Songs That Mention Both a Horse and a Boat

A Seattle radio station used to have a contest called Theme Park. They’d play three songs that had something in common; callers would try to guess the theme to win valuable prizes.

The link could be anything from a shared word in the titles to having the same songwriter to being the first track from the first album by each performer.

The station took user submissions; I had an idea for an entry but could only come up with two songs. My theme was horses and boats.

The contest is no longer running, but I am still searching for that elusive third song. Anybody that completes the set can come for a horse ride on my boat (once I get around to getting a horse and a boat).

The songs I came up with (with applicable lyrics):

If I Had a Boat by Lyle Lovett
And if I had a boat
I’d go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I’d ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

Buckskin Stallion Blues by Townes Van Zandt
If I had a buckskin stallion I’d tame him down and ride away
And if I had a flyin’ schooner, I’d sail into the light of day
If I had your love forever, sail into the light of day
If I had a buckskin stallion I’d tame him down and ride away
And if I had a golden galleon, I’d sail into the light of day
If I had your love forever, sail into the light of day
Thank you, and giddy up to starboard.

Does a song with rocking horse people count?

It’s not really a song in the true sense of a song, but Horse Latitudes by The Doors.

Loreena McKennit’s version of “The Highwayman”? It does have that “the moon was a ghostly galleon” line. Not an actual boat as such.

There’s a Jimmy Buffett one but the name escapes me at the moment.

Give A Man A Horse He Can Ride, by James Thomson

Give a man a horse he can ride,
Give a man a boat he can sail;
And his rank and wealth, his strength and health,
On sea nor shore shall fail.

Give a man a pipe he can smoke
Give a man a book he can read:
And his home is bright with a calm delight,
Though the room be poor indeed.

Give a man a girl he can love,
As I O my love, love thee;
And his heart is great with the pulse of fate,
At home, on land, on sea.

If I had a Fine White Horse by Secret Garden

If I had a fine white horse
I’d take you for a ride today
But since I have no fine white horse
Inside I’ll have to stay
And empty all the chamber-pots
And scrub the floors and such
For what’s there to do on a fine white horse?
It seems to me, not much

If I had a wooden boat
I’d take you for a sail today
But since I have no wooden boat
Inside I’ll have to stay
And catch and kill the mice
And pluck the chickens for the cook
But what’s there to do in a wooden boat
But sit up straight and look?

And worry our boat will start to drift
And float us out to sea
And land us on an isle of gold
Oh dear, oh dearie me


Do mules count as horses? Because I’ve got an old mule, her name is Sal, fifteen miles on the Erie Canal.

“Annan Water” by the Decemberists.

Best known of the thread for sure. Low bridge, everybody down!

And its by the hush, Me Boys
And be sure to hold your noise
And listen to poor Paddy’s sad narration
I was by hunger pressed
And by poverty distressed
So I took an oath to leave the Irish nation

So I sold me horse and plow
Sold me sheep, me pigs and sow
Me little farm of land and I we parted
And me sweetheart Beth Magee
I’m afeared I’ll never see
For I left her on that mornin’ broken hearted

And here’s you Boys, now take my advice
To Americay I’ll have you not be goin’
For there’s nothin’ here but war
Where the murderin’ cannons roar
And I wish I was back home
In dear old Ireland

So meself and a hundred more
To Americay sailed o’er
Our fortunes to be makin’ we were thinkin’
But when we got to Yankee-Land
They stuck a musket in me hands
Sayin’ “Paddy, you must go and fight for Lincoln.”

  • “Paddy’s Lamentation,” Traditional

On the fourth of July eighteen hundred and six
We set sail from the sweet cove of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand city hall in New York
'Twas a wonderful craft, she was rigged fore-and-aft
And oh, how the wild winds drove her.
She’d got several blasts, she’d twenty-seven masts
And we called her the Irish Rover!

We had one million bales of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stones
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides,
We had four million barrels of bones.
We had five million hogs, we had six million dogs,
Seven million barrels of porter.
We had eight million bails of old nanny goats’ tails,
In the hold of the Irish Rover!

  • “The Irish Rover,” Traditional

Thats what I was gonna say before I noticed your post, so I tried to think of another. John Lennon is sure the only one to have written TWO well known songs with horses and boats-

Lucy in the Sky as mentioned, and

I - I - I -I - I Dig a pony

You can syndicate any boat you row
Yes you can syndicate any boat you row

Big Hat, No Cattle by Randy Newman gets bonus points for rhyming “big horse, no saddle” with “big boat, no paddle”.

Low Bridge

If by “horse” you mean “mule” and by “boat” you mean “barge”. And by “mention” you mean “infer” (regarding the barge).

Those are perhaps the only two things not mentioned in Don McClean’s “By, By Miss American Pie.”

While the horse is not directly stated it is implied in a number of places in “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.” Apparently if you look on Lydia, you can see the Battle of Waterloo, and you can see Andrew Jackson coming up a hill and you can see Buffalo Bill with a Lasso all of which would suggest to me mounted men. The boats are more clearly stated.

Wounded Horse - XTC

*Well my friends all said
you won’t sink if you paddle
But my ship drifts on into an endless night

Well I bit my own tongue
like a wounded horse
When I found out you’d been riding
Another man*

The Lady of Shalott

There is verse mentioning she is riding in a boat, but the word boat is never written.

I’m On A Boat.

Except for the horse thing.