The Tugboat Song
This song was written in 1979 by Inge Wessels about her experiences as a tugboat cook on Puget Sound and BC waters, and recorded on the 1981 Folkways record ‘Sea Music of Many Lands: The Pacific Heritage’. On the Smithsonian Folkways site, you can hear an audio sample of Inge singing her song.
Gold River is on Vancouver Island. Inge Wessels was working on tugs operating out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Cape Scott is at the extreme northwestern end of Vancouver Island, a rough coastline of sea stacks and big trees.
You can read Inge Wessels’ notes about the song at the Folkways web site.
Inge Wessels moved to San Franciso, where she recorded this song. She was well known on the waterfront for many years as a puppeteer. Sadly, she passed away in April 2010, shortly before we decided to record her song for this CD.
We really wanted to record Tugboat Bromberg for this CD, since on account of his nickname, the CD would be incomplete without him. Due to the shortage of tugboat songs, Chris was having trouble finding a song for him, until Mary Garvey located this gem, which is better known in the Bay area than it is in the Northwest. Tugboat Bromberg was initially reluctant to take on the song, since his voice and singing style could not be farther from that of Inge Wessels. He was persuaded by Chris Glanister to give it a try, and he has succeeded brilliantly in creating his own version of the song.
- Words and music by Inge Wessels
- Recorded at ShoeString Studios, Edmonds, WA
- Performed by Tugboat Bromberg
- Lead vocal & guitar: Tugboat Bromberg