Now on those dark and moonless nights, when the wind can chew your soul,
It seems to raise the worst in men, out west of the Isle of Shoals.
Down to the beach in a column they come, in a march of death 'tis claimed;
No honor on that stretch of ground when there's plunder to be gained.
"Bring your torch, build the fire high, if a ship be on the sea,
Then should her master be deceived, a salvage wreck she'll be!"
Take no pride when men have died, by hearts so cold and cruel,
If the salvage man be your friend, then the Devil go with you!
Out on the deck of a coastal bark, the watch cries through the gale,
"A light, a light, off the starboard bow, safe haven for to sail!"
"Now, helmsman, bring her head around; steer her for the lee;
No business have we here tonight upon this raging sea."
"Oh, Captain," cries the second mate, "We're close onto the shore;
I can smell the flats and the inland pine, and fear we'll sail no more." (CHO)
"Too late, too late, to save your ship!" – the salvagers do shout;
"You're too far in to take her back, too close to come about!"
And when she strikes and timbers split, stout men do weep and cry;
To know your fate is sealed would break a stronger man than I. (CHO)
So if some eve you should walk out by old Brooker's Beach;
Don't tarry when the waves roll in, and the gale blows from the east.
For on those dark and moonless nights, when the wind can chew your soul,
It seems to raise the worst in men, out west of the Isle of Shoals. (CHO)(2X)
(Words by ex-coastguardman Joe McGrath, © 1986, used with permission.
Adapted by Charlie Ipcar in 1993 with a new tune.)