The Ship

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Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track of Brian Eno's The Ship album. One of the starting points for the record was Eno's fascination with the First World War, which followed immediately after the sinking of the Titanic. He explained: "The Titanic was the Unsinkable Ship, the apex of human technical power, set to be Man's greatest triumph over nature. The First World War was the war of materiel, 'over by Christmas', set to be the triumph of Will and Steel over humanity. The catastrophic failure of each set the stage for a century of dramatic experiments with the relationships between humans and the worlds they make for themselves."

    "I was thinking of those vast dun Belgian fields where the First World War was agonizingly ground out; and the vast deep ocean where the Titanic sank; and how little difference all that human hope and disappointment made to it. They persist and we pass in a cloud of chatter."
  • Eno explained the story behind the 21-minute-long title track: "The piece started as an ambient work intended for a multi-channel sound installation in Stockholm, but during the making of it I discovered that I could now sing a low C - which happens to be the root note of the piece."

    "Getting older does have a few fringe benefits after all. From that point the work turned into an unusual kind of song... a type I've never made before where the vocal floats free, untethered to a rhythmic grid of any kind."
  • The Titanic hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland on April 14, 1912 during its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York. It sank with the loss of over 1500 lives. Here are three more songs inspired by The Titanic:

    "Tempest" by Bob Dylan (45-verse depiction of the Titanic disaster).

    "S.O.S." by Saxon (Literally about the sinking of the Titanic, but also a metaphor for people's belief in things being unsinkable).

    "My Heart Will Go On" by Celine Dion (Written by James Horner for The Titanic movie).
  • This should not be confused with Brian Eno's similarly titled instrumental "The Big Ship," a track from his 1975 Another Green World album.

Comments: 1

  • Cam Dix from Toronto, CanadaBrian Eno's instrumental piece "The Big Ship" moves me to my core. It can bring me up from my darkest moments.
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