AT THE MERMAID PARADE

 

At the mermaid parade

Saw you looking away

With a wide smile

I said goodbye

I said so long

Underneath the Cyclone

Living like a jewel

 

What you want is what you need

My siren song

What you want

 

Kicking into the waves

With the last children

I found my way 

To a rogue horizon

I found my bone

Underneath the Cyclone

In a Sinbad print

I make a few wishes on it

 

What you want is what you need

My siren song

What you want

 

What you want is what you need

A big tub can’t stop the bleed

Of what you need

What you need

 

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Calenture

 

You can’t pay the doctor

You can’t hold the phone

You can’t whisper nothing

When nothing is a load

 

Oh Lord

I wish that I could tell you how I know

I wish that I could tell you how I know

 

Like that

Calenture

When those at sea

Invent a word

 

Oh Lord

I wish that I could tell you how I know

I wish that I could tell you how I know

 

Can’t hope

‘Cause hope is a rope

Pulling you

Where you don’t want to go

 

Whisper

Quote my song

Sawdust

And me belong

 

Oh Lord

I wish that I could tell you how I know

I wish that I could tell you that I don’t know

I wish that I could be someone who’ll never know

About sawdust

 

Baby

Truth is a world

But I won’t

Be undeterred

By distance

Quote my song

Those that penetrate belong

 

Oh Lord

I wish that I could tell you how I know

I wish that I could tell you that I don’t know

I wish so much that I could be someone who’ll never know

About distance

 

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Dear Ashley

 

Your teeth are worn down by love

You grind and you grind as you clutch your infant son

You ask me, have I ever felt that way

 

No I’ve never felt that way

But I’ve had other feelings plenty, yeah

Like the light streaming

Isn’t that corny?

 

Dear Ashley

I was counted in the street

Of St Mark’s Place in 1993

 

And Uruguay in 05

The faded jeans with my Jimbo lookalike

Clap hands, the ceremony of the sun

 

Dear Ashley

007 in Milan

Stealing in my room when I made that plan

To follow by train down from Berlin

And dance with him in a mirrored ballroom

 

From a mountain

To a twig

Or a leaf

On the branch

In the wind

To a wish

From a spec

To a molecule

 

Grinding, grounded down by love

From what I was to what I am now

Stop me, if this is getting boring

 

Dear Ashley

We sit a’talking in your home

On your knee your newborn son

 

You who are worn down by love

Clap your hands, we’re standing in the sun

 

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FRANKLIN

 

Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

You don't understand now

Your hearing is failing

Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

I'm not playing around, see this ticket

This time I'm going to be on that train

 

I'm tired of cleaning houses, from 5 to 5

To pay the maintenance  on your latest child

I am tired of all my money disappearing up your nose

Being rolled up in a king-sized Rizzla

Spent on your slick clothes

 

Oh Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

You don't understand now

Your hearing is failing

Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

I'm not playing around, see this ticket

This time I'm going to be on that train

 

I love your kids, tell them goodbye

And I'm going to miss them but I'm not their Ma

Look at your life, look at this mess

Why don't you do it when you know it's best

 

Oh Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

You don't understand now

Your hearing is failing

Oh Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

I'm not playing around, see this ticket

This time I'm going to be on that train

I'm going to be on that train

 

I'm going to ride first class

I'm going to ride to the end of that line

Then I'm going to get off that train 

And find me a good man

One who don't drink too much

One who don't shout

One who don't throw my prized possessions about

One who will think and knock me out

One who won't raise hell when I want to go out

 

Oh Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

You don't understand now

Your hearing is failing

Oh Franklin

You don't know what I'm saying

I'm not playing around, see this ticket

This time I'm going to be on that train

 

This ain't no midnight train

This ain't no Georgia train

This ain't no follow your man to wherever he goes

This is the freedom train

Oh yeah, the freedom train

 

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Old Friend

 

You came into the room

Your friends were there

We're all still there

 

We hear you on the radio

The television and the stereo

 

We see your picture

We hear your voice

Your filmed mannerisms

And your jokes

 

Old friend

Where have you been?

I've been crying for so long

Where have you been?

Where in the night?

In the gloaming, in the twilight

Out in the pasture, at dusk

Old friend

I miss you so much

 

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ONE HELL OF A LIFE

 

Lay me down in a wooded field

Plant a bush above my head

Well lay me, lay me down

Don’t go writing on my grave

I’ll have said it all before the end

Lay me, lay me down

 

And when I’m dead

Please don’t philosophize

Or feel regret

Just remember me when I said

I had one hell of a life,

One hell Of a life

I had one hell of a life 

 

Throw my ashes to the wind 

Watch them blow into the sea

Well throw me, throw me in

You can cry up there on the cliff

Scream to heaven, work your grief

But throw me, throw me in

And when I’m dead

Please don’t philosophize

Or feel regret

Just remember me when I said

I had one hell of a life,

One hell Of a life

I had one hell of a life

 

Fear and guilt accumulate

And the time’s never right to deal with it

Well maybe, maybe now

You can live your life in an endless wait

Or build it high on the present tense

Maybe, maybe now

And when you’re dead

They won’t philosophize

Or feel regret

They’ll remember you when you said

You had one hell of a life,

One hell Of a life

You had one hell of a life

 

Build it high on serendipity, dipity, dipity, doop, doop, yeah

 

And when we’re all dead

They won’t philosophize

Or feel regret

They’ll remember us when we said

We had one hell of a life,

One hell Of a life

We had one hell of a life

 

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The Gulf Of Araby

 

If you could fill a vale with shells from Killiney’s shore

And sweet-talk in a tongue that is no more

If wishful thoughts could bridge

The gulf of Araby

Between what is, what is, what is and what can never be

 

If you could hold the frozen flow of New Hope Creek

And hide out from the one they said you might meet

If you could unlearn all the words

That you never wanted heard

If you could stall the southern wind 

That’s whistling in you ears

You could take what is, what is, what is to what can never be

 

One man of seventy whispers free at last

Two neighbours who are proud of their massacres

Three tyrants torn away in a winter’s month

Four prisoners framed by a dirty judge

Five burned with tyres

Six men still inside

And seven more days to shake at the great divide

The gulf of Araby

 

Well we would plough and part the earth to bring you home

We would harvest every miracle ever known

If they laid out all the things

That these ten years want to bring

We would gladly give them up

To bring you back to us

Oh, there is nothing we would not give

To kiss you and believe we can take what is, what is, what is

To what can never be

 

One man of seventy whispers not free yet

Two neighbours who make up, knee-deep in their dead

Three tyrants grab the reins in the summer’s heat

Four prisoners lost in the fallacy

Five, on my life

Six, I’m dead inside

And seven more days to shake at the great divide

The gulf of Araby

 

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ST MARTIN

 

Hey

I’m going to bring it out

And lay it on the street

‘Cause I can’t hide it

 

Hey

Green is your name

The shoals passing

I remember them, and

 

St Martin

When he’s carried out

And the bells are turning

And the drums are loud

And the petals fall

And the people cry

As he’s hoisted up

Against the sky

 

Wrapped up in your arms

Under the beams

Of the roof that you built

 

Stalled

In the middle of the sea

With daggers falling

And crimson near, and

St Martin

When he’s carried out

And the bells are turning

And the drums are loud

And the petals fall

And the people cry

As he’s hoisted up

Under the sky

 

Hey

Thursday is your name

The rough roads through the almond trees

I remember them, and

 

St Martin

Underneath the sky

And the people fall

And the people cry

And the bells are turning

And the drums are loud

As he’s hoisted up

Covered in flowers

 

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