Empress of Ireland – Lawrence

Susan’s CD is available through iTunes.

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Lyrics

1 The Empress set sail from Quebec May 28, 1914
With 1,400 souls on deck for Liverpool she made steam
On board 200 Sally Anners dressed in their red tunics best
Played proudly on their horns of brass as they pulled from the quay.

CHORUS:
God be with you till we meet again, when life’s perils sore confound you
Put his arms unfailing round you, God be with you till we meet again.

2 1:40 a.m., all in bed, the ship was past Rimouski now
The captain saw some lights ahead ‘bout six miles off his starboard bow
The gap was closing in between them, so he turned a bit abeam
Thinking they’d pass green to green, then fog obscured his view.

3 The freighter Storstad was on course from Sydney to Quebec with coal
Her hull was small but reinforced, 10,000 tons were in her hold.
The first mate watched the lights ahead then planned on passing red to red
Intentions on both sides misread, as fog descended round.

CHORUS:
God was nowhere to be found that night, Captain Kendall seemed confounded
Stopped his ship as fog surrounded; no one knows just who was wrong or right.

4 The Storstad struck the Empress midship, sparks flew as she sliced deep in
The blood upon her anchor tip was evidence of carnage grim.
There was no time for chivalry, no time to get the lifeboats free,
Scarce 14 minutes ‘til the sea entombed 1,000 souls.

CHORUS:
God be with you till we meet again, keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Smite death’s threatening wave before you, God be with you till we meet again.

5 Although her bow was bent aside, the lucky Storstad didn’t sink
But rescued those who hadn’t died –a mere 400– from the brink
Including Captain Kendall, who survived to sail another day
And one musician who swam to the ship and lived to play

CHORUS:
God be with you till we meet again, when life’s perils sore confound you,
Put his arms unfailing round you, God be with you till we meet again.
Till we meet, till we meet, till we meet at Jesus’ feet
Till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again.

Source: Susan Lawrence’s website.


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