The Ballad of the Northwestern

I wrote the initial lyrics July 2009 during a road trip from Seattle to Tennessee. In the summer of 2007, I saw the Northwestern as it passed through the locks at the port of Seattle (above). I am also an avid fan of the show, The Deadliest Catch.

This was recorded with 3 vocal tracks, 2 guitar tracks, and a drum track (added last). I did not use a click track, as I prefer a more natural tempo. Moderate compression was applied to each track, but no other effects. I considered adding mandolin at one point. I also opted to omit bass guitar and minimize the kick drum. The final mix of the recording was finished on August 21, 2012.


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Words & Music by Larry Holder
Copyright © 2012 Larry Holder (Larry Holder Music, ASCAP)

[VERSES 1,2]
Now out from Seattle with captain and crew
To make for the ocean, the brave and the few
A course for the Bering, where treasures abound
With blues skies above and the sea all around.

And dreams of the bounty are calling her name
The mighty Northwestern finds fortune and fame
As pots full of crab fill the salt water hold
So the hours pass by as the sea yields its gold.

[CHORUS]
And what makes a man turn his heart to the sea
Forsaking the land to be out in the free?
And risking it all to take hold of the prize?
There's salt in their veins, there is fire in their eyes.

[VERSES 3,4]
With thirty-eight meters from stem to the stern
For Sig and his brothers, a living they earn
In dangerous waters, in darkness and light
The challenge, it calls them, the goal is in sight.

The race for the prize leads the great vessel on
From greenhorn to captain, from dusk until dawn
No rest for the weary from wind and the waves
As ice floes she conquers and tempest she braves.

[CHORUS]
And what makes a man turn his heart to the sea
Forsaking the land to be out in the free?
And risking it all to take hold of the prize?
There's salt in their veins, there is fire in their eyes.

[VERSE 5]
God bless the Northwestern through calm and through gale
And be as a Beacon as onward she sails.
Bestow her the bounty for whom she is known
And guide her in safety to harbor and home.

[CHORUS]
And what makes a man turn his heart to the sea
Forsaking the land to be out in the free?
And risking it all to take hold of the prize?
There's salt in their veins, there is fire...

Yes, and what makes a man turn his heart to the sea
Forsaking the land to be out in the free?
They risk everything to take hold of the prize
For there's salt in their veins, there is fire in their eyes.