Steve Forbert – Oil Song lyrics

June 20, 2007

Someone wanted to know the lyrics to The Oil Song by Steve Forbert. This is my interpretation of the version on The Best of. Unfortunately, it’s one of those songs that keeps getting verses added to live – please let me know if you hear any others. I heard one that had the punchline “The Exxon Valdez wrecked itself, I suppose” and another about Palestine’s oil reserves being bombed and the “Mediterranean tourism buzz” being “not what it wuz”.

“Oh, the engine’s gone dead!” cried the men who were there
As she passed up the dock on the wide Delaware

Then the ship ran aground and the oil got away
And they did not report the big spill on that day

It was hundreds of thousands of gallons galore
Stretching 32 miles down the Delaware shore

There were geese in the marshes out looking for food
They got stuck where they stood in the oncoming crude

And it’s oil, oil, drifting to the sea
Oil! Oil! Don’t buy it at the station, you can have it now for free
Just come on over to the shoreline where the water used to be

In the well-charted waters of the Nantucket shoals
Was a ship run aground, full of oil we were told

In a week’s worth of rough winter weather and waves,
The boat started cracking and it could not be saved

It was 7.6 million gallons this time
Consider the danger and think of the crime

As it poured out a slick stretching into the tide
Over 100 miles, it came deep, it came wide

And it’s oil! oil! Pouring in the sea
Oil! Oil! Don’t buy it at the station, you can have it now for free
Just come on over to the shoreline where the water used to be

There was talk of some writing found in the ship’s log
Saying one of the helmsmen’s unfit for his job

And the ship’s gyrocompass was six degrees shy
Their charts were outdated but they tried to get by

And it’s oil! oil! Pouring in the sea
Oil! Oil! Don’t buy it at the station, you can have it now for free
Just come on down to the shoreline where the water used to be

Now both of these ships, like a great many more
Got registered in through Liberian doors

Inspections are quick and regulations are few
Just sign on the line and go find you a crew

One of these ships was the Olympic Games
The Argo Merchant was the other one’s name

Well it’s sad but it’s true, things got worse for the seas
So I ain’t even mentioned Amoco Cadiz

Amoco Cadiz between England and France
The big supertanker out there taking its chance

With 100,000 black tonnes of the slime
Amoco Cadiz spilt the most of all time!

And it’s oil! oil! Creeping in the sea
Oil! Oil! Don’t buy it at the station, you can have it now for free
Just come on down to the shoreline where the water used to be

Now down in the Gulf, east of Mexico way
There’s something gone wrong, so the papers all say

A Mexican oil well is leaking its goo
They say it’s the worst things have ever come to

Yes, it’s gallons of sludge, 60 million and more
It’s cruising and oozing toward many a shore

Yes, things have got bad but they’ll probably get worse
If you can’t drink the oil then you might die of thirst

Because it’s oil! oil! And it’s creeping in the sea
Oil! Oil! Don’t buy it at the station, you can have it now for free
Just come on down to the shoreline where the water used to be.

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2 Responses to “Steve Forbert – Oil Song lyrics”

  1. steve Says:

    New verse added after recent oil spill (from steveforbert.com):

    A barge full of oil hit a tanker last night,
    If there’s some good news, the tanker’s allright;
    The barge broke in half and so old New Orleans
    Is home to what broadcasting teams call a “sheen”.
    The riverwalk path is a-funk now with fumes,
    The Coastguard keeps rollin’ out red plastic booms
    To block off the spill and contain it …(good luck!)
    Four hundred thousand thick gallons of muck…

  2. kensson Says:

    Great stuff, Steve, thanks very much!


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