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Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan) (22)
Help: Song about 13 firefighters dying (3)
Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan) (5) (closed)
Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor? (10)


GUEST,Ron Wilson 15 Dec 07 - 07:22 AM
maeve 15 Dec 07 - 07:55 AM
catspaw49 15 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM
Charley Noble 15 Dec 07 - 10:31 AM
catspaw49 15 Dec 07 - 11:01 AM
catspaw49 15 Dec 07 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Ron Wilson 15 Dec 07 - 01:45 PM
Sorcha 15 Dec 07 - 02:30 PM
open mike 15 Dec 07 - 04:52 PM
catspaw49 15 Dec 07 - 05:35 PM
Desert Dancer 15 Nov 09 - 01:18 PM
Desert Dancer 16 Nov 09 - 04:31 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Song about a forest fire tragedy
From: GUEST,Ron Wilson
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 07:22 AM

The singer was the head of a firefighting team; he is the only survivor. He warned the team to follow his lead, but they went a different way and perished when the fire jumped.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: maeve
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 07:55 AM

Guest, Ron Wilson- Are you asking for a title? Singer? Chords? Let us know what you need so someone can help.

maeve


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Subject: Lyr Add: COLD MISSOURI WATERS (James Keelaghan)
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM

The first thing that I thought of was the Mann Gulch fire in 1949. The song could be "Cold Missouri Waters."

Cold Missouri Waters
(Words & music James Keelaghan)
My name is Dodge, but then you know that
It's written on the chart there at the foot end of the bed
They think I'm blind, I can't read it
I've read it every word, and every word it says is death
So, Confession - is that the reason that you came
Get it off my chest before I check out of the game
Since you mention it, well there's thirteen things I'll name
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri waters

August 'Forty-Nine, north Montana
The hottest day on record, the forest tinder dry
Lightning strikes in the mountains
I was crew chief at the jump base, I prepared the boys to fly
Pick the drop zone, C-47 comes in low
Feel the tap upon your leg that tells you go
See the circle of the fire down below
Fifteen of us dropped above the cold Missouri waters

Gauged the fire, I'd seen bigger
So I ordered them to sidehill and we'd fight it from below
We'd have our backs to the river
We'd have it licked by morning even if we took it slow
But the fire crowned, jumped the valley just ahead
There was no way down, headed for the ridge instead
Too big to fight it, we'd have to fight that slope instead
Flames one step behind above the cold Missouri waters

Sky had turned red, smoke was boiling
Two hundred yards to safety, death was fifty yards behind
I don't know why I just thought it
I struck a match to waist high grass running out of time
Tried to tell them, Step into this fire I set
We can't make it, this is the only chance you'll get
But they cursed me, ran for the rocks above instead
I lay face down and prayed above the cold Missouri waters

And when I rose, like the phoenix
In that world reduced to ashes there were none but two survived
I stayed that night and one day after
Carried bodies to the river, wonder how I stayed alive
Thirteen stations of the cross to mark to their fall
I've had my say, I'll confess to nothing more
I'll join them now, because they left me long before
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri waters
Thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri shore


I've read a lot about this fire as its pretty famous for a number of reasons. Briefly what happened here was that this fire blew up on them and the team leader, Dodge, to the surprise of everyone in the group, started another fire ahead of it which quickly burned out in a specific area. Dodge's men decided he was nuts and went off trying to outrace the main fire. Two men who were ahead and off to one side actually made it over a ridge into a rock crevice. Most of the rest were either critically injured or died on the spot.......except Dodge. Dodge had survived unhurt as he thought he would in the burned out circle. The fire passed by him as there was no fuel left there. Later accusations came against him and the conflicting points of view on the actions and evidence continues today.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 10:31 AM

Spaw has certainly nailed it!

I'll just have to get up earlier, and I'm on the East Coast.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 11:01 AM

Ya' know Charley, I got to thinking after I had posted, "where did my initial interest in this tragedy come from?" It came from the 'Cat.

We have a couple of previous threads on it but owing to the search problem and the fact we put them into a bad grouping, I didn't find it. After I posted I went looking again and did find the previous threads and the group problem. I'm making a note to come back and regroup this thread and the others. And hopefully the new stuff that Max will be able to get after this current fund raiser along with some reprogramming will resolve the search indexing problem from the crash.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 11:18 AM

Note previous threads now regrouped at the top. There is some great info on them and links to info on the net as well.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: GUEST,Ron Wilson
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 01:45 PM

Thank you, Spaw. That is exactly the song I wanted.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 02:30 PM

Wow, he reads minds too! LOL


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: open mike
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 04:52 PM

There is a a book about this tragedy
called Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean
(he also wrote A River Runs Through It)
and there have been several fire fighting rules
formed based on the Mann Gulch incident.

Norman's Son has also researched the more recent
fire fatalities in Colorado...the 1994 Storm King fire.

His son John now conducts fire
training courses based on the information he
learned from these fire investigations.

http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2001/175.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 05:35 PM

ANother and even more interesting article by John McClean in 2004 with the last survivor of Mann Gulch.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 01:18 PM

Earl Cooley Is Dead at 98; Fought Fires as Original Smoke Jumper

[these are exerpts from the article]

By DOUGLAS MARTIN
New York Times, November 14, 2009

Earl Cooley knew that the very thought of leaping from airplanes into raging forest fires kept others awake nights. But not him.

"I don't know why, but I was never afraid to jump," he said.

On July 12, 1940, in a new Forest Service program, Mr. Cooley became one of the first two men to parachute from a plane to fight a forest fire. He felt a back-wrenching jolt when he yanked the ripcord, his lines got tangled on the way down, and he landed in the top branches of a spruce tree. But the men had the fire under control by the next morning.

Mr. Cooley died at 98 on Monday in Missoula, Mont., said his wife, Irene. He was one of the last links to the beginnings of a program that became famed for both efficiency and audacity.

...

Mr. Cooley was involved in the largest disaster involving smoke-jumper deaths on the job. On Aug. 5, 1949, a dozen smoke jumpers died when tinder-dry trees erupted in flames in a fire in Mann Gulch, near Helena, Mont. Mr. Cooley had had the job of selecting the spot where parachutists were dropped.

But the wind shifted.

Mr. Cooley had known all the men individually, their backgrounds, their families. He had to identify the bodies, naming two because they shared a car and had the same keys in their pockets. He notified the families. He made crosses for each of the dead, concrete reinforced with steel; with Forest Service workers, he placed the crosses at the locations where the men died.

An inquiry cleared Mr. Cooley and a foreman who had collaborated in deciding where to drop the jumpers of misfeasance.

"I am sure I did the right thing that day, but I still look at that map and have thought about it every day since then," Mr. Cooley said in an interview with The Rocky Mountain News in 1994.

Until well into his 80s, Mr. Cooley made the difficult climb up the mountain to make sure the crosses were still standing.

...

Mr. Cooley later [after his first jumps] trained new jumpers, in addition to continuing to jump himself. Some were conscientious objectors, who refused to fight in World War II and were assigned the work as alternative service. They were so unpopular that Montanans would spit on them.

But Mr. Cooley came to respect them. "All Earl ever asked from them was a day's work for a day's pay," said Don Ranstrom, his son-in-law and a former smoke jumper.

...

Mr. Cooley said there was only one thing about smoke jumping that he never learned to like. That was the walk home.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 04:31 PM

refresh


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