"Dignity" as written by and Ricky Ross....
There's a man I meet walks up our street
He's a worker for the council
Has been twenty years
And he takes no lip of nobody
And litter off the gutter
Puts it in a bag
And never sthinks to mutter
And he packs his lunch in a sunblest bag
The children call him bogie
He never lets on
But I know 'cause he once told me
He let me know a secret about the money in his kitty
He's gonna buy a dinghy
Gonna call her dignity

And I'll sail her up the west coast
Through villages and towns
I'll be on my holidays
They'll be doing their rounds
They'll ask me how I got her I'll say "I saved my money"
They'll say isn't she pretty that ship called dignity

And I'm telling this story
In a faraway scene
Sipping down raki
And reading maynard keynes
And I'm thinking about home and all that means
And a place in the winter for dignity
And I'll sail her up the west coast
Through villages and towns
I'll be on my holidays
They'll be doing their rounds
They'll ask me how I got her I'll say "I saved my money"
They'll say isn't she pretty that ship called dignity

And I'm thinking about home
And I'm thinking about faith
And I'm thinking about work
And I'm thinking how good it would be
To be here some day

On a ship called dignity
A ship called dignity
That ship


Lyrics submitted by Bobo192, edited by invictus14

"Dignity" as written by Jeremy Graham Ross Paul Robert Mclaney

Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Dignity song meanings
Add your thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentOne of the greatest songs!

    I reckon this song is about a normal working class guy, maybe a bit older - certainly of a lost generation now! A guy who people think of as quiet, thus the kids have the 'bogie' impression of him! Maybe a bit misunderstood though, as he reads Maynard Keynes. However, underneath it all, he still harbours dreams, like anyone else, although his may be tamer in comparison to jetting off round the world. A man of simple pleasures. But a proud man (I saved my money!).

    Anyone from Scotland will probably know someone like this, i know my Grandfather is like this guy. But i think that they are a dieing breed.
    oldmanmackieon January 17, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningWorking for the council as a street cleaner is often seen as a demeaning job.
    Lifting dogs dirt, sweeping up vomit, emptying maggot infested stuff from bins, it is not a nice job, just as you reach the end of the pavement you have cleaned someone at the other end is letting their dog do it's business, in the middle of all your good work, and they have absolutely no intention of demeaning themselves by picking it up, that's what the street cleaner is for!!!
    You see, the job the man does, day in, day out, rain or shine, he does with dignity and pride - never seems to mutter -
    What gets him through his working day is his retirement dream of buying his boat and sailing it up the west coast, whilst his former collegues and all those that come after them are still doing the same old job.
    The boat represents his pride, joy and motivation, he's going to call it dignity as a little dig at his current occupation after doing what most people would see as a demeaning job.
    ie. You might see me having to clear up this big turd right in the middle of the pavement to earn a living, but one day I'll be sailing up the west coast of Scotland on my own ship, called dignity, and you will all be doing the same old.
    So, the song is essentially about this mans employment, and what motivates him to carry on doing such a menial task.

    By the way, the children probably call him bogie because it's cold in the winter and if you have your litter picker in one hand, your bag in the other, inevitably your nose will produce a bogie or two and school kids don't miss a thing.
    So, you see his job in Scotland is seen by so many as demeaning, that even school kids think it's ok to take the mick out of him.

    Clever, insightfull, brilliant song that tells an inspirational story.

    Such a joy.
    kipstazon February 27, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe no one has commented at all on this song. It rocks.
    I Think this song is about a guy who works hard at a job he doesn't particularly mind doing because he doesnt't see it as a knock on his dignity simply because he is saving up for better things.
    zotonon April 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song has quite a deep meaning to me at the moment. I've made a lot of bad decisions, mistakes etc, and they're about to come and bite me in the arse... my life as i know it, is shortly to be over. My career in ruins, my family disowning me, and my freedom revoked for a short period.

    I've been doing a lot of thinking about my life, where i'm headed, the mistakes which i made years ago and had put behind me, which now are going to change my life forever.... and i've decided that i know where i need to be, and what i want from life.

    I'm going to get any old job when it's all blown over, work every hour god sends, save like my life depends on it, and then buy a van, and a hang glider and lessons. I'm then going to pack the van with my glider and all my climbing gear... and leave.

    "I'll travel up the west coast, through villages and towns... "

    For me, i'll be travelling around Europe initially, then who knows... travelling from Launch site to climbing site, making friends.. sleeping in my van, camping... if i need to work, ill do anything - cleaning, work in a bar, waiting tables etc...

    "i'll be thinking about home, and all that that means"

    Who knows where ill end up? Who cares? My life here is almost over, i'll not have much to stay here for anyway...

    The jobs i do after it all to save up may not be glamerous, they may not be the definition of 'career success', but ill be building up my dignity.

    When i listen to to this song, the crunch of it is thus:

    "and i'm thinking about home
    and i'm thinking about faith
    and i'm thinking about work
    and i'm thinking about how good it would be
    to be here some day"

    I think about all of those things, the dream i have, the freedom of the open road, being able to put my past mistakes and cock ups behind me, to leave those who'll judge behind, and move to pastures new...

    And as the song says, i'm thinking about how good it will be to be there one day.
    joe1982_yorkon August 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHope you can see it through Joe. At times when it all seems like shit and the world's against you, please remember what you have written here.
    p.s. get a Paraglider rather than a hang-glider, much easier to transport.
    Scolopaxon December 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHope you can see it through Joe. At times when it all seems like shit and the world's against you, please remember what you have written here.
    p.s. get a Paraglider rather than a hang-glider, much easier to transport.
    Scolopaxon December 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song didnt say much to me when it came out, I took it too literally maybe. Now after 20 years of ups and downs and all kinds of mistakes and regrets I look back and envy the simple lives of some of the people I knew when I was young, they were solid, confident people with simple lives and needs and their dignity was so important to them, they were happy and generous but I thought they were boring and nderachievers - now i realise they had a simple plan and they stuck to it, it wasnt the acquisition of wealth but maintaining their dignity and pride.
    franton July 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat I got for this song is that the person wanted to live a life have a job make money and at the end of the day die with their dignity intact knowing that they are 100% true and honest.
    scottishmusicon April 09, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain