Pleasures of the Harbor

Words and Music by Phil Ochs

Lyrics

And the ship sets the sail
They've lived the tales to carry to the shore
Straining at the oars or staring from the rails
And the sea bids farewell
She waves and swells and sends them on their way
Time has been her pay, and time will have to tell

Chorus
Oh! Soon your sailing will be over
Come and take your pleasures of the harbor

And the anchor hits the sand, the hungry hands have tied them to the port
The hour will be short for the leisure on the land
And the girls scent the air, they seem so fair, with paint upon their face
Soft is their embrace to lead them up the stairs

Chorus

In the room dark and dim, the touch of skin, he asks her of her name
She answers with no shame and not a sense of sin
The fingers draw the blind, the sip of wine, the cigarette of doubt
Till the candle is blown out, the darkness is so kind

Chorus

And the shadows frame the light, the same old sight, the thrill has flown away
All alone they lay, two strangers in the night
Then his heart skips a beat, he's on his feet, to shipmates he must join
She's counting up the coins, he's swallowed by the street

Chorus

In the bar hangs a cloud, the whiskey's loud, there's laughter in their eyes
The lonely in disguise are clinging to the crowd
And the bottle fills the glass, the haze is fast, he's trembling for the taste
Of passions gone to waste, in memories of the past

Chorus

In the alley wet with rain, a cry of pain, for love was but a smile
Teasing all the while, now dancing down the drain
Till the boys reach the dock, they gently mock, and lift him on their backs
To lay him on his rack, to sleep beneath the clock

Chorus

And the ship sets the sail
They've lived the tales to carry to the shore
Straining at the oars or staring from the rails
And the sea bids farewell
She waves and swells and sends them on their way
Time has been her pay, and time will have to tell

Chorus

Notes

Copyright © 1966 BARRICADE MUSIC, INC. (ASCAP)