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Author Topic: (11) Madame Geneva's 3.59  (Read 1837 times)

Offlineshangri la 1

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(11) Madame Geneva's 3.59
« on: August 24, 2016, 03:45:18 am »

Madame Geneva's (Mark Knopfler) (3.59)

LYRICS

I’m a maker of ballads right pretty
I write theme right here in the street
You can buy theme all over the city
yours for a penny a sheet
I’m a word pecker out of the printers
out of the dens of Gin Lane
I’ll write up a scene on a counter
– confessions and sins in the main,
boys confession and sins in the main.

Then you’ll find me in Madame Geneva’s
keeping the demons at bay
There’s nothing like gin for drowning them in
but they’ll always be back on a hanging day.

They come rattling over the cobbles
they sit on their coffins of black.
Some are struck dumb, some gabble
top-heavy on brandy or sack.
The pews are all full of fine fellows
and the hawker has set up her shop.
As they’re turning them at the gallows
she’ll be selling right under the drop,
boys selling right under the drop.

Then you’ll find me in Madame Geneva’s
keeping the demons at bay
There’s nothing like gin for drowning them in
but they’ll always be back on a hanging day

© Mercury
Warner Bros. (USA)


CHORDS: For Album Kill to Get Crimson – By Foma
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/m/mark_knopfler/kill_to_get_crimson_album_crd.htm

 
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 03:53:53 am by shangri la 1 »

OfflineDavidBelgium

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Re: (11) Madame Geneva's 3.59
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2021, 12:59:44 am »
Some clarifying words by Cindy Hunter Morgan who teaches in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH) at Michigan State University : https://singout.org/the-dens-of-gin-lane/

I also like the interpretation from Michel available on www.songmeanings.com :
Anyone who is familiar with William Hogarth work and the history of capital punishment in England during the 17th and 18th Century will find Mark's sources to this beautiful song.
The song criticizes the entertained way the executions were captured at that time and maybe the "the light hand on the trigger". People were hanged for petty theft and small forms of robbery!!
The point of view is of one who writes those broadsides containing the last confessions of the condemned.
The place of the execution was the infamous Tyburn (where Marble Arch is located today). The condemned were imprisoned some 3 miles away from the dreaded Tyburn gallows (Newgate Gaol), in a sense that they had to travel by cart 3 mile journey through narrow streets until they reached Tyburn. As they passed by, huge crowds were lined up in the streets, waiting for the big entertainment.
The condemned were placed on a cart, which "rattled over the cobbles", with their black coffins. The crowd who lined up in the streets insulted them and hurled objects at them.
On the way the condemned had few stops at the local pub where they were allowed alcoholic drinks until they were "top-heavy on Brandy or Sack" (Sherry).
Once they left the pub the journey to the gallows was short. Adjacent to the gallows, spectators sat on grandstands (known as Mother Procter's Pews) to watch the "fun".
Amongst the spectators you could find hawkers and people like the song hero who sell copies of the condemned speeches and confessions broadsides ("yours for a penny a sheet").
The execution started when the cart was backed under the gallows. The condemned were tied to the beam at the top of the gallows by the hangman. The horsed were then whipped away, pulling the condemned off the cart to leave them suspended, having only few inches of drop.
I do know about Gin Lane's true existence, but it was mentioned in William Hogarth well known satirical painting. Gin lane on one hand and Beer Street, on the other were used to try fight the abuse of spirits (Gin) at that time, by offering Beer which though to be less abusive.
This relates to William Hogarth other famous painting: the Tyburn.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 01:04:51 am by DavidBelgium »

OfflineKnopflerfan

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Re: (11) Madame Geneva's 3.59
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2021, 07:50:10 am »
Fantastic, thanks for the detailed explanation...

Newgate (gaol) is also mentioned in One song at a time...
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 07:54:37 am by Knopflerfan »
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OfflineRobson

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Re: (11) Madame Geneva's 3.59
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2021, 01:51:14 pm »
Thank you DavidBelgium. I like such stories very much. This is not a glorious period in England.
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OfflineStanko

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Re: (11) Madame Geneva's 3.59
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2021, 10:12:18 pm »
yes, nice spot Knopflerfan, the same guy is keeping the demons at bay in madame's geneva while riding on a gravy train near the execution dock, no?
three cracked vertebrae mighty man

OfflineKnopflerfan

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Re: (11) Madame Geneva's 3.59
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2021, 04:25:39 pm »
yes, nice spot Knopflerfan, the same guy is keeping the demons at bay in madame's geneva while riding on a gravy train near the execution dock, no?

Like it! :clap
* Mark Knopfler - NOT just a hobby, but a way of life!

* Owner of Two Fender 'Mark Knopfler' Signature Series Stratocaster's (SE00616 & SE03805) both with signed Fender labels after meeting MK at Bridport, Dorset UK on the 27/09/2013!

 

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