Kiss of a Cold Ocean

Lumber ships under tow at Grays Harbor, 1890s. Courtesy UW Special Collections.
Lumber ships under tow at Grays Harbor, 1890s. Courtesy UW Special Collections.

Its been a long time since I put up any original music. Here is one I got around to finishing tonight. Its a bit rough around the edges, especially the acoustic guitar dub over, but I was too lazy to redo it after a first run.

It may be hard to believe now – with ocean liners larger than my fair village of Beaufort, NC – but sailing vessels were the workhorses which transported goods around the world. Indeed, sailing ships are still making a comeback as a more environmentally friendly option for transporting wine in Europe.

Like any occupation on the sea, such routine work is fraught with danger! Safety wasn’t necessarily built in to the sailing vessels  of yore and modern safety equipment wasn’t even a fantasy 100+ years ago.

Kiss of a Cold Ocean - words and music by Kevin Z

Jack laid in here for a hundred years
His flesh is gone as are his fears
Ragged bones that have a home
In the crushing darkness down below

Carrie Ann still weeps a tear
Everyday for a hundred years
Her jack he never came home that night
Her jack he done changed her life

The winds were low but fog was high
But that never bothered Captain Light
First mate was Tim and he trusted Jack
He knew his way on the topsail mast

For seven years he ran dead trees
Lumber for the gold rush cities
Down the coast from the Puget sound
Out into Pacific, California bound

Jack never gave a thought about dying
As Captain Light took his last sun sighting
The cook was in the kitchen as the swells kept rising
Tim held rope but the water was icy

Jack came on deck, pulled hard on the line
But the icy water made it hard to climb
The rigging swayed and water rushed in
Jack never even saw it coming

Awoke to kiss of a cold ocean
Down he sank like a drunken fish
The dark envelopes, full moon gets smaller
Tries to breathe but all he gets is water

In the deep sea his body abodes
While poor Carrie Ann waits for Jack at home
Gently strokes the boy who never knew
A father like Jack who sailed on the blue