As Friday night approaches we are sure that avid fans of cocktails will be going easy on the mixers, as news reaches us that all sorts of supplies may be held up by the blockage in the Suez Canal caused by the unfortunate misadvantures of the container ship Ever Given. We at LSS adscribe no blame! We know the Suez canal to be a narrow shallow waterway so treacherous that even sailors as experienced as Captain Birdseye hesitate before pointing their boats along it. The proper course, if readers will pardon the pun, is to wait for the full enquiry, after the flotillas of tugs and cranes have floated the unfortunate hulk once more and vital naval supplies such as rum, gin and bitters can flow once again unimpeded.
So we extend our sympathies and condolences to the stranded Captain and his crew, and heartily recommend this list of songs to play over the ship’s PA system, to keep up morale until help arrives.
10 Sailor Petula Clark Bit of an oldie, we admit. We last heard it in 2018 while stuck ourselves in a massive jam on the aptly-named Kew Bridge. As Londoners will know, Brentford and Kew still retain some of their antique nautical ambience, so it makes the cut nevertheless.
9 Captain Of your Ship Reparata and the Delrons. Achieved its UK chart high water mark this very day, 26th March, back in 1968! It sound effects of ships’ horns and general gear make it an evocative favourite in the seafaring world to this day.
8 Sweet Painted Lady Elton John Less about navigational technique and more about the unsavoury recreations of discharged seamen during their leisure hours, this one too uses marine leitmotifs to evoke its atmosphere.
7 Sailing Rod Stewart The standby chorus for many a free spirited night in rugby club or public house, a real good one for the male bonding so often associated with mariners and their peculiar culture.
6 Harbour Lights The Platters We discovered this Shanty in the much underrated film noir Mulholland Falls. We hope it won’t be long before the Captain and Crew of the Ever Given are snug in a real harbour instead of stuck looking at miles of empty desert and camels, while the traffic piles up behind like a bad day on the M25.
5 The Ship Song Nick Cave A little melancholy and world weary, it may be somehow appropriate for the feelings of all currently waiting their turn in the Gulf of Suez.
4 Dock of the Bay Otis Redding Another classic from 1968! Captures that sad sense of being washed up with nowhere to go “….sitting in the morning sun, I’ll be sitting when the evening comes…”sang Otis.
3 Nightboat to Cairo Madness Who can blame anyone for wanting to take a water taxi and escape to the nearby delights of this famous city? Who would not come back refreshed and ready to jump into the water and push the stricken vessel to freedom?
2 The Theme from Captain Pugwash Alright, not a chart song, and there are no lyrics, But you can hum along to the merry tune from the famous TV show, maintaining good spirits and the proper naval discipline as you go.
1 Ship of Fools Erasure We had entirely forgotten this old album filler from 1988. But for some reason several people have suggested it to us during the research for this little posting, so, without knowing why, it goes in at number one.
Our own nautical experience is confined to command of a small cabin cruiser on the River Thames at Bourne End, several decades ago. And we crashed that a couple of times. So we point no fingers, engage in no schandenfreunde, and abjure all smirking and quips. But we do say to all our readers- avast, splice the main brace and belay that second rum cocktail until happier times.
#evergiven #evergreen #shipping #suezcanal #trafficjams #containership #worldtrade #redsea #egypt #meditteranean #tugs #cranes