“I Will Put My Ship In Order”


The singer puts his ship in order to sail to his true love. He arrives wet and tired, knocks at her window, and asks her to let him in. She delays (perhaps her parents are watching), and he leaves before she comes. She laments his departure


This song is about 80% identical with the piece I've titled "Rise Up Quickly and Let Me In (The Ghostly Lover)"; the only differences are in the first verse (about the ship) and the ending (in this, the lover leaves; in the other, the girl arrives in time to admit him). Fragments could file with either song.

Some, including Roud, have identified this song with "The Drowsy Sleeper," and there is some justice to this; there may be cross-influence. Indeed, for a time I listed this as an alternate title of "Drowsy Sleeper." But we are splitters, and so the two are now separate. I think that's the proper decision anyway.

The last few verses of this song bear a resemblance to Song of Solomon 5:2-6, but that may be coincidence. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 35-36, "I Drew My Ship into the Harbour" (1 text, 1 tune, with a "ripest apples" floating verse)
  2. Ord, pp. 318-319, "I Will Set My Ship in Order" (1 text)
  4. Roud #402
  5. BI, Ord318


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1900 (Stokoe/Reay)
Found in: Britain(England(North),Scotland)