This song, taken from my fifth CD THE DEAD SWIM, was loosely inspired by the 1850 drowning of journalist and feminist Margaret Fuller. Closely associated with the American Transcendentalist Movement, Ms. Fuller, as critic and editor of the journal The Dial had the reputation of being the best-read person in New England. In 1844, she joined the staff of The New York Tribune and was returning from an assignment in Italy with her husband and small child, when her ship sank off the coast of Fire Island, New York. Upon hearing news of the tragedy, Henry David Thoreau traveled from Massachusetts to the scene of the accident hoping to recover her body. But neither she, nor the completed manuscript detailing her first-hand experience of the Italian Revolution which she carried with her on her voyage, was ever found.
So, in “Pulling Margaret From the Chowder” I succeeded where Thoreau failed by recovering and then resuscitating Margaret for three minutes and forty-two seconds. Just long enough for her to meld with the drowning metaphor of my own life at the time.