"My Ship" is a popular song written for the 1941 Broadway musical Lady in the Dark, with music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. The music is marked "Andante espressivo"; Gershwin describes it as "orchestrated by Kurt to sound sweet and simple at times, mysterious and menacing at other". It was premiered by Gertrude Lawrence in the role of Liza Elliott, the editor of a fashion magazine. In the context of the show, the song comes in a sequence in which Elliott, in psychoanalysis, recalls a turn-of-the-century song she knew in her childhood.
The musical's theme of psychoanalysis is said to be based on Hart's own experiences with psychoanalyst Gregory Zilboorg. Except for the final song, all the music in the play is heard in three extended dream sequences: the Glamour Dream, the Wedding Dream, and the Circus Dream which, to some extent, become three small operettas integrated into a straight play. The final song, "My Ship", functions as a leitmotif for Liza's insecurity: as each dream commences, a snippet of the tune is heard, as it is a haunting melody which Liza recognizes but cannot name, or sing with words, until her anxiety is resolved.
My ship has sails that are made of silk The decks are trimmed with gold And of jam and spice There's a paradise in the hold
My ship's aglow with a million pearls And rubies fill each bin The sun sits high in a sapphire sky When my ship comes in
I can wait the years till it appears One fine day one spring But the pearls and such They don't mean much If there's missing just one thing
I do not care if that day arrives That dream need never be If the ship I sing Doesn't also bring My own true love to me