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On the cover of the Mike & The Mechanics' fourth album, released stateside in 1995, Mike Rutherford, the founder and lead guitarist, is dressed all in black, sitting, barefoot, on a beach covered with golden coins, a hat next to him. The ocean is bright green, and you can see even more coins under it. Rutherford is wearing glasses, except where there should be lenses, there are two of the coins. The sky is blue and filled with white clouds.

I spent a good portion of my junior year staring at that picture, reading the liner notes, trying to figure the picture out. It was the second time this band did this to me, the first being with their second album, The Living Years.

I got a lot of work done to this CD in high school. I remember doing math homework in my cramped room with the light blue walls, and every now and again, from my desk, I'd reach up on top of the shelves where I kept my CDs, and take a break, just reading and listening.

A girl named Elizabeth and I fell in love to Something To Believe In; when I broke up with her, I put Web Of Lies on repeat for something like two days straight, and did the same with Another Cup Of Coffee to get myself back to work.

The two tracks on this that I tried to wear out were A Beggar On A Beach Of Gold, which has a beautiful melody from the keyboard, and has always managed to give me a little faith, and A House Of Many Rooms, which seemed to reflect my life a little too well.

When I heard Paul Young, one of the two lead vocalists, along with Paul Carrack, had died, I spent a lot of time with Beggar, which I still think is some of his finest work.

I still listen to this every now and again. It has managed, despite 5 years, to retain some of its mysteries.

Track Listing:

  1. A Beggar On A Beach Of Gold
  2. Another Cup Of Coffee
  3. You Really Got A Hold On Me
  4. Mea Culpa
  5. Over My Shoulder
  6. Someone Always Hates Someone
  7. The Ghost Of Sex And You
  8. Web Of Lies
  9. Plain And Simple
  10. Something To Believe In
  11. A House Of Many Rooms
  12. I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)
  13. Going, Going...Home

Lyrics:

I didn't know when I was lucky
discontented, feeling bad
Filled with envy
For possessions other people had

I found my pride had always hurt me
Fought the world to gain control
Not realizing
I was sitting on a beach of gold

Chorus:

Oh, lord, I'm a poor man
With all the riches I can hold
I'm a beggar
And I'm sitting on a beach of gold

The problems I encountered
Gave me strength, helped me sustain
To know the pleasure
First I had to cure the pain

When I was searching for solutions
I found the answer lay in me
I'm a drifter
But I'm drifting on a silver sea

Repeat Chorus

I didn't have courage
My life was as dark as night
Then alone in the darkness
I saw the brightest light
Let the light shine down

Are you out there now on empty
Feel you've nothing left to give
Sick of trying
Have you lost the will to live

Don't be drowning in the shallows
With the beach so near at hand
Hear the voice say
Stand up, get up, and join me on the gilded sand

Come join me on the beach
With all the riches I can hold
Cause I'm a beggar
And I'm sitting on a beach of gold

Repeat Chorus

My children, my salvation
The father to this man
They're my teachers
Playing on the golden sand

With my family all around me
I've all the riches I can hold
I'm a beggar
Sitting on a beach of gold

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