Sting - Shipyard Lyrics

Ah, me name is Jackie White and I'm foreman of the yard,
And ye don't mess with Jackie on this quayside.
Why I'm as hard as iron plate, woe betide ye if yr late,
When we have to push the boat out on a spring tide.
Now ye could die and hope for Heaven, but ye'd need to work your shift,
And I'd expect ye's all to back us to the hilt.
And if St. Peter at his gate were to ask ye why yr late,
Why you'd tell him that ye had to get a ship built.
We built battleships and cruisers for Her Majesty the Queen,
Super tankers for Onassis, and all the classes in between,
We built the greatest shipping tonnage that the world has ever seen,
And the only life we've known is in the shipyard.

All the platers and the welders, and the boiler making crews,
When they see that bugger finished on the slipway,
All the hardship's soon forgot and we'll cheer as like as not,
And the bairns'll wave their Union Jacks all day.

It's a patriotic scene, all that's missing is the Queen,
But she said she couldn't make it of a Tuesday.
Then something wells up here inside, and you could take it in yr stride,
But you wonder if you'll see another payday.

For there's a mixture of emotions, hatred, gratitude and pride,
And you hate yourself for crying but it's difficult to hide,
For there's a sadness in the leavin' and ye worry what's ahead,
And that worry never leaves ye, keeps on nagging in yr head,
And so ye pray to God for orders, but ye'll worry till yr dead...
Until they bury your remains in the blacksmith's shed,
And the only life ye've known is in the shipyard.

Steel in the stockyard,
Iron in the soul,
We'll conjure up a ship where there used to be a hole.
And I don't know what we'll do if this yard gets sold,
For the only life we've known is in the shipyard.

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Sting Shipyard Comments
  1. allison hunter

    Monumental Art

  2. victor weeks

    Just saw this musical in LA. Heard some mixed reviews and didn’t expect much (even though I’m a big Sting fan) but was blown away! I can’t explain but totally connected with this. Downloaded the music and have been constantly listening to it. My family history started on the Mayflower and routed in England and Ireland...this music hits me in my heart. Thank you Sting!

  3. Andreas Neumann

    Brexit!? Na und; i love Sting, Madness, Sex Pistols, Bad Manners, Specials(Monkey Man),....BFBS.BritishF.Broadcasting S.I love Monty P., i love Great Britain.

  4. Detlef Ramich

    I love this Album, for me one of the best, because I,m a german Seaman, long, long time ago! It was a good time!! Say thank you for this Song, and greetings to all engl. Sailors and shipbuilders!!

  5. Ivette Jacobson

    I met Sting. I am fan since high school. This is beyond amazing music. He is just brilliant!!!!

  6. Ferdinando Raiola

    Ma i 300 che hanno messo il dislike veramente non capiscono un cazzo ...grande concerto e grandi musicisti...complimenti

  7. Chico Christe Pace

    the most elegant Rockstar that ever lived.

    Ivette Jacobson

    Yes! Elegant! Can't wait he gets the Sir title!

  8. Robin of Hood

    Pity they did not include the songs 'Ballad of the Great Eastern' and 'The Pugilist Learns to Dance'.

  9. Most Comments Are Fake

    Similar to Hadestown

  10. mrmitchell78

    Jackie White, foreman of a shipyard in Newcastle then owner of a market in Sunderland.. :)

  11. Don Laka Kwaai Jazz

    Reminds me of SPANISH TRAIN AND OTHER STORIES by Chris De Burg

  12. Max Moovin

    What a wonderful return. Glad to see Sting back at it. I hope to see him in Vegas.

  13. Sylvie Lopez

    Tank you very much, incredible story , a lot emotions were we come from is true sometimes we forgot, but the past reflecting , so gratitude, en tank you very much all artists wen the last ship sails from your childhood memories, very emotional tank you very much merci beaucoup

  14. Vony Roces

    This is such a brilliant concept with amazing songs penned by the one and only Sting. it's just impossible not to love this genius and his music. so much awesomeness and beauty..

  15. Catherine Sean


  16. Chow D.A.D.

    I'm actually working at a ship yard and it's still not a healthy place to be around.

  17. Dete Penas

    Haircut hehehehe

  18. Dete Penas

    Historic images :) lovely aircute Sting :)

  19. Remberto Ramírez

    I really love this masterpiece. What a diployment of Literature you can find in here. But take a look a the the body languagge of Sting and Jo in "Practical arrangement" it makes you vibe. This is magic... Every little thing he does is magic ...

  20. N4m4ste

    Sting's finest hour, this album is an outstanding masterpiece

  21. mondmann1957

    Und wieder ziehe ich den Hut vor dir, in tiefster Verneigung, Master of the chords

  22. lori Bull

    I think they were so wrong when they did away with Practical arrangement. It is a heart string pulling tender beautiful song!

  23. gnamp

    It's Belshazzar's Feast- not bloody Balthazar, ya berk.

  24. Михаил Комаров

    Jock the singing welder from 52:00 is a Thing!

  25. Psychic Truth!

    STING. 👌

  26. Pat Lawler

    Wow, I can't believe I missed this for 6 years. I watched it twice, back-to-back!

  27. Mike Cortez79

    Powerfully emotional performance....true artistic genius 🎸🎤💯💯

  28. Psychic Truth!

    STING. 👌

  29. Catherine S. Todd

    47:24 . Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint
    Me first day in the shipyard, the gaffer says to me,
    "I want ye to go to the store lad and get a few things, ye see?
    Now here's a list, can ye read lad? Can ye read it back to me?
    And me and the boys'll listen while were having wah morning tea."
    Now reading was me pride when I left school at fourteen,
    There wouldn't be no problem here, I'd show them I was keen,
    But when I starts to reading, they just couldn't hold their mirth,
    Hugging themselves and spluttering like they was giving birth.

    "First off a brace of sky hooks and a packet of nail holes neat,
    And then three cans of tartan paint, and that's me task complete."
    The gaffer pats me on the head and sends me on me way,
    He says, "Don't come back empty handed lad, or I'll have to dock yer pay."

    So I gets to the store all nervous and the quartermaster's there,
    I pulls the list out of me pocket and I starts to read all square,
    Well I hadn't barely finished when the store-man's face turns red,
    He gives me such an evil look I thought I'd soon be dead.

    "First off a brace of sky hooks and a packet of nail holes neat,
    And then three cans of tartan paint, and that's me task complete."
    The store-man swipes me on the head and sends me on me way,
    With a kick in the arse for me efforts, and such was my first day.

    I gets back home that evening and me mother says to me,
    "How was it son? How was your day? Sit down and have some tea."
    I told her of the list I'd read and the trouble I was in,
    I couldn't go back tomorrow or the gaffer'd have me skinned.

    "First off a brace of sky hooks and a packet of nail holes neat,
    And then three cans of tartan paint, and that's me task complete."
    Me mother swipes me on the head and sends me on me way,
    With a kick in the arse for me efforts, and such was my first day.

    Source: LyricFind
    Songwriters: Gordon Sumner / Jo Lawry / Julian Sutton / Kathryn Tickell / Peter Tickell
    Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

  30. Catherine S. Todd

    Getting to watch this theater production this evening has been one of the most enjoyable evenings I've had in years, having been living in Central America for the past 14 years, and lacking in European culture although with a rich local Mayan culture all their own. Thanks for posting and "bringing me back home" even if but for a short time. Made my day and my night! Wonderful production, songs and lyrics. Bravo!

  31. Catherine S. Todd

    What is this little teeney guitar Sting plays here? Not a ukelelee of course, but smaller than normal. Light, easy to hold and apparently no need for a guitar strap.

    steve moren

    I believe it is a Parlor Guitar.

  32. Catherine S. Todd

    Thanks for posting this oh-so-interesting PBS theater production by Sting. Reviews or not, "When the Last Ship Sails" is outstanding as is the whole show. This is Sting's own Sistine Chapel; a real masterpiece. Moving back to Europe after so many years opens the whole world to me once again... oh, it's been so long. Past, Present and Future all melds into ONE... as the years fly by. <3

  33. Cheryl Sibson

    Sting, I still come back and listen and get inspired. Thank you.

  34. Pete Mountford

    Also....isn't Jimmy Nail a fantastic singer? What a character!

  35. Pete Mountford

    Was never a huge fan of Sting, but....this is quite simply the best music I've ever heard. I connect with all the father/son stuff, dead man's boots is kind of how I grew up. Powerful lyrics and clever music.

  36. Nima B

    The opening song is one of the most beautiful tributes to anything I have ever heard. makes me feel every emotion and sound and the smell of the sea. and i'm not even from the UK. what a masterpiece.

  37. BluesClueless

    I would listen to this years ago with my mom and I’m so glad I finally found it again :)

  38. Drugo Lebowsky

    Some shitty commercial put on by Youtube in the middle of songs!!!...Why don't they wait for the song to end?


    get an addblocker

  39. mamam00c0w

    I wish it would have flourished because he is an amazing talent and I would have seen it if it came to my city.

  40. Jason Rodriguez

    I was a student when The Police had their reunion tour. No cash to go see them. I saw Sting in May of 2019 for his My Songs tour. He played King of Pain and Wrapped Around Your Finger...what more can you want? Everything else was bonus.

  41. PDN11141

    Carved beautifully,

  42. АНри АЛЬТруа

    До 2021 года Англия исчезнет, как остров. Жалко, столько цыпляющей музыки от туда...
    Бриты, могу выпросить ваше существование, но как исторический музэй(!) хотите? Дайте знать. 21 год край...
    Что будет стоить? Мне , как сыну Бога, от вас ничего не надо, но Отцу Моему хочу вашу сагу, за ваше спасение... вроде понятно сказал.)) Гордость свою в жопу себе засуньте. Станьте людьми, как я и русские.

  43. Liubomira Valchev

    I am wondering..I am disturbed... I listen to this 5-8 times a day for two weeks now, and still counting. Is this some kind of new sickness, or what? I know that when I find a genius album or a song I play it A LOT...until it starts running in my veins, but this is total crazy! My first time I think. I just can`t have enough and every time is like the first. Every story, every joke is still touching and funny. Yes, I am infected. May be this is a sickness called shipness...or stingness I don`t know. But am not looking for a cure...yet. Thank you for uploading it!

    Joanna Frankowska

    Same here! :)

  44. Chris Whitworth

    Jimmy Nail fits so well

  45. Der Erzeuger

    280 idioten die keine Ahnung von guter Musik haben und wahrcheinlich Assies sind

  46. Charming Ferret

    Well done Sting. It took a lifetime but you made it.

  47. Abhik Sarkar

    The perfect video to watch and celebrate this great musician's birthday!

  48. Alice Monroney

    It closed due to slow ticket sales. Hope he revives it...AWESOME...I am really disappointed I didn't get to see it.


    Alice Monroney he’s back! Check the tickets for 2020!😍

  49. Sebastjan Kusterle

    If there is a performance with souch a owerall quality of someones work as this...

  50. Peter Matthiesen

    ". . . . . .you are far too clever". Oh I see. So if she was not that clever he would have done different. I see. . . .

  51. Nicolay Trenin

    Sting is a living legend. Please, value that people. I pray lord for his long living and good health

  52. eisenhertz


  53. Matilde Tessari

    I love this new album!! It is Amazing. Thank you for sharing it ..

  54. Auener Katherine

    Thousands thanks for this fabulous journey!!!

  55. Seth Lewis

    The Last Ship Sails is such an amazing, layered metaphor of a song. Not many write or even sing about death. Yet sting brings that sting of death right into our ears and down into our soul. And oh, how I love the way he brings royalty into it as well, reminding us that no matter how small or great one is, we all must make our final departure, woe betide if we're late, 'til the last ship sails.

    An incredible song (and album), by an incredible artist.

  56. Merriman

    i heard some really bad reviews about this peace of work by sting so never got round to watching it. i am a idiot this is fantastic his story telling is really .. superb.

  57. Jesse H

    Sting is one of my favorite people. Now I know why.

  58. Laura avila ortega

    Hermoso, Hermoso, Hermoso !!!!!! Gracias Sting

  59. ayidas

    Impossibly romantic.

  60. Richard Stretton

    Wish I'd seen this. The music is utterly brilliant. Love Sting, LOVE Jimmy Nail. It's a pairing that oozes hard work and authenticity. The music is awe inspiring. It doesn't fit the mold of the modern musical, and therein lies it's beauty and it's demise at the same time - making this a true work of art.

  61. Éva Szentei

    Inspiring performance, voice and atmosphere he can create....................I'm still enjoying it

  62. phillip gerrard

    what a beautiful musical , as a scouser i can relate to what sting is trying to convey to us , the belief in the shipyard , the belief in solidarity within the union movement , combined with a love story , even if your not a trade unionist , Im sure you can a appreciate , a practical arrangement & megs song , Sting your a musical genius , God Bless you ,

  63. Amber Cherise


  64. Jan Rybárik

    Nádhera...tak krásně se to poslouchá! Děkuji za tuhle nahrávku! O:-)

  65. Faustina Ovuema

    I CAN'T FIND Season 3 EPISODE 1-9 What Do I DO


    There are no seasons or episodes.

  66. KirkPatti Calma

    Wonder if the parlour he is playing is one made by the guy who makes Ian Anderson's?

  67. localguy8

    Everyone has a place n a way to bring the place life in its own way. Sting you’re brilliant and the voice of the lost tribe that needs to be heard of the yesterday . It’s just beautiful you made them proud I feel it

  68. Barb Dixon

    Highly compelling performance. Loved it. Made me do some deep thinking about these kinds of happenings in history, while being highly entertained by the music, at the same time.

  69. Joel Eriksson

    This is so incredibly great and i just love it! Thank heavens that Sting found it in himself to start writing glorious music again. What I wouldn't give to see this live!

  70. SWVWC

    Language of Birds/Underground River, I think I preferred the original one in the album... But that is the only one I preferred in the Album

  71. Cheryl Sibson

    Just saw the advertising for Sting's play they have shipyards in North Vancouver, BC so this would be relatable to the shipyards not just in back east, but west as well, North Vancouver shipyards. I have loved Stings singing carrier, tell him to come out west, it will be a hit here too! feb 14, 2019

  72. Catherine Sean

    j'❤❤adore ses génial

  73. Jim McArthur

    Bring it on Sting. Toronto is looking forward to The Last Ship. Welcome back.

    Greg Lecuyer

    Going to the last show.

  74. Sean Gorman

    I saw this last night. It was tremendous. It is a testament to Sting as a man as well. He could have owned the stage. He wrote it. He is Sting, after all. That he is not the main character, that he is not on the stage at every turn, let the story focus on the people. The other actors could also be as powerful as Sting can be, because he was able to back off. To see such greatness combined with such humility is rare.

  75. Fernando Blengio

    Does anyone know the name of the Pianist?

  76. Appaloosa Dreams

    46:38 "Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint"

  77. Arnold Piotr Wątruch

    that's great ... thank you -...

  78. summyb

    This is just outstanding. A hidden gem on YouTube. Thank you. I'm sharing with many friends who need this right now. This is real. This is love.

  79. Gongasoso

    Pitch shifted and slightly sped up, but great

  80. Kjellaug Nordheim

    Virkelig musikk med styrke,og en sterk historie. 🥰💫🎶

  81. DEVEL 77

    A beautiful concert, nothing more to add

  82. Frank Herig

    productivity--production means- dialectic , : and personas

  83. Dmitry Shiryaev

    These songs are really brilliant and sounding awesome. The story about Necastle's shipyards will be inspiring me anytime. Thanks a lot for publishing this original video. I have never been to the Public Theatre but I'm sure that is a wonderful place where people can listen to so great artists!

  84. Attila Gönczi

    The duet with Jo si much more than a practical arrangement: it is a jewel, pure art

  85. Mark Sisom

    A M A Z I N G !!!! Give me chills. I have listened along to this while work probably a hundred times already.

  86. Bob Heiss

    This is an awesome video, love Sting's music and his humor. Voices all around are phenomenal! But need some help here; in the Song Sky Hooks and Tartan Paint there is a man playing what appears to be bamboo or rattan sticks, playing them like drum sticks.
    Can anyone tell what these are exactly called? Would like to use them with my own band and I'm not familiar with them.
    Thank in advance!

  87. Яi Я

    Ок' it's my life💝💝💝🎇🎇🎇🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥

  88. Яi Я

    Спасибо за прекрасную подачу.

  89. Matt Paine

    Epic. Great morning music...

  90. thecomfortstation

    His best songs in years, perhaps ever.

  91. Diana Miklavcic

    Sting, you are fucking fantastic!!!!

  92. Mario Natali

    Heart, style, sensitivity, professionalism. Sting keeps making people dream!

  93. patrice eckland

    I love hi storytelling and THAT VOICE!!!1

  94. Maarten Jan de Groot

    What a surprise to find this on a Wednesday morning. 227 russian trolls dislike this apparently. It is brilliant

  95. Leonardo Daniel Leidi Mora

    Thank you Marcelo Longobardi

  96. sam herbert

    i really like this guy. i'm a few months younger than him. i'm a chocklet brown he is what he is. since the 80's we walked joked and hurt and pain joy and love yes most important we never feared indeed. yes indeed.let us make a joyful noise. we were taught how to shake the gates of heaven and whisper to calm the storm there after. yep i say again indeed.

  97. Zip82616

    REALLY love, love this - have been listening non stop

  98. Isa Rian Fadilah

    love practical arrangement!