Robyn Hitchcock Song Catalogue

The Ghost Ship        Lyrics |  Tab |  Gigs |  New Search

Author: Robyn Hitchcock
Versions: Ghost Ship

Released on 6 records:

You & Oblivion, 1995  (CD)  Sequel Records RSA CD 827
You & Oblivion, 1995  (CD)  Rhino Records R2 71842
Balloon Man, 1988  (Vinyl 12")  A&M Records SP-17530
Balloon Man, 1988  (CD 3")  A&M Records S12Y3049
Balloon Man, 1988  (CD 3")  A&M Records CSIG 000052
Balloon Man, 1988  (CD Single)  A&M Records 75021 2374 2


The ghost ship haunts the sea
She'll come back and marry me

The rust is where her heart should be tonight
Her face is where her fingers were tonight

A glassy chequered engine room
The speechless silence of the tomb
The manuscripts inside the womb unfurl
A girl
Translucent as a jellyfish
That palpitates upon a dish
She stings you with her gently falling curl

And sinking in the waters green tonight
I wonder where my lover's been tonight

The ghost ship changes tack
And stands becalmed; her sails are slack
The cabinboy lies on his back and sighs
The mayonnaise is oozing down his thighs
The bubbles rising from the deep
Where deadmen sing themselves to sleep
From oak and coral they do seep to say
You throw open my future like a chart
See through my skin; into my heart
That flutters in my ribcage like a bird"

And the ghost ship sails on into someone's life

The air from bottles forms into
The skeletons of all the crew
In white they dance against the blue and wail
Their curling bodies flail around the sail
The figurehead before the mast
Stares back into the golden past
Across the wrinkled sea so vast she mourns

She flutters 'round me like a moth
That beats against mosquito cloth
And tries to eat her way into my dreams

And sinking in the waters green tonight
I wonder where my love has been tonight

The melons on the riverbank
Are bulging through decaying planks

Their beauty is so warm and dank and light
The captain wears a headless grin tonight

And silhouetted on the blue
The cook, the mate, the captain, too
They know not where or why or what they do at all
They fall
Like masonry in the abyss
That opens every time we kiss
I hear their laughter echo 'round the bay
And the ghost ship sails on into someone's life

(From the Balloon Man CD3)
Still come back and marry me                   2a
The ghost ship changes course                 14a
And on the deck there stands a horse          15a
Who's munching on sardines and gorse and hay  16a
The Captain trawls a net across the bay       17a
You read my future like a chart               22a
Across the wrinkled sea so vast; forlorn      32a
She mourns                                    33a
The cook, the mate, the boss'n, too           44a

No guitar tab entered.

Known to have been played live at 33 gigs:

Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians:
Ronnie Scott's (London, England UK), 2/2/1986 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: 9:30 Club (Washington, DC US), 7/24/1988 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: McCabe's (Santa Monica, California US), 7/30/1988 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: McCabe's (Santa Monica, California US), 4/25/1989 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Backstage (Seattle, Washington US), 9/27/1989 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Cat's Cradle (Carrboro, North Carolina US), 4/27/1990 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Cactus Café (Austin, Texas US), 5/15/1990 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Cactus Café (Austin, Texas US), 5/15/1990 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: McCabe's (Santa Monica, California US), 5/26/1990 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Newbury Comics (Boston, Massachusetts US), 4/8/1995 (In-Store)
Robyn Hitchcock: Ark (Ann Arbor, Michigan US), 4/14/1995 Deni Bonet (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: 12 Bar Club (London, England UK), 9/3/1996 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Beacon Theatre (New York, New York US), 11/15/1996 Deni Bonet (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Mountain Stage (Charleston, West Virginia US), 11/17/1996 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Maxwell's (Hoboken, New Jersey US), 12/6/1996 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: 40 Watt Club (Athens, Georgia US), 2/24/1997 (Concert) 8 minute version w/new verses
Robyn Hitchcock: Knitting Factory (New York, New York US), 3/12/1997 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Knitting Factory (New York, New York US), 3/15/1997 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: 12 Bar Club (London, England UK), 7/16/1997 with Ntshuks Bonga and the Dear Janes (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Largo (West Hollywood, California US), 7/31/1999 guesting with Grant Lee Phillips, Tim Keegan (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: G2 (Glasgow, Scotland UK), 9/30/1999 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock's ROCK ARMADA: Cactus Café (Austin, Texas US), 10/23/1999 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock's ROCK ARMADA: Iron Horse (Northampton, Massachusetts US), 10/31/1999 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Ronnie Scott's (London, England UK), 1/30/2000 Kimberley Rew, Tim Keegan, Jake Kyle, Patch Hannon (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: The Rhythm Room (Phoenix, Arizona US), 2/19/2003 (Concert) acoustic
Robyn Hitchcock: Largo (West Hollywood, California US), 2/22/2003 w/ Baby Lemonade, Jon Brion, Grant Lee Phillips (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Queen Elizabeth Hall (London, England UK), 3/2/2003 Tim Keegan, Kimberley Rew, Deni Bonet, Peter Blegvad, more (Concert) solo
Robyn Hitchcock: Kitty Kat Club (Minneapolis, Minnesota), 11/4/2004 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Beachland Ballroom (Cleveland, Ohio US), 11/8/2004 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: World Café Live (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania US), 11/15/2004 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Largo (West Hollywood, California US), 3/9/2005 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Club Congress (Tucson, Arizona US), 3/13/2005 (Concert)
Robyn Hitchcock: Southpaw (Brooklyn, New York US), 3/25/2005 (Concert)

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