S. S. Cardena
by Craig McFeely
Let me tell you a tale of the days after sail
of a ship called the S.S. Cardena.
She was manned by a crew of twenty and two
and a Siwash cook from the Skeena.
She was built on the Tyne for the Union Line
to work on the Western Coast,
On the day she was christened all over she glistened
and five-hundred horsepower could boast.
Her decks were oak and her whistle spoke
the baritone song of steam,
And you could feel that this ship of steel
was spun from a seafarer's dream.
'23 was the year she began her career
out where the ocean roars,
Year after year she freighted the gear
to stock up the logging camp stores.
Into the night her winches would fight
hissing and creaking with strain,
Loading barrels and beer on pilings and pier
along with lumber and chain.
Her gaudy saloon rocked with many a tune
beat from a grand piano,
And the loggers would dance and make torrid romance
from Minstrel to Isle Galiano.
But all things must age and the price that they wage
must lead to ultimate fall,
Ships young and old, stalwart and bold
must hearken to Fate's eerie call.
So one night in the fog with the crew full of grog
she ran up on a rock in the Narrows,
The line had to fold and Cardena was sold
for scrap, to Victoria Yarrows.
Now she moulders in dust, her sides covered with rust
in stark and barren a manner,
But I'd like to toast this crumbling ghost
as she falls 'neath the wreckers hammer.
Her shaft is bare and her portholes stare
emptily out to sea,
But her spirit will last to remember the past
and the men who were bold and free.