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Steamboat Days

Words and tune by Charles Ipcar 2/26/11

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Now there's many a steamer looks just fine,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
But they'll never beat the boats of the Eastern Line!
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Now we're steamin' out from the Kennebec Pier,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
Hear her whistle blow loud an' clear!
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Eastern Steamboat Co. steamer "Nahanada" passing through Upper Hell Gates on the Sasanoa River, on her way from Bath to Boothbay Harbor, courtesy of Westport Island Association, reprinted in Islands of Mid-Maine Coast, Vol. IV, Charles B. McLane, Tilbury Publishing, Gardiner, Maine, © 1994, p. 206

Now swing her hard for the Sasanoa River,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
Keep to the channel or we're stuck here forever!
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Down the Upper Hell Gates, steady an' fast,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
Don't scrape the ledges as we fly past!
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Past Hockomock Bluff an' cross the Bay,
Shovel in the coal an' let her run!
For Castle Island now bear away –
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Through the Lower Hell Gates to Westport Pier
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
Drop off the dry goods that's ordered here –
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Then it's down the River to the Riggsville Dock,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
Where the summer folks all come down in flocks –
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Through Goose Rock Passage to Five Islands Pier,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
There's barrels of salt-cod a-waitin' here –
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Cross the Sheepscot, past the Middle Mark,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
Wave at the seals sunnin' on the rocks –
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Then nose into Southport for one last stop,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
Now thread the Gut, an' plow through the chop –
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Now Boothbay Ha'bor's comin' into view,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
But there's so many boats, what shall we do?
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

There's summer sloops racin' all round,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
An' there's one off the bow upside down!
When we makes Boothbay, we'll have great fun!

Now we're safely moored at the Eastern Pier,
Shovel in the coal, an' let her run!
So we're off to Skip's for a round of beer!
We've made Boothbay, let's have great fun!

We've made Boothbay, let's have great fun!

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Notes:

This newly composed song provides you commentary and navigational instruction for your steamboat trip from Bath on the Kennebec River to Boothbay Harbor via the Eastern Steamboat Co. Line.

Here's the public link to my photo essay "Coastal Steamboat Days" of a typical trip from Bath to Boothbay Harbor on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=41647&id=100000393263345&l=aea952f798 (the thumbnails may load slowly - you can mouse over them as they're loading to read the descriptions and click on them to see the images while they load).

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