very powerful, too. (no, not Erie. eerie! big difference.)

Listen to Gord tell an incredible story:

"At seven p.m. a main hatchway caved in,
he said, 'Fellas, it's been good t' know ya.' "
—Gordon Lightfoot


  1. I've always thought that song was very creepy. It's a great song though.

    Be wary of those rogue waves.

  2. Um, I never knew anything about this.

    Thank you. I'm glad I learned something today, even though it was something sad.

  3. My mom grew up in the UP of Michigan where shipping is a huge industry because of the Great Lakes. She remembers the night the EF sank - in fact, they could hear the distress calls over the radio from the crew before it sank on their radios. I've always been intrigued by the big boats and the Great Lakes during my visits to the UP to visit my grandparents. Reading your posting brought back some memories of my childhood - thanks!!

  4. Are you sure about that? I thought I read that the boat literally sank so fast that no distress calls were ever made.

  5. Eeesh. That'd be sooo eerie (again) to be able to listen to radio communications between the Ed Fitz and the other ships in the waters with them that night.

    Apparently they were communicating with the Arthur M. Anderson, and some other vessel called Avafors.

    But then between 7:10 and 7:30...down it went.

  6. Walrus - to clarify your question, it was actually the original radio contact they made with other boats that they could hear. It was big news in the UP that the weather wast turning really bad, really quickly and there were boats out on the lake. click on this link to see the timeline of events on the day it sank

  7. TWORIVERSWALRUS6:53 PM, July 15, 2011

    Ah, there you go. Still a cool tune!