Steaming up through Georgia Strait,
The mountains gliding by;
We gathered on those oaken decks
Under blue Pacific skies.
Weathered faces trade the news,
Children shriek at play;
The good ship hails all the working boats,
Leaves them rocking in her wake.
CHORUS: She whistles from my dreams, blowing Union steam,
Seagulls wheeling ’round her crimson stack;
She would take us down to Vancou-ver town__,
But she’s not coming back.
Everyone’s at the village pier
As the gangway settles down;
Pretty girls on the rail
Set outboards buzzin’ ’round.
From Bella Coola down to Sointula,
Echo Bay to Desolation Sound;
Their white wakes are the threads that bind
Our scattered coastal towns.
BRIDGE: Cardena, Catala, Camosun,
The Lady Cecilia too,
Cheakamus and Chelohsin,
Bringing travellers and the news.
[Optional instrumental verse]
CHORUS [pluralized: she/her to they/their]:
Now there’s a crowded road on the southern coast,
And the miles I just endure;
And a northern village full of ghosts
Where the ships no longer serve.
Rusting gears, a splintered shed,
Boat ribs on the beach;
Ancient pilings in the waves,
Lined up like fossil teeth.
But still when I am far removed
From the tumult of the day,
I’ll hear the cries of a gyppo team
And the song of a cannery maid.
FINAL They whistle from my dreams, blowing Union steam,
CHORUS: Seagulls wheeling ’round their crimson stacks;
They would take us down to Vancouver town__,
But they’re not coming back.
No-oh, they’re not coming back, no-oh-oh__
But I re-mem-ber..
[Repeat V.1, to finale]