The Rescue at Arisaig

March 31, 2008 7:01 PM

Another true story from my family...

Seems like forever since I posted a song. This is a true story, which happened in 1990, to my Dad's old roommate from university. Common wisdom is that another man would not have been able to acheive what Alan achieved; a six mile swim in choppy seas with his son strapped to his back. An amazing feat that deserved a song.

posted by LN (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I'm getting a little distortion on the recording, I think, which is unfortunate.

This is pretty great nevertheless, and the fact that it's true is super awesome. Can we get the lyrics?
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:20 AM on April 2, 2008

Karlos, I'm not getting distortion when I listen to it (and I'm on a different computer than the one I posted it from), so I'm wondering if the problem is at your end?

Here are the words:

Come all ye jolly sailor lads and listen to my song,
A tale of a shipwreck to relate, I won't detain you long,
All on a father and his son, bright fortune it did smile,
When on one day they were cast away, coming from Prince Edward Isle.

T'was on a sunny afternoon, at the hottest part of day,
They did resolve for to set sail all on the Atlantic sea,
And with three other men set out from Nova Scotia's shore,
To Murray Harbour and Wood Isle, then to Arisaig once more.

'Twas coming back to Airisaig, the wind it did arise,
The boat was tossed on the billows wild, the spray did sting their eyes,
The captain called for lifebelts and he swung the boat around,
But the second wave that hit the boat did cause it to go down.

The father and his son resolved that there they would not stay,
But swim for help to Airisaig, though it were six miles away,
The other men that were aboard, all with the wreck remained,
With lifebelts to protect them from a grave on the wat'ry main.

For five long hours they swam until the stars shone in the sky,
He took his son upon his back when at last his limbs did tire,
He prayed to God to judge him not for his efforts there that night;
For 'tis not the crisis makes the man, but his actions all his life.

'Twas morning when the swimmers heard the surf upon the shore,
And gained the land at Airisaig, they thought they'd see no more,
They sent the searchboats out to find the remaining sailors three,
And thus were five men saved that night from disaster on the sea.

Sung to the tune of "Bonny Irish Maid".

I should note that the last two lines of verse five come from Alan himself - he tells me this was what was going through his head as he swam during the night.
posted by LN at 6:21 AM on April 2, 2008

I'm stunned by this. Off to look up the rest of your stuff...
posted by roombythelake at 11:18 PM on April 6, 2008

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