Last Night



Last night I was walking through the harbour,
Where the fishing boats are lying on the shore,
The news had travelled fast and everyone went to be,
Where the mayor was making a speech,
And the crowd started cheering,
When he talked about the glory of it all,
And the boys coming home from the war;

Last night, they were dancing in the streets,
And making music in the alleyways and bars,
From a house down in the old town came the sound of guitars,
Margarita was waiting inside,
With her long black hair hanging down beneath the red light,
And she smiled, for the boys coming home from the war,
The boys coming home from the war;

And they said we were heroes, they said we were fine,
We were kings in command, we had God on our side,
And we said "nothing will make us change in any way,
Since yesterday - we're just the same,
Since yesterday - nothing has changed,
Since yesterday - we're just the same,"
But I can feel there's a new kind of hunger inside,
To be satisfied, I saw it there last night;

Last night I was walking through the shadows,
Far away from all the music and the girls,
When I saw a soldier waiting with a woman in black,
And they stood without any word,
Just staring at a photograph of someone, and she began to cry,
For a boy left behind in the war,
Some boy left behind in the war;

And they said we were heroes, they said we were fine,
We were kings in command, we had God on our side,
And we said "nothing will make us change in any way,
Since yesterday - we're just the same,
Since yesterday - nothing has changed,
Since yesterday - we're just the same,"
But I can feel there's this new kind of hunger inside,
To be satisfied, I saw it there last night...
"A song which everybody knows from the Summer tour of '85 - but which they'll now be hearing completely differently! The way we did it on stage was very much like a Bruce Springsteen thing, with saxophones wailing off the top. I got a little bored with that, to tell the truth. It seemed to be an obvious way of doing it, and one thing we found with this album [Into The Light] is that we've recorded something the obvious way - lived with it for a while and then changed it. I think I've re-recorded every single song at least once on this album, and one particular song got recorded three or four times. So that's another problem - that's what we've been going through. In the old days I'd let it pass, I'd say 'Aaah - doesn't matter. I'm happy with that'. But I've really forced myself this time, especially when I've been up against the wall, to come in suddenly and say 'We're going to have to re-record this song'. It's a terrible thing to have to do because you know you're putting yourself under more pressure and another five or six days of time are thrown out of the window. In any case! Last Night is exactly the same song, but it's recorded in a different way. I think it's much more atmospheric and captures the mood I was after. The picture I had in my head was of the end of the Spanish Civil War, in a little fishing village. There's a lot of excitement because the boys are comign home after the fighting. There's a wild party; the Mayor gives a speech, and so on. It's very filmic, as usual with me. I'm the observer in this song.

I see the standard things like the village square and the local whore in her front room, waiting for the boys to come home. I walk through the village, away from all the noise, and find myself up by the church. Standing there in the churchyard is a soldier and a woman in black - whois either the wife or mother of a boy - and these two are looking at a photograph. It's obviously of somebody who was killed in the war, and that's when the reality of it hits me, or the observer; OK, that's all very well celebrating - but you forget the other side of it. That's what certainly struck me after recent wars; how disgusting it was to see all the wild celebrations and then seeing the horribly crippled, maimed and dead people coming back as well. You know, it's the acceptable face of war - the glory afterwards. That's the point of this song. It's a gentle look at it, but it's me as the observer. I know it used to go down really well in concert and this version - though it's slightly different now - is, I think, as good, if not better."
The Getaway Gazette, May '86
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