Sting: When the Last Ship Sails

Synopsis: In an intimate evening of music and storytelling filmed on Sting's birthday during a run of benefit concerts at The Public Theater in New York City, "The Last Ship" features Sting joined by 14 musicians performing original songs from his critically acclaimed album and Broadway musical of the same name. Inspired by his childhood experiences, "The Last Ship," is set in the seafaring community of Wallsend in the North East of England where Sting was born and raised and marks his Broadway debut as a composer. Against a backdrop of evocative visual projections, this captivating live performance takes us on a journey of love, loss, redemption, and self-discovery, offering an inside look at the story behind "The Last Ship."
Genre: Documentary
83 min

I wrote this music and I wrote

these songs... to accompany a play.

A play about my hometown,

which is a shipyard town

in the North of England.

When I think of the environment I was

raised in, these streets and this ship,

such a huge part of our identity,

part of who we were...


I am fiercely proud of it.

It's all there in my gospels

The Magdalene girl,

comes to pay her respects

But her mind is awhirl,

when she finds the tomb empty

The stone had been rolled

Not a sign of a corpse,

in the dark and the cold

When she reaches the door,

sees an unholy sight

There's this solitary figure,

in a halo of light

He just carries on

floating past Calvary Hill

In an almighty hurry, aye,

but she might catch him still

Tell me where are ye going Lord,

and why in such haste?

Now don't hinder me woman,

I've no time to waste

For they're launching a

boat on the morrow at noon

And I have to be

there before daybreak

Oh, I cannae be missing,

the lads'll expect me

Why else would the good

Lord himself... resurrect me,

for nothing will stop me,

I have to prevail

Through the teeth of this tempest,

in the mouth of a gale

May the angels protect me,

if all else should fail

When the last ship sails

Oh, the roar of the chains,

and the cracking of timbers

The noise at the end of

the world in your ears

As a mountain of steel

makes its way to the sea

And the last ship sails

It's that strange kind of beauty,

it's cold and austere

And whatever it was,

that ye've done to be here

It's the sum of your hopes,

your despairs and your fears

When the last ship sails

Whoa, the first to arrive,

saw these signs in the east

Like that strange moving

finger at Balthazar's Feast

Where they asked the advice

of some wandering priest

And the sad ghosts of men whom

they'd thought long deceased

And whatever got said

they'd be counted at least

When the last ship sails

Oh, the roar of the chains,

and the cracking of timbers

The noise at the end of

the world in your ears

As a mountain of steel

makes its way to the sea

And the last ship sails

And whatever you'd promised,

whatever you've done

And whatever the station

in life you've become

In the name of the Father,

in the name of the Son

And whatever the weave

of this life that you've spun

On the Earth or in Heaven,

or under the sun

When the last ship sails

Oh, the roar of the chains,

and the cracking of timbers

The noise at the end

of the world in your ears

As a mountain of steel

makes its way to the sea

And the last ship


Welcome, everybody.

I'm delighted to be here because

I'm, I'm presenting some

brand-new songs for the

first time in almost a decade.

All of these songs you'll hear tonight,

or most of them, anyway,

have been inspired by

the writing of a play.

Now, you're not going

to see the play tonight.

Although one of our leading men

is right here by me, Mr. Jimmy Nail.

What you're going to hear,

what you're going to hear is the

the raw material from which

this play is being carved,

or constructed,

or pieced together.

That's not a collage, it's the picture of my

street, the street I was born and raised in,

and when I was old enough

to walk out the front door,

I turned south towards the river,

and that's what I'd see.

This mighty ship at the end the street,

blotting out the sky and the sun for most,

most of the year.

It was quite a sight.

But it was a surreal,

industrial landscape,

and every morning I'd watch thousands

of men walk to work, down that hill,

to work on the ships.

I'd watch them come back at night.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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