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Nick Cave – Rainy Night in Soho

There’s a light I hold before me and you’re the measure of my dreams


Nick Cave does a fine version of one of Shane MacGowan‘s many great songs, the sublime Rainy Night in Soho.

A song, in the best songwriting traditions, imbued with beautiful poetry and a sumptuous melody. A timeless classic.

This video comes from an episode of the top BBC Music Show “Later with Jools Holland” back in 1992.


Cave of course is a huge fan of Shane’s work and they have recorded together a few times.

“Rainy Night in Soho” was recorded by Cave for the What a Wonderful World EP released in December 1992 on Mute Records.

On this EP, MacGowan also performed a Cave song, “Lucy” .

Both Shane and Nick, rather surreally, duetted on the classic Louis Armstrong hit “What a Wonderful World”!!

“Rainy Night in Soho” was originally included on the Elvis Costello produced Poguetry in Motion EP, by The Pogues which was their first single to make the UK Top 40.

A different version can be found on an expanded edition of the group’s seminal 1985 release, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash.

The song is a huge fan favourite and is commonly performed at Pogues concerts and has been included in their recent setlists since their reformation in 2001.

The song has been included on every Greatest Hits album the band has released, and is the first track on their 2001 disc, Ultimate Collection.

Many artists have covered this great song. most recently, a rather good version appeared on Damien Dempsey‘s fine 2008 album, The Rocky Road, a collection of traditional ballads.


art by RedFraction

Rainy Night in Soho

I’ve been loving you a long time
Down all the years, down all the days
And I’ve cried for all your troubles
Smiled at your funny little ways
We watched our friends grow up together
And we saw them as they fell
Some of them fell into Heaven
Some of them fell into Hell

I took shelter from a shower
And I stepped into your arms
On a rainy night in Soho
The wind was whistling all its charms
I sang you all my sorrows
You told me all your joys
Whatever happened to that old song
To all those little girls and boys

Now the song is nearly over
We may never find out what it means
But there’s a light I hold before me
And you’re the measure of my dreams
The measure of my dreams

Sometimes I wake up in the morning
The gingerlady by my bed
Covered in a cloak of silence
I hear you in my head
I’m not singing for the future
I’m not dreaming of the past
I’m not talking of the fist time
I never think about the last

Now the song is nearly over
We may never find out what it means
Still there’s a light I hold before me
You’re the measure of my dreams
The measure of my dreams


Shane MacGowan (1991)


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January 23, 2009 - Posted by | Nick Cave, Shane MacGowan, The Pogues, _MUSIC, _VIDEO

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