When the World Drops In to Town

A song celebrating the people of Gander, Newfoundland & Labrador in Canada who helped close to 7,000 stranded airline passengers after September 11, 2001. The story of Gander and the surrounding towns has been immortalized in the Broadway show, "Come From Away." The song is written in a Celtic/Newfoundland style. This song features the use of an "Ugly Stick", a traditional Newfoundland percussion instrument.

This song is dedicated to my spouse Marly's parents, Isaac and Sybil who were a part of the crew who helped the plane people in Gander through their involvement in the Anglican church. It could be used in services of worship as an example of human kindness, how goodness can prevail in the most desperate situations or in memorials to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Click here to watch the sea shanty version on YouTube, or here to watch the original video.

Click here to see and download the lyrics.

Click here to see and download a lyrics and chords version.

Click here to download a Chordpro version.

Click here to preview or purchase the lead sheet through Sheet Music Plus.

Click here to listen to the sea shanty version on Apple Music, or here to listen to the original version.

Click here to listen to the sea shanty version on Spotify, or here to listen to the original version.

Thanks to Anthony Panacci of Trax Ahead Studio for the mixing and mastering of the original version! www.panaccimusic.com

WHEN THE WORLD DROPS IN TO TOWN Words and music by David Kai ©2020

On the 11th of September, in a quiet little town

In a place that they call Newfoundland, all the planes were coming down

Just how many were arriving, it was hard to know or tell

In a quiet town in Newfoundland on the day the towers fell.

With ten thousand waiting on the ground, seven thousand on their way

The schools and halls and churches were preparing for their stay

And not only in Gander, but in places all around

‘Cause you’ve got to pull together when the world drops into town.

Chorus: So raise a glass to them, let’s sing a song to cheer

For all the workers, cooks and clerks, for all the volunteers

Who showed such kindness, who stepped up when chips were down

‘Cause you’ve got to pull together when the world drops into town

All the stores they opened up their doors, the supplies, how fast they flew!

“Take it all to help the plane people, it’s the least that we can do!”

Aunt Winnie baked two dozen of her partridgeberry pies

She said, “I think those plane people will be in for some surprise!”

So the people were all settled, and much to their delight

There were home-cooked meals and showers in homes, even trips to see the sights

Though they came from countries ‘round the world, they did seem to all fit in

And in kitchen parties here and there, new found friends were being screeched in.


Soon the skies, they were reopened, just a week and they were gone

Though the planes took off into the skies all the memories lingered on

For what they all remember, and what’s talked of to this day

Is how townsfolk cared for people who had come from far away.

So let’s sing and let’s be thankful, for each and every one

Who showed us how to live together in the year two-thousand one,

Let’s celebrate their kindness, for we never will forget,

That in Newfoundland a stranger’s just a friend you haven’t met.