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Eric & Polly Rapp: Music

Say Goodbye to Gitche Gumee

(© 2006 Eric Rapp. All rights reserved.)
A Buckeye, Eric had never seen Lake Superior before he went there with Polly. Here's a rather melancholy daydream centered on the big lake.

Darling, I know that you'll leave me
Because of how and who and what I am
Across the dinner table you'll wonder
Why did I ever marry this man?

He sits there on the sofa watching TV
He doesn't work well with his hands
He's got a pencil-pushing job going nowhere
an education that's not worth a damn.

And the moonlight shines
on a far-distant place in your mind,
back to the days when love wasn't a chore,
and we walked along Superior's shore.

So you'll go out and get in your Escort
and drive north across the Mackinac.
You'll spend time in Manistique, where we stopped once
and go west, driving past Crystal Falls.

But still not far enough away yet
from the crippling thoughts you have of me,
you'll drive all the way to Ontonagon
'til you finally hit the shore of Gitche Gumee

Where the moonlight falls
on the waves and the rocks and the gulls
And you'll cast all your cares on that big inland sea
on the shores of your own Gitche Gumee.

As you walk along the shore of Gitche Gumee,
Bare feet making prints in the sand,
Your prints wash away from the shoreline,
and that moment helps you come to understand

That the land I come from has no Gitche Gumee,
just muddy rivers and modest ponds and streams
and seagulls don't float on the wind there.
Flat lands don't give Superior dreams.

And the moon rides high
near the stars and on the boats speeding by
And knowing now who I am, you'll be thinking of me
and say goodbye to your dear Gitche Gumee.