(I'd Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China
|"(I'd Love to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China"|
In the UK, the biggest hit version was recorded by Emile Ford and the Checkmates peaking at #3 in the official singles chart.
Paul McCartney sang this song to honor Frank Loesser.
Memorable first verse
The song opens with the memorable first verse:-
- I'd love to get you on a slow boat to China
- All to myself, alone.
- Get you and keep you in my arms evermore,
- Leave all your lovers weeping on the far away shore.
|Recorded by||Released by||catalog number||Date first reached the
Best Seller chart
|weeks on chart||peak||notes|
|Kay Kyser Vocal: Harry Babbitt & Gloria Wood||Columbia Records||38301||October 15, 1948||19||#2|| 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|||
|Benny Goodman||Capitol Records||15208||November 12, 1948||12||#10|||
|Art Lund||MGM Records||10269||November 5, 1948||9||#13|||
|Larry Clinton||Decca Records||24482||November 26, 1948||1||#27|||
Frank Loesser's daughter, Susan Loesser, authored a biography of her father, A Most Remarkable Fella (1993), in which she writes:
|“||"I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China" was a well-known phrase among poker players, referring to a person who lost steadily and handsomely. My father turned it into a romantic song, placing the title in the mainstream of catch-phrases in 1947.||”|
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.
This song is;
- Featured prominently in the Peter Greenaway film 8½ Women.
- Featured in the Paul Thomas Anderson film The Master (2012 film).
- Featured briefly in the Adventure Time episode "Bad Timing", sung by Tree Trunks.
- Briefly sung 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.
- The title of a short story by Haruki Murakami, translated into English in the collection The Elephant Vanishes.
- Referred to in Only Fools and Horses; an episode is called Slow Bus to Chingford.
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940–1955. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research.
- 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.