MUSIC

Markknopfler Ragpicker2 Copy

The Ragpicker’s Dream

Released: Mercury/Warner Bros. (2002)

Album Credits

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

The Ragpicker’s Dream

  • 1. Why Aye Man
    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Jimmy Nail & Tim Healy: backing vocals
  • 2. Devil Baby
    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
  • 3. Hill Farmer’s Blues
    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Paul Franklin: pedal steel
  • 4. A Place Where We Used To Live
    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
  • 5. 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

    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Paul Franklin: pedal steel
  • 6. Fare Thee Well Northumberland
    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Mike Henderson: harmonica
  • 7. Marbletown
    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
  • 8. You Don’t Know You’re Born
    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Guy Fletcher: backing vocals
  • 9. Coyote
    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
  • 10. The Ragpicker’s Dream
    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Paul Franklin: pedal steel
  • 11. Daddy’s Gone to Knoxville
    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Glenn Duncan: violin
  • 12. Old Pigweed
    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
  • Special Edition Bonus Disc.
  • 1. Why Aye Man (live)
    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
  • 2. Quality Shoe (live)
    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

    ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
    Paul Franklin: pedal steel
  • 3. Sailing to Philadelphia (live)
    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
  • 4. Brothers In Arms (live)
    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
  • 5. Why Aye Man (enhanced video)
    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