We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

You Tattooed Me

from I Wanna Be Your Cabin Boy by Tom Robinson



Vocal by Steve Knightley. From the 2002 album Faith, Folk & Anarchy by Martyn Joseph, Tom Robinson and Steve Knightley.


Stranded in Antwerp in June '54
Streets full of refugees and rumours of war
In a queue at the station a stranger arrived
You walked up and fixed me with wild hazel eyes

But the hotel was crowded - I followed in fright
You slammed the door behind us and smashed out the light
You said "why try to fight it?" to my racing heart
When we nuzzled like animals and kissed in the dark

We wrecked the bed, spent the rent
and left there without a cent
We drank the fare, never made the train
Till 25 I was barely alive and I wondered what hit me…

When you tattooed me
You tattooed me... tattooed me
Tattooed me (tattooed me)
And I wondered what hit me when you came

Shacked up in basements behind broken doors
Bugs in the blankets and glass on the floor
Cold, broke and hungry, having quarrels and fights
Coughing blood through the winter I felt so alive

And on one fatal day you signed your life away
I was too weak for alarm
I was drunk and asleep; as you left for the fleet
You tattooed your name on my arm

You tattooed me (tattooed me)
You tattooed me (tattooed me)
Your name with a needle on my arm

With the peace in Geneva the world crawled away
From the brink of oblivion - we all breathed again
And when you deserted no more letters came
My life cut to pieces I started again
And when I was on the mend I drifted to Zaventem
And worked there unloading the planes
I paid my way on a thousand a day
And I never did see you again

But you tattooed me (tattooed me)
You tattooed me (tattooed me)
The mark of the needle remains
You tattooed me (tattooed me)
And I knew that we'd never meet again


from I Wanna Be Your Cabin Boy, released October 5, 2009
Written by Tom Robinson, arranged by Steve Knightley. Published by Notting Hill Music


all rights reserved



Tom Robinson London, UK

Tom Robinson (b.1950) is a UK songwriter & broadcaster first known in the 70s as an anti-racist and LGBT campaigner. He released 19 albums between 1975-2001 with various bands and has co-written songs with Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. He's an award-winning presenter at BBC Radio 6 Music, and released Only The Now (his first album in 19 years) in October 2015. ... more

contact / help

Contact Tom Robinson

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this track or account

If you like Tom Robinson, you may also like: