"I'm Shipping Up to Boston" as written by and James Lynch Ken Casey....
I'm a sailor peg
And I've lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I've lost my leg!

I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping off to find my wooden leg

I'm a sailor peg
And I've lost my leg
Climbing up the top sails
I've lost my leg!

I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping up to Boston, whoa
I'm shipping off to find my wooden leg


Lyrics submitted by freehat17, edited by jmx3232

"I'm Shipping Up to Boston" as written by James Lynch Alexander Barr

Lyrics © MEMORY LANE MUSIC GROUP, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

I'm Shipping Up to Boston song meanings
Add your thoughts

37 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    My InterpretationA lot of the Irish when they immigrated to the U.S in the 1800s, established residency in places like New York and Boston (Prominently). They were able to crawl up the ranks of society but only after sacrificing parts of their culture. I think that's kind of what he's referring to. He "lost his leg" (lost something special to him i.e his culture), "climbing up the top sails" (climbing up the class ladder). But in the opposite sense, he's shipping off the Boston to "find his leg" too (i.e find financial security for himself and possibly his family in America).
    IrishTodayon December 03, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti don't think the song is about pirates either. like deathbeforedishonor said, there is nothing about pirates in the video, and I think the wooden leg is more of a symbol than an actual pegleg. I think the leg is a symbol for stability in life, and that he's a sailor in life who has lost his "leg," meaning his footing in high society, "the topsails." The wooden leg is a symbol for replacement, of finding new stability, which he hopes to do in Boston.
    thatisgodhoorayon May 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThis song talks about a free man (as a sailor is) who always takes risks and tries to achieve the impossible (climbing up the topsails) but finally, he may have to deal with the problems arising from the risks he took (I've lost my leg)

    now, probably Boston is something like a place that he will make a new beggining and find his salvation (his wooden leg)

    So, the basic idea appears to be the story of a great risk taker, who finaly, as it happens with every one who is taking too many risks, had a hard fall from the top sails and he is now looking for a new beggining
    Rankinon December 29, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think the song is about the Boston teaparty, in the year 1773. The Boston Tea Party was a massacre on a ship full of tea. Some colonists attacked a boat full of tea, in a protest on the Taxes in USA, people hadn't money to buy what they want, and especially tea, was expensive. Some colonists arranged and murdered every passanger and sailormen on the boat. The sailorman in the text is just an innocent worker who tried to escape by climb up the mast, but someone cut off his leg. The protesters destroyed the boat in a symbolic way, by throwing it into the Boston Bay, the place where it was supposed to anchor.

    Great song, i love Dropkick Murphys.
    telorixon May 13, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI think the song is about the Boston teaparty, in the year 1773. The Boston Tea Party was a massacre on a ship full of tea. Some colonists attacked a boat full of tea, in a protest on the Taxes in USA, people hadn't money to buy what they want, and especially tea, was expensive. Some colonists arranged and murdered every passanger and sailormen on the boat. The sailorman in the text is just an innocent worker who tried to escape by climb up the mast, but someone cut off his leg. The protesters destroyed the boat in a symbolic way, by throwing it into the Boston Bay, the place where it was supposed to anchor.

    Great song, i love Dropkick Murphys.
    telorixon May 13, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am a pirate....
    Cannonball Willy is my name ;D
    And I love the song.
    inteon August 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is excellent.

    Its also used in The Departed.
    thepatient666on October 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyarrr! where's the scurvy!

    if any song is gonna bring pirates it's this song...

    [Frenzy approved]
    frenzyon November 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHaha, I love this song. Obviously no hidden meanings here.
    ajtherockeron December 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat are you guys talking about? This song is about a pirate trying to find his wooden leg so he can do pirate-ical activities like drinking mead, rapeing and pillaging villages, drinking more mead, and then more rapeing and pilliaging.
    J Villianon January 15, 2007   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain