An Annotated Pogues
Lyrics Page -
I've tried to arrange these chronologically, borrowing the timeline from the Wake of the Medusa page.
As with some of the other songs on this page, the lyrics were not included in the album or cd release. The Wake of the Medusa Page makes a stab at them, and here's what I come up with. Any suggestions/corrections please email me. Thanks).
I'll be there wide awake but screaming
At the hour of death I will nurse them
To have one moment more to curse them
Watch the maggots crawl out of
If any should escape above me
Mother's eyes were sparkling
I wish that they could walk
Give them cold drink give them
Push them down into the foul
Mother's eyes were sparkling
Mother's eyes were sparkling
Shane recycled the melody for this one on his first post-Pogues cd ("The Snake") in a tune called "Aisling" (the new lyrics are quite good actually). The melody in the instrumental bridge reappears as the melody in "NW3" (an unrecorded Pogues tune) and most of that tune later resurfaced as "Mother Mo Chroi" on Shane's post-Pogues release "Crock of Gold."
The great 18th century Irish harpist Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) used the word "planxty" in numerous compositions. It is thought to derive from some Latin root, but no one is quite sure what exactly he meant by the term. It has come to be used as a mild form of salute or honorific in song titles, something akin to "cheers to." It is also the name of the influential Irish traditional band whose members included such luminaries of the contemporary trad scene as Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine, and John Moynihan (the last two of whom, prior to joining forces with Christy Moore, played with Terry Woods in Sweeney's Men, another influential traditional band in the 1960s). Noel Hill played in the version of Planxty that released "The Girl I Loved So Well" (1980).
Hill, from County Clare in Ireland but now based out of Dublin, is a renowned trad concertina player. He was also an early critic of the Pogues and their attitude to the traditional material. On the first Pogues tour of Ireland, some of the boys and Hill participated in a panel discussion on Irish radio, during the course of which Hill described the music of the Pogues as a "terrible abortion" (the incident is described in and the quote is taken from The Lost Decade.) Given the political reality of Ireland, this is a pretty damning critique, inasmuch as abortion was (and continues to be) illegal in Ireland and thus an affront to both civil and eccelisiastical teaching. So the use of "Planxty" and the tune in general is more a tongue-in-cheek dig at Mr. Hill than an honorific.
"The devil moon took me through the
"Old Devil Moon" is a jazz standard, recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland,and Tony Bennet (click here to open a window with the full lyric). It first appeared in the Broadway musical "Finian's Rainbow" (1947) and was subsequently recorded by Petula Clark in the1968 movie remake of the play. The 20 year gap between the stage and screen versions can be partially explained by the fact that the play was just that much ahead of its time. While it involves leprechauns, a pot of gold, and the granting of wishes, the real theme is anti-racism. A southern Senator is trying to push through a dam-building project that will wipe out a small town of mostly black residents. In a confrontation, Finian's daughter inadvertantly uses one of the pot of gold's wishes to turn the Senator into a black man so he can experience firsthand the injustice of Jim Crow and racial prejudice. Hollywood and Broadway being what they are, everything works out in the end. The Senator realizes the error of his ways and the last wish is used to transform him back into a white man.
The Centrale is a famous old cheap pasta café at 16 Moor Street, in the south-east corner of Soho. You bring your own bottle, and often have to share a table (thanks Pete).
Elvis Costello produced this one and to my ears it has always sounded like it could have come off of his "Get Happy" lp.
The melody used to open this tune sounds very close to the one Shane used in "Song with No Name," and that one sounds an awful lot like "The Homes of Donegal," a trad tune that The Bucks (a short-lived post-Pogues project of Terry Woods and Ron Kavana) performed on their cd "Dancin' to the Ceili Band" (it's the lead tune in a medley on the track entitled "Old Time Waltzes"). Then again, I could be hearing things.
And the yanks they were within
And the tinker boys they hissed advice
'Hot wire her with a pin'..."
The itinerant population of Ireland -- the "Travelling Community" -- were frequently referred to as tinkers, so the "tinker boys" would probably refer to youths from that group. They are a distinct ethnic group within Ireland with their own customs and language -- shelta -- which might help explain the "hiss" reference (Sinbad -- thanks! -- writes that the speech has a hiss-like quality to it). Their name derives from what was one of their main occupations -- tinkers fixed pots and pans. The "settled" part of the community generally looks down on the itinerant population and the Tinkers have been the object of discrimination on a variety of social contexts. They are generally looked on as unsavory, and the advice the boys offer here -- on how to steal the car -- would do little to quell that image.
In the room where the dead man lay
So big Jim Dwyer made his last trip
To the home where his fathers laid"
The scene unfolding in this and in the next verse describes a typical funeral ritual: the funeral ceremony followed by the wake. I've never been to an official Irish funeral or wake, but when my grandfather died I couldn't keep this song out of my head as it was pretty much dead on (pardon the pun) to the events. It was the first time I attended an "Irish" funeral and it was a bit jarring to see folks drinking and enjoying themselves a bit. Not quite good craic, but not bad for a funeral.
And he slashed him to the ground
He took on Tiny Tartanella
And it only went one round..."
Another reason I thought of this song during my grandfather's funeral is that, like Jim Dwyer, my grandfather was a boxer (never made the big time, mostly fought in the northeastern U.S. as "Bugs" Moran -- some ten years before the gangster in Chicago made the moniker more recognizable). I had been holding off adding this song to the page until I could identify either Dwyer or Tiny Tartanella, but have had no luck whatsoever. To the best of my ability to determine, no "Tiny Tartanellas" or "Jim Dwyers" were fighting in the U.S. at about the time frame when this song is set (see below).
For drink or dice or whores
And he never threw a fight
Unless the fight was right
So the sent him to the war..."
I always took the "reds" in the first line to refer to communists (in U.S. slang, those just sympathetic to the cause were generally referred to as "pinkos," whereas the dyed-in-the-wool, card-carrying commies were the reds). In part because that read and the last line help set the timeline for the song a bit in that communism or socialism have never had much success here in the States except for two periods, bookended by the two World Wars. The "red scare" period of U.S. history ran from 1918 until about 1921 (the link takes you to a site full of pictoral representations of the period; it's pretty interesting). In the election of 1912 here, Eugene Debs led the Socialist Party to 6 percent of the popular vote and elected over a thousand candidates at the local level (including 80 mayors). It opposed U.S. involvement in World War I, and the party made even further inroads in the 1916 election. With the successful Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917, the powers that be here in the States began a major crackdown on groups affiliated with the Marxist left in this country. The second period of socialist/communist momemtum occured during the Great Depression, when it looked like capitalism was indeed a failure and time was ripe for change. So in saying that Dwyer had no time for "reds" we're basically being told that he was safely in the mainstream politically, and, from the next line, probably pretty conservative (shunning alcohol, gambling, and ladies of easy leisure). Then again, I teach political science so I generally hear/read everything with a political angle.
So, that being said, another viable read is that "reds" refers to drug use, usually a barbiturate (Seconal or secobarbital); i.e., a depressant. If that's the case, the line still makes sense, with Jim Dwyer now passing up drugs, drink, gambling, and loose women. Thanks to John for passing along that read. I think the historical setting of the song remains unchanged. While I'm unsure when Seconal (secobarbital is the generic name) hit the market, it was developed by Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, a company that's been around since 1876 (founded in Indianapolis, Indiana). The active agent in barbiturates were first developed by Adolph von Baeyer (the founder of what became Bayer Chemical Company) in 1864. Barbiturates proper weren't syntehsized until 1903 and refined in the years preceding World War I.
To "throw a fight" is to intentionally lose or at least allow the opponent to win. Makes me wonder about the Tiny Tartanella bout... did it only go one round cuz Dwyer threw it or was it so short because Dwyer thumped him? Anyway, as indicated above, I haven't been able to identify any fighters active in the U.S. with either name, nor am I aware of any fictional sources for these characters.
There's nothing left to say
With a sláinte Joe and an Erin go
My love's in Amerikay
The calling of the rosary
Spanish wine from far away
I'm a free born man of the USA..."
"Sláinte" is gaelic for "health" and is a traditionally used as a toast (like "cheers" in english). "Erin go" is short for "Erin go brách" a gaelic phrase meaning "Ireland Forever."
In Roman Catholicism, a rosary is basically a beaded necklace with a crucifix attached. "Calling the Rosary" is a fairly complicated ritual to the uninitiated and the lapsed (ahem), but here goes: you start at the cross and say the "Lord's Prayer" ("Our father, who art in heaven...") then three "Hail Marys" ("Hail Mary, full of grace...") followed by a "Glory Be" ("glory be to the father, son, and holy ghost..."). Then you move to another "Lord's Prayer," followed by ten (10!) "Hail Marys" and another "Glory Be" (at each bead) and work your way around the necklace that way. I think it takes five sets of ten prayers to complete the cycle.
The Ireland Anthology (edited by Sean Dunne, introduction by George O'Brien, ISBN 0-312-18429-8) introduced "Body of an American" with the following: "Spanish Wine', a staple of smugglers on the south-west coast of Ireland for generations, was also code for Spanish military assistance, so much so that it became pretty much cliche, like other catch-phrases - 'Erin go bragh', for instance." Thanks to Tom for passing that along.
In A Drink with Shane MacGowan (2001, Grove Press, ISBN 0-821-3790-3, pages 119-120) Shane relates that the first song he ever wrote was called "Instrument of Death," for a band he was in that called itself Hot Dogs with Everything.
This song appears on the 12 inch single of "Haunted" from the Sid & Nancy soundtrack. I haven't been able to locate the lyrics for it anywhere so here's what I come up with for the full lyrics. Much thanks to Louise for clarifying some of the more incomprehensible lines. Please be advised -- there's some rather raw language on this one, so kiddies be sure you have parental permission to be here, or at least don't tell the folks you heard it here first.
This was a kiss off from a cop
They smashed the pills right up in front of me
When they got me out the pub
Driving through the old West End
Well I was looking at the colors in
the city lights
"Fag" would be a cigarette in this case (despite the homoeroticism of the subsequent lyrics).
This tune has at least some lyrical similarities with the Clash's "London's Burning." Both feature aimless drives through London's streets, the references to the bright traffic lights, and a trek to the subway (see the next verse below). Click here to open a window with the full lyric.
Hot dogs with everything, everything, everything (2x)
I've been walking around the
The National Gallery probably refers to the London art museum. "Wanking" is British slang for masturbation. In Roman Catholicism, Saint Sebastian is the patron saint of archers and the military. He was a Christian who became a centurion in the Roman army in order to provide aid and comfort to the persecuted Christians. He was eventually discovered and martyred. Originally he was slated to be executed by archers, but after that exercise in capital punishment failed he was stoned to death. There are at this time eight paintings of Saint Sebastian in the National Gallery. Here they are (in thumbnail form), I leave it up to you to decide which is appropriate masturbatory material (if you need larger sizes to light your fire, go to the link above, click on "On-Line Collection," and do a search under "Name of Work" using "Sebastian"). I tried to provide direct links to the paintings from here, but the web site at the National Gallery is configured to prevent that (which I guess makes some sense).
I was down on the ground in a
"Gob" would be slang for "mouth."
Hot dogs with everything,
everything, everything (2x)
The last line above ("we mean it man") is a quote from the seminal punk anthem "God Save the Queen" by the Sex Pistols.
Down St. Martin's School of Art
Took an amp and a couple of blues
And nearly blew my head apart
Dropped my trousers and did the job
In Soho market in the lady's bog
Looking at the colors in the city
Hot dogs with everything,
everything, everything (repeated)
Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design is located in Southampton Row, London (its website is worth a looksie). An "amp" would be an amphetamine capsule, "blues" likely refers to Amytal (a member of the barbiturate family, i.e., a "downer"). The last line before the fade out is likely a reference to Sid Vicious, "bass" player for the Sex Pistols and the subject of the film.
This beautiful instrumental appeared on the 12" and cd5 singles of "Fairytale in New York." Shanne played guitar with Shane in the Nips (his band before forming the Pogues), and, according to A Drink with Shane MacGowan (2001, Grove Press, ISBN 0-821-3790-3, pp. 111-12) was a love interest for a bit.
I don't really have much new to say about the song here, but I thought I'd add a bit from Jem and Daryl about the origin of this version of the song. In the 1989 interview released on the Picture Disc 12 inch, Jem discusses the creative process in the band in this way:
"Songs are written, they are written very simply with a guitar or whatever. Everyone comes along and makes suggestions.... This song "Ned of the Hill," a slightly reggae/ska one. Well Terry Woods wrote that, and when he played it to us, it was a reverent sort of folk song, you know, with your finger in your ear. And Darryl and Andrew just started messing around and playing this back beat reggae/ska rhythm and it just clicked. So instantly this song was transformed... It's really strong. It's brilliant. It's got a blend of influences that no one's really done before and it works perfectly. That was totally instinctual on Darryl and Andrew's part. Terry Woods would never have thought of that in a thousand years. It's that sort of thing that makes our music very distinctive."
"Most times it's easy to work with, because the material generally is very good. You know, when Shane, Jem, and Terry bring things along to rehearsal. It's easy to see the potential straightaway in just 3 chords. I mean, Shane can play you one chord and half a verse or something, but you can see straightaway the power... you know that you really got to work on it a bit. But it happens very quickly. Alot of people will struggle madly over a whole sort of tune, but it never actually happens. We tend to build them up like that, and ideas get put in as they go on."
If you'd like an mp3 file of the relevant parts, email me and I'll send it along. Thanks to Jem Finer for help in part of the transcription.
This is another tune whose lyrics were not included with the cd single (it was released on the "Misty Morning, Albert Bridge" cd-3) and I haven't been able to locate them elsewhere, so here they are. A big thanks to Jem Finer for sending them along.
And casts a shadow across the bed where you and I once lay
Your perfume lingers, though you've gone, now my poor heart will break
I'm lonesome as the whistle on the evening train
I pray to God above
That you'll come riding back to me
On a train of love
I walk down to the station, and
watch the trains go by
I gambled with the devil and the devil made me pay
My dreams never came true like the roses never bloomed
They withered and they died in this empty room
The light is gone, the night is
here, the day is left behind
(Terry Woods and Ron Kavana)
This one is by Terry Woods and Ron Kavana and was recorded in 1989, during the waning days of the Reagan/Bush I years here in the United States and of soviet-style communism in Russia. It does a nice job anticipating American political, cultural, and economic hegemony in the coming decade (and beyond) and bringing out the downside of the Land of Opportunity. I'm not sure, but the title may also refer to the Huey Long (the Lousiana Senator and populist hero of 1930s America) campaign song (which Long co-wrote with Castro Carrazo) entitled "Every Man a King" (click here for the lyrics). The song was originally recorded and released by Ina Ray Hutton and Her All-Girl Orchestra in 1935. It was also recorded and released by Randy Newman in his September 1974 album "Good Old Boys" (Reprise Records 2193-2). Thanks to Derek for the heads up.
Then all through the new land they blazed their brave trails
The iron horse speeding down freshly-laid rails
Brought settlers determined to prosper
From the far corners they made it
I'm not sure about the "Bill Fuller" reference, but the Kennedys, are well, the Kennedys, and the Corleones were the fictional mafia family in the "Godfather" series of books (by Mario Puzo) and movies (directed by Francis Ford Copolla). The Kennedy fortune (which in turn was the source of its political power) derived from profits in the illegal trafficking of alcohol during the "Prohibition" period of U.S. history... going down in the dirt and coming up with the gold indeed.
Life is so good in the US of A
The pilgrims these days they are
In 1986 President Ronald Reagan unveiled his "Strategic Defense Initiative" or "Star Wars" plan as it was dubbed (first by the President himself, but then more by its critics). The general idea was to put an antimissile defense system in outer space that would target and destroy incoming Soviet ICBMs (InterContinental Ballistic Missiles) with a laser. Every succeeding Administration since then has poured billions of dollars into the project, despite the utter lack of success in testing any of its essential components (i.e., the ability to detect and destroy missles) and its blatant violation of the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty signed by both the Soviet Union and the United States. On 3 May 2001, the current Republican loon in the White House -- Dubya Bush -- pledged to continue the development of the program, and as of the time I am writing (2002), the U.S. has officially withdrawn from the ABM treaty itself. Which leads nicely into the next verse...
When the White House and Kremlin have settled their score
The stars and stripes flag will fly high, proud out there in space
And that's why we all love the United States
The White House (for those of you outside the United States) is the primary residence of the President of the US of A and is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. (keep that last bit in mind for when you're sitting on the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" hotseat). The Kremlin is located in Moscow (in a section of what was known back in the good old days as "Red Square") and has been the seat of government for both Soviet and post-Soviet leaders. In 1969, U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong planted the American flag on the moon. It is encased in glass and was artificially made up to appear as though it were billowing in the moon wind, of which of course there is none. The pic on the left is of astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Each of the six subsequent Apollo moon missions planted American flags.
In the land of Republican
Vietnam, Nicaragua, El Salvador
Given the context, the Republican automaton line (another personal fave in the Pogues oeuvre) probably refers to members, followers and supporters of the Republican party here in the United States. Vietnam, Nicaragua, and El Salvador each experienced various levels of U.S. military intervention; drawing the wrath of successive U.S. administrations for attempting to forge non-capitalist economic systems. Note the lyric about the Hersheys, Buds, and McDs. The suggestion would be that the reason for U.S. military involvement had little to do with spreading democracy and freedom and lots to do with opening markets for U.S. corporations.
Although the US has intervened in Nicaragua since the 1930s (and in Latin America for much longer than that), the lyric here probably refers to U.S. policy during the Reagan Administration. In 1980, the U.S.-supported military dictatorship in Nicaragua (the one put in place by U.S. intervention in the 1930s) was overthrown by a left wing uprising (the "Sandinistas"). Initially U.S. policy (under the Carter Administration -- see the song "Washington Bullets" on the Clash's "Sandinista lp/cd) was to allow the dictatorship to collapse and the Sandinistas to begin the process of rebuilding the country after decades of military misrule. Following the 1980 elections in the U.S. and the victory of Republican Ronald Reagan, that policy changed. The C.I.A., under the direction of William Casey, helped recruit, train, and fund a guerrilla army (the "contras") in Nicaragua to challenge the Sandinistas. Back here in the States, the Democratically-controlled Congress enacted legislation prohibiting U.S. military ties to the contras (the "Boland Amendment," named after its chief sponsor in the House of Representatives). To circumvent that sanction, the Reagan Administration sold weapons to Iran and funneled the profits from those sales to the contras (the exposure of which lead to the Iran/Contra affair. The weapons sales began initially as a way to buy the release of American hostages then being held by various Islamic fundamentalist groups in Lebanon). The contras were unsuccessful in their attempts at a military takeover, but the stress on the Sandinista government of combating their efforts was enough to derail whatever prospects the Sandinistas may have had about reforming the country. The Sandinistas, as promised, held elections despite the interference of the U.S. in Nicaraguan internal politics, lost the election, and handed control of the government to the oppostion. This was the first democratically contested election in Nicaragua for over half a century.
In El Salvador, the Reagan Administration threw its weight behind a right-wing military dictatorship and provided material, training, and logistical support for the El Salvador military to help suppress a left wing insurgency. The government was implicated in a massive terror, torture, and extermination campaign. The war festered for the better part of 10 years before a United Nations negotiated cease-fire and peacekeeping operation ended the fighting in 1991.
(Spider Stacy and Terry Woods)
"They'll come from Dublin
And from Cork, from dear old Donegal
From London, Boston & New York
From anywhere at all
From Parramatta to Fermoy
Strabane to Skibereen..."
According to World Cup eligibility rules, a player does not have to be a citizen of the country they are representing... he only needs to have the right lineage. So this verse basically covers the major spots of the Irish diaspora. Dublin is in the east of Ireland, Cork in the south, and Donegal in the northwest. Parrammata is located in New South Wales, Australia. Strabane is in County Tyrone in Ireland, and Skibereen is in County Cork.
When the World Cup
Is raised on Stephen's Green
(Yes it will)..."
Stephen's Green is located in the heart of Dublin, the capital of Ireland.
on Sardinia's sunny shore
We'll be the boys you'll want to see
The boys you'll all adore..."
Note the irony of using "Wild Colonial Boy" as the basis for this song; given this promise of good behavior on the part of the Irish contingent and that of ol' Jack Dugan in the song. As noted above, Italy hosted the 1990 World Cup. The lines about the behavior of the Irish supporters probably relate to concerns about hooliganism -- raised to an art form by British skin heads -- ruining the Cup and Italy in the process. Dean wrote to suggest that Terry and Spider might be contrasting the good behavior of the Irish contingent from the English thugs; as in "we'll" (the irish) be the boys you want around and "they'll" (the english) be the ones you want to see depart.
This song appears on the LILT compilation which was used to raise funds for children in the 6 counties of Ireland currently under British rule. LILT itself is an acronym for "London Irish Live Trust" (for more on the details of its release, see the Wake of the Medusa page). As with the rest of the songs on the release (all written or co-written by Kavana), "Irish Ways" was written and recorded by Ron Kavana (it's on his "Coming Days" release). It's not a "Pogues" release per se, but most of the band performs on the disc (Jem Finer, Daryl Hunt, and Andrew Ranken being the exceptions; but all three receive thanks for their "help, encouragement, and cooperation" in the liner notes), and Kavana had played on "If I Should Fall from Grace" and co-wrote "Young Ned of the Hill" with Terry, so it seems to fit comfortably in the Pogues universe. As with "Hot Dogs" I haven't been able to locate the lyrics for it elsewhere, so here are the full lyrics (a big thanks to Ingmar for sending them along). Shane sings the lead vocal; Fearnley plays rhythm guitar.
Born by the soft breeze
That blew through the village a moment before
A haunting slow air that can touch your soul
A piper, alone, unaware of a stranger´s attention
The melody carries me back to Clare
In the warm summer rain
And missing my loved one flown far away
Consoling the pain I feel in the dark
Healing the wounds her departure had left on my heart
Clare probably refers to county Clare in Ireland, located in the southwest of the island (famed for the spectacular Cliffs of Moher).
Old men all sat round the
"Seanós" is gaelic for "old custom," but in this context is probably shorthand for the gaelic phrase "amhrána'ocht ar an seannós" which means "traditional singing." Seanós is a traditional irish form of acapella singing (singing unaccompanied by musical instruments) which derives from the days when the Catholic church forbid work on sundays and considered playing an instrument as work (thanks Hoddle for the assist). Ron sings something in Gaelic at the end of this verse, but it's a phrase I don't recognize. Anybody with any ideas, please email me. Thanks.
On a saturday in the dance hall
The band playing ceili
Girls on one side, boys on the other
A jig and a reel or a polka
And the hope of a moment of passion before goin' home
A "ceili" is a dance, with jigs, reels, and polka (Irish polkas, not Polish um-pa ones) being traditional dance music.
Beltie, Paul Hill and Brian
In the first line, "Beltie" is an acronym for the Belfast Charitable Trust for Integrated Education and was the chief beneficiary of profits raised from release of this album. Brian Keenan was a leader in the Irish Republican army in the 1950s and then later in the 1970s when the "troubles" began anew. Paul Hill was one of the Guildford Four (see "Streets of Sorrow").
This song appears on the Garbo soundtrack (a flick about Australian garbagemen, not the reclusive actress). The lyrics and notes below are a collaborative effort from a discussion thread in alt.music.pogues led by Scott, Peter, Siouxzie and Micheal, and DzM; with Peter doing much of the yeoman's work deciphering Shane's slur.
Heaven's night is burning bright at the gates of El Dorado
Tasted sin among the bins down at Alvorado,
Melbourne's sweet, the sunny streets, the beauty of the garbo
Saint-Tropez is a resort village located on the
Bay of Saint-Tropez in the southeast coast of
France. Back in the 1950s it became a trendy
jet-set hang out after the Parisian bohemian art
scene decided to locate there for the summer. Brigitte Barbot (nee Camille Javal) is a
Parisian born (29 September 1934) model/actress
turned animal rights activist (click here
to get to her foundation). The "gates of El Dorado" is a difficult
reference to pin down with much certainty. It
translates as "The Golden" in English (from the
Spanish), and is usually understood as shorthand
for "The Golden City" or "The City of Gold."
Spanish explorers to the new world (notably Cortez
and Cordoba) were intent on finding the
(presumably) mythic city of gold (well, that along
with enslaving and exterminating the native
american populations) and there's no shortage of
towns, spas, and counties across the American west
(including California, Alaska, and Arkansas) with
that name. The only referece to "Alvorado" that I could
find is to a town in Rondonia, Brazil. Melbourne
is the capital of Victoria, Australia. "Garbo" is Australian slang for a garbageman or
Saint-Tropez is a resort village located on the Bay of Saint-Tropez in the southeast coast of France. Back in the 1950s it became a trendy jet-set hang out after the Parisian bohemian art scene decided to locate there for the summer.
Brigitte Barbot (nee Camille Javal) is a Parisian born (29 September 1934) model/actress turned animal rights activist (click here to get to her foundation).
The "gates of El Dorado" is a difficult reference to pin down with much certainty. It translates as "The Golden" in English (from the Spanish), and is usually understood as shorthand for "The Golden City" or "The City of Gold." Spanish explorers to the new world (notably Cortez and Cordoba) were intent on finding the (presumably) mythic city of gold (well, that along with enslaving and exterminating the native american populations) and there's no shortage of towns, spas, and counties across the American west (including California, Alaska, and Arkansas) with that name.
The only referece to "Alvorado" that I could find is to a town in Rondonia, Brazil.
Melbourne is the capital of Victoria, Australia.
"Garbo" is Australian slang for a garbageman or sanitation engineer.
In and Out
"Sheila" is Australian slang for a woman, serving much the same purpose as "colleen" in Ireland.
And amidst the dreams and unborn schemes and the rolls of distant thunder
If you should stir, you'll hear a word that will fill your heart with wonder,
As the garbo trucks take away the muck of last night's puke and chunder
Puke and chunder are both slang for vomit.
They'll never dump anything useful but they surely dump enough
I got me in the wagon boys a couple of tins last night
But now I'm on the truck once more, I'm head to toe in shite,
I'm shitfaced and I'm stoned, I want to be alone,
But all the lovely Sheilas love a garbo man...
This Jem Finer tune was originally recorded during the "Hell's Ditch" sessions, but didn't make it onto the album and was subsequently released with the "Honky Tonk Women" cd single, a song which itself was a originally released on the Pogues "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah" 12-inch and then re-released in conjunction with the "Rest of the Best" compilation. I haven't found the lyrics elsewhere, so here they are. Thanks to Jem Finer for passing them along.
A light that shines black as the coal deep down in the mines
I'm not hungry, I'm not dying of thirst
Just suffering from a lover's curse
I'll turn to stone, let the rivers
flow and wash me to the sea
I've walked the line, stood by your
side, I've kept you company
I will turn to stone, let the
rivers flow and wash me to the sea
Around the tent, the storm was
The bottle's empty, I've drunk it
I'll turn to stone, let the rivers
flow and wash me to the sea
This Shane MacGowan tune was included on the cd single reissue of "Honky Tonk Women." Since Shane and the Pogues had already parted company by this time, this is quite possibly the last song Shane recorded with the band (at least it will be until the reunion tour, which will take place right after the thermometers plummet in Hades. Hey! since I originally posted this the band did manage to get together for a week of gigs in the UK and Ireland in December 2001. Here's hoping they stay together long enough to head over here!) [Well, it's been two years and that reunion tour to the states doesn't sound likely. Heck I'd be amazed if Shane's long overdue "20th Century Paddy" saw the light of day before the 21st century concludes]. The lyrics were not included in the release and I haven't found them elsewhere, so here's what I come up with (thanks to Jack for help on the last verse).
And I loved you from the moment that you walked through that door
And I knew that I seen you before
some other time, some other place
some other time, some other place
Well I don't have to tell you about
your pretty face
some other time, some other
When I look in outer space for
some other time, some other
some other place, some other
(Spider Stacy and Terry Woods)
On the "Once Upon a Time" single this beautiful ballad (written by Spider and Terry) is paired perfectly with Spider's "Tuesday Morning." In 2002, Terry re-recorded it with a new title and lyrics ("Love on Tillery") and released it on the"Music from the Four Corners of Hell" cd from his newly reconstituted Woods Band (click the link for the new lyrics).
No gut full of wine could keep out this frost
We'll shiver and sigh by the ice on the river
Ask the dull heavens the hell have we lost...
In the liner notes to "Jem Finer (of the Pogues)," Jem writes that "After my first daughter was born I walked home through the rainy dawn. A few years later I wrote this." The tune was included as a bonus cut on the cd single for "How Come." The lyrics were not included in the release and I haven't found them elsewhere, so here they are. A huge thanks to Jem for passing them along.
Cold dawn, feeling beat
Trying to make
Sense of it all
Sun rose, burning red,
Visions spinning in my head
I thought I saw a shooting star fall
These eyes were blind
Now I found what I've been looking for
Somewhere a bird sings
Night falls and lovers kiss,
This tune (like "Sounds of the City" below) appeared on the 2003 release "Jem Finer of The Pogues." Spider sings lead on both and it sounds to my ears like they may have been outtakes from the "Pogue Mahone" sessions. According to Juergen (danke!) at the German Shane MacGowan site, both were recorded in 1994. These are prelimary versions of the lyrics, but I figured I'd post 'em and hope someone out there can help out with the fine tuning. The mix on both tunes has the vocals kinda mushy in the background, so I found it hard to decipher lots on this one. The numerous question marks indicate sections of the song that I couldn't decipher with any certainty. On the other hand, both tunes, IMHO, sound better than much of what actually made it onto the Pogue Mahone release.
But I'm afraid that I don't agree
If you've a heart of lead
And a hole in your head
You're so blind that you can't see
There's a fire burns
As the world turns
Lights up our dreams
Who else said romance is dead?
Come take a walk with me
Sha la la, la la la, la la lee
I sprayed your name
on the side of a train
We've already been
on both sides of both sides
in the Christmas lights
romance is dead
Fog's at sunset,
blues in the night
romance is dead
As I noted above, this tune also appeared on the "Jem Finer of the Pogues" release. Any help with the lyrics here would be most appreciated.
Down the line a whistle blows
Headlights shine through the window pane
Listen to the tires as you hear the rain
Radio plays, a guitar strums
Like a city's heart lies under the homes [??]
Everyday they turn
off the light,
Don't be afraid
As the night's cold
The still of night
awake so far
Don't be afraid