"Drunken Boat" as written by and J Fearnley....
The wind was whipping shingle through the windows in the town
A hail of stones across the roof, the slates came raining down
A blade of light upon the spit came sweeping through the roar
With me head inside a barrel and me leg screwed in the floor

Mother pack me bags because I'm off to foreign parts
Don't ask me where I'm going 'cause I'm sure it's off the charts
I'll pin your likeness on the wall right by my sleeping head
I'll send you cards and letters so you'll know that I'm not dead

By this time in a week I should be far away from home
Trailing fingers through the phospor or asleep in flowers of foam
From Macao to Acapulco from Havana to Seville
We'll see monoliths and bridges and the Christ up on the hill

An aria with the Russians at the piano in the bar
With ice floes through the window we raised glasses to the Czar
We squared off on a dockside with a couple a hundred Finns
We dallied in the 'dilly and we soaked ourselves in gin

Now the only deck that I'd want to walk
Are the stalks of corn beneath my feet
And the only sea I want to sail
Is the darkned pond in the scented dusk
Where a kid grow's full of sadness
Let's all go drifting out into the evening sun

We sailed through constellations and were rutted by the storm
I crumpled under cudgel blows and finally came ashore
I spent the next two years or more just staring at the wall
We went to sea to see the world and what d'you think we saw?

If we turned the table upside down and sailed around the bed
Clamped knives between our teeth and tied bandannas round our heads
With the wainscot our horizon and the ceiling as the sky
You'd not expect that anyone would go and fuckin' die

Now the only deck that I'd want to walk
Are the stalks of corn beneath my feet
And the only sea I want to sail
Is the darkned pond in the scented dusk
Where a kid grow's full of sadness
Let us all go drifting out into the evening sun

At nights we passed the bottle round and drank to our lost friends
We lay alone upon our bunks and prayed that this would end
A wall of moving shadows with rows of swinging keys
We dreamed that whole Leviathans lay rotting in the weeds

There's a sound that comes from miles away if you lean your head to hear
A ship's bell rings on board a wreck when the air is still and clear
And up above that means another angel's got his wings
But all below it signifies is a ship's gone in the drink

Now the only deck that I'd want to walk
Are the stalks of corn beneath my feet
And the only sea I want to sail
Is the darkned pond in the scented dusk
Where a kid grow's full of sadness
Let us all go drifting out into the evening sun


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death, edited by epiwoosh

"Drunken Boat" as written by James Thirkhill Fearnley

Lyrics © DOWNTOWN MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

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Drunken Boat song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI'm not a huge fan of the Pogues albums that were recorded without Shane, but I have to admit, this song kicks ASS.
    punkpirateon April 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is based off the Arthur Rimbaud poem of the same name. Rimbaud's 'Le Bateau Ivre,' or 'The Drunken Boat,' also talks about going to foreign countries and places and the 2nd line of the 13th verse reads 'Ou pourit dans les joncs tout un Leviathan' - 'Where a whole Leviathan lies rotting in the reeds' - almost exactly the same as the 4th line of the 8th verse of this song. Nice to see that Fearnley reads the same poetry as me, I have an awesome amount of respect for anyone who can play the accordion!
    NellieWhiskeyon September 02, 2008   Link

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