Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"The Gowanus Canal" Song: 1898 Hit By Michael J. Shay


Who the "Gas Drip Bard" Michael J. Shay was, I could not find out, but his fine composition about the Gowanus Canal from 1898 is rather catchy, though maybe not quite politically correct by today's standards.

Wouldn't it be splendid if someone could add a melody to these verses? It could be a real hit today, a full 111 years later. Because, lets face it, the Gowanus is even more polluted today than it was back then.

The Gowanus Canal Song

by Michael J. Shay 1898

Away down town, where the atmosphere is hazy
From the smoke of the factories ascending to the sky
The smells, Oh! so horrid, would almost set you crazy.
But I'm told in that neighborhood the people seldom die.
'Way up on the"Slope" all the people are complaining;
From the foul scented odors their health is quickly waning
And the smoke from the soft coal their linen it is staining
When the wind blows that way from Gowanus Canal


When the wind blows east, when the wind blows west,
Or when it's from the north or south, you never get a rest.
In summer or in winter, in the spring or in the fall,
You breathe the same old odors from Gowanus Canal

see additional verses above


Anonymous said...

Seeing as you're a day ahead of the rest of us, who won the election?

Kelly said...

Ha, you caught that! Too funny.

I sometimes post the night before for the following day.
As far as the election, can't help you with the result, but can only say:

Anonymous said...

oh, that wicked, wicked Dago....

Anonymous said...

And present day developers are concerned that Superfund will leave a "Stigma" on the canal?