The Tugboat Bard

from by Bob Wright/ Harbortown

/
  • Digital Track
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $1 USD  or more

    You own this

     

about

Donald Sutherland (no, not the Canadian actor) was a bit of an eccentric Staten Islander who amongst other things wrote about and photographed tugboats and their crews. There was a wonderful obituary about him in the New York Times that inspired, and informed, this song. I didn’t know him well, though I did meet him a couple of times. My grandfather, William Henry Wright, or Cap as everyone referred to him, was a tugboat captain. As much as I wanted to I couldn’t seem write a song I liked about tugs and now here are two that popped out.

lyrics

THE TUGBOAT BARD
© Bob Wright

Working boats appeal to us
whether big or small
fishing boats and ferry boats
but one outdoes them all
to hear him talk about ‘em
was to hear a man in love
its hard to get a word in
when he starts talking tugs


Now all the Tuggers gather
On an old boat in the yard
They drink their Scotch from Dixie Cups
To toast the Tugboat Bard
Sharing tears and laughter at
The stories he would tell
Then joining hands when someone stands
To give A Scot’s Farewell

Out of all the working boats
The tugboat is the Queen
The greatest mix of strength and grace
The world has ever seen
nimble as a dancer
powerful and smooth
there’s never been a vessel built
a tugboat couldn’t move

Now all the Tuggers gather
On an old boat in the yard
They drink their Scotch from Dixie Cups
To toast the Tugboat Bard
Sharing tears and laughter at
The stories he would tell
Then joining hands when someone stands
To give A Scot’s Farewell

he left behind his pictures
and his words upon the page
filled with all the passion
any man could hope to raise
even though he’s left us
his spirit’s kept alive
in every heart that skips a beat
when a tugboat passes by

So heres to Donald Sutherland
and heres to all the crews
who spend their lives on tugboat time
cause that’s the life they choose
it takes special people
who can spend their days apart
but you can’t ignore a tugboat when
it’s tugging at your heart

Now all the Tuggers gather
On an old boat in the yard
They drink their Scotch from Dixie Cups
To toast the Tugboat Bard
Sharing tears and laughter at
The stories he would tell
Then joining hands when someone stands
To give A Scot’s Farewell

credits

from Harbortown Redocks, released May 16, 2020

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Bob Wright/ Harbortown New York, New York

He is a multi-instrumentalist, an award winning songwriter and Bob Wright songs are often mistaken for traditional songs because their immigrant roots run deep beneath the surface of America and back to the places they came from for nurturing and inspiration. They surface in a modern world, constructed with a modern sensibility and a comforting resonance with the past. ... more

contact / help

Contact Bob Wright/ Harbortown

Streaming and
Download help

Report this track or account