Baker Street
(Gerry Rafferty)
Originally recorded by: Gerry Rafferty

Windin' your way down on Baker Street 
Light in your head and dead on your feet 
Well another crazy day 
You'll drink the night away 
And forget about everything 
This city desert makes you feel so cold. 
It's got so many people but it's got no soul 
And it's taken you so long 
To find out you were wrong 
When you thought it held everything 

You used to think that it was so easy 
You used to say that it was so easy 
But you're tryin' 
You're tryin' now 
Another year and then you'll be happy 
Just one more year and then you'll be happy 
But you're cryin' 
You're cryin' now 

Way down the street there's a light in his place 
He opens the door he's got that look on his face 
And he asks you where you've been 
You tell him who you've seen 
And you talk about anything 

He's got this dream about buyin' some land 
He's gonna give up the booze and the one night stands 
And then he'll settle down in some quiet little town 
And forget about everything 

But you know he'll always keep movin' 
You know he's never gonna stop movin 
Cause he's rollin' 
He's the rollin' stone 

And when you wake up it's a new mornin' 
The sun is shinin' it's a new mornin' 
You're goin' 
You're goin' on. 


Rafferty had previously been a "one-hit wonder" five years earlier in 1973, when his band Stealers Wheel topped the charts with "Stuck in the Middle With You." Stealers Wheel was led by Rafferty and Joe Egan, friends since both were sixteen-year-olds playing in bands in their hometown of Paisley, Scotland, a bleak industrial city near Glasgow. To Rafferty's utter disbelief, his parody of Bob Dylan's paranoia, tossed off as little more than a joke, struck pay dirt in the States -- by which time he had already said goodbye to the band. 

"I was going through a very strange period in my life right then," he explained. "I'd got married, had a child, I was twenty-four, and one day it was like I'd been living in a dream for six or eight years and suddenly I woke up. It was a pretty scary kind of feeling. Perhaps I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown -- that's how it felt, anyway. I just had to get away, away from groups, managers, record companies, the whole thing. So I picked up and moved [from London] back to Scotland to sort myself out." 

Before long, Rafferty and Egan decided "it was time to stop the whole f---ing farce," which they did after completing a lackluster third album, Right or Wrong, with another producer. But extricating himself from his management deal took Rafferty three more years, during which he commuted unhappily to London from the town outside Glasgow where he and his family resided. His frustration during this period underlies "Baker Street," which took its name from the London street where he often stayed in a friend's flat. And the final resolution of his legal and financial hassles accounts for the understated exhilaration of the song's last verse: "When you wake up it's a new morning/ The sun is shining, it's a new morning/ You're going, you're going home." 

And where did "Baker Street"'s magnificent and hummable saxophone line come from? At first it was part of the melody, Gerry said, and he reckoned he'd sing it. Then he tried it out on guitar, and that didn't quite sound right. Enter Raphael Ravenscroft, a session saxophonist who came highly recommended, and the rest is history -- or at least a hit single. 

After "Baker Street" became a huge international success -- reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US -- Rafferty's next single, "Right Down the Line," peaked at #12, and the City to City album from which they were culled went platinum and topped the US album chart. Rafferty, who rarely performs live and then only in England and Europe, never repeated the magnitude of "Baker Street's success.
- Ken Emerson, Rolling Stone, 8/24/78. 

This song has also been covered by the Foo Fighters.


Rick Springfield performed this song in Rockford, IL on 2/18/05.  He was accompanied by a sax player (Dino).
It is also on his cd "The Day After Yesterday"