The Ship that Never Returned

Maritime-themed Song; Parody of Ring the Bell, Watchman


‘Twas a summer’s day and the waves were rippled,
By a soft and gentle breeze,
When a ship set sail with a cargo laden,
For a port beyond the seas.

There were fond farewells, loving demonstrations,
By the ones who were most concerned,
Though they little knew ’twas the final voyage,
Of the ship that never returned.

Did she ever return, no she never returned,
And her fate is still unlearned.
Though for years and years there were fond hearts watching,
For the ship that never returned.

Said the feeble lad to his anxious mother,
“I must cross the deep blue sea.
For they say, perchance, in some foreign climate ,
There is help and strength for me.”

‘Twas a gleam of hope in the midst of danger,
and her heart for her youngest yearned.
But she sent him forth with a smile and a blessing.
On the ship that never returned. (Chorus)

“Only one more trip!” said the gallant sailor, 
As he kissed his weeping wife.
“Only one more bag of the gold and treasure,
And ’twill last us all through life”

“Then we’ll settle down in our cosey cottage,
And enjoy the rest we’ve earned”
But alas, poor man, for he sailed commander,
Of the ship that never returned. (Chorus, a bunch of times)

Song Notes

This American Civil War-era writer, Henry Clay Work, also penned “Ring the Bell, Watchman,” from which was parodied the more popular, Strike the Bell, its author anonymous. Ironically, more popular than this original song is “The MTA Song” by Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes, made famous by The Kingston Trio.