The Bob Zentz Songbook



Ships and Folks

From Closehauled on the Wind of a Dream

Adapted from the poetry of C. Fox Smith (1882-1954)

Music and additional lyrics © 2003, 2007 Bob Zentz


(in Bm – capo 2)


intro (Am-G-Am-G-E-Am)


1.  “Ships are like folks,” said Murphy, “the way there’s good and bad  (Am-G)

And weak and strong among ‘em, an’ steady ones an’ mad  (Am-F-Em)

The way they’re wild and willing, an’ kind an’ cruel, too  (F-C-G-E)

The way there’s fair and false ones, an’ homely ones an’ true  (Am-G-Am-G-E-Am)

     “Ships and folks,” said Murphy, “I’ve knowed ‘em in my day  (G-Am)

     Ships and folks,” said Murphy, “in port or under-weigh  (G-F-Em)

     Around the world and back again, and steady as you go  (F-C-G-E)

     Ships are like folks,” said Murphy, and Murphy ought to know!  (Am-G)  (intro)

“Ships are like folks,” said Murphy, “the way a man can’t tell

What makes him fancy one so, and hate the next like hell

Why some that treat him handsome, he counts no more’n the rest

An’ them that use him hardest, well it’s them he’ll like the best”  (chorus)

“Ships are like folks,” said Murphy, “the way they come and go

There some you’ll sail for years with, and never seem to know

And some you’ll sign just once with, an’ part an’ there’s an end

An’ some you’ll just clap eyes on, an’ know you’ve found a friend”  (chorus)

“Ships are like folks,” said Murphy, “in every kind o’ way

The way us fellers leave ‘em, that’s knowed ‘em in our day

The way we’ll chuck the best ones out, an’ choose the worst, instead

An curse ‘em when they’re livin’, an’ miss ‘em when they’re dead”  (chorus)



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