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)