Did They Find The 2 Yr Old From Wisconsin Dead Classic Songs About Shipwrecks

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Classic Songs About Shipwrecks

While much has been written, recorded and exploited about the sinking of the Titanic over a hundred years ago, other wrecks have received little attention. A few gained some notoriety through movies, though all but one of those movies essentially disappeared.

One famous maritime disaster owes its fame not to a film, but to a song. The Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank on the tenth of November exactly forty years ago, was the subject of great success for Canadian folk singer Gordon Lightfoot.

The song tells quite precisely what happened to the barge the day it capsized in Lake Superior. It was transporting a heavy load of iron ore from Superior, Wisconsin when it was caught in hurricane force winds. All twenty-one of the men on board perished when it capsized, just two hours from its destination.

Like the Edmund Fitzgerald, the story of other ships has been told in songs. The Titanic was, of course, the most frequently used, recently by legendary songwriter Bob Dylan in his album. The Tempest. There’s also a great bluegrass tune about the Titanic, “The Big Ship” by an Ohio band called the Dry Branch Fire Squad.

Here are five other songs that relate to shipwrecks, none of which ever came close to the chart success of Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”

“The Thresher” by Phil Ochs

This US Navy submarine, which was destroyed 220 miles east of Boston on April 10, 1963, resulted in the loss of all 129 people on board. The folk singer wrote about the world’s worst underwater disaster for a song on his album All the News That’s Fit to Sing.

“Ruben James” of the Kingston Trio

In 1941 a German U-boat torpedoed this naval destroyer, resulting in the loss of 100 lives even before the United States entered World War II. The folk trio managed to turn the event into a popular ballad with a catchy chorus.

“The Scorpion Leaves But Never Comes Back” by Phil Ochs

Officially known as the Tax, this ship nicknamed after a spider was handed over to the French Navy in 1944. Although it did not sink until two years after his death, Ochs’ ballad of his Rehearsal for Isolation album related to the ship leaving the United States never to return.

“Andrea Gail” by the Paving Stones and “Fisherman’s Song” by Jari Makala

Both of these tunes concern the ship made famous by The Perfect a storm, the Academy Award-winning film starring George Clooney. The first is a rock song, while the other mixes touches of Irish and Scottish music.

“Lord Grenville” by Al Stewart

The ship in this opening tune of The Year of the Cat was called the Vengeance, on which the title Vice Admiral was commander. He steered the ship toward Spanish treasure in 1591, only to become separated from the rest of the fleet. An all-night battle with fifteen Spanish ships discouraged his men to the point where his crew surrendered. Although Grenville was mortally wounded, the 49-year-old explorer was captured and died on an enemy ship.

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