Friday, January 28, 1972

Ballad of the Ship of State

Is this ship going home?
Will you take some old young men for crew?
We left our flag in tatters,
Where it fell along the shore.
They said a flag´s what matters,
But nothing matters anymore.
´Cause you're ten years overdue, ten years.

Do you have some room within your hold.
For some friends of ours, who won't be growing old?
Why won't you answer us? Why aren't we told?
Is this ship going home?

     Listen all of you, shut up and listen to me!
     You don't have to shout, we hear you.
     You don't have to wave, we see.
     It's just that we're very surprised,
     To find you alive.
     We were told there was nothing going on,
     And that all of you'd gone.'

Is this ship going home?
You must have room, we are so few.
Ten years we've stood here waiting,
For a ship to hove in view.
We will have no more of waiting,
Tell the captain, tell the crew,
That they're ten years overdue, ten years.

     Listen all of you, shut up and listen to me.
     The captain is locked in his quarters.
     He's busy and can't be disturbed,
     And as for the crew,
     I'd watch out, were I you,
     For we can't keep their appetites curbed,
     No, we can't keep their appetites curbed.

Is this ship going...

     Please, please, get up off your knees,
     You must see it's better this way
     You were such doughty fellows,
     While fighting the yellows
     That they might even ask you to stay,
     Yes, they might even ask you to stay.
     Don't you get the idea?
     You're much better off here.
     You're not welcome at home anymore,
     'Cause we're all so bored with the war.
     Cast off, Mister Mate!


Is this ship going home?

Notes

A wonderful showcase of Ackles' ability to incorporate multiple voices in a single song, to great dramatic and ironic effect.

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