Advent Reading Challenge: three ships

6th December

I Saw Three Ships (Anonymous)

line drawing of three ships

I saw three ships

This poem (which has also been set to music as a carol) features in a collection entitled Read Me: A Poem For Every Day Of The Year (10th anniversary edition) chosen by Gaby Morgan. This is a wide-ranging collection of poems guaranteed to encourage children’s enthusiasm for verse.

Here is the first verse of this old poem and as a festive treat I have also added below a clip of a recording of the carol by Blackmore’s Night (taken from Winter Carols)

Opinion differs on what the three ships represent: the Holy Trinity, Mary, Joseph and Jesus or the three wise men.

I saw three ships come sailing in,

Come sailing in, come sailing in,

I saw three ships come sailing in,

On Christmas Day in the morning.

Regular readers may recall from the interview with Paul Anthony Shortt that a song by Blackmore’s Night was an inspiration behind his novel Locked In. Thanks to Paul’s answers I have now discovered some new music!

Credits: clip uploaded to YouTube by Adiabatka on 08/06/2008 (with thanks)

illustration: Chris Mills


2 comments on “Advent Reading Challenge: three ships

  1. […] This is another verse taken from the children’s collection Read Me that I mentioned previously on the Advent […]


  2. […] to one of The Landing’s poetry collections for a suitable verse. You might recall that Read Me: A Poem for Every Day of the Year (chosen by Gaby Morgan) has appeared here before in poetry […]


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