Heart of Lothian

[Track Info] [The Lyrics] [Explanation]


Heart of Lothian - Track Info

  1. Album version (04:41) [Misplaced Childhood (1985)]
  2. 7" version (03:40) [7", 12" Heart Of Lothian (1985)]
  3. Full version (05:43) [12" Heart Of Lothian (1985)]
  4. Live (St. Goar, Germany - "Freilichtbuhne Loreley", July 18th '87) (04:33) [Live At Loreley (1987)]
  5. Live (London, England - "Hammersmith Odeon", January 9/10th '86) (05:13) [The Thieving Magpie - La Gazza Ladra (1988)]

    Notes: The album version and live versions are joined to Bitter Suite which comes before. 5) continues in Waterhole and Part 2 of Misplaced Childhood. The album version of Heart Of Lothian consists of 2 parts: Wide Boy and Curtain Call. Anyway, in the Misplaced Childhood CD the Heart Of Lothian track includes also the last 2 parts of Bitter Suite (Misplaced Rendevous and Windswept Thumb) and in The Thieving Magpie CD it includes Windswept Thumb, but we consider them as a part of Bitter Suite (see also Bitter Suite variations above). 2) and 3) don’t include Curtain Call. 2) includes Windswept Thumb and Wide Boy. 3) starts with an instrumental version of Misplaced Rendevous, continues with Windswept Thumb and Wide Boy. 3) has also 2 more verses "I was born with a heart of Lothian" in the final chorus. Live versions follow studio album version.

    Lyrics by Derek William Dick (Fish)
    Performed Live for the first Time: Novermber 3rd 1984

    Published by Marillion Music, Charisma Music Publishing Co. Ltd., Chappell Music Ltd.

Heart of Lothian - The Lyrics

On the outskirts of nowhere,
On the ringroad to somewhere,
On the verge of indecision,
I'll always take the roundabout way.

Waiting on the rain.
For I was born with a habit,
From a sign.
The habit of a windswept thumb.
And the sign of the rain

Rain on me!
{It's started raining}

a) Wide Boy

Wide boys, wide boys, wide boys, born with hearts of Lothian.
Wide boys, wide boys, born with hearts of Lothian.
Wide boys, we were wide boys, born with hearts of Lothian
These hearts of Lothian.

It's six o'clock in the tower blocks,
The stalagmites of culture shock, {culture shock}
And the trippers of the light fantastic, bowdown, hoe-down
Spray their pheremones on this perfume uniform.

And anarchy smiles in the Royal Mile.
And they're waiting on the Slyboys, flyboys, wideboys.
Rooting, tooting Cowboys, lucky little ladies at the watering holes.
They'll score the Friday night goals.

I was born with a heart of Lothian, I was born with a heart of Lothian.
                            I was bor-orn with a heart of Lothian     *) Not on the 7"
                               I was born with a heart of Lothian       *) Not on the 7"
I was born with a heart of Lothian, with a heart of Lothian.
(End of the single version)

b) Curtain Call

And the man from the magazine, wants another shot of you all curled up.
'Cos you look like an actor in a movie shot.
But you're feeling like a wino in a parking lot.
How did I get in here anyway?
Do we really need a playback of the show?
'Cos the wideboys want to head for the watering holes, watering holes, watering holes.

Let's go.

And the man in the mirror has sad eyes.

In the single version the purple coloured parts are added to the lyrics, but the last part b) Curtain Call is not on the single only on the album.

Copyright 1997 Fraser Marshall, Matthew Anderson & Bert ter Steege.

Heart of Lothian

Heart of Lothian
From Jeroen Schipper''s FAQ: Lothian is the county/district in which Edinburgh is. Lothian is divided in three parts: East, West and Mid. Dalkeith and Edinburgh are in MidLothian. Saying you have a heart of Lothian is just saying where you come from. However, there is also a 'real' Heart of Lothian:

The 'Heart of Lothian', full name 'Heart of Midlothian', is a mozaic heart inlaid into the pavement (i.e. sidewalk) halfway up the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, the nearest city to Fish's hometown of Dalkeith. The heart is traditionally spat into when you walk past it, and is a symbol of local pride. One of the Edinburgh football (i.e. soccer) teams was named 'Heart of Midlothian' after it and Sir Walter Scott wrote a novel of the same name last century.

Also: Heart of Midlothian is a professional football team (soccer for you yanks!) in Edinburgh, commonly known as Hearts. Fish is a fan of one of Edinburgh's other teams, Hibernian, as you may have heard on the Electric Bear CD where he refers to one of their very rare successes.

Even more: "The Heart of Midlothian" is a novel by Sir Walter Scott. He also wrote "Ivanhoe." Maybe you've seen the movie of that? It's very good, and the book is very good as well. In the book, Midlothian is the name of a prison. I don't know if this is or was an actual prison in Scotland. I think it's possible Fish was referring to the book when he wrote the song "Heart of Lothian," but more likely he was only thinking of the heart of Lothian that was mentioned here earlier, which is some kind of heart embedded in the royal mile in Scotland.

And more info on the Heart of Lothian, added later:

1. The Heart of Midlothian was a real prison, pre-dating the book, heart in the street, football club and song. It is this prison that Walter Scott writes about, those as far as I know the events are fictious.

2. Given the wide number of uses of the phrase (book, football, etc) (especially in that area of Scotland) I suspect Fish is merely using it as a form of joke - using a familiar phrase twisted to his own meaning.

3. The Scots in general are very proud of their country and their home-town. "I was born with a Heart of Lothian" is very much an echo of this pride, and the nationalism that Fish has supported and encouraged since going solo.

4. Finally the phrase fits in well with the albums general theme (especially side one) of "Happy Childhood, Unhappy Adulthood". Fish spent most of his adult life (until quitting Marillion) outside Lothian, and the song is a reference to a more happy time. Perhaps in retrospect we can see it as the first signs of an unhappiness with Marillion?

Wide Boys
Wide boys are young men who rely on their cunning and confidence to get what they need. The term strictly implies an air of seediness or illegality; the sort of person who sells stuff from the back of a lorry.Her e the term is used to note the blokes out on the beers and looking to find a bit of companionship for the night.

A type of dance found at a square dance; a dance for four couples who form the sides of the square.

These are the naturally occuring sexual attractant odours. They can be synthesised artificailly and bought over the counter in sex shops. So I'm told.

Royal Mile
From Jeroen Schipper''s FAQ: The Royal Mile, which is otherwise known as the High Street, is an, unsurprisingly, mile long road that leads from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh. Holyrood House/Palace is the monarch's residence when he/she visits, and the site of the annual Edinburgh Royal Garden Party. The Royal Mile is no longer the main shopping street (that's Princes' Street), but it is the heart of the city during the Edinburgh Festival, and is lined with singularly picturesque buildings.

Watering holes
Slang term for a pub.


Last Modified: 27 Jul 2000