Crooked Smile

Crooked Smile was the opening track on Nick’s 2012 album, The Edge Of Night.  The song is based on based on a school friend, with whom he like to go stravaiging down the Royal Mile, but who met an untimely end.

To “stravaig” is to wander, or ramble, derived most probably from an 18th / 19th century term “extravage”.

 

Crooked Smile

Don’t know what it was today that made me think about him,

I was walking down Great Stewart Street, I thought I heard his voice

And I couldn’t say exactly when his singing turned to shouting

He swore he’d give up whisky, as if he had a choice

 

Maybe I’m the only one around who can remember

How we ran through the long grass laughing at the sky

And through our eighteenth summer seemed like everyone was leaving

And late September vanished in a cloud of pale goodbyes

 

But If I had a day I’d love to walk with him and talk with him,

And we would go stravaiging down the Royal Mile

But if you asked him a straight question he would never give an answer

He would always turn away and give a kind of crooked smile

He would always turn away and give a kind of crooked smile

 

Rumours came from far away of broken glass and fighting

Of lovers left and leaving, and broken lost weekends

And it seemed he climbed the highest hill just to chase the lightning

And stand shouting at the midnight just to rail against his friends

 

But If I had a day I’d love to walk with him and talk with him,

And we would go stravaiging down the Royal Mile

But if you asked him a straight question he would never give an answer

He would always turn away and give a kind of crooked smile

He would always turn away and give a kind of crooked smile

 

The autumn leaves they jewel the ground, we used to sing they jewel the ground

And leave behind some sort of sad whispered sound

 

Don’t know what it was today that made me think about him,

I was walking down Great Stewart Street, I thought I heard his voice

And I couldn’t say exactly when his singing turned to shouting

He swore he’d give up whisky, as if he had a choice

 

But If I had a day I’d love to walk with him and talk with him,

And we would go stravaiging down the Royal Mile

But if you asked him a straight question he would never give an answer

He would always turn away and give a kind of crooked smile

He would always turn away and give a kind of crooked smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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