The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)

  1. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot) – One of Lightfoot’s two historic epics (Canadian Railroad Trilogy is the other), this describes the tragedy of the American freighter that foundered in a gale on Lake Superior November 10, 1975. The vessel was bound for Detroit and Cleveland on her last voyage of the season with a load of iron ore pellets from Superior, Wisconsin. When launched, the Fitzgerald was the largest carrier on the Great Lakes and the first to carry more than a million tons of ore through the Soo Locks. The vessel, her crew, cargo and destination were all American though she sank in Canadian waters. The universal popularity of the song—almost at the top of both US and UK charts on the first two anniversaries of the wreck—shows the timeless sense of identification “with those in peril on the sea.” All 29 crew went down with the ship. Lightfoot considers this song his greatest work.