“When My Ship Comes In”
Written by Clint Black and Hayden Nicholas
#1 (2 weeks)
March 27 – April 3, 1993
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
March 26, 1993
An optimistic Clint Black hit foreshadows the next phase of his career.
The Road to No. 1
Two deliciously dark records from The Hard Way – “We Tell Ourselves” and “Burn One Down” – preceded “When My Ship Comes In” at the top. It sounds like a record from an entirely different artist.
The No. 1
It’s also the first record in this feature that I’ve revisited and completely reassessed.
My dad loved Clint Black, and he particularly loved this song. He used to crank up the video every time it came on.
I never shared his enthusiasm for it, and had my knives out, ready to slice it up.
And then I played it again and my God. Maybe it’s missing him, or maybe it’s being in my early forties, not much younger than he was when this song came out. Maybe it’s both.
But I love this song now. I don’t know how I missed the way that the fiddle mirrors the dogged belief that better days are ahead, or how Black’s vocal manages to be weary and hopeful at the same time.
Black’s music as a whole is going to go in a much more positive direction moving forward, and “When My Ship Comes In” builds that bridge from honky tonk sorrow to happily married bliss.
Dad, you were right.
The Road From No. 1
A stellar duet with Wynonna, “A Bad Goodbye,” just missed the top of the singles chart. That was the first single from Black’s fourth studio album, No Time to Kill. The title track will top the chart in the fall of 1993.
“When My Ship Comes In” gets an A.
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