The Wreck of the Mary Ellen Carter

Stan Rodgers

 
 
She went down last October in a pourin', drivin' rain;
the skipper, he'd been drinkin', the mate he felt no pain.
We fetched on three mile rock, and she was dealt her mortal blow;
then the Marry Ellen Carter settled low...
 
There was just us five aboard her when she finally was awash.
We'd worked like hell to save her, all heedless of the cost,
and the groan she gave as she went down, it caused us to complain,
that the Marry Elen Carter'd rise again.
 
Rise again, rise again;
That her name would not be lost to the knowledge of men;
Those who loved her best, and were with her till the end
will make the Marry Ellen Carter rise again.
 
Well, the owners wrote her off, not a nickel they would spend,
"She gave twenty years of service, boys, before her sorry end.
Insurance paid the loss to us, so let her rest below."
They smiled at us, and said we had to go...
 
But we talked of her all winter, sometimes around the clock,
she'd be worth a quarter million a-floatin' at the dock.
And with every jar that hit the bar, we swore we would remain
to see the Marry Ellen Carter rise again.
 
-Chorus
 
All spring now, we've been with her, on a barge lent by a friend;
three dives a day in a hard-hat suit, twice I've had the bends.
Thank god it's only sixty feet, and the currents there are slow,
or I'd never have the strength to go below.
 
But we've patched her rents and stopped her vents, dogged hatches, portholes 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
and watch the Marry Ellen Carter rise again.
 
-Chorus
 
'Cause we could not leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale;
she'd saved our lives so many times, a'livin' through the gale;
and the laughin', drunken rats who'd left her to a sorry grave,
they won't be laughin' in another day...
 
And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow,
with smilin' bastards lyin' to ya everywhere ya go-
Turn to and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
and like the Marry Ellen Carter rise again.
 
Rise again, rise again,
Though your heart, it be broke, and your life about to end;
No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend,
Like the Marry Ellen Carter rise again.