Henry's Songbook

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Ballad of the Yarmouth Castle

  • Gordon Lightfoot

    It's four o'clock in the afternoon, the anchors have been weighed
    From Miami to Nassau she's bound across the waves
    She's a-heading south to Biskin Bay and to the open sea
    Yarmouth Castle she is dying and don't know it
    The many years she's been to sea she's seen her better times
    She gives a groan of protest as they cast awave her lines
    And the grumble of her engines and the rust along her spine
    Tells the Castle she's too old to be sailing

    But the sands run out, within her heart a tiny spark glows red
    And smoulders through the evening; there's laughter overhead
    Now the men are served at the counter down, the drinks are passed around
    And deep within the fire starts a-burning
    It's midnight on the open sea, and the moon is shining bright
    Some people join the party, and others say good night
    There's many who are sleeping now, it'as been a busy day
    And a tiny wisp of smoke is rising

    O Lord, she groans, I'm burning, let someone understand
    But the silent plea is wasted in the playing of the band
    Everybody's dancing on the deck and a-having such a time
    And a voice says, Shut up and deal, I'm losing
    Deep within the Yarmouth Castle the fire begins to glow
    It leaps into the hallways and climbs in twists and throes
    And the paint she wore to keep her young, O Lord how well it burns
    Soon that old fire is raging

    Now beneath the bridge it's climbing fast, the captain stands aloft
    He calls up to the boatswain, saying, Bosun, we are lost
    For the ragged hoses in the racks, no pressure do they hold
    The people down below will soon be dying
    All the midships o'er now she's blazing full, it's spreading 'fore'n'aft
    The people are a-scrambling as the fire blocks their path
    The evil smoke surrounds them and they're falling in their tracks
    The captain in his lifeboat is a-waving

    Then the ship Bahama Star comes steaming through the night
    She sees the Castle blazing, and it is a terrible sight
    Jump down, jump down, the captain cries, We'll save you if we can
    And the paint on his funnels is a-frying
    God help the ones who sleep below and cannot find their way
    Thank God for those we rescued on this awful day
    The heroes they are many but the time's a-growing slim
    And now from stern to bow she's a-blazing

    The Yarmouth Castle's mourning, she's crying like a child
    You can hear it if you listen above the roar so wild
    Is she crying for the ones who lie within her molten sides
    Or crying for herself, I'm a-wondering
    But the living soon were rescued, the ones who left to tell
    And from the Star they watched her as she died there in the swells
    Like a toyship on a millpond she burned all through the night
    And slipped beneath the waves in the morning

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1990:] 13. November 1965: Nach einem Brand kommen auf dem unter panamaischer Flagge fahrenden griechischen Dampfer Yarmouth Castle östlich von Florida 87 Menschen ums Leben. (Kieler Nachrichten, März, anläßlich der Scandinavian Star-Katastrophe)

Quelle: USA

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aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 08.09.99