The Ragpicker’s Dream

The Ragpicker’s Dream

Find out more about this album below.

Mercury/Warner Bros. (2002)

Mark Knopfler: vocals and guitars
Richard Bennett: guitars
Jim Cox: piano and Hammond organ
Guy Fletcher: keyboards
Glenn Worf: bass
Chad Cromwell: drums

Recorded and mixed by Chuck Ainlay
Second Engineers: John Saylor, Jon Bailey & Jake Jackson
Mastered by Tony Cousins
Producers: Chuck Ainlay & Mark Knopfler

Art Direction: Stephen Walker & Neil Kellerhouse
Design: Neil Kellerhouse
Front cover photo: © Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos
Additional photography: Ken Sharp
Train photos by North Bank Fred

Why Aye Man

Sound bite

Lyrics

We had no way of staying afloat
We had to leave on the ferry boat
Economic refugees
On the run to Germany

We had the back of Maggie’s hand
Times were tough in Geordieland
We got wor tools and working gear
And humped it all from Newcastle to here

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

We’re the nomad tribes, travelling boys
In the dust and dirt and the racket and the noise
Drills and hammers, diggers and picks
Mixing concrete, laying bricks

There’s English, Irish, Scots, the lot
United nation’s what we’ve got
Brickies, chippies, every trade
German building, British-made

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

Nae more work on Maggie’s farm
Hadaway down the autobahn
Mine’s a portacabin bed
Or a bunk in a nissen hut instead

There’s plenty deutschmarks here to earn
And german tarts are wunderschoen
German beer is chemical-free
Germany’s alreet with me

Sometimes I miss my river tyne
But you’re my pretty fraulein
Tonight we’ll drink the old town dry
Keep wor spirit levels high

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

Devil Baby

Sound bite

Lyrics

The freaks’ll stay together
They’re a tight old crew
You look at them
And they look at you

I love the ballyhoo girl
But she don’t care
It’s hard to find love anywhere
Hard to find love anywhere

The professor is the talker
He’s the talking man
And if he can’t clean a midway
Nobody can

He’ll get the tip on in
From the midway mud
You gotta have the sawdust in the blood
Gotta have the sawdust in the blood

See the pig-faced man and the monkey girl
Come see the big fat lady
‘Gator slim with the alligator skin
Come see the devil baby

Springer is the talker
He’s the talking man
He’s got the whole studio
Eating out of his hand

You can be on too
With the nuts and the geeks
Call 1-800-ima frek
1-800-ima frek

Be the pig-faced man or the monkey girl
Come be the big fat lady
‘Gator slim with the alligator skin
Come be the devil baby

Be the pig-faced man or the monkey girl
Come be the big fat lady
‘Gator slim with the alligator skin
Come be the devil baby

Hill Farmer’s Blues

Sound bite

Lyrics

I’m going into tow law
For what I need

Chain for the ripsaw
Killer for the weed
The dog’s at the back door
Leave him be
Don’t feed him Jack
And don’t wait up for me

Going into tow law
To fuel my fire
Shells for the twelve
And razor wire
The dog’s at the back door
Leave him be
Don’t do jack
And don’t wait up for me

So bad so bad
So bad so bad

I’m going into tow law
To have my fun
Don’t get me wrong
You were the only one
Behind my back lord
You made a fool of me
Don’t do jack
And don’t wait up for me

So bad so bad
So bad so bad

A Place Where We Used To Live

Sound bite

Lyrics

This empty kitchen’s where
I’d while away the hours
Just next to my old chair
You’d usually have some flowers
The shelves of books
Even the picture hooks
Everything is gone
But my heart is hanging on

If this old neighbourhood
Survived us both alright
Don’t know that it withstood
All the things that took our light
You on the stair I can see you there
Everything is gone
But my heart is hanging on

Once there was a little girl
Used to wonder what she would be
Went out into the big wide world
Now she’s just a memory
There used to be a little school here
Where I learned to write my name
But time has been a little cruel here
Time has no shame

It’s just a place where
We used to live
It’s just a place where
We used to live

Now in another town
You lead another life
And now upstairs and down
You’re someone else’s wife
Here in the dust
There’s not a trace of us
Everything is gone
But my heart is hanging on

It’s just a place where
We used to live
It’s just a place where
We used to live

Quality Shoe

Sound bite

Lyrics

You got your toecaps reinforced with steel
Hard-wearing sole and heel
Make those tired feet feel like new
Take your pick, black or Brown
Great for the country or the man in town
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

You don’t want no stand-by pair
‘Cos these’ll take the wear and tear
Made to take good care of you
For that trip by road or rail
For extra grip on those rocky trails
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

Now they maybe ain’t too hot for dancing
But I don’t foresee too much of that
You ain’t exactly gonna be prancing
Around in the moonlight
With a cane and a top hat
If you could use a change of pace
And be excused from the rat race

Just take a look at what’s on view
Lace ’em up, walk around
I guarantee you can’t wear ’em down
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

Now I wish you sunny skies
And happiness wherever you may go
But you got to realise
There’ll be wind, there’ll be rain
And occasional snow
You’re gonna want to smile in them
If you’re gonna walk a mile in them

There’ll be times when you’ll be blue
To laugh at rainy days and then
Make your getaways in them
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

You got your toecaps reinforced with steel
Hard-wearing sole and heel
Make those tired feet feel like new
Take your pick, black or Brown
Great for the country or the man in town
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

Fare Thee Well Northumberland

Sound bite

Lyrics

Come drive me down to the central station
I hate to leave my river Tyne
For some damn town that’s god-forsaken
Fare thee well, Northumberland

Although I’ll go where the lady takes me
She’ll never tell what’s in her hand
I do not know what fate awaits me
Fare thee well, Northumberland

My heart beats for my streets and alleys
Longs to dwell in the borderlands
The north-east shore and the river valleys
Fare thee well Northumberland

I may not stay, I’m bound for leaving
I’m bound to ramble and to roam
I only say my heart is grieving
I would not gamble on my coming home

Roll on, Geordie boy, roll
Roll on, Geordie boy, roll
Roll on, Geordie boy, roll
Roll on, Geordie boy, roll

So drive me down to the central station
I hate to leave my river Tyne
For some damn town that’s god-forsaken
Goodbye old friend of mine

Although I’ll go where the lady takes me
She’ll never tell what’s in her hand
I do not know what fate awaits me
Fare thee well, Northumberland

So roll on, Geordie boy, roll
Roll on, Geordie boy, roll
Roll on, Geordie boy, roll
Roll on, Geordie boy, roll

Marbletown

Sound bite

Lyrics

Roll out here mister
If you need a little rest
Lay me down in Marbletown
A bone yard is the best

There was a bad bull on the railroad
Tried to pull me off his train
Lay me down in Marbletown
‘Til the coast is clear again

I can hear them a-hollerin’
‘We got a man down here
We got a man down’

I’m gonna flip me a cannonball
That won’t stop for anyone
Lay me down in Marbletown
Wait ’til morning comes

I’m gonna roll out here in the tombstones
Wait here on my train
Lay me down in Marbletown
I hope that it don’t rain

And I can still hear them hollerin’
‘We got a man down here
We got a man down’

Roll out here mister
If you need a little rest
Lay me down in Marbletown
A bone yard is the best

You Don’t Know You’re Born

Sound bite

Lyrics

What do you know about the hammer and the spike
What do you know about the farm
You don’t know
You don’t know what it’s like
Because you don’t know
You don’t know you’re born

What do you know about the hammer and the chisel
You only know the kitchen and the warm
You don’t know about the night shift whistle
Punching the clock to the horn
Because you don’t know
You don’t know you’re born

You don’t know
You don’t know you’re born
You don’t know
You don’t know you’re born

What do you know about the hammer and the nails
Know about the thistles and the thorns
What do you know about the road and the rails
Your heart so weary and your hands all worn
Your hands so weary and your heart all torn
And you don’t know

You don’t know you’re born

Coyote

Sound bite

Lyrics

Look at me coyote
Don’t let a little road dust put you off
You can’t judge a book
Well you know that stuff

There’s a tear in my upholstery
And a hole in my shoe
But don’t you just wish that you could
Make half of the speed I do

Speed I do, speed I do, speed I do

You can’t catch me coyote
Though there may be blood on the tracks
There may be some bridges burning
Behind our backs

But I got my laundry on the backseat
And an itinerary too
And don’t you just wish that you could
Make half of the speed I do

Speed I do, speed I do, speed I do
Speed I do, speed I do, speed I do

Now I’m a speck on your horizon
Getting smaller fast
An ambush wouldn’t be surprising
I hope it’s better than your last

Once again the roadrunner
Leaves the coyote in the dirt
You’ve got another plan of action
But we all know it ain’t never gonna work

It must be hard having dog dreams
That never come true
And don’t you just wish that you could
Make half of the speed I do

Speed I do, speed I do, speed I do
Speed I do, speed I do, speed I do

The Ragpicker’s Dream

Sound bite

Lyrics

When Jack Frost came for Christmas
With a brass monkey date
The rail-king and the scarecrow
Hopped a Florida freight
And they blew on their paper cups
And stared through the steam
Then they drank half a bottle
Of Ragpicker’s dream where

The whiskey keeps following
Cold pitchers of beer
Me and my associate
Like the clientele here get
The onions and the ‘taters
Rib-eyes on the grill
Toothpicks and luckies
And a coffee refill as

The rail-king lay rocking
He was leaving the ground
Then he was flying like Santa Claus
Over the town where
He came to the window
Of a house by a stream
It was a family Christmas
In the ragpicker’s dream there

Were kids at the table
All aglow in the light
Music in the wintertime
Sure carries at night there
Was turkey and gravy
Pie and ice-cream
And gifts for each and everyone
In the ragpicker’s dream where

The red-eye keeps tumbling
In our glasses of beer
Me and my associate
Like the service in here there’s
A ten for your trouble
You have beautiful hair
Make the last one two doubles
It’s a cold one out there where

The scarecrow and the rail-king
Have started to dance
But a nightstick and a billyclub
Won’t give peace a chance here
I think they went thataways
Your song and dance team
Heading home for the holidays
With the ragpicker’s dream on

His knees like a fighter
The rail-riding king
Like a sack of potatoes
Like a bull in the ring where
The scarecrow falls over
With a tear in the seam
Home for the rover
In the ragpicker’s dream where

The red-eye keeps tumbling
Like tears in our beer
Me and my associate
Like the ambience here where
They cornered two castaways
In a white flashlight beam Merry Christmas and happy days
In the ragpicker’s dream

Daddy’s Gone to Knoxville

Sound bite

Lyrics

Oh, you’re gonna miss your daddy when he’s gone
When he’s gone
Yeah, you’re gonna miss your daddy when he’s gone
When he’s gone
Daddy’s gone down that Gallatin road
The hen never laid and the corn never growed
Oh, you’re gonna miss your daddy when he’s gone

Oh, I’d rather have a dollar than a dime
Than a dime
Yeah, I’d rather have a dollar than a dime
Than a dime
Daddy’s gone down that Crossville track
If he can’t make a dollar then he ain’t comin’ back
Oh, I’d rather have a dollar than a dime

Oh, you better love your daddy while you can
While you can
Yeah, you better love your daddy while you can
While you can Daddy’s gone south on the Natchez trace
If the can’t show the money then he don’t show his face
Oh, you’d better love your daddy while you can

Oh, your daddy’s gone to Knoxville now
Knoxville now
Yeah, your daddy’s gone to Knoxville now
Knoxville now
Daddy’s gone down that Knoxville road
The dog never barked and the cock never crowed
Oh, your daddy’s gone to Knoxville now

Old Pigweed

Sound bite

Lyrics

Everything was in there
That you’d want to see
Corned beef and onions
And true love
Turnips and tinned tomatoes
Parsnips and a few potatoes
A couple extra blessings
From above

Now this here mingle-mangle
Was my best one yet
A big old bad goulash
Worth waiting for
And I’m just about to dip my can
Taste some brotherhood of man
When I get a feeling
That there’s a flaw

Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan
Was it you
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew
I close my eyes
For just a minute
What do you do
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew

You won’t find self-improvement or philosophy
In a dumpster sitting by
The kitchen door
There’s plenty leek and humble pie
Ain’t too much ham on rye
Sometimes I wonder
What I’m looking for

But a spoonful of forgiveness
Goes a long, long way
And we all should do our best
To get along
Add a pinch of kindness crumbling
To your loving dumpling
Okra for thickening
When something’s wrong

But who put old pigweed
In the mulligan
Was it you
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew
I close my eyes
For just a minute
What do you do
Who put old pigweed
In the mulligan stew

Why Aye Man (live) [Special Edition Bonus Track]

We had no way of staying afloat
We had to leave on the ferry boat
Economic refugees
On the run to Germany

We had the back of Maggie’s hand
Times were tough in Geordieland
We got wor tools and working gear
And humped it all from Newcastle to here

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

We’re the nomad tribes, travelling boys
In the dust and dirt and the racket and the noise
Drills and hammers, diggers and picks
Mixing concrete, laying bricks

There’s English, Irish, Scots, the lot
United nation’s what we’ve got
Brickies, chippies, every trade
German building, British-made

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

Nae more work on Maggie’s farm
Hadaway down the autobahn
Mine’s a portacabin bed
Or a bunk in a nissen hut instead

There’s plenty deutschmarks here to earn
And german tarts are wunderschoen
German beer is chemical-free
Germany’s alreet with me

Sometimes I miss my river tyne
But you’re my pretty fraulein
Tonight we’ll drink the old town dry
Keep wor spirit levels high

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

Quality Shoe (live) [Special Edition Bonus Track]

You got your toecaps reinforced with steel
Hard-wearing sole and heel
Make those tired feet feel like new
Take your pick, black or Brown
Great for the country or the man in town
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

You don’t want no stand-by pair
‘Cos these’ll take the wear and tear
Made to take good care of you
For that trip by road or rail
For extra grip on those rocky trails
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

Now they maybe ain’t too hot for dancing
But I don’t foresee too much of that
You ain’t exactly gonna be prancing
Around in the moonlight
With a cane and a top hat
If you could use a change of pace
And be excused from the rat race

Just take a look at what’s on view
Lace ’em up, walk around
I guarantee you can’t wear ’em down
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

Now I wish you sunny skies
And happiness wherever you may go
But you got to realise
There’ll be wind, there’ll be rain
And occasional snow
You’re gonna want to smile in them
If you’re gonna walk a mile in them

There’ll be times when you’ll be blue
To laugh at rainy days and then
Make your getaways in them
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

You got your toecaps reinforced with steel
Hard-wearing sole and heel
Make those tired feet feel like new
Take your pick, black or Brown
Great for the country or the man in town
You’re gonna need a quality shoe

Sailing to Philadelphia (live) [Special Edition Bonus Track]

I am Jeremiah Dixon
I am a Geordie Boy
A glass of wine with you, sir
And the ladies I’ll enjoy

All Durham and Northumberland
Is measured up by my own hand
It was my fate from birth
To make my mark upon the earth…

He calls me Charlie Mason
A stargazer am I
It seems that I was born
To chart the evening sky

They’d cut me out for baking bread
But I had other dreams instead
This baker’s boy from the west country
Would join the Royal Society…

We are sailing to Philadelphia
A world away from the coaly Tyne
Sailing to Philadelphia
To draw the line
The Mason-Dixon line

Now you’re a good surveyor, Dixon
But I swear you’ll make me mad
The West will kill us both
You gullible Geordie lad

You talk of liberty
How can America be free
A Geordie and a baker’s boy
In the forest of the Iroquois…

Now hold your head up, Mason
See America lies there
The morning tide has raised
The capes of Delaware

Come up and feel the sun
A new morning is begun
Another day will make it clear
Why your stars should guide us here…

We are sailing to Philadelphia
A world away from the coaly Tyne
Sailing to Philadelphia
To draw the line
The Mason-Dixon line

Brothers In Arms (live) [Special Edition Bonus Track]

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be

Some day you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn
To be brothers in arm

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher

And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die

But it’s written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

Why Aye Man (enhanced video) [Special Edition Bonus Track]

We had no way of staying afloat
We had to leave on the ferry boat
Economic refugees
On the run to Germany

We had the back of Maggie’s hand
Times were tough in Geordieland
We got wor tools and working gear
And humped it all from Newcastle to here

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

We’re the nomad tribes, travelling boys
In the dust and dirt and the racket and the noise
Drills and hammers, diggers and picks
Mixing concrete, laying bricks

There’s English, Irish, Scots, the lot
United nation’s what we’ve got
Brickies, chippies, every trade
German building, British-made

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

Nae more work on Maggie’s farm
Hadaway down the autobahn
Mine’s a portacabin bed
Or a bunk in a nissen hut instead

There’s plenty deutschmarks here to earn
And german tarts are wunderschoen
German beer is chemical-free
Germany’s alreet with me

Sometimes I miss my river tyne
But you’re my pretty fraulein
Tonight we’ll drink the old town dry
Keep wor spirit levels high

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

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© Mark Knopfler News 2018

Website by Lean Mean Digital

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Material published on this web site is subject to copyright and all rights are reserved.

© Mark Knopfler News 2018

Website by Lean Mean Digital

Privacy Policy

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