Night Boat To Cairo

SONG COMPOSERS, LYRICS AND BACKGROUND

LYRICS

Night boat to Cairo!

It’s just gone noon half past monsoon
On the banks of the River Nile
Here comes the boat only half afloat
Oarsman grins a toothless smile
Only just one more to this desolate shore
Last boat along the River Nile
Doesn’t seem to care no more wind in his hair
As he reaches his last half mile

The oar snaps in his hand before he reaches dry land
But the sound doesn’t dampen his smile
Just pokes at wet sand
With an oar in his hand
Floats off down the River Nile
Floats off down the River Nile

Night boat
Night boat to Cairo!

Night boat to Cairo!

COMPOSERS

ComposerRole
Mike Barson Music
Graham McPherson Words

BACKGROUND

The opening fog-horn sound of Lee‘s baritone sax certainly conjures up visions of a pea-souper over the English Channel. Still, I’m not sure about the River Nile … and then “it’s just gone monsoon,” the monsoon being a seasonal wind that affects southern Asia, though you’d be hard-pushed to find it troubling the Nile’s passage from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea.

Of course, none of this matters whatsoever. The video that accompanies this unlikely top-ten single reinforces the colonial imagery. Our gallant lads are all in pith helmets, marching around a film studio that doesn’t have enough sand on the floor to cover the floorboards, have all the props rattling around and some very dodgy backgrounds of the pyramids and so on. You wouldn’t believe that the promo was made using cutting-edge technology, the first time they’d shot a ‘video’ on film, which made editing faster. Robbo is proud of having made it in an afternoon, put it together overnight and aired it the following morning.

References

RepresentationCompanyNotes
Publisher Nutty Sounds Ltd.
Publisher Warner Chappell Music Ltd.

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ReferenceSource
Madness' One Step Beyond... (Terry Edwards) Book