"Don't Pay The Ferryman" as written by and Chris De Burgh....
It was late at night on the open road
Speeding like a man on the run
A lifetime spent preparing for the journey

He is closer now and the search is on
Reading from a map in the mind
Yes there's the ragged hill
And there's the boat on the river
And when the rain came down
He heard a wild dog howl
There were voices in the night (don't do it)
Voices out of sight (don't do it)
Too many men have failed before
Whatever you do

Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side

In the rolling mist, then he gets on board
Now there'll be no turning back
Beware that hooded old man at the rudder
And then the lightning flashed, and the thunder roared
And people calling out his name
And dancing bones that jabbered and a moaned
On the water
And then the ferryman said
There is trouble ahead
So you must pay me now (don't do it)
You must pay me now (don't do it)
And still that voice came from beyond
Whatever you do

Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side

Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side

Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side

Don't pay the ferryman
Don't even fix a price
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side

Don't pay the ferryman


Lyrics submitted by Bobo192

"Don't Pay the Ferryman" as written by Chris De Burgh

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Don't Pay The Ferryman song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment"-why- a soul shouldn't pay right away"

    Because, if the soul paid the Ferryman before getting to the other side of the river, he would swap places with him, and would have to ferry souls for eternity, or until he tricked someone else into paying him before reaching the other side. Which isn't really what you'd want to do, so basically, pay him after you've reached the other side.
    According to mythology anyway.
    SweetTon June 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment** Hence the

    "Until he gets you to the other side"
    SweetTon June 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about an unfortuanate trip to Wallasey, in which Chris was short of change, and pretended that he was dead.
    amy darlingon November 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is such a kickass song.
    turjake2on October 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell, the ferryman is an allusion to the old greek Mythology: The river styx was what divided the land of the living from the land of the dead - and only the ferryman Charon was there to bring souls from one side to the other. Also, it was common to give the dead a small coin to pay him.
    Beyond that, I can't even guess what Chris was trying to express here... or -why- a soul shouldn't pay right away.
    crystaleeron December 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you can also take this in a more broad matter: don't pay for anything before you've fully explored it. Watch out not to be fooled and make sure you get what you want.
    The paying may be with money, with emotion, with .... whatever. Just make sure it isn't a one way street and you get something in return.
    tugiton January 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'this is such a kick ass song'??? hahaha, it's chris de burgh!
    steve0steveon January 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've thought this song meant many different things throughout my journey - these days, I think it's about not making any promises to God - or whoever is controlling your subjective experience of reality - until the end of your life.
    SMUSER26982on April 06, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI think the song is about a drug hit.{opion{ and you don't pay till you get the hit . The other side
    ian1015537on May 12, 2017   Link

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