Nantucket Sleigh Ride lyrics by Mountain, 8 meanings. Nantucket Sleigh Ride explained, official 2019 song lyrics | LyricsMode.com
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Mountain – Nantucket Sleigh Ride lyrics
Goodbye, little Robin-Marie
Don't try following me
Don't cry, little Robin-Marie
'Cause you know I'm coming home soon

My ships' leaving on a three-year tour
The next tide will take us from shore
Windlaced, gather in sail and spray
On a search for the mighty sperm whale

Fly your willow branches
Wrap your body round my soul
Lay down your reeds and drums on my soft sheets
There are years behind us reaching
To the place where hearts are beating
And I know you're the last true love I'll ever meet
And I know you're the last true love I'll ever meet

Starbuck's sharpening his harpoon
The black man is playing his tune
An old salt's sleeping his watch away
He'll be drunk again before noon

Three years sailing on bended knee
We found no whales in the sea
Don't cry, little Robin-Marie
'Cause we'll be in sight of land soon

Fly your willow branches
Wrap your body round my soul
Lay down your reeds and drums on my soft sheets
There are years behind us reaching
To the place where hearts are beating
And I know you're the last true love I'll ever meet
And I know you're the last true love I'll ever meet
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Nantucket Sleigh Ride meanings Post my meaning

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    Unregistered
    Nantucket sleighride is dedicated to owen coffin who was cabin boy aboard the whaler essex, which was destroyed by a sperm whale in 1819. Owen ended up in the lifeboat with captain pollard, his uncle. Two other lifeboats also put out. During the next 3 - 4 months, the lifeboats separated. One was never seen again, but some of those on the remaining two boats were eventually rescued. During those long months at sea (and on desert islands), many of the men died. The remainder eventually had to resort to cannibalism to survive. After the dead of natural causes were consumed, the men determined to draw lots to see who would sacrifice his life for the others. Owen coffin 'won' the lottery. The captain tried to take owen's place, but the youth insisted on his 'right'. The executioner was also drawn by lot. That 'winner', another young man named charles ramsdell, also tried vainly to swap places with owen. Again he refused. Owen's body kept the others alive for ten days (captain pollard refused to eat his nephew). Another man died, and his body kept pollard and ramsdell alive a few more days until they were rescued.
    Read "in the heart of the sea" by nathaniel philbrick. The story of the essex was the direct inspiration for herman melville's "moby dick. "
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    Unregistered
    The references to willow, reeds and drum are probably basket making related. A Nantucket basket is a type of basket made in that region using willow and reeds weaved around a round former (drum).
    These are therefore activities for Robin-Marie in his absence.
    When not being worked on items could be placed on his empty bed (soft sheets). And at night she can cuddle his soul in the absence of his body?
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  • U
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    A Nantucket basket is a type of basket historically made in that region from willow and reeds using a round former (drum?). So the references to willow, reeds and drums therefore are probably basket-making related.
    The chorus therefore would refer to Robin-Marie making baskets in his absence. Items could be put down on his soft sheets (his empty bed) whilst she cuddles his soul (in the absence of his bod.
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  • c
    + 2
    Chris Welby
    I think you're wrong on windlaced, sorry. The reference is to the windlass, which is an alternative word for capstan, basically the sailors would fit bars to the capstan, and heave up the heavy anchor and chain by tramping round the capstan. Very often a song or sea shanty, would be sung, to ease the work along. It makes perfect sense, the next (ie outgoing) tide will take us from shore, (we'll use the) windlass (to raise the anchor), and as we head out to sea and meet the ocean swell, we'll gather salt and spray over the bow. .. . Read Alan Villiers "The Last Grain Race"; or read Dana, the classic "Two Years Before the Mast".
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  • s
    + 1
    Sticks
    Well packrat while I tend to believe that the Moby d*k references are correct the song is in fact also the story of & dedicated to Owen Coffin, & quite fascinating to say the least. My band is learning the number so I thought I'd do a little research & with me being the drummer of the group the 'Reeds and Drums' line has peeked my curiosity even more so now on what was Mountains' real influence on writing this well crafted gem.
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    - 1
    Unregistered
    It's a 2 part meaning when you speak mainly of the willow reeds. Yes, Robin-Marie makes her baskets, but it mainly about the male leaving for 3 yrs on a whaling ship. The Nantucket Sleigh Ride refers to when the whalers are in the longboats and have harpooned the whale and are being pulled along. It is his last night with Robin-Marie before leaving, so they're making love before he leaves.
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  • c
    - 1
    crm114
    Windlaced - either a reference to a rigging form that would be configured to change the attitude of a sail in relation to wind strength and direction or a corruption of windlass the device used to configure the sails and rigging.
    Willow figures often in mythology and folklore, the ancient greeks would place willow branches in the beds of infertile woman in an attempt to reverse the condition, here perhaps a reference to the sweetheart being left on shore.
    Reeds and drums - not sure about the drums but willow reeds (branches) are associated with dreams which ties in with the soft sheets, not a nantucket whaler would possess sheets. Grief is also associated with the willow - reference again to Robin-Marie.
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  • p
    - 1
    packrat
    Mostly straightforward - a Nantucket Sleighride happens when a (sperm) whale pulls a whaling boat through the water after the whale has been harpooned. The song focuses on a sailor leaving (presumably Nantucket) on a whaling voyage (first two verses and first chorus), out at sea on the voyage (third verse), and returning home (fourth verse and second chorus).
    The song leans partly on Moby d*k, the story of a whaler out of Nantucket, which had a black first mate called Starbuck.
    Much of the imagery is hard to unpick, and I would be interested to know anyone's thoughts.
    Windlaced?
    Reeds and drums? - why these musical instruments?
    The significance of willow branches?
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    • U
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      Nantucket sleighride is dedicated to owen coffin who was cabin boy aboard the whaler essex, which... Read more →
    • U
      + 4
      Unregistered
      The references to willow, reeds and drum are probably basket making related. A Nantucket basket is... Read more →

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