Halifax Down Lyrics

Halifax Down

© Charlie Ball

halifax down

1) On the 6th day of December 1917
Morning up in Halifax, another day’s routine.
A war was on in Europe with the young men gone to fight
Nova Scotia’s best but still no victory in sight
Two war ships in the harbor, under clear and sunny skies
One filled with explosives and one relief supplies

2) Then passing thru the narrows with no room for to turn
One ship struck the other and one began to burn
The Captain called “Abandon ship!” he knew what was to come
Hell’s orchestra was tuning, he could hear the devil strum
His ship let go with a blast that echoed 50 miles at sea
And left an eerie landscape where a city used to be.

“Halifax down! City on fire!”
Came the cry for help on the telegraph wire
Boston heard and Boston understood
Boston did, all that Boston could
And Halifax forever will remember
When angels came from Boston one December

3) Still later that same morning, Boston got the news,
Halifax in dire straits! There is no time to lose!
Sam McCall the Governor, replied within the hour,
“Hang on as best you can, we’ll do all within our power.”
He filled a train with doctors and supplies for all in need
By 6 that night the whistle blew, he wished them all godspeed

4) In the worst of luck a blizzard struck but slowed them not at all
For they were angels undeterred by any winter squall
All along the line the word went out to clear the tracks
There was just one destination, and that was Halifax
God supplied the mercy, Boston the machine
And the best of Massachusetts were the first upon the scene


5) There were thousands dead and injured, and a city still in shock
So Massachusetts went to work and worked around the clock
In the days and weeks that followed the story would repeat
As help came pouring in to put that city on its feet
And though it was unspoken and remains so to this day
This was an act of friendship, with no debt to repay


6) Now every year at Christmas time this friendship is renewed
There comes a tree from Halifax, symbolic gratitude
Though gratefully accepted, Boston knows it’s true
That years ago they did no more than any friend would do
But Halifax will not forget that Boston led the way
And Halifax’s darkest hour was Boston’s finest day