Wooden Ships ~ Crosby Stills & Nash

crosby-stills-nashInitially formed by the trio of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, the genesis of the group lies in two 1960s rock bands, The Byrds and The Hollies, and the demise of a third, Buffalo Springfield. Friction existed between David Crosby and his bandmates in the Byrds, and he was dismissed from the Byrds in the fall of 1967.

By early 1968, Buffalo Springfield had also disintegrated over personal issues, and after aiding in putting together the band’s final album, Stephen Stills found himself unemployed by the summer. He and Crosby began meeting informally and jamming, the results of one encounter in Florida on Crosby’s schooner being the song “Wooden Ships,” composed in collaboration with another guest, Paul Kantner.

Graham Nash had been introduced to Crosby when the Byrds had toured the UK in 1966, and when the Hollies ventured to California in 1968, Nash resumed his acquaintance with Crosby. At a party, Nash asked Stills and Crosby to repeat their performance of a new song by Stills, “You Don’t Have To Cry,” with Nash improvising a second harmony part. The vocals gelled, and the three realized that they had a unique vocal chemistry.

Creatively frustrated with the Hollies, Nash decided to quit and throw his lot in with Crosby and Stills.

Wooden Ships

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/CSN-wooden_ships.flv[/flv]

If you smile at me
I will understand
‘Cause that is something
Everybody everywhere does in the same language

I can see by your coat, my friend
You’re from the other side
There’s just one thing I’ve got to know
Can you tell me please, who won

Say, can I have some of your purple berries
Yes, I’ve been eating them for six or seven weeks now
Haven’t got sick once
Prob’ly keep us both alive

Wooden ships on the water, very free, and easy
Easy, you know the way it’s supposed to be
Silver people on the shoreline let us be
Talk’n ’bout very free, and easy

Horror grips us as we watch you die
All we can do is echo your anguished cries
Stare as all human feelings die
We are leaving, you don’t need us

Go take a sister, then, by the hand
Lead her away from this foreign land
Far away, where we might laugh again
We are leaving, you don’t need us

And it’s a fair wind
Blowin’ warm out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I’ll set a course and go

  • Audio from the 1969 album, Crosby, Stills & Nash:

album-crosby-stills-nash-1969
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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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