Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Lyrics

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
[Former version:] That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
[Latter version:] That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
Then later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
When the wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too
'Twas the witch of November come stealin'
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashin'
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck
Saying, "Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya."
[Former version:] At seven PM a main hatchway caved in
[Latter version:] At seven PM it grew dark, it was then
He said, "Fellas, it's been good to know ya."
The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below, Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered

[Former version:] In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
[Latter version:] In a rustic old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

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Gordon Lightfoot The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Comments
  1. Archangel Timberwolf

    If you know you know..... brave men in all

  2. Zarin M

    fucking assssss. cant even run lyrics with the song so i cant even seee. T_T

  3. NYCPizzaman

    Surprised there has never been a movie about this. Not just any movie, but a tribute to the men and family members involved in this terrible tragedy.

  4. Rick BonGiovanni

    My cousin mike came and got me that day, we drove 25 minutes down to the harbor on lake superior to see the tremendous waves,little did we know that evening what horrible event's where to happen.RIP.

  5. Jeffrey Rinchiuso

    A true American classic.

    NEVER disrespect the Great Lakes.

    Harold Jarche

    Or perhaps a true Canadian classic

    Marnie Culotta

    @Harold Jarche

    It says right in the lyrics that it happened on the American side.

  6. ingrid mendoza donoso

    Que cancion, mas bella

  7. Charles Richardson

    God Bless em all...thanks for your time!

  8. Charles Richardson

    Soul toucher for sure...I like Neil Diamond music too....love peace and good songs...thanks.

  9. Tea Eff

    I’ve seen a couple of really good documentaries on her, one older and one more recent, but they still can’t pinpoint what actually sank her, but there’s a couple of fairly firm theories...
    if you look up histories of lake boats, as they age they try to load more and more on them, seems a bit counterproductive.
    In Midland, On, they have a good Museum, with some lake boat stuff.

  10. Joshua Mayo

    True Canadian song!

  11. D Brown

    My friends and I have a personal relationship with this song. It’s like the fourth man of our party.

  12. jimmy penland

    I hope the surviving families can get over thier loss , and im able ta help , i still care , just knowing that these brave folks tried ta give ya a better life , just know that is what brothers , dads , ands husbands do , we give everything that we have , includididing our life . because we care more for you than ourselveles

  13. Movie News

    Where's the fat girl torpedo, klashnikov?

  14. Taco love

    Actually met a dude who lost a cousin of his on that ship. It sank fast and so.....I think it was a quick death. God rest his soul....quick and short. R.I.P. my sea fairing brothers who pass in the waters.

  15. Annie Everlong

    My goose bumps have goose bumps.

  16. RU Still There

    26th Dec. 2019 Still listening.I am 3/4 cut because of Xmas but still hear the music.

  17. LaughTooHard

    Does this song ever go back. Wow!

  18. Karen Valerie

    It's a storytelling song and written to go down the generations. Guaranteed it will outlast those who thumbed it down. 52 million v's and counting on this one upload.......say no more

  19. Ryan Beers


  20. George Mariano

    An uncle of mine was a ship welder on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario in the 60s and 70s. As kids he'd take us to watch the big ships being built....launched. Their size always amazed me! Learning they were no match for Mother Nature if She so decided, made me realize just how small we are! ☮💕

  21. Unca Screwbs

    thank you.

  22. Diana

    RIP Sailors of the Fitz

  23. Joy Armes

    My cousin husband was lost at sea fishing. These are some tough people. Thank you

  24. Diogenes Laertius

    Utmost respect to all that helped me and my dog Abbygale.
    I left Charlevoix one morning bound for Cheboygan with a forecast of 10 to 12 knots out of the Southwest. Heading north on the forecast and a boat with a 2,300 lb displacement of 23 ft in length on deck but with a capsize screening ratio of 244. I felt somewhat confident being an experienced sailor and knowing that the lakes can be somewhat unpredictable I was cautious nonetheless I put a reef in the main and set a 50% hadsail. Upon heading north about 2 hours later the wind shifted from the south to the west and I knew that wasn't good. But there was nowhere to go for shelter and safe harbor. Upon the approach to Wasgusances point the wind increased to 30 + knots. The coast guard came on the radio and suggested that Mariners test their radios because a surprise storm was a foot. I had been thinking about calling the coast guard for a following and this set my suspicions in stone so I called the coast guard and requested a 30-minute following. They insisted on a 15-minute following. By the time I was approaching the abandoned lighthouse off the point the winds were 35 knots sustained.when I turned east go up to straits I had to spill 100% of the wind from my mansel because now the seas were on my beam. It took about 10 minutes for the wind to shred my mainsl. With the quick motion of the boat and no autopilot going up on Deck was out of the question completely and luckily I had my 50% jib up. I was doing six-and-a-half knots with a 50% hadsell. That capsize ratio of 244 was heavy on my mind. If the mast went in the water the boat will sink and it won't take very long at all ...seconds. The coast guard suggested I follow the shoal and anchor at the first possible. Which I did. in three to four foot seas at anchor. I was now in the Lee of the islands so the seas weren't as bad. I set my large anchor a 22-pound Bruce with 90 feet of all chain road in 6 ft of water, set my anchor alarm and tried to get some sleep knowing that a slight wind shift to out of the Northwest might spell disaster but I had no choice. At 1 AM, my anchor alarm woke me up I was dragging anchor I was now in three and a half feet of water with a draft of 2 and 1/2 ft and my keel was banging the bottom. The winds were 40-plus knots and the seas were 5 to 6 ft. I lit my engine motor it up and set my second anchor a 11-pound Bruce with 60 fest of all chain road and 30 feet of nylon three strand and by then the wind shifted to the Northwest and I was exposed to the full fetch to the northern peninsula. The seas were then about 6 ft. I began to be lll. I called the coast guard to inform them of my situation. The coast guard sent a boat out and a team on the shore to come and get me. About 30 minutes later the winds started to diminish I called the coast guard and said I'm in no longer in fear of my life but they ordered me off of my boat and I did not disagree. The winds before they started to diminish over 40 to 45 knots sustained I was violently ill and could hardly talk on the VHF. The coast guard was right and I knew it. The crew that came and got me by shore the coast guard and everybody involved including the sheriff that took my information once we got to the parking lot Dennis the sheriff that took me off my boat and held my dog and took her to shore. Where the most professional courteous and respectful people I have ever worked with if you want to call it work. I have nothing but praise for the coast guard and the supervisor of wilderness State Park whose name is Burr.. thank you bro and I still have the sweatshirt and I always will. the amount of professionalism that I experienced from the coast guard the sheriff the rescue team and everybody involved was unmatched. They don't fuk around on the great lakes and neither should you. This was the third surprise Gale I experienced in the two months I was there. The great lakes are beautiful but deadly. Thank you Burr, Dennis, the sheriff in the parking lot, the coast guard especially and everyone that was involved in the event. Thank you so much. I didn't turn my back on the great lakes because I said I know the reputation and I am an experienced Atlantic sailor and it's a good thing. If you turn your backs on the great lakes they will try to kill you and you don't forget that you better not forget that. To all sailors.
    Yes I knew I could have made it to shore and I wasn't going to die please don't miss my point in this story.
    I sold the boat that I was on because she was not fit for ocean travel or great lakes travel. The name of that boat, an aquarius 23, was "Mercy". The name of my new boat is "Witch of November" in honor of the 29 and my experience with the witch of November they came early.
    My story happened in October. Mid October. 2019.
    This is the best and most meaningful song Gordon ever wrote and performed. The guitar work is haunting and beautiful. He didn't overdo it he didn't under do it ...perfect and he did it in sea shanty style good job Gordon. One of my all-time favorite songs ever.

  25. Gabe Mad jack

    So sad what happened to those people

  26. James Cain

    Written on a legal pad in cronalodgical order , that's impressive considering how it's done in this day and age

  27. Fred Thomson

    The perfect bar song

  28. MP WMU

    The people who "thumbs down" this vid are douche bags.

  29. Matthew Althaus

    Listening to this with my "Christmas Ale" cheers!

  30. Mary Powers

    I agree with all of y’all, she never deserves that fate, see you in heaven crew, hello from Michigan, L P

  31. Brit & Patrick & Son Haven & Mullen & Mullen

    Love this song. Always got a Gaelic vibe from this song.

  32. u2mister1

    According to the vote count 7% of the world are Satan worshipers.

  33. Sunnchilde

    I don't want to nit-pic, but shouldn't the lyrics have been "and later that night when Her lights went out of sight"? Ships are always considered female, regardless of the name.

  34. Bonnie Lobdell

    This song is my favorite

  35. The Chosen One Illuminati

    They say time heals all wounds. Maybe not for the these families. It's now 2019 , still feel for the lose. Thoughts and prayers for everyone this holiday season. RIP sailers

  36. Jim Dandy

    does anyone know where the love of god goes?

  37. Krissa Louvae

    does anyone know where the love of god goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours

  38. 90sdance Moves

    Play at . 75 speed for full effect

  39. Robert Triplett

    Sorry , I grew up a 100 yards from the river, as a kid i do remerber that ship, iam 60 went to hunter school ,

  40. Robert Triplett


  41. flyhound97

    Anyone notice how similar the chords are between this and 'Cat's in the Cradle'?

  42. pete jones

    Ace song. .love it as much now as when it was released. ..what sorta name is gitche gumee tho lol. ..probably native American origin like chippewa such a sad tale of that crew ...may they rest in peace

  43. Wake N Bake

    I listen to this when I'm fucked up

  44. Mary Croll

    For you Pops💗🌹

  45. Robert Fitzgerald

    Just a story for some, a legacy for others...........................

  46. Douglas Hagan


  47. Wurst Brot

    Best song in human history

  48. Nicholas Artuso

    Let's praise Zeezy for this beautiful clean audio of this 1970s masterpiece.

  49. carol laws

    I had this cd it was stolen from my collection sad yes it is I like it

  50. Chaos Reigns

    Such a beautiful and melancholy song...God, please take those souls claimed by those waters into your arms...

  51. William godwin

    That was a sand day when that happens I will have got the smoothie brod hope made it to sure that good song for it🤪

  52. William godwin

    That was a sand day when that happens I will have got the smoothie brod hope made it to sure that good song for it🤪

  53. Booby2251

    Went to a concert in Lethbridge Alberta starring one of Canada's best story tellers. The highlight of the evening was this song.

  54. Sharon Ballantyne

    I ADORE GORDON LIGHTFOOT! He is an institution unto himself And is One of our Most Treasured Artists...😊😍🇨🇦

  55. Duva MacLeod

    Gives me chills this I'll know....

  56. Mutt Productions

    My grandfather (who sadly passed away this year, back in March) had a buddy he had known since they were deployed to Germany and France after the war. The last time he saw his friend was just before the Fitzgerald set off on its final voyage. His friend gave him a tour of the ship and once it was time to go my grandpa gave his friend an old pocket watch and laughed "I'll be needing that back once you get home!"

    Never did see it again

  57. gjersy

    The lake never gives up it's dead :(

  58. Ontario123

    hi guys

  59. its Me

    I heard this song back in 1976 and its still haunt me to this day.

  60. Nathanial Ponn

    True story. Too much iron ore on board.RIP Greed kills.😁💯👍

  61. Richard Bool

    This mans voice and this song Makes the hairs on my Arms stand up


    ive been singing this song for 40 years i feel like a crue member i feel the gales of november

  63. Charles Dalton

    Any one else comforted listening to the words . It says to me Gone But Not Forgotten. Blessings offered to family and friends. It’s truly sorrowful when the working man dies

  64. Jeff Eschbaugh

    I have always wanted to learn to play this song

  65. Phillip O'Brien

    I didn't mean to say what I said a couple of texts ago... don't even know the Guy or what we were talking about.
    I was just listening to music

  66. Anthony King

    my grandpa was a cook on the Norille

  67. Wellington 53

    awesome song after all these years still give me goose bumps,wonderful singer

  68. Chris Montignani

    Still listening in December 2019 . . . and will still be listening to this wonderful song in a hundred years from now. Hello from Scotland.

    Canadian Drifter

    Hello from Canada. What a haunting and beautiful song this is to most Canadians. Still gets to me emotionally. Part of our Canadian heritage. Peace to you and all the patriots in Scotland.

    Tea Eff

    Hello from Toronto Canada. I’ve had my boat out on Georgian Bay and Lake Huron from my parents cottage. Never been on the water on Superior. Great song, loved it from my youth at say 15 or so, was getting old then, but I always love a good tune with a story. Still do.

    Robert Pannozzo

    I'll will always listen ..may they rest in peace 🙏

    Alfredo Meister

    Greetings from Michigan. This makes swimming in the lakes 100x more eerie (get it)

    Rob Johnston

    Me too. Greetings from Canada

  69. Jason Barbush

    tolling for the underdogs as well.

  70. Disco Dave

    I read because of the intense cold of the lake, when a person drowns, their body doesn't float to the top, but sinks. The Lake really doesn't give up her dead. I've been there. It's beautiful-and cold.

    Cooter Travenport

    Disco Dave bodies sink until they decompose. The lake is so cold that the bodies never decompose so the decompose gasses don’t build up in the bodies so they don’t ever float back up

  71. Glen DiRienzo

    Very haunting song. Makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

  72. Cathexis

    Another case of corporate greed risking and taking the lives of desperate and poor citizens who have families to feed. Work for yourself if you can.
    Gods rest to these men and their families.

  73. Wandering Gypsysoul

    "Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours" perfectly said ✌

  74. liam brooksbank


  75. john potter

    rescuers first responders the victims and family

  76. john potter

    Remember them all, is all you have do

  77. George Teller

    Scuba dived hundreds of wrecks off the NJ coast, victims of storms, U-boats, and collisions. Eerie feeling swimming among those ghosts.

  78. The Genie

    3 things happened today
    1. My friend said this song sucked
    2. My friend was ran over by a plane
    3. I lost my pilots license

  79. James Johnson

    I remember that storm. Was in the tenth grade. Our house creeped and groaned when the winds were Having the time of showing off its power.

  80. Glenn Dill

    Glenn. Dill

  81. bassmanbilly1969

    Thank you for this excellent song, lyrics. sounds so nice. I get chills every time i hear this song. :) Well Done...

  82. rockybudgeboa

    LOVE this song. I used to have the single as a child back in 1976

  83. MR. SIR

    How many watching in November 1975?

  84. Eddie Estrada

    R.i.p for the 29 to the men lost out to sea on the Edmund fitzgerald god bless you and your families.

  85. Will Teuscher

    December 2019 a’ viewen.

  86. I Love Cultural Appreciation

    A true classic from my youth.. Oh I miss this music and the youth of that time... Now long ago and far away.

  87. Christian Rojas

    I watch every November GOOD SIR!

  88. Carol Martin

    Great song so sad so many ppl lost their lives Gordon lightfoot did a great job on this song. It gives me cold chills but love the song.

  89. Oeg Rivalry

    Damn, I love this song. Beautiful and haunting, very well published. R.I.P to all whose lives were claimed by those Lakes😔

  90. unclee_sam

    Gonna be listening in 2020 soon 😭 rip

  91. Carlos Mendoza

    good job!

  92. William Parish

    I took my wife to see the great lakes her first word s . This is a lake ?

  93. Kathy Moore

    I grew up next to superior and it is deep really deep even know I was not alive when it when down this song makes me cry every time

  94. Kathy Moore

    I live. In mi

  95. Jennifer Noll

    Just the music not even the story line though however it f- ing ROCKS

  96. Dustin

    It's in my book, Astonished Tales Of The Sea


  97. Yooper Author

    I'm about 15 miles south of Marquette, Michigan/Lake Superior at the moment and I can only imagine she's pretty angry today. The snow is really coming down right now and the wind is whipping it up out there. It felt like a great time to listen to this timeless classic by the legendary Gordon Lightfoot. God bless the dead (and all their surviving family members).

  98. tommy dillon

    whoooooiwhish, I was back home in Derry.

  99. Patricia bennett-siciliaP

    Flint, I’m sorry your dada death.....but, this tune to remember💞🦋🐝