The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30961   Message #2855131
Posted By: bluerabbit10
03-Mar-10 - 01:27 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: John Hartford songs
I listened closely, and came up with this transcription...Verne

The Burning of the Grand Republic***
John Hartford
No End of Love
Banjo tuned E, Capo 3, Key of C
***Originally, the Great Republic, Capt Wm H Thorwegan
(Source: Way's Packet Directory 1848-1894)
Last night, at eleven-thirty,
At the foot of Les Peres Street
       C                        F
The pride and wonder of the western river
             G         C
Burned to the water's edge

Calendar length, and calendar width
And twelve feet down the hole
   C            F
Once carried 8,210
G         C
Bales of cotton

A man came running at break-neck speed
Over the road past the dog pound

Out of breath he found a policeman on Dekalb corner
And he quickly turned in the alarm

The sidewheel steamer, the Grand Republic,
Was laid up for the summer
      C                        F
The iron-hulled steamer, Carondolet,
       G          C
Was tied up just outside

The watchman woke when he heard the flames
The bedding, carpets, and painted railings
       C                  F
Two ladies woke up, much too late
    G               C
To save the Grand Republic

In a roar of horses, fire department rushed down to the river
The sky was flowing fleecy clouds turning to vermillion
       C                                        F
Even trees on the Illinois shore stood out in bold relief
                            G                         C
And a single glance told everyone, nothing they could do

The lightning fingers of thirsty flames
On layer, one layer of dried out paint
             C                        F
Until the grease-wood curled out of the windows,
            G            C
Eating their way to the roof

Key down:???
The Grand Republic was beautiful
As well as valuable and practical--
       Bb/Em             Em
It was even more spectacular
      F/D7          C/G ?
In a royal robe of flames

And the fire destroyed the Carondolet***
As it added to the terror,
       C             F
The red flare had a brilliance
       G                C
That made the moonlight green

Hissing and crackling this funeral fire,
Road the water like a swan
One more agonized moment
And the pilot house toppled on

A million sparks rose in the air
Some of them, gone forever
A reporter from the Globe Democrat said,
It was like daylight for a mile

Key Down
And the crowd down on the levee,
Stood as long as they could dare
    Eb/Em       Em
Which was not very
          D7                      C/G
And by 12:30, the fire had done its work

By this late hour, they tried to find
Thorwegan***, the Captain of Grand Republic
C          F
But he was nowhere
G    C
To be found


This morning her hull lies black
With her engines melted down
And the twisted fleeting fingers
Are in the river where she lay

At the foot of Les Peres Street
The Pride of the Mississippi
The sidewheel steamboat, Grand Republic
Has burned to the water's edge****

Short instrumental:

***Ibid. Burned Sept 19, 1877. The Carondolet was rebuilt in summer of 1878. One of first boats in St Louis to have electric lights.