Gentle Songs Of Ceaseless Horror

These are songs from my as-yet-unrecorded upcoming solo album. Order, titles and song selection may change as the project develops.

A Matter Of Life And Death

If you see my darling
With her best dress on
Tell her I’m gone
Love ain’t here no more
Though it left its spores
I’m moving on

I’ve done my best
But I’m tired of these tests
Every damsel I’ve met
Preferred being in distress
Good luck and so long
Let bygones be bygone
Just play some old song
That surprised me when I was young

Okay
Have it your way
But I don’t have to stay
And take this
From the likes of you
Now where was I?
Oh yeah, goodbye
I’ve got too much to do

My life’s all in front of me
Lit up like a christmas tree
The rest is all history
That’s how it appears to me.
I’ve still got all this time
Look at me, I feel fine
Have another glass of wine
Before I go

My moments have frozen
My vision grows narrow
My past now lies fallow
In another man’s care
So take all I am
And then suck out the marrow
Set alight to my shadow
If you dare

No, no I won’t go.
No, no I won’t.
No, no I won’t go.
No, no I won’t.

What will you do
With all you know of me
When I’m just a memory?
Hold that memory close
Don’t let it get away
Tell it to stay
Grasp hold of the smoke
And lock it up
If it moves
Make it stop
Preserve all that I’ve got
Just don’t give me up.
Yeah I get the gist
I’ll be mourned but not missed
That’s just how it is.
Well enough is enough.

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…

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

You Did This To Me

You did this to me
In a siege both soft and slow
The venom now runs deep
And the rivers overflow

You did this to me
At the ruin of the day
I still recall the scene
You wore green and I wore grey

You did this to me
Lifted the veil off your intent
Revealed the hole hidden beneath
Down and down it went

You did this to me
As the leaves began to fall
Exposed your heart and all its teeth
While shadows dripped from every wall

We returned to a world of corners
On a sea without a tide
Always trying to go forwards
But only ever moving side to side

And down in the froth and foam
Where we began to sink
I dreamed you’d been sculpted out of precious stone
While I was no more than pen and ink

You did this to me
As the mad studied the sane
In all their grim varieties
Their endless shapes and shades

You did this to me
Yeah you did this to me
You did this to me
Yeah you

Faith In Myths

No lies
I’ve seen through them all
And looked out the other side
Over all those sorry goodbyes
We throw away
Like so many broken toys
Heaped up in a pile
With their painted on smiles

As we doubt
The beliefs we can’t live without
Well they come and they go
Turning from icons to logos
And I
I talked to myself all my life
But my Self never once replied

I said Boy
The only thing that’ll last is your shame
It’ll cling and stick fast to your name
And remain
The one beast you can’t tame
But have faith
Just not in myths

Sometimes
As I read between the rhymes
I dream of how to
Empty my heart of you
So I’m tense
Future, past and present
At the edge of his thoughts
A man sees all sorts
So I keep a picture of her with me
Although it’s more of a diagram
But who gives a damn?

Because boy
The only thing that’ll last is your shame
It ain’t joy we measure love in
It’s pain
And gain
And more of the same
But have faith
Just not in myths

{instrumental}

Because boy
The only thing that’ll last is your shame
Your heart will beat in time to your blames
That stain won’t wash away
But have faith
Just not in myths

When my soul is weighed upon the scales
And I can pore over the souvenirs
Of all the years
I know some maps can show you too much
And some show you nothing but the way

Turn the keys in all the locks
Take the puppets from the box
Stop the cogs in all the clocks
Because a moment of defiance
Turned our magic into science
And I long to return
So come let’s mend our tempers
Throw ash upon the embers
And cease to be, yet still become.

What goes on will go on
And on and on
But boy we don’t go on
For long.

The Stuff Of Archive

We are the stuff of archive not of history
The sea at high tide not the stones it leaves
Something said alone
But not done

I held my breath as I reached the shore
We owe this world one death and nothing more
Thought I was home
But I was wrong

When I heard which way you’d gone
I ran all the way
Give me old friends
Over young love any day

We are the stuff of archive not of history
We ain’t the trees that grow high but the fallen leaves
You’re on my mind
All the time

When I heard which way you’d gone
I ran all the way
Give me old friends
Over young love any day

We are the stuff of archive not of history
The more we survive the less our lives mean
What would I do
Without you?

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