Clips & Pix: World Party/Ship Of Fools

This morning, I was reminded of this great tune, when my music streaming service served it up as part of a “favorites mix” playlist: Ship Of Fools by World Party. I dug that song instantly the moment I heard it for the first time on the radio back in Germany in the mid ’80s, and I still think it rocks!

Essentially, World Party was a one-man solo project by Welsh singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Karl Wallinger. Ship Of Fools was included on World Party’s first studio album Private Revolution from 1986. Apart from the great music, I always liked Wallinger’s vocals, which sometimes sound a bit like Mick Jagger, especially in this song. The lyrics also resonated with me and remain eerily relevant to this day when we have so-called leaders who ignore science for the sake of short-term profit. Sad.

According to Songfacts, when asked about the lyrics in 2012, Wallinger said, “I wasn’t trying to be ahead of the curve, I was just writing about things that seemed obvious at the time. We still haven’t done anything about it. I can’t get my head around the stupidity of materialism.” Well, in countries where elections are free people deserve the leaders they have. They can also vote them out of office. To borrow from Tom Hanks and one of my all-time favorite movies Forest Gump: That’s all I have to say about that.

We’re setting sail to the place on the map
from which no one has ever returned
Drawn by the promise of the joker and the fool
by the light of the crosses that burned.
Drawn by the promise of the women and the lace
and the gold and the cotton and pearls
It’s the place where they keep all the darkness you need.
You sail away from the light of the world on this trip, baby.
You will pay tomorrow
You’re gonna pay tomorrow
You will pay tomorrow

Save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don’t want to sail with this ship of fools. No, no
Oh, save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don’t want to sail with this ship of fools
I want to run and hide right now

Avarice and greed are gonna drive you over the endless sea
They will leave you drifting in the shallows
or drowning in the oceans of history
Traveling the world, you’re in search of no good
but I’m sure you’ll build your Sodom like you knew you would
Using all the good people for your galley slaves
as you’re little boat struggles through the warning waves, but you don’t pay

You will pay tomorrow
You’re gonna pay tomorrow
You’re gonna pay tomorrow

Save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don’t want to sail with this ship of fools
Save me. Save me from tomorrow
I don’t want to sail with this ship of fools
Where’s it comin’ from?
Where’s it goin’ to now?
It’s just a It’s just a ship of fools

Sources: Wikipedia, Songfacts, YouTube


16 thoughts on “Clips & Pix: World Party/Ship Of Fools”

  1. I have the tune “Private Revolution” on my iPod when I exercise. Great tune that I’ve been meaning to post about for like, three years. I remember reading an interview with Wallinger where he had some health problems. Had to look this up but it turns out he had a brain aneurysm and he had to suspend work for five years.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to say I really enjoyed listening to “Fisherman’s Blues” again. I like the blending of folk and rock elements.

        Have you heard any of Mike Scott’s solo work? Wikipedia largely portrays him as the brain of the band.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wickham really flavors ‘Fishermen s Blues’. He’s outstanding
        Yes I have on the Scott Solo work catchgroove did a good piece on the latest Waterboy’s album ‘Out Of All This Blue’ I haven’t got it yet. It’s like the new Mellencamp you wrote about. It’s waiting for me on a rainy day. Like a treat.
        Maybe with Wallinger and Scott there was diverging musical ideas I like them both.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s what I dig about music blogging. You start with one artist or band and end up somewhere else!

        I agree about Wickham and his violin playing. It’s really beautiful. I just looked him up on Wikipedia and saw that in addition to The Waterboys, he has also played with many others including U2, Elvis Costello and World Party.

        Goes to show once again that great musicians play with other great musicians!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah I like that also about where it takes us.
        I think Wickham was the driving force behind Fishermans Blues direction or idea. Inspired Scott.
        Amazing how many times musicians I like get together to play. Makes me feel I’m onto something.

        Liked by 1 person

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