In which a song reminds us of Scotland

…is one of my favourite cosy, romantic songs. It’s by The Clientele, and it goes something like:

The taxi lights were in your eyes
So warm again, St Mary’s spires
The carnival was over in the rain
And on and on, through Vincent St
The evening hanging like a dream
I touched your faith*
And saw the night again

When I lived in Edinburgh, I thought it was a song about the city. After all, the Clientele did record one song definitely set in Edinburgh,** and it has both a St Mary’s Cathedral (with distinctive spires)*** and a Saint Vincent St. Glasgow, though, has both too.

And in your arms, I watch the stars
Ascend, and sleep
The loneliness away for a while
Your fingers wide and locked in mine
I kiss your face, I kiss your eyes
Until they turn to me and softly smile

Edinburgh or Glasgow, I wish I was up in Scotland this weekend. I’m sure I will be again soon.

* Until writing this post, I thought it said “I touched your face”. Listening very carefully just now, for the first time I realised it’s actually “faith”.

** A B-side called “6am, Morningside”

*** Actually, it has two St Mary’s Cathedrals, just to confuse people. One of them, the Episcopalian one, has three distinctive spires that are a major city landmark, especially when you look down the length of Princes St. The Catholic one, on the other hand, is tucked away inconspicuously behind a shopping centre.

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2 comments on “Saturday”

  1. Dimitra says:

    In fact, it goes like this:

    “the taxi lights were in your eyes
    so warm against st marys spires
    the carnival was over in the rain
    and arm in arm through vincent street
    the evening hanging like a dream
    i touched your face and saw the night again

    and in your arms i watched the stars
    ascend and sweep a loneliness away for a while
    your fingers white and locked in mine
    i kiss your face i kiss your eyes until
    they turn to me and softly smile

    and empty hearted i walked on
    the river flowing to the song
    of the evening in the darkness and the rain
    the christmas lights were far down stream
    the wind so lonely and unreal
    i saw your face and i thought you were a dream

    but when i saw your eyes what could i do?
    what could i say, my love?
    your kisses they will hide away the stars

    its Saturday, the evening’s come
    the football crowds have all gone home
    but still behind this window i look on
    december’s leaves so slowly fall
    to cars that break the evening’s pall
    and i will wait for you to come tonight”

    (taken from the band’s website — where you should have probably looked before posting, no?)

    And I’m rather certain the song is about London, though I don’t think I can prove that.

    Ps Hi!

  2. Forest Pines says:

    I wondered if you’d notice this post! I remember it was one of your favourite songs too.

    I listened to the first few verses over and over again writing that post, and I *swear* he sings “faith” in the last line of the first verse. It’s not that unusual for published lyrics to be different to recorded ones – some of the songs on Tigermilk bear hardly any resemblence to the published lyrics.

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