20 Songs About Ships

Sailing the seas has been a popular topic in songs for centuries. From upbeat sea shanties to somber ballads, there’s something about ships that fascinates people who loves the sea. Here are 20 songs, all centered around ships, both classic and modern, that will make your listening experience enjoyable.

1. “Big Ship” by Freddie McGregor

“Big Ship” by Freddie McGregor speaks to the importance of staying strong and keeping our head held high even in the most difficult times. The song reminds us that no matter what life throws our way, we can overcome anything as long as we stick together.

2. “Brandy You’re a Fine Girl” by Looking Glass

In this bittersweet soft rock ballad, it talks about a young woman named Brandy. The sailors who cross her path cannot help but be enchanted by her beauty, showering her with endless compliments. Among them, one sailor stands out, capturing her heart and interest.

But even if the man liked her back, his love for the sea prevails. He chooses to continue sailing, declaring his deep connection to the ocean, his life, lover, and lady.

3. “The Crystal Ship” by the Doors

This rock song portrays longing and love, centering around a young man’s heartbreak after a forced breakup with his girlfriend. He reflects on their time together and remembers how happy he was. He wishes she could have been a part of his life forever. 

4. “Rock The Boat” by Hues Corporation

This groovy disco tune is perfect for couples and friends looking to have a good time. The soothing vocals and catchy tune create a feel-good harmony that transports the listener back to their youth.

5. “If I Had a Boat” by Lyle Lovett

This mellow and playful song has soothing guitar sounds and vocals. It is a track about wanting to travel and seeking adventure. The protagonist longs to have a boat to journey across the seas to his heart’s content.

6. “The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzerald” by Gordon Lightfoot

This popular song tells the story of the shipwreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a cargo ship that tragically sank in Lake Superior. The track has been covered by many different artists and is considered one of Lightfoot’s best songs. It was even featured in an episode of “The Simpsons.”

7. “Dreamboat Annie” by Heart

This song starts with a touching guitar intro, then picks up with a catchy drumbeat. Two enchanting female voices weave pure magic, singing the tale of Annie – a captivating, adventurous lady with a passion for travel.

8. “Boats To Build” by Alan Jackson

“Boats to Build” is a classic country tale of a young man’s journey. Leaving home in search of work, he returns years later, triumphant, after constructing his own boat and sailing it down the river. Jackson’s signature blend of humor and heart is heard in this song.

9. “Cruel Ship’s Captain” by Bryan Ferry

If you’ve ever been in a bad relationship, then you can probably relate to Bryan Ferry’s song “Cruel Ship’s Captain.” The song speaks to the feeling of being trapped in a bad situation with no way out. Despite the somber theme, Ferry’s mesmerizing voice adds a touch of beauty, making it a hauntingly good listen.

10. “Ship to Shore” by Chris de Burgh

If you’ve ever been in love, then you understand the longing to be with that person always. They linger in your thoughts, filling your mind endlessly.

That’s how you’ll feel every when you listen to Chris de Burgh’s “Ship to Shore.” The track is about a guy who is so deeply in love with a girl that he’d sail across oceans just to be with her.

11. “Come Sail Away” by Styx

This song is a whimsical escape, a fantasy of floating away to a happier world through our imagination. In reality, everything is fine, but it’s lovely to imagine a place free from responsibilities, where life is pure serenity.

12. “Big Boat” by Peter Paul & Mary

This upbeat song is about a couple’s reunion. The lady travels by big boat to meet her partner. However, the man is not confident of meeting her again.

The reason for this is he feels that his lack of personal growth and accomplishments will let down the woman he cares for.

13. “Barrett’s Privateers” by Stan Rogers

This folk song tells the story of how privateers deal with life. Based on the lyrics, it is both difficult and frustrating. They choose the job hoping for a better life. However, as time progresses, many expectations are not met.

14. “Ships” by Barry Manilow

This sentimental melody captures cherished memories with family, as a father and son share special moments. The song brims with joy, playfulness, and a unique bond, highlighted by a verse about sailing side by side.

15. “Boat Drinks” by Jimmy Buffet

This joyful and uplifting song is a pure delight! It’s all about enjoying and taking time to unwind. So if you are looking for a upbeat melody that will lift your spirits, this song will set the mood.

16. “Ship of Fools” by Robert Plant

This song sails a ship into a sunset with foolhardy passengers, unaware of their impending doom, heading straight into a storm. The song is a metaphor for life and how it can be easy to get caught up in things without realizing that you’re headed for disaster.

17. “The Last Ship” by Sting

This well-written song talks about reflecting on life. It is inspired by the singer’s hometown, where shipbuilding is a way of life.

This tune brims with religious references, ultimately advising us to be cautious of our choices, as they mold our future.

18. “Boats” by Kenny Cheney

This song is Kenny Cheney’s ode to his beloved pastime: riding the waves on a boat. Combining his two greatest passions, sailing and music, he finds solace in the freedom the boat offers. It becomes his escape to relish the outdoors and unwind.

19. “Ghost Ship” by Blur

This chill song has a very catchy rhythm. It gives the feel of a relaxing summer day. The beats keep your senses alive, but the vocals put you at ease.

It is a fitting melody to listen to when you want to enjoy the sunset or unwind on a lazy afternoon. It can also be a good background song while you enjoy coffee on a rainy day.

20. “Sea Cruise” by Frankie Ford

The song’s simple melody and lyrics make it easy to listen to and sing along with, and its feel-good vibe has made it a favorite at parties and celebrations for decades. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock or just looking for a catchy summer jam, “Sea Cruise” is definitely worth a listen.

Final Thoughts

In the vast ocean of ship-themed songs, each one holds a pile of stories. From cherished memories to the excitement of riding the waves, they all find a special place in our hearts. So, let these ship-themed songs continue to sail for everyone who loves the boat and the boundless sea!