The Mary-Ellen Carter

Recorded by Liam Clancy on "The Wild and Wasteful Ocean"
Words & Music by Stan Rogers
Suggested Key=G

Note: This song also sounds great in DADGAD tuning. Liam does it in standard tuning.

         1                                              4            5          1           
She went down last October in a pouring driving rain

        2m                           4                                                     5                     

The skipper he'd been drinking, and the mate he felt no pain

        1                                                                    4                         1                

Too close to Three Mile Rock when she was dealt her mortal blow

               2m                                      5            

And the Mary Ellen Carter settled low

                   1                                                      4         5           1                  

There was just us five aboard her when she finally was awash

        2m                          4                                              5             

We worked like hell to save her, all heedless of the cost

                1                                                            4                          1 

And the groan she gave as she went down it caused us to proclaim

                            4                 5                     1                                 

We'd make the Mary Ellen Carter  rise again


Well the owners wrote her off, not a nickel would they spend
She gave twenty years of service, boys, then met her sorry end.

But insurance paid the loss to us, so let her rest below."

Then they laughed at us and said we had to go.

              5                  1                     
Rise again, rise again
                  2m                  4                 1                         5                  
That her name not be lost to the knowledge of men
        1                                                                                5          1                 

All those who loved her best and were with her 'til the end
                           4                   5                  1                                 
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again 

But we talked of her all winter, some days around the clock

She's worth a quarter million floating at the dock

And with every jar that hit the bar we swore we would remain

And make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

All spring now we've been with her on a barge lent by a friend

Three dives a day in a hardhat suit and twice I've had the bends

Thank God it's only sixty feet and the currents here are slow

Or I'd never have the strength to go below

But we've pathed her rents, stopped her vents, dogged hatch and porthole down

Put cables to her, fore and aft, and girded her around

Tomorrow noon, we hit the air and then take up the strain

And make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again


For we couldn't leave her there, you see, to crumble into scale

She'd saved our lives so many times, living through the gale

And the laughing, drunken rats who left her to a sorry grave

The won't be laughing in another day...

And you, to whom adversity has dealt its final blow

With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go

Turn to, and put out all your strength of arm and heart and brain

And like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again!


Final Chorus:
Rise again, rise again

Though your heart it be broken and life about to end

No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend

Like the Mary Ellen Carter, rise again


Liam Clancy 2000-2003 - Liam Clancy Studios - Ring, Co. Waterford, Ireland

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