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

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"(I'd Love to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China"
Written byFrank Loesser
Published1948
Recorded byKay Kyser, Freddy Martin, Benny Goodman, Art Lund, Larry Clinton, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni James, Jimmy Buffett, Fats Domino, Liza Minnelli
Performed byMiss Piggy, Paul McCartney
 
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"(I'd Love to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China"
Written byFrank Loesser
Published1948
Recorded byKay Kyser, Freddy Martin, Benny Goodman, Art Lund, Larry Clinton, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni James, Jimmy Buffett, Fats Domino, Liza Minnelli
Performed byMiss 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 Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni James, Jimmy Buffett, Fats Domino and Liza Minnelli.

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.

Hit recordings[edit]

Recorded byReleased bycatalog numberDate first reached the
Billboard magazine
Best Seller chart
weeks on chartpeaknotes
Kay KyserColumbia Records38301October 15, 194819#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 MenRCA Victor Records20-3123October 29, 194817#5[1]
Benny GoodmanCapitol Records15208November 12, 194812#10[1]
Art LundMGM Records10269November 5, 19489#13[1]
Larry ClintonDecca Records24482November 26, 19481#27[1]

Idiom[edit]

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.[2]

Media[edit]

This song is featured prominently in the Peter Greenaway film 8½ Women.

This song is also featured in the Paul Thomas Anderson film The Master (2012 film).

References[edit]

  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.