Sailin’ Out O’ Duluth

Sailin’ out o’ Duluth,
Buckin’ seas that’s high,
Barometer is pumpin’,
Lots o’ snow clouds in the sky.

Runnin’ time in summer,
To Soo Saint Marie,
Day and a half is usual,
Won’t make it now in three.

Clamp them life-lines plenty snug,
And rig a bosun’s chair,
Down below the Apostles,
Decks will be awash for fair.

Rivits pull and deckplates squeak,
Ice is buildin’ on the bow,
Hang on, here comes a big one!
Wham! that one was a wow.

Steam hose plays on pilot house,
Skipper shows us he can swear,
Who the hell ‘vented ice?
Nigger steward breathes a prayer.

Engines pound and pound like mad,
Engineers are cussin’ too,
Open her up and shut her off,
because of a crazy racin’ screw.

Tail-shaft thumps and thumps and thumps,
And in the midst of whirrin’ steel,
Oilers swayin’ with the roll,
Heated bearin’s anxious feel.

Men up for’ard get nothing’ to eat,
‘Cause they can’t get aft,
Sweatin’ stokers down below,
Think the ship’s gone daft.

Now this ain’t much unusual,
Just a plain November blow,
Superior’s got her dander up
And makin’ plenty wind and snow.

For it’s no life o’ Riley,
And a chance you always takes,
If in fall you sail upon
Them rough Great Lakes.