Sinking Ship [Song]


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Listen to this song also at GarageBand

THE SINKING SHIP
By Gypsy

[Spoken introduction]
This is an S.O.S. from the Trinidad.
Location, seven miles off the coast of Venezuela.
S.O.S. S.O.S. Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Help! Help!

The Trinidad, a luxury liner, sailing the Caribbean Sea
With an old captain named Eric Williams
For years sail smooth and free
But sadly Eric Williams passed away
The ship hit rough water that day
Someone turn the bridge over
To a captain named Chambers
Mih blood crawl, things start to fall
Hold mih head when a sailor bawl,

"Captain, this ship is sinking
Captain, these seas are rough [oh yes]
We gas tank almost empty
No electricity, we oil pressure reading low
Shall we abandon ship?
Or shall we stay on it, and perish slow?
We don't know, we don't know
Captain, you tell we what to do." [Woh woh]

The Trinidad, oh she was a beauty,
With wealth that few surpassed
And in her day she sailed majestically
They were few in her class.
Faithfully, she fulfilled her sailors' needs
Some were overpowered by greed
And so they pilfered slow
Some took by bulk an’ go
Now she look dull, she’s at a lull
She could barely sit on her hull,

"Captain, this ship is sinking
Captain, these seas are rough [oh yes]
We gas tank almost empty
No electricity, we oil pressure reading low
Shall we abandon ship?
Or shall we stay on it, and perish slow?
We don't know, we don't know
Captain you tell we what to do." [Woh woh]

The Trinidad, in her day of sailing
She was a friend to one and all
She never once ever hesitated
To answer all S.O.S calls
And yes, well she always did her best
To help out those in distress
Now it’s so sad to see, she’s in difficulties
Those she help jeer, some of them cheer
And sarcastically declare,

"Captain, this ship is sinking
Captain, these seas are rough
We gas tank almost empty
No electricity, we oil pressure reading low
Shall we abandon ship?
Or shall we sit on it, and perish slow?
We don't know, we don't know
Captain, you tell we what to do." [Woh woh]

[Spoken passage imitating the voice of Dr. Eric Williams]
If only there was something I could have done to restore the credibility of this beautiful vessel. Money is no problem.

Now there’s a lot of fingers pointing
Suspicion running strong
Who’s to be blamed for all her failures?
Who’s to be blamed for doing her wrong?
Now please remember, I ‘m warning you
For thirty years she had the same crew
Who hold the keys to her vault
So we know who’s at fault
Now it’s up to you, it’s up to me
To make her worthy to go back to sea,

"Captain, this ship is sinking
Captain, these seas are rough [oh yes]
We gas tank almost empty
No electricity, we oil pressure reading low
Shall we abandon ship?
Or shall we stay on it, and perish slow?
We doh know, we doh know
Captain you tell we what to do.
We don't know, we don't know [Oh yo yo]
Captain, you tell we what to do.

We don't know, we don't now
You tell we what to do.
We don't know, we don't know
You tell we what to do

Put up a flag! Oh gosh, we don't know,
You tell we what to do
Should we turn to the World Bank for help? [Oh ho]
We don't know, we don't know, we don't know
We don't know, we don't know, we don't know
Somebody put in an application to the World Bank
Probably we get some help to do the repairs
We don't know, we don't know. You tell we what to do."

.............................................................................................


A Note From The Gull


An interesting bit of trivia is that this song is the most heavily accessed song on this blog. I have no idea why this is but the analysis of site traffic tells me that it is so.

Is it because people find the song relevant to the present situation in Trinbago? If we are indeed a sinking ship, then this faithful vessel is putting up an impressive fight because from all reports, we've been battling disaster for the longest while.

Many of the visitors who look for this song are not located in Trinbago. I can only guess why this is so. Sometimes it seems like Trinbagonians located outside of their homeland feel a more acute sense of concern over its problems than those who are actually on the ground. Perhaps it is this "hypersensitivity" that led to many departures? Or perhaps it is that distance and the reliance on the often skewed news that amplifies the anxiety. Maybe it is just that Trinbagonians on the ground are also more in touch with what is good about Trinbago and have a more balanced outlook, or are required to do so in order to live their lives.

Whatever it is, Gypsy, there is a demand for this well-crafted piece. Thank you so much for your music and this song!

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!
Guanaguanare

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to the song?

Guanaguanare said...

Dear Anonymous,
You can listen to this song at the wonderful site "Toronto Lime". Understandably, they do not permit linking to their files, so I cannot provide a live link but this is where it is located if you intend to visit: http://www.toronto-lime.com/music/classics/sinking_ship.html
Blessings

Anonymous said...

Thank you........

Guanaguanare said...

You're welcome. Thank you for your interest.
Blessings

hbynoe said...

i love this song. thank you

Guanaguanare said...

hbynoe, Thanks so much for your visit and for taking the time to comment. I mentioned the fact that this song is one of the most heavily accessed songs on this blog. The next in line is "God Bless Our Nation." I think that Sinking Ship is being summoned by people who love Trinbago or can identify with what has been happening here. They are both love songs, pure and simple - one is acknowledging and asking for blessings on the beauty of this place and its people. The other is a lament which sounds the alarm that we are floundering. I like to put this song together with Winston Devine's "Sailing" as performed by Mighty Trini. I haven't yet been able to find an audio file but the Mighty Trini expresses the view of many Trinbagonians that nothing is going to make them abandon Trinbago - "If Trinidad is a boat, ah go sail on it, sink or float."
Blessings

Anonymous said...

I have loved this song since it first came out and have been thinking about it a lot lately. Gypsy had no clue when he sang this that years later the sailors would be clinging to the top of the mast hoping that the ship is not really sinking as fast as it is!!! I wish he would remake it! Anyways... thanks for the memories! LC

Guanaguanare said...

LC, thanks for visiting and for your comment. By the time this song came out in 1986, I think it was, its message was not news for most of us. Ever since I was a child my parents had been telling us that Trinbago was "going down". It wasn't just the usual older generation's nostalgia trip where life in the past is always portrayed as better. They had seen their share of hard times when they were children. But they knew that Trinbago was being torn apart. As lovers of the environment, of peace and kindness and productivity and justice they outlined in great detail for us, what we were losing. We grew up very aware of the problems and so did many others.

The question that I need answered is how the trend was allowed to continue when so many people could see what was happening? It is a very important question to be answered because we should want to learn and evolve and not repeat mistakes. Were we like deer caught in the headlights? Did we believe we were/are powerless? Was it our Destiny to go down this road? Gypsy sang, " "Now it’s up to you, it’s up to me/To make her worthy to go back to sea." I don't think it's too late for Trinbago, but it should not be an expectation that a complete turnaround will take less time than it took for us to get to this point.
Blessings

Jefferson Challenger said...

Boy, it have endless good kaiso! A few months ago a group put together a top 100 kaiso/soca (on de web), and I doe remember where dat song was on de list - everybody know dat list was Terrible. Because dat jam is one of de best!! No doubt about it!! Well done Gypsy...

Guanaguanare said...

"Boy, it have endless good kaiso!"

Jefferson, truer words were never spoken. Thanks for visiting and for leaving a comment. I'd like to see that list of top 100 kaiso/soca songs that you mentioned. Yes, this song is one of the greats. Did you happen to hear Anti-Everything's version of Sinking Ship? Have a listen if you are interested. Scroll down to the third song posted. Again, it was a real pleasure to hear from you.
Blessings.

Lee said...

Great tune, thanks for posting, been trying to get hold of this for years! To maybe answer your question about why it is so popular, I know many of us in the UK heard it through the cricket - played at the Caribbean grounds as the Windies took wicket after wicket against the English......

Guanaguanare said...

Thanks for visiting, Lee, and also for the comment. On behalf of Gypsy, I accept your appreciation of this song. Had no idea that it was used in this way. I guess "Sinking Ship" is for bemoaning cricket disasters and "Rally Round the West Indies" is for rallying the team and supporters. Outside of cricket, "Sinking Ship" is a classic, pure and simple, and continues to be one of the most heavily accessed songs here. So glad that you finally found the song and the lyrics.
Blessings