I saw a ship a-sailing, a-sailing, a-sailing, With emeralds and rubies and sapphires in her hold; And a bosun in a blue coat bawling at the railing, Piping a silver call that had a chain of gold; The summer wind was failing and the tall ship rolled. I saw a ship a-steering, a-steering, a-steering, With roses in red thread worked upon her sails; With sacks of purple amethysts, the spoils of buccaneering, Skins of musky yellow wine, and silks in bales, Her merry men were cheering, hauling on the brails. I saw a ship a-sinking, a-sinking, a-sinking, With glittering sea-water splashing on her decks, With seamen in her spirit-room singing songs and drinking, Pulling claret bottles down, and knocking off the necks, The broken glass was chinking as she sank among the wrecks.
About the headline (FAQ)
- by John Masefield (1878 - 1967), "An old song re-sung", appears in Ballads and Poems, first published 1910 [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Tom Dobson (1890 - 1918), "An old song re-sung", published 1916 [voice and piano], from Three Songs [text not verified]
- by Henry Balfour Gardiner (1877 - 1950), "An old song re-sung", published 1920. [satb chorus a cappella] [text not verified]
- by Ralph Greaves (1889 - 1966), "Yellow wine", c1926 [voice and piano], note: may be wrong text [text not verified]
- by Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884 - 1920), "An old song re-sung", A. 56 (1918), published 1920 [voice and piano], from Two Poems by John Masefield, no. 1. [text verified 1 time]
- by Frederick John Easthope Martin (1882 - 1925), "An old song re-sung", published 1919 [medium voice and piano], from Five Poems by John Masefield [text not verified]
- by Ramsay Pennicuick (? - 1968), "I saw a ship a-sailing", published 1921. [voice and piano] [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Ted Perry
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 15
Word count: 133