BLOW BY BLOW (©Words & music by Paul F. Cowlan)

This was written during two rainy days, living in my van in Denmark; blessedly out of touch with newspapers, televisions and radio broadcasts. I happened to phone Gabriele, who told me about the Diana tragedy, which had happened the previous day. The song was finished forty-six hours later, and first performed in Silkeborg on the day of the funeral. It has no political axe to grind.


The world has a right to know.
Whatever you do, wherever you go.
Did you drink too much one night?
Do you and your lover fight?
Blow by blow; the world has a right to know.


It’s been a great ride, with plenty of spills and thrills;
from the icing-sugar princess, to overkill.
And no-one ever asked you, “Would you rather be alone?”
But they all swore that they loved you as they stripped you to the bone.
And if you cried it was all part of the show.
A naked soul in a goldfish bowl with just a few more rounds to go.
Still, we all had a right to know.

Sweet dream, in a silk and satin gown;
but if you’re feeling weary there’s nowhere to sit down.
Cameras behind your mirror, reporters at the door;
a hundred-thousand photographs but they’ll always want one more.
And if you long to turn your face away,
there’ll be someone there no matter where you try to take a holiday;
because the Press has a right to say.


And the world has a right to know;
whatever you hide, whatever you show.
Did you pity the victims’ plight?
Could you spread a little light
to help them grow? The world would like to know.

When you taste so good everybody wants a slice.
With the razor in their pocket they won’t think twice.
And who are you to tell them that your soul’s not up for sale?
Living in the lap of luxury, a real-life fairy tale!
And if you fail to understand the rules
you will never buy compassion, with your money and your jewels,
from the vampires and the ghouls.

And the darkness came like a hammer blow,
with papparazzi scavengers swarming to see you go.
Now there’ll be crocodile tears and bank arrears, and a search for another toy,
and sentimental articles about the life that they’ve destroyed.
And if you knew, perhaps you wouldn’t care.
They made life hard enough down here, perhaps it’s better there,
if it’s better anywhere.


And the world will want to know.
What did you do? Where did you go?
Were you happy for a while last night,
dreaming everything could turn out right?

That’s the way things go; but nobody will ever know.