Isle au Haut
Isle au Haut
Words and music by Winfield Shaw Clark,

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Isle au Haut.mp3
Good'n Case, the lobsterman, lived out on Isle au Haut.
He was ninety-three when I saw him last, and he spoke of long ago
When the seas belonged to sailing ships,
    and the tide of life flowed slow:
“That was long ago, on this island, Isle au Haut.”

“I was first mate on an old windjammer, runnin’ ‘round the Horn,
Hard-headed as a ballpeen hammer, not a man to scorn.
We took men to the Klondike Rush; we brought some home again
To the wind and rain, and the rugged coast of Maine.

I fought in Bill McKinley’s war, back in ‘Ninety-eight.
I never knew what it was for, or who I was to hate.
Remember? Someone sank “The Maine” – they told us it was Spain.
So I had to go off my island, Isle au Haut.”

    Oh, the wind and the rain, and the rugged coast of Maine,
    Pretty soon I know I’ll have to go, off my island, Isle au Haut.

A neighbor brought his mandolin, and Good’n did a dance.
He said, “I played my hand to win, given half a chance.
I made my living from the sea, and she's been good to me.
She’s done some men woe, on this island, Isle au Haut.

“There were three women in my life, and two in turn I wed.
The other could not be my wife, and now all three are dead.
Two were good, and one was bad: the luck I've always had.
And I miss them so, living here on Isle au Haut.”

    There’s a dark hurricane, headed down the coast of Maine.
    Pretty soon I know I’ll have to go, off my island, Isle au Haut.

“The island changes more each year, the lobster crops grew thin,
And rich men build their castles here, to spend the weekend in.
And city people come to see the way life used to be,
Oh so long ago, on this island, Isle au Haut.”

Copyright © Winfield Clark 1990-2013


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