"Dublin" as written by and Paddy Mcaloon....
Who does not adore the sound
Of music in the name of towns
To build a city on such picturesque ground
That takes some sort of flair
We draw a line the ink is fear
You stay that side we'll stay here
It's far harder to keep it up
Than to tear it down
Does it take you back to the kind of world
Hindsight calls the good old days?
Now that there's no room in an Einstein world
For simple cause and effect

Dublin Dublin home of pretty Coleens
Dublin Dublin, nurse of such bitter dreams

Behind the soft and peachy skin
Where D.N.A. or God begin
Where sub-Gaelic rot sets in
With stories from your mother
In myths and less exalted forms
The heady cocktail glory is born
You know it's not a bottled storm
So why do you indulge it?

Dublin Dublin home of pretty Coleens
Dublin Dublin, nurse of such bitter dreams


Lyrics submitted by JON

"Dublin" as written by Paddy Mcaloon

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Dublin song meanings
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    General CommentWow ... I think this is pretty much my favourite lyric ever. There's so much going on here; but no heavy-handed metaphorts, or laboured points. The imagery is incredibly original, yet also effective.

    So, what do I think it's about? Well, though Prefab Sprout are from Newcastle, it seems reasonable to presume that a guy called Paddy McAloon is of Irish descent. So fundamentally I believe this song is either a kind homesickness-by-proxy ... some thoughts on his spiritual home, even if its not his birthplace. Alternatively it might just be inspired by a visit.

    "We draw a line, the ink is fear" is about people setting limits for themselves. This might refer to the North / South problem in Ireland, but more likely it's about a boy and a girl; maybe they've split up once, and no are afraid to reach out to each other.

    "Does it take you back". My guess is this is a reference to memories of Dublin, and how things that seemed simple at the time now seem so complex. Of course, the Einstein comment is extremely clever: though Einstein himself found the idea abhorent, it was shown that his own theories implied the "uncertainty principle" which states that, at a quantum level at least, the world is non-deterministic. (The famous quote is "God does not play dice" ... but it turns out he does). One can only speculate on whether the uncertainty principle has an effect on human emotion and character.

    A "Coleen", is an Irish girl.

    "Where DNA or God begins" ... again, a reference to deterministic science vs. fate. Also nature vs. nurture: the song implies that the Irish character is fatalistic, troubled, and (emotionally) violent, and that this is reinforced by stories from Irish mothers.

    Regret, longing, philosophical musings, and fatalism.

    Love it.
    what123everon August 16, 2006   Link

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