29 April 2012 0 Comments

Foveaux Strait (Bill Hanning’s Lament)

Words: Mike McPhee, Music: Rudy Sunde (c) 2008

Catlins gone, Bill Hanning too
Master, mate and all the crew
Down in lat’tude 48
Tried to enter Foveaux St

Foveaux Strait, Foveaux Strait
Cold out there in Foveaux Strait
Wind it blows, Bill Hanning knows
Cold out there in Foveaux Strait

Big seas sweep the Anna’s deck
On her side nearly wrecked
Bill Hanning disappeared from sight
Foveaux holds him deadly tight


“I’ll beat the wind” he often said
But sea and sky beat him instead
Twilight’s missing, dismal day
Bill Hanning’s drowned off Half Moon Bay


Foundered, capsized, cargo shifted
Weather closed, never lifted
Three generations went this way
In Foveaux Strait bound to stay


Youngsters weep, families torn
Olive, Rachael, Hannah mourn
Sons and brothers, speechless sorrow
Prepare to face the sea tomorrow


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