Ship Ahoy (Old Ship of Zion)

Chalky White asked Daughter Maitland to sing “the old words” to “The Old Ship of Zion” in Episode 8, Season 4 of Boardwalk Empire, and Daughter knew just what he meant. Well, that sure was something, because there are so many versions of the songs, it’s incredible!

We found a great one that has the words of the first verse Daughter sang. This one is often called “Ship Ahoy” because of the chorus. Daughter did not sing the Ship Ahoy chorus. She began singing lines that began with “It’s the old ship of Zion, Hosanna!” and got two more lines in that both ended with Hosanna.

I was drifting away on life’s pitiless sea,
And the angry waves threatened my ruin to be,
When away at my side, there I dimly descried,
A stately old vessel, and loudly I cried–
“Ship, a-hoy! Ship, a-hoy!”
And loudly I cried: “Ship a-hoy!”

‘Twas the Old ship of Zion, thus sailing along,
All aboard her seemed joyous, I heard their sweet song;
And the Captain’s kind ear, ever ready to hear,
Caught my wail of distress, as I cried out in fear–
“Ship, a-hoy! Ship, a-hoy!”
As I cried out in fear: “Ship, a-hoy!”

The good Captain commanded a boat to be lowered,
And with tender compassion, He took me on board;
Now I’m happy to-day, all my sins washed away
In the blood of my Saviour; and now I can say–
“Bless the Lord! Bless the Lord!”
And now I can say: “Bless the Lord!”

Additional verse:

O soul, sinking down ‘neath sin’s merciless wave,
The strong arm of our Captain is mighty to save;
Then trust Him today, no longer delay,
Board the old ship of Zion, and shout on your way:
“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
Shout and sing on your way: “Jesus saves!”

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