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The L​.​R. Doty (Stormy)

from The L​.​R. Doty (Single) by Testa Rosa



The song L.R. Doty is about a 300 ft steamship that sank near Milwaukee in 1898. As with many of her journeys, the Doty was towing a schooner barge that night, the Olive Jeanette. Suddenly, engulfed by a violent storm, the line between the two snapped and the L.R. Doty, one of the last giant wooden steamers of the Great Lakes, was never seen again. That is, until June of 2010, when Captain Jitka Hanakova and her team discovered her about 20 miles off of Oak Creek , WI. You can learn more about the discovery at www.ship-wreck.com/shipwreck/doty/.

This song was written for, and under the guidance, of Captain Hanakova. Testa Rosa enjoyed this song project so much, they wrote two versions: "The L.R. Doty" and "The L.R.Doty (Stormy Version)".


She was the greatest of beauties,
Born to sail over the sea

Great as the lake that she weathered
Chicago to Sault Saint Marie

Christened the L. R. Doty
Trailing column of steam
No one would doubt she was sturdy
In cold water she was the queen

Back in Chicago she readied
But she wasn't leaving alone
Olive Jeanette would sail with her
But only Olive Jeanette would come home

Ripped from the chains on her rudder
Into the wind she was thrown
30 foot waves pounded on her
Til suddenly she was alone

Ship cats Wadsworth and Dewey
Are climbing the backs of the men
And all I can feed them is coffee
But sea killed the burner again

Somewhere outside of Milwaukee
As I searched the waves for her a light
No where could I see the Doty
As she rolled over into the night

How can we go back without her
And when will this storm set us free
Seventeen souls are upon her
And I know they're waiting for me

I think the ships going down
It wasn't til now that I see
You'll never hold on to water
But now water holds on to me


from The L​.​R. Doty (Single), released January 1, 2007


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Testa Rosa Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Ever glance down at the speedometer and realize those cherries in the rear view really are for you? How could they know that heart-crushing pop music was to blame. Testa Rosa writes songs to make you remember love and forget the speed limit.

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