Sails of Silver
Sails of Silver / Senior Service
Chrysalis CHS 2479 (single, p/s, UK, 1980)
Steeleye Span released Sails of Silver in 1980 as a single with the B-side Senior Service and as the title track of their reunion album Sails of Silver. A live recording from the Royal Opera Theatre in Adelaide, Australia in 1982 was released on the rare Australia-only LP On Tour and in 2001 on the CD Gone to Australia.
The song and album got their title from a phrase in Brass Monkey's thematically related song A Maiden Sat A-Weeping (Roud 170).
Steeleye Span sing Sails of Silver
Fair maid in a garden walking along
What is it makes her to weep and to mourn?
I am as a tall sailing ship out on the sea
Where only long breezes reach out to me
And I'll set my sails of silver
And I'll steer towards the sun
And you, false love will weep for me
When I'm gone, when I'm gone, when I'm gone
Fair maid in a garden, how can it be?
Eyes staring seaward but what does she see?
A mast of the tall rowan tree, ropes of fine silk
Decks holy stoned shining whiter than milk