Original song
by Mikki Perry

Printable version

MP3 Sample

The Wreck of the Lady Washington

Written by Micki Perry, 1991

Slightly adapted by Charlie Ipcar - 1993
Traditional Tune: Greenland Whale Fishery

Back to the List of Songs

Back to the
Charlie Ipcar Home Page

'Twas in nineteen hundred and ninety-one,
On October the seventeenth day,
When our gallant ship the Lady Washington,
From Pasco sailed a-way, brave boys,
From Pasco sailed away.

Our lookout on the crosstrees stood,
'Twas Ted Keyes so young and fair;
"I'll guide you under that railroad bridge
With only four feet to spare, brave boys,
With only four feet to spare."

But as our ship drew near that railroad bridge,
A green light turned to red;
"Full astern, come about!" young Ted did shout,
"That bridge is coming down ahead, brave boys,
That bridge is coming down ahead!"

We was doing four knots but the current was swift,
Our ship she could not stop;
Capt. Sandy swung the tiller and she turned half around,
While that bridge continued to drop, brave boys,
That bridge continued to drop.

As the bridge came down our lookout aloft,
Tried to push the span away;
'Twas a reflex thing and he knew that it was dumb,
But he tried it anyway, brave boys,
Yes, he tried it anyway.

So that bridge came down; we was struck full square
And the main and the fore did crack!
But she didn't capsize and no one was lost,
You can bet she'll never sail back, brave boys,
You can bet she'll never sail back.

"To lose those masts," our Captain cried,
"It grieves me heart full sore,
But to be struck down by a railroad bridge,
It grieves me ten times more, brave boys,
It grieves me ten times more!"

Oh, Pasco is a dreadful place;
It's a land that's seldom green;
Where dust storms blow, trains do come and go,
And tall ships are seldom seen, brave boys,
Tall ships are seldom seen.

Back to the top


The Wreck of the Lady Washington

As written by Micki Perry, 1991

It was nineteen hundred and ninety one,
On October the seventeenth day.
When the gallant ship, the Lady Washington,
From Pasco sailed away, brave souls.
From Pasco sailed away.

Now the lookout on the foremast peak,
Teddy Keys so young and fair.
He would guide them under that railroad bridge
With only four feet to spare, brave souls,
With only four feet to spare.

Now they were one hundred feet from that railroad bridge
When a green light turned to red.
"Reverse engines, come about," young Teddy cried out.
"For the bridge is coming down ahead, brave souls,
The bridge is coming down ahead."

Now they were doing four knots and the current was swift,
And that ship just could not stop.
Captain Sandy pulled the tiller and turned her half around
As the bridge continued to drop, brave souls,
The bridge continued to drop.

As the bridge came down the lookout aloft
He tried to push that bridge away.
It was a reflex thing, and he knew that it was dumb
But he tried is anyway, brave souls,
He tried it anyway.

And the bridge came down she was struck broad side
And her foremast and gaff did crack
But she did not capsize and no lives were lost-
But she'll probably never come back again,
She'll probably never come back.

Now the twenty six passengers aboard that ship,
They were shaken, dazed and pale.
They never reached Umatilla that day
But they'll never forget that sail, brave souls,
Never forget that sail.

"Well, to lose our mast," our Captain cried.
"It grieves my heart full sore.
But to be struck down by a railroad bridge
It grieves me ten times more, brave souls,
It grieves me ten times more."

"We need repairs it doth appear.
Now, crew, let's anchor weigh.
It's time to leave this cursed country,
To the shipyards bear away, brave souls,
To the shipyards bear away."

Now Pasco is a dreadful place
It's a land that's seldom green.
Where the dust storms blow and the trains come and go
But the tall ships are seldom seen, brave souls,
The tall ships are seldom seen,
The tall ships are seldom seen.