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The Beach Boys — Sail On Sailor
Album: Holland
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1189









Released: 1973
Length: 3:11
Plays (last 30 days): 2
I sailed an ocean, unsettled ocean
Through restful waters and deep commotion
Often frightened, unenlightened
Sail on, sail on sailor

I wrest the waters, fight Neptune's waters
Sail through the sorrows of life's marauders
Unrepenting, often empty
Sail on, sail on sailor

Caught like a sewer rat alone but I sail
Bought like a crust of bread, but oh do I wail

Seldom stumble, never crumble
Try to tumble, life's a rumble
Feel the stinging I've been given
Never ending, unrelenting
Heartbreak searing, always fearing
Never caring, persevering
Sail on, sail on, sailor

I work the seaways, the gale-swept seaways
Past shipwrecked daughters of wicked waters
Uninspired, drenched and tired
Wail on, wail on, sailor

Always needing, even bleeding
Never feeding all my feelings
Damn the thunder, must I blunder
There's no wonder all I'm under
Stop the crying and the lying
And the sighing and my dying

Sail on, sail on sailor
Sail on, sail on sailor
Sail on, sail on sailor
Sail on, sail on sailor
Sail on, sail on sailor
Sail on, sail on sailor
Sail on, sail on sailor
Comments (252)add comment
 KurtfromLaQuinta wrote:

You need to get out more.
 
i didn't know either.  maybe i need to get out more too!  :J i guess i just wrote off the BB after some of Love's, er, regrettable comments.   having writ that, tho, this isn't bad.
The Beach Boys..............for people who don't like The Beach Boys. Of course, I choose not to associate with those people 
 scrubbrush wrote:


Hilarious. I'm old-school classic rock guy, but i never knew this was Beach Boys either. I always thought it was some schmaltzy 70's band like The Little River Band or something
 
You need to get out more.
My favorite Beach Boys Music (with the exception of Pet Sounds) is from the Brothers Albums. Tuneful, great harmonies and often ingenious.
Saw Brian and Al doing Pet Sounds live in New Orleans a few years ago. Blondie Chaplin was there - at times walking around the stage and standing in front of both Brian & Al while they were singing.

I was very unimpressed with someone who couldn't control himself and show some respect.
 pinto wrote:
For what it's worth, back when this album was released Rolling Stone rated this as one of the five best albums of the year.  

 
And it was also one of their slowest-selling, their image being tied to the sun-and-surf songs of the mid-60s. Frankly, they were just no longer fashionable. I was thinking of that when I went to see one of their shows in support of this album. They were playing to a half-full house at a second-tier university - but man what a show. Those guys were great musicians.
Ya know...RP could play a few songs from the Pet Sounds album. That was their best album and quite progressive. It has song trippy songs. I guess LSD from Southern Cal will do that.  
A few years ago I went with a friend to see Los Lobos on their 40th Anniversary Tour, and they had several special guests including Blondie Chaplin and Taj Mahal.  As soon as I heard Blondie was going to be there I thought, wouldn't it be awesome if they played Sail On Sailor?  Sure enough, they did.  Man, that was a good show.
 lily34 wrote:
i still had no idea this was the beach boys.

 
Me either.  Always fond of this tune, but not all Beach Boys though.
For what it's worth, back when this album was released Rolling Stone rated this as one of the five best albums of the year.  
I'm late to the "I didn't know this was the Beach Boys" party. I thought this was Joe Jackson.
From the very underrated album Holland.   https://www.allmusic.com/album/holland-mw0000690537

Some great songs on that album, Big Sur Saga and The Trader in-particular.  
This is nice. Pet Sounds too. However, it is their love songs to Hot Rods I've always loved the best.
Gimme 409 and Shut Down! 
 danmaiullo wrote:

These two songs are not even in the same league. Sail On is exponentially better than The Wreck.

 
I'm not sure if one song could be "exponentially" better than another (or "exponentially" anything really), but whatever.
All this time, I never realized this was a Beach Boys song.  It sounds so different to me than stuff like Barbara Ann or California Girls.  More 70s...
 danmaiullo wrote:

These two songs are not even in the same league. Sail On is exponentially better than The Wreck.

 

Never said they were; just liked the segue. 
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/0e/HollandCover.jpg/220px-HollandCover.jpg
Cool stoney tune by them! So different and much liked; among their best I think. What a great year in music, '73! Elton's Yellow Brick Road, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Steely Dan's Countdown to Ecstasy, Lennon's Mind Games, McCartney's Band on the Run
Oh what a song.  So Funky Pretty. Recorded on a barge studio in Amsterdam.  Can almost smell the smoke coming from the port holes.  And that simple drum lope.  I've played my own drums along with this song a thousand times.  Take a look at the cover of the album.  Turned the Beach Boys completely upside down.....  So simple.  So much groove. 
I see the link from the Gordon Lightfoot Wreck to this song, but the transition is so jarring that it cannot work. Is it acceptable to simply acknowledge that, despite the apparent love affair between many/most Americans with the Beach Boys, one does not really like them? I recognize that it's just me, so I will sign off.
Great track, but from Holland, not Carl and the Passions.
From my favorite Beach Boys albums - the Brother Records era which produced so many wonderful, yet unknown BB songs that sound so different than the earlier well know recordings (which I also like).
Favorite BB song.  Recommend you watch the movie Love and Mercy about Brian Wilson.   
i love this.

if robert palmer was next, i'd love that. sailin shoes.
Wow, a Beach Boys song that doesn't sound like the Beach Boys. Interesting. Thanks for playing this...
 Grammarcop wrote:
"Excuse me, Captain. What kind of tea would you like this morning?"

"Ceylon, Ceylon, sailor." 

 

that's funny
 danmaiullo wrote:

These two songs are not even in the same league. Sail On is exponentially better than The Wreck.

 

agreed!
 steeler wrote:
Nice segue from The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

 
These two songs are not even in the same league. Sail On is exponentially better than The Wreck.


I rated this a '4' initially.  Not sure why — it brings up some happy childhood memories, and I really had no idea it was The Beach Boys until I'd heard it on RP! Moved up to a more respectable 7.
My favorite Beach Boys song.  Thanks Brian.
Normally I don't like them.. but this is kind of nice.
Nice segue from The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

You'll walk the plank for that cheesy joke!  ; )

 
I deserve it.
 Grammarcop wrote:
"Excuse me, Captain. What kind of tea would you like this morning?"

"Ceylon, Ceylon, sailor."
 
You'll walk the plank for that cheesy joke!  ; )
My favorite Blondie song.

Before I heard this I never new Sri Lanka had a navy.
"Excuse me, Captain. What kind of tea would you like this morning?"

"Ceylon, Ceylon, sailor." 
whoa. How did anyone NOT know this absolute classic isn't the Beach Boys. Like, "the Beatles did 'Let It Be'?" RP listeners come from all directions, I guess.
 Piranga wrote:
The best Beach Boys song that few know about.
 
Well put. Hands down the best Beach Boys tune for me. . . its funny how certain songs can hit the spot so perfectly and then keep hitting it decade after decade after decade (counts on fingers) after decade.
A bit commercial for the BBs but like it, who'd have thunk this was the BBs?
One of the three BB tunes I can stomach...
 unclehud wrote:
Beach Boys?!  Learned my 'something new' for today.  Humbling really, since a skipper played this as departure music for every single sailboat race one season.  Got sick of it after 5 or 6 races, then started digging it when I really listened to its purity of melody and lyric.

 

Hilarious. I'm old-school classic rock guy, but i never knew this was Beach Boys either. I always thought it was some schmaltzy 70's band like The Little River Band or something
Beach Boys?!  Learned my 'something new' for today.  Humbling really, since a skipper played this as departure music for every single sailboat race one season.  Got sick of it after 5 or 6 races, then started digging it when I really listened to its purity of melody and lyric.
You evidently never heard them do I can hear music. Listen on, listener.

 
flyboy50 wrote:
The only decent tune they ever did.

 


Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, what a combination.  
The Beach Boys? Wow! 
Sure would love to hear "Surf's Up".
You can hear interviews on YouTube in which Blondie et al affirm this.

 
ajlept wrote:
What makes this song "sound" so different from traditional Beach Boys' recordings is the lead vocals. Nowhere can I find it in print that Blondie Chaplin sang vocals, but here, Bill says so. I've just gotta believe him...lol. I've always loved this song (I was a teenager when it hit the charts). I'll be heading to the beach in a week and this will be in my playlist. Maybe not a 10 all the time, but while looking at the ocean, it will be an 11. Nigel Tufnel, you're my hero!


 


 Piranga wrote:
The best Beach Boys song that few know about.

 
Who knew? I thought this was Traffic.
The best Beach Boys song that few know about.
 flyboy50 wrote:
The only decent tune they ever did.
 

Please to listen to the whole Pet Sounds album.
 bev wrote:
Whoa, count me amongst the others who never knew this was the Beach Boys. Geez. I've heard this song who knows how many times over a lifetime and am just NOW finding this out? Love love love RP...educating me constantly!
 

Forget the lead, how can you not know this is the Beach Boys listening to the harmonies??
Kinda funny watching Blondie Chaplin singing backup and cavorting with Keith and the Stones knowing he sang lead on this wonderful tune.
 mrtuba9 wrote:

Me either...wow!
 
Me either! Thought it was Steely Dan.
The only decent tune they ever did.
 lily34 wrote:
i still had no idea this was the beach boys.
 
Me either...wow!
Most Excellent indeed!!
Magic....they got me thru those long cold winters in Wyo!
i still had no idea this was the beach boys.
Go Blondie!!!! Go Boys
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
 

Only cause it's the Beach Boys does it get a 7. It would get bland on the 10th hearing. 
 tphord wrote:
I bought this album in 73' and still have it, still play it and still love it.
The album also came with a small 45 sized EP called "Mount Vernon and Fairway"
which is a curious piece of work. Never was quite sure what to make of that...
 
"Holland" is a great album.
I think this song is one of the weakest one on it.
"Funky Pretty" and "California" are far superior songs.
"Mt. Vernon and Fairway"  is way out there though. (#lol)
 socalhol wrote:

Ahhhh, no — opposite for me — gimme the surfing songs please (Good Vibrations).  I always thought this song was performed by Chicago (whom I dislike...).

 

This song could possibly be compared to Chicago's "Wishing You Were Here", on which the Beach Boys sing background vocals.

Love both of those songs.


This is indeed Blondie Chaplin. He took the vocal after Carl couldn't nail it… More about how the song came to be here…

https://playitandbedamned.blogspot.com/2008/01/unsung-hero-blondie-chaplin.html
 
Whoa, count me amongst the others who never knew this was the Beach Boys. Geez. I've heard this song who knows how many times over a lifetime and am just NOW finding this out? Love love love RP...educating me constantly!
I'm waiting for just one Monkee's song in memory of Davy Jones...
This can be seen as allegorical. The metaphor isn't original but the structure is unique. A great song because it touches themes that are universal.
Sunshine, rainbow, island in the sun, sail on... Mmmm whats the theme Bill?
 ajlept wrote:
What makes this song "sound" so different from traditional Beach Boys' recordings is the lead vocals. Nowhere can I find it in print that Blondie Chaplin sang vocals, but here, Bill says so. I've just gotta believe him...lol. I've always loved this song (I was a teenager when it hit the charts). I'll be heading to the beach in a week and this will be in my playlist. Maybe not a 10 all the time, but while looking at the ocean, it will be an 11. Nigel Tufnel, you're my hero!

 
Well, it's not print per se, but this Wiki account pretty much substantiates what is generally acknowledged, i.e., Blondie's vocal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sail_On,_Sailor

I saw one of Rick Danko's many post-Band bands long ago. Chaplin played guitar, and sang their rendition of "Sail On Sailor." Sure sounded like the same voice as that on the Beach Boys' recording. Guess that's not print either. Sigh.


First BIG snow of the season here in Ft. Collins.  Enjoying these "summertime" tunes right now.  Thanks B&R.
 taterflatpicker2 wrote:

RED RATS!!  NMCB 133! Go SeaBees!   


 

Aw man, I was gonna say that. Anyway, great song! 10

RED RATS!!  NMCB 133! Go SeaBees!   


YES!

{#Clap}
What makes this song "sound" so different from traditional Beach Boys' recordings is the lead vocals. Nowhere can I find it in print that Blondie Chaplin sang vocals, but here, Bill says so. I've just gotta believe him...lol. I've always loved this song (I was a teenager when it hit the charts). I'll be heading to the beach in a week and this will be in my playlist. Maybe not a 10 all the time, but while looking at the ocean, it will be an 11. Nigel Tufnel, you're my hero!

What an amazing anthology.  Brilliant despite their many tragedies. 
This is one great American Band.
Didn't know this was the Beach Boys?!!
...Guess you do learn something new everyday....
Sooooo  Gooood !

Heavy, brotha 

lyrics:

I sailed an ocean, unsettled ocean
Through restful waters and deep commotion
Often frightened, unenlightened
Sail on, sail on sailor

I wrest the waters, fight Neptune's waters
Sail through the sorrows of life's marauders
Unrepenting, often empty
Sail on, sail on sailor

Caught like a sewer rat alone but I sail
Bought like a crust of bread, but oh do I wail

Seldom stumble, never crumble
Try to tumble, life's a rumble
Feel the stinging I've been given
Never ending, unrelenting
Heartbreak searing, always fearing
Never caring, persevering
Sail on, sail on, sailor

I work the seaways, the gale-swept seaways
Past shipwrecked daughters of wicked waters
Uninspired, drenched and tired
Wail on, wail on, sailor

Always needing, even bleeding
Never feeding all my feelings
Damn the thunder, must I blunder
There's no wonder all I'm under
Stop the crying and the lying
And the sighing and my dying


I bought this album in 73' and still have it, still play it and still love it.
The album also came with a small 45 sized EP called "Mount Vernon and Fairway"
which is a curious piece of work. Never was quite sure what to make of that...

 Cynaera wrote:
I like "Kokomo." John Stamos playing the bongos just SENDS me....

Seriously - The Beach Boys had such a turbulent history, but a lot of really great music came out of their camp.  "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Wendy," "God Only Knows," "Good Vibrations," and a truckload of others... Pity about Dennis drowning and Brian going cerebral, but in their day, they ruled, and I still grin when I hear "409."
 

Has anyone ever heard "Somewhere Near Japan".
That one is a great song.

Losing Carl to cancer was the biggest loss.
I know every word to this song, but never, ever realized it was The Beach Boys?!!
wow.  Laughing!
It was one of those songs played on the radio that I tolerated, but never investigated.


 socalhol wrote:

Ahhhh, no — opposite for me — gimme the surfing songs please (Good Vibrations).  I always thought this song was performed by Chicago (whom I dislike...).

 

I don't like this one either.
The surf stuff is alright.
Gimme the stuff nobody plays... not even Bill.
Check out Brian Wilson's new album...it's a bunch of Gershwin covers done Beach Boys style...cool stuff!
Beach Boys meet Golden Earring,

hence the album's title.

9 to a 10 after all these years.
 sfearll wrote:
I think this may be the only Beach Boys song that I like...
 
Ahhhh, no — opposite for me — gimme the surfing songs please (Good Vibrations).  I always thought this song was performed by Chicago (whom I dislike...).

I always thought is sounded like Stevie Wonder.
Or Styx (one of the worst bands of all time) - "Come sail away, come sail awaaaaaay....."

 
csutto wrote:

me neither...hmmm...sounds like a Steve Winwood/Steely Dan vocal.  The things you learn at RP :)
 


Agreed, The "later" Beach Boy Albums such as Surfs UP and Holland are a revelation, full of mature exploration of their sound and excellent musicanship all supporting beautiful, wistful lyrics.
Jim Cummings

 
KurtfromLaQuinta wrote:

What jjafri said.

Everyone should listen to "Surfs Up" and "Holland".
"Surfs Up" has some awesome songs on it...
"Don't Go Near the Water"
"Long Promised Road"
"Disney Girls (1957)"
"Feel Flows"
"'Til I Die"
"Surf's Up"

"Holland" has THE best song about California EVER...
"California Saga/ California"
Have you ever been down Salinas way?
Where Steinbeck found the valley
And he wrote about it the way it was in his travelin's with Charley
And have you ever walked down through the sycamores
Where the farmhouse used to be
There the monarch's autumn journey ends
On a windswept cyprus tree


"Trader"

"Only With You"
"Funky Pretty"

If you haven't heard these songs before... you have definitely missed out.
It really wasn't all surf music.


 

baby carrots .. nuff said
 plaice3 wrote:
Ha!  I never knew this was the BEACH BOYS!!  {#Lol}
 
me neither...hmmm...sounds like a Steve Winwood/Steely Dan vocal.  The things you learn at RP :)
9 -> 10! What was I thinking?{#Lol}
 sfearll wrote:
I think this may be the only Beach Boys song that I like...
 
Likewise.  For me, it's at least partly because of the absence of the OOOEEEOOO falsettos characteristic of so many of their other songs (and which the Beatles deftly lampooned in "Back in the USSR").
It's good to hear the Beach Boys on RP....no seriously, it is...
Ha!  I never knew this was the BEACH BOYS!!  {#Lol}
Every time this song comes on, I think it's Little Feat - I guess because it reminds me of Sailin' Shoes.

 sfearll wrote:
I think this may be the only Beach Boys song that I like...
 

for me its in the top 2 or 3. i don't get tired of this as quickly as the other songs.
I like "Kokomo." John Stamos playing the bongos just SENDS me....

Seriously - The Beach Boys had such a turbulent history, but a lot of really great music came out of their camp.  "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Wendy," "God Only Knows," "Good Vibrations," and a truckload of others... Pity about Dennis drowning and Brian going cerebral, but in their day, they ruled, and I still grin when I hear "409."
I think this may be the only Beach Boys song that I like...
 AdyMiles wrote:
well, the words rhyme, but otherwise it sucks and is too repetitive

 

Ummm, speaking of repetitive ....
I dig it.
This is one of those quirky preferences that everyone has: I like this album as much as any other the Beach Boys did.  The concern for Brian, the great California songs and the beautiful, powerful poem by Robinson Jeffers...when I first heard it, it caught my imagination and concerns and tastes in a way that few albums have.

 jjafri wrote:
The Beach Boys did not need Toto-like session players for the Holland album they had Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar as band members. The ignorance about the Beach Boys amongst music fans who should know better is appalling. Not the fans fault entirely tho. Radio never played along with the alter-Beach Boys sound either. I do get a kick out of all the people saying they did not think this was the Beach Boys. What would these folks say when they hear "Feel Flows" or "Cabinessence" or the whacked out version of Wind Chimes. Yes radio listeners just about half the BB's catalogue from the 60's and 70's is comprised of little and big art-rock pieces whose existence is unbeknownst to most of you. Sail On Sailor is a lot more mainstream than a lot of other "other" Beach Boys music. Do yourselves a favour read up about them, sample a few clips from Smile. Read these lyrics to the classic Brain Wilson/Van Dyke Parks composition Surf's Up: Hung velvet overtaken me
Dim chandelier awaken me
To a song dissolved in the dawn
The music hall a costly bow
The music all is lost for now
To a muted trumperter swan
Columnated ruins domino
Now ask yourself, something's happening here and you don't know what it is do you Mr. Jones ?
 
What jjafri said.

Everyone should listen to "Surfs Up" and "Holland".
"Surfs Up" has some awesome songs on it...
"Don't Go Near the Water"
"Long Promised Road"
"Disney Girls (1957)"
"Feel Flows"
"'Til I Die"
"Surf's Up"

"Holland" has THE best song about California EVER...
"California Saga/ California"
Have you ever been down Salinas way?
Where Steinbeck found the valley
And he wrote about it the way it was in his travelin's with Charley
And have you ever walked down through the sycamores
Where the farmhouse used to be
There the monarch's autumn journey ends
On a windswept cyprus tree


"Trader"

"Only With You"
"Funky Pretty"

If you haven't heard these songs before... you have definitely missed out.
It really wasn't all surf music.




 On_The_Beach wrote:
Not bad, but of the Beach Boys "nautical" songs, I'll take "Sloop John B" over this.
 
{#Yes}


This song reminds me of my high school days. It was kool back then and it's the same today.

 coding_to_music wrote:

Steely Dan !

 
Funny you mentioned Steely Dan.  I thought I heard them in their.  BBs were way ahead of their time.  They laid a lot of ground work for the musicians that came after them.  I've never really bought any of their records, but some day I may dive into their catalog.

Donald Fagan is probably smiling with a nice, self assuring smug look in the mirror. Nice tune, but really...this is NOT Beach Boys...ya know?
Caught some fire - life's a rumble! {#Think}


{#Yawn}

 sirdroseph wrote:
Fabulous, just fabulous!! That chorus never ceases to give me chills even after all these years!{#Notworthy}
 
Wow, for once I agree with you, sirdroseph!  {#Yes} {#Clap} Fantastic cut from a wonderful album.

Great song, but be honest - this sounds nothing like the Beach Boys!  I mean, it's not 180 degrees different, but still very far from the Brian Wilson heyday...
 scraig wrote:

Wow, I would have guessed Stevie Wonder. Guess I was way off.

 
Steely Dan !

Fabulous, just fabulous!! That chorus never ceases to give me chills even after all these years!{#Notworthy}
God...I love these guys...and so do my young grandsons{#Bananajam}
<<<<had no idea this was the Beach Boys. Good tune.
You make me we -ee -eep....
This along with God Only Knows are my two favorite Beach Boys songs without question!!{#Clap}
someone very special to me sent me a link to this song a few weeks ago & I just love it!!!
I agree with you about the beach boys Bill. Never saw the genius.
 ArbiterOfGoodTaste wrote:
Wow, I never would have guessed this was the Beach Boys. Doobie Brothers? Robert Palmer? I dunno... not Beach Boys.
 
Wow, I would have guessed Stevie Wonder. Guess I was way off.