We're setting sail to the place on the map
From which no one has ever returned
Drawn by the promise of the joker and the fool
By the light of the crosses that burned
Drawn by the promise of the women and the lace
And the gold and the cotton and pearls
It's the place where they keep all the darkness you need
You sail away from the light of the world on this trip, baby
You will pay tomorrow
You're gonna pay tomorrow
You will pay tomorrow

Oh, oh, oh
Save me, save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools, no, no
Oh, save me, save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools, no, no
I want to run and hide right now

Avarice and greed are gonna drive you over the endless sea
They will leave you drifting in the shallows
Or drowning in the oceans of history
Traveling the world, you're in search of no good
But I'm sure you'll build your Sodom like you knew you would
Using all the good people for your galley slaves
As you're little boat struggles through the warning waves, but you don't pay

You will pay tomorrow
You're gonna pay tomorrow, yeah
You're gonna pay tomorrow

Save me, save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools, no, no, no
Save me, save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools
Where's it comin' from?
Oh, where's it goin' to?
It's just a, it's just a ship of fools

All abord now

Lyrics submitted by typo

Ship of Fools Lyrics as written by Karl Edmond De Vere Wallinger

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Ship Of Fools song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +2
    Song MeaningThe songs meaning is quite simple, its about the curse of capitalism and greed. How, for some reason we never seem to be content. It tells us that on our journey to gather as much as we can, we will ultimately never reach our goal, and we only hurt others in our attempt. Only the foolish chase wealth beyond their means, only the foolish think that chasing it will bring them happiness. We are all sold this "dream" and pushed into its virtual reality, but I for one, just like Karl, want to get off the boat!
    brettanthonyon November 02, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEssentially he is not wanting to get caught in the rat race with all of the other fools and lose sight of what is really important. And for those who don't get out of it are in the ship thinking that they are on the correct path ("torn by the promise of women/lace/gold/cotton/pearls"), but will pay for it a later time, perhaps post mortem. In addition, the ship isn't even going to the right destination ("You sail AWAY from the light of the world...")
    DAS JETSon April 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe "Ship of Fools" written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter is a different song, performed by The Grateful Dead. This song was written by Karl Wallinger, who is the sole member of World Party. I wonder if they got it wrong for "Ship of Fools" by Erasure, too.
    ASaltyDogon December 14, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, but after reading the lyrics again, it reminds me of how I feel about our current leadership under "W".
    cdhound1on April 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this song is painfully underrated.

    it's incredible songwriting and composing for a one-hit wonder..
    some call it a prophecy, that sadly is ringing true..

    something for kate did a gorgeous cover of this song on their live at the corner album.
    meg;on May 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, meg is right thats its underrated, definitely underplayed. Cdhound1 makes a perfect point about it too, its contemporary 20 + yrs after it came out...
    kevwizon October 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOk, I'll start to interpret by saying these guys saw tomorrow big time, and I bet they're all in good shape these days, if they weren't fools that is. They start with saying the ship is going to a place where no one has ever returned, that would be death...true? Drawn by the joker...etc. and who would that be? Sounds like the serpant of old to me, the place where they keep all the darkness you need and leave the Light of the World, a name for Jesus. Then repeats, "you will pay, you will pay and again..tomorrow." Yes, we can pay and will pay, but Jesus by the Word and Blood says....He paid. Then the call for salvation, they don't want to be on a boat with fools, why? Cause like the Titanic it sinks eventually. Look at the words, the avarice and greed and the endless sea, leave you in the shallows. Revelation describes the masses as an ocean or "sea" so the whole world is wrapped up in greed and about to hit the rocks of destruction in the weak *shallow* economy, see? "Traveling the world in search of no good," well, that can describe all kinds of deception, but this one has sodom in it which isn't in the lyrics above for whatever reason but helps in understanding what they are trying to relate in the song. "Using all the people," sounds like the government and elite, no....that is world wide the situation. Now, the pay tomorrow, don't know what the time frame for these guys is but I do know Jesus paid for all of man kind, today...yesterday, and forever and who so ever will, can receive that salvation and stay off of this ship of fools!
    finepearlon January 08, 2009   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