THE MARY ELLEN CARTER

by Ian Loeppky

Home 9 Composers 9 IAN LOEPPKY 9 THE MARY ELLEN CARTER

featuring the University of North Alabama Concert Choir – directed by Ian Loeppky

LYRICS

She went down last October in a pouring driving rain.
The skipper, he’d been drinking and the Mate, he felt no pain.
How close to Three Mile Rock, and she was dealt her mortal blow,
And the Mary Ellen Carter settled low.

There were just us four aboard her when she finally was awash.
We worked like hell to save her, all heedless of the cost.
But the groan she gave as she went down, it caused us to proclaim
{Make Mary Ellen Carter would rise again.}

{Chorus}
Rise again, rise again.
May her name not be lost to the knowledge of men.
All those who loved her best and who were with her ’til the end
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

Well, the company wrote her off; not a nickel would they spend.
She gave twenty years of service, boys, then met her sorry end.
But insurance paid the loss to us, said let her rest below.
Then they laughed at us and said we had to go.

But we talked of her all winter, sometimes days around the clock,
She’s worth a quarter million, a-floating at the dock.
And with every jar that hit the bar, we swore we would remain
{And watch the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.}

{Chorus}

All summer, we’ve been with her on a barge lent by a friend.
Three dives a day in hard hat suit and twice I’ve had the bends.
Thank god it’s only sixty feet and the currents here are slow
or I’d never have the stones to go below.

So we’ve patched her rents, stopped up her vents, dogged hatch and porthole down.
Put cables to her, ‘fore and aft, and girded her around.
Tomorrow, noon, we’ll hit the air and then take up the strain.
{‘Watch the Mary Ellen Carter Rise Again.}

{Chorus}

Well we couldn’t leave her there, you see, to crumble into shale.
She’d saved our lives so many times, a-fighting through the gale
And the sorry, drunken rats who led her to a sorry grave
Well they won’t be laughing in another day. . .

And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow-
{With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go}
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
{And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.}

Rise again, rise again – though your heart it be broken
And life about to end
No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend.
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again.

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