Firstly, RIP Desmond Dekker. Margerine cannot kill a song that good. Now. Chris de Burgh is so wise I might just have to start posting exerts from his Man On The Line feature everyday and not write anything. Behold:
Dear Chris, hi. Just have a question: In the song "Don't pay the ferryman", I got why "He shouldn't pay him until he get him to the other side", but I can’t get why he shouldn't "EVEN fix a price“!?!?! Maybe it's a foolish question, but I would like to know!!! Thanks.
Chris de Burgh:
I spoke in an earlier answer about some of the wonderful carpets that came from what used to be called Persia, and Shiraz is another place where there used to be wonderful carpet makers and weavers. “Don’t even fix a price” refers to getting into a dialogue with the ferryman. And I think in my song, our hero is being advised not to even distract himself or the ferryman from getting the boat to the other side. Then they can organize the price. You see, what is happening in my imagination is that our hero has gone on the boat, and they are half way across, and that’s when the ferryman demands the money. That’s also when you hear the voices shouting from the bank “Don’t do it! Don’t pay him till you get to the other side!” Because what he’ll do is the ferryman will cut your throat and throw you in the river along with all those other people. That’s the dancing skeletons and there is a sort of nightmarish scene in the background, and the thunder and lightning. And by negotiating a price the hero in the song would be saying in effect how much money he has with him. And that could cause his own death as well. So that’s what I was thinking of in that song.
Wow, huh? Now, if you're still bored, you can go read an interview with me over at RapNews.co.uk. PEACE!