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Tales of the Phantom Ship

[Side Door]

Words and Music: Lennie Gallant

Another song I've been singing for a long time and always wanted to record someday. I first heard it on Lennie's brilliant debut album "Breakwater".

On a night as black as a Raven's feather
Thunder clap like a slap of leather
And the wind whips through the black spruce on the shore
The waves are pounding on the beaches harder
As the last of the fishermen reach safe harbour
And the wind turns cold, cuts through the cord
Out on the wild Northumberland Strait
A ball of fire slips o'er the waves
Those who watch can't believe their eyes
There's a burst of flame and flash of light
There on the tide is a frightening sight
As the tall ship in flames lights up the sky

Tales of the Phantom Ship, from truck to keel in flames
She sails the wild Northumberland Strait, no one knows her name
Tales of the Phantom Ship, it's the ship of fire they cry
Hard against the wind she sails, no one can say why

Some say she's a three-master square rigger
Five-hundred tons, maybe a bit bigger
With fire in every rope and spar and sail
Out of the east though the wind blows west
She plows the strait on an unknown quest
Over the waves with the strength of a full-force gale
Of why she appears none can know
Some say it's nothing but a moon-lit glow
But those who've see her swear they tell no lies
They tell how her bow suddenly drops down
As in depths of the strait she's bound
And the wind goes wild with wailing, chilling cries

Some say she's an immigrant ship of old
Highland Scots whose land was stole
And lost at sea while seeking the new land
Or a ghostly American Privateer
That plundered innocent harbours here
Cursed to sail the strait, forever damned
But an old man sang a song to me
Six hundred Acadians drowned at sea
Deported long ago from St. John's Isle
He says they sail this choppy strait
Through time and time they navigate
Searching for the means to end their long exile