Persian's Crew

Singer: 

Michael Cassius Dean

Recorder: 

Robert Winslow Gordon

Recording Date: 

Sep. 1924

Location of Recording: 

Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA

Duration: 

0:40

Transcription: 

Sad and dismal is the story that I will tell to you,
About the schooner Persia, her officers and crew,
They sank beneath the waters deep in life to rise no more,
Where wind and desolation sweeps Lake Huron's rock bound shore.

Rights: 

Duplication of sound recordings may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Language: 

en-US

Type: 

Music Recording

Format: 

mp3

Publisher: 

Brian Miller, Emma Dowd, Diane Giebink-Skoglind

Original Format: 

Wax Cylinder

Is Part Of: 

AFS Preservation Reel: AFS 19011A
G91
Misc. 156

Notes: 

From Franz Rickaby's notes to his 1923 transcription of M.C. Dean: "Same melody as Driving Saw Logs on the Plover."

Folk Song Index Numbers: 

Roud #2230
Laws D4

Alternative Titles: 

The Persia's Crew

Song Summary: 

The Persian sets out from Chicago and disappears on Lake Huron. The cause of the wreck is not known. The singer laments the fate of the lost crew. The mate, Daniel Sullivan of Oswego town, is especially mourned.

Tags: 

First Line: 

Sad and dismal is the story that I will tell to you

Full Song Text: 

Sad and dismal is the story that I will tell to you,
About the schooner Persia, her officers and crew;
They sank beneath the waters deep in life to rise no more,
Where wind and desolation sweeps Lake Huron’s rock bound shore.

They left Chicago on their lee, their songs they did resound,
Their hearts were filled with joy and glee, for they were homeward bound;
They little thought the sword of death would meet them on their way
And they so full of joy and life would in Lake Huron lay.

In mystery o’er their fate was sealed, they did collide, some say,
And that is all that will be revealed until the judgment day;
But when the angels take their stand to sweep these waters blue,
They will summon forth at Heaven’s command the Persian’s luckless crew.

No mother’s hand was there to soothe the brow’s distracted pain,
No gentle wife for to carress those cold lips once again;
No sister nor a lover dear or little ones to moan,
But in the deep alone they sleep, far from their friends and home.

Her captain, he is no more, he lost his precious life,
He sank down among Lake Huron's waves, free from all mortal strife;
A barren coast now hides from view his manly, lifeless form,
And still in death is the heart so true that weathered many a storm.

There was Daniel Sullivan, her mate, with a heart as true and brave,
As ever was compelled by fate to fill a sailor’s grave;
Alas, he lost his noble life, poor Daniel is no more,
He met a sad, untimely end upon Lake Huron’s shore.

Oh, Daniel, Dan, your many friends mourn the fate that has on you frowned,
They look in vain for your return back to Oswego town;
They miss the love glance of your eye, your hand they’ll clasp no more,
For still in death you now do lie upon Lake Huron’s shore.

Her sailors’ names I did not know, excepting one or two,
Down in the deep they all did go, they were a luckless crew;
Not one escaped to land to clear the mystery o’er,
Or to lie adrift by Heaven’s command in lifeless form ashore.

Now around Presque Isle the sea birds scream their mournful notes along,
In chanting to the sad requiem, the mournful funeral song,
They skim along the waters blue and then aloft they soar,
O’er the bodies of the Persian’s crew that lie along the shore.

Full Song Text Source: