21 Best Songs About Ships That Take You On An Epic Journey

Ships have been around us for as long as anyone can remember, so it makes sense there are multiple songs about ships. Some of the songs talk of the literal ships, some give us the feeling of being on a ship at sea, while others use the ship as a metaphor.

The beauty of music is that you have the freedom to listen to different genres covering what seems like the same topic, but they all have different takes.

They cover some of the tumultuous emotions we have, from joy to longing to freedom. Want to know the best songs about ships to listen to? Keep reading, and you will find out!

Nr Song Artist About
1 My Mother Told Me Datamotion & L.B.ONE & Perly i Lotry Learn More
2 Come Sail Away Styx Learn More
3 Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) Looking Glass Learn More
4 Wellerman Nathan Evans Learn More
5 The Cruel Ship’s Captain Bryan Ferry Learn More
6 Wooden Ships Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Learn More
7 The Crystal Ship The Doors Learn More
8 Ship to Shore Chris De Burgh Learn More
9 The Tall Ships Magnum Learn More
10 Ships Barry Manilow Learn More
11 Lost Sailor Grateful Dead Learn More
12 Ship of Fools Robert Plant Learn More
13 Big Ship Freddie McGregor Learn More
14 The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Gordon Lightfoot Learn More
15 The Last Ship Sting Learn More
16 Ghost Ship Blur Learn More
17 Ship Ahoy The O’Jays Learn More
18 Sail Away Sweet Sister Queen Learn More
19 Burn the Ships For King & Country Learn More
20 Our Ship’s Sinking Rick Springfield Learn More
21 Sailing Rod Stewart Learn More


Best Songs About Ships

Strap in, wear that life jacket, and get ready to explore the best songs about ships that will sweep you away:


1. My Mother Told Me – Datamotion & L.B.ONE & Perly i Lotry

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The best song about ships to start us off in this new adventure comes from the game Assassin’s Creed. It talks of a promise to buy a galley (a type of ship) and all the experiences that come with it.

It’s also the theme music for the famous Netflix series “Vikings”.

Recommended: The 21 Best Songs About Camping.


2. Come Sail Away – Styx

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Do you wish to free yourself from where you are, yearning for freedom and ready to face the life ahead of you? Let “Come Sail Away” take you to that place. This piece embodies the sense of freedom and exploration.

We don’t know what life has ahead of us, but this does not stop us from living. Styx talks of being the captain of our own ship, setting us up for the sea and whatever awaits us there.


3. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass

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Where do ships go when they want to restock and rest? The port. Well, on this particular port, there is a very, very fine girl called Brandy. All the sailors agree she is the best-looking girl on the port and perhaps even in the world.

This is a song about the relationship of Brandy and her man, who happens to be a sailor and rarely gets so see her.


4. Wellerman – Nathan Evans

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You’ve probably heard this song on TikTok. Nathan Evans’ accent paints a clearer picture of the Billy O’ Tea (the famous ship). Let this song carry you to the lone ship in the sea, haunted by the whale and waiting for the Wellerman to come to rescue you and bring you sugar, tea, and rum.


5. The Cruel Ship’s Captain – Bryan Ferry

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Next is a somewhat scary song. It tells the story of the captain of a ship and his apprentice. One day the apprentice annoys the captain, so the captain decides to punish the boy by having him on his frozen yardarm all night.

The next morning, unfortunately, the captain realizes that the boy had passed away, and this song is a warning to other captains to not punish their apprentices so harshly.


6. Wooden Ships – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

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Wooden Ships is an anti-war song about the Vietnam war. It describes a post-apocalyptic world where people are struggling because of the consequences of war.

The composers said they “imagined ourselves as the few survivors, escaping on a boat to create a new civilization.”


7. The Crystal Ship – The Doors

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The beauty of this song is in its vagueness. Its opening lines, “before you slip into unconsciousness, I’d like to have another kiss,” could have different interpretations.

Is the song about lovers, sleep, death, suicide, murder, or a drug trip? No one really knows. Listen to this song and tell us what interpretation you get from it. Some say the crystal ship symbolizes drugs while others say that it is a breakup song.


8. Ship to Shore – Chris De Burgh

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One of the most painful things in life is being in love with someone who doesn’t return those feelings. In “Ship to Shore,” the singer has realized that he still loves his ex, and wants to get back together.

He thinks back to the time when they were actual lovers before things went south. If you have ever had an unrequited love or a failed relationship, this song will remind you of that time.

Recommended: 21 Songs About Nieces And Aunts To Celebrate This Special Bond.


9. The Tall Ships – Magnum

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This piece talks of tall ships that had not seen land in fifty-nine days. The sailors on the ships felt lost. On the other side, their loved ones were waiting by the shores, hoping to see them come home.

This song can be a metaphor for so many things, and the only way to get its full meaning is by listening to it.


10. Ships – Barry Manilow

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Barry Manilow is one of those people who only come by once in a blue moon, and it is fitting that his song has a place in our list of songs about ships.

If your father is a ship fan, this song would make a great dedication, especially if you two are far away.


11. Lost Sailor – Grateful Dead

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Grateful Dead sing about lost sailors in the middle of the sea. In a deeper sense, the song talks about feeling lost in the real world. We have all been there, drifting, with no sense of direction in life, and that is what makes “Lost Sailor” such a powerful song.


12. Ship of Fools – Robert Plant

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We can get easily caught up in some things that are bad for us without us realizing it. “Ship of Fools” talks of people who are sailing into the sunset, nearing doom, but they don’t know it.

This metaphor reminds us to pay attention to where we are and where we are going to avoid disaster. Let us get off the ship of fools and find our own way.


13. Big Ship – Freddie McGregor

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This list of songs about ships would be empty without Freddie McGregor’s “Big Ship.” It’s a cool reggae song about traveling the sea by ship.

We are stronger than we think and can handle anything life throws at us. We are even stronger with our community and those we trust.


14. The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot

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The Edmund Fitzgerald was a cargo ship with 29 crew members. It set sail on November 10, 1975, before sinking with all the crew members on board, killing them all.

Gordon Lightfoot made this song in the ship’s honor, and it has gone on to become the biggest song written about such a tragic ordeal. Many artists have since covered the song, but Gordon’s version is still the best to date.


15. The Last Ship – Sting

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We all love to enjoy life, but we can get so swept up in enjoying ourselves, and before you know it, the last ship is sailing. Sting prays for the angels to protect him when the last ship sails, and he has not made anything of himself. This piece reminds us to make good choices so that we create a better future for ourselves.

Recommended: 21 Songs About Chickens To Make Your Day Cluck.


16. Ghost Ship – Blur

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Life is not always easy, and instead of dealing with our problems, we might want to take some time away from them. We are, in a sense, sailing away in a ghost ship.

This will not last, however, as at some point, we will need to face our problems and make amends with those we wronged. That is what this song makes me think of, and it is definitely worth a listen.


17. Ship Ahoy – The O’Jays

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I can only imagine the pain and sorrow slaves felt as they were being transported to “the land of Liberty.” What they went through is inhuman, and “Ship Ahoy” is a good representation of their voices.

The song takes us through the emotions they might have felt; such a powerful piece. It also reminds us that we have a long way to go to get rid of racial injustices.


18. Sail Away Sweet Sister – Queen

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Do you have someone you love who seems to be held back by familial or friendly ties? You might be this person, and it makes you desperate. This piece may remind you to sail away, sail across the sea to find someone who will appreciate you.

If it is someone you love, be ready to set them free and pray that they will come back to you. Or listen to Freddie Mercury’s voice and let him sweep you away; either works.


19. Burn the Ships – For King & Country

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This song was inspired by Luke Smallbone’s experience with his pregnant wife. She got addicted to drinking anti-nausea pills and in order to stop, she flushed the pills down the toilet.

Similarly, the burning of the ships, implies that there is no need for sailors to explore anymore, rather they’d comfortably stay in their homeland.


20. Our Ship’s Sinking – Rick Springfield

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Listening to Rick Springfield performing is like medicine for the soul. This rock legend knows how to put all his passion into his music, and you can feel the lyrics deep into your soul.

Listening to this song will make you believe in love again and be willing to fight for your love and stop the ship from sinking, all while rocking to this absolute masterpiece.


21. Sailing – Rod Stewart

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If you want a song to make you feel alone at sea, missing the one you love, Rod Stewart’s song will put you in the right mood. He talks of battling stormy seas and sailing to see the one he loves.

His beautiful voice makes you feel so far from the one you love and makes you want to be close to them and to be free. The perfect song to end our list of songs about ships.


Last Words

There are endless songs about ships, but the ones we have covered above are some of the best you can find. They cover almost all emotions while also being entertaining.

These songs will take you on an epic emotional journey. Let us know which ones are your favorites.


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Music is the lifeblood of my veins. I love to listen, play and write music. Being a music band manager is what I love to do mostly because I love working with artists on their personal branding and brand building while helping them find the next level of success.

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