Single I The Northern Belle – Merchant Navy Hotel


“Middlesbrough 1969: My grandparents rented a house from Mr. Cook. The boat my grandfather worked on was in port, and my grandmother visited from Norway. The visit was supposed to last a few days but lasted eight weeks. They went for coffee and movies at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, played slot machines at the Merchant Navy Hotel, and went dancing. The song is based on letters sent between my grandparents.”


Lyrics & melody: Stine Andreassen

Movies at the sailor’s church abroad
English men in tweed looked in
Pretty girls sent to them by God
Golden locks and porcelain skin

“Rebel without a Cause” was on the screen
Natalie Woods they loved to hate
She wasn’t good enough for their James Dean
Suddenly two weeks turned into eight

”Jailhouse Rock” put their hearts in chains
It was all dazzling fun and games
The Merchant Navy Hotel, only 3 stars ranked
It put Paradise to shame

Trying their luck on the slot machine
20 pounds was much a surprise
Mr. Right you are’s eyes turned green
He had never been right they realized

They moved into a red brick house
200 pounds for a happy life
Mr. Cook rented out lavish dreams
No more roots to grow for a Navy wife


The Northern Bell