Sugar Mice

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This article is about the song by Marillion. For the confectionary, see Sugar mice.
"Sugar Mice"
Single by Marillion
from the album Clutching at Straws
A-side Sugar Mice
B-side Tux on
Released 13 July 1987
Format 7" single, 7" picture disc, 12" single, 12" picture disc, CD single
Recorded 1987
Genre Neo-progressive rock
Label EMI
Writer(s) Marillion
Producer(s) Chris Kimsey
Marillion singles chronology
"Sugar Mice"
"Warm Wet Circles"
Audio sample
file info · help

Sugar Mice is the second single from Marillion's fourth studio album, Clutching at Straws. Released on 13 July 1987, it peaked at number 22 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming the band's 8th top-thirty hit in a row.[1] Outside the UK, it was released in France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, West Germany and (on Capitol Records) in the USA and Canada. A number of formats were available: 7" single, 7" picture disc (containing a fold-out sleeve with a poster), 12" single, 12" picture disc. 3,000 copies of a 5" CD single were produced that were exclusively sold at concerts.[2]

The title track is a melancholic rock ballad with lyrics from the perspective of a British worker who emigrates to the USA to escape unemployment, leaving behind his family, and ends up drinking in a hotel bar in Milwaukee. Fish described the background as follows:

"I was laying in bed in the Holiday Inn and looking up at the ceiling at some hearts 'n' stuff that some lovers had carved, and I was feeling really down. So I rang my old lady but it was a bad phone call; lots of long silences. I felt even more depressed."[3]

The first-person narrator sums up his feelings with the metaphor "We're just sugar mice in the rain", which lends the title to the song.[4]

The 12" and 5" CD single featured an extended version of the title track, containing some extra music between the first and second verse.

The B-side, "Tux On", is a rock song that tells the story of a rising rock star who gradually loses touch with reality and finally ends up abusing drugs.

"Sugar Mice" was featured on the compilations Now That's What I Call Music 10 and 100 Hits: 80s Classics.[5]

A CD replica of the single was also part of a collectors box-set released in July 2000 which contained Marillion's first twelve singles and was re-issued as a 3-CD set in 2009 (see The Singles '82–'88).

Cover art[edit]

The cover was again designed by Mark Wilkinson. Unlike the covers of the album Clutching at Straws and the first single from it, "Incommunicado", which had been collages based on photographs, this one again featured Wilkinson's signature airbrush style. It shows sugar mice around a cocktail glass, melting from spilled liquid, with a male face in the background.

Track listing[edit]

7" single[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "Sugar Mice" (Album Version)—05:47

Side B[edit]

  1. "Tux On"—05:12

7" Picture disc[edit]

  1. "Sugar Mice" (Radio Edit)—05:00

Side B[edit]

  1. "Tux On"—05:09

12" Single/picture disc[edit]

Side A[edit]

  1. "Sugar Mice" (Extended Version)—06:08

Side B[edit]

  1. "Sugar Mice" (Album Version)—05:45
  2. "Tux On"—05:12

5" CD Single[edit]

  1. "Sugar Mice" (Radio Edit)—05:00
  2. "Tux On"—05:09
  3. "Sugar Mice" (Extended Version)—06:09

Total Time 16:26

All tracks written by Dick/Rothery/Kelly/Trewavas/Mosley.



  1. ^ Chart Stats - Marillion - Sugar Mice
  2. ^
  3. ^ Marillion - Explanation of Song Elements - That Time Of The Night
  4. ^ | MUSIC - Lyrics - Clutching at Straws | The Official Marillion Website
  5. ^ "100 Hits: 80s Classics". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 June 2013.