• Rags

    Music & lyrics by The Waterboys

    I discovered the Waterboys through a French radio broadcast of one of their gigs in Paris (aeons ago). At the time, their Celtic folk-influenced sound carried rockier accents and the international music press enjoyed comparing them with U2, which was irritating — all the more since apart from sharing the same ethnic roots, the musical approach of this Irish-Scottish band was quite different, not to mention the significantly higher (literary) quality of Mike Scott's lyrics all down the line. This track from their second album A Pagan Place is definitely my favourite. Nonetheless, I have a strong preference for the cover version some American friends of mine called Ten Ten from Richmond, Virginia did two years later. Some might say I am probably biased so I'll leave it to you to make your own idea with a studio version found on YouTube (from their Walk On album released in 1986) but which lacks the ardour and strength of its live rendition. Please, let me know which one you prefer.


    Everything is rags
    and there's nobody to blame but me
    and it would be so easy
    if there was no one to hurt but me
    But now everything that I do
    coming out of me will just tear through you
    In and out of you
    up and down your life like a curse
    Cast by the only Son of Rags
    who would wrap you up in all the finest tatters
    Though he wanted nothing more, my loved one
    than to wrap you up in joy
    but it'd never be with me —
    You and I are like two worlds
    not meant to collide
    Death to each other
    in the unravelling of time

    So how do you..how do you...
    how do you...how do you like it ?
    What kind of...what kind of...
    what kind of dream would you call it
    to have one foot in Eden
    one foot in Hell
    to be always numb
    plagued by demons
    summoned by angels
    at the same time endlessly ?

    But I will
    burn me
    right out of this place
    I will lay you down to sleep
    so when you awake
    I'll be gone and
    will remember

    © Mike Scott, 1984

    Cover version by Ten Ten

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