Griffes – An Old Song Re-sung

Song Information

Title: An Old Song Re-sung

Music: Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920)

Text: John Masefield (1878-1967)

Sheet Music

Free at Art Song Central (PDF files):

Elsewhere on the Internet:

  • PDF available at the Internet Archive: An Old Song Re-sung
    • Key: A♭ Major
    • Range: E♭4 – F5
    • Also available in djvu format, and as images via FTP.

Audio Files



Song Text

I saw a ship a-sailing, a-sailing, a-sailing,
With emeralds and rubies and sapphires in her hold;
And a bosun in a blue coat bawling at the railing,
Piping a silver call that had a chain of gold;
The summer wind was failing and the tall ship rolled.

I saw a ship a-steering, a-steering, a-steering,
With roses in red thread worked upon her sails;
With sacks of purple amethysts, the spoils of buccaneering,
Skins of musky yellow wine, and silks in bales,
Her merry men were cheering, hauling on the brails.

I saw a ship a-sinking, a-sinking, a-sinking,
With glittering sea-water splashing on her decks,
With seamen in her spirit-room singing songs and drinking,
Pulling claret bottles down, and knocking off the necks,
The broken glass was chinking as she sank among the wrecks.