Gerry & the Pacemakers

Ferry Cross the Mersey

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Most musical styles, even ones in vogue only briefly, get recorded anthems of sorts, even if many of these are somewhat contrived. "Ferry Cross the Mersey" was an anthem of sorts for Merseybeat music, if only because it was the only major British Invasion hit to specifically mention the Mersey. "Ferry Cross the Mersey" actually wasn't typical Merseybeat rock; it was a sentimental ballad with strings, not the cheerful rhythm guitar-driven rock'n'roll much more typical of the genre. But it was released at just the right time -- 1964 -- and was (and is still) taken to hearts by those who became besotted by Liverpool in the early days of the British Invasion. And it wasn't that bad a song either, starting with a gently rolling drum tap before a dramatic low note began a bittersweet guitar phrase that recurs throughout the verse. "Ferry Cross the Mersey" was modestly ambitious, for Merseybeat anyway, in lyrics that didn't detail the usual lightweight young romantic themes, but painted, if only in basic terms, life in the Merseyside and the singer's attachment to it. And since it was written and sung by a genuine Liverpudlian, Gerry Marsden, it wasn't just a contrivance; Marsden's sincere love for his hometown came across in his measured yet melodramatic delivery. The melodrama came out in stronger force in the bridge, where the tune became a little more uplifting and broad-sweeping, with Marsden almost proclaiming the lyrics about the natives' loyalty with a strident quality akin to a theatrical production. Marsden's pledges to stay in the land he loved might have had some real resonance with Merseysiders, who even in mid-1964 had already seen the most famous Merseyside rock band, the Beatles, leave Liverpool for good. "Ferry Cross the Mersey" has delicate, soundtrack-like strings and flute, produced by Beatles producer George Martin, before the Beatles had used strings on any of their records. And "Ferry Cross the Mersey" was indeed penned specifically for the movie of the same name, starring Gerry & the Pacemakers. The single would prove far more durable than the film, making the Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic, whereas the movie's been forgotten.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1965 EMI Music Distribution 0:00
Ferry Cross the Mersey 1965 Parlophone / WPCR 2:23
Ferry Cross the Mersey [Original Soundtrack] 1965 Japanese Import 2:23
No Image 1972
Various Artists
Big Tree 2:22
The Very Best of Gerry & the Pacemakers 1984 EMI Music Distribution 2:24
No Image 1986 EMI Music Distribution
The EP Collection 1987 See For Miles Records
No Image 1987 EMI Music Distribution
British Invasion: The History of British Rock 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
The British Invasion: History of British Rock, Vol. 4 1988
Various Artists
Rhino
AM Gold: The Mid '60s 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:22
Summers of Love [Disc 2] 1991
Various Artists
Original Analog 2:24
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Rhino
The Best of Gerry & the Pacemakers [Cema] 1992 Music Digital 0:00
Heartbreakers, Vol. 5: Dreaming of the '60s 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:22
The Sensational 60's, Vol. 2 [Dominion] 1993
Various Artists
Dominion 2:18
British Rock [Original Sound] 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:25
Gerry Cross the Mersey: All the Hits of Gerry & the Pacemakers 1995 Razor & Tie 2:23
Best Sixties Album in the World Ever 1995
Various Artists
2:24
Happy Days: 100 Rock 'N' Roll Hits 1995
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:19
Liverpool 1963-1968, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
See For Miles Records 2:22
1964: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
A Time To Remember 2:28
Happy Days 1960's 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:26
1960's Rock N Roll 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 2:22
Golden Love Songs of the 60's 1997
Various Artists
Galaxy Music 2:12
Songs of the Swingin' 60's 1997
Various Artists
Mega Stars 2:24
Rockin' Jukebox, 1965 1997
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings 2:22
100 Jukebox Hits: 50's & 60's 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:25
British 60's 1998 Prism Leisure 2:23
Original Hits 1998 Disky 2:23
Soundtracks of Love: Love Is in the Air 1999
Various Artists
Unison 2:22
Sixties Power, Vol. 2 1999
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:24
Sixties Power, Vols.1 & 2 1999
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:24
Little Bit of England 1999
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:23
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 2:25
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Disky
The Official American Bandstand Library of Rock & Roll 2000
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:25
60's: Wild Things 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:26
1965 Classic Rock 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:25
British Rock: Changing of the Guard 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:23
Rock 'N Roll 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:22
Rock N' Roll Hits of the 60's 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:23
Best of the 60's 2000 Disky 2:24
Music of the Twentieth Century: 1960-1979 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:21
British Invasion [Madacy] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:23
British Invasion, Vol. 2 [Madacy] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 2:23
British Rock, Vol. 2 [Madacy] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 2:23
Forever Gold: British Invasion 2001
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 0:00
Produced by George Martin 2001 Capitol 0:00
A Year in Your Life: 1965, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Definitive 2:24
Happy Days, 1960's 2001
Various Artists
Madacy 2:25
Jukebox Hits 1965 [Madacy] 2002
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:24
How Do You Like It?/Ferry Cross the Mersey 2002 EMI Music Distribution 2:25
This Is Anfield 2002 Cherry Red 2:24
Forever Gold: Gold Collection: 60's Groovy Hits 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:22
20 Years of Rock 'N' Roll 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:24
Rock N Roll Reunion 1965 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:23
Essential 2003 EMI Music Distribution 2:21
Mersey Beat 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
1960s Happy Days, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Madacy 2:24
Rock on 1965 2004
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:26
Gold Collection: Feelin' Groovy 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:23
Gold Collection: Oldies Party Songs 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:24
A's, B's & EPs 2004 EMI Music Distribution 2:20
British Invasion: 1963-1967 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:24
Absolutely the Best of the Sixties, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
Fuel 2:25
Happy Days of the 60s [2-CD] 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:21
60's Groovy Hits 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:24
1960's Happy Days [2005 #2] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:24
It Happened in the Sixties 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:25
The Best Of Gerry & The Pacemakers 2005 EMI 2:26
The British Beat: Best of the '60s 2007
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / TJL 2:25
101 60's Hits [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:23
Cavern: The Most Famous Club in the World 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:24
Top Of The Pops 1965 2007
Various Artists
BBC Music / EMI 2:25
You'll Never Walk Alone: The EMI Years 1963-1966 2008 EMI Music Distribution / Caroline Distribution 2:25
This Is 1965 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 2:24
As Seen on Screen: Film Title Songs from the 50s and 60s 2008
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:25
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [2009] 2009
Various Artists
EMI 2:23
101 Pirate Radio Hits 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:23
Original Hits: 60s Pop 2010
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 2:24
6 X 6: Sixties: 120 Original Recordings 2011
Various Artists
EMI Gold 2:25
British Invasion 2011
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:26
Saturday Night Party: '60s Party, Vol. 2 2012
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 2:27
'60s: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:17
300 Hits: Saturday Night Party
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 2:27
5 Bites: Mini Album Parlophone
Sixties [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 2:17
Sounds of the Sixties: The Hits
Various Artists
EMI Gold 2:26
No Image
Various Artists
Audio Fidelity
The 60's Collection
Various Artists
Going For A Song 2:22
The Greatest Ever... Party Album
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:29
Time Life Presents the 60s
Various Artists
Time Life 2:24