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soul crying out

Words and music: Simple Minds

© 1989 Virgin Music (Publishers) Ltd

One of the earliest songs to be developed, Soul Crying Out originated from jamming Song To The Siren during the Live In The City Of Light sessions.

"After the live album was released in 1987, we tried to do a Tim Buckley song, Song To The Siren. That was in Woodstock and Lisa Germano was there - the first time we worked with her - and so was Garth Hudson, formally of The Band. We rewrote part of the song and that section started off 'Soul crying out'." - Mick, Street Fighting Years songbook

"It's confusing to talk about this song because the verse and the chrous have the same chords. There's an introduction of a melody, that's what makes it a chorus, no more. The rhythm track gave problems, we wanted somebody like Levon Helm to play on it, we wanted brushes or a colourful rhythm. But Lipson cracked the rhythm problem. He made it dark and menacing. We did the over-dub quite aggressively." - Charlie, Street Fighting Years songbook

"We did most of it at Glenstriven. This track had a major breakthrough and a major setback. We recorded it with a drum programme and everything was fine. But it wasn't very inspiring. Then something happened to my gear. The way we worked for the most part of the album would be that the keyboards and the rhythm section were in Mick's computer with Charlie playing along. After that we would transfer everything into my computer. They'd do the broad strokes and I'd do the detail. With this one, I made a mistake with a piece of equipment, everything went into a sampler - and it sounded fantastic! A great big 16/16 rumbling. That became the rhythm track. Instead of being a mad, unusable noise, we made it work. That was a bit of a breakthrough." - Steve Lipson, Street Fighting Years songbook

"It's about a sort of moral bankruptcy on the part of governments who represent the people and don't care. It's about people who've been let down by everything and almost can't take it any more, who are struggling to exist, even on the brink of resorting to crime. It had a kind of dust bowl blues about it as well. It made me think of Steinbeck: disillusioned but knowing that there must be something more. And there was a local element as well. Things were bad enough on the domestic scene in Scotland and then the government brought out the fucking poll tax, which is like a tax on breathing." - Jim, Street Fighting Years songbook

Despite its popularity amongst fans, it was only played live during the Street Fighting Years Tour of 1989.

This Is Not America

It is actually. And as with all countries, seemingly there are countries within countries.

The views I saw just last Sunday during my morning walk through Manhattan, have nothing in common with the landscape I witnessed during today's early morning walk through the town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. And yet, although I come from another continent, much of what I saw today reminded me so much of the views that I witnessed while growing up in the West of Scotland in the 60's and 70'.

That stands to reason given that Bethlehem (where Simple Minds are due to start their North American tour in less that 24 hours from now) just like my hometown of Glasgow and the surrounding central belt of Scotland - became a centre of heavy industry and trade during the industrial revolution. The accompanying photo that I took this morning, easily makes me think of an area only minutes from the street where both guitarist, Charlie Burchill, and I were raised.

Unlike the State, in the UK they did not refer to areas such as ours as the "rustbelt". And yet all around us deindustrialisation had, during our childhoods, gradually set in among many of the surrounding towns and communities near Glasgow. Resultantly much of the landscape we witnessed at home, started to take on an image of places that the modern/computerised world - had left behind. That reality caused much pain to so many during our childhood years. Job losses and unemployment caused never-ending heartbreak in equal measure. (The Simple Minds song Soul Crying Out, was written specifically about this subject.)

Nevertheless, I was quite thrilled this morning. To find myself so far from home, and yet spiritually speaking, somehow feeling utterly close to a time and place that produced me - and so many of my generation - who still managed to succeed in someways against odds that were stacked high against us.

My trek ended with me taking a hike up towards Lehigh University, located on South Mountain on the city's South Side. It has 5,000 undergraduates and 2,100 graduate students, some of whom passed me by - taking no notice of this tourist within their midst. I however could feel their energy, on this already quite chilly morning. Doing so, it dawned on me that the future lay with them, and I have hope that they will succeed. Leading then to the possibility that this town/area that became world famous once before could be reborn so forcefully once again.

I have to say that it felt great to be in America this morning. And I am so happy that we are here in the heartlands, and very much ready to go to work tomorrow night!

24th September 2018

Listen to the rhythm,
Listen to the beat,
It has a cold wind blowing,
Up through the street.

Soul crying out,
People crying out.

In through the valleys,
In through the streets,
Feel the whole world moving,
Underneath our feet.

Something's going on,
I said what is going wrong?

I feel them coming,
So close behind.
Sister says, we're next in line.
The man he says, that's OK,
And the Government says you're gonna pay, pay, pay.

And you pay,
Still you pay.

It's just a soul crying out,
It's just the people crying out.
It's the land crying out,
And I can hear you crying out.

And I say, I don't know,
Maybe I don't care.
What I know is,
I gotta get out of here.
And I'm going,
Going any day.
Some sweet day,
Some sweet day,
I gotta find a way.

I can hear the lovers, whisper in the street,
See a crowd has gathered underneath the heat.
I hear what they say,
But I don't believe what they say.

I see the woman, with tears in her eyes,
I hear the baby, calling in the night.
Something on the bed, was it something she said?
Hell this is not right,
What goes on through the night?

I hear her coming, all in my mind,
Sweet common love, so hard to find.
Someone said, man that's sad,
And the people walk by, cos they're so blind.

And you pay,
Still you pay.

It's just a soul crying out,
Just the people crying out.
It's the earth crying out,
And I can hear you crying out.
And I can feel you crying out.

And I say, I don't know,
Maybe I don't care.
All I know is, I gotta get out of here,
And I'm going, going any way.
Do you know, some place to go?
I'm getting out of here.

Where will I find some peace of mind?
I'm getting out of here.

I come walking to you,
I come singing to you.
Some sweet day.
I'm gonna walk away,
I'm gonna walk away.

It's just the soul crying out.
It's just the land crying out.
It's just the children crying out.
All the babies crying out.

Any way, some sweet day,
I'm gonna walk away,
Turn away.

It's just the soul crying out.
It's just the land crying out.

I wanna hear,
I want you here,
Some sweet day.

Just a soul crying out,
Of a land crying out anyway.
When you say,
Some sweet day...

Album Version (6:07)
Produced by: Stephen Lipson and Trevor Horn
Engineers: Heff Moraes, Robin Hancock
Assistant Engineers: Danton Supple, Martin Plant

Street Fighting Years Promo 7" Box Set Street Fighting Years Promo MC Box Set Street Fighting Years Promo CD Box Set Street Fighting Years LP Street Fighting Years MC Street Fighting Years CD Street Fighting Years Australian Promo MC Street Fighting Years US Promo MC Street Fighting Years Limited Edition MC Box Set Street Fighting Years Limited Edition CD Box Set Street Fighting Years Picture CD Street Fighting Years MiniDisc Street Fighting Years Reissue CD Simple Minds Box Set Street Fighting Years Remaster Promo CD Street Fighting Years Remaster Limited Edition CD Street Fighting Years Remaster CD Five Album Set Classic Album Selection Street Fighting Years 2020 Reissue LP Street Fighting Years 2020 Reissue CD Street Fighting Years 2020 Deluxe 2CD Street Fighting Years 2020 Super Deluxe 4CD
Live Version (14th/15th September 1989) (8:05)
Recorded: L'Arena, Verona, Italy
Produced by Stephen Lipson
Engineered by Heff Moraes

See The Lights Limited Edition 12" Themes 21-24 Promo CDR Themes Volume One - Five Themes Volume Five Street Fighting Years 2020 Super Deluxe 4CD

Instrumental Edit (2:43)
Producer: Stephen Lipson

Verona Promo Video Verona Video Seen The Lights - A Visual History Promo DVD Seen The Lights - A Visual History DVD Seen The Lights - Live In Verona Promo DVD Seen The Lights - Live In Verona DVD Gift Pack - Limited Edition 2xCD 1xDVD Gift Pack - 2xCD 1xDVD

live history
Street Fighting Years Tour: 1989