lyrics text

The Reach

Dan Fogelberg

It's Maine and it's Autumn
The birches have just begun turning
It's life and it's dying
The lobster men's boats come returning
With the catch of the day in their holds
And the young boys cold and complaining
The fog meets the beaches
And out on the Reach it is raining

It's father and son
It's the way it's been done since the old days
It's hauling by hand ten miles out
From the land where their chow waits
And the days are all lonely and long
And the seas grow so stormy and strong but
The Reach will sing welcome
As homeward they hurry along

And the morning will roll away
As the waves crash and fall
And the Reach like a siren sings
As she beckons and calls
As the coastline recedes from view
And the seas crash and roll
I will take from the Reach
All that she has to teach
To the depths of my soul

The wind brings a chill
There's a frost on the sill in the morning
It creeps through the door
On the edge of the shore ice is forming
Soon the northers will bluster and blow
And the woods will be whitened with snowfall
And the Reach will lie frozen
For the lost and unchosen to row

When I was on a tanker in the bay of Portland, Maine they had an oil spill—not my fault, but the DJ on the local radio station severely chastised the Brits for contaminating their beautiful beaches and coastline. I heard Dan Fogelberg’s song shortly after that and felt a pang of guilt hearing this lovely description of lobster fishing in Maine.—Richard

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