The Scorpion Departs But Never Returns

Words and Music by Phil Ochs


Sailors climb the tree, up the terrible tree
Where are my shipmates, have they sunk beneath the sea?
I do not know much, but I know this cannot be
It isn't really, it isn't really, tell me it isn't really
Sounding bell is diving down the water green
Not a trace, not a toothbrush, not a cigarette was seen
Bubble ball is rising from a whisper or a scream
But I'm not screaming, no I'm not screaming, tell me I'm not screaming

Captain will not say how long we must remain
The phantom ship forever sails the sea
It's all the same

Captain, my dear captain
We're staying down so long
Oh, I have been a good man
I've done nobody wrong
Have we left our ladies
For the lyrics of a song
That I'm not singing, that I'm not singing?
Tell me I'm not singing
The schooner ship is sliding
Across the kitchen sink
My son and my daughter
They won't know what to think
The crew has turned to voting
And the officers to drink
And I'm not drinking, I'm not drinking
Tell me I'm not drinking

The radio is begging them to come back to the shore
All will be forgiven, it will be just like before
All you've ever wanted will be waiting by the door
We will forgive you, we will forgive you
Tell me we'll forgive you
But no one gives an answer, not even one goodbye
Oh the silence of their sinking is all that they reply
Some have chosen to decay and others chose to die
But I'm not dying, no I'm not dying
Tell me I'm not dying


Copyright (C) 1971 BARRICADE MUSIC, INC. (ASCAP)