'Twas in nineteen hundred and ninety-one,
October the seventeenth day,
When our gallant ship the Lady Washington,
From Pasco sailed away, brave boys,
From Pasco sailed away.
Our lookout in 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."
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 currents were swift,
Our ship she could not stop;
Capt. Sandy swung the tiller and she turned half around,
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.
And that bridge came down; we was struck full square
And the fore and the main 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 the dust storms blow, the trains do come and go,
And tall ships are seldom seen, brave boys,
Tall ships are seldom seen.
(Written by Micki Perry, © 1991, used with permission.
Lyrics slightly adapted by Charlie Ipcar, 1993.
Tune after traditional Greenland Whale Fishery.)