Mudcat Café message #1994264 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99751   Message #1994264
Posted By: Willie-O
12-Mar-07 - 09:08 AM
Thread Name: Who sings about tugboats?
Subject: RE: Who sings about tugboats?
So, Charley, that's definitely the longest song title I've ever seen.

Got the lyrics? ;)

"Snap the line tight", (by Vic Bell, recorded by James Keelaghan) is about log salvaging, not tugboats as such, although tugging is certainly part of the game.

Summer Wages is one of my all-time favourite songs, but it's not really about tugboats or towboats. The protagonist could be logging, mining or working in the oilpatch for all the difference it would make to the song.

Farley Mowat wrote two great books about salvage tugs in the North Atlantic: "Grey Seas Under"(1959 and "The Serpent's Coil"(1961). Lots of good yarns in there. I believe Stan Rogers used one of them as the basis for his song "Wreck of the Athens Queen". Another story Mowat relates is crying out to be made into a song about perseverance. It tells of a single voyage during which a salvage tug made seven Atlantic crossings (roughly) to respond to vessels which needed assistance and never got a line on a single one. I have this vision of an old cabdriver in Halifax on a slow night finally getting a fare after hours of waiting, and the passenger saying, "must be frustrating, all that waiting, eh?", to which the cabdriver responds, "Nah, blink of an eye. Let me tell y'a story from m'younger days, me son..." (you can have that idea for free).

But I digress. A great song which is indisputably about the west coast towboat life: "Wreck of the Green Cove", by "Triggs", recorded by Gordon Bok on "Return to the Land".