kiss my ass, i bought a boat, i'm going out to sea
December 21, 2010 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Looking to put together a list of songs about sailing and/or boats...but that aren't really about sailing and/or boats.

I'm putting together a playlist of songs that evoke sailing, the ocean, captains, etc, but that aren't, strictly speaking, straight up about these things.

Examples:
The Raconteurs / Steady As She Goes
Night Ranger / Sister Christian ("We're motoring...")
Grand Funk Railroad / I'm Your Captain
Grateful Dead / Ship of Fools
Bob Dylan / Bob Dylan's 115th Dream
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young / Wooden Ships
CSNY / Southern Cross
Queen / '39
Lyle Lovett / If I Had A Boat

Make sense?

(Also, dear as he is, please no Jimmy Buffett, and no Gordon Lightfoot...you know which song I'm talking about)
posted by zap rowsdower to Media & Arts (49 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
M Ward's Big Boat
posted by phelixshu at 2:15 PM on December 21, 2010


Hmmm, I might be doing this wrong, 'cause in context it's not straight about sailing, but alone it seems that way, so ymmv: I'd Rather Be Sailing (From Finn's A New Brain).

Well, and there is of course Led Zeppelin's The Ocean.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:21 PM on December 21, 2010


A bit of a stretch, but seeing as you got all the ones I would normally name... Volitare, and the "U.S.S. Make Shit Up" - a parody of Star Trek, of course.
posted by GJSchaller at 2:23 PM on December 21, 2010


World Party, "Ship of Fools"
The Sex Pistols, "Friggin' in the Rigging" (very much NSFW; I cannot believe my parents managed to allow me to listen to this at age 14 without saying something or yanking it off my turntable)
Adam and the Ants, "Jolly Roger" (might be too literal; it's about pirates and pirate ships)
Split Enz, "Six Months in a Leaky Boat"
Madness, "Night Boat to Cairo"
XTC, "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul"
David Bowie, "Red Sails"
Echo and the Bunnymen, "Seven Seas"
The Style Council, "It's a Very Deep Sea"
posted by scody at 2:24 PM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


God help me, but the first thing that came to mind was Garth Brooks's "The River":

I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I'll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
'Til the river runs dry

***

Points for the Lyle reference!
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:27 PM on December 21, 2010


also,
Archers of Loaf Chumming the Oceans
posted by phelixshu at 2:28 PM on December 21, 2010


Caetano Veloso - The Empty Boat. Here's Chrissy Hynde's version.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:31 PM on December 21, 2010




Joanna Newsom "Bridges and Balloons"
Dead Weather "Will there be enough water"
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 2:32 PM on December 21, 2010


Interpol, "Take you on a cruise"
posted by Cogito at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2010


May partially qualify: Jimmy Webb and Mark Knopfler - The Highwayman. This particular version is a great duet.

I was a sailor
And I was born upon the tide
And with the sea I did abide
I sailed a schooner 'round the horn of Mexico
I went aloft to furl the mainsail in a blow
And when the yards broke off they say that I got killed
But I am living still
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:37 PM on December 21, 2010


The Sloppy John B isn't about a boat? It's a pretty literal description of fishing if you ask me.

C'Mon Sea Legs by Immaculate Machine.
posted by fshgrl at 2:47 PM on December 21, 2010


"Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image
"Brandy" by Looking Glass
"Ship of Fools" by The Doors
"Sailing" by Christopher Cross
"Sea Cruise" by Huey "Piano" Smith/Frankie Ford/Beach Boys/take your pick
"Good Morning Captain" by Slint
"Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin
posted by heatvision at 2:50 PM on December 21, 2010


"kiss my ass, i bought a boat, i'm going out to sea"

Keep a copy of the Navy Hymn (Eternal Father, strong to save) handy, and a weather eye out, sailor. And Anchors Aweigh!
posted by paulsc at 2:51 PM on December 21, 2010


"Sailing" by Christopher Cross (great tune)
posted by StUdIoGeEk at 2:51 PM on December 21, 2010


Everything on Procol Harum's A Salty Dog is more or less about the sea, sailing, oceans, etc. Also, their song, Whaling Stories, off of Home, or, better the live version off of Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 2:54 PM on December 21, 2010


The water is wide (trad)
Christopher Cross Sailing
Styx Come Sail Away
Great blog - 10 fave sailing songs
posted by theora55 at 2:57 PM on December 21, 2010


There are several Decemberists songs that fit this description: "From My Own True Love (Lost at Sea)," "The Mariner's Revenge Song," "Shanty for the Arethusa" to name a few.

fshgrl: that's "Sloop John B," by the Beach Boys.
posted by hootenatty at 3:01 PM on December 21, 2010


Alan Jackson "Drive"

It's about a boat on a lake, but these lists usually lack cheesy country music songs so there you go!
posted by vincele at 3:08 PM on December 21, 2010


20 comments in, and nobody's already tossed out Yellow Submarine?

I feel old, like an Ancient Mariner...
posted by paulsc at 3:22 PM on December 21, 2010


Rock The Boat - The Hues Corporation
posted by amyms at 3:51 PM on December 21, 2010


"Why Should I Cry For You?", Sting
"Learning to Row," The Raphaels
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:03 PM on December 21, 2010


Empty Frame, Brian Eno/John Cale (bonus! rhythm based on sea shanties!)

The Ship Song, Nick Cave

Sail Across the Water, Jane Siberry
posted by vers at 4:48 PM on December 21, 2010


Martha's Harbour, All About Eve; and Sailing by Rod Stewart.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 5:03 PM on December 21, 2010


I hesitated on this one because it is so personal, but it is also the epitome of boatness to me... one of the most beautiful songs.

Orpheus, David Sylvian

There's no "pog mo thoin" in it, though.
posted by vers at 5:08 PM on December 21, 2010


When The Ship Comes In, Bob Dylan

Also, Boots of Spanish Leather might qualify
posted by Right On Red at 5:16 PM on December 21, 2010


Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel
posted by LyndsayMW at 5:30 PM on December 21, 2010


I know its by the Beach Boys. Ever worked on a fishing boat? It's a pretty accurate description!

Downeaster Alexander is explicitly about boats, lobstering boats off Long Island to be exact. I don't think its metaphorical.
posted by fshgrl at 5:35 PM on December 21, 2010


Stan Rogers, "The Mary Ellen Carter."

It's kind of really about a boat. But about more too.
posted by Jeanne at 5:53 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if fshgrl is subtly trolling this thread or not, but the Billy Joel song is Downeaster Alexa.

If Sloop John B is too literal for you, OP, check out John Allyn Smith Sails by Okkervil River; it borrows heavily from Sloop John B but is decidedly not about sailing.
posted by telegraph at 6:14 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Boat Dreams From the Hill by Jawbreaker.
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:29 PM on December 21, 2010


The Fitz was not sailin', laddie. She was workin'.
posted by yclipse at 6:34 PM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Try Patty Griffin's "Rowing Song" (lots of covers, no youtub'd originals):

"As I row, row, row
Going so slow, slow, slow
Just down below me is the old sea
Just down below me is the old sea"

But you've already got the best boat song in the whole miserable world: "Kiss my ass. I bought a boat, I'm going out to sea."
posted by booth at 6:35 PM on December 21, 2010


Boat metaphors. Hmm, I'll try.

Descendents - Catalina (lyrics)
Iron Maiden - Rime of the Ancient Mariner (lyrics) - possibly disqualified by the Captain Rule.
posted by rhizome at 6:47 PM on December 21, 2010


Jewel's "I Will Go Down With This Ship."
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:22 PM on December 21, 2010


re-reading the question, I withdraw the Jewel suggestion! In no way does she evoke sailing... she just has the metaphor. Sorry!
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:23 PM on December 21, 2010


Tennis - "Marathon"

Watch out - it's insanely catchy if you're at all into that girl group-inspired indie sound.
posted by pinetree at 7:42 PM on December 21, 2010


Not trolling, just a victim of auto correct! And also I read the OPs question where they said they specifically were not looking for songs that are really about boats, which those two pretty much are.
posted by fshgrl at 8:13 PM on December 21, 2010


I know its by the Beach Boys.

That rendition is by the Beach Boys, but the song is much older. Do check out the version Lomax recorded.

One of the most touching and beautiful sea songs I know of is Phil Ochs' Pleasures of the Harbor
posted by Miko at 8:18 PM on December 21, 2010


"Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison
"Wave of Mutilation" by the Pixies
"Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel
"Down by the Seaside" by Led Zeppelin
posted by foxhat10 at 8:43 PM on December 21, 2010


Split Enz, "Six Months in a Leaky Boat"

If I can plug a friend's band, here's an unhurried cover by Winechuggers.

Bad Brains - Sailin' On
Electrelane - At Sea
posted by hydrophonic at 9:41 PM on December 21, 2010


"Ship Of Fools" - Robert Plant
posted by SisterHavana at 9:58 PM on December 21, 2010


I'll add Enya's "Orinoco Flow" and the Waterboys "This is the Sea".
posted by Kakkerlak at 10:40 PM on December 21, 2010


The Voyage - Christy Moore
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:46 PM on December 21, 2010


Sailing Ships by Whitesnake
Brandi You're a Fine Girl by Looking Glass
Cool Change by The Little River Band
Rock Me On the Water by Jackson Browne
The Water is Wide - (traditional, and about rowed boats, not sail boats, but I like Karla Bonhoff's version)
posted by paulsc at 4:59 AM on December 22, 2010


Julie with... by Brian Eno.
posted by OmieWise at 5:21 AM on December 22, 2010


"Subbacultcha" by The Pixies on Trompe Le Monde
posted by vincele at 5:04 PM on December 22, 2010


Van Morrison and the Chieftains, "Carrickfergus."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:54 PM on December 22, 2010


Thanks to everyone! Here's the list I went with:

The Decemberists – Down by the Water
Elvis Costello – Ship of Fools
The Long Island Philharmonic – The Ocean
The Band – Get Up Jake
Archers of Loaf – Chumming the Ocean
Night Ranger – Sister Christian
Queen – ’39
The Raconteurs – Steady As She Goes
Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream
Procol Harum – A Salty Dog
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Southern Cross
Jimmy Webb & Mark Knopfler – The Highwayman
Little Feat – Sailing Shoes
Grand Funk Railroad – I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home
The Style Council – It’s a Very Deep Sea
Lyle Lovett – If I Had a Boat

...a lot of your other suggestions have made it into my personal playlist. Awesome stuff!
posted by zap rowsdower at 11:25 AM on December 23, 2010


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