Al Stewart - Hanno The Navigator Lyrics

It's a good day
for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me.
There's an open sky and a steady breeze
out beyond the Pillars of Hercules.
Above the foam-kissed waves seagulls scream
up in the masts of our trireme
and it's a good day
for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me.

From horizon to horizon
All I see is water

Steer beyond all maps and charts
down along the coast of Africa.
The first Phoenicians on this beach,
where the monkeys gibber and the parakeets screech.
Strangest women run wild down there,
covered head to toe in fur and hair.
They fight like demons,
better let them be,
Hanno the Navigator said to me.

From horizon to horizon
All I see is water

When you pull close to your fire at night
with your family framed in the candlelight,
safe inside these walls of stone
in the only village you've ever known.
The rain-soaked moon plays splintered crystal
shadows on your windowsill.
Like sparks of light in the shifting skies,
our ancient ships go sailing still on

When my sailing days are done
I'll seek Poseidon's daughter.

Oarsmen pull and curse and sweat
underneath this creaking deck.
At night I hear their stories told,
strong through storms and weak for gold.
Carthage stands like an azure pearl
here in the middle of the known world.
And it's a good day
for going to sea,
Hanno the Navigator said to me.

From horizon to horizon
All I see is water.
When my sailing days are done
I'll seek Poseidon's daughter.

It's a good day
for going to sea,
Hanno the Navigator said to me.

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Al Stewart Hanno The Navigator Comments
  1. George Isaac 9European

    His voice may put off people but his historical insight, lyrical imagery and musical sensibilities are a rare commodity in this world which is ruled by mediocrity.

  2. janan barbar

    Hanno was born in Tunisia Carthage ,The Cathegians were phoenicians .

  3. Robinson Pittman

    HANNO was born and raised in LIBYA to a Black mother...........He was a Black African. Im an archaeologist at Michigan State....been into Egypt,Africa 3times to research.

    Safae T

    Robinson Pittman you are an arqueologist in the toilette of your house lol ! Hahaha

    Safae T

    Robinson Pittman stop shitpostong

  4. janan barbar

    Hanno was a Carthagian navigator and explorer who explored the north cost of Africa ,Carthage was built by the phoenicians who are my ancestors

    Robinson Pittman

    He was Black African......he was born in Libya. This is Black African womens history.

    Safae T

    janan barbar cartaginians where Punic , numidians and pheonicians not Phoenicians

    Safae T

    Robinson Pittman he wasn t a black guy , sorry go with your pathetic fantasies o another place we wuz kang bitch

  5. Hold kæft det ligner en Kat

    I wanna kil myself now thank you

  6. Norman Keena

    french algerian pianno player said to the two switzer dutch in our house colective. well i don't know, do i , i am a stupid paddy, i'd chaufeur her to uni practice. and drewlll. gawd i was a horney 28yr old. she sent me a french letter in Balledonia, i was working bush , west australia,,,, i don't read french, i , i din't care if her ex lover was three years in canada.....

    Norman Keena

    p.s she said Al Stewart was too suger sweet. I hate french algerian canadian mother fukkkers. how dare she

  7. Gizmonic Man

    Another great Al Stewart song!

    Collin Keegan

    When do they run out?

  8. capitanotedeschi

    It's a beautiful song. I like it because it uses the word "trireme." The lyrics are both whimsical and evocative of ancient past. Thank you for posting. 30-

    Johnny Thunder

    You like the word 'trireme'?

    I like the line 'Carthage stands like an azure pearl here in the middle of the known world.'


    Mais um grande susseço.

  10. Reylari

    Just discovered this music, after all these years, but it is really never to late. Love this.


    The vast majority of Al Stewart songs are GREAT tunes. And all the songs are so different!

    Collin Keegan

    Vast Majority? ALL!


    @Collin Keegan Well, I have a few tunes from demo tapes which aren't nearly as good. BUT, to me, virtually everything that Al Stewart has officially released is superb.
    P.S. I hope you've had the pleasure of enjoying Between the Wars, Collin!


    I mean this song is technically "modern" (2008), so you're not too late ;)

  11. Itsaboutthewaterlife

    Right at home here.

  12. joe54chn

    The first time I heard this song was the music at  2:14 onwards. For a moment then I thought it was Hank Marvin with his Stratocaster! Sparks of Ancient Light s one of my favorite Al Stewart albums.


    Oh yeah, Joe. Both the singing and instrumental bridges are magnificent. As good as music gets!

  13. Azwel

    yes he sounds the same, but argh, get that autotune off of his voice!

  14. puddypuss

    I agree, though it's difficult to go on as long as he has and be as consistantly good as before, a kind of musical entropy that seemed to affect most late 60s artists as the more commercial 70s came in. I much prefer his early stuff, and saw him many times late 60s. the songs tended to become a kind of mid atlantic metro sexual style, though ones like: katherine of oregon ,and house of clocks have that old magic, I think

  15. al allen

    origonaly it was called homo the navigator

  16. JohnFrumFromAmerica

    thats a good story. it fits with my perception of Al

  17. colindominy

    Very appealing, very likable ... classy sound .....

  18. nordicpatriot

    Great song to commemorate one of the first white explorers of Africa :)

    Safae T

    nordicpatriot white ? With white do you mean Caucasian mediterranean (mena ) or european ?

  19. Les Herridge

    I had the privilege of playing on the same bill as Al in the late 60s as one of the local singers at the Railway Folk Club, Fratton, Portsmouth. We were all tuning up in the back room, and were keenly awaiting Al's arrival as he was the star turn. Someone asked "Has anyone seen Al Stewart yet ~ he's due on soon?" A little voice came from an unassuming man in the corner: "Here I am." He had been there all the time, keeping quietly and modestly to himself.
    A great talent and a nice bloke.

  20. Froob Pooner

    I've liked it because it's Mr Stewart himself, but it's a bit cheesy really isn't? The lyrics have got nothing no my two favourite songs by him Running Man and Electric Los Angles sunset, I mean, 'Evangilists praying in rented rooms' 'Which way do the signposts reach' 'his eyes reveal no feeling as you hand over the bribe', just beautiful lyrics, and to contrast those with this....mhmmm

  21. Adrian Franco


  22. smartalek180

    @tramanor "Al Stewart is a consumate (if you don't know what this word means look it up in a dictionary) story teller."

    Second that.
    I'd even go you one better, and say he's a "consummate" storyteller.
    Writes good tunes, too.
    And like so many of his fans, I wish he'd get more recognition and mainstream success -- but at the same time, get a little guilty pleasure of knowing that we know the secret that most people don't.

  23. sourisvoleur

    @cherimelodie Hear, hear re. Manuscript. What an incredible song.

  24. rac717

    @g12886 Yeah if only there were more like KC and the Sunshine Band. There is lots of music for drones. About Al, writing songs and playing piano and guitar is what he does. If you don't like what Al does, there is everyone else, most of whom bore ME into catatonia.

  25. rac717

    @JPSoviet Try listening to the song, and you'll be surprised to find that it is an amazing tune, with musical and lyrical surprises aplenty.

  26. Charles Barnard

    Love this one!

  27. Nick Amor

    @g12886 lol, you'll not be listening to any more then? Will save you the trouble of moaning...
    May I suggest a few Spice girls songs?
    That should provide sufficient blandness to your lyrical quest!
    :) Good luck in that quest!

  28. Patchy

    wonderful track! Love it, Al Stewart is still amazing!

  29. Ivan Diaz

    @nitinomatic Ah fuck you jerkoff, I just wanted to watch some history not some fucking 6 year old sing along.

  30. Nitin krishna Padindala

    @JPSoviet Fuck you back egghead. Who's to be blamed for your lack of sufficient common sense in watching the right video. Get your head out stuck inside your butt.

  31. Ivan Diaz

    Fuck this guy. I search Hanno the Navigator for historical insight not some dick fool singer >:(

  32. rac717

    @Kornflower22 No, he plays the east cost frequently, thankfully, but every couple years, he's been doing a European stint for two or three weeks.

  33. rac717

    @rolynstone48 Could be, but Scotland is part of GB.

  34. Alan Scott

    Could it be because Al Stewart is Scottish ?

  35. quelian

    @HHTimepassages You can nominate people for honours through - try googling for "honours nominations directgov"

  36. rac717

    @HHTimepassages Only if she has good taste in music and poetry, I suppose! But, thanks so much for petitioning her. Wouldn't that be awesome and fitting?

  37. Richard Holmes

    Get Some naff new band to cover any of his songs and he may hit the heights.

  38. rac717

    @TheERTURK Al's last two CD's from '05 and '08, and his live release in '09 are phenomenal. Everyone MUST hear Somewhere in England 1915. It'll give you goosebumps. Al is the best songwriter today!!

  39. rac717

    @HHTimepassages Amen, HHTimepassages!

  40. Richard Holmes

    Why has this man not had the recognition he truly deseves.

  41. rac717

    @reh1959 Why doesn't the queen knight this guy already? Who is more deserving than Al Stewart?

  42. YorksTradMusic

    Has an early 1980s sound! Can't believe its 2008 as you say!

  43. Rob Hernandez

    This is a very happy song it put a smile on my face.

    thank you for uploading:-)

    Sometimes i miss going out to sea and visiting other places.

  44. Rob Hernandez

    This is a very happy song it put a smile on my face.

    thank you for uploading:-)

  45. Rob Hernandez

    This is a very happy song it put a smile on my face.

    thank you for uploading:-)

  46. Grady McDonald

    True talent. Every song is an adventure.

  47. Renata Szczesniak

    Sparks of Ancient Light very good album. Would love to see youtube postings of Like William McKinley and Lonliest Place on the Map if anyone has anything.

  48. 123lulu123able

    I was a very young girl when I first listened Al Steward and loved his music still do..

  49. Richard Holmes

    One of Britains true but under-rated talents.

  50. rac717

    Simply awesome song. Not quite my favorite on Sparks, but it's vintage Al.

  51. steveasat2

    I love that there are still a few artists recording whose albums I can buy without any hesitation. Al hasn't published a clunker or a filler tune in a long, long time.

  52. Iris Gross

    Great to hear Al Stewart again. It's not an Alan Parsons production, but still very good!

  53. LuisAntonioRC

    Excellent....the best song of 2008!!!!