Thursday, November 13, 2008

Is this just a Michigan thing?

So given it's early November, and the Weezer Red Album is getting constant play in my house and it's talked about in Heart Songs, the Edmund Fitzgerald has been on my mind. The famous Great Lakes Freighter sank on November 10, 1975. It has a fair bit of folklore behind it, since no trace of the wreck or bodies have ever been found. There was no distress call from the ship, it just sort of disappeared. The story was put to song by Gordon Lightfoot in 1976.


EVERYONE in Michigan knows this song. And just like the song says, the Mariner's Church in Detroit tolls its bell 29 times in honor of the wreck on the Anniversary.

When I lived in Minnesota, the boy I was dating was into all things Maritime (he's a Navy Pilot now) and we took a trip from the Twin Cities up to Duluth to see a play in the hull of a ship that was based on the events of that fateful night.

In short, the Great Lakes states take this seriously! Then it somehow came up in conversation at a knitting night and every single person looked at me like I had 3 heads when I talked about the song. I have always just assumed, since the song was #2 on the Billboard charts, that it was pretty well known and it wasn't just a regional thing. So, I gotta ask. . . who else has at least heard of it? Am I really that much of a southern anomaly?!

Maybe I am odd. . . . I used to think everyone could name the 5 Great Lakes, but apparently that's also only something they teach you if you live near them, which I figured out when I moved to Vermont. (For the record, remember HOMES to know the great Lakes. Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior)

4 comments:

dawn said...

i was born and raised in texas and i LUFF that song.

DeuceMom said...

I couldn't sing along, but it is familiar. 2 jobs ago the big joke was that we nicknamed our test equipment the Edmund Fitzgerald because everything was failing test. Not nice, but sometimes it's laugh or cry you know?

kemtee said...

Well I know it, but then I'm in an age group that heard that in heavy rotation. And I'm from 60 miles east of Lake Ontario. So…

ikkinlala said...

I'm from BC and in my 20s, and I don't know all the words to the song but I know it exists, know who sings it, and can hum part of the tune. I was also taught the names of all the Great Lakes (including the HOMES mnemonic).