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Song: “The Wreckers”

Words and tune (c) April Grant (2017)

Me and my old mother,
We’re handsome and we’re jolly,
We have a little lighthouse,
It’s mounted on a trolley.
We pull it up the cliffs
On a dark and foggy night,
And this is what we sing
When the ships see the light:

Bring us tea and coffee,
Spars and nails and cable,
Bring us ducks and chickens,
Sally lay the table!
Bring us wine and brandy
Meant for Boston docks,
Bring us rum and gin
And we’ll drink it on the rocks!

Reverend Gilman preaches:
“Stick unto thy labors,
Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal,
Don’t covet what’s thy neighbor’s.”
“There’s been a wreck on Devil Reef!”
The preacher pulled a knife,
And said, “How sad that ship went down
With total loss of life.”

Mrs. Marsh was clubbing sailors
In the breakers fierce and foamy,
When she heard a drowning victim
Crying, “Mother, don’t you know me?
It’s me, your son who went to sea!”
She broke his skinny neck,
And said, “A son is just a son,
You know, a wreck’s a wreck.”

Gold and precious jewels
I find among the boulders,
Rings for all my brothers,
Gold bracelets to their shoulders.
Crowns for me and Mother
In quaint and ancient forms,
And gold I throw all in the deep,
“Oh send more fog and storms!”

This is set in That Small Coastal Town, the one where they used to have a reputation for lighting false beacons to send ships aground, and then wading out to the wreck with a shopping bag in one hand and a blunt instrument in the other. On Cape Cod, it’s Chatham; working your way south, it’s Block Island.
For the record, I was thinking of Innsmouth, MA, but that’s just one possible location. None of the named characters in this song are men.
Lyrics sheet here.

“The Wreckers” on Soundcloud