All This Time

Album: The Soul Cages (1991)
Charted: 22 5
  • I looked out across the river today.
    Saw a city in the fog and an old church town where the seagulls play.
    Saw the sad shire horses walking home in the sodium light,
    Two priests on the ferry.
    October geese on a cold winter's night.
    All this time the river flowed endlessly to the sea.

    Two priests came 'round our house tonight,
    One young, one old, to offer prayers for the dying to serve the final rite.
    One to learn, one to teach which way the cold wind blows.
    And fussing and flapping in priestly black like a murder of crows.
    All this time the river flowed endlessly to the sea.

    If I had my way, take a boat from the river and I'd bury the old man.
    I'd bury him at sea.

    Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the earth.
    Better to be poor than a fat man in the eye of the needle.
    As these words were spoken I swear I hear the old man laughing.
    What good is a used up world and how could it be worth having?
    All this time the river flowed endlessly like a silent tear.

    All this time the river flowed.
    Father, if Jesus exists then how come he never lives here?
    Yeah yeah. Yeah yeah. Yeah yeah.

    Teachers told the Romans built this place.
    They built a wall and a temple and an edge of the empire garrison town.
    They lived and they died.
    They prayed to their gods, but the stone gods did not make a sound.
    And their empire crumbles 'till all that was left
    Were the stones the workmen found.
    All this time the river flowed in the falling light of a Northern sun.
    If I had my way, take a boat from the river.
    Men go crazy in the congregations, they only get better one by one.
    One by one. One by one by one. One by one.

    (I looked out across)
    Sad shire horses walking home in the sodium light.
    (the river today) Writer/s: GORDON SUMNER
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Royalty Network
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 8

  • MoMy favorite line, "Men go crazy in congregations, they only get better one by one" comes from a quote by Charles MacKay in his always relevant 1841 book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds; “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
  • Waldo from NyIn this line: "Saw a city in the fog and an old church town where the seagulls play."

    "town" should be "tower"

    Which makes sense: the church is in the city and the church tower is visible in the fog.

  • Wallville from Wash, DcIn Amsterdam, this song danced with me... where the seagulls play.
  • Phiilp from Beer Town, Wiwhat a great bass pattern!!!

    this tune reminds me of miami beach in the early nineties. much less crowded, no gawdy high rises and lots of fun loving topless german girls at the pool.
  • Stephen from Philadelphia, PaI won a $20 bet on this song. A friend swore Sting was singing about the river Thames... but he was wrong and it's the Tyne River in Newcastle, the "edge of the (roman) empire garrison town" where Sting grew up.
  • Justin from Roseville, Ca "Men go crazy in congregations, they only get better one by one." One of my favorite lyrics ever. I'd love to hear the cello suite this song is based on.
  • Arka from Calcutta, ArDeceptive Manu Kache!!!): I grew up listening to this album: right from when I was 15, and it is still my favourite..well...all of them are favourites, really... Sting album. "Father if Jesus exists,/Then how come He never lives here..?"
  • Shelli from Madison, WiSting asked Paul Simon for general songwriting advice during the writing of this song.
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