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(brooker / reid)

'all hands on deck, we've run afloat!' I heard the captain cry
'explore the ship, replace the cook: let no one leave alive!'
Across the straits, around the horn: how far can sailors fly?
A twisted path, our tortured course, and no one left alive

We sailed for parts unknown to man, where ships come home to die
No lofty peak, nor fortress bold, could match our captain's eye
Upon the seventh seasick day we made our port of call
A sand so white, and sea so blue, no mortal place at all

We fired the gun, and burnt the mast, and rowed from ship to shore
The captain cried, we sailors wept: our tears were tears of joy
Now many moons and many junes have passed since we made land
A salty dog, this seaman's log: your witness my own hand



Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/p/procol_harum/a_salty_dog.html

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  • U
    +1
    UnregisteredJun 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm
    Clearly the sailors have entered the afterlife, the clues are all there: "no one left alive", "where ships come home to die", then they arrive at "no mortal place at all" (a paradise of white sand and blue sea) where they remain for many moons and junes (eternity). Crossing into the afterlife via boat is encountered in greek, egyptian and other mythologies. This is a brilliant set of lyrics.
  • b
    bigrocketsApr 19, 2010 at 6:48 pm
    To me this song isn't some cryptic message of life, it's just a seaman's tale. There are lots of stories about sailing ships, some pretty fantastic, but all seem to have a general kind of haunting thread about them at least to me.
    One of my favorite poems is The Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner. Multi-page poem that runs along in the same genre as this song. Procal Harum is one of my favorite bands that had enough courage to publish songs like this back in the days when every other band was singing about LSD trips.

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