The Paul McCartney Project

On A Slow Boat To China

Written by Frank LoesserUnreleased song

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

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 (for their album Fancy Meeting You Here (1958)), 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 in 1960.

Ronnie Dove recorded the song for his 1966 album Ronnie Dove Sings the Hits for You.

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.

Idiom

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.

Last updated on December 8, 2018

Live performances

“On A Slow Boat To China” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played



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