Harman Patil (Editor)

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

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"(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 a duet between Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby, 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.

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.

Memorable first verse

The song opens with the memorable first verse:-

I'd love to get you on a slow boat to ChinaAll to myself, alone.Get you and keep you in my arms evermore,Leave all your lovers weeping on the far away shore.


Frank Loesser's daughter, Susan Loesser, authored a biography of her father, A Most Remarkable Fella (1993), in which she writes:

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.
  • The tiltle of a famous novel written by Chen Danyan in Shanghai, China
  • References

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