Continuing from our current running theme of fatal sea voyages, and following yesterday’s Pogues song, whose album cover for Rum, Sodomy & the Lash was based on painting The Wreck of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault, we turn to another tale emanating from the 19th century. Inspired by the great blizzard of 1839, The Wreck of the Hesperus recounts the tragic story of a sea captain using words from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The captain brings his daughter on board for company, ignoring the warnings of his men of an oncoming hurricane. As the storm arrives, the captain wraps his freezing daughter in a coat, and lashes her to a mast to stop her being swept overboard. But he himself is frozen to death, and the daughter herself dies as the ship wrecks on Norman’s Woe, a rock reef on Cape Ann in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her body is later discovered, in deathly beauty, still lashed to a floating mast, by a fisherman.
Exquisitely transcribed to music, with the wonderfully expressive, operatic voice of La Scala, and arranged by composer and pianist, Michael Roulston, along with a small ensemble, the song evokes the still and swirling waters, the dashing rocks, the passion and the tragedy. This song is to found alongside 10 others on La Scala's 2015 album Siren. The seas are merciless, but as this song shows, it can also be eerily beautiful.
Want to suggest songs for Song of the Day or to say anything about it? Does this song make you think of something else? Then feel free to comment below, on the contact page, or on social media: Song Bar Twitter, Song Bar Facebook. Song Bar YouTube. Please subscribe, follow and share.
New to comment? It is quick and easy. You just need to login to Disqus once. All is explained in About/FAQs ...