(I'd Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"(I'd Love to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China"
Published 1948
Writer Frank Loesser
Recorded by Kay Kyser; Freddy Martin; Benny Goodman, Art Lund; Larry Clinton; Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby; Ella Fitzgerald; Joni James; Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band; Fats Domino; Liza Minnelli; Kay Starr; Emile Ford and the Checkmates; Bette Midler and Barry Manilow
Performed by Miss Piggy, Paul McCartney

"(I'd Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China" is a popular song by Frank Loesser, published in 1948.

The song is a well-known pop standard, recorded by many artists, including a duet between Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni James, Jimmy Buffett, Fats Domino and Liza Minnelli.

In the UK, the biggest hit version was recorded by Emile Ford and the Checkmates peaking at #3 in the official singles chart.

Bette Midler and Barry Manilow recorded the song for Midler's album Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook (2003).

Miss Piggy performed the song with actor Roger Moore an episode of The Muppet Show.

Paul McCartney sang this song to honor Frank Loesser.

Memorable first verse[edit]

The song opens with the memorable first verse:-

I'd love to get you on a slow boat to China
All by myself, alone.
Get you and keep you in my arms evermore,
Leave all your lovelies weeping on the far away shore.

Hit recordings[edit]

Recorded by Released by catalog number Date first reached the
Billboard magazine
Best Seller chart
weeks on chart peak notes
Kay Kyser Vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood Columbia Records 38301 October 15, 1948 19 #2 [1] This version was a #1 hit in Australia in 1949 as well.
Freddy Martin and His Orchestra Vocal: Glenn Hughes and The Martin Men RCA Victor Records 20-3123 October 29, 1948 17 #5 [1]
Benny Goodman Capitol Records 15208 November 12, 1948 12 #10 [1]
Art Lund MGM Records 10269 November 5, 1948 9 #13 [1]
Larry Clinton Decca Records 24482 November 26, 1948 1 #27 [1]


Frank Loesser's daughter, Susan Loesser, authored a biography of her father, A Most Remarkable Fella (1993), in which she writes:

The idea being that a "slow boat to China" was the longest trip one could imagine. Loesser moved the phrase to a more romantic setting, yet it eventually entered general parlance to mean anything that takes an extremely long time.[2]


This song is;

  • Featured briefly in the Adventure Time episode "Bad Timing", sung by Tree Trunks.
  • Briefly sang by "Mother" (played by June Whitfield) in an episode of the long running BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous called "Fish Farm".
  • Played on in the title of the song "Slow Hole to China" on the 2003 album of the same name by the band Clutch.


  1. ^ a b c d e Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940–1955. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. 
  2. ^ Loesser, Susan. A Most Remarkable Fella: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life, A Portrait by His Daughter. Donald I. Fine. 1993.