I apologize,
Seem to have arrived,
On what items in my bag from your house.
There's cutlery,
A tablecloth, some Hennessy,
And a book on Presidents deceased.
I'll have them fed-exed to you,
It was a strange thing to do,
I hope we can still be friends.
Ah, it was not me,
But someone else, you see,
Twisting the steering reins.

Put a penny in the slot and make an
Artificial li-ii-iight shine,
Leave go-ooo. Mark old and line.

I don't give advise,
But be wise and think twice,
Before getting involved in a game.
Where the minority
Face the majority,
Who are faceless and born without names.
Was it knock synch when
We came across three men,
They had church candles wrapped in newspaper.
I bought two from them,
And I'll lit one for you,
I hope the message made it's way down the wire.

Put a penny in the slot and make an
Artificial li-ii-iight shine,
Leave go-ooo. Mark old and line.

The soul of a dog,
He's alive and not gone
To the farm like the others said.
A Rhodesian richback,
Off the beaten track,
In a furniture shop down on the quays.
For the loneliness you foster,
I suggest Paul Auster,
A book called Timbuktu.

Put a penny in the slot and watch the
Drunken sailor boy dance.
She will not let you be
Her lov-ver.
She goes out looking for
The taxi.
Her phone is ringing straight to
Send out a battalion to
Find her.

Put a penny in the slot and count the
Swans through a te-elescope.
I can't help from cryin'
I wish you were mine.

When I was seventeen,
I followed my dream,
Up into a high-rise block.
The adventures of Augie March,
By Saul Bel-low,
Was all I had for company.
At night time I'd lie
In Beckingham pike,
With tears like flashbulbs.
And recall my treasure-
Searching days,
In the rock pools as a kid.

To the remains of
The cherub plains,
Or around the bonfire in Nailors? cove.
Good company and grief
Sit like a doc leaf,
Sits beside a singing nett-le.

Put a penny in the slot and make an
Artificial li-ii-iight shi-iine,
Leave go-ooo. My golden arm

Lyrics submitted by enthos88, edited by davidleal

Put a Penny in the Slot Lyrics as written by Fionn Regan


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Put a Penny in the Slot song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment
    i think the golden arm is an allusion the 1949 book "the man with the golden arm," its about poverty during the great depression, which is similar to the other 2 books alluded to in the song, "The Adventures of Augie March" by Saul Bellow is about poverty in chicago i think during depression, "Timbuktu" by Paul Auster is about a homeless guy but is more modern than the other two and tells the story from the perspective of a dog (which explains the whole "the soul of a dog line." there are probably more allusions in the song too that would help at explaining the meaning. also fionn explains the line about the doc leaf "Can you explain the line "good company and grief sit like a doc leaf sits beside a stinging nettle": from put a penny in the slot? what is a doc leaf? fionn. A doc leaf is a weed that usually grows near stinging nettles although not always. It is quite a big leaf and if you get stung by a nettle and you rub this on the sting it takes the pain away. Although this may not be scientifically proven it still works and would be a good thing to use when there is nothing else."
    enthos88on February 13, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    Hey guys- I'm not just relying on '60's psychedelia logic, here, but I think he's pretty clearly talking about heroin use. 'The Man with the Golden Arm' was a film with Frank Sinatra about a heroin addict. The idea resonates throughout the song- candles are used often to transport heroin (and light it). Putting a 'penny in the slot' or the needle in the vein- causes the 'artificial light' - replacing the soul of the user with a fake one. So, his actions, stealing etc, don't feel true to who he really is. It's not simply about that, though- the idea just resonates with other ideas about memories (the picture show), growing up, etc. What do you think? Think about the images, though- 'stinging nettle'?
    Jimmybobon January 29, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    In Catholic churches, there is a place in the side of the church where there are penny candles. You make a donation and press a button, and a fake candle comes on. It symbolizes your prayer.
    timjim77on April 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    it's pretty cool, i went to school for a spell in the town where he grew up. i really love the doc leaf line. Fionn left wicklow and went to england when he was seventeen i think, to "follow his dream". Growing up in kilmacanogue, nettles and doc leaves were a major part of rambling on a mountainside so i particularly like this little piece of home-grown love, it's something i don't find since i moved.
    cloudgazeron February 19, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    I always assumed the 'golden arm' was referring to the arm of a slot machine. I thought this was pretty obvious, considering the title is 'put a penny in the slot'. That it was some kind of heroin allusion had never entered my mind, but it sounds a bit extreme; wouldn't have put Regan down as a heroin kind of guy, but not that that makes too much difference to whether he might talk about it or not. What I took from the 'golden arm' was that he was alluding to an emptiness, acting like an automaton for a few gold coins. It's quite a bitter song if you look at it that way. I agree with everyone that the nettle and the dock leaf mention is lovely.
    H7on March 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning
    This song seems to be about literature and film and how it shapes the world that we're in.
    URWrongon February 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    i cant believe no one has commented on this! such gd song, although the last thing i would wnat to do is analyse it, to me it appears an obscure outllok on his life, yet that only scrtachign the surface, this is rather a complicated song if u cba wid looking at it properly... and idea what the golden arms about?
    jonnywardon February 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    it sticks in your mind, its basically love!
    maddilneon March 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    Pretty sure instead of "richback" it's Ridgeback. A Rhodesian Ridgeback is a breed of dog and as he is talking about the "soul of a dog"... I'm guessing that's the breed of dog that owns the soul :) Anyway. Great song. I love the imagery.
    beulahon May 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment
    abby showed me this song. i like it. she thinks that the doc leaf stinging nettle part is brilliant. i think this song is good.
    firsthourwabelon February 09, 2008   Link

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