from Winsome Ways by Maurice McGrath

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This song tells the story of Earnest Shackleton's heroic eight hundred mile journey in a small boat through some of the roughest seas in the world. When the crew of The Endurance were stranded on Elephant Island in the remote and frozen antarctic, Shackleton and five of his men set out to find help.

Due to the amazing navigational skills of Frank Worsley, they reached the remote Island of South Georgia after two harrowing weeks. At South Georgia, after climbing over the frozen mountains of the interior, they reached a whaling station. A ship was sent to Elephant Island and all hands were saved. Resilient Irishman Tom Crean was said to have sung a song as he manned his shift on the tiller of the small boat.



Sailing out upon the tide
Three loud cheers to say goodbye
As we steered the boat along
Old Tom Crean he sang a song

Through eight hundred miles Of stormy ocean wave
A small whaling boat alone at sail
Eight hundred miles in the devils roar
From Elephant Isle to South Georgia's shore

As we sailed in freezing cold
All eyes on the lighted stove
Making hoosh and every man
Waiting there with spoon in hand


Then a wave from high above
Rained that water down on us
Filled the boat with icy brine
And we bailed for our lives


We saw some kelp upon the tide
Then we knew that we’d survive
Shackleton's men were we
Fighting with the angry sea


© Copyright 2016 Maurice McGrath


from Winsome Ways, released December 7, 2016
Written, played and recorded by Maurice McGrath. Backing vocals by Michelle Burrowes.


all rights reserved



Maurice McGrath Dublin, Ireland

Songwriter based in Dublin Ireland. writing songs which are influenced by traditional folk songs and singers. Plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, low whistle, and sing. Influences include Nic Jones, Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Martin Carthy, Niamh Parsons.

Also influenced by the singers at the various traditional music and unaccompanied singing sessions.
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