Ticket to heaven

I can see what you're looking to find
in the smile on my face
in my peace of mind
in my state of grace
I send what I can
to the man from the ministry
he's a part of heaven's plan
and he talks to me

now I send what I can to the man
with the diamond ring
he's a part of heaven's plan
and he sure can sing
now it's all I can afford
but the lord has sent me eternity
it's to save the little children
in a poor country

I got my
and everlasting life
I got a ride all the way to paradise
I got my
and everlasting life
all the way to paradise

now there's nothing left for luxuries
nothing left to pay my heating bill
but the good lord will provide
I know he will
so send what you can
to the man with the diamond ring
they're tuning in across the land
to hear him sing

I got my
and everlasting life
I got a ride all the way to paradise
I got my
and everlasting life
all the way to paradise

Lyrics submitted by Dasch

Ticket to Heaven Lyrics as written by MARK KNOPFLER

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Ticket To Heaven song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment

    I think this one is pretty straightforward. It's a commentary on televangelists manipulating poorer, less educated people with God as the selling point. People hoping to go to heaven and find God send their money to these televangelists, sending themselves even closer toward being paupers while these manipulators get rich. Very critical and very sad in its way. I think it's inspired by the televangelist scandals that occurred around the time of this album's release.

    gardenofsoundon March 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I just saw MK on the 2008 leg of KTGC in Oregon USA. (Saw him in 2005 as well) My 70 something year old folks came up for the two shows in Oregon, and never having heard him or of him before, they were blown away by what a great performer he is live.

    Putting together a mixed MP3 CD for their 900 mile road trip home, I went back and re-listened to some of the studio stuff to winnow out what made it and not unto the CD. I forgot just how good so many of the songs off of On Every Street was, including this one with the haunting melody.

    Many of the early DS studio didn't make it on CD, for lets face it, he is so much better live, especially on the early stuff, but the last two albums, On Every Street and Brothers in Arms has more of the sound MK solo evolved into.

    This song, rarely played on live boots I've add access to, stayed just because of various under tones of the story, like what followed in Boom Like That, Done with Bonaparte, Imelda, Sailing to Philadelphia to name but a few.

    It's always great to go back and hear things that have been overlooked and think, why didn't this one get the same attention as some of the ones listed above?

    Great song, catches the essence of the God "con" that ruins God by confusing religion with true spirituality. Think Jim and Tammy Fay Baker, or my favorite, Jimmy Swaggart who stood there on US TV with tears streaming down his face, saying God told him that God didn't think Jimmy's flock followed him anymore, and that he'd given Jimmy only the weekend to show he was still a man of God, and to prove it, God wanted a "circular driveway" for the mansion (okay, church) and if he didn't have enough money it by the end of Sunday, Jimmy would have to leave his flock.

    Nope, I'm not making this up!!

    Hope MK saw it too. For it's what I think of every time I hear the song.


    chuckeweon July 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    This song gels beautifully with the rest of the album. Same kind of soft, gentle rock with MK's voice pleasantly blending into it.

    This song IMO conveys obvious disdain to the whole concept of "selling God" as is practised in the religious TV channels with their penchant for doling out sentimentality to the multitude. It starts with a claim from a man "under the influence" who considers himself lucky for having been chosen to partake in the process of charity instituted by a man "from the ministry". He is so happy that he has a "smile on his face" and is in a "state of grace". He thinks that the man from the ministry personally talks to him and admonishes him to part with money that he can ill afford to lose in the name of charity. You would think that MK believes in all this were it not for the palpable sarcasm in describing the man from the ministry who has now morphed into the "man with the diamond ring" thereby revealing the affect of the garnered wealth on the man.

    The mild disdain on the man becomes more pronounced when it was told that "he sure can sing". The rest of the song about people believing in the "ticket to heaven" and the "ride all the way to paradise" add further fuel and ironic humor to this song which begins to resemble a critical poem now. How this whole God epidemic, with its emphasis on creating institutions as opposed to promoting spirituality, has become increasingly prevalent is further indicated with words such as "tuning across the land to hear him sing" - as if to suggest that just the song (and not the message) is able to sway the crowd to support the man with the diamond ring making him even more wealthy. Overall a lovely song with great vocals.

    rajakolluruon November 02, 2010   Link

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