Goin' Down Geneva
Van Morrison Lyrics


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Goin' down Geneva, give me a helping hand
I'm goin' down Geneva, give me a helping hand
It's not easy baby, living on the exile plan

Down on the bottom, down to my new pair of shoes
Down on the bottom, down to my new pair of shoes
I'm down by the lakeside, thinking 'bout my baby blue
Last night I played a gig in Salzburg, outside in the pouring rain
Last night I played a gig in Salzburg, outside in the pouring rain
Flew from there to Montreux and my heart was filled with pain

Look out my window, back at the way things are
Look out my window pane, back at the way things are
Just wonder how, how did things ever get this far

Vince Taylor used to live here, nobody's ever heard of him
Vince Taylor used to live here, but nobody's heard of him, ain't that a shame
Just who he was, just where he fits in

He was goin' down Geneva. give him helping hand
He was goin' down Geneva, give him helping hand
It wasn't easy living on the exile plan

Vince Taylor used to live here, nobody's even heard of him
Vince, Vince Taylor lives here, nobody's even heard of him
Just who he was, just where he fits in





Just who he was, just where he fits in

Overall Meaning

In "Goin' Down Geneva," Van Morrison sings about feeling lost and disconnected as he travels through Europe for his music career. He pleads for a "helping hand" as he navigates the struggles of being an "exile" in a foreign land. He mentions his worn-out shoes and looks out over the city, questioning how he ended up so far from home. Morrison also observes the anonymity of another musician, Vince Taylor, who lived in Geneva but was forgotten by the public. Through these lyrics, Morrison captures the sense of loneliness and uncertainty that can accompany a life on the road.


One interpretation of the song is that it reflects Morrison's own struggles with fame and the pressures of the music industry. Like Vince Taylor, he may feel that the world has forgotten him or never truly understood him. The idea of being on an "exile plan" could represent the sacrifices and compromises that artists make in order to achieve success. The repeated refrain of "give me a helping hand" suggests a yearning for connection and support from others.


Interestingly, the character of Vince Taylor in the song is based on a real musician who was born in the US but achieved more success in Europe. Taylor was known for his wild stage performances and flamboyant outfits, which influenced other musicians such as David Bowie. However, Taylor struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues, and his career fizzled out in the 1970s. He died in 1991 at the age of 52.


Line by Line Meaning

Goin' down Geneva, give me a helping hand
I need assistance as I face difficult times in my life


It's not easy baby, living on the exile plan
Living away from home is never easy, especially when you don't have the familiar comforts


Down on the bottom, down to my new pair of shoes
I am broke, down to my last pair of shoes


I'm down by the lakeside, thinking 'bout my baby blue
Sitting by the lake, I'm lost in thoughts about the one I love


Last night I played a gig in Salzburg, outside in the pouring rain
I had a performance in Salzburg even when the weather was bad


Flew from there to Montreux and my heart was filled with pain
I travelled from Salzburg to Montreux with a heavy heart


Just wonder how, how did things ever get this far
I'm questioning how I let myself get to this low point in life


Vince Taylor used to live here, but nobody's heard of him, ain't that a shame
It's a pity that no one knows about Vince Taylor who used to live here


He was goin' down Geneva, give him helping hand
Vince Taylor also needed help when he was going through tough times


Just who he was, just where he fits in
I'm also not sure about who Vince Taylor was and where he belongs in history




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: VAN MORRISON

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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