Advent 21: I Saw Three Ships…

p1170778p1170569I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day?
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas Day in the morning?

The Virgin Mary and Christ were there,
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day;
The Virgin Mary and Christ were there,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

Photos of the Port of Southampton © Southampton Old Lady

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12 thoughts on “Advent 21: I Saw Three Ships…

  1. A wonderful pairing of images and lyrics. I especially like the contrasts in the second photo — and you know which of the ships I’d prefer! You never could find the Blessed Virgin and the Christ on that cruise ship — too crowded!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A lovely juxtaposition. I once saw that great sadly deceased guitarist, John Renbourn, play a beautiful instrumental version of this. He recounted how he had once told an American audience that the tune remembered an old English custom of sawing up ships on the seashore at Christmas time. “Gee, really? was the response.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Beautiful picture! But for some reason, I hated that carol as a child, and my brother would sing it just to annoy me, and I would shout at him, “there were no ships on Christmas!!! That makes no sense.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have to go back to Elizabethan times when if ships came sailing in it meant that it didn’t sink, it would be full of treasure (pirate gold) and times would be prosperous, it must have been a saying at the time – it might be a reference to the three wise men from the East but it might just mean presents. I have always liked it because living in a port I love ships. My daughter went to school in Spain and sang it with a Spanish accent ” I saw three chips come selling in”

      Liked by 1 person

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