A young apprentice in the prime of his time, on the way to self-made.
On a joumey like his daddy before; his cousin, John Rogers, by his side;
With no idea of the future in store, his sights on the great divide.
He was just another man in a land of hopes and dreams,
With his work gloves and boots, long sleeve denim shirt and blue jeans.
Full of promise and hope, he got on the boat, he was feelin’ like one of a team,
He was ready to go – Captain Sean did row.
On just the third day on the job, a gas leak in a middle school,
A wall of flames shootin’ out of a valve; they lacked the proper safety tool.
With his skin on fire as time stood still, he screamed with all his breath.
He bolted for the door just ahead of the kill, one exhale from his death.
The only thing he remembers is the screams from John Rogers inside.
At the time he didn’t know his role model and cousin had died.
They put him in ice and doused the flames; the medics and ambulance came.
Some were prayin’ as they – took Captain Sean away.
In the bum unit he could smell his own flesh, as they scrambled to save his life.
His eyes swelled shut, the pain drivin’ him nuts, they read him his ‘last rites.’
For eight long weeks he defied the odds, cheatin’ death at every turn.
When he saw his face he cursed his God, his body so badly burned.
With no emotion left for the death that was swirling around;
He thought it was the end as his world came crashing down.
But then a nurse said “Sean, you should’ve been dead; it’s a miracle you’re still around .
“The struggle’s just begun.” – So Captain Sean moved on.
With his freedom of choices taken away, his future looked a wreck.
Inside a mask, with no identity or past, he lost all his self-respect.
He left his home and city, consumed in self-pity; a boulder on his shoulders sat;
A half a million miles of drinkin’ and drugs, fightin’ anyone his eyes met.
He took his family and his friends on it ride through his own little hell.
Nothing gave him comfort or refuge from the emptiness he felt.
Then one day as he studied away and stared at the cards he was dealt
The nightmare broke – Captain Sean awoke.
It was late that night in the flash of a light when his life took a different track.
The person in the mirror got a whole lot clearer, and said “it’s time to give something back.
Wiithout a word spoken, the door flew open; he saw something bigger than him.
From deep in his heart he felt like the parts had all come together again.
Underneath the fear, the veneer of his damaged skin,
He saw the duty and the beauty that was truly inside of him.
Then all the nitty-gritty of his self-imposed pity disappeared in the wind
And just like that – Captain Sean was back!
These days Captain Sean works and spends his time showing others where he went.
Telling the story with all the pain and the glory, the journey of his accident.
Proud to be alive, and how he survived and rose from the clutches of hell.
If he can just save one from the injury gun, he knows that he’s done well.
Talkin’ up the union and the history of the victories it’s won;
Proud to be a Steamfitter, not a quitter in the battles to come;
One of the hard luck cases, he wouldn’t trade place with you or me or anyone.
And that’s a fact – Captain Sean is back !