Captain of Your Ship

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"Captain of Your Ship" is the title of a pop song, first recorded by the US girl group Reparata and the Delrons, and released as a single in 1968 on the Bell record label. It was written by Kenny Young and Ben Yardley.

The song is unusual in its atmospheric use of sound effects (foghorn, ship's bell, Morse code) and features psychedelic instrumentation and treatments including electric sitar, backwards piano, filtered vocals and phasing. Lead singer Mary O'Leary told Mojo magazine in May 2008, "I thought it was horrible — the foghorn, the way they had changed my voice with effects. But I grew to like it, and it afforded the opportunity to go over to London ... In America, it fizzled. People in England liked quirkier stuff, and 'Captain of Your Ship' was quirky."

To be precise, although the song only made #127 in the U.S. national charts, it became the group's biggest hit when it made #13 in the UK Singles Chart,[1][2] and the group toured the United Kingdom, with the backing group Clouds.

Young said[3] of this period: "I accompanied them to Top of the Pops ...[and]...attended the reception for their hit single "Captain of Your Ship", along with John Lennon and Ringo at the Revolution Club in London. I met half the Beatles at our own reception..."

Some sources credit Lorraine Mazzola with the lead vocal on the recording of "Captain of Your Ship",[4] but a filmed live performance from German television, widely available on video sharing websites, shows Mary Aiese singing lead. The confusion may have arisen because Mazzola did become lead singer of the group the following year, when Mary Aiese stopped performing live. The filmed performance, with an introduction in German by Dave Lee Travis, appears to be the only existing archive television footage of the group from their 1960s heyday.

"Captain of Your Ship" was re-released twice in the UK: on Bell Records in 1972, and as B-side in January 1985 on the Old Gold label as OG 9504, with the A-side, "Keep On", by Bruce Channel.[5]

Cover versions and other uses of the song[edit]

  • Betty Boo sampled the song for her 1990 hit single, "Doin' the Do".
  • The rave group Ratpack recorded a version of the song in the 1990s with modified lyrics[6]
  • A German version called "Bleib' hier Johnny" was recorded by Patty in 1968 (CBS 3283)[7]
  • The song featured on a mid-1990s Müllerice television ad, with modified lyrics[8]
  • Songwriter Kenny Young's own band Fox recorded the song, and it was released on an album in 1996.[9]


  1. ^ "ChartArchive - Reparata And The Delrons - Captain Of Your Ship". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 458. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Kenny Young". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  4. ^ "Reparata & The Delrons Biography". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Reparata And The Delrons - Captain Of Your Ship / Keep On - Old Gold - UK - OG 9504". 45cat. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  6. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  7. ^ "Vinyle - Achat, Vente Neuf & d'Occasion". PriceMinister. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Muller Advert 90's.avi". YouTube. 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  9. ^ "Captain Of Your Ship - Fox. Noosha wmv". YouTube. 2011-06-10. Retrieved 2014-05-23.