How to Make Gravy
Paul Kelly Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Hello Dan, it's Joe here, I hope you're keeping well
It's the 21st of December, and now they're ringing the last bells
If I get good behaviour, I'll be out of here by July
Won't you kiss my kids on Christmas Day
Please don't let 'em cry for me

I guess the brothers are driving down from Queensland
And Stella's flying in from the coast
They say it's gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe
But that won't stop the roast
Who's gonna make the gravy now?
I bet it won't taste the same
Just add flour, salt, a little red wine

And don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang
And give my love to Angus and to Frank and Dolly
Tell 'em all I'm sorry I screwed up this time
And look after Rita, I'll be thinking of her early Christmas morning

When I'm standing in line
I hear Mary's got a new boyfriend, I hope he can hold his own
Do you remember the last one?
What was his name again?
Just a little too much cologne

And Roger, you know I'm even gonna miss Roger
'Cause there's sure as hell no one in here I want to fight
Oh praise the Baby Jesus, have a Merry Christmas
I'm really gonna miss it, all the treasure and the trash

And later in the evening, I can just imagine
You'll put on Junior Murvin and push the tables back
And you'll dance with Rita, I know you really like her
Just don't hold her too close
Oh brother please don't stab me in the back

I didn't mean to say that, it's just my mind it plays up
Multiplies each matter, turns imagination into fact
You know I love her badly, she's the one to save me
I'm gonna make some gravy, I'm gonna taste the fat

Tell her that I'm sorry, yeah I love her badly
Tell 'em all I'm sorry
And kiss the sleepy children for me




You know one of these days, I'll be making gravy
I'll be making plenty, I'm gonna pay 'em all back

Overall Meaning

The song "How to Make Gravy" by Paul Kelly is a heartfelt, nostalgic tune that tells the story of a man named Joe who is in prison during Christmas and cannot be with his family. He communicates through a letter to his brother, Dan, who he asks to take care of his family during the holidays. In the chorus, he laments who will take on the responsibility of making the gravy this year, and instructs Dan on how to do it properly, emphasizing its significance in their family tradition. The lyrics evoke a sense of longing, remorse, and love, making it a poignant and relatable song for those that have experienced separation during the holiday season.


The song has become an Australian Christmas classic and is often played on the radio during the holiday season. However, what may not be known is that the song was originally released in 1996 and was not intended to be a Christmas song. The song gained a second life when a radio program in Australia played it as part of their Christmas music rotation, and it soon became a seasonal favorite.


Line by Line Meaning

Hello Dan, it's Joe here, I hope you're keeping well
The singer is greeting Dan and expressing the hope that he is doing well.


It's the 21st of December, and now they're ringing the last bells
It's the last day of the year and they are announcing that with bells.


If I get good behaviour, I'll be out of here by July
I will be released in July if I maintain good behavior.


Won't you kiss my kids on Christmas Day
The artist is asking Dan to kiss his children on Christmas Day.


Please don't let 'em cry for me
The artist doesn't want his children to cry for him while he is away.


I guess the brothers are driving down from Queensland
The singer thinks his brothers are driving from Queensland to visit him.


And Stella's flying in from the coast
Stella is flying to visit the singer from the coast.


They say it's gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe
It's going to be very hot on Christmas Day, possibly over 100 degrees.


But that won't stop the roast
Despite the heat, they will still be cooking a roast for Christmas dinner.


Who's gonna make the gravy now?
The artist is wondering who will make the gravy for the roast now that he's not there to do it.


I bet it won't taste the same
The singer thinks the gravy won't taste as good without his touch.


Just add flour, salt, a little red wine
The recipe for making gravy involves flour, salt and a little bit of red wine.


And don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang
Tomato sauce can be added to the gravy to give it a sweet and tangy flavor.


And give my love to Angus and to Frank and Dolly
The singer wants Dan to send his love to Angus, Frank and Dolly.


Tell 'em all I'm sorry I screwed up this time
The singer is apologizing for messing up and being away from his family on Christmas.


And look after Rita, I'll be thinking of her early Christmas morning
The artist is asking Dan to look after Rita and telling him that he'll be thinking of her.


When I'm standing in line
The artist is talking about standing in line, possibly for food or for release.


I hear Mary's got a new boyfriend, I hope he can hold his own
Mary has a new boyfriend and the singer hopes he can keep up with her.


Do you remember the last one?
The singer is asking Dan if he remembers Mary's previous boyfriend.


What was his name again?
The artist is unsure of the name of Mary's previous boyfriend.


Just a little too much cologne
The artist is implying that Mary's previous boyfriend wore too much cologne.


And Roger, you know I'm even gonna miss Roger
The artist is saying he's going to miss Roger, suggesting he doesn't have a lot of friends in prison.


'Cause there's sure as hell no one in here I want to fight
The singer is saying there's nobody in the prison he wants to fight with.


Oh praise the Baby Jesus, have a Merry Christmas
The artist is concluding his message with a Christmas wish, thanking Baby Jesus.


I'm really gonna miss it, all the treasure and the trash
The singer is saying he'll miss everything about Christmas, the good and the bad.


And later in the evening, I can just imagine
The singer is imagining what will happen later at Dan's house on Christmas Day.


You'll put on Junior Murvin and push the tables back
The singer is saying that Dan will play Junior Murvin's music and move the furniture to make space for dancing.


And you'll dance with Rita, I know you really like her
The artist believes Dan will dance with Rita because he likes her.


Just don't hold her too close
The artist is warning Dan not to get too close to Rita while they dance.


Oh brother please don't stab me in the back
The singer is jokingly asking Dan not to betray him or turn against him.


I didn't mean to say that, it's just my mind it plays up
The singer is saying that he didn't mean what he just said, it's just his mind playing tricks on him.


Multiplies each matter, turns imagination into fact
The artist's mind tends to overthink and turn his thoughts into reality.


You know I love her badly, she's the one to save me
The artist is professing his love for Rita and saying she's the one who can save him.


I'm gonna make some gravy, I'm gonna taste the fat
The artist is saying he's going to make some gravy in his cell and enjoy the taste.


Tell her that I'm sorry, yeah I love her badly
The singer wants Dan to tell Rita that he's sorry and that he loves her deeply.


Tell 'em all I'm sorry
The artist wants Dan to tell everyone he's sorry for not being there with them on Christmas.


And kiss the sleepy children for me
The singer is asking Dan to kiss his sleepy children for him.


You know one of these days, I'll be making gravy
The singer believes that one day he'll be reunited with his family and will make gravy for them.


I'll be making plenty, I'm gonna pay 'em all back
When the singer is reunited with his family, he'll make lots of gravy and make up for being away from them for so long.




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Paul Maurice Kelly

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Comments from YouTube:

@finnwarren1567

In Australia, it’s actually a legal requirement to listen to this every year on December 21.

@QuickBizTips

I live in australia and was born here and i've never had to hear it before

@fullsendfantasy

@British Collection sorry to hear 😞

@QuickBizTips

@Stephen Hill How it's a shit song

@Ducatirati

Hey Finn , gotta luv em don't yah , how much wine was that ! , yes my brither 21 Decc , it's mandatory listening , did you know Peter Garrett passed that law , who'd thought. Now how to make gravy , what a wonderful world

@jodieelizabeth4905

Bs

70 More Replies...

@joobie_x

Happy gravy day 2022 everyone! Thanks for writing such an iconic song, Paul!

@kevinsaggers3407

Happy Gravy Day. Merry Christmas to you and your family

@NeeChee100

Happy Gravy day to you too. See you next year🎄🎅😀

@perpetualplatypussy69

Merry Festivus and a Happy Gravy Day to you and your family 💚 🍻🎄

More Comments

More Versions