Man in the Air Lyrics Comments


Robyn Hitchcock


Recorded at Portland Arms, reputedly the “best” of the unreleased songs from those gigs. 'Old' Robyn folk song about Jack the Ripper (i.e. probably pre-dates the Soft Boys). Said he wrote it after watching a TV programme, 'like Kate Bush saw that programme about Wuthering Heights'. Per the Steve Hoffman forum, Minor key, folky, fluid rhythmic lines. Chorus not as good as the verse.


I used to be a minister of state but I got bored
I couldn’t stand to see the Queen touch people with her sword
I drifted into Whitechapel, in warehouses I snored,
And when the day was stashed away, across the tiles I soared.

I live on stolen grapefruit and the pigeons of the square
I keep their feathers for my wings in case my own should tear
It’s hard to find a man at night when he’s not even there
So why not zip across the town and cut your sister’s hair(s)

There’s a man in the air, there’s a man in the air
When they say he’s to visit, they wonder who is it
Tonight he’ll be dining with you
(don’t forget to bring a fork, baby)

Ah, shabby Geoff the watchman with a marble in his eye
Let it fall on dustbins where the alcoholics dry
His earmuffs are too thick for him to hear me passing by
But I hope that no astronomer is studying the sky

(guitar break)

Ah, fancy seeing you here in your little winter cloak
I think I ought to warn you an incision’s not a poke
I take away the bits I like and leave the rest to soak
But you’ll have to be my autograph before you see the joke
(oh, the joke sees you, baby)

There’s a man in the air etc

The Lord(s) daren’t interfere with me, he leaves it all to chance
I operate on Saturdays, and in the week I dance
I don’t mind giving lessons if you’ll pay me in advance
But you must go on Friday night and leave me to romance
(and dream about it, baby)

There’s a man in the air etc