Hanno the Navigator

Al Stewart

 

It’s a good day for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me

There’s an open sky and a steady breeze
Out beyond the pillars of Hercules
Above the foam-kissed waves
Sea gulls scream
Up in the masts of our trireme

And it’s a good day for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me

(Chorus) 
Water, water
From horizon to horizon
All I see is water

Steer beyond all maps and charts
Down along the coast of Africa
The first Phoenicians on this beach
Where the monkeys jibber and the parakeets screech

The strangest women run wild down there
Covered head to toe in fur and hair
They fight like demons, better let them be
Hanno the Navigator said to me

(Repeat chorus)

When you pull close to your fire at night
With your family framed in the candlelight
Safe within your walls of stone
In the only village you’ve ever known

The rain-soaked moon pours splintered crystal shadows
on your window sill
Like sparks of light in the shifting skies
Our ancient ships go sailing still

Water, water
When my sailing days are done
I’ll see Poseidon’s daughter

Oarsmen pull and curse and sweat
Underneath this creaking deck
At night I hear their stories told
Strong through storms and weak for gold

And Carthage stands like an azure pearl
Here in the middle of the known world
And it’s a good day for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me

(repeat chorus)