Sail Away

Written by Randy Newman

Lyrics

In America you’ll get food to eat
Won’t have to run through the jungle
And scuff up your feet
You’ll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day
It’s great to be an American
Ain’t no lions or tigers-ain’t no mamba snake
Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake
Everybody is as happy as a man can be

Climb aboard, little wog – sail away with me
Sail away, sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean to the Charleston Bay
Sail away, sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean to the Charleston Bay

In America every man is free
To take care of his home and his family
You’ll be (as) happy as a monkey in a monkey tree
You’re gonna be an American
Sail away, sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean to the Charleston Bay
Sail away, sail away
We will cross the mighty ocean to the Charleston Bay

Commentary

From the soundtrack to the film Beautiful People, this song first appeared on Randy Newman’s 1972 album of the same name. In the film it’s a brief extract as BBC reporter Jerry Higgins flies out to cover the Bosnian war. Performed with Ghostland – John Reynolds (drums and bass), Caroline Dale (cello), Justin Adams (guitars, darbouka) with Carol Isaacs on keyboards.

Director Jasmin Dizdar told Billboard in March 2000 that Kirsty was so keen to participate that she donated her vocal services. “This is a low-budget film, and we didn’t have money to pay her. But she said she’d really always wanted to sing that song, so she just came and set up the microphones and sung it for us”.

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