#00120
The Banging Of The Wheelhouse Door (Sean Gagnier)

The winter's ice clings to cliff,
To beach, and empty shell;
The cold wind moans on the bones of summer,
And takes a slap at the bell.
And all the boats are upside down,
Or else pulled into shore:
Parson G, Clarissa Lee,
That used-up, shore-rigged whore;
And old Lindy Lou with her sides stove through,
Her riggings rotten and tore.
There's many a night when the wind's been right,
And the weather's been getting poor,
That I tried to sleep, but I can't sleep,
For the banging of the wheelhouse door.

I lie in bed, like a kid you know,
And figure she'll go away;
But no such luck, God damn her bones,
So it's down to the kitchen for me.
Find the old pipe and get lit up,
Take the tea down from the shelf;
Ida's been dead since '61,
So I've gotta do for myself.
No sooner the smoke's curling over my book,
The tea's ready to pour;
Then sure as I stand, I can hear Pete McCann,
And the banging of the wheelhouse door.

Pete and me we were heading back,
With half a catch below;
Tryin' to raise the South Head light,
And, Jesus, did it blow.
By the time we heard the breakers roar,
We were too close into shore;
With a prayer and a curse, I felt her lurch,
As the rocks dug in and tore.
And old Lindy Lou fell a cryin' and a dyin',
With the ocean pouring through;
I got knocked off my feet, I couldn't find Pete,
And I don't recall much more.
'Cept the last thing I heard, the sound of a word,
And the banging of the wheelhouse door.

I came to four days later,
In a hospital in St John's;
In a body cast, 'cos I hurt my back,
And I found out Pete was gone.
They never found his body,
Though they searched ten miles of shore;
I'm getting on, my back is gone,
And I really can't fish no more.
And old Lindy Lou with her sides stove through,
Was towed and left on shore.
There's many a night when the wind's been right,
And the weather's been getting poor,
That I tried to sleep but I just couldn't sleep,
For the banging of the wheelhouse door.

####.... Sean Gagnier [1942-2002] ....####
Transcribed by Andy Vine (Author of Woman Of Labrador)


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