Heartbreaking Story of Love, Redemption, and the Perfect Gravy - "How To Make Gravy" Lyrics
Paul Kelly's song "How To Make Gravy" is a heart-wrenching story about a man named Joe, who is spending his Christmas Eve in prison and missing his loved ones. Through his lyrics, Paul Kelly showcases the emotions of a man who is repentant of his actions and desperate to make things right.
Joe is reaching out to his friend Dan to do him a favor. He is asking Dan to kiss his kids on Christmas Day, given its the 21st of December. Echoing his regretful tone, Joe hopes Dan could comfort his kids and alleviate their tears.
Unlike the usual Christmas celebrations, Joe's family has decided to roast in the hot weather. The family has planned to get together with Joe's brothers and Stella, who is flying down from the coast. Joe adds by suggesting the recipe for the gravy, "Just add flour, salt, little red wine. And don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang."
Joe is worried about the gravy - the centerpiece of the family meal. He wonders who will make it now that he is not present because he believes that it "won't taste the same." He explains the recipe in detail, hoping someone could make it right.
Joe asks Dan to give his love to Angus, Frank, and Dolly, apologizing for his actions. He also wants Dan to take care of Rita, whom Joe claims he will be thinking of on Christmas day, even standing in line.
Joe reflects on Mary's new boyfriend, hoping he's someone who can hold his own because he remembers her previous boyfriend wearing too much cologne. He also acknowledges that he will miss Roger and even acknowledges that he will miss Christmas - all the treasure and the trash.
In a moment of sorrowful transparency, Joe reflects on his mistakes and how his mind plays tricks, "Multiplying each matter, turning imagination into fact." He then turns the focus to Rita, whom he loves badly, and hopes she is the one to save him. Joe seems to find solace in the idea of making gravy, and he desires to "taste the fat"; he'll be doing it himself in the future.
- As he repeats the questions concerning who will make the gravy, Joe assures everyone that he'll pay them back.
Finally, Joe ends the song by humming to the chorus's tune, suggesting the love he has for his family and the hopes that one day he'll be forgiven. "Da-da-da-da, da-da. Da-da-da-da, da-da." The song is a beautiful tribute to the power of hope and the strength of a determined heart.
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