The Jazz Butcher
The Jazz Butcher Lyrics Only A Rumour


Only A Rumour
From a painted face to the barest flesh
And there's so much flesh, I don't think I can handle this
But people change and ride on aeroplanes
And that's Domestic Flight, I guess you hadn't thought of that

But how I wish you'd close your eyes
Like I saw you close your eyes
And how I wish you'd lay your head on my shoulder
One time now...

When I'm alone and I walk in the room
Well I'm terrified - I don't know what I'll find in there
But when I'm with people and they look my way
I could die of shame - they know what I'm thinking

But I don't take it quite so hard these days
What can you ask of all this, anyway?
But how I wish they would not ask me that question

I've tried to be silent and reasonable for so very long
But I never understood why people like you must have
Everything marked Right or Wrong.

From a bedroom cell to this public hell
And there's so much talk I need to have another drink
I know it's mad for me to feel so sad
But I'm far from home and I need to have another drink

And how I wish I knew for sure
How many years I had before
This state I'm in will put me under the ground

I just stop short of calling out your name
The people round here would never believe me anyway
Life could never be the same...

It's only a rumour - "What's this I hear about you and Susie?"
Don't ask
'Coz I don't want to know...
And I don't need to know...

Found On

Buy These Records
Sex And Travel
Having exhausted the initial stick of JB songs, I was obliged for the first time to write about my life as it was at the time. I think that now we had started to learn about actually creating recordings rather than just recording the sound of a bunch of pals fooling around. This one I'd actually defend at length if I had to.
[Sex And Travel cover thumbnail]
Glass Records
We were all disappointed at the way this came out. The concert was great, but logistics prevented us from making anything much more than a glorified bootleg. Still, live albums are best as souvenirs anyway, so I guess some people regard it fondly. Lots of entertaining photos to look at anyway...
[Hamburg cover thumbnail]
glass_records, Rebel LP
The Wasted Years
Featuring ‘Bath Of Bacon’, ‘A Scandal In Bohemia’, ‘Sex And Travel’ and ‘Distressed Gentlefolk’.
Purchase Now
( )
[The Wasted Years cover thumbnail]
Fire Records 4xCD

Live Stats

11 documented performances (click to explore)
1984 1 (JBC)
1985 7 (JBC)
1987 1 (Pat Solo)
2012 1 (Pat Solo)
2020 1 (Pat Solo)


1 Recorded Live Performances
2012-03-06 The Constitution - Camden Town, London, England
Credit: Raj Patel
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Visitors' comments for this page [Add your own]
  • If it was only a rumour
    djbuege[at] - Douglas Madison WI
    21Feb2023 11:49 PM (286 days 9 hours ago)
    I keep tearing up and pouring through my JBC library. A year and a half later and I find Pat walked on. I know I'd had a silent fear that he was going soon and I never dared to look for confirmation. Today, I turned one of my 8th graders on to "Domestic Animal" and "Only a Rumour" and I find out Pat's absconded with his amazing world view into the post-life. This is the song I always return to. It speaks to me as no other song in this world ever did. Pat once Sharpied on the wall of First Avenue: "US out of the alphabet." I'll miss you, Pat. I'll raise a Hacker-Pschorr to you soon!
  • 36
    okschuler[at] - Carol in Lansing
    6Apr2022 7:01 PM (1 year 242 days ago)
    The answer to the question "how many years." Alas.
  • was released on CD
    johnrobinson[at] - John Robinson Plainfield, IL
    11Jul2012 6:50 PM (11 years 148 days ago)
    I've got it on the GLASS release Cat. no GLACD-009 Scandal in Bohemia/Sex & Travel.
    Spectacular tune. Is it the same Susie from Fishcotheque?
  • Chords
    jesusblood[at] - Chris, Lancaster
    17Dec2007 1:20 PM (15 years 356 days ago)
    Love this song - hit on some of the chords (I think) many years ago, but could never get them all down - think the intro/verse is E7/A7 and the 'close your eyes' but is DM/DM7/D7/D6, but then the 'I've tried to be silent and reasonable...' bit? Can someone put me out of misery? Yeah, I know, a monkey should be able to work it out, but damn it, I'm not a monkey!
  • vinyl is degradable
    edmund - bristol
    11Dec2005 1:40 PM (17 years 362 days ago)
    why oh why has the studio version of this wonderful song never appeared on CD ? (correct me if I'm wrong)

    Give us an mp3 butchie !
  • Ouch
    megli[at] - Mike Egli
    25Jul2003 11:11 AM (20 years 137 days ago)
    This is one of my favorite JBC songs, and so few viewings and no comments... I always go for the sappy ones, this, Still and All, oh the anguish...

    I know the railway bridge I'd jump from.