Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"The Galveston Flood"


It was the year of 1900
that was 80 years ago
Death come'd a howling on the ocean
and when death calls you've got to go
Galveston had a sea wall
just to keep the water down
But a high tide from the ocean
blew the water all over the town.

Wasn't that a mighty storm
Wasn't that a mighty storm in the morning
Wasn't that a mighty storm
It blew all the people away.

The sea began to rolling
the ships they could not land
I heard a captain crying
Oh God save a drowning man
The rain it was a falling
and the thunder began to roll
The lightning flashed like Hell-fire
and the wind began to blow

Wasn't that a mighty storm
Wasn't that a mighty storm in the morning
Wasn't that a mighty storm
It blew all the people away.

The trees fell on the island
and the houses gave away
Some they strived and drownded
others died every way.

The trains at the station were loaded
with the people all leaving town
But the trestle gave way with the water
and the trains they went on down
Old death the cruel master
when the winds began to blow
Rode in on a team of horses
and cried death won't you let me go.

Wasn't that a mighty storm
Wasn't that a mighty storm in the morning
Wasn't that a mighty storm
It blew all the people away.

The flood it took my mother
it took my brother too
I thought I heard my father
cry as I watched my mother go
Old death your hands are clammy
when you've got them on my knee
You come and took my mother
won't you come back after me?

Wasn't that a mighty storm
Wasn't that a mighty storm in the morning
Wasn't that a mighty storm
It blew all the people away.

---John Duffy, Tom Rush

3 comments:

Joe said...

As a former Galveston, and then Houston native, as well as being well versed in gulf coast engineering, I must point out the inaccuracies of the posted song.

There was no sea wall in 1900. A few years after the "Great Storm," as Galveston natives call it, the US Army corps of engineers built a 10-20 foot seawall AND raised the elevation of the island by bringing in drudge material from the Galveston and Houston ship channels.

The seawall and island elevation has probably saved countless lives throughout the last 100 years.

Galveston is a great town, I encourage all of you to visit someday. It has the 2nd largest Mardi Gras and its a great place to drink!

Andre said...

I always wondered about that line. I figured it was built in reaction to the flood. I never actually looked it up though.

Stephanie said...

Gotta love Tony Rice... great stuff