Rise Again

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Rough Waters

We lost Stan Rogers in a fire aboard Air Canada Flight 797 on Jun 2, 1983. That was a sad day for me, he was a master song writer and performer and I was and am a huge fan of his music. I’m focusing on his song The Mary Ellen Carter because in what I perceive as a dark time in our history. After the election I found myself just ranting in my blogs rather than focusing on what is beautiful and wonderful in life. This song is about “rising again” when faced with adversity. Music is curative, listen to the song and read this story:

On February 12, 1983 the ship Marine Electric was carrying a load of coal from Norfolk, Virginia to a power station in Somerset, Massachusetts. The worst storm in forty years blew up that night and the ship sank at about four o’clock in the morning on the 13th. The ship’s chief mate, 59-year-old Robert M. “Bob” Cusick, was trapped under the deckhouse as the ship went down. His snorkeling experience helped him avoid panic and swim to the surface, but he had to spend the night alone, up to his neck in water, clinging to a partially deflated lifeboat, and in water barely above freezing and air much colder. Huge waves washed over him, and each time he was not sure that he would ever reach the surface again to breathe. Battling hypothermia, he became tempted to allow himself to fall unconscious and let go of the lifeboat. Just then he remembered the words to the song “The Mary Ellen Carter”.

He started to sing it and soon was alternately shouting out “Rise again, rise again” and holding his breath as the waves washed over him. At seven o’clock that morning a Coast Guard helicopter spotted him and pulled him to safety.Only two men of the other thirty-three that had been aboard survived the wreck. After his ordeal, Cusick wrote a letter to Stan Rogers telling him what had happened and how the song helped save his life. In response, Cusick was invited to attend what turned out to be the second-to-last concert Rogers ever performed. Cusick told his story in the documentary about Rogers, One Warm Line. ~ Source Wikipedia

She went down last October in a pouring, driving rain
The skipper, he’d been drinking, and the Mate, he felt no pain
Too close to Three Mile Rock and she was dealt her mortal blow,
And the Mary Ellen Carter settled low
There were 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 proclaim
That the Mary Ellen Carter would rise again

Well, the owners wrote her off; not a nickel would they spend
“She gave twenty years of service, boys, then met her sorry end
But insurance paid the loss to us, so let her rest below.”
Then they laughed at us and said we had to go
But we talked of her all winter, some days around the clock
She’s worth a quarter million, afloat and at the dock
And with every jar that hit the bar, we swore we would remain
And make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again

Rise again, rise again,
That her name not be lost to the knowledge of men
All those who loved her best and were with her till the end
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!

All spring, now, we’ve been with her on a barge lent by a friend
Three dives a day in hard-hat suit and twice I’ve had the bends
Thank God it’s only sixty feet and the currents here are slow
Or I’d never have the strength to go below
But we’ve patched her rents, stopped her vents, dogged hatch and
porthole down
Put cables to her fore and aft and girded her around
Tomorrow noon we hit the air and then take up the strain
And make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again

Rise again, rise again,
That her name not be lost to the knowledge of men
All those who loved her best and were with her till the end
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!

For we couldn’t leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale
She’d saved our lives so many times, living through the gale
And the laughing, drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave
They won’t be laughing in another day
And you, to whom adversity has dealt the final blow
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go
Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain
And, like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again

Rise again, rise again,
Though your heart it be broken or life about to end
No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend,
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again!

Rise again, rise again,
Though your heart it be broken or life about to end
No matter what you’ve lost, be it a home, a love, a friend,
Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again! ~ Stan Rogers

 

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