Knopfler, Mark - Basil Lyrics




My Saturday job pays six and six down
A copy boy at the Chronicle
Five cigarettes and two silver half crowns
Meeting Vince at Mark Toney’s in town
Boy, do we get around

Basil sits there on the table for subs
But not a part of the Bri-nylon club
Ancient blue sweater, too old for the job
Bored out of his mind
With the Colins and Bobs

I’m a jack and a lad
And I’m up for the world
And I’ve kissed a Gateshead girl

He calls for a copy boy, grumpy as hell
Poets have to eat as well
What he wouldn’t give just to walk out today
To have time to think about time
And young love thrown away

I’m a jack and a lad
And I’m up for the world
And I’ve kissed a Gateshead girl

Starlings swarming
A cloud over Grainger Street
Over the black church
Over the Black Gate
And the shadowy Keep

He peers through his wire rims
At the fish and chip words
He’s supposed to dish up and forget
His drudgery now has become slightly blurred
By one of his Players untipped cigarettes

Bury all joy
Put the poems in sacks
And bury me here with the hacks

In the summer the fair
Will stretch over the Moor
Lovers will lie and make out in the park
Basil puts on his old duffel and scarf
And goes out into the dark





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Knopfler, Mark Basil Comments
  1. Doug Misantoni

    Happy ending...Basil bailed the Paper....And become a reknown British poet....MK is the best

  2. Jussi

    How can 17 people dislike this..? Shaking my head..

  3. ISIKO ABUBAKER

    How I have been hunting for this song I used to call it "copy boy" hahaha

  4. Sadiq Alsarraf

    Love yah Scotsman 🙏

  5. 50brian50

    Bring back memories of when I was a kid going around Newcastle marvilis

  6. stephane chevallier

    Trės belle mélodie

  7. Tim Mcguiness

    I worked in the same building until about a year ago (as a snapper) when we left and set up in a much smaller office. Great song by a son of Gosforth.

  8. Irish Field

    Great song love this ever thank you

  9. Irish Field

    Beautiful ever wowwww amazing song ever thank you Mark topssssss

  10. Umbellularia

    just tears... nothing more

  11. varsha jagannathan

    Mark knopfler zindabad

  12. Thomas Smith

    One of Mark's best songs, about an ageing poet who thinks his time has passed and hating his day job. Basil Bunting would be proud.

  13. Pablo Head

    This autobiographic song talks about his days as a copy boy and he meet Basil Bunting working at The Chronicles. Here's a link https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/mark-knopfler-immortalises-chronicle-song-8864390
    Such a sad song and the last line "Basil puts on his old duffel and scarf and goes out into the dark" it makes me cry, but the solo after that give me some hope.

  14. mrpicky100

    If you like this try Camel's album Harbour of Tears

  15. michel muller

    mark le héro magnifique....toujours devant....merci..a écouté sans modération...

  16. luca passeroni

    che meraviglia

  17. Christopher W

    This writing rivals anything by John le Carré.

  18. Roberto Migliorini

    Una delle sue più belle!

  19. 234cheech

    what a songwriter mark has become even back then but the lasts few albums have been real gems

  20. wheelofsun

    "and goes out into the dark..."

  21. John Barry

    Basil puts on his old duffel and scarf
    And goes out into the dark.  Stunningly vivid image.  It trails off to let the listener decide what's next, and it ain't pretty.  Masterclass in songwriting.

    No Name

    One of my first favorite Mark Knopfler songs (there's at least 30 of them now). Really paints a picture of Basil's life, doesn't it?

    Doug Misantoni

    World Class Master...Long live MK

  22. Irgoun Emeth

    My Saturday job pays six and six down
    A copy boy at the Chronicle
    Five cigarettes and two silver half crowns
    Meeting Vince at Mark Toney’s in town
    Boy, do we get around

    Basil sits there on the table for subs
    But not a part of the Bri-nylon club
    Ancient blue sweater, too old for the job
    Bored out of his mind
    With the Colins and Bobs

    I’m a jack and a lad
    And I’m up for the world
    And I’ve kissed a Gateshead girl

    He calls for a copy boy, grumpy as hell
    Poets have to eat as well
    What he wouldn’t give just to walk out today
    To have time to think about time
    And young love thrown away

    I’m a jack and a lad
    And I’m up for the world
    And I’ve kissed a Gateshead girl

    Starlings swarming
    A cloud over Grainger Street
    Over the black church
    Over the Black Gate
    And the shadowy Keep

    He peers through his wire rims
    At the fish and chip words
    He’s supposed to dish up and forget
    His drudgery now has become slightly blurred
    By one of his Players untipped cigarettes

    Bury all joy
    Put the poems in sacks
    And bury me here with the hacks

    In the summer the fair
    Will stretch over the Moor
    Lovers will lie and make out in the park
    Basil puts on his old duffel and scarf
    And goes out into the dark

  23. Ozan Milton

    The one who has the most hits in the world.. Mark is so different...

  24. Doug Misantoni

    Basil Bunting....this is genius

  25. Harry Casper

    We must all look out for each other to make sure that no one ever feels this lonely or inferior.

    Marty Howe

    Noble sentiments, but I do feel lonely and inferior, and I don't see how anyone could change that. This is why I don't believe in psychology/psychologists. The only way for one to overcome inferiority/loneliness is to have it come from God, to regenerate the soul & pluck it out of the mire of self pity (hasn't happened yet, but still hopeful). Where does one's self worth come from?

  26. Pavel Boro

    gorgeous and sad song.Very pretty.

  27. Brian Weir

    another exceptional album from the master. I can't wait for his next recording. thank you Mark Knopfler and thanks for posting

  28. Bas

    Stunning. This is why Mark is my idol!

  29. Ethereal

    I know Mark doesn't read this, but...
    Mark...
    Thank you.
    For being, for composing, for giving me smile and peace.
    I am in greatest debt until the end of my life to you.
    You are absolutelly Brilliant musician, no, You are a TRUE Artist.
    Live life long, have some time for yourself.
    With big love.
    Jacob.

    Bart Balvers

    DeGaRlick nnn

    Lars Kraus

    Well said

  30. Sintes

    Reminds me so much of Johny Cash that I first thought it was his song. Magnificent!

  31. JustForFunMan

    Does this remind anyone of "So Far from the Clyde"?

  32. tafat nordine

    looks like prairie wedding the same wonderful style

  33. Aziz ERRADI

    Sublime

  34. kareem kareem

    Basil Basil... i like you men is magnifisent song

  35. Grace Price

    Love it! Makes me cry every time. I think it's my favourite song 👌🏻

    John Barry

    Possibly the most haunting song I've ever heard.  Astonishingly vivid imagery, and in 5 minutes captures the beginning and end of life.

    ermias bizuneh

    You are lucky then! Enjoy your "ONE" favorite song dear!!!