Do i hear
21
21
21

i'll give you
21
21
21

Do i hear
21
21
21

i'll give you
21
21
21

This night you
are mistaken

i'm a farmer
in the city

Dark farm
houses
against the
sky

Every night
i must wonder why

Harness on the
left nail keeps
wrinkling wrinkling

Then higher above
me - e e so o
e e e so o o

Can't go by
a man from
Rio

Can't go by
a man from
Vigo

Can't go by
a man from
Ostia

Hey Ninetto

Remember that
dream

we talked about
it
so many times

Do i hear
21
21
21

i'll give you
21
21
21

Do i hear
21
21
21

i'll give you
21
21
21

And if i'm not
mistaken
We can search
from farm to
farm

Dark farm houses
against our eyes

Every night i
must realize

Harness on the
left nail

keeps withering withering

Then higher above
me e e so o
e e e so o o

Can't go by
a man in
this shirt

Can't go by
a man in
that shirt

Can't go by
a man with brain
grass

go by his long
long eye
gas

And i used
to be a
citizen

i never felt
the pressure

i knew nothing
of the horses

Nothing of the
thresher

Paulo
take me with
you

it was the
journey of
life

Do i hear
21
21
21

i'll give you
21
21
21

Do i hear
21
21
21

i'll give you
21
21
21


Lyrics submitted by Contristo, edited by bV

Farmer In The City song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentgoosebumps.
    savingupspendon September 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'd think that the 21 stuff is supposed to be like farmers at an auction, y'know?
    flavour countryon January 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, this song is beautiful. I couldn't believe it was Scott Walker when I first heard it. I mean- is this really the guy who'd bring us The Drift? But this song is really haunting but really warm-sounding.

    All the lyrics to this song were lifted from a translation of the Pasolini poem "Una tanti dialoghi" except the whole 21 bit, by the way! I can't guess what that part's about, except wiki says that's the age the real subject of Pasolini's poem was when he was drafted into the Italian army?
    Appers66on May 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"and i used to be a citizen / i never felt the pressure / i knew nothing of the horses / nothing of the thresher" is delivered so beautifully. what an amazing piece.
    grazbosson February 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The album is a triumph before it’s even five minutes old, thanks to mournful opening track “Farmer In The City.” Against a slow, dirge-like string arrangement, Walker recounts the final moments of life for Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who was repeatedly run over by his own car, which was being driven by a male prostitute he’d hired. Walker’s voice takes on a tone of total terror, and he strings together isolated images to create a bleak collage of sorrow and memory. By the time “Farmer In The City” reaches its haunting, inevitable conclusion, it’s clear what Walker has accomplished: The song is the sound of someone’s life passing before his eyes." (magnetmagazine.com/2006/07/05/scott-walker-exit-music/).

    Maybe 21 is the estimated number of times Pasolini was run over.
    Victory Roseon September 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentperhaps the "do i hear 21? i'll give you 21" is partly mocking the coming of 21st century (the album was made in '95) and making fun of the supposed advancement and humanity of the 21st century man while wars, assasinations and senseless killing is happening right around the corner.
    loginsrunon October 13, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song FactAs you can see below, it is not true that all the lyrics are from Pasolini's poem One of Many Epilogues [Uno dei tanti epiloghi], as Appers66 claims. Walker, as per his habit, freely uses material that seems to revolve around Pasolini and his problematics. So, here's the poem for context (trans. Stephen Sartarelli):

    One of Many Epilogues

    Hey, Ninarieddo, remember that dream,
    the one we talked about so many times . . . ?
    I was in my car, heading off alone, the seat
    beside me empty, and you were running after me;
    when you reached the still half-open door,
    anxious and stubbornly running, you cried out
    with a childish sort of whine in your voice:
    “Hey, Paolo, can you take me with you? Will you pay my way?”
    It was the journey of life, and only in a dream
    could you drop your guard and ask me for something.
    You know perfectly well that this dream belongs to reality,
    and that it wasn’t a dreamed Ninetto who said those words.
    In fact you blush when we talk about it.
    Last night in Arezzo, in the silence of the night,
    when the guard was locking the gate with a chain
    behind you, and you were about to disappear,
    with your sudden, funny smile, you said: “Thanks!”
    Thanks, Ninè? It’s the first time you ever said that to me.
    And in fact you realized this and corrected yourself, without losing face
    (something you’re a master at), saying:
    “Thanks for the ride.” The journey you wanted me
    to pay for was, I repeat, the journey of life;
    and it was in that dream some three, four years ago that I decided
    what my equivocal love of freedom was opposed to.
    If you now thank me for the ride, when
    you’re in the slammer, my God . . . In fear
    I board a plane for a faraway place. My thirst for our life is unquenchable,
    because something unique in all the world will never run dry.

    September 2, 1969
    bVon February 08, 2018   Link

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