"Mother of Pearl" as written by and Bryan Ferry....
Turn the lights down
Way down low
Turn up the music
Hi as fi can go
All the gang's here
Everyone you know
It's a crazy scene
Hey there just look over your shoulder
Get the picture?

No no no no (Yes)
Walk a tightrope
Your life-sign-line
Such a bright hope
Right place, right time
What's your number?
Never you mind
Take a powder
But hang on a minute what's coming round the corner?
Have you a future?

No no no no (Yes)
Well I've been up all night again
Party-time wasting is too much fun
Then I step back thinking
Of life's inner meaning
And my latest fling
It's the same old story
All love and glory
It's a pantomime

If you're looking for love
In a looking glass world
It's pretty hard to find
Oh mother of pearl
I wouldn't trade you
For another girl
Divine intervention
Always my intention
So I take my time

I've been looking for something
I've always wanted
But was never mine
But now I've seen that something
Just out of reach, glowing
Very Holy grail
Oh mother of pearl
Lustrous lady
Of a sacred world

Thus: even Zarathustra
Could believe in you
With every goddess a let down
Every idol a bring down
It gets you down
But the search for perfection
Your own predilection
Goes on and on and on and on
Canadian Club love
A place in the Country
Everyone's ideal

But you are my favorita
And a place in your heart dear
Makes me feel more real
Oh mother of pearl
I wouldn't change you
For the whole world
You're highbrow, holy
With lots of soul

Melancholy shimmering
Serpentine sleekness
Was always my weakness
Like a simple tune
But no dilettante
Filigree fancy

Beats the plastic you
Career girl cover
Exposed and another
Slips right into-view
Oh looking for love
In a looking glass world
Is pretty hard for you
Few throwaway kisses
The boomerang misses
Spin round and round
Fall on featherbed quilted
Faced with silk

Softly stuffed eider down
Take refuge in pleasure
Just give me your future
We'll forget your past
Oh mother of pearl
Submarine lover

In a shrinking world
Oh lonely dreamer
Your choker provokes
A picture cameo
Oh mother of pearl
So so semi-precious
In your detached world
Oh mother of pearl
I wouldn't trade you
For another girl

Lyrics submitted by kevinsucks

"Mother of Pearl" as written by Bryan Ferry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Mother of Pearl song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI love this song. To me, it sounds like it is about being in love with (i.e. addicted to) a prostitute. Mother of Pearl is a very common, cheap "gem" (inside of an oyster shell), yet is very beautiful, looking like the more expensive pearls that are produced by the oyster. A pearl would be a beautiful, but proper lady.

    Just my two cents.
    IrishPoeton January 26, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think simonevans is right about the two parts (diptych). The legend is that the first part was recorded and then the band only had the music to work from. Ferry went off, wrote down a few lines and then produced a 'stream of consciousness' which makes up all the second part of the song.

    Along with 'In Every Dream home' this is one of Roxy's best songs.
    mgvsmithon January 14, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is totally about cocaine and being addicted. There are girls but the only place he feels loved is in his indulgence. No real intimacy. He's waiting for devine intervention because nothing else is real. Seeking a God connection he has taken refuge in a dangerous place. The life he's living is in vain. POWERFUL. This is Ferrys best! scarey
    absorbedon October 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAmazing song... you gotta check out this live rendition from 76:

    bunker2112on March 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSome of you reduce this magnificently multifaceted song to a tawdry drug-ditty...
    Regardless of substances or scenarios that may have fueled the passion that went into creating this music, it must be appreciated for the sheer poetry of the lyrics and the richness of the associations. Yes - I discern the frenzy and the high in the song - but it is so much more than that. This is one of my all-time favorite Rock'n'Roll songs and it is impossible to ever finish plumbing its depths or mining its inexhaustible gold.

    "Thus, even Zarathustra / another-time loser / could believe in you..."

    Roxy Music Forever!
    NomadMonadon February 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno comments?! i adore this song. it's so perfect.
    bruisevioleton March 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a two-parter set at a party. First half is frantic and reflective of a party in full swing. Second half is the quiet, reflective aftermath. Come on! You've all been there...
    simonevanson February 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIsn't the song about coke? "Take a powder," "Well I've been up all night (again)"
    superOKon May 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyes it is about coke and the lyrics reflect a perfect understanding of the phenomenon. Take that, Eric Clapton's Cocaine!
    orphan_yachtson June 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe this song doesn't have more comments. It's completely amazing, one of my all time favorite songs and i can listen to it back to back forever.
    JelloBeanson July 17, 2008   Link

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