A Pair Of Brown Eyes

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One summer evening drunk to hell
I stood there nearly lifeless
An old man in the corner sang
Where the water lilies grow
And on the jukebox Johnny sang
About a thing called love
And it's how are you kid and what's your name
And how would you bloody know?
In blood and death 'neath a screaming sky
I lay down on the ground
And the arms and legs of other men
Were scattered all around
Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed
Then prayed and bled some more
And the only thing that I could see
Was a pair of brown eyes that was looking at me
But when we got back, labeled parts one to three
There was no pair of brown eyes waiting for me

And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go
For a pair of brown eyes

I looked at him he looked at me
All I could do was hate him
While Ray and Philomena sang
Of my elusive dream
I saw the streams, the rolling hills
Where his brown eyes were waiting
And I thought about a pair of brown eyes
That waited once for me
So drunk to hell I left the place
Sometimes crawling sometimes walking
A hungry sound came across the breeze
So I gave the walls a talking
And I heard the sounds of long ago
From the old canal
And the birds were whistling in the trees
Where the wind was gently laughing

And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go
For a pair of brown eyes

A Pair Of Brown Eyes
Written byShane MacGowan
Performed byThe Pogues
Produced byElvis Costello
MusiciansShane MacGowan - lead vocals
Cait O'Riordan - bass
James Fearnley - accordion
Andrew Ranken - drums
Jem Finer - banjo
Spider Stacy - tin whistle
Philip Chevron - guitar
Recorded1985-01, Elephant Studios, London
AlbumsThe Pogues: Rum, Sodomy & The Lash, 1985
SinglesThe Pogues: A Pair Of Brown Eyes, 7", 12", 1985
Length5:02, 7" edit: 3:40
Otherengineered by Colin Fairley

First known performance:
November 6, 1985, Malmö, Sweden - Elvis fills in for Shane MacGowan at a Pogues concert
Last known performance:
May 17, 2020, The Daily Improvisation
     (2 known performances)

The Pogues: Rum, Sodomy & The LashRum, Sodomy & The Lash album cover.jpg

The Pogues: A Pair Of Brown Eyes (single)The Pogues A Pair Of Brown Eyes single cover.jpg

Recordings by other artists

 Artist  Year  Release  Links
 Peter Case  1986 Peter Case AmazonAmazon.ukDiscogs
Christy Moore  1987 Unfinished Revolution AmazonAmazon.ukDiscogs
 Titus Andronicus  2015 The Most Lamentable Tragedy Amazon.ukDiscogs

This list may be incomplete


  • Elvis Costello cameo (c. 2:35) in Alex Cox clip of the song. - Dailymotion

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