Ellen Vannen Tragedy

Melody -

Snaefell Tynwald, Ben-my-Chree,
Fourteen ships have sailed the sea.
Each one bearing a Manx name,
But there's one will never again. Chorus:
Oh Ellen Vannen,
Of the Isle of Man Company,
Oh Ellen Vannen,
Lost in the Irish Sea.

2. At One a.m. in Ramsey Bay,
Captain Teare was heard to say,
Our contract says Deliver the mail.
In this rough weather we must not fail.

3. Ocean Liners sheltered from the storm,
Ellen Vannen on the waves was born.
Her holds were full and battened down,
As she sailed towards far Liverpool town.

4. With a crew of twenty-one Manxmen,
Her passengers Liverpool business men;
Farewell to Mona's Isle farewell,
This little ship was bound for hell.

5. Less than a mile from the Bar lightship,
By a mighty wave Ellen Vannen was hit.
She sank in the waters of Liverpool Bay,
And there she lies until this day.

6. You Manxmen now remember,
The third day of the month December,
Of a terrible storm in Nineteen Nine,
Ellen Vannen sailed for the very last time.

Written and performed by Hughie Jones of the now disbanded "Spinners". Hughie is still around the folk scene performing as a solo artist. The song tells the story of an Isle of Man packet ship that was lost in a storm in 1909 whilst almost within sight of Liverpool. Ellen Vannen is the Manx Gaelic name for the Isle of Man and "Mona's Isle" as mentioned in the lyrics is also an alternative local name for the Isle of Man - with thanks to David Earl for this lyric and information.

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