This is the legend of eight sisters, Herald was the famous one
It happened twenty years ago although the sea was calm
It was 1987 and winter nearly gone
On that Friday running late with rolling off and rolling on

Trucks and cars were sleeping door by door and side by side
Someone had to close the back door
That day it must have slipped his mind
He was fast asleep in his cabin, tired from cleaning out the hall
While passengers were eating, indulging duty-free-for-all

Herald of Free Enterprise
Herald of Free Enterprise
Herald of Free Enterprise
In just ninety seconds, right down to the wire

Sailing with the doors wide open so the waves kept pouring in
As they passed the Outer Mole the disaster could begin
A hundred yards from the shore right outside a Belgian port
The lights went out the ship turned around and fell to starboard
Then nothing but silence, silence and the cold
Herald and her sisters never fit the mold

Two months later she was refloated a final one-way trip exchange
Pensioned off into the Thirld World
Where they named her Flushing Range
But in '88 she broke in two, probably because of guilt
Pride and Spirit changed their names
They were all doomed since they were built

This is the legend of eight sisters, Herald was the famous one
It happened twenty years ago although the sea was calm
I was just a boy then, holding daddy's hands
Watching on tv how Herald's time came to an end


Lyrics submitted by beschesch

Herald Of Free Enterprise song meanings
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  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is about the sinking of the ship "Herald of Free Enterprise". The ship was a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ferry.

    "This is the legend of eight sisters, Herald was the famous one"
    There were eight accidents of RORO-ships:
    * Princess Victoria in 1953 killing 132 people.
    * SS Heraklion in 1966 with over 200 deaths
    * the Wahine disaster in 1968 with 52 deaths.
    * Herald of Free Enterprise in 1987 killing 193 people.
    * Jan Heweliusz in 1993 killing 55 people.
    * Estonia in 1994 killing 852 people.
    * Express Samina in 2000 killing 80 people
    * al-Salam Boccaccio 98 in 2006 killing almost 1000 people.
    The Herald-accident was the most famous one.

    "It was 1987 and winter nearly gone"
    The accident happened on the night of 6 March 1987.

    "Someone had to close the back door
    That day it must have slipped his mind
    He was fast asleep in his cabin,"
    Before dropping moorings, it was normal practice for a member of the crew, the Assistant Bosun, to close the doors; the First Officer also remained on deck to ensure they were closed before returning to the wheel house. To keep on schedule, the First Officer returned to the wheelhouse before the ship dropped its moorings leaving closing of the doors the responsibility of the Assistant Bosun, Mark Stanley. Mark Stanley had taken a short break after cleaning the car deck upon arrival at Zeebrugge. He had returned to his cabin and was still asleep when the ship dropped its moorings. The captain could only assume that the doors had been closed since he could not see them from the wheel house due to their construction and had no indicator lights in the wheelhouse. (wikipedia)

    "Two months later she was refloated a final one-way trip exchange
    Pensioned off into the Thirld World
    Where they named her Flushing Range"
    It was planed to repair the ship and sell it, but since no buyer came forward to retain the ship, it was renamed "Flushing Range" and shipped to Taiwan.

    "But in '88 she broke in two, probably because of guilt"
    On the trip to Taiwan, at the bay of Biscay the steel ropes that connected the "Flushing Range" to the towboat broke apart leaving the ship guideless on the ocean.

    "Pride and Spirit changed their names"
    The two sister-ships: Spirit of Free Enterprise and Pride of Free Enterprise changed their names to Pride of Kent and Pride of Burges after the accident



    bescheschon January 27, 2009   Link

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