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Old 03-25-2010, 06:22 AM   #1
Yuri
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Default The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

"Gordon Lightfoot intends to change song lyrics after documentary claims massive ‘rogue wave' sank iconic freighter, not an error by the crew"

Read the article on the Edmund Fitzgerald in Toronto's 'Globe & Mail' newspaper at the link below.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1511191/
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1511191/ - just posting the text for future readers in case the link no longer works.
there is video from the documentary at the link. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/video...rticle1510929/
and an area you can record your version of the lyrics.
Michael Posner

From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published on Thursday, Mar. 25, 2010 3:00AM EDT

Last updated on Thursday, Mar. 25, 2010 8:30AM EDT


.In the first episode of Dive Detectives, a new series for History Television, the father-and-son diving team of Mike and Warren Fletcher from Port Dover, Ont., conclude that a gigantic, 50-foot rogue wave – not human error – was responsible for sinking the Edmund Fitzgerald. The conclusion has had an effect on Gordon Lightfoot, who intends to change the lyrics to his famous song.

The tragedy

Carrying 26,000 tonnes of iron ore, the Edmund Fitzgerald – at 220 metres long, one of the largest boats ever built for Great Lakes transport – left Superior, Wisc. on the evening of Nov. 9, 1975, bound east for a steel mill on Zug Island, near Detroit. The next day, it encountered a fierce early winter storm, with hurricane-force winds in excess of 50 knots.

For hours, it was buffeted by sea and wind, eventually taking on water, losing radar, and beginning to list. Captain Ernest M. McSorley, struggling to get the freighter to the Canadian coast, said over the radio it was “one of the worst seas I've ever been in.” Seventeen miles offshore, it sank 160 metres to the muddy bottom.

Twenty-nine lives were lost – the greatest disaster in the history of the Great Lakes.

The investigation

Conducting a marine casualty report, the U.S. coast guard concluded that the boat sank because the cargo hatches were “improperly serviced.” In other words, the crew left them open, allowing the holds to fill with water and dooming the ship.

Families of crew members, other Great Lakes captains and marine engineers have long disputed the verdict. The first response to a storm as savage as the one the freighter faced, they note, would have been to secure the metal clamps that sealed the cargo holds.

Pointing the finger at “human error” prevented lawsuits against the boat's owners, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Milwaukee, or its operators, Oglebay Norton Corp.

But other theories have also been suggested, including the suggestion that the ship may have been damaged by running aground or been victimized by a rogue wave.

The rogue wave evidence - see illustration below:


Once regarded as maritime myths, rogue waves, scientists now say, occur when a group of waves, travelling in different directions and speeds, coalesce into a single new wave, maximizing destructive power. Any wave 2.6 times the height of a significant wave could be regarded as a rogue wave. Such waves, sometimes known as “three sisters,” were spotted on the lake the day of the disaster by other ships.

Using the Institute for Ocean technology in St. John's, the Fletchers deploy wave-generating technology to simulate the conditions faced by the Edmund Fitzgerald. Their tests demonstrate how the force of the freak wave, crashing down on the mid-section of the boat – already low in the water because of its heavy cargo – might have caused it to split in two. Captain Chris Hearn, director of the Centre for Marine Simulation at Memorial University, says such a wave, in combination with the age of the vessel and its heavy load, is the most likely cause of the catastrophe.

The Lightfoot factor

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Clip of the verse that Gordon Lightfoot will record with new lyrics
Download (.mp3) see link for this audio.
.
Preparing the film, Yap Films producer Elliot Halpern asked singer Gordon Lightfoot for permission to use his iconic song, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, as part of the score. After viewing the footage, Lightfoot consented.

“I'm happy for the families,” Mr. Lightfoot said in an interview. “There's been lingering doubt about whether the hatch covers had been left open. This disproves that theory and ends the uncertainty. I think it's definitive.”

His song, which reached No. 2 on Billboard's charts in 1976, contains the words, “at 7 p.m. the main hatchway gave in.” Mr. Lightfoot said he does not intend to re-record the song, but will change the following lyric for all future performances.

When supper time came the old cook came on deck /Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya /At 7 p.m. a main hatchway caved in /He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The episode of the Edmund Fitzgerald airs on History Television Mar. 31.

Share your own version of the new verse, or sing your favourite verse from the song with our audio comment feature - see link for this feature.
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
Wes Steele
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

Thanks you "guys" for posting this stuff.

It is simply AMAZING they can figure all this stuff out after so many years.

VERY interesting...
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Old 03-25-2010, 07:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

Thanks Char,
I was headin' out the door to work and could only post the link. Thanks for posting the text.
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Old 03-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

i would have said leave it alone but in this case Gord has empathized that implying that a crewman might be at fault for not securing a hatchway cover, has left a dark cloud over the families, such as that of Bruce Hudson,,,here is a pic of GL with Ruth (mother of Bruce) on the left http://www.shipwreckmuseum.com/memorial.phtml

i wondered if Gord sings -ARE the faces and names- instead of IS when singing live versions...the recorded lyric for that verse always seems grammatically incorrect...but i have not lost any sleep over it

wonder if there other lyrics that GL has altered since studio recordings

I believe he now sings the Elvis lyric for EMR

I have heard it mentioned that Miguel is geographically incorrect...anyone know which reference that is...I would love to hear GL add that one to the current setlist (he hasnt added any old gems this tour) ...any lyric will do

ok, thanks for the article! i dont think i will be recording a verse...no, nope
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:21 AM   #6
Miss B. Haven
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

I notice he now sings "the feelings that we lack" on IYCRMM
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
charlene
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

He also sings 'in the darkest night' instead of 'when i hold you tight' in Beautiful. It changes it from being about one girl to being about the audience now.
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

Lightfoot’s lyrics have now been changed to: “When supper time came the old cook came on deck /Saying ‘Fellows it’s too rough to feed ya’ /At 7 p.m. it grew dark, it was then/He said, ‘Fellas it's been good to know ya’,” Lightfoot’s spokesperson said.

“He may change it again, but this is the version that he’s doing in his concerts right now,” she said.

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment...ld-lyrics?bn=1
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

Quote:
Originally Posted by jj View Post
I have heard it mentioned that Miguel is geographically incorrect...anyone know which reference that is.
This is pure speculation on my part :

The lyrics "And she would take him yearly
To the great cathedral in St. Augustine"

suggest that a cathedral was located in Saint Augustine, Mexico. I have not been able to find such a place.

In fact, there is a Saint Augustine Cathedral (quite beautiful) right here in Tucson. So my hunch is that a Saint Augustine town/city/settlement has never existed.

Where's Don Quixote when you need him?

Last edited by RM; 03-29-2010 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 03-29-2010, 04:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

there is a place called St. Augustine in Florida...
he may have just put in some places with names that fit the flow of the song as he did when he put Cleveland in the Wreck..

maybe..

or:http://dspace.nitle.org/handle/10090/1335 - info

and this info:

Life before the war of independence
Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Aramburu was born in what was called Valladolid, now Morelia, the provincial capital of Michoacán on 27 September 1783.[4][5] He was baptized with the names of Saints Cosmas and Damian at the cathedral there.[6] He was the fifth child born to his parents but he was the only male to survive and inherit his family’s Basque Iturbide name.[7] Iturbide’s parents were part of the privileged class of Valladolid, owning farmland[4][5] such as the haciendas of Apeo and Guaracha as well as lands in nearby Quirio.[6] Iturbide’s father, Joaquín de Iturbide, came from a Basque noble family who received their title from King Juan II of Aragon. One of his ancestors, Martin de Iturbide, was mayor of Valle de Baztanen in 1432, and thereafter many in the family held political positions in the Basque region from the 15th century on. As Joaquín was not the eldest and would not inherit the family lands in Spain, he moved to New Spain to seek his fortune there.[7] While the noble and Spanish lineage of his father has never been in doubt, there has been some doubt about his mother. Some sources state that his mother was a Mestiza, meaning that she had at least some Indian blood.[1][8][9] Other sources insist that she was of pure Spanish blood born in Mexico, and therefore, a Criolla.[6][7] Others simply state that she came from a high-ranking family in Michoacán.[4][5][10] The reason this is important was that, at that time, one’s political fortunes, including military rank, was severely curtailed for those of mixed or pure Indian blood. Iturbide insisted throughout his life that he was Criollo.[8][9]

Agustin studied at the Catholic seminary called Colegio de San Nicolás in Valladolid, enrolled in the program for secular officials, though he was not a distinguished student.[1][4][7] After that, he worked as an overseer at one of his family’s haciendas for a short time, discovering that he was a very good horseman.[1][4] Still in his teens, Iturbide entered the royalist army, having been accepted as a Criollo.[8] He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the provincial regiment.[4][5] Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to full lieutenant in 1806.[7]

In 1805, when he was twenty-two, Iturbide married Ana María Josefa Ramona de Huarte y Muñiz, who would later become the first empress of Mexico.[4][7] She also came from Vallodolid from a prosperous family of businessmen and landowners.[11] She was the daughter of wealthy and powerful noble Isidro de Huarte, governor of the district and the granddaughter of the Marquis of Altamira. With her dowry of 100,000 pesos, the couple bought the Hacienda of Apeo in the small town of Maravatío.[7]

Prior to the outbreak of the War of Independence, there was political unrest in New Spain. One of Iturbide’s first military campaigns was to help put down a mutiny headed by Gabriel J. de Yermo.[12] While valiant in combat, he gained a reputation early in his career for using his authority for financial gain.[8] Although a member of the royal army that had suppressed rebellion, he may have been involved in the initial conspiracy to declare independence in 1809 that was headed by José Mariano Michelena in Valladolid.[12][13] Some historians believe that he betrayed Michelena when he was not chosen leader.[1]
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Old 03-29-2010, 05:24 PM   #11
RM
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
there is a place called St. Augustine in Florida...
he may have just put in some places with names that fit the flow of the song as he did when he put Cleveland in the Wreck..

maybe..
That'll teach me to speculate or have a hunch. The references to Mexico and Saint Augustine are the only geographically related lyrics in the song that I can recall.

Or......maybe Lightfoot is not fond of the song, and that's his excuse for not playing it.

maybe...
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Old 03-29-2010, 05:53 PM   #12
charlene
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

from the NG - oct.2007 - - "Miguel." I saw GL perform it live one time in the early '70s
but in the next concert a couple of years later when he was taking
requests yelled out by the audience, he declined stating, "That one's too
hard and we're out of practice."

april 1997 at NG - another poster:
For his part, Red Shea does a pretty good job of making a six-string
acoustic sound like a classical guitar. I'm no musician, but I've
heard that the classical guitar is said to be a difficult instrument
to learn how to play well (look at Liona Boyd's hands when she plays
and you'll get an idea as to what I'm talking about). That said, I can
see what a feat it would be to make a standard six string sound the
way it does on "Miguel".
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

thx for feedback folks...char, I wonder why doesnt GL just change the Cleveland reference in the Wreck while he is on a lyric changing roll (any suggestions for replacement lyric)

rm, i also checked out the ng and did find a thread you were part of (as well as Sir John) which make reference to Gord not being pleased with the St Augustine reference in Miguel...(as you said, should have been FL instead of Mexico)

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.m...ea01f9f44e675d

addition: I believe Gord changed the Alberta Bound lyric regarding getting yourself a honey
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:24 AM   #14
charlene
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

clip from CTV with Dive Detective divers/producers:
http://watch.ctv.ca/news/top-picks/d...es/#clip282615
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

U.K. airing of Dive Detectives - April 6 at 9 p.m.
http://www.divedetectives.com/rogue-...fitzgerald.php
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

I recorded it last night and just watched it. Quite fascinating to hear and see the ways they determined it was not the hatches that were left open but a huge rogue wave that twisted and tore the Fitz apart on the water before it sank.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:30 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

There are so many viable theories now that oppose the original finding @the hatches and it's heartwarming, considerate, etc., for Gordon to change lyrics to reflect that...but the US Coast Guard should amend their report or at the very least, recognize the new evidence and apologize to the families.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:44 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

I"m sure the pressure from the insurance companies had something to do with the original cause being cited as the hatches not being secured.. It will be interesting to see if any legal action is taken by any of the Fitzgerlad cres families as a result of the new findings.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlene View Post
I"m sure the pressure from the insurance companies had something to do with the original cause being cited as the hatches not being secured.. It will be interesting to see if any legal action is taken by any of the Fitzgerlad cres families as a result of the new findings.
I doubt that. Any investigation/findings by the US Coast Guard would be independent and objective so I'm guessing that the US Coast Guard didn't have the technology then, or otherwise erred in their findings. The human error is now on their shoulders. I hope that there's no issue with the statute of limitations and so the door would be open for the families if they decide to do that. Don't know if the insurance companies involved are still in business. The expense and time needed for such legal action may be of little consolation to the families at this point, I don't know. But the coast guard should re-open the investigation and amend their original findings. Maybe the US Government will have to provide restitution.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

The issue of the insurance company was brought up in the show the other night. I'll have to check the tape to see what exactly was said.
The ship was holding more cargo than it should have so was sitting too deep in the water, so when the storm/rogue wave came it had no chance. Perhaps if it hadn't been overloaded it would have survived. More cargo being shipped in one trip meant more profit and it was done for quite some time with the Fitz apparently. She was built for the Superior storms when holding a specific amount of cargo but profits meant more so she was significantly overloaded.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:53 PM   #21
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

As I understand it, from another documentary I saw a year or so ago, the ship may have also run aground on a shoal. The captain of the ship sailing behind the Fitz testified that he thought the ship was too far southward at a point and may have struck and opened her hull.

Miguel is a hard song to play, if you play the fingerstyle work as Gord did on SSOL. It requires a busy right hand.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:57 PM   #22
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

There was no evidence on the wreckage in the new research that the ship ran aground on anything. The evidence showed the ship broke apart on the surface and sank.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:55 PM   #23
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

With regard to GL changing the lyrics to "If You Could Read My Mind," from "the feelings that you lack" to "the feelings that we lack," he said a few years ago at at concert at Massey Hall that the change was due to a comment his daughter made to him: "Dad, why are you always putting it all on Mom?" Hence the change.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:09 PM   #24
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Default Re: The Edmund Fitzgerald's legend lives on … but with a major change

Personally, I don't see why anyone would want to alter the song for any reason at all. True, there's the matter of historical accuracy, but whenever I've run into inconsistancies between a song & what someone else is telling me, I always head for my current referance materials & look it up. So I figure just leave the song alone.
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