Cleaning Windows

Album: Beautiful Vision (1982)
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  • Oh, the smell of the bakery from across the street
    Got in my nose
    As we carried our ladders down the street
    With the wrought iron gate rows
    I went home and listened to Jimmie Rodgers in my lunch break
    Bought five Woodbines at the shop on the corner
    And went straight back to work

    Oh, Sam was up on top
    And I was on the bottom with the V
    We went for lemonade and Paris buns
    At the shop and broke for tea
    I collected from the lady
    And I cleaned the fanlight inside out
    I was blowing saxophone on the weekend
    In that down joint

    What's my line
    I'm happy cleaning windows
    Take my time
    I'll see you when my love grows
    Baby don't let it slide
    I'm a working man in my prime
    Cleaning windows (number a hundred and thirty six)

    I heard Leadbelly and Blind Lemon
    On the street where I was born
    Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee
    Muddy Waters singin' I'm a rolling stone
    I went home and read my Christmas Humphreys' book on Zen
    Curiosity killed the cat
    Kerouac's Dharma Bums and On The Road

    What's my line
    I'm happy cleaning windows
    Take my time
    I'll see you when my love grows
    Baby don't let it slide
    I'm a working man in my prime
    Cleaning windows

    What's my line
    I'm happy cleaning windows
    Take my time
    I'll see you when my love grows
    Don't let it slide
    I'm a working man in my prime
    Cleaning windows Writer/s: VAN MORRISON
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 9

  • Scott M from San BernardinoThis song is all about living in the moment and enjoying the simple pleasures in life. He is reading Christmas Humphrey's book on Zen, Kerouac's Dharma Bums, which is about two men searching for Zen, and On The Road.

    His message...Enjoy life folks
  • Colin Hugh Abbott from Jarrahdale, Western Australia.I lived in Martinez Avenue, Belfast during the 1960s. Cyprus Avenue ran parallel to our Avenue ... literally a stone's throw away. Sir George Ivan Morrison lived just a few hundred metres away, in Hyndford Street. We sometimes shared the same trolley bus home to the Bloomfield area. My late brother, Roy Abbott (lead guitar), backed Van on two or three occasions in Belfast. If you listen carefully to the last few moments of "Cleaning Windows" you will hear Van say "If we don't get paid, we'll have to go down to the dole". He was really struggling for money in those days, despite having enjoyed reasonable success with Them. In 1967, I was enjoying drinks in Mooney's Cocktail Bar, Central Belfast, when, late in the evening, Van Morrison walked in, stood at the bar, and ordered a drink. It was nearly "closing time", so I thought I'd better nip to the toilet, before going home. I stood there, at the urinal, minding my own business, when, who should follow me in? ... none other than Van the Man himself. He stood by my side and said: "Can you lend me a quid?" ... 'Oh! I'm sorry, I can't' ... "Ten bob then?" ... once again I had to say 'No, sorry' ... the truth was, I had only three shillings and sixpence in my pocket ... I turned, and walked out of the toilet, leaving Van standing there. Thus, I go down in history, as the man who didn't lend Sir George Ivan Morrison any money. And, just for the record, I regret that I didn't have a few bob to lend him. Sorry, Van ... but I never did have much money. The following year, as you all would know, Sir George Ivan Morrison travelled to the USA ... and recorded Astral Weeks. He is now worth millions!
  • Stevie from Weehawken, NjI like the reggae feel to this one.
  • Emmett from St. Louis, MoJames - that's what its gotta be.
  • Bill from Pensacola, FlLeadbelly, Blind Lemon, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGee, Muddy Waters, Kerouac. Van loves to name check all the people that influenced him.
    I am so glad Leadbelly (Hudie Ledbetter) was recorded, because he greatly influenced Van into music even though he'd be just as happy cleaning windows!
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkGreat house cleaning song
  • James from Jacksonville, Fldont let it slide, someone up on top with the "v"? - are these references to some tools used in the window cleaning trade?

    I love how it goes into details about cleaning windows. Also - they collect and then clean the fan light inside out, i presume just as a favor being simple hardworking laborers.
  • Kevin from Reading , PaI love Van the Man's music, but everything I've every read about him -- including a biography of a couple of years ago -- points to him being a really miserable person. One music industry person went so far as to say in the biography that he needs professional help. He does seem to be able to find beauty and joy in music, however, and this song is one of his upbeat, fun songs.
  • Keir from Aberystwyth, WalesLove this song, upbeat feel, upbeat sentiments. And a grand chorus to sing along to!
see more comments

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