Morrissey A-Z: "Once I Saw the River Clean"


Deleted member 28251

Reminds me a little of One of Our Own, and on balance I think I prefer that song. A mere 8/10 from me then.




Well-Known Member
Lyrical inspiration may have come from Patrick Kavanagh, whose poem "If You Ever Go To Dublin Town" is quoted in part in Autobiography (quoted part marked in bold):

If you ever go to Dublin town
In a hundred years or so
Inquire for me in Baggot street
And what I was like to know
O he was the queer one
Fol dol the di do
He was a queer one
And I tell you

My great-grandmother knew him well,
He asked her to come and call
On him in his flat and she giggled at the thought
Of a young girl’s lovely fall.
O he was dangerous,
Fol dol the di do,
He was dangerous,
And I tell you

On Pembroke Road look out for me ghost,
Dishevelled with shoes untied,
Playing through the railings with little children
Whose children have long since died.

O he was a nice man,
Fol do the di do,
He was a nice man
And I tell you

Go into a pub and listen well
If my voice still echoes there,
Ask the men what their grandsires thought
And tell them to answer fair,
O he was eccentric,
Fol do the di do,
He was eccentric
And I tell you

He had the knack of making men feel
As small as they really were
Which meant as great as God had made them
But as males they disliked his air.
O he was a proud one,
Fol do the di do,
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Ben Budd

Well-Known Member
a rare highlight of the recent years, aided by my jogging up and down chester and talbot roads during lockdown and listening to this song

Private Widdle

So good at high volume. The bass and percussion - in fact the whole track - is crying out for a bangin club version.


Number 3 in my song rankings from Dog album leading to the conclusion that I really like this song. It is the saturation with electronics that adds to its originality. This synth pop sound from the 80s in combination with sentimental lyrics it creates a delicious mixture. And, of course, raccoons are cute, as most animals are .
morrissey a-z
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