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We all have our favorite songs to listen to while sailing, isn't that right? Something about the wind and water, the motion of the boat, and the relaxed sailing lifestyle begs to be put to music. A good sailing song can transport you to another time and place, where things are simpler and your only concern is the strength and direction of the breeze.
Without the best sailing songs to play while sailing, what good is it to be out on the water? Here are a few favorites that will make you never want the day to end when the sails are up.
This list of sailing songs is for you if you're creating the perfect sailing playlist or if you're currently on a sailing adventure and need some inspiration.
Sailing - Rod Stewart
In the first few lines of Rod Stewart's "Sailing," he lists the reasons why many men have gone to sea: to be near a woman, to reach home on a distant shore, or, conversely, "to be free." It's widely assumed that this emotionally charged song was written when Rod Stewart was homesick. Whatever the meaning, it's difficult not to hum along as Stewart sings, "I'm sailing, I'm sailing...", and his literal sailor costume in the music video is pretty epic.
Don't Rock My Boat - Bob Marley
The Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley written this masterpiece, it refers to keeping peace in interpersonal interactions, daily life, as well as on the open seas. It's also a calming reggae song perfect for your yachting playlist.
Come Sail Away - Styx
This Styx song begins soft and soothing as we "sail away on an open sea," but wait until minute two to hear it reach its full classic rock crescendo. And if a swarm of angels appears above your head and orders you to sail away, you should probably take their advice. This is one song to crank up and rock out to if you're getting ready to go sailing.
Lost Sailor - Grateful Dead
"Lost Sailor" is from the Dead's 1980 album Go To Heaven, which was not well received at the time but has since proven to be one of their stronger studio albums. The Grateful Dead aren't exactly known for their studio cuts, but that doesn't mean the songs aren't good. This is simply one of those bands that captures the energy much better live.
Into The Mystic - Van Morrison
Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" is another sailing song that fits perfectly with the act of sailing. Van Morrison captures the steady forward motion that you'd have before a calm breeze, thanks to a rolling bass line that feels like a peaceful wave on the ocean.
Soul of a Sailor – Kenny Chesney
The 'Caribbean Cowboy' is about sailing. When it comes to the heart of a sailor, this one is surprisingly perfect. "When the wind fills my sail, riding on a lifelong swell, let my heart lead the way – that's the soul of a sailor."
Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) – Enya
This Enya song from the late 1980s is quite catchy. It stays with me every time we raise the sails. Enya's light voice lends this song a whimsical quality that complements the lyrics perfectly.
And here are some more!
Sailing — Christopher Cross
Rolling Sea — Vetiver
Land Ho — The Doors
The Downeaster ‘Alexa’ — Billy Joel
Wellerman — Nathan Evans
Drunken Boat — Kendra Smith
Across the Sea — Wailin’ Jennys
I’m On A Boat — Lonely Island
Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) — Looking Glass
Where the Boat Leaves From — Zac Brown Band
Play Crack The Sky — Brand New
Thousands Are Sailing — The Pogues
Sailboat — Ben Rector
A Sailboat in the Moonlight — Billie Holiday
Sloop John B — Jerry Jeff Walker
If I Had a Boat — Lyle Lovett
Sailing Down My Golden River — Pete Seeger
Saucy Sailor — Steeleye Span
Sail on Sailor — Beach Boys
Fifteen Men (And a Bottle of Rum) — Robert Lewis Stevenson
Ship of Fools — Grateful Dead
Sailing Away — Chris de Burgh
Set Sail — The Movement
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay — Otis Redding
Sail — Awolnation
Come All You Sailors — Wailin’ Jennys
Sail Away — David Gray
Cool Change — Little River Band
When the Ship Comes In — Bob Dylan
Come on Down to My Boat — Every Mother’s Son
Six Months on a Leaky Boat — Split Enz
Smooth Sailing — Queens of the Stone Age
Single Handed Sailor — Dire Straits
A Pirate Looks at 40 — Jimmy Buffett
Rock the Boat — The Hues Corporation
Southern Cross — Crosby, Stills & Nash
Only the Ocean — Jack Johnson
Full Sail — Beach Boys
Son of a Son of a Sailor — Jimmy Buffett
I’m All at Sea — Jamie Cullum
Drunken Sailor — Irish Rovers
Hopefully, you'll find your favorite sailing songs here and learn about some fresh boat music as well. Have fun and safe sailing!