Saturday, November 09, 2019

Music on My Mind

Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". The Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin on the afternoon of November 9, 1975.

Lightfoot made a serious effort to be as accurate as possible, but there are always things missed or not known at the time, or are reworked a bit to fit the song, or that aren't wrong but potentially misleading due to compression. The Edmund Fitzgerald was actually bound for Zug Island near Detroit, its last cargo run before it returned home to Cleveland for the winter. "The Maritime Sailors' Cathedral" is really the Mariners' Church of Detroit; it still holds an annual memorial service, although now it is for all lives lost in the Great Lakes, not just for the Edmund Fitzgerald.

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