And a Bang on the Ear

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"And a Bang on the Ear"
The Waterboys And a Bang on the Ear 1989 Single Cover.jpg
Single by The Waterboys
from the album Fisherman's Blues
B-side"The Raggle Taggle Gypsy"
ReleasedJune 1989[1]
Format7" single, 12" single, cassette single, CD single
LabelEnsign, Chrysalis
Songwriter(s)Mike Scott
Producer(s)John Dunford, Mike Scott
The Waterboys singles chronology
"Fisherman's Blues"
"And a Bang on the Ear"
"World Party"

"And a Bang on the Ear" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the second single from their fourth studio album Fisherman's Blues. It was written by Mike Scott, and produced by John Dunford and Scott. The song reached No. 1 in Ireland and No. 51 in the UK.[2][3] The single's B-side, "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy", was recorded live at Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow.[4]

The song was recorded at Spiddal House, Spiddal, County Galway, Ireland in April 1988.[5] In 2006, fiddle player Steve Wickham recalled of the song: "We played a lot of takes before we got this right. It is often the simple ones that are the most difficult."[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon release, Music & Media wrote: "Easy-going, traditional folk material with a strong melody line and good lyrics. Stylewise, an uncompromising song but one that could be a hit."[7] In a review of Fisherman's Blues, Stereo Review described the song as "lilting, rollicking, and altogether effortless". The reviewer added: "It flows in a way that suggests Scott has arrived at some breakthrough in his conception of the Waterboys."[8] Audio picked the song as the album's "best cut" and described it as "a bouncy ditty full of cyanide and vinegar".[9]

High Fidelity News and Record Review believed the song's lyrics to link "romance and honour".[10] Ira Robbins, writing in The Trouser Press Record Guide considered the song to be "rollicking" and one of the album's tracks to "make the most of Scott's adopted heritage".[11] Ian Abrahams of Record Collector felt the song had a "wistful romance".[12] In his review of the album, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic picked the song as an AMG Pick Track.[13]


7" and cassette single
1."And a Bang on the Ear"6:45
2."The Raggle Taggle Gypsy"4:36
12" and CD single
1."And a Bang on the Ear"7:29
2."The Raggle Taggle Gypsy"4:36
CD single (US release)
1."And a Bang on the Ear (Edit)"6:45
2."And a Bang on the Ear"7:25
3."The Raggle Taggle Gypsy"4:35


Chart (1989) Peak
Irish Singles Chart[2] 1
UK Singles Chart[3] 51


The Waterboys
  • John Dunford - producer and mixing of "And a Bang on the Ear"
  • Mike Scott - producer of "And a Bang on the Ear"
  • Phil Tennant - producer of "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy"
  • John Grimes - recording of "And a Bang on the Ear"


  1. ^ "The Waterboys". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b "WATERBOYS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  4. ^ "The Waterboys - And A Bang On The Ear / The Raggle Taggle Gypsy - Ensign - UK - ENY 624". 45cat. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  5. ^ "The Waterboys". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  6. ^ "The Waterboys". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  7. ^ "Previews: Singles". Music & Media magazine. July 15, 1989.
  8. ^ "Stereo Review - Google Books". 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  9. ^ "Audio - Google Books". 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  10. ^ "High Fidelity News and Record Review - Google Books". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  11. ^ "The Trouser Press Record Guide - Ira A. Robbins - Google Books". 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  12. ^ "Fisherman's Box - Record Collector Magazine". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  13. ^ AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Fisherman's Blues - The Waterboys | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-01-19.