American Old Time Song Lyrics: 19 Wreck Of The Alpena

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 19

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By J. W. Kelley.

In October, eighteen-eighty,
You all have heard, no doubt,
Of the wreck of the Alpena,
When but a short time out;
It happened on Lake Michigan,
Where she, called staunch and true,
Went down without a warning
To her passengers or crew.
Awakened from their slumbers
By a cry that pierced the heart­"All hands on deck to save your lives,
The vessel's going apart!"
No welcome port was near them,
They got no friendly hail;
No, not a soul was left alive
To tell the dreadful tale.

A few days after some of
Their bodies washed ashore,
But many others sauk to
Be seen on earth no more;
Their friends were walking 'long the beach,
And watched each coming wave,
But sons and daughters shared alike
The honest sailor's grave.
The tide washed in somebody's boy,
Who 'twas they could not tell,
'Till his father recognized him,
Then to his knees he fell:
"Thank God! you've sent poor Johnny home,
For nothing more I'd crave,
For now I'll see him buried close
Beside his mother's grave."

This isn't half the misery
Such accidents will bring,
And many a good old mother
For years will feel the sting;
You'd often see small groups of friends,
And 'mongst them hear it said:
"We'd be satisfied to see them once
To know that they were dead."
Somebody might be blamed for this.
But who we cannot say,
It wasn't poor Nels. Napier,
He was as honest as the day;
That God may rest their souls in peace,
Has been an earnest prayer.
And it will be the same with all
Good people everywhere.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III