Index of Lyrics
Ida Lewis

as led by Barry Finn on Fathom This © 2007
Barry Finn and Neil Downey

Words by Barry Finn © 1997; traditional tune Turkey Rhubarb

Ida Lewis left Newport at the age of fifteen,
Moved onto Lime Light Rock in the eighteen-fifties;
Her father was a captain, now keeper of the light;
Soon the duties fell on Ida to keep the lamps burning bright.

Her sisters and brother she'd row to school every day,
In a small open lifeboat across the rough bay;
From his wheelchair her father would watch through the storms
In horror as Ida would row the children back home.

Renowned for her skills no matter the weather;
At swimming or rowing no man was her better;
At the age of sixteen she had saved four men's lives;
By the time she retired she had saved twenty-five.

There are saints on the water and demons in the sea;
One and all they praised Ida for her great bravery;
The very night this woman died, who had lived on the shoals,
Every bell on every boat in Newport did toll.

Now they've renamed that rock the Ida Lewis Rock Light,
And in her honor today the lights are still burning bright;
But sometimes at night when it's rough and it's cold,
Some claim to see Ida pulling boys from the foam.

Barry learned about Ida Lewis's heroic life in the book Women Who Kept the Lights by Mary L. and J. Candace Clifford.