“Ship to Wreck” by Florence + the Machine

To begin with, the lyrics of “Ship to Wreck” primarily center on the narrator’s self-destructive behavior.

A behavior that is self-destructive is basically one that someone does knowing that it has the potential of causing them physical or mental harm. These negative behaviors can range from reckless sexual activities to drug or alcohol abuse. And this is exactly what the narrator is talking about throughout the song.

So accordingly, the lyrics introduce us to a narrator who has the tendency of standing in her own way to happiness. She creates beautiful things but ends up breaking them with her own hands. In the chorus, we realize she did the same thing with her romantic relationship. She apparently put in a lot of effort to build the relationship into something so beautiful. However, the self-destructive spirit in her swiftly wrecked it, leaving her partner heartbroken.

Alcohol Abuse

From all indications, it is apparent that our narrator consumes too much alcohol. And from looks of things, it is this same excessive consumption of alcohol that likely contributed to the destruction of her relationship. This is why in the pre-chorus, she asks her lover if it was her addiction to alcohol that messed with their relationship.

Florence talks about “Ship to Wreck”

According to Florence Welch, the lyrics are purely autobiographical. This because she was actually thinking about her own self-destructive tendencies when she composed the song.

She later shed some more light on the song’s meaning while performing the song live at 2015’s Coachella. According to her, the lyrics were inspired by a dark period in her life while she was living in London. The said chapter saw her frequently engage in unhealthy consumption of alcoholic beverages at wild parties. One of these drunken episodes actually led to her literally destroying her own house as well as a relationship.

But today she’s not disappointed that dark period in her life happened. And why? Because it gave birth to “Ship to Wreck”.

"Ship To Wreck" Lyrics

Release Date of “Ship to Wreck”

Recorded at the Pool in London, “Ship to Wreck” was released on 9th April of 2015. It is from the band’s third studio album, “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”.

The album was released on 29th May of 2015 by Universal Music’s international label, Island Records. Aside from debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, it sold over 68,000 copies within its first week of release. This made it the band’s third number one album in a row. Three other songs including “Delilah”, “What Kind of Man” and “Queen of Peace”, were also released as singles from the album.


“Ship to Wreck” was written by the band’s lead singer and main song writer, Florence Welch. She received writing assistance from renowned music producer, singer and songwriter Tom Hull. Hull is known professionally as Kid Harpoon. Kid’s efforts did not end at writing the song. He collaborated with the British producer, Markus Dravs in its production.  

Grammy Nomination

At the 58th Annual Grammy Awards in 2016, the song earned a nomination. It was nominated in the “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance” category. It however lost to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars). The following songs were also nominated for the said award:  

More Accolades

In 2015, the song was placed at number 40 on the annual countdown of top 100 songs by listeners of Australian radio station, Triple J.

It was placed at number 26 on Rolling Stone’s list of 50 Best songs of 2015. It also made it to Billboards’ top ten songs of 2015.

“Ship to Wreck” was successful in Britain and across the globe. For example, in Poland, the song made it to number 1. It also achieved this same brilliant feat on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Airplay record chart. Furthermore, the song was also a top-40 hit in the United Kingdom (27) and Scotland (15).

Ship To Wreck

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