Best Music for Sailing Throughout the Decades

hair blowing in the wind on sailing yacht

Spending a day on the water and unsure of what to listen to? Below are some of the best sailing songs from the 1950s to the 2010s. With genres ranging from pop, classic rock, and reggae, you can create the perfect sailing music playlist.

50s Music for Sailing:

“Red Sails in the Sunset” – Tab Hunter 

Release Date: 1957

Genre: Rock

Best lyrics:  “She sailed at the dawning, all day I’ve been blue. Red sails in the sunset, I’m trusting in you.”

“Beyond the Sea” – Bobby Darin

Release date: 1959

Genre: R&B

Best lyrics:  “Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me, my lover stands on golden sands, and watches the ships that go sailing.”

“Sea Cruise” – Frankie Ford

Release date: 1959

Genre: Rock

Best lyrics:  “So be my guest, you got nothin’ to lose. Won’t ya let me take you on a sea cruise?”

60s Music for Sailing:

“I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” – Patsy Cline

Release date: 1963

Genre: Country 

Best lyrics:  “With all the dreams I own, drifting out across the ocean blue”

“When the Ship Comes In” – Bob Dylan 

Release date: 1964

Genre: Rock

Best lyrics:  “Then the sands will roll out a carpet of gold for your weary toes to be a-touching’”

Wooden Ships” – Creedence Clearwater Revival 

Release date: 1969

Genre: Soft rock

Best lyrics: “Sail away where the mornin’ sun goes high, sail away where the wind blows sweet and young birds fly”

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The 70s

“A Pirate Looks At Forty” – Jimmy Buffet

Release date: 1974

Genre: Pop

Best lyrics: “Mother ocean I have heard your call, wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall”

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“Sailing” – Rod Stewart 

Release date: 1975

Genre: Hard rock

Best lyrics:  “I am sailing stormy waters to be near you, to be free”

“Sail On Sailor” – The Beach Boys

Release date: 1977

Genre: Rock

Best lyrics: “Heartbreak searing, always fearing. Never caring, persevering. Sail on, sail on, sailor”

The 80s

“Sailing” – Christopher Cross

 Release date: 1980

Genre: Soft rock 

Best lyrics:  “Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be. Just a dream and the wind to carry me, and soon I will be free.”

Southern Cross” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 

Release date: 1982

Genre: Soft rock

Best lyrics:  “My love is an anchor tied to you, tied with a silver chain”

“The Downeaster “Alexa”” – Billy Joel 

Release date: 1989

Genre: Rock

Best lyrics:  “And I go where the ocean is deep. There’s giants out there in the canyons, and a good captain can’t fall asleep.”

The 90s

“The Wild Wild Sea” – Sting 

Release date: 1991

Genre: Pop rock

Best lyrics:  “I swam till the night became morning, black sail in a reddening sky”

“The Tide Will Rise” – Bruce Hornsby

Release date: 1993

Genre: Rock

Best lyrics:  “Oh, we’ll be working on the water when the long, long day is gone”

“Barometer Soup” – Jimmy Buffet 

Release date: 1995

Genre: Soft rock

Best lyrics:  “I travel on the song lines that only dreamers see”

The 00s

“Life On A Boat” – Gene Mitchell

Release date: 2003

Genre: Pop

Best lyrics: “Once you discover the beauty of sail, you never can get enough”

“Where The Boat Leaves From” – Zac Brown Band 

Release date: 2007

Genre: Country

Best lyrics:  “You got worries you can drop them in the blue ocean, but you gotta get away to where the boat leaves from”

“The Movement” – Set Sail 

Release date: 2008

Genre: Reggae

Best lyrics: “Look up in the sky, let the stars take you home”

The 10s:

“Only the Ocean” – Jack Johnson

 Release date: 2010

Genre: Rock

Best lyrics: “Stars come out, I’m finally free. It’s only the ocean and me.”

“Sail Into the Sun” – Gentleman Hall

Release date: 2013

Genre: Alternative

Best lyrics: “Don’t need no reason, we’ll just get away when we sail into the sun”

“Wind In Our Sail” – Weezer

Release date: 2016

Genre: Alternative

Best lyrics:  “We got the wind in our sail and we can do so many great things together”



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