I stepped out on a celluloid night
that flickered on a black and white reel
looking for something that I could not explain
I could only feel
these were the songs upheld by the shades
that spoke to me as I left town
israelites, the harder they come, 56-47
I hear them now
and the words of the prophets never sounded
as good as the echo of a hard one drop
to be forever enslaved by the sound the creator made --
don't let it stop

come again, midnight passenger
there to accompany down
to the end of the souls lost avenue
feel it now

I kept walking in the dust all night
looking for a diamond in the crush
halfway under in bars like a ship that was going down -- or coming up
it was not the sun that stung,
but the feel of loss and the voice of suffering and fate
till I just stopped listening to the chatter of all those yesterdays -- crime pays

we will show up with all our secret problems
and if we can't find land
there's a tone written into soul songs that understands
we will be free

Lyrics submitted by Spacecow

Midnight Passenger song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentthis is a master piece Jaysus it is an amazing song...I alway thought it was about music in general.

    and the words of the prophets never sounded
    as good as the echo of a hard one drop

    the one drop is the style the song is, the prophets is everyone he looked up to musically...maybe I am wrong
    Fatrickon January 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just thought about this now, and I might be wrong but this song could actually be related to the time when Jesse tried to become a monk. What I can't figure out is if it about when he left his older life or the monk life; or both. Greatest Common Rider song in my opinion and a really really good tune in general.
    salvoon March 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd I think it's "54-47", not "56-47".
    Also should be "halfway under in bars like a ship that was sinking down" and
    "and even if we can't find land"
    salvoon March 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningthis is mostly (from what i can tell) an homage to some of the great reggae classics throughout the years

    "Israelites" by Desmond Dekker
    "54-46 (That's My Number)" by Toots and the Maytals
    "The Harder they Come" by Jimmy Cliff

    there might be more, i just haven't picked up on them
    BlackLungFeveron February 02, 2009   Link

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