Monday, April 18, 2005

Gordon Lightfoot Pens Epic Ballad About Norwegian Cruise Ship Peril

Friends of Lightfoot say it seemed
like an "invisible hand" was guiding
the Canadian songwriter's pen when
writing his new maritime epic

Canada--Famed Canadian balladeer, Gordon Lightfoot, whose epic ballad The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald chronicled the last minutes of an otherwise obscure, industrial maritime disaster, has weighed in again with another blow-by-blow account of a more recent near tragedy.

"When I saw the Norwegian Dawn's harrowing story on C-Span, I had to act," said Lightfoot. “The thing practically wrote itself.”

Some say that Lightfoot’s deft touch with haunting, almost ethereal lyrics makes his new ballad, The List of the Norwegian Dawn, a potentially instant hit.

“I can hear the song in my head already,” said one fan of Lightfoot. “This story has all the ingredients out of which a classic is forged.”

Maritime historians agree.

“Look at this story, “ said one historian. “A passenger cruise liner, 2,200 people, and a seventy-foot wave that scares people. Pardon the expression, but this is a ‘perfect storm’ for Lightfoot, if you ask me.”

Lightfoot said he would enter the studio to record the song as his 2005 tour schedule permits, although he said he intends to perform the song in his act starting next week.

The List of the Norwegian Dawn (by Gordon Lightfoot)

The legend lives on from the lido deck on down
To the disheveled shuffleboard besties
The ocean, it is said, never produces dead
When the whitecaps of April turn testy

With a load of human ore 2,200 people more
Then the Norwegian Dawn had weighed nappin
The good ship and cap’, was a bound to be slapped
When a whitecap in April came tappin

The shift left with pride, on the American side
Heading toward the remote Port Canaveral
The good ship and riders, would get a little bit excited
From the list of their Norwegian cruiser

The women and men, saw it on the CNN
With the low-pressure system arrivin
48 hours gave, into forty-foot waves
and the captain said, guess they aint jiving

As they headed back to port, seventy-foot wave retort
Put some water through to windows and cabins
One woman, not gloatin, saw her slipper a floatin
When a whitecap in April came slappin

Some panic set in, with six inches pouring in
And the ninth floor lost high-speed connections
The bartender said, looks like Sports channel’s dead
So for now your tabs are suspended

When supper time came, the captain announced
Dinner might be a little phlegmatic
Then the Dramamine supply, it began to run dry
In a gastrointestinal panic

The first floor called in, we’ve got water coming in
And our red Berber carpet’s a smartin’
The crew said not to dread, put the luggage on the bed
Go to Lido cause bingo’s a startin’

The ship with angina, went to South Carolina
To unload the distraught and bewildered
Piano player layered panic, with the theme from Titanic
As the Norwegian Dawn came untilted

Does anyone know, how the bilge pumps do blow
As the wave tuned the seconds to minutes
The people all say, they’d have made New York Bay
If the captain had just went and did it.

In a musty old hall in Charleston they prayed
For the non-damaged maritime icon
The church bell chimes, and it rang all four times
For each wounded, the Norwegian Dawn

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