In the port of Amsterdam, there’s a sailor who sings
of the dreams that he brings from the wide open seas.
In the port of Amsterdam, there’s a sailor who sleeps
while the riverbank weeps through the old willow trees.
In the port of Amsterdam, there’s a sailor who dies full of beer,
full of cries in a drunken down fight.
In the port of Amsterdam, there a sailor who’s born
on a muggy hot morn, by the dawn’s early light.
In the port of Amsterdam, where the sailors all meet,
there’s a sailor who eats only fish heads and tails.
He will show you his teeth that have rotted too soon
that can swallow the moon, that can haul up the sail.
And he yells to the cook with his arms open wide, bring me more fish, put it down by my side.
And he wants so to belch, but he’s too full to try
so he gets up and he laughs, and he zips up his fly.
In the port of Amsterdam, you can see sailors dance,
haunchs bursting their pants, grinding women to paunch.
They’ve forgotten the tune that their whisky voice croaked,
and they’re spitting the night with the roar of their jokes.
And they turn and they dance, and they laugh and they lust
to the rancid sound of the accordian’s burst.
then it’s out into the night with their pride in their pants
and a slut that they tow underneath the street lamps.
In the port of Amsterdam, there’s a sailor who drinks.
and he drinks, and he drinks, and he drinks once again.
He drinks to the health of the whores of Amsterdam
who have promised their love to a thousand other men.
And they bargain their bodies and their virtue, long gone,
for a few dirty coins, and when he can’t go on,
he plants his nose in the sky and we wipes it up above
then he splits like I cry for an unfaithful love,
in the port of Amsterdam, in the port of Amsterdam, in the port of Amsterdam.
(written by Jacques Brel & Mort Shuman)