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AFAIK, there is no recorded version of Convent Girls. Listening to the live version you mentioned (performed on the fanclub CD "Foreplay"), I'm convinced that was the only time they played it live.

This is the end of this song
I never played it before
This is an Irish end to that song
And probably won't last much more

Furthermore, when Neil tried to sing it for me in Chicago (yay me!), he couldn't remember *any* of the words. When I talked to him after the show (yay me again!), he remembered some lines once I told them to him. Obviously, I'm still waiting anxiously to get my hands on a recording of that Chicago show.
I hate to say this, but don't you think that if there was a studio version of this masterpiece avaliable, it might just alter the song? I think the live version is fantastic (quality & quality) & it looks as if that's the way Neil meant it (You never know, maybe he never even knew it was being recorded at the time).

MIND CHANGED: Neil, record a solo acoustic version of this as your next b-side!
If you've fallen in love with the live version first, sometimes the studio version is a bit of a letdown ("Spirit of the stairs"). "Convent Girls" is fabulous, and not counting the rather improvised ending, I can live with the Dublin recording just fine. This doesn't mean I don't want to have CG in its studio glory (gimme, gimme, gimme!) Wink It would have to be a Crowded House version, though, since I see that Neil writes totally different songs now, however achingly beautiful this little treasure is. I'm not holding my breath until another "Four Seasons..." or "Catherine Wheels" is coming out, either.
There is a studio version of Convent Girls in existence, but... it isn't so great. It plods along in a 'standard' CH style a bit like Left Hand I think (it's been a long time since I got to hear it), rather than lilts like the live version. Some of the lyrics are different too.

While it would be nice to have it from a fan/completist point of view, if I was the band, then that live recording is probably the one I'd want to stand as the definitive version.
quote:
Originally posted by gryphon:
[qb]Don't think this is available for download anywhere on the net either...at his stage.
PG[/qb]
...& I don't suppose you could possible make it avaliable for download? Pleeease!?!?!? It would make my (& everyone else's) year! It wouldn't take long to put it up on a website (even frenz.com?) or an FTP site... or even a file-sharing program like Kazaa... what do you say? Smiler Smiler Smiler
Want, want, want! Not even mentioning the legal issues, I say no, keep it locked away as one of those legendary items which might one day come to the surface if the artist wishes it. Why do we have to want to possess every single scrap of material - wouldn't it be rather dull if we had everything, the vaults were empty and there was nothing left to look forward to or wonder about? We've got a live version, be happy with that for now!
Okay. I am shocked - SHOCKED to see that there appears to be NO ONE in the googleable world who has put down the lyrics to this song!! WHAT WAS THE POINT OF TECHNOLOGY SUPPOSED TO BE AGAIN??

All I had was a live version on an old tape that somebody made me...and then I lost the tape, and so I had to play it by myself on the guitar for consolation, and I never really was able to make out all of the lyrics even when I had the tape. The closest I can get, my best guess of what the lyrics are, the way I played it was this -

by the shade of your magnolia
I will go down on my knees
and the bright events in front of you
will be dragged down to defeat

and the convent girls
in their pretty white tights
will be chorus girls
with their names up in lights
and their bridal veils
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering white

where once we spoke in confidence
we now shall hide in fear
as the seven ships of providence
are slowly drawing near

and the convent girls
in their pretty white tights
will be chorus girls
with their names up in lights
and their bridal veils
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering white

alone
you brighten up your face
and return to what you knew
and the dull gray forms surrounding us
with a chance to start anew

and the convent girls
in their pretty white tights
will be chorus girls
with their names up in lights
and their bridal veils
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering,
shimmering white


- but I'm SO CERTAIN that passages of that are pure fudge. All I can plead is flawed memory, and not being able to make out all the words to begin with. I wish there was some way to know the real words.

I love this song! It's a beautiful song, even if hauntingly incomplete at present.

So can anyone offer corrections?
There is a guitar tab conversion of "Convent Girls" at the Something So Finn website: http://www.somethingsofinn.com/tab/convent.html

This tab seems to draw upon the live version---so the lyrics are familiar from there. Mr. Sadly, you seem to have heard a version I am not familiar with...where on earth did your friend get it from?

All I can say, I've yelled for this one at every show I've been to, to no avail (unlike Lavar). My all time fave unreleased Finn song. What a beautiful chorus. Maybe if Neil doesn't like the studio original, they could re-record it for the box set? (Please, Santa?)
Wow.

Thanks for the link, Jim - that IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT. "Frilly white tights?" How on earth can tights be frilly?

Oh, I forgot about the bridge! The version I heard definitely has a bridge like that - although I'm pretty sure, still not quite those lyrics.

Shoot!

Frustrations, thwarts and confoundeds.

I guess it's silly to bemoan the lack of correct lyrics for a song that was never set in stone, though.

Man, I wonder if I can find that tape. I bet it's in my storage!
by the shade of your magnolia
I go down for release
and the seven ships of providence
will be f(?) allin'... growing near....

and the convent girls
in their frilly white tights
will be chorus girls
with their names up in lights
and the bridal veils
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering white

where once we talked in confidence
we now shall walk in fear
and the bridal ships of providence
are slowly drawing near

and the convent girls
in their frilly white tights
and the chorus girls
with their names up in lights
and the bridal veils
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering white

who (?) the doctor
when you go to sleep..when you go to sleep
by the prayers of emotion we will want to weep ..we will want to weep
and you dance with your friends....anyone I know? ...anyone I know??

i will go like her
be on your feet and the years are stretching on
where once we talked of (h?) openess but now we're moving on

and the convent girls
in their pretty white tights
will be chorus girls
with their names up in lights
and the bridal veils
will be shimmering white
will be shimmering white

no more sleep til i'm an adult there's no more sleep til i'm grown up there's no more sleep
til i'm an adult i'll lift up my breath and drink my cup

(this took me about 5 listens and there are still a few words I just cannot make out even through deduction..so...enjoy Wink )
It's the first time I've read this thread - it was started before I joined the forum. Thanks for digging it up, Terry!

For a number of years Convent Girls would have been in my top 10 Crowded House songs, but I came to the conclusion that it probably was a live 'fluke' - i.e. an exceptional version that wouldn't have been matched in the studio. From what's written here, it seems like I may have been right - but I'd still like to find out for myself. One for the box set, I hope Smiler
quote:
Originally posted by Jaffaman:
quote:
Originally posted by Terry:I can't believe it never made the cut for Woodface, but Tall Trees did !?!?!
Convent Girls was recorded for Together Alone.


I was going by the Guitar Tab posted earlier in the thread -

quote:
Originally posted by Jim B.:
There is a guitar tab conversion of "Convent Girls" at the Something So Finn website: http://www.somethingsofinn.com/tab/convent.html



Which credit't it has being written for Woodface in '89.

If it was ment for TA then I can see why it was left off. I don't think it would have fitted with the overall sound of that album.

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