A blast from the past is the prompt from Jim Adams, the host of Song Lyric Sunday. He has asked us to find a song from the Mersey Beat era of the 60s. There are so many that came out of Liverpool at that time, including the Beatles, but for me one that song that describes the feeling of the time is ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey” by Gerry and the Pacemakers. Gerry Marsden wrote the song.
The first video below was remastered in stereo and the second is the original song. Hope you enjoy them.
Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season!
The Mersey Ferry runs along the Mersey river from Liverpool to the Wirral Peninsula in England. It still runs, but these days is mostly a tourist attraction. Written by lead singer Gerry Marsden, the song is a nostalgic look at the area where he is from.
The music played by bands from the Liverpool area around this time became known as the “Mersey Sound.” This song came to symbolize the style, which was made famous by The Beatles and The Kinks.
In 1965, Gerry & the Pacemakers starred in a film called Ferry Cross The Mersey, which was based on this song. The song and the film took off together. The song reached the top ten in the UK in 1964 and in the USA in 1965. Many years later, the life of frontman Gerry Marsden was re-created in a stage musical, also called Ferry Cross the Mersey. The musical opened in Liverpool and was staged elsewhere, including Australia and the USA.
“Ferry Cross The Mersey” was remade in May 1989 as a charity version to help those affected by the Hillsborough disaster, which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool football fans. Featuring Gerry Marsden and other Liverpool stars such as Paul McCartney, The Christians, and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Holly Johnson, it reached #1 in the UK and raised millions of pounds.
The Mersey is a famous river in Liverpool, England, a city in which the Beatles began their musical career. But this song was begun by another group of Merseyside musicians called Gerry and the Pacemakers. “Ferry Cross the Mersey” was produced by George [now Sir George] Martin, who was responsible for almost all of the records recorded by The Beatles.
You can still catch the Mersey ferry and cross the river Mersey today. It sails from Birkenhead into Liverpool. And as sometimes happens with song lyrics, there is a dispute as to whether the word is “cross” or “across.” Some people write “Ferry, ‘Cross the Mersey,” meaning “across” the river, but the correct version is “cross.” It’s a command or request to the ferry captain meaning, “Please cross the Mersey.”
Life goes on day after day Hearts torn in every way So ferry 'cross the Mersey 'Cause this land's the place I love And here I'll stay People, they rush everywhere Each with their own secret care So ferry 'cross the Mersey And always take me there The place I love People around every corner Seem to smile and say We don't care what your name is, boy We'll never turn you away So I'll continue to say Here I always will stay So ferry 'cross the Mersey 'Cause this land's the place I love And here I'll stay And here I'll stay Here I'll stay Writer/s: Gerrard Marsden Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind Courtesy of Songfacts