Songs of my Youth – Come on Down to my Boat

Sometimes an old song will buzz through my head as if I were still a kid. I discovered pop music in the summer of 1966, my 13th summer. I spent a few weeks with my slightly older cousins in Michigan, and they taught me the ropes. When I went back home, they sent “Hanky Panky” with me, probably because they were tired of hearing it anyway. We’re talking 45s. None of us had enough money to buy albums very often.

I thought it might be interesting to write about some of these old songs as they recur in my head. Many of them are mostly forgotten these days, and rightly so. Some of the artists had only one song that anyone at all would remember.

Today it is “Come on Down to my Boat”, recorded by Every Mother’s Son in 1967. Apparently this recording made it pretty high in the Billboard charts that year, but I didn’t realize that The Rare Breed (later called Ohio Express) had recorded it the year before without it breeding much success.

Apple Music Link

Lyrics (via songlyrics.com)

She sits on the dock a fishin' in the water uh, huh
I don't know her name she's the fisherman's daughter uh, huh

Come on down to my boat baby
Come on down where we can play
Come on down to my boat baby
Come on down we'll sail away.

She smiled so nice like she wants to come with me uh, huh
But she's tied to the dock and she can't get free

Come on down to my boat baby ...
Fish all day sleep all night
Father never lets her out of his sight
Soon I'm gonna have to get my knife and cut that rope, cut that rope
Then we can go fishin' in my little red boat
Make you happy in my little red boat
so come on down to my boat baby ...

This song was popular when I was 14. I could probably mostly sing along with it on the radio (WIFE probably), but I also probably never thought much about the words.

It is a typical song of frustrated love. Frustrated by parents. Now that I’m on the other end of life, I know that I’d also tie my daughter to the dock if that’s what it took to keep her away this hypersexed guy who wants to take her to his boat and play. And sail away, too, if he can get by with it.

The memorable this about this song to me is my uncle’s version. At the time he was working for a meat company in Indianapolis. He worked in a smokehouse (man did he smell good when he came home from work!) and he made a product call Pork Tasties, which were what I’d call smoky links today.

His version went “come on down to my Pork Tasty”… That’s the version that has been running through my head today.

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