Lyrics

ALBUMS: FOUND DROWNED (LP), MOTHER (single), GET RELIGION! (EP), LIVE AT THE DANCEHOUSE THEATRE (LP), MEMOIR NOIR (EP)

WORKS IN PROGRESS: GENTLE SONGS OF CEASELESS HORROR (Solo LP), YOUTH (LP)

(ALPHABETICAL)

All That’s In Between

The book of my life may be second hand
But you may still find a few petals
Pressed between its pages.
I’ll give you all the ellipses and ampersands
If you just save your etceteras for me.

I knew you were crying in the next room
But I feigned a deafness
To the patter of those tears.
I tried to find inspiration in a vacuum
But I lacked the provision of years.

Our lives were elsewhere and we knew it,
So with a sundial for a compass
We turned away from the light.
But between opening that door
And walking through it
The roads all receded from sight.

And I know
I’m not all that you wanted
But I’ll be all that you need
For the day, the night
And everything in between.

I will never feel easy in this skin
So I will only accept happiness
When there is nothing left to long for.
I’ve no time for the times we are living in
They are just a tourniquet
For glory days gone before.

I hear regrets are always the last to leave
As we move further away
From the memories that define us.
You can take hope
And you can take heaven,
But not simultaneously.
Our footprints don’t remain long behind us.

I’m not all that you wanted
But I’ll be all that you need
For the day, the night
And everything in between.

You said you’d rather see the devil in its true form
Than embodied in the deeds of men and boys.
Don’t wish these worries dead,
Prefer them unborn;
This isn’t silence,
We’re just waiting for noise.

I’m not all that you wanted
But I’ll be all that you need
For the day, the night
And everything in between.

Yes the book of my life is second hand
But what Fate annotates can never be erased.
How long will I stay?
As long as I can stand.
Always, always, always.

I’m not all that you wanted
But I’ll be all that you need
For the day, the night
And everything in between.

Before It’s Too Late

We’ve been worn down by glamour.
Now the sins all seem the same.
I feel like a dog forever licking
The butcher’s window pane.

Time is tightening its grip.
The coin has had its final flip.
So before our last drops are dripped
And we’ve slipped into the crypt…

Let’s get married.
For love or for fear,
It doesn’t matter it’s all the same thing round here,
Let’s get married.
For better or for worse,
Before the horrors of the hole and the hearse.

Death is at the bar
Rattling his cup,
Saying “Ladies and Gentlemen
It’s time to drink up.”

So before intimacy
Turns to ennui,
While eternity looks down on us
Hungrily…

Let’s get married.
For sickness and health,
By force, by persuasion or stealth,.
Let’s get married
At the first chance we get we’ll be wed:
Our blood oath… bled.

Let’s get married.
Before the flowers lose their bloom,
Before we’re all consumed by the tomb
Let’s get married.
Before we waste away
And decay,
Marry me.
What do you say?

No.

Deep Enough (album: Memoir Noir)

I never woke up this morning,
My tether is at the end of elsewhere.
There’s a big black dog yawning
And it’s sitting in my favorite chair.
I saw my prospects portrayed before me
As a sad and solitary house,
With icicles hanging from its doorway
Like teeth in a great grey mouth.

I couldn’t bury you
Deep enough.

A strange new brand of confection
Is rotting all Wisdom’s teeth.
A dying man addresses his reflection
And says “Better you than me.”
But a breath as persistent as gravity
And corrosive as a wasted second
Unfurled from the lap of some deity
Where that abominable animal beckoned.

I couldn’t bury you
Deep enough.

I’d stolen a dead man’s wrist watch
And was living by his time not mine,
I adapted my past to suit a flimsy ideal
And laid a false floor on that fault-line.
I know all things cast a shadow
Regardless of sort or size
But the part of me I once left fallow
Now yields a tree that’s obscuring the sky.

I couldn’t bury you
Deep enough.

I no longer believe in medicine
And I’m struggling with that fourth wall
Since that animal appeared in my bedroom
Howling its territorial call.
It said there’s no flame it couldn’t douse
As it snuffed out the light over my thoughts,
It opened me up like a doll’s house
And I wept until I was hoarse.

There are some things you just can’t hide from
There are some things you just can’t push down
Deep enough.

Dripping With Dew (album: Found Drowned)

I laid myself down on the ground,
My fingers dripping with dew.
But I wasn’t with you honey
No I wasn’t with you.
I’d been dancing to a different tune,
Seeing all the colours between blue and blue

I’d spent all day reading Machiavelli in a glossy magazine,
Jesus looked down at me funny through the pub TV screen.
Someone was pumping Mozart through their mobile phone,
An item on the news told me they’d just cloned The Stones
And I

Laid myself down on the ground
Fingers dripping with dew
But I wasn’t with you.

Since you left me in the gutter I’ve been living on my knees,
I woke up pale this morning and now my mother’s called the priest,
My fortunes took a tumble when I first came to this place,
I only did it baby to see the look upon your face
When I

Laid myself down on the ground
Fingers dripping with dew
But I wasn’t with you

Well I was led astray by a bright young thing
Who gave me shelter beneath her wing,
She led me down a sodden path,
My blindfold slipped,
She began to laugh:
Her lips pulled back across her teeth,
She tore apart the earth and sank beneath,
She told me this deed would stay with me forever
And we’d share a bed in hell together
And I

Laid myself down on the ground
Fingers dripping with dew

I saw a man at the heart of a gathering crowd
With his hands in the air,
He was talking loud.
He said to us “You’d better gather round
And write this down”
He said “Love’s not something that is so mundane
Like a view from a bridge or a walk in the rain;
It’s an un-healing hole burnt right down into your soul
That filters out the same-old-same-old…
Or at least that’s what I’m told.”

Dying Of Something (album: Found Drowned)

Don’t take this down I’m just thinking aloud
But I don’t like your town, I don’t like this crowd.
There’s hatred in the air and a warning in my ear,
I’ve got to get away cos the people round here are
Dying of something I don’t want.

Don’t try to talk me down, I’m not listening no more
And it’s a sixteen cigarette walk from my floor to your door.
Now your foaming at the mouth and no one’s making any sense,
Jesus Christ no wonder I’m feeling so tense.
Your all dying of something I don’t want.

Now my skin’s burning,
Heart’s stopped yearning,
World’s not turning as fast as it should be.

Now the rain’s falling down and I don’t mind.
You’re telling me we’ll get wet but it wouldn’t be the first time.
Three forty five stuck in a compromise:
Put on your black shoes,
We’re going outside
Cos someone in the next room has just died
Of something I don’t want.

Now my skins burning,
Heart’s stopped yearning,
World’s not turning….

Now you stay away from me
Because I know what you’ve got,
You’ve been eaten away like a moth-eaten cloth.
Now you’ve started to rot and I an’t help you not
Because I’m saving my pennies to buy my soul back from God.
Hold me! Hold me!
Hold me like you’ve never held nobody before
Your race is almost run
And I can’t take no more

Cos you’re dying of something I don’t want.

Final Voyage

I am now all that I am ever likely to be
I am the tick awaiting its tock
I’ve been drifting for days
Watching the waves
Without considering the depths or the rocks

I stand before you unburdened of my prime
I have slalomed the slung darts of fate
So now scrub me down
With the women that stuck around
It ain’t never but it’s still late

Without one single exception
I’ve loathed every man I’ve longed to be
Now I’m tying the loose ends
To the throats of my friends
On the shore as we push out to sea

Row, row
Mind how she goes
Don’t suppose we’ll e’er return
At the end of this day
Cast me away
Stoke up the fire
Watch me burn

I’m tired of asserting my sanity
On this mad and miserable world
I have glutted my lust
For quite long enough
And these girls all just make me feel old

So morph me into a fiction
Rearrange my life so it fits
I’ll leave you to decide
(Because believe me I’ve tried)
What the moral of this sordid tale is

Row, row…

Stupefy me with religion
Seduce what remains of my soul
For good or for ill
Give me one last cheap thrill
A heaven instead of a hole

Now squeeze all the trees into paper
So my testament can be writ large
Beneath this swollen sky
We’ll watch the ink dry
With our nibs dipped anew in old scars

Row, row…

Ghost Story

Won’t you take a seat tonight and buy a dead man a beer?
It’s just the memory of the light that makes it seem so dark in here.
That fallen mirror ball
Won’t reflect me anymore.
The dance-hall burnt down,
Take a sniff around,
You’ll notice that nothing was ever found,
Save for the sound of

Rum Pa Pa Pom.

My life was full of colour
And people were just the pattern.
The money others make for you is the best kind to get fat on.
Some said I was a swine
But I say pleasure’s not a crime,
I know others had it rough
But to hell with that stuff,
If the Devil’s the nicotine then God is the cough,
I just couldn’t get enough

Rum Pa Pa Pom.

Time took its tariff from the fierceness of my frame,
I bought the love of many women and always used the exact change
But the smiles turned to sniggers
Then the sniggers turned to smirks,
If they were trying to break my spirit
I’d have to admit it worked,
It can affect you far too much
When the thighs of whores lose their clutch
And shrinking from your touch sing

Rum Pa Pa Pom.

But drink don’t drown a man’s shame
So I tipped up all the bottles and set a match to the remains.
As the room was consumed by the plume of the flames
I was the only one who stayed.

Hold On To Me (album: Get Religion!)

There’s no such thing as free love Honey
But I’ve tried every brand of cheap
And I caught a brief glimpse of machinery
Beneath those morals we keep
I may have outlived my optimism
And laid it in a pauper’s plot
But I’ve realised
As we age we don’t find
Who we are
We only see who we’re not.

Hold on to me
Girl you’ve got nobody else

Don’t tease me with your passions
Just burden me with love
It’s too warm for all these fashions
And too cold for what I’ve been thinking of
This receding tide of vitality
Has made the remainder all the more dear
We can tame any one of their tiny toy gods
With a little dose of human fear

Hold on to me
Boy you’ve got nobody else

Love is filling my heart
The same way water fills a lung
Our immortality won’t last forever
So let’s enjoy it while we’re still young
Baby you’re my purgatory
You’re in every single flame that tickles me
We ain’t heading for a happy ending
But we’re primed for eternity

Hold on to me
We’ve got nobody else

***

SPOKEN

We sniffed each other like two old dogs,
The sweat diluted by nothing but bath water
And the segmented corolla of that devastated bouquet
Lay crushed beneath our steaming footprints.
There I began to see love as a thing not to be cherished
But scorned as sweets from a stranger,
Weighed in the palm,
Seldom tasted.

And yet I threw myself out to meet you,
Like Noah’s Raven in the winds,
And witnessed that ugly contemporary landscape
Dwarfed by sad and noble ruins.

Lost in that aggressive calm
We explored one another:
Yours was a beauty that did not shine
But rather sunk all others into shadow.
Mine was a desire to be remembered
Though only on my own terms.

And yet my fears remained unforgivably vague,
With few dreams fit enough to survive my education.
Cursed was that layered and temporary soul
Growing fat on the terror of keyhole observations.

So now I have resolved to wrestle with this false eternity
Until it becomes a different kind of fact
And though I may feel the tug of other currents,
Hold onto me.
You’ve got nobody else.

I Ain’t Done

Where have all my old friends gone?
Where did they hide when our twenties were spent?
Cos I ain’t done being young
No I ain’t done with that yet

I don’t care if they all think I’m wrong
I don’t care what other people say
Cos I ain’t done being young
Today is not that day

Centuries turn but Fate tends to twist
Forget the hand of time
Worry more about its fists
Cos its dice are all loaded
And I ain’t hedging no bets
I ain’t done
I ain’t done being young just yet

I ain’t done with the doing
I won’t turn out the light
I will not go gentle into that good night
My rack it ain’t ruined
My race it ain’t run
I ain’t done I ain’t done I ain’t done.

Beware of that happy little bubble you’ve bought
A safety net is like any other net
When you are caught
And though I know
Every deed has a debt
I ain’t done being young just yet

No one yearns for Summer
Until they’ve felt the chill
And every guilty pleasure
Depends mostly on the Guilt
So we pass the time
Between us like a bomb
Screaming I ain’t done
I ain’t done being young

I ain’t done with potential
And I don’t care who agrees
Cos I ain’t ready to start living my death by degrees
My tide it ain’t stemmed
And my spin it ain’t spun
I ain’t done I ain’t done I ain’t done

Maybe I wanted kids of my own
Maybe that’s a thing I regret
But I ain’t done being young
No I ain’t done with that yet

So smother your sympathies
And reign in your remorse
Don’t talk to me of “middle age”
Call it “the main course”
Lovers settle down
Gamblers settle up
I ain’t done being young
So I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop

I ain’t done with the folly
I ain’t done with the fight
I feel tall as a story
And broad as daylight
So unsheath the daggers
And unfurl the cloaks
And save me a seat
In a hell that’s well stoked
Tend to the weeds that grow round your thoughts
Fasten the tight ropes and pull them taut
Set us a course for where the sun never sets
Cos I ain’t done being young
I ain’t done being young
I ain’t done I ain’t done I ain’t done
Being young
Just yet.

I Want To Know More

We both know love always comes with conditions
Collusions and collisions
Unplanned revisions
And small print
Darling we’re no different
It’s you and me or you and someone else

Between the womb and the tomb
There’s not a lot of room
To be the people we want to be
And now I’m all rage
I’ve forgotten how to act my age
Everything is slipping away from me

Baby I am the man you’re holding on to right now
But  tell me who is the man you’re holding on for?
I want to know more.

Joking apart
Don’t you dare enjoy the start
We need to save our smiles for the happy ending
I’ve put myself through hell
But these thoughts won’t think themselves
And I’m wondering if you’re just pretending

Now my inner child is watching
So I’ve put him up for adoption
Because I suspect he’s up to something really bad
And you still give me chills
You’ve got me hooked through the gills
But love never stopped anyone feeling sad

Baby I am the man you’re holding on to right now
But  tell me who is the man you’re holding on for?
I want to know more.

It’s just the echo of a memory
Of a shadow of a regret
And the regrets are all for things
I haven’t even done yet
I’m just a privileged boy
Battling for his right to a little misery
Wishing you were kissing me
And wishing it meant more

I am the man you’re holding on to right now
But  who is the man you’re holding on for?
I want to know more.

It Hurts So Much To Hold

It seems to me like you’ve got some plans up your sleeves,
But I’ll be damned if all those little things don’t come to call again,
Demand to be let in,
Haunt us all now and then.

Hate wears a harness of hope,
Round its ears, round its eyes, round its throat.
It feeds on what we know
But spits it all back out,
It hurts so much to hold
But I ain’t about to let go now.

Our love was like an island but an island with no shore,
You kept passing me those apples but all I ever get is the core.
Some day you’re going to go,
But don’t desert me now.
It hurts so much to hold
But I ain’t about to let go now.

If there’s one thing I know it’s that the heart will drive you mad,
Just look at all the happy endings wandering round looking so sad:
They’re waiting down below
For love to dig them out.
It hurts so much to hold
But I ain’t about to let go now.

A slave to the age sold us a lie
With a cold and craven chorus congregated close behind.
The song started low but ended very loud:
It hurts so much to hold
But we ain’t about to let go now.

Last Chance Romance

I was rigid with drink
On a day without a name
Gazing into the distance
As the horizon backed away
Locked up in a happiness
That left truth out in the cold
Living within the artifice
Of an indifferent world

Through the haze emerged a form
In sure and sharp relief
A woman with that shop-soiled look
Of the habitual divorcee
I saw the sculpt of her hips
And no visible tattoos
I know this isn’t love
But it’ll do

I like my coffee black
And my little lies white
I like to keep my potential intact
And out of sight
But she possessed all the miseries
That come with imagination
She was as open and inhospitable
As a railway station

I’ve never known my own mind
But I suspect it’s now made up
And though the stars may not be aligned
Or our fates written in a teacup
We’ve been searching for affection
And it’s been leaving us all these clues
And though this isn’t love
It’ll do

I don’t want nobody but you
No, no other body will do
But believe me
A little bird told me
There’s never been no one and only
I just want someone to hold me
How did I ever get so lonely?

Time hasn’t been kind
But then neither have I
You can’t put an end to hurricanes
By pulling the wings off butterflies
So let us not be explained
Or we might be explained away
Don’t wear protective gloves
If you want to seize the day

Because to remember love
Is still to love
Just as the blind, in dreams, still see
But I must admit these little rituals
Look all the same to me
So accept my usual promises
Though you know they won’t come true
This isn’t love
But it’ll do

I don’t want nobody but you
No, no other body will do
But believe me
A little bird told me
There’s never been no one and only
I just want someone to hold me
How did I ever get so lonely?

Our memory begins still born
Though the concept of it grows ever stronger
In our hearts and minds
People don’t live on
Their deaths just echo for longer
Now the time has come for fiction
And we must play out all our parts
No rules and no restrictions
Just a couple of broken hearts
So come take my hand
It’ll just be me and you
We know this isn’t love
But it will do.

Letter In A Casket (album: Found Drowned)

I was all yours
Until they took you from me
And led you away

You were unsure
Until I calmed your worries
And said we’d meet some day

And with a drum and a fife
You told me on your life
You’d be here in one year
And take me for your wife

Lover, lover, lover, lover, lover

Ten score or more
Times you swore you’d left your
Wandering behind

But one day a man came
Bearing a list of names
Called to the front line

Each day I’d pray some word would come my way
And we’d still make the same date
For our wedding day

Lover, lover, lover, lover, lover

They say you were slain
On the very first day
Before you could write me

But you called my name when Death came
And made you leave your burnt frame
To war’s mercy

And though it hurt my pride
I became another’s bride
But you’re still the man I’ll be buried beside

Lover, lover, lover, lover, lover

Living In The Aftermath (album: Memoir Noir)

The light has gone out in your window.
We are perched on the brink of a dawn.
But I am outside in the shadows
And I am alone.

I am no stranger to this door,
It was built with the sweat from my brow.
I lingered awhile on its threshold
Before turning round.

For what I lack won’t be found in the looking,
What I want is to be there with you
But some houses are better as ruins,
Some people too.

So darling
Turn my picture to the wall
And do what you must do,
You say there’s shame
In the lies we tell
But there is more shame in the truths.

You have scorned all my cloistered virtues
And the vices they may have produced,
You know youth isn’t the time for seduction
It’s a time to be seduced

But when the watering holes have all run dry
Then I shall drink from the mirage
And when you meet me there I will not ask why,
I will laugh

Turn my picture to the wall
And do what you must do,
You say there’s shame
In the lies we tell
But there is more shame in the truths.

Low

I was just a child in the drama of the big bad world,
A sorry silhouette in the smoke as it curled,
Existing on the edge of some great idea,
Trying to find my way but the way wasn’t clear.
I was wearing my thoughts like a new tattoo,
Acting like a leper and thinking of you
Because the rage withered in me when you took me in,
I’d been running against Love without wanting to win.

I’ve been crushing all the crawling things
Creeping around the hole
And now they’re only creeping below.

I was swallowed by the spectre of a long slain spite
That gnawed upon my nerves with a savage appetite,
It stripped away the structure of our pretty pretense,
You know we never should’ve had the right
To so much innocence.

Crushing all the crawling things
Creeping around the hole,
Now they’re only creeping below.

Everybody’s acting like they’re born again,
Like I’m the very last of a pagan strain.
So I’ve been digging in the dirt for something decent to say,
Trying to think about “the now” while trapped in the everyday.

Crushing all the crawling things
Creeping around the hole,
Now they’re only creeping below.

I want to know who would want me to feel this cheap
I want to know why the road stretching out is so steep
I want to know what could cause this wretched malaise
I want to know where your God goes on His holidays

Crushing all the crawling things
Creeping around the hole
Now they’re only creeping below.

And like a hound full of fleas
Sinking down in the sea,
I’m drowning in all this Love
And I hope you drown with me.

These nightmares don’t cause me no grief,
I don’t wish away visions that make real life a relief.
Though I’m certain this circus must end,
Don’t you dare tell me when.

You wanted a rose but I gave you a thistle,
Every day I shave close but you still make me bristle,
If you need anything just give a little whistle,
You know how to whistle don’t you?

So we’re popping the tics and we’re stoning the crows,
We’re down in the Styx and it’s your turn to row,
We’re crushing the crawling things
Creeping below.
Now we’re creeping below

Love At A Price (album: Get Religion!)

I may not be the best but I’m the best you’ll get.
I don’t care what Jesus said, if I die I’m staying dead.
As the first lovers sank down into the mud:
That’s when the blueprints of utopia were drawn out in blood.

Hi-Dee-Hi-Ho
You promised a lot but no,
The road to bliss is best walked alone.
I stole your heart but I threw it away
Because Hey,
You said crime don’t pay.

Well I may be your top shelf,
I may be your bottom drawer,
But you’ve been holding my hand
And now you’re telling folk it’s yours.
When you got on your knees and begged me to stay
I heard the footsteps of fidelity walking away.

Hi-Dee-Ho-Hi
It’s alright for you but I
Am through with love and I’m through with love’s lies.
I stole your heart then I threw it away
Because Hey,
You said crime don’t pay.

So long, get a move on
Before all our wrongs turn all too right.
I could have killed for you darling
But I’d never risk my life
For love at that price.

You held the hem of my heart as you worked your way in,
I felt the blame in your tears like glass under my skin.
Grimy with the grease from your face and your fingers,
There was love between us once but you know it never lingered.

Hi-Dee-Hi
Who would want me to want to too?
There’s an answer but it sure ain’t “I do.”
I stole your heart then I threw it away
Because Hey,
You said crime don’t pay.

So long, get a move on
Before all our wrongs turn all too right.
I could have killed for you darling
But I’d never risk my life
For love at that price.

Love Struck Me Down (album: Found Drowned)

Love struck me down way too young.
I wish I’d known what I know now.
Love struck me down,
The silver lining only served to conceal the cloud.
It lay in wait pretending
To be some kind of happy ending,
Love struck me down.
It hollowed me out and wore me like a crown.
Love struck me down
It got me bewitched,
Now word’s going round that I’m cupid’s new bitch.
Love struck me down,
It saddled me up and rode me around.

I looked to the sky and saw Cupid fly by
With a bow in his hands and a glint in his eye,
Tattoos on his shoulders where there should have been wings,
He was clinking a chain made of old wedding rings

And towering above on a dark cloud stood love
Cramming her claws into a pair of black gloves.
She told me politely
“I think you’ll grow to like me”
Down came Aphrodite and said “You can’t fight me”

Love struck me down way too young,
Pinned me to the ground and ripped out my tongue,
Love struck me down
And fed me in chunks to her slavering hounds

Once you’ve seen what I’ve got to show
Beneath my halo
You’ll never ever want to go
(and nobody need know).
If another tempts you away
I’ll make them pay,
So stay with me

Love speaks a tongue that none can translate,
It stands at our rudder with no other shipmates,
I’m sure that my mother told me I should just wait
But I took Love’s bait.
Now it’s too late.

I’ve got to get out of here…

Mary (album: Live At The Dancehouse Theatre)

You’ve got to be at least half cannibal
To go fishing for mermaids.
Fate’s a curious animal
And yours is always getting delayed.
There’s a Jonah in our love boat,
There’s cholera among the crew
And a beast emerging from the depths
Is looking at you.

Mary, you’ve been cheating on me.

You say you’ve been transforming
And that nothing’s staying the same,
Well let me into that chrysalis darling,
Let me be a part of your change.
You’ve put the shun in my seduction,
The lame in my flame,
You’re the con in my convictions,
The sham in shame.

Mary, you’ve been cheating on me.

You ain’t the man in this romance.
You ain’t the air in my affairs.
I asked the Lord for a decent chance
I must have slurred my prayers.
You ain’t the only one who’s cried
‘Cos I ain’t the only one who’s been bored.
So by the time these flowers have died,
Which one of you boys will have brought me more?

We’re caught in a love triangle
And geometry’s not on my side.
My heart’s going through the mangle
And next it’ll be my pride.
You say I’m a low down lying louse,
An adulterer pending bail;
Well I may have kissed your sister once baby
But I promise I didn’t inhale.

Mary, you’ve been cheating on me.

You ain’t the man in this romance.
You ain’t the air in my affairs.
We’re making music but you don’t dance,
I’m looking down but you don’t dare.
And I know I was your prize
But you weren’t ever mine,
You can’t predict this kind of shift in the weather
This is a rain that came
From a clear sky.

Mary, you’ve been cheating on me.

Matilda and Claude (album: Found Drowned)

Matilda killed her kitten Claude when she was nearly six:
She pinned all four of its playful paws to a tiny crucifix
And upon the rood it mewed and mewed,
To each of its nine lives did cling.
But as fate required,
The beast soon expired
And Matilda started to sing.

Do we ever reach an age where we’re not all terrified
Of a tiny idea that could alter us inside
And twist us away from the lies that we’re told
That make us spend too much of our time
Being too young or too old?

All you pitiful proud people are just pieces of the past,
Chipped away from the same old fading plaster casts.
The shades of our age have now all turned to hotter hues.
Tragedy isn’t ready for me
But it’s hungry for you.

And Matilda filled her heart with woe,
Such suffering and sore sorrow
That ripped and tore with tooth and claw
And left her youth enraged and raw

The world that swirled outside her thoughts
Laughed at all her stalled onslaughts
And thought it such a charming thing
When they heard Matilda sing.

Matilda And The Screw (album: Live At The Dancehouse Theatre)

Run your key across my cage just one more time tonight.
Slip your hands between the slats,
I promise I won’t bite.
The world outside is a prisoner of someone else’s lies,
But these iron bars tell me truths every day and every night.

Some call me “The Straight and Narrow”
Because they’ve all been down there once.
I saw my fortunes in the tarots:
They weren’t worth a second glance.
All those years alone in here don’t really mean a thing,
I can still sing like I was sixteen.
You believe me don’t you darling?

Oh jailer, jailer, jailer,
I’ll be your jailbird if you fancy that,
You can be my pussycat.

Don’t tell me tales of life outside,
They only make me sad.
Reward the other girls for good behaviour,
I know you prefer me bad.
I regard all broken hearts as reasonable wear and tear,
All you see of mine is yours
(just please don’t look in there).

Oh jailer, jailer, jailer,
I’ll be your jailbird if you fancy that,
You can be my pussycat.

My intentions were never dark you know,
They just only come out at night.
Angels cast strange shadows
Because they’re closest to the light.
A Siren’s only as deadly
As the rock on which it clings
But I can still sing like I was sixteen,
You believe me don’t you darling?

Oh jailer, jailer, jailer,
I’ll be your jailbird if you fancy that,
You can be my pussycat.

Matilda Makes Her Escape

You’ve never known the sunlight
Until you’ve glimpsed it through the bars.
You can’t tell a civilisation’s woes
From a few daubings on a vase.
Yet every day I pray
For a new religion to come and save me.

And you can read it in my eyes
Though your chances are slim
Unless you spend a little more time
With the side of my face that turns in.
Cos I felt a pinch of guilt
As the long forgotten forgave me

And if you dare
Just share one thing darling
How long? How long? How long?
How long?

As the dawn of time segues into dusk
And our pity grows ever more promiscuous than lust,
Passion is a dish best served cold.
And you want to know the answers
Well I’d be content with just the gist
While I’m waiting for the day when I’m mourned but not missed.
But I ain’t amassed enough regrets
To truly be considered old.

So if you dare
Just share one thing darling
How long? How long? How long?
How long?

I’ll be gone before the waning of the year
I’ll disappear into the air or the ground
Because no one needs me being lonely here,
There’s already plenty of solitude to go round.
So I turn my hurt into hate
And head straight towards the dawn

If you dare
Just share one thing darling
How long? How long? How long?
How long?

Months and Moments (album: Get Religion!)

Love is a wound and we were the salt,
People always assumed there was someone at fault,
But when months outweigh their moments
You’ve got to cash up and run.
We’re too old to begin
But too young to give up,
Our romance was the skin
Spreading over the top
Of a once fine moonshine
Soured by time in the sun.

Now I long to no longer belong to our love.

We were asleep in a vertical world
Like an ammonite curled
Around a kernel of private twilight.
But when months outrun their moments
You’ve got to pack up and fly.
You buttoned your coat right up to the throat,
Took all of your things
But left me a note
Saying a kiss won’t do,
I miss missing you
And though I hate goodbyes

How I long to no longer belong to our love.

Our song shouldn’t last
It belongs to the past
But if I rewrote my life
You’d remain in the cast.
When months triumph
Over moments
The fire is the first thing to go.
The ship of romance
Went down with all hands
But I’m glad that the band
Played on ’til the end.
It doesn’t take two
To see when something is through,
I think the world of you
But this world just won’t do

Because I long to no longer belong to our love.

When the myths between maps
Become marks on our graphs,
When the colossal collapse
And crawl away through the cracks,
When months outnumber moments
You’ve got to learn a new line.
We could die with our love
Or we could die of it,
Call each other’s bluff
Or try to rise above it.
But L’Amour isn’t the score,
It’s merely the scene of the crime:
Where the victims were us
And the weapon was Time.

I long to no longer belong to our love
I long to no longer belong.

Mother (album: Mother!)

I crumpled up the creeds of Man
And ran out into the rain
Where I mourned for my lost virtue
But mourned more for what remained
I’d give my grief to God
But I’m just too proud to pray
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

I’m the busted bulb in your lighthouse
I’m the guilt dashed on your cliff
I read about perpetuity
I hope it’s just a myth
Some people talk of progress
But all I see is decay
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

I pin my hopes on the future
Like martyrs to a tree
But they haven’t yet built the religion that can hold me
I hear tomorrow will be better
I heard the same thing yesterday
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

Each night I go to sleep
The way a Christian goes to lions
God can take my body
But I’m leaving my soul to science
I’m sure He had a plan in Man
But something’s gone agley
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

There’s a stranger in this mirror
Or is it just stained glass?
I’ve changed my face so many times
But I wish I could change the past
There are more epithets than cigarettes
Stubbed out in my ashtray
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

I’m a gentleman charlatan
Prose from a poison pen
I lately made a big mistake
Told the truth and sounded fake
My friends are all long gone
There’s none left to betray
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

I keep my guardian angel close
But always gagged and bound
Can someone please let me know
The way off this misery-go-round?
I long to see the spin on me
In St Peter’s Dossier
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

I’m told there’ll be no jobs until somebody dies
But you know a salary is just another word
For “consolation prize”
So I’m plodding through Perdition
Like some latter day Dante
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

Now I’ve told you all my thoughts
But I still haven’t seen that penny
You asked if there were bad times
Yeah… MANY
I long to say I love you
But it’s such a damned cliche
Mother, why did you raise me this way?

Musical Box (featuring Liz Green)

I was always almost a good man
But I’ve never been almost great.
And you watched me rue all the rest.
Though I trust you with my disrepair
More than love and more than hate
It’s for the things that are torn
From the thick of the dawn
That I wait.

Some lives are just loose ends to sew
And our threads are still entwined
They are bound fast around all I have left.
You gave me a song in a watch
It would play and I would wind
But the last time it did
I unclasped the lid
Too late

For inside the case I saw more than one face
As the hands both raised to noon
And when counting the cogs in the musical box
I forever lost its tune

One day I awoke from our love
As though from a pleasant dream
Each kiss was an abyss without end.
At its core were two fictions made flesh
With this song their epilogue
That the tiny tuned teeth
Rotating beneath
Will attest

You said you’d stay with me always.
Was that a promise or a threat?
Now you’re not around I don’t know.
You left me these words but no voice
Just tones tapped on tin
And as the cylinders slow
The keys it should toe only rust

I dream every night
That the wraith personae
Dance to Clair De Lune
But when counting the cogs in the musical box
I forever lost its tune

Each tick of this clock is a beat
Of my heart as it once was.
Oh you are still beautiful now.
I wasn’t cold until you showed me that warmth
In the time between the tunes
Our lives were to be
Played in the wrong key
And too low.

I’m losing my way
More and more every day
And I fear I’m losing you too
So I’m drawn to follow
All the silent echos
Of old bones
Because counting the cogs in a musical box
Will never explain its tune
Before it began
And long after its end
I have known
Our waltz was always to be
Over too soon

One Tiny Taste

There are those in the world that choose to die for what they’re feeling
But those feelings would never choose to die for them.
If emotions had skin then half of mine would be peeling
Like petals departing the stem.
There are no degrees of greatness,
There’s just greatness and then there’s the rest.

Luck is my drug,
I just need another hit,
One tiny taste and that’ll be it.

We’re all formed in the forge of the rotten parts of heaven
But never told what we’re designed to be.
It looked like it took a lot of time to learn all those lessons
But now Time refuses to learn any from me.
Because I dreamt of a day when Fate lost its teeth
And on pillows we lay with them hidden underneath.

Luck is my drug,
I just need another hit,
One tiny taste and that’ll be it.

Now every soul I see wears the stain of superstition,
So gloriously pointless like a retrospective premonition.
Let’s all dive where it’s deepest and speed where none have sped,
We’ll ride the wave while it knows no ebb.
Before Time’s tidal lines leave their trace on my face
With memories that linger like a stale aftertaste.

Luck is my drug,
I just need another hit
One little dose and that’ll be it.
Just one tiny taste
And that’ll be it.

Save Me (album: Get Religion!)

I’m not vengeful tonight,
I’ve got idols to mould.
But I’m nothing without my secrets
And one by one they’re getting told.
I’ve had debts and duets,
I’ve been charged and cleared;
I’ve seen animal regrets
Hidden running through human tears.

But I won’t cling to this clique,
Because I can’t make up my mind
If I can still stomach living with my own rotten kind.
So I built a temple out of beer cans and bottles,
I saw God and the Devil
(so much for role models).

Oh I fell down on my knees,
Oh I smelt the sulphur and bleach,
I realise you can’t save my beliefs
But please try
To save me.

Babe, it ain’t too late.
You say Judgement Day is coming
But they still haven’t set a date.
You know about forever,
You know it never comes free
But if you make one mistake
Please let it be me.

When we we counted our sorrows
Were you keeping score?
Do you worry about tomorrow?
Do you wonder what it’s for?
Because I’m dreading that dream
Of being caught in its claws.
I don’t want to die in my sleep
(But I don’t mind dying in yours).

Oh why do I fear what’s beneath
Those closed eyes promising me relief?
I realise you can’t save my beliefs
But please try to save me.

Babe, it ain’t too late.
You say Judgement Day is coming
But they still haven’t set a date.
You know about forever,
You know it never comes free
But if you make one mistake
Please let it be me.

I heard most obituaries are written well in advance.
If you stumbled upon yours would you dare take a glance?
It’s so long since I was tempted
(Or even enraged),
Well I guess maybe the Devil
Is going a little soft in his old age.

Oh I took the robe between my teeth,
White lies trickled out from the sleeves,
I realised you can’t save my beliefs
But please try to save me.

Babe, it ain’t too late.
You say Judgement Day is coming
But they still haven’t set a date.
You know about forever,
You know it never comes free
But if you make one mistake
Please let it be me.

Scarecrow

On my wedding day
They only rang a single bell
No witness came
You had me all to yourself
A willow veil and gown of long leaf pine instead of lace
An embroidered train endowed with twines of every muted shade.

On my wedding day
Fronds of fern were flower girls
Their dresses frayed
And the rice replaced with earth
Love was my only journey until the dark swallowed me whole
Now no one will return me to your door

On my wedding day
Limbs of trees strained to receive
Forget-me-not bouquets
Though many called them wreaths
But of all the seasons Winter always tells the fewest lies
And on snowy days I’d slowly fade in folds of bridal white

Can a love start in a bloodless heart
Can it shelter my life in its shade
Will no one tell me why
I was fated to die
The night before my wedding day?

On my wedding night
Beneath a waning moon I lay
Still as an ammonite
With thick coverings overlaid
I dreamed we’d been surrounded by
Peacock broods and damsel flies
With lilies pressed upon my breast
And silver in my eyes

On my wedding night
I lingered long but lay alone
No hint of morning light
No dew upon the lawn
There’s a wilderness within these walls
This box of cold unanswered calls
Though desire lives on and survives the form,
It won’t ever feel the dawn.

Can a love start in a bloodless heart…

Now my wedding gown
Is on a scarecrow in a field
Won’t you take it down
And lay it by my grave concealed
Of all the seasons Winter always tells the fewest lies
And on snowy days I slowly fade beneath folds of bridal white

Shards Of Glass (album: Found Drowned)

Shards of glass and blood on my shoes
She had so much to say and so little to prove
There was writing on the wall
Everyone around was walking tall
She said “You want a piece of me?
You’ve gotta come and take it all”

I’ll see you in hell my friend
When this world has reached its end

He agreed to love me the way I thought he should
Bound by a golden ring he was bound to me for good
For many years I wore his marks without complaint
And took his kisses like so many coats of paint
And I said

I’ll see you in hell my friend
When this world has reached its end

I drew her close to me and I breathed her name
Her hair was like honey dew and novocain
I told her it was more than a case of wounded pride
And she let out a scream that tore the mountain side
And I said

I’ll see you in hell my friend

Shards of glass and blood on my shoes
I just killed somebody I biblically new
There was writing on the wall
Everyone around was walking tall
She said:
You want a piece of me?
Come on and take it all

I’ll see you in hell my friend
When this world has reached its end

Some Could Love You Better (album: Found Drowned)

No one could love you more than I
But some could love you better.

We avenge the mind when we deceive a fool.
You say I’m being kind but I’m just being cruel.
I swallow up your virtue,
Spit it out and make it hurt you
And from love’s leftover gristle I serve insipid gruel.

Remorse?
Of course.
It was my fault not yours,
A heart heavy with hatred
Pumps its poison from the source.

Yeah, some could love you better

The clocks in your old photographs were ticking just for you,
We were toasting the dawn from the wrong side of morning
With a chill wind bleeding through.
Romance? No chance.
We’re just two love-torn forlorn bundles of bone.
The sound of your tears is music to my ears,
You might as well water a stone.

And your feelings were transparent
Like a cold stillborn heart,
You told me you were leaving me
But I said “No You’re Not.”

Because some could love you better

We’ve been bickering for years
And I don’t know where we’re bound,
You say we’re moving forwards
But the Earth’s still going round and round.

The burden of love is a crippling one
And passion’s partnered with pain,
Our love was once like a ray of sun
But now it looks like rain.
Bitter with the salt of human things
You were an angel until I clipped your wings,
Now you say we’re through
And I should go
I say no.
No
NO.

Some could love you better

Stone By Stone

A love letter came this morning,
I told her I no longer wished to rent.
I’m taking a break from the human race
And giving up God for lent.
I’ve been burnt enough times to realize
That nothing resists fire like ash
And the sour honey of empty promises
Makes a corrosive kind of splash.
If you dust my heart for fingerprints
You’ll find more than just your own,
I’m building something real in here
Stone by stone.

These street names are all handwritten
As if they’re still subject to change,
Vultures and priests fight over the dying
But I’m sure a deal can be arranged.
I’ve been searching for something authentic
In the scraps my dreams leave behind,
So you want to die among those idols do you?
Well you’ll have to get in line
Until the trees shush their own rustling
And the insects diminish their drone,
I’m building something real in here
Stone by stone.

You creep between creeds
Like a crab changing shell
While I’m more like a snake shedding skin,
If you believe that the past is something that lasts
Well darling, think again.
I took your heart
And stripped it for parts
Then replaced it with something more tough,
And though I was never that good to you
I reckon I was good enough.
Now I feel the age of the Earth in the hairs on my skin
And its murmur in the marrow of my bones,
I’m building something real in here
Stone by stone.

Let’s drag the drapes off the dais
To staunch the wounds of the age,
Plug up the drains with all that remains
Of the the solemn, the sober and the sage.
We’ll wring out the rag of our troubled time
And persuade Providence to postpone,
We’ll seize the machines of our martyrdom
Stone by stone.

These windows have all been painted
With the same view on both sides.
You say one day there will be Hell to pay,
Well you can tell Hell to name it’s price.
I want to be absolved for all my intentions
Or have my decent deeds undone
Because the only way I’m getting to Heaven now
Is as somebody’s ‘plus one’.
It’ll take more wine than they’ve got in there
To turn God’s House into a Home,
That’s why I’m building something real in here
Stone by stone.

The Debtor’s Wife (album: Live At The Dancehouse Theatre)

It began with a gift
But died with a debt
And if redemption’s on the cards
Well it hasn’t happened yet.
He said if you need anything from me
All you got to do is ask,
But he wore that sincerity
Like a halloween mask.

I owe, I owe
I owe so many folk
I’ve got nowhere to go.
I owe, I owe
Won’t nobody help me get out of this hole?

His words were sweet as honey
But that honey attracted flies.
I knew he never meant to really love me
He just wanted to synchronise.
I said beware the things you sow
Because one day you’ve got to reap them.
He said what’s the use in making promises darling?
You’ve only got to keep them.

I owe, I owe
I owe so many folk
I’ve got nowhere to go.
I owe, I owe
Won’t nobody help me get out of this hole?

Each morning he’d fall through my door,
All frail foul and thin,
Beauty may be all around us but there’s certainly nothing good within him.
I know a gambler’s got no ties,
Just a suitcase and a trunk,
But I soon came to realise that there were more days behind us than in front.

I owe, I owe
I owe so many folk
I’ve got nowhere to go.
I owe, I owe
Won’t nobody help me get out of this hole?

Now the stitching has frayed and all the cupboard’s are bare,
He’s got his head in his hands but he’s lost the luxury of despair.
It’s true I ain’t possessive and it’s true I don’t need wealth,
But if he wants to be a martyr now
I’ll hammer the nails myself

I owe, I owe
I owe so many folk
I’ve got nowhere to go.
I owe, I owe
Won’t nobody help me get out of this hole?

The Deed’s Creature

I was running from the shadows when I saw you cast two.
The more you give me, the more I’ve got to lose.
Foes and friends differ in their forms of attack:
One goes straight for your heart while the other stabs you in the back.

I’m heading for a fall but you can still grab a lift,
Our love may have died but it hasn’t yet gone stiff,
We two have been through a dozen different hells,
Now it’s an insult to the glory of your sickness to get well,
When you hide these things from me I can tell.

Time was still teething and fiends were fair-weather
Before we flew on wings made of skin and not feather,
There’s no sense in crying before the milk has been spilt
So let’s skip the deed darling
And move straight to the guilt.

Because the promises you etched on the water
Won’t change when the rain comes and adds to the pool,
You may feel like a lamb led off to the slaughter
But don’t tell me you’re bleeding,
Don’t tell me you’re bleeding,
Don’t tell me
Cos I’m bleeding too.

Now we’re digging in shifts for the meager elite
Who say life is God’s gift but He’s still holding the receipt.
We’re all living in the place where ghosts come to die
So don’t tell me you’re bleeding,
Don’t tell me you’re bleeding,
Cos I know you’re bleeding me dry.

The Devil And The Hole (album: Live At The Dancehouse Theatre)

On a tempered crag in a sea of sin,
A spit of land like a splint of skin,
Three hundred miles with nothing but crows
And forty poor baptised christian souls

They built a tiny little town with a wall made of stone
To keep temptation out and their goodness all alone.
But a woman on the ground long widowed, long wild,
Felt the world rising round her and she cried for a child.

She had a face like stone in the wake of weather,
Her hands turned white as they clasped together,
She prayed to the Lord,
Prayed to the Lord,
Prayed…
But the Lord ignored.

She said “God aint got no time for me
So if he don’t mind old Beelzee
Will get some bouncing boy to be
Some little pride and joy for me.”
Well the Devil said “Don’t cry my dear,
Wipe away those little tears,
If you really want a son
Come on and let me give you one.”

It was a warm winter night when the child was born;
His mother would tell no one where the seed was drawn
But the people looked upon him in a certain light
And said there’s something in his smiling that’s not quite right.

The years went by and the boy grew tall,
With every passing day there grew a crack in the wall
And when the first stone fell it roused the town,
The people took the child and tied him down

And the lashes on his back were like rays from a red sun,
He’d lost all sense by the time they’d done
And as they maimed and they mauled he pointed to the wall,
He cried “there’s a light
“But all you people see is a hole.”

Low and behold.

The Light (album: Get Religion!)

Midnight.
Have you got a light?
There there, it’s alright.
That old flame found me again
And in her I swear
I saw Heaven silhouetted by the light of Hellfire.
There was nothing I regretted more than that desire,
Walking the high wire,
Trading the net for the noose.
Hey darling why are you always looking down?
If you’re dreaming of the Devil
He will surely come around,
Trip your treasons up
Then tease them out.
These treacheries are easier the truths.

Sirens always sing the same sad songs,
Don’t you worry though,
We’ll only hear them once.
Leaving love to chance
Was the worst way we could ever go.

Slow…
Fade that moon’s glow.
Stay close,
Stay close.
Let me be the card up your sleeve:
I don’t want to play,
I just want to be played.

Because I’ve seen Heaven silhouetted by the light of Hellfire,
There’s been nothing I’ve regretted more than that desire,
Love’s idle empire,
Cheering all the cherubs on to war.
Hey darling why you looking so mean?
You know I haven’t sought a single soul
Since I was seventeen,
Just a string of magazines
That suckled all the sickly and the sore.

Sirens always sing the same sad songs,
Don’t you worry though,
We’ll only hear them once.
Leaving love to chance
Was the worst way we could ever go.

Heaven silhouetted by the light of Hellfire
There was nothing we regretted more than that desire,
Love’s Final Empire,
Chasing all the cherubs on to war…

Torn.
Stay until dawn.
Sanctus,
Sanctus.
You’ll be
A strange memory
But tonight
Won’t you give me a light?

The Tell-Tale Hound (album: Found Drowned)

Squatting on the map like a big black stain
Was a dirty old town where it always rained,
Where there ain’t no cars and there ain’t no trains,
It’s enough to drive a man insane.
But the one little thing that kept me there
Was a pretty young woman with auburn hair,
Locked in a loft at the top of some stairs
I dreamt some day I’d take her away from there.
She was born with more than original sin
And raised in shame at a Holiday Inn
I stood at her window shouting let me in,
She opened up the shutter with a bottle of gin
And said “Boy Boy lower your voice
My dog can’t sleep with all this noise
You see this beast sitting at my feet?
My daddy left him to keep a watch on me.”

So home I ran to hatch a plan
I’d lull that dog to sleep if I can
And take that girl by her lilly white hands
And show her the kind of a man I am.
Every day I’d play a new lullaby,
I’d sing all evening and I’d sing all night
But nothing would close that damned dog’s eyes,
He’d laugh as my love intensified.

“Boy you’ve got to do better than that,
That dog’s treating you like a flesh doormat.
Quit playing around like a big pussy cat,
I won’t wait forever and that’s a fact.”
So I scaled the wall and I swam the moat,
I found the dog and I slit his throat,
I threw him in the water to see if he’d float
But he sank right down with a bubble and a croak.
I tapped on her window and she let me in,
“It’s about time I started living in sin”
I looked at her face and I saw her grin,
She said “Boy you don’t know the trouble you’re in.

You freed me from that hideous hound
But you’ll find it’s harder to put him down.”
I looked at the floor and saw a puddle by the door
I smelt wet dog and I felt his paw… on my shoulder.

So I ran and ran
Running as fast as I can,
I’ve been running as long as my memory spans,
Chased all across this desolate land,
That dog ain’t no best friend to this man.
Ever since he turned his back on death
I’ve known know peace and I’ve known no rest,
At night he sniggers at an unknown jest.
My pulse is set to the rhythm of his breath.

Many years have passed and ever since
That dog has sat where I once kept my conscience,
All I wanted was to get a little bit of respite
So I came to the day where I took my own life;
I skipped from a cliff and down I fell
Passed purgatory and went straight to hell,
The devil was there with a long leather lead,
You can guess who he had waiting for me.

Theban Sacred (album: Memoir Noir)

When the angels killed the heat in me
They told me I’d been blind but they could make me see.

Lord only knows,
Lord only knows where we go.

So I took their hands
And I dragged them down
One by one I watched them drown.

Lord only knows,
Lord only knows where we go.

Now my conscience lies by my side,
We got on well
But I’m glad it died.

Lord only knows,
Lord only knows

But does he know
What I know about him now?

Now I’m going away to some foreign land,
I’m going to join the Theban Sacred Band.
Lord only knows I don’t want to fight,
He also know darkness is my light
But now
Does he know what I know?

When those angels killed the heat in me
I said won’t you kindly let me be?

Thick Carpets, Old Lifts (album: Found Drowned)

I fold down the corners on the pages of my life
And skip over the chapters that I wasted on my wife.
I know I’m not too handsome,
I know I’m not too tall
But sit down darlin’
And tell me it all.

I like my hotels with thick carpets and old lifts,
I like to eat my grapes sour with pips.
I know I’m not too rich,
I know I’m going bald
But sit down darlin’
And tell me it all.

I was just a girl that kept her feelings well hid
And my conscience stayed quiet about the things that I did,
I locked up my heart but gave a man the key,
He wasn’t much to many but he meant a lot to me.

We wandered to and we wandered fro,
Drank a lot of liquor a did a lot of blow.
I was the fruit and he was the rind,
I was the clock and he was the time.

You know what they say about love
And you know what’s always being sung
But relationships are more like chicken pox:
You’ve got to get immune when you’re young.

You’ve got to get immune when you’re young.

Three Down, Four To Go

Three down, four to go.
I never knew
This list would be so easy to follow.
Three down, four to go,
I had doubts
But now I’m sure
Tonight
I’m going to kill your cure.

Time led me to betray
Everything I believed in,
I suppose that’s what they call “age”.
What was strong is now a strain.
I was young
And I was pure
But tonight
I’m going to kill your cure.

Decades in decay.
How do you shift
To “was” from “is”?
I guess I’ll find out the hard way.
Three down, four remain,
It’s late and I’m the lure
Tonight I’m going to kill your cure.

Tonight (album: Live At The Dancehouse Theatre)

You had me packed like an artefact in the cotton of your ambition
But there was something in my condition
That made me long for a little more.
You had me squeezed for at least the last two years of marriage
But some mistaken adage made you blind to what was in store.

I’ll be waiting up when you get home tonight.

I made a cat-flap for my jealousy so it could roam where it wanted.
It had a sorry tail that it flaunted
But every night it would come home
(Unlike you).
But I made do
With those slivers of deceit,
Those tributes left at my feet
For which your conscience will atone.

I’ll be waiting up when you get home
Tonight.

Now I’m fraught and overwrought
Like a bird among the rafters,
But it’s not laughter that I’m after,
Just a grim and knowing sneer.
As for you:
When I’m through
You’ll be sore down to your ligaments.
I’ve known no love without disfigurement,
I’ve known no fondness without fear.

I’ll be waiting up when you get home tonight.

I’ll be waiting for you
I’ll be waiting for you
I’ll be waiting for you

Tonight.

Turn Out The Light (album: Found Drowned)

Can you care too much?
You say it depends.
If I poured all the world’s love into your cup
Would you ever say ‘when’?
All this disarray:
Well it’s okay.
Lay these things down on me

The dawn once shone on our happiness.
You rose early each morning to tie the frail fastenings of fondness
While I lay and slept.
You and I
We’ll get by
So lay these things down on me

You warmed me
But seldom like the sun.
It came closer to a cold kiss on a warm night
In a building that’s burning down.
Me and you:
We aint got a clue
So lay these things down on me

Take a long hard look at me now
Take a long hard look at me now
Take a long hard look at me now
And I’ll be the last thing you see
Before I turn out the light.

When Matilda Came Of Age (album: Get Religion!)

When Matilda came of age
(or perhaps the day before)
She grew as fashionable as consumption
In the lungs of your most cherished whores.
But weary of suburbia,
Of society and of sense,
She knew if she didn’t get clear there
She’d die from all that pestilence.
There was a clamor in her mind
Just like God’s own drum roll,
So she screened her eyes from the sunshine
With a black parasol
And strolled out all alone
And said “I’m never going home,
I won’t be driven, flown or ferried.
No, not even to be buried.”

I’m tired of people
Wasting my time with feeble
Rules they all dreamed up
Since we crawled out of the sea.
They don’t know where we go
When we’re flung down below
And they don’t know one tiny little thing about me.

Five days down the road
(or maybe six or seven)
She met a man all mixed up
In the politics of Heaven.
He could have been a tragic hero
But he didn’t quite have the height,
There were dark clouds all around him
That he thought Matilda could paint white.
She said “Buddy move along,
If you think I’m an angel then you’re wrong.
Go cure the crippled and crooked
Cos I’m happy being wicked”
He said “Maddy give me your hand
And you’ll inherit all my land.”
She said “Alright I’ll come and see it
But on your own head be it.”

Well the man liked to save orphans
And help the ailing back to health.
He threw his fortune into philanthropy
And let Matilda amuse herself.
She mostly sat outside beheading all his flowers,
She’d be out there in the garden for hours and hours.
She loathed the life of leisure and thought inactivity obscene,
She felt the tedium creeping over her like invisible gangrene
So she served him up a skillet of deadly berries from his privet
And when she threw the remainder to the birds
His body went out with it.

Matilda found in widowhood
Life’s bitter pill much sweetened.
She had charmed her husband from the embrace of God
Then sent the poor man up to meet Him.
But while our good deeds are buried with us
The bad tend to survive
And Matilda was soon to learn that men
Can be more trouble dead than alive

Because a pair of cats picked from the scraps
Two hands (one left one right),
They dragged them down to the police chief’s house
In the middle of the night.
Matilda was given a date
With a magistrate
Who’d known her when she was small,
He said
“You were an evil coquette who mistreated her pets
And I’ve no pity for you at all.”
The trial was in all the papers
And the periodicals of law,
The dead man’s finger prints
Made Matilda wince
And the cats pointed with their paws.
They purred a charge of murder
As Matilda was dragged away.
The town cried out
“You’ve been found out
Do you have anything left to say?”

She said
I’m tired of people
Wasting my time with feeble
Rules they all dreamed up
Since we crawled out of the sea.
You can lock me away
But I’ll be out some day
This world ain’t seen or heard the last of little old me.

Woe Betide You (album: Memoir Noir)

You and I have been here before
But this time I came prepared
You know our love is little more
Than a loneliness that we shared

I’ve been living in the shadow of a monument
To the kind of man you want me to be
Well you can cry all you like over my indifference
But you sewed the seeds of my ennui

And I am warning you girl
Just like you once warned me

Woe betide you
If you want to hurt me again

You tell me I’m hurting your feelings now
Well I was aiming at your thoughts
Certainly there’s something appealing about
The kind of happiness we sought

But what’s the use in filling pages if you can’t rip them out
I refuse to play the villain in my own life
Yes those pretty little cynicisms we can do without
But I won’t let you grind me down and I won’t go without a fight

I am warning you girl
Just like you once warned me

Woe betide you
If you want to hurt me again

You know I wasn’t hewn from heroic timber
But I’m growing tired of our little tableau
There’s a light beyond this gloom, though it’s no more than a glimmer
It’s enough to guide my way as I walk out on you

Because I am warning you girl
Just like you once warned me

Woe betide you

Year Of The Bitch (album: Mother!)

Next year is the year of the bitch
No one will get lucky and no one will get rich
And we’ll be telling lies when we say we don’t know why
We talk about this world as if it’s all in bits

Next year is the year of the bitch
The panicking will peak at a piercing pitch
And everyone will hate
And obsess about their weight
And waste away in want for the things that they once ditched

Where were you when we changed our minds
Put our ideals on ice and our hearts into brine
Where were you
When we fell?

Next year is the year of the bitch
We’ll package up our lives and take them to the tips
And sit back in our chairs
Assuming fancy airs
As it all falls round our ears drip by drip

And people all just stood around watering their lawns as the cities fell down
I could barely make out the time
As the air turned to ash and the sea to slime

Where were you when we changed our minds
Put our ideals on ice and our hearts into brine
Where were you
When we fell?

Next year is the year of the bitch
We’ll swallow all their lies like hungry little chicks
Every consonant and vowel
Wretched, rank and foul
We’ll cling to every word like tiny little ticks

Where were you when we changed our minds
Put our ideals on ice and our hearts in brine
Where were you when we fell?
where were you when we lost ourselves
where were you?

You Can’t Run From My Love (album: Found Drowned)

You ought to know by now
You’re not welcome round here
But you still prowl round
And all day long
I hear your voice down my telephone.
But I’ve made my choice to go on alone.

You can’t run from my love
Run from my love
You can’t run from my love
I love you too much and you’re mine

The embers of what I was,
Once drenched in devotion’s creed,
Glow again because
Now I know I need
Only one shadow,
I can provide my own echo
Without you here
Telling me

You can’t run from my love
Run from my love
You can’t run from my love
I love you too much and you’re mine

I remember the forgetting
But not what was forgotten
That day I gave you a piece of my heart
You took the lot
and your tragicomic histrionics
Suggest if love’s a plague
Then this one’s bubonic

Something precious inside me            Darling take me home
Fell with a mighty sigh                         I don’t want to die alone
Love reared its vengeful head and said    You can’t run from me.

You’re On Your Own Now

I was never a lonely child
One is never alone with guilt
But I’ve delighted in the debris
Of all the things I’ve ever built
I’ve seen that every blossom
Will some day come to wilt
So what’s the sense
In us all getting so upset?

Because stories are the only things
That get smaller as they unfold
So many are sung
About those who die young
Not those of us getting old
And though you don’t need
To believe
Every tale you’re told
My boy here’s one I guarantee
You won’t forget

You’re on your own now
You’re on your own now
You’re on your own now
And all you own is worth nothing to me

The tragedy is that you can’t end it all
You can only end yourself
But if things start getting bad
Well at least you’ve got your health
And if you don’t let your imagination
Run away with you
It might run away with someone else
And you’re going to need it where you’re going kid

You’re on your own now…

So son take my advice
Don’t wait your turn and don’t play nice
Leave the sugar and take the spice
Always keep your prayers concise
And don’t waste your time worrying
About who’s getting the biggest slice
Just take the entire cake
And run

You’re on your own now…

Quit waving your arms in an empty world
And saving your breath for a joke that’s been told
Spare me your epilogue
And spare me your fears
When the lack screams out
It’ll ring long in your ears

You’re on your own.

Your Love (album: Found Drowned)

Only you can slow my heart
And make it sink like a greasy lump in the washing up.
But in those times of talk and touch
You said you’d be my muse
If I would be your crutch.

I took an oath in your damp undergrowth,
You said you were looking for love,
I said I think it’s close.
Wrapped in lace you offered me grace,
But your pillow talk was like a slap across my face.

There’s two sides to what I’m saying:
I was drawing chalk lines while you were praying.
You say I’m so sweet but I’m full of conceit,
I’m a man of my word but my word is deceit.

We swore l’amour on the blossoms
But by the autumn they were all rotten.
Honey I’d forgotten those times.
The day you became my bride
I died just a little bit inside
Because girl:
Your love, your love, your love
Is not enough, not enough for me.

We went through the blow like children in the snow,
All the way to limbo where the good pagans go.
You carved my name on a big black tree
Then said “what about me?”
I said girl:
Your love, your love, your love
Is not enough, not enough for me.

There’s a midnight rainbow curling up inside you,
Shining like a counterfeit sun
(a really dim one).
You seemed unconvinced,
You said you liked your words minced
And talked about forever.
I screamed NEVER NEVER NEVER!
Your love, your love, your love
Is not enough, not enough for me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s