Ledge-End of the Fiddler
© 1988 Nick Apollonio, Soulstice Music
Nick says "I wrote this down as it came to me out of a memory, from when I was quite young, of someone telling me about the origin of the Fiddler's Ledge name… it's a granite obelisk at the entrance to the Fox Islands Thorofare. Don't know how old it is, but the story goes that a local fiddler who was popular in the community was sailing home under the influence one night and pile up on the ledge before there was a marker there. According to the teller (who probably liked to scare kids with ghost stories) one can still hear him fiddling there on foggy nights. The tune comes from a lumberjack song The Jam on Gerry's Rocks. The Drunkard mentioned in the song is another ledge to the West of the Fiddler. A pinky is a doubled-ended type of sailing vessel with an odd stern extension, usually schooner rig, that developed on this coast in the late 1700s."
Gordon says "I heard a similar story a foreign vessel that piled up on that particular patch of knobs, but since it has now become a song we'll call this history."
Gordon – 12-string guitar (built by Nick Apollonio)
Come hear my tale, you mariners who sail Penobscot Bay
You know the granite monument that's visible by day
At the entrance of the thorofare that feeds North Haven town
It marks the ledge where long ago a young fiddling Tom was drowned.
Now Tom was a friend to one and all and a fiddler second to none
And a sailor too, but most of all he loved his jug of rum
And when the fire was in his bow and the musd was in his eye
Folks would flock from field and farm to hear the fiddler's fingers fly.
Now the fiddler and Jim Brown set out on the thirty-first of May
To play the dance at Rockland thirteen miles across the bay
With the wind southeast on the sunlit sea their pinky skipped along
Their hearts were full as the rising moon and the air was full of song.
Well they jigged and reeled till the midnight hour and the dance was winding down
Outside they heard the southwest wind singing a different sound
But the boys were full and they must get home so they up and hoisted sail
Two drunks alone on the bay at night in a rising southwest gale.
Well the reach was fast to the mid-bay bell and the fog was closing 'round
Two miles more on the starboard side they heard the Drunkard sound
So the half tide ledge off Stand In Point was all that barred their way
From the homeward run through the thorofare in the dark before the day.
Well the bow stuck hard and it tossed them out on the seaweed covered stone
There they stood in the pounding spray, half drenched and all alone
They yelled for help from the near-by point, they sang and cried and swore
And the fiddler bowed one final reel for he knew he'd sail no more.
All they found in the morning light was the empty case and bow
And late that year they built their friends a monument in stone
But still they say on moonlit nights in the early part of June
You can hear in the fog the sound of the fiddler playing his lonesome tune.