When the Witch of November Comes Early

It’s hard to believe that it has been forty years since the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a fact still memorable to so many, I’m sure, only because of Gordon Lightfoot’s beautifully haunting ballad about it.

Maybe it’s because I have always been so close to the water, both physically and spiritually – I am from a state with a name that translates into English as “providential river;” I am from a Lake Erie coastal town with a name that translates into English as “the river of many fish;” my elementary school mascot was a dolphin; my junior high school mascot was a raider; my high school mascot was a mariner; my college mascot was a terrapin; and I worked at a marina before joining the navy and becoming a sailor for life – that this tragedy, and especially this song about it, has meant, and always will mean, so much to me.


I know I’m getting old but I cannot help thinking how much of a simpler, more thoughtful time it was back then (the Vietnam War and Richard Nixon not withstanding)…

But can you imagine, in this all-things-perishable day and age, someone penning such a well-received, enduringly beautiful song for the El Faro, the cargo ship that just sunk during Hurricane Joaquin?

Yeah… me neither.