Steamin' up from Ketchican
Smell the diesel comin' in
Sister helps to trim the sail
As Father Michael gives the wheel a spin.
All the cabins empty out
Down towards the harbor pier.
Molly holds her new boy up,
Says, "He'll need christenin' while you're here."
Been a long cold winter
And now it's finally come an end.
St. Jude knows, we ain't had nothin' new to read
Since I don't know when.
So welcome the Ave Maria
Sail in the Ave Maria
Tie off the Ave Maria
Before my soul floats away
Mission boats' been dockin' here
Since they struck gold up the Chilcutt Trail
Brings the Jesuit mariners
Every spring thaw without fail.
Daniel's gramma, native-born
Been holdin' on until this day,
Fadin', waitin' for the holy words,
So she can now be on her way.
Sister gathers up the children
For some schoolin' and some prayers
As so often through his servants
He shows how much He cares.
Rachel's pa from over Sitka
Said we could marry come the Spring.
Her kisses draw me like the compass,
Set my eyes to shivering.
I been seeing Father Michael
Makin' the two of us as one
All through this hot and heavy winter
And finally now thy will be done.
There are harbors that protect us
And their boats against the tide.
And there are boats that bless their harbors
With the faith of those inside.