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"Ship A-Sailing" Lyrics, Text Format

Advanced: syncopated rhythms in 6/8, extended range,
ascending/descending arpeggios and octave skips.



  • Grade: Second
  • Origin: England – Nursery Rhyme
  • Key: A Flat Major
  • Time: 6/8
  • Form: rhythm: ABABCDCD – pitches: ABAbCDCE
  • Rhythm: advanced: | ta ti ti ti ti | ta/ ta ti | syncopation, | ta ti ta ti | syncopation, | ta/a/ ti ri |
    syncopation, | ta ti ta ti ri | syncopation
  • Pitches: advanced: Mi Fa So La Ti Do Re Mi So – extended range
  • Intervals: advanced: So/Mi, Mi\Do\So descending tonic arpeggio, Mi/So/Mi8, Do\So, So/Re, Re\Ti\Sodescending dominate arpeggio, So/Do, So/So8dominate octave skip, So8\So dominate octave skip
  • Musical Elements: notes; dotted quarter, quarter, eighth, sixteenth; pickup beat, tied notes, feeling duple meter (dotted quarters) in 6/8 time, syncopation, melodic rhythm patterns
  • Key Words: world geography: England; nursery rhyme, sailing, parts of a boat/ship, sea, deeply, laden, pretty, candy, cabin, apples, hold (lower storage area), sails, satin, masts, gold, four and twenty (24), stood, decks, white, mice, rings, necks, captain, duck, jacket, fairy, quack, duck sounds


“Ship A-Sailing”

I saw a ship a-sailing,
A-sailing on the sea,
And it was deeply laden
With pretty things for me.
There was candy in the cabin
And apples in the hold;
The sails were made of satin
And the masts were made of gold.
2. The four and twenty sailors
That stood between the decks,
Were four and twenty black mice
With rings about their necks.
The captain was a duck, a duck
With a jacket on his back;
And when the fairy ship set sail
The captain said, “Quack, quack.”
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"Ship A-Sailing" Music Format
Click to enlarge: "Ship A-Sailing" Beats Format
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pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "Ship A-Sailing" Pitch Number Format
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letter names
Click to Enlarge: "Ship A-Sailing" Letter Names Format