> Martin Carthy > Songs > Nothing Rhymed

Nothing Rhymed

[Gilbert O’Sullivan]

Nothing Rhymed was a 1970 UK top ten hit by Gilbert O’Sullivan.

Martin Carthy sang Nothing Rhymed as the first track of his 1979 album Because It’s There. A reprise repeated the last two verses as second to last album track. This recording was also included in 2001 on his anthology The Carthy Chronicles. Martin Carthy noted on the original album:

In a rare waking moment, the former President of the USA, Mr Calvin Coolidge was heard to cry out to the effect that half the world’s problems would be solved if only people would sit down and keep still. Nothing Rhymed is a song that was written by Gilbert O’Sullivan which is, among other things, about just that and attendant problems.


Martin Carthy sings Nothing Rhymes

If I give up the seat I’ve been saving
To some elderly lady or man
Am I being a good boy? Am I your pride and joy?
Mother please if you pleased say I am

And if while in the course of my duty
I perform an unfortunate take
Would you punish me so, unbelievably so
Never again will I make that mistake

This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose

When I’m drinking my Bonaparte Shandy
Eating more than enough apple pies
Will I glance at my screen and see real human beings starve to death
Right in front of my eyes

Nothing old, nothing new, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost,
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth
Nothing older than time, nothing sweeter than wine
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn’t say
Nothing why ’cos today
Nothing rhymed