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Sister Morphine; Marianne Faithfull 1969


Sister Morphine; Marianne Faithfull 1969

  • 5 min 30 s

'Sister Morphine'

'"Sister Morphine" was an attempt.. [to] make art out of a pop song! Peole tend to assume that "Sister Morphine" comes from an incident in my life, that it is a parable of a junkie's last hours. But at the time I wrote it I'd only taken smack once. I was still far from becoming a junkie. "Sister Morphine" was in my head - my feelings about what it might be like to be an addict.. By 1972, when it came out on [The Rolling Stones'album] 'Sticky Fingers', I was the character in the song. You have to be very careful what you write because it's a gateway, and whatever it is you've summoned up may come through..' 'Faithfull, an autobiography', 1994, Marianne Faithfull

Here I lie in my hospital bed,
Tell me, Sister Morphine, when are you coming round again.
Oh, I don't think I can wait that long,
Oh, you see I'm not that strong.

The scream of the ambulance is sounding in my ears.
Tell me, Sister Morphine, how long have I been lying here ?
What am I doing in this place ?
Why does the doctor have no face ?
Oh, I can't crawl across the floor.
Can't you see, Sister Morphine, I'm just trying to score.

Well, it just goes to show things are not what they seem.
Please, Sister Morphine, turn my nightmare into dreams.
Oh, can't you see I'm fading fast
And that this shot will be my last.

Sweet Cousin Cocaine, lay your cool hands on my head.
Hey, Sister Morphine, you'd better make up my bed
For you know and I know in the morning I'll be dead,
And you can sit around and you can watch the clean white sheets stained red.