"How To Make Gravy" as written by and Paul Maurice Kelly....
Hello Dan, it's Joe here, I hope you're keeping well
It's the 21st of December, and now they're ringing the last bells
If I get good behaviour, I'll be out of here by July
Won't you kiss my kids on Christmas Day, please don't let 'em cry for me

I guess the brothers are driving down from Queensland and Stella's flying in from the coast
They say it's gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe, but that won't stop the roast
Who's gonna make the gravy now? I bet it won't taste the same
Just add flour, salt, a little red wine

And don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang
And give my love to Angus and to Frank and Dolly,
Tell 'em all I'm sorry I screwed up this time
And look after Rita, I'll be thinking of her early Christmas morning

When I'm standing in line
I hear Mary's got a new boyfriend, I hope he can hold his own
Do you remember the last one? What was his name again?
(Just a little too much cologne)

And Roger, you know I'm even gonna miss Roger
'Cause there's sure as hell no one in here I want to fight
Oh praise the Baby Jesus, have a Merry Christmas,
I'm really gonna miss it, all the treasure and the trash

And later in the evening, I can just imagine,
You'll put on Junior Murvin and push the tables back
And you'll dance with Rita, I know you really like her,
Just don't hold her too close, oh brother please don't stab me in the back

I didn't mean to say that, it's just my mind it plays up,
Multiplies each matter, turns imagination into fact
You know I love her badly, she's the one to save me,
I'm gonna make some gravy, I'm gonna taste the fat

Tell her that I'm sorry, yeah I love her badly, tell 'em all I'm sorry,
And kiss the sleepy children for me
You know one of these days, I'll be making gravy,
I'll be making plenty, I'm gonna pay 'em all back


Lyrics submitted by jed

"How to Make Gravy" as written by Paul Maurice Kelly

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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How To Make Gravy song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song, I think, typifies the feelings that lots of people have when they 'cant be home for Christmas'. That gut renching feeling of loss.

    On a brighter note, tried the recipe and the
    "dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and extra tang" does work!
    and that's Australians for you. Nothing will Stop the Christmas Roast - not even the weather. Good one, as usual Paul!
    alimacon June 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry alimac, but this song has a much more literal meaning... Paul Kelly is telling the story of a man in jail (why he's there is never revealed), missing Christmas with his family. He's scared of many things, but he also wishes that his kids remember him and love him for who he is, not what he did.
    It's a beautiful sad song, but it still has some very funny bits when talking about his extended family. It sums up an Australian Christmas very well, with the hot weather but insistence at sticking to a traditional Christmas meal.
    Sofie_Jon August 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think this is a really great song, its pretty obvious about the meaning the song really explains it all, its just about a guy in jail who is going to be missing chrissie with his family
    plzndqlolon May 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is more about new Prisoners than anything.
    what i mean is when you first enter prison all you can think about is the people and thing that you left on the outside.
    Thats the real sence I get from this song because he talks about the entire family in an affectionate way aspsialy "I'm even gonna miss Roger 'Cause there's sure as hell no one in here I want to fight"
    AAPCounselon May 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, this song is amazing. I'm fifteen now, and have been listening to Paul Kelly my whole life. whenever we go on a car trip, we always have songs from the south on. And this means just that little bit more, seeing as my mum's name is Rita and my dad always sings it out loud...

    As for the meaning, I think you can take it literally, a man being in prison and not being there for Christmas, or you can take it figuratively. Maybe something has happened, and he can't be there for Christmas.
    PhObOton April 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionI have family interstate, that can't be with me at Christmas...this song typifies that sense of distance, the prison theme heightens it incredibly well.
    The power of this song, for me, lies in the evocative lyrics and how they perfectly match the plaintive and sad tone of the music. The instrumental fits the wording, in pace and structure.
    Why is he in prison?
    A clue is a reference to dancing to "Junior Murvin" songs. Never heard of him, and 2 minutes on google revealed that he is a reggae artist, whose first album is called "Police and Thieves" !
    I love how a songwriter can bury something in another layer of a song, in such a subtle way.
    Stevo61on December 25, 2014   Link

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