The Blizzard of 78 - February 6, 1978


Illustration by Jon Waterman

The Blizzard of '78 reached Boston on a Monday morning, Feb. 6, and lasted until evening the following day. Meteorologists had correctly predicted a major winter storm, but because of the inconsistent accuracy of forecasting at the time, many didn't take the warnings as seriously as they should have. The snow accumulated rapidly on the roads causing cars and trucks to spin out. Tractor trailers jackknifed on two major highways causing backups that left motorists stranded in their cars. Fifty-four died in Boston and Providence, some being asphyxiated in their cars when snow piled up and blocked the exhaust pipes while they were stuck in the backed up traffic. Throughout the northeast around 100 lives were lost in the storm.

 

Blizzard of '78 - Jon Waterman

It was a cold February in Boston
When the winter wind started to blow
And the weathermen warned
Of an oncoming storm
That would blanket the city in snow

The storm started late Monday morning
And it kept snowing for 3 days straight
And during that time
Fifty four people died
In the Blizzard of '78

Most everyone left their jobs early
On the day that the snowstorm began
But they found that the roads
Had been covered by snow
And the goin' was slower than planned

Then a truck overturned on the highway
And alas, 'twas a cruel twist of fate
For those who were stuck
Behind that flipped over truck
In the Blizzard of '78

In the Blizzard of '78
People sat in their cars on route 128
They were headed for home
Where they'd be safe and warm
But they never got out of that terrible storm

Now the traffic is murder in Boston,
Tis a fact few would dare to dispute
It takes guts and guile
To move just a mile
When making that hellish commute

And when that terrible storm hit the city
With a wrath none could anticipate
The drivers all cursed
And swore they'd never seen worse
Then the Blizzard of '78

In the Blizzard of '78
People sat in their cars on route 128
They were giving the finger
And honking their horns
But they never got out of that terrible storm

The traffic was backed up for miles
And oh, what a sad way to go
For those who were lost
Poisoned when their exhaust
pipes were blocked by the ice and the snow

Imagine the poor souls that perished
Frustrated, annoyed and irate
To eternity damned
By the big traffic jam
In the Blizzard of '78

In the Blizzard of '78
People died in their cars on route 128
They were giving the finger
And honking their horns
But they never got out of that terrible storm
No they never got out of that terrible storm
�2009 Jon Waterman

Recording Info:
Jon Waterman- Vocal and Guitar
Kirsten Manville- Backing Vocal
Adam Zampino- Piano
Chris Paglia- Bass
Henry Churbuck- Drums

It might seem strange to deal with a disaster in a slightly humorous way, but the combination isn't all that uncommon- sometimes being used to illustrate the absurd, as in The Johnstown Flood by Joseph Flynn, and sometimes to make a social statement, as in The Titanic by Leadbelly. For more on this, see the Q&A section.

 


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