When the Ship Comes In
Bob Dylan Lyrics

Oh, the time will come up
When the winds will stop
And the breeze will cease to be breathin'
Like the stillness in the wind
Before the hurricane begins
The hour that the ship comes in

And the seas will split
And the ship will hit
And the sands on the shoreline will be shaking
Then the tide will sound
And the wind will pound
And the morning will be breaking

Oh, the fishes will laugh
As they swim out of the path
And the seagulls they'll be smiling
And the rocks on the sand
Will proudly stand
The hour that the ship comes in

And the words that are used
For to get the ship confused
Will not be understood as they're spoken
For the chains of the sea
Will have busted in the night
And will be buried at the bottom of the ocean

A song will lift
As the mainsail shifts
And the boat drifts on to the shoreline
And the sun will respect
Every face on the deck
The hour that the ship comes in

Then the sands will roll
Out a carpet of gold
For your weary toes to be a-touchin'
And the ship's wise men
Will remind you once again
That the whole wide world is watchin'

Oh, the foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'
But they'll pinch themselves and squeal
And know that it's for real
The hour when the ship comes in

Then they'll raise their hands
Sayin' we'll meet all your demands
But we'll shout from the bow your days are numbered
And like Pharaoh's tribe
They'll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they'll be conquered

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Bob Dylan

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Michael Cannon

When he wrote 'When the ship comes in', he was a folk star with a huge audience, and a golden shore was beneath his feet:

"and the sands will roll out a carpet of gold, for your weary toes to be a touching,
and the ships wise men will remind you once again, that the whole wide world is watching"

At the time I thought this was about a young Jewish man, mocking old enemies at his moment of triumph.

Some years later, I heard he wrote the song one morning in a blaze of anger, after the hotel manager refused to allow him to share a room with Joan Baez.

No wonder the song is so optimistic. He knew that a short journey to another hotel, would bring a better result.

Rodney Paxmudd

. I love it. I'll be the
Dylan fan looking for meaning in one of his songs!
Now that's funny! Hokey, sure, Sad? Bit its what ive always done. How can you not delve into it. To get the meaning or meanings in his stuff is like self evident.
not sure how to put it.
music = contemplate .."what was that" ..."does he mean" ..".how's that relate to..." and evem of i thought i knew , he'd lilely say it means what ever you understand it as.
you know.
his meaning , my meaning, the meaning it has for my life.
one of the reasons I feel he's so genius.
baahaahaaha the linknbelow, if you havent seen the show check it oit.
its special to me because the gig is at highes stadium in my homeyown of Fory Collins,CO
i guess they practiced aand got their shit togetjer to go on the Rolling Thunder tour.
a big deal since he was laying low for so long.
theres legends of tapes of practices at local elks club like places.
the town was small then l. Colorado State Unibersity is there. the stadium eas oit along the foot hills outside of town. High school buddy got bit by a rattle snake right there.
Anyway. i was maybe 9-10 y.o.
I remember my uncles went , and they being so psyched.
another fact..the Rolling Stones started their 1969 tour in that stadium. i mention it because, well that tour fodnt end so well.
i ramble...
its all the new stuff and versions all the folks.
Dylan looks as if he just crossed the desert and Joan Baez looks like a central american freedom fighter. red head band to gether they sing, "..i pity the poor immigramt...."
so choice.
ill get right on
Tombstone Blues.


fans! check out Jay Farrar.
his words and music speak for us now and over the past couple decades.
(see- Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, Gob Iron, solo stuff)



Foes will rise
With the sleep still in their eyes
They’ll jerk from their beds and think they’re dreamin’
But they’ll pinch themselves and squeal
And they'll know that it’s for real
The hour when the ship comes in

They’ll raise their hands
Sayin’, "We’ll meet all your demands"
But we’ll shout from the bow, "Your days are numbered!"
And like Pharoah’s tribe
They’ll be drownded in the tide
And like Goliath, they’ll be conquered

All comments from YouTube:

Stanley Okimoto

This was one of the four songs that Bob performed as one of the opening acts for Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. When MLK delivered the speech, Bob stood only a few feet away from him.

dan o'shea

@Ley Unico - you're Ignorance seems only rivalled by your misplaced pride.lol. ;-)

Ley Unico


Caroline Nilsson


Major Tom

A lot of Dylan songs can bring tears to your eyes. But with this one, it's tears of hope and joy

big bictors

I love the word " tears " thank you, love all, big

Ken Bellchambers

@Oddity I am not saying it is bad, I am saying it moves me deeply. I am waiting expectantly for that ship to come in.


I don't know, this one didn't seem that bad.

Ken Bellchambers

Almost all of his songs bring tears to my eyes. Corina, Dark Eyes, Girl From the North Country...........and so many more.


"The breeze will cease to be breathing" this line alone deserves a Nobel

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