#00485
White Squall (Stan Rogers) video
#2387: YouTube video by Gordon Lawson
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

Now it's just my luck to have the watch with nothing left to do,
But watch the deadly waters glide as we roll north to the Soo,
And wonder when they'll turn again and pitch us to the rail,
And whirl off one more youngster in the gale.

The kid was so damned eager, it was all so big and new,
You never had to tell him twice, or find him work to do;
And evenings on the mess deck, he was always first to sing,
And show us pictures of the girl he'd wed in spring.

But I told that kid a hundred times, "Don't take the lakes for granted!
They'll go from calm to a hundred knots so fast they seem enchanted."
But tonight some red-eyed Wiarton girl lies staring at the wall,
And her lover's gone into a white squall.

Now it's a thing that us old-timers know, in a sultry summer calm,
There comes a blow from nowhere, and it goes off like a bomb;
And a sixteen thousand tonner can be thrown upon her beam,
While the gale takes all before it with a scream.

The kid was on the hatches, lying staring at the sky,
From where I stood, I swear I could see tears fall from his eye;
So I hadn't the heart to tell him that he should be on a line,
Even on a night so warm and fine.

When it struck, he sat up with a start, I roared to him, "Get down!"
But for all that he could hear, I might as well not made a sound;
So I clung there to the stanchion and I felt my face grow pale,
As he crawled hand-over-hand along the rail.

Now I could feel her heeling over with the fury of the blow,
And I watched the rail go under then, so terrible and slow,
Then like some great dog she shook herself and roared upright again,
While overside I heard him call my name.

So it's just my luck to have the watch with nothing left to do,
But watch the deadly waters glide as we roll north to the Soo,
And wonder when they'll turn again and pitch us to the rail,
And whirl off one more youngster in the gale.

And I tell these kids a hundred times, don't take the lakes for granted,
They'll go from calm to a hundred knots so fast they seem enchanted;
But tonight some red-eyed Wiarton girl lies staring at the wall,
And her lover's gone into a white squall.

####.... Stan Rogers ....####
Recorded posthumously by Stan Rogers on his concept album about the Great Lakes region of Canada (From Freshwater, trk#1, 1984 LP, Fogarty's Cove Music, Dundas, Ontario, 1993 CD).

See more songs by Stan Rogers.

From Wikipedia:
Soo Locks - The Soo Locks (sometimes spelled Sault Locks, but pronounced "soo") are a set of parallel locks which enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. They are located on the St Marys River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, between the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. They bypass the rapids of the river, where the water falls 21 feet (6.4 meters).

Gordon Lawson commented with his video: "On November 22, 1906, the Lake Steamer J H Jones went down in Georgian Bay off Cape Croker with all hands and passengers. It was the last sailing of the season with a quick trip north to Tobermory."

From the Tobermory municipality: "Tobermory is a harbour village on the Bruce Peninsula in the province of Ontario. Just southeast, Bruce Peninsula National Park is known for the Bruce Trail footpath on the craggy Niagara Escarpment, and the Grotto, a wave-carved cave in Georgian Bay. The village lies next to Fathom Five National Marine Park, which is home to the Flowerpot Island sea stacks, 19th-century lighthouses and multiple shipwreck dive sites."



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