Ship of Stone

© 1981 Don Simpson. All rights reserved

In my opinion the best filksong ever written. If one of the songs we're singing now is still being sung a thousand years from now, it will probably be this one.

Lyrics [pdf]

Am
  Once there was a Ship of Stone
G6
That orbitted a  mighty star
Am G Am Em Am
And  from  it  flew the first  ship's  crew
Em Am
Whose children we  all  are;
C
And no  matter how long
G6
 We've  drawn our track,
Am Em
Still  over our shoulder,  looking back
Am
Through the  hydrogen's hiss
Gm Esus4
And the meth ane's  moan,
D5 G Am
Past the  poly mer  clouds
C G6 F
Of the d ead  stars'  shrouds,
Am G Am Em Am
  All our roads  run  back to the Ship  of  Stone.

There the first crew all were made
And wakened from unknowing sleep
By the boundless sight of Heaven's height
And the fires on the deep;
And no matter how strange
 the forms we wear,
How warped and wild, how rich and rare,
How changed we've made the seed we've sown;
We are blood of those who singing rose
From the body of the Ship of Stone.


There our own ships' frames were formed
To grow blue glowing wings,
And spread them wide to the farthest tide
Where the last, lone beacon sings;
And no matter how tight the net they knot
Of our web where the wheel of light is caught,
How strange and lost,
  How grand they've grown,
They too desire all Heaven's fire:
Our companions since the Ship of Stone.

one verse instrumental

Once there was a Ship of Stone,
Clear-domed, broad-hulled, and clean,
Where the air shone blue,
Through whose holds birds flew,
Whose decks were growing green;
And no matter how odd
 These things may seem,
As madly mazed as shards of dream,
They are not a dream that you dream alone--
All ships, all men are of one kin;
We shall not forget the Ship of Stone.

If any of the songs we filkers are writing and singing now deserves to be remembered a thousand years from now, this is it. My all-time favorite.