The complete lyrics - all in good time
some = all / the effluxion of time

21 Gunga Din

(Gillan) From the Ian Gillan album 'Dreamcatcher'

As I leaned forward to kiss my Father on his forehead I noticed his chin, something strange, what was it?

He badly needed a shave, always so meticulous about his hygiene and appearance, how many mornings had I stood and watched, fascinated as he explained and demonstrated the process, the ritual, first, wash your face with ordinary soap, then, with water as hot as you can bear, apply the brush and shaving cream, Palmolive, the old scent is gone now. Then the blade, leaving his skin even softer it seemed, than mine.

Occasionally he would reach down, dab some cream on my face and shave me with a bladeless razor. Delicious! 'You're a better man than I am GUNGA DIN' he would say.

What was this then? The last time I'd seen him was around 11:00pm the night before as he left my hotel to drive home with a clean chin. He died within the hour at the wheel of his car. Now, here in the morgue, fifty miles away and twelve hours later, he badly needed a shave.

Yes, that is him, William, yes… yes! I stumbled through the formalities of identification “would you please make sure someone gives him a shave before … before! Before what? I thought, turning away trying to hold my composure.

So … whiskers growing on a dead man's chin, sounds like a sea shanty. All of my father's being in me became focused at that time.

These were the words I wrote to accompany the song as it appeared in 'Dreamcatcher', it's just part of the stuff of my spiritual library. The rest of the song is other dreamings.

Gunga Din


If the nets were full of holes
And all the holes were full of dreams
And the dreams were full of fortune
They'd be bursting at the seams
And if the seams were made of gold
And you could understand the signs
Would you bet your easy money
On the Christians or the lions?

I'll be true to you
No matter what you do
How you didlin'?
Fair to middlin'
I'll be true to you

If you put into the history books
The writings on the wall
You'll turn them into mystery books
And they're no use at all
No one listens to the losers
Or the prophets or the boys
If you wanted to you couldn't
'Cause they're making too much noise

I'll be true to you
No matter what you do
How you diddlin'?
Fair to middlin'
I'll be true to you

Through the whistlin' and the dancin' and the flyin' of the feet.
The drinkin' and the fightin' and the cryin' in the street.
There's something I must tell you boy before I jack it in.
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din

My daddy was from Scotland
And I couldn't understand
A single word he said to me
Until I was a man
It was about the time
I had me wisdom tooth put in
'Twas then I saw the whiskers
Growing on a dead man's chin

I'll be true to you
No matter what you do
How you diddlin'
Fair to middlin'
I'll be true to you

Return to:
back to the Wordography index