The Last Straw

[Track Info] [The Lyrics] [Explanation]


The Last Straw - Track Info

  1. Album version (05:50) [Clutching At Straws (1987)]
  2. Live (St. Goar, Germany - "Freilichtbuhne Loreley", July 18th '87) (05:49) [Live At Loreley (1987)]

    Notes: 1) additional backing vocals by Tessa Niles. On the Clutching At Straws CD, The Last Straw track includes Happy Ending (but we consider it as a separate song). 2) additional backing vocals by Cori Josias. Live version has a shorter intro (2 bars instead of 4), a slightly longer instrumental section before the verse "Just when you thought it was safe..." (14 bars instead of 12) and a longer finale.

    Lyrics by Derek William Dick (Fish)
    Performed Live for the first Time: June 22nd 1987

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

The Last Straw - The Lyrics

Hotel hobbies padding dawns hollow corridors
a typewriter cackles out a stream of memories

Drying out a conscience, evicting a nightmare
Opening the doors for the dreams to come home

We live out lives in private shells
Ignore our senses and fool ourselves
to thinking that out there there's someone else cares
someone to answer all our prayers, our prayers...

Are we too far gone, are we so irresponsible
Have we lost our balls, or do we just not care
We're terminal cases that keep talking medicine
Pretending the end isn't quite that near
We make futile gestures, act to the cameras
With our made up faces and PR smiles
and when the angel comes down, down to deliver us
we'll find out that after all, we're only men of straw

But everything is still the same
passing the time passing the blame
we carry on in the same old way
we'll find out we left it too late one day
to say what we meant to say

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the water,
those problems seem to arise the ones you never really thought of
the feeling you get is similar to something like drowning
out of your mind, you're out of your depth, you should have taken soundings
Clutching at straws, we're clutching at straws, we're clutching at straws

And if you ever come across us don't give us your sympathy
You can buy us a drink and just shake our hands
and you'll recognise by the reflection in our eyes
that deep down inside we're all one and the same

We're clutching at straws - we're still drowning
                  Clutching at straws - we're still drowning, yeah
     Clutching at straws - I'm still drowning
[We're clutching at straws] - [I'm still drowning]     

(Greyhound Tour Bus, North America)

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

The Last Straw

THE LAST STRAW (Greyhound Tour Bus, North America)

Debbie Voller: Fish: Torch has gone so far down that the only way he can go now is up! He starts writing again, and drinking again, and there's a line that goes 'Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water' - which is a good cue for a drink! (Fish looks around the room) Oh Christ, someone's nicked the fridge! Hang on! (goes next door and comes back with a beer) So Torch is back in the bar and he writes 'deep down inside we're all one and the same' because he realises there's no point in trying to set himself up as a martyr - everybody's got a bit of Torch in them. And he has been contributing to changes in the only way he knows how, by writing down all his observations. He's back to square one again (Fish slurps his beer) but he's having a good time (slurp!) and you can't condemn him!

'PR Smiles'
Steve Ross: PR is short for public relations. If one is giving a "PR smile", they are being insincere and are smiling to appease the audience. The term is commonly directed towards politians and "marketing types" whom are supposed to appear happy or joyful, whether they are or not.

Happy Ending

Debbie Voller: Fish: Hah! There isn't one, on this track you just hear a laugh, because I hate writing happy 'up' tracks at the end of an album!


Last Modified: 27 Jul 2000