Lyrics

I believe this page now includes all my song lyrics, that is to say, songs that have been recorded and released. I have not included the Texts of the Songstories, the lyrics of my Musicals, or other long narrative pieces. Neither am I planning to include lyrics I have recorded, but which I did not write. These lyrics, therefore, are my intellectual property, and all rights are reserved.

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ADVANCE THE SPARK

Advance the spark
Put pedal to the metal
The gale blows, but let’s hoist all the sails.
Advance the spark
Tie down the governor
This rocket-sled has left the rails.

Advance the spark
Burn rubber on the speedway
The aircraft shakes, full-throttle in the shallow dive.
Advance the spark
Tie down the governor
And no one’s coming out alive.

I should have known, once I was moving
I should have known I’d get the taste
I should have known I’d soon be living
For the wind in my face.
I should have known I’d fall in love
I should have known I’d do it fast
I should have known there’d be a problem
You’re built for speed, I’m built to last.

Advance the spark
But I can’t hold her, Captain
Warp 9.5, the core is going to blow.
Advance the spark
Tie down the governor
Let’s see how fast this thing will go.

Advance the spark
The Cresta run is waiting
And Houston’s Go for main stage engine start.
Advance the spark
And throw the stopwatch away
There’s nothing faster than the heart.

I should have known, once I was moving
I should have known I’d get the taste
I should have known I’d soon be living
For that look on your face.
I should have known I’d fall in love
I should have known I’d do it fast
I should have known there’d be a problem
You’re built for speed, I’m built to last.

Advance the spark
Your spark comes back to meet me
The petrol washes all around the floor.
Advance the spark
The kiss, the conflagration
And nothing matters any more.

 

ALDERFIELD

Alderfield, could I forget,
at Alderfield, the day we met,
How the wind blew in from the sea:
How the leaves were falling
And how the clouds were calling
to me.
And as I gazed into the sky,
Softly came the passer-by,
Quietly asked what kind of clouds did I prefer.
That’s how I met her.
Alderfield, we walked the way of
Alderfield, short Autumn days,
‘Till there were no leaves left to fall.
I recall deciding
To stop our paths dividing at all.
I don’t know what made you agree
Rain clouds came in from the sea.
You left everything and left with me that day.
We went far away.
Alderfield, the years between,
Alderfield, the tears they’ve seen.
And although somehow life still goes on,
Every new November
I suddenly remember
you’ve gone.
And when the morning frosts begin,
When the nights start dosing in,
Clouds of leaves fall and the tree within’s revealed.
I dream of Alderfield.

 

A LETTER TO THE LADY

To the last Lady of the High West, Greetings.
The old resistance fighter greets you.
And though it’s years since our last meeting
Now I see it fit to send you…
News of the counter-invasion,
News of the fight,
News of the Power in Exile
News, news, news. News, news, news.

My Lady, keep a fire burning
In your tower by the shore-line
For at last the tide of war is turning,
And I’ll be there before the Springtime.
Bringing tales of great adventures,
Spoils of war,
Gold, jewels, furs for you
And more, much more. More, much more.

Though we are of very different stations,
There are no princes left to take you,
So if I come and find you sleeping,
I will presume to kiss and wake you.
I’ll have a small boat waiting
Out in the bay.
It will be there to take you
Far, far away, Far, far away.

 

ALMOST TWENTY-THREE

Glass islands, glass islands
Floating in a silver sea
Why, why don’t you belong to me?
Golden lady, golden lady,
Must be almost twenty-three,
Why, why don’t you belong to me?
Happy planet, happy planet,
Sailing in a peaceful sky:
Yeah, yeah, we can have it if we try.

 

A PLACE OF YOUR OWN

Seventeen or Eighteen
And it’s time to leave home.
Here are fresh young fields to plough
And wild oats to be sown
In a place of your own.

Thirty-two, Thirty-three,
And you’re seldom alone,
So you hide behind your eyes
From the kids and the phone
In a place of your own.

Eighty-four, Eighty-five,
Can’t get blood from a stone.
You won’t mind when they come,
Lay that flesh, lay that bone
In a place of your own.

 

BEEN ALONE SO LONG

Been alone so long
That I’ve forgotten what it’s like
To feel somebody next to me
And hear her breathing peacefully
When I wake-up at night,
Wake-up at night.

Been alone so long
That I’ve forgotten what to say.
If I meet somebody who
Might easily resemble you,
I smile and look away,
I look away.

Been alone so long
That I’ve forgotten what to do,
How to make the whole thing right,
And how to help if she’s uptight,
And when to run and when to fight,
And how to make her stay the night,
That’s if I ever knew,
If I ever knew.

Been alone so long
That I’ve forgotten what it’s like
To feel somebody next to me
And hear her breathing peacefully
When I wake-up at night,
Wake-up at night.

 

BUCCANEERS

It hurts my ears
It hurts my ears.
I sail the Seven Seas
And I do what I please,
But that Audio Gun
Is gonna spoil my fun.
Won’t be a pirate no more,
I’m gonna stay on shore,
Because it hurts my ears
It hurts my ears

It hurts my ears
It hurts my ears.
My buccaneering boys
They really hate that noise.
So they’re coming with me
We gonna leave the sea,
And we’re not too proud
To say it’s much too loud,
And it hurts our ears
It hurts our ears

It hurts my ears
It hurts my ears.
We’ll miss our piracy
’Cos we live wild and free,
But we won’t get drowned
And we won’t hear that sound
That gets inside my brain
And gives me so much pain
Yes it hurts my ears
It hurts my ears
IT HURTS MY BUCCANEERS!

 

BUT IS IT ART?

Sampled drum loops like this are referred to as ‘beats’
And you can use them straight out of the box.
This fake stuff often sounds lifeless and dull,
But just occasionally it rocks
And originally, someone must have hit those drums
Maybe ten, maybe twenty years back,
Some anonymous, hard-working session player
In a cheap Los Angeles twenty-four track.

Perhaps the technology brings things together,
Or perhaps the technology splits them apart,
But I swear I can hear that drummer laughing. He says
‘It’s clever, but is it art?’
It’s clever, but is it art?

But the rest of the drumming on this record
Comes from a human pair of hands,
René Van Commenée, who recorded his tracks
In Utrecht, in the Netherlands.

And Michael keeps his organs and accordions and so forth
More than fifty miles away,
So he’s recorded all his stuff over there.
It’s how a lot of music’s done today.

I don’t have some post-modern structural agenda.
I’m not having a bit of conceptual fun,
It’s just that given the time, and given the budget
This is just how things came to be done. (But it made me think…)

So did this technology bring us together,
Or did this technology keep us apart?
The devil sat on my shoulder and whispered
‘It’s clever, but is it art?’
It’s clever, but is it art?

Only Fury’s here in the studio with me,
Two grumpy old men rocking out.
But look! He’s still playing the bass, but now he’s got his guitar.
I mean… Jesus! What’s that all about?

All music’s done with smoke and mirrors,
It’s truths always come with a dash of deceit.
Mozart’s got more tricks than a barrel of monkeys
Even Bach and Beethoven cheat.

But do the smoke and mirrors bring the music together,
Or do the monkey tricks blow the music apart?
And the music critics in their powdered wigs said
‘It’s clever, but is it art?’
It’s clever, but is it art?

Is it effortless trash, or honest endeavour?
Is it one off the wrist, or one from the heart?
These are serious, pertinent questions,
But you just know some fool’s gonna start with
‘It’s clever, but is it art?’

My studio computer was built in Korea,
The OS comes from the USA
While my software is splendidly German
In a ‘Vorsprung durch Technic’ kind of way.

And whether we can bring the whole world together,
Or we finally manage to crack it apart,
In a thousand years, they’ll define us
By the fragments of what we call art,
The clever stuff that we call art.

 

CAIRO CAIRO

Cairo Cairo
Lady of my desire-o,
Cairo Cairo
I want you back again.
You’re the worst girl a man ever had,
While you were here I almost went mad.
You put me down,
You spun me round,
I felt like an autogiro.
Cairo Cairo
I want you back again.
Cairo Cairo
Come and set me on fire-o,
Cairo Cairo
I want you back again.
Now that you’re gone it’s peaceful at night,
No-one to love, but no-one to fight
Free as air,
I don’t have a care
But one thing I can’t deny though,
Cairo Cairo
I want you back again.
Cairo Cairo, Go, man, go.
Cairo Cairo
No-one can get me higher, no,
Cairo Cairo
I want you back again.
Oh how I want the sight of your face,
Long as you don’t start smashing the place.
I know you say
It’s hard to behave,
The least you could do is try though.
Cairo Cairo
I want you back again.

 

CANNONBALL

They count their beans
In rows like suited machines
Although just like Clark Kent when he
Changes identity
One of them owns an
Alternate persona
And leather jeans

Cannonball!
Cannonball!

Hear that sound
Shake the ground
He’s just one little fat man on a Harley
But he’s got the biggest bike in town

Cannonball!
Cannonball!

Does a ton
Born to run
We see one little fat man on a Harley
He sees James Dean and Brando all in one

Cannonball!
Cannonball!

Not what you seem
Living the dream
Polish the chromium
Pump the petroleum
Stomp on the starter
And play that toccata
That makes us scream

Cannonball!
Cannonball!

He overcame
His secret shame
Nobody knows he’s an accountant
They know him by a different name

Cannonball!
Cannonball!

Tail-light shone
Then he was gone
Nobody knows he’s an accountant
When he has his outlaw leathers on

Cannonball!
Cannonball!

 

CARDBOARD SUITCASE

He’s got a cardboard suitcase
And he’s filling it up
And a plastic rucksack
From the last World Cup.
He had to sell his moped
Just to bribe the man
But he got his visa
And he got a plan.
He’s gonna get out of Whogivesadamnistan.

He’s got a scrap of paper
With a Bristol address.
It’s his second cousin
Well, more or less.
He’s got a one-time ticket
On the Eurobus.
He hasn’t told his Mother
‘Cause she’d make a fuss
But he doesn’t see why he shouldn’t be one of us.

Just like the Romans and the Saxons
And the Vikings and the Jews
They all shot their load
In my genetic code.
I expect it’s the same with you.

He isn’t a crazy
He won’t go beserk.
He don’t want a handout
He’s not afraid of work
And he thinks we’ll like him
From what he’s read.
Maybe find some friends here
Maybe find a bed
And no more soldiers hitting him round the head.

But there’s a situation
At his cousin’s place
‘Cause the Immigration
Are on his case.
No time for integration
That’s a lifetime career
And assimilation
Takes a hundred years
So for now he thinks he’ll quietly disappear.
Like the Normans and the Lollards
Just like the Huguenots
They all had their way
With my DNA
That’s the way that a nation grows.

Like a cardboard suitcase
When you’re filling it up.
Like a cardboard suitcase
You gotta fill the thing up.
I’m just a cardboard suitcase
They all filled the thing up.
We’re just a cardboard suitcase
You never fill the thing up.

 

CARPET TILES

The redundancy scheme
Was linked to his salary;
A good few bob
A chance to set upon his own.
And they’d make a good team,
Raymond and Valerie.
He’d do the job,
She’d do the books and man the phone.
They made wonderful plans.
Took a lock-up garage,
Filled it to the doors
With bankrupt stock they bought at auction.
They had a nice Luton van.
On each side written quite large,
It said ‘RayVal Floors.
You’ve seen the rest, but we’re the best…

For Carpet Tiles.
Estimates free for our Carpet Tiles,
Hard-wearing Wiltons in several styles.
No VAT on our Carpet Tiles.
From ten pounds a metre.’

He’s a nice little chap
And he’s doing his best,
Working late each night
But orders just aren’t coming through.
Val sits on his lap
She says ‘Don’t get depressed,
It will be all right,
‘Cos I believe in you…

And in those Carpet Tiles;
People will always need Carpet Tiles.’
Now look at him go; he’s all teeth and smiles.
He’s going to sell you some Carpet Tiles,
For eight pounds a metre.

He jokes about sales staying on the floor
But the house is security
On the loan;
The ‘Caring Bank’ took care of that..
And when he asks them for more
They demand a fresh guarantee.
What else do you own?
Then they wonder what he’s laughing at.

He says ‘Carpet Tiles
All I’ve got left is the Carpet Tiles.
Take some of them, I’ve got miles and miles;
Carpet the whole bleeding British Isles
At five pounds a metre.’

He thinks of Val’s face
And he gets out the file
The one on insurance.
He reads through the Policy
Three o’clock in the morning
He gets in the van.
He drives to the lock-up
He takes out the matches…

Messrs Jobson and Lock
Licensed Valuers and Auctioneers,
Suggest our sale
For business opportunities.
We have fire damaged stock
Just perfect for new careers.
You couldn’t fail
With Lot 13 for instance which is…

Carpet Tiles,
Two metric tons of new Carpet Tiles
Early inspection would be worthwhile;
Executive quality Carpet Tiles
Worth twelve pounds a metre.
Carpet Tiles,
Simple to lay and so versatile
Featuring guaranteed flame-proof pile.
Now what am I bid for these Carpet Tiles?
Can I hear two pounds a metre?

 

CHRIS DOES IT BETTER

I went to see the Sphinx
By her pyramid,
And did I wonder what see thinks?
Well of course I did.

Enigmas turn me on
I like to be nonplussed.
But when I got up close, I said ‘Come on…
This girl is just so obvious.’

And Chris does it better…
You haven’t seen Christine.
Yes Chris does it better…
You haven’t seen Christine.

Reticence is a noble art,
That’s what I believe,
And I don’t care to wear my heart
On my record sleeve.
But when it comes to keeping shtum,
Being silent and serene,
She’d make a Trappist nun
Sound like a PR Consultant on benzedrine…

Chris does it better…
You haven’t seen Christine.
Chris does it better…
You haven’t seen Christine.

I went to see the show
With that superstar.
Black fishnets torn just so,
And a leather bra.
She did her sexy stuff
Rolling round the floor.
I’d soon had quite enough,
But as I left, they asked what for.

I said Chris does it better…
You haven’t seen Christine.
Chris does it better…
You haven’t seen Christine
Christine…Christine…

 

DON’T POINT THAT THING AT ME

I was walking home
Down the dark road
where the streetlamps had blown.
He was just half-grown,
Showed me his pistol and asked for a loan.
And as he took my money I said
‘Don‘t point that thing at me.
I don’t want it going off,
I don’t like that kind of stuff.
Don’t point that thing at me.
It may feel good in your hand
But that don’t mean that you’re a real man.’

Talk on Channel 4
‘Risks of post-Soviet nuclear war’
Big map on the floor,
And they’ve just drawn a ring
round the airfield next door
So as I fill my sandbags I say
‘Don’t point that thing at me.
I don’t want it going off,
Aw come on Mr. Gorbachev
Don’t point that thing at me.
It may feel good in your hand,
But that don’t mean that you’re a real man.’

Phoned my new friend Fay,
‘Can I come over, it’s been quite a day.’
We played Marvin Gaye
Arm round her waist, I was doing OK
But as I moved in closer she said
‘Don’t point that thing at me.
I don‘t want it going off,
I just don’t know you well enough.
Don’t point that thing at me.
It may feel good in your hand,
But that don’t mean that you’re a real man.’
Don’t point that thing at me.
Don’t point that thing at me.
Don’t point that thing at me.

 

FOUR PAILS

Four pails of water and a bagful of salts…
Four pails of water and a bagful of salts…
That is all we are,
That is all a man comprises,
Chemicals alone,
With no spirit, soul or ghost.
Nothing so bizarre!
And no amount of faith disguises,
What is true is what we fear the most.
Nothing can survive,
Save the things men leave behind them.
Any other case
Would be really too absurd!
If thoughts remained alive,
Surely modern science could find them?
But no; the soul is nothing but a word.

All the wonders Man achieves emerge
From cerebral tissue.
Chemical reactions’ ebb and surge
Form that thing that is you.
It’s a sad philosophy,
But better sad than wrong.
Face the truth instead;
When you’re dead, you’re dead,
When you’re gone, you’re gone.
Now he’s gone, he’s gone.

Four pails of water and a bagful of salts.

That is all he was;
All that my son represented…
And that sounds as mad
As saying he will never die.
Fools will clutch at straws,
But truth must not be circumvented.
‘As the tree falls, so must that tree lie.’

Now that sounds so odd,
But once I would have preached it brightly.
Now questions appear
I rationally can’t ignore.
Nothingness or God,
Which of them seems more unlikely?
Once I could have answered clearly,
Now I only think I’m nearly sure.

 

FUCK-ME SHOES

She sat there crying all alone
He had sworn blind to her that he would phone
She wept and wished she’d learned to scream
Y’can see she had some issues with self-esteem

But she said ‘I’m gonna go out anyway
‘Cause I don’t have a great deal to loose
And I think I’ll wear my drop-dead dress
And that pair of fuck-me shoes
Those shoes
Those shoes
Then she looked at herself in the drop-dead dress
And those outrageous fuck-me shoes

And the Mirror sighed
‘You’re a lovely sight’
Well she almost died
But she knows the Mirror’s right

She walked out onto that dance-floor
Where she’d often danced with him before
Pretending she was in a play
She gets through lots of scary things that way

She danced alone with her eyes half-shut
And the space around her grew
As the crowd watched the light hit her drop-dead dress
And sparkle off each fuck-me shoe
Those shoes
Those shoes
Yes she looked pretty good in that drop-dead dress
And those amazing fuck-me shoes

And the young man sighed
‘You’re a lovely sight’
Well she almost died
But she just said, ‘That’s true, you’re right!’

These days she says, ‘I can’t agree
With your Determinist philosophy
I have Free Will, and that’s the truth
That nice new man of mine is living proof

Predestination doesn’t wash with me
You always get the chance to choose
I could have hung my head
And stayed in bed
And put on ‘Simply Red’
But I chose instead
To put on the fuck-me shoes
Those shoes
Those shoes
Yes she stomped on the laws
Of Effect and Cause
With those fabulous fuck-me shoes

With the patent leather that’s black, black, black
And the open-toe and the slutty sling-back
And the five-inch heels that go clack, clack, clack
Oh I tell you they were fuck-me shoes

 

GARIBALDI BISCUITS

Of the ladies who could sing,
Nelly Melba was the most.
Now she doesn’t have a thing
Except the peaches and the toast.

And no matter what you did,
And in spite of what you gave,
They’ll call you by another name
As soon as you have risen from the grave.
Ajax left Troy to the worms,
Just as Homer’s verses teach.
Killing almost all known germs,
Even where the brush can’t reach.
All the Light Brigade obeyed
When Lord Cardigan ordered ‘Charge!’
Now his woolly sleeves are frayed
In sizes small, medium and large.
And no matter what you did,
And in spite of what you gave,
They’ll call you by another name
As soon as you have risen from the grave.

 

GIANT HAND

I love you and you love me
Oh how happy we should be.
But there’s a voice in my ear
And it’s hard not to hear.
It seems to say that the universe is a giant hand
And the finger’s pointing straight at me.

Felt no famine, fought no war,
So much to be grateful for.
But there’s that voice in my ear
And it’s speaking so clear.
It says the universe is a giant fist and it holds me tight
And it’s shaking me away from you.

Giant Hand. Giant Hand.
Giant Hand. Giant Hand.
There’s a flaming face in the fire,
There’s a sinister sign in the sky,
There’s a finger tracing my name
In letters a thousand miles high.

No fights, no arguments,
Every cause to be content.
There’s just that voice in my ear
But it fills me with fear.
It says the universe is a giant hand and the finger points
And you turn and walk away from me.

Giant Hand. Giant Hand.
Giant Hand. Giant Hand.
There’s a flaming face in the fire,
There’s a sinister sign in the sky,
There’s a finger tracing my name
In letters a thousand miles high.

 

GOB ON YOU

I live on the fourteenth floor
Of a tower block, and when I get bored
I call ‘coo-ee’ to the passers by,
And when they look up, I gob in their eye.

Gob on you
And your way of life.
Gob on you
And your ratbag wife.
Gob on you
And your ifs and buts.
Gob on you
Kick you in the guts.

I go up West every night,
Go down to the club and look for a fight.
I ‘ave ten lagers, then I ‘ave ten more,
Then I jump up and down, and I’m sick on the floor.

Gob on you
‘Coz you’re far too old.
Gob on you
‘Coz your ‘ands are cold.
Gob on you
You’re a stupid old straight.
Gob! Gob! Gob! Gob!
Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!

Sex is boring, pain is fun.
Gonna cut my fingers off one by one.
There aint no point in staying alive,
I wanna be dead when I’m twenty-five.

Gob on you
‘Coz you’re well insured.
Gob on you
‘Coz I’m young and bored
Gob on you
And your PHD.
Gob on you
You’re exploiting me!
Gob on you
‘Coz you’re never wrong.
Gob on you
‘Coz your hair’s too long.
Gob on you
‘Coz you talk about art.
Gob on you
You’re a boring old fart!

 

GOD SAVE THE TZAR

Address the nation
From the station,
A new Administration.
God save the Tzar.
You obey ’em
Just the same
But you can use his Christian name.
God save the Tzar.

No point explaining
That’s how things are,
No use complaining,
God save the Tzar.

You brought a
Reporter
To say the queues were shorter.
God save the Tzar.
Share the canteen
With the tea-ladies.
They come by train, you’ve got Mercedes’.
God save the Tzar.

No point explaining
That’s how things are,
No use complaining,
God save the Tzar.

Nothing changes,
Nothing changes,
Nothing changes,
Except the faces of the men in charge.
( “…. A revolution of peace,
A revolution of equality,
A revolution with a human face,
A revolution I will not allow to fail …”)

Oh what a shame.
Oh what a pity.
Everything must be passed by the Committee.
God save the Tzar.
Yes, to the breast;
No, to the nipple.
They know what’s best for us little people.
God save the Tzar.

No point explaining
That’s how things are,
No use complaining,
God save the Tzar.

Plus ça change,
Plus ça change,
Plus ça change,
Plus c’est Ia même chose.

We had a feeling
That’s who you are.
No use concealing,
Your mask is peeling,
Slowly revealing
The Tzar.

 

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING

I’m now pre-eminent in my field,
To none I am obliged to yield.
It’s brought me fame, and brought me wealth,
And a little thought that I keep to myself…

I don’t know what I’m doing,
I don’t know what I’m doing.
I don’t want anyone to know I don’t know what I’m doing.
All in the dark, and nothing is clear.
I’m thrashing about,
I haven’t got the slightest idea.

If they knew my total incapacity,
They would take everything away from me.

A President has been re-elected,
An elder statesman, loved, respected.
He’s universally admired,
But a thought comes sometimes, when he’s tired…

I don’t know what I’m doing,
I don’t know what I’m doing.
I don’t want anyone to know I don’t know what I’m doing.
All in the dark, and nothing is clear.
I’m thrashing about,
I haven’t got the slightest idea.

If they knew my total incapacity,
They would take everything away from me.

Almighty God is sitting on his heavenly throne,
And He’s got troubles of his own.
And the Cherubim before and the Seraphim behind
All wonder what’s on His Eternal Mind…

I don’t know what I’m doing,
I don’t know what I’m doing.
I don’t want anyone to know I don’t know what I’m doing.
All in the dark, and nothing is clear.
I’m thrashing about,
I haven’t got the slightest idea

We all think that we’re about to be found out,
But that’s one thing you don’t need to get screwed-up about.
(Relax) In spite of your complete incompetence,
(Relax) The cosmos won’t give you a second glance.
(Relax) The universe is unaware of you.
(Relax) It works alright no matter what you do.
(Relax… Relax… Relax… Relax… Relax…)

 

I’LL NEVER BE PAUL McCARTNEY

I’ll never be Paul McCartney,
I’ll never be Nat King Cole,
And I’ll never be top song writer
On the Melody Maker poll
I’ll never be Neil Sedaka,
Gerry Goffin or Carole King,
But I wish I’d wrote just one standard
That people would always sing.

I’m happy to be what I am,
There’s still so much to be achieved
And I feel no regrets
To pass that age when you believed

That you could be some big sensation
And talk on the South Bank Show,
And I’m glad that I found out different
So many years ago.
Brian Matthew won’t tell my story
In seventeen weekly parts
And that tour with Tina Turner
Is over before it starts.

Something is rotten
In the state of Denmark Street,
When the music most admired
Is meretricious and effete.
The music box is soiled and broken.
They’ve got nothing left to sell.
And it’s harder to fool the public
If you’re fooling yourself as well.

I may not be Richard Rogers,
I may not be Lorenz Hart
But I still haven’t fouled the carpet
And called it a work of art.
But I’ll never be Noel Coward,
I’ll never be David Bowie,
I’ll never be Leonard Bernstein,
I’ll never be Buddy Holly.

 

IMPERIAL ZEPPELIN

Pack your bags, we’re leaving
Earth, where hate is seething,
Nothing’s worth believing,
There’s no time.
Make up your mind,
Imperial Zeppelin, Imperial Zeppelin,
Imperial Zeppelin.
Now the engine’s turning,
Cabin lights are burning,
Now there’s no returning.
Well have love,
A mile above.
Imperial Zeppelin. Imperial Zeppelin.
Imperial Zeppelin.

We, the undersigned,
Being of sound mind,
Hereby do declare,
We henceforth pledge our-¬
Selves unto the Power
Of the Upper Air.

Leave the things you’ve always hated
While you’re uncontaminated,
It’s not safe to stay much longer,
Come with us and well feel stronger.
Sign up with the Zeppelin crew,
The Captain will know what to do.
It’s the only chance for you.

We can try to do some good,
I don’t know why we really should.
I only wish we could.
Flying high,
Across the sky,
Imperial Zeppelin, Imperial Zeppelin,
Imperial Zeppelin.

Master of the skies,
We’ll reorganize
As best we know how,
The God-awful mess
That you must confess
We’ve made up ’till now.

Doesn’t that sound simply super,
Zeppelin visions of the future,
‘Course we all know very well
It might not work, but whatthehell.
Every dice deserves a throw,
And when we get back home below,
We can say we had a go.

Overboard we’re throwing
Seeds of love we’re sowing,
Hope to God they’re growing.
Down below
They’ll see and know
Imperial Zeppelin, Imperial Zeppelin,
Imperial Zeppelin.

 

I NEVER LOVED YOU ANYHOW

The gates are chained
And the tanks are drained
And there is no cause to linger.
There’s a long black car
With the door ajar,
There’s a diamond on her finger.
I never loved you anyhow…
I never loved you anyhow…

The crew all smiled
‘Cause I’m going wild
As fast as I am able,
But they can’t talk to me
About philosophy
When I’m dancing on the table.
I never loved you anyhow…
I never loved you anyhow…

The crew all say
That since I’ve been away
Only my eyes look older.
I don’t take no lip,
I run a real tight ship
Got a parrot on my shoulder.
I never loved you anyhow…
I never loved you anyhow..

I don’t care, I really don’t care.
I’m doing so much better without you.
I know it’s not what I said at the time.
I never give you a second thought.
I never loved you anyhow…
I never loved you anyhow…
I never loved you anyhow…

 

IT’S THE SILENCE THAT KILLS YOU

We were Service, d’you see?
Follow orders; don’t make waves
Keep your eyes on your duty
We survived the War
And now we’re hopelessly, helplessly, hideously brave.
Anything else would be letting the side down
Anything else was never discussed
Anything else was the unspeakable thing
The final taboo…

It’s the silence that kills you
Don’t break the silence.
It’s the silence that kills you
Don’t break the silence.
Don’t break the silence.

We were Service, don’t y’know?
Stick together; don’t tell tails.
But we were haunted by heroes.
Why are we still here?
And so we’re fearlessly, foolishly, effortlessly bold.
Anything else would be letting the side down
Anything else was never discussed
Anything else was the unspeakable thing
The final taboo…

It’s the silence that kills you
Don’t break the silence.
It’s the silence that kills you
Don’t break the silence.
It’s the silence that kills you
Don’t break the silence.
Don’t break the silence.
Don’t break…

 

I WANT SOME OF IT

Some people have the gift, I swear
Of making money from thin air.
It’s not as if they need it,
They just like to breed it,
They like having it there.
I suppose it wasn’t tactful
I asked for one small sack-full
But they don’t like to share.
(And I said)

I want some of it. I want some of it.
I want some of it. I want some of it.
I want some of it. I want some of it.
If it’s all the same to you.
I want some of it. I want some of it.
I want some of it. I want some of it.
I want some of it. I want some of it
Too.

They called their private club ‘G8’
They had the whole world on a plate,
And when they lost their tempers
The poor non-members
Just had to wait.

And when they had their meetings,
They ignored the bleatings
From outside the gate.
(And they said…)

We want some of it. We want some of it.
We want some of it. We want some of it.
We want some of it. We want some of it.
If it’s all the same to you.
We want some of it. We want some of it.
We want some of it. We want some of it.
We want some of it. We want some of it
Too.

Ten thousand fields of standing wheat
That people would be glad to eat,
Just an over-production blunder
So they ploughed it all back under
Their feet.
But as the wind was shifting,
Angry sounds came drifting
Up from the street.
(‘Cause…)

They want some of it. They want some of it.
They want some of it. They want some of it.
They want some of it. They want some of it
If it’s all the same to you.
They want some of it. They want some of it.
They want some of it. They want some of it.
They want some of it. They want some of it.
Too. (They want some of it too.)
We want some of it. We want some of it.
We want some of it. We want some of it.
We want some of it. We want some of it.
If it’s all the same to you.
We want some of it. We want some of it.
We want some of it too.

 

JIMMY-JIMMY

I know that car looks fine,
But it’s not yours, it’s mine.
Remember what that magistrate said,
She’ll send you down next time.
She’s giving you up.
She’s giving you up.

You don’t want to take those blues, Jimmy-Jimmy
You know that stuff’s bad news. Jimmy-Jimmy
Remember what the hospital said
And stick to your Special Brews. Jimmy-Jimmy
They’re giving you up. Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy
They’re giving you up, James. Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy

Hitch that ride
Back to East Kilbride.
It’s dead and alive
But it can’t be worse than Kilburn.

Now I know you like to fight, Jimmy-Jimmy
Such fun to kick and bite. Jimmy-Jimmy
But you pick on men much bigger than you
Who are only trying to be polite. Jimmy-Jimmy
Oh we’re giving you up. Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy
I mean we’re giving you up, Jim. Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy

Now when you’re in trouble with the law, Jimmy
And they ask you what you do it for, Jimmy
Just tell ‘em video nasties led you astray
But you’ll never do it anymore. Jimmy-Jimmy
Because you’ve given it up. Jimmy-Jimmy-Jimmy
Just say ‘I’ve given it up, sir’.

Poor little mite,
Father Pat was right,
If you’d only been bright
You could have joined the army.
Givin’ it up. Givin’ it up. Givin’ it up. Givin’ it up.

 

LAST NIGHT I DREAMT I PLAYED WITH ALFIE NOKES

Last night I dreamt I played with Alfie Nokes,
One of the better blokes.
A Wartime khaki crowd were there despite a raid,
For still the dance bands played,
Our foxtrots filled the Palais floor with wild delight,
While cutting through the night,
Reaching a fiery height,
Our AIfie’s trumpet sang a song that sparkled in the light.
I heard him on the wireless.
I heard him on the wireless.
So I’m up all night dreaming of Alfie Nokes.
Last night I dreamt I played with Hank B Marvin.
I watched him count us in.
We did the Shadow walk in shiny mohair suits,
We kicked our Chelsea boots.
We heard him turn his AC30 way up high,
His Stratocaster’s cry,
Jet, Tony, Bruce and I.
The cats were jiving in the aisles as we played ‘FBI’.
I heard him on the wireless.
I heard him on the wireless.
So I’m up all night, dreaming of Hank B Marvin.
Last night I dreamt I played with Edward Elgar.
It was spectacular.
He was conducting and he held the crowd in thrall
At the Albert Hall.
We played ‘Enigma’ and then the Concerto
For Violincello,
They wouldn’t let him go,
Then he said to us ‘My giddy aunt, you played a ripping show!’
I heard him on the wireless.
I heard him on the wireless.
So I’m up all night dreaming of Edward Elgar.

 

LIKE A ROCK

I can’t believe that I could have been so foolish
So very wrong about important things
When somebody upstairs sent me an Angel
All I could do was pull the feathers from her wings.

I can’t believe that I might have been unfaithful
I need someone else the way I need a comb.
Why should I want a swig of Coca-Cola
When I’ve got Bollinger champagne on ice at home?

And so I try to love you like a rock
And so I try to love you like a stone
‘Cause rocks and stones don’t take positions
And don’t impose conditions of their own.
All I can do is love you like a rock
Or something made of glass and stainless-steel
Something transparent and unending
That’s not always depending
On what you do, or how I feel.

I can’t explain why we should be still together
The omens weren’t too good, you must agree.
You’re not my type, you’re just a bit too clever,
And heaven only knows what you can see in me.

I don’t exude an attractive air of mystery
Don’t have the beauty and the power that go with youth.
The days when those were mine are ancient history,
And I never was that beautiful to tell the truth.

But I can always love you like a rock
But I can always love you like a stone
‘Cause rocks and stones don’t take positions
And don’t impose conditions of their own.
All I can do is love you like a rock
Or something made of glass and stainless-steel
Something transparent and unending
That’s not always depending
On what you do, or how I feel.

 

NINETEEN-NINETEEN
I’m not sure where you came from;
I’ll never know your name,
And I don’t know where you were about to go.
You don’t need to put me wise
‘Cause I’ve looked into your eyes
And seen everything I really need to know. Oh. oh, oh.
We met at the antique market.
You cost me 50p to get.
I took you home and hang you on the wall.
I thought it was a laugh, Just a faded photograph
Of a pretty girl with a pretty parasol,
Oh, oh, oh, that was all.
Well I know that it was stupid and basically unsound,
But I fell in love with you and I was sure you the one:
The girl I should have met but never ever found.
I was going to look for you
To see if it was really true,
So I had to check the studio where you’d been.
I found it on the back,
It just said ‘Studio Pasternak’
And then ‘St Petersburg, July 1919’.
Oh, oh, oh, what a scene
St Petersburg, 1919.
Well you’d be seventy-five, about,
If you were still alive.
I guess our lives were simply just mistimed.
But when I hit a groove,
I can almost see you move
On a flickering sepia screen inside my mind.
Oh, oh, oh, so refined.
The savage Seminole
Believed snapshots ensnared the soul
That’s why they weren’t keen on photography.
I thought of this last night
Now just suppose that they were right,
You could be in there somewhere looking out at me.
What do you see?

 

NOT DROWNING BUT WAVING

She says she can’t sleep on her own.
She means that she can’t leave men alone.
So Des and Den and Nige and Bri
All spend her money and make her cry.
Her lovers come and go too fast,
Each more unsuitable than the last.
Her friends think she is all at sea.
They speak of rescue and tragedy.

Don’t they understand
She don’t need saving.
She’s not far from land
Not drowning but waving.

George couldn’t cope with being adult
And so he joined a religious cult.
He knows the guru’s always right
And he only sleeps for four hours a night.
He sells the pamphlets, eats the rice,
A happy certainty in his eyes.
His mother’s hired a special man
And they’ll deprogram him if they can.

Hey, Ma…Though your boy’s jumped ship
He don’t need saving.
Just taking a dip,
Not drowning but waving…

They don’t need saving…
Not drowning but waving…

Scotch whiskey was the thing for Jim.
He said it thoroughly suited him.
He found it kept the world away
So he drank a pint-and-a-half each day.
We all grew worried for his health.
We said “You must not destroy yourself.”
But when he hears that kind of thing
He jumps on the table, raises his glass,
And then he starts to sing.
And he says…

Please don’t man the boat,
I don’t need saving.
I keep well afloat,
Not drowning but waving.
Don’t they understand,
I say we don’t need saving.
We’re not far from land,
We’re not drowning but waving.

 

OUR LADY OF THE LOSERS

Our Lady of the Losers,
Be they lonely freaks or boozers.
She will make them OK.
Our Lady of the Losers,
It’s a lucky man she chooses
For she’ll check his decay.
I met her one sight at somebody’s fiat
And she looked like a little water-rat;
Corkscrew hair and great big eyes,
A look of permanent surprise.
She came up and gave me a wink
Well we’d both had a bit too much to drink.
It was nice but heavens above,
I never thought I’d fall in love, with…

(Chorus) Our Lady of the Losers etc…

I took her home and opened the door;
There were strange people sleeping on the floor.
They were folks with nowhere to stay
She wouldn’t ask to go away.
There were six stray cats in all
And a rock-band that practiced in the hall.
I said Wouldn’t you like to have the place to your own?’
She said ‘Charity begins at home’. That’s…
(Chorus) Our Lady of the Losers etc…
I was really down when we met,
Bother loving soon helped me to forget.
Each day was like a dream come true
And I felt oh, simply spiferoo!
One day she put her hand in mine
And said ‘Mister, it seems you’re doing fine.
And if it’s all the same to you,
I’d like to go with someone new’.
(Chorus) Our Lady of the Losers etc…
Our Lady’s so confusing,
Only loves you when you’re losing,
But thanks anyway, thanks anyway, thanks anyway.

 

ROCK’N’ROLL

Rock’n’Roll
I think of Rock’n’Roll
But somehow
Now I come to count the precious years I’ve wasted
In running after you
I see you…

Rock‘n’Roll you waste my time,
If I hadn’t done you, I’d be doing fine
Rock‘n’Roll you wore me out,
I’ve got nothing left when I twist and shout
Rock’n’Roll you haunt my dreams
With your words obscure, and your beat obscene,
Rock‘n’Roll you wrecked my life
You’re a beautiful mistress, but a pig of a wife

Rock’n’Roll you haunt my dreams
With your words obscure, and your beat obscene
Rock‘n’Roll you wrecked my life
You’re a beautiful mistress, but a pig of a wife

Rock’n’Roll you’ had me on
You said you’d wait, but I found you’d gone
Rock n’ Roll you’ve spoilt my fun
I’ve been sitting in the corner for your call to come

Rock’n’Roll you had me on
You said you’d wait, but I found you’d gone
Rock’n’Roll you’ve spoilt my fun
I’ve been sitting in the corner for your call to come

Rock’n’Roll you made me blind
Get out of my life. Get out of my mind
Rock’n’Roll please let me go
You’ve had fifteen years and I’ve nothing to show

Rock’n’Roll you made me blind
Get out of my life. Get out of my mind
Rock’n’Roll please let me go
You’ve had fifteen years and I’ve nothing to show
Rock‘n’Roll you waste my time,
If I hadn’t done you, I’d be doing fine
Rock‘n’Roll you wore me out,

I’ve got nothing left when I twist and shout
Rock’n’Roll
Rock’n’Roll
Rock’n’Roll
Rock’n’Roll

(Link)
Write no more songs,
Give up the whole stupid game,
I’ll be no worse off, I’ll still be the same.
Make something of my job
And maybe write a book
Stop searching for the perfect hook.
So…

 

SEEMED SUCH A NICE BOY

She had some good O levels
And she was seventeen
And he sold double-glazing
Always looked neat and clean.
Each night he’d come around to take her out
And in his mother’s spare-room showed her
Just what life was all about.
No one was too surprised
To learn a child was on its way.
They chose a ring together
Named an early wedding-day.
The church was full when there arrived the telegram that read
‘I’ve gone abroad. Stop. The wedding’s off. Stop’
That’s when her mother said…

Seemed such a nice boy
Seemed like a real nice kind of boy
Seemed such a nice boy at the time
Seemed such a nice boy
Seemed like a real nice kind of boy
Seemed such a nice boy at the time

George made a pile in textiles
His hair was silver-grey
Collected Meissen china
And was discretely gay.
He met a young man who’d been sleeping rough
Said he didn’t want his money
Said his friendship was enough.
The boy moved in and made
The great big house a happy home.
George went to work each morning
Left the lad there on his own.
Came back one night to find the front door open
And all the lights turned on
And the boy, twelve hundred pounds
And all his precious porcelain gone (and he said…)

Seemed such a nice boy
Seemed like a real nice kind of boy
Seemed such a nice boy at the time
Seemed such a nice boy
Seemed like a real nice kind of boy
Seemed such a nice boy at the time

Oh the heartache when we realise
Charming people have told charming lies.
We’re sadder now but does that make us wise?

He spoke to us on TV
In words we’d understand.
Made other politicians
Look cheap and underhand.
He looked so young and yet so unafraid.
The country voted in a landslide
Now we’d see some changes made.
We didn’t understand his reasons
For the foreign war
And when the kids protested
He brought in martial law.
Though six black years have passed we still ask why
And from behind the wire and searchlights
Comes the terrible reply…

Seemed such a nice boy
Seemed like a real nice kind of boy
Seemed such a nice boy at the time
Seemed such a nice boy
Seemed like a real nice kind of boy
Seemed such a nice boy at the time

 

SHOW ME YOUR OIL

Show me your oil
Let me see it
Let me look at your oil
I love it when you show me your oil
You are so beautiful
You are so beautiful
You and your oil.

Let me touch it
Let me touch your oil
I want to feel your oil
You are so beautiful
I love you
I love you
You and your oil.

I hate the idea
Of anyone else seeing your oil
Never show anyone else
Never let anyone else
Look at your oil
And I would rather die
Than let anyone else
Touch your oil
I would kill you before
I let anyone else
Touch your oil.

I’m sorry, I’m sorry
I’m so sorry
I will never do that again
I only get like this because
I love you so much
I love you so much
You and your oil

Now show me your oil.

 

SIC ITUR AD ASTRA

You say that you want the truth.
Well, ‘Sic itur ad astra’.
You want the depth of age, and the powers of youth
Well, ‘Sic itur ad astra’.
You say you’re looking for freedom
And you’ve searched relentlessly.
You would be amazed to find
Just how free you can be.
On frosty nights the stars spell out
‘Sic itur ad astra’.
You’ve heard a thousand prophets shout
‘Sic itur ad astra’.
But no-one ever showed you how
‘Cause no-one knew the way.
The path’s been walked; the door’s been found.
It’s wide open today.
Well I know you’ve been betrayed before.
‘Sic itur ad astra’.
Been promised peace and given war.
‘Sic itur ad astra’.
But don’t stand shivering in the rain
Wondering what to do,
Ten thousand million wait behind
You’re holding up the queue.
The things that keep people prisoner
Are ignorance and fear.
For your sake and for all mankind,
Come here, my friend;
sincerely, friend
It’s clear, my friend,
that ‘Sic itur ad astra’.

 

STAMPING GROUND

It feels strange to be here
I’ve not been here for years
But I’m walking around
‘Cause this wild part of town
Was my old stamping ground

Felt at home here before
But I’m not any more
I suppose I was bound
To find changes profound
In my old stamping ground

No one I know
They all left years ago
All the friends that I found
On the merry-go-round
Of my old stamping ground

I don’t know why I came
Only one thing’s the same
Still get off on the sound
Of my feet as they pound
On my old stamping ground.

 

SURFER JOE

There’s an undead dude all the surfers know.
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
He was drowned and dead thirty years ago.
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
But he won’t sleep quiet in his watery grave,
He surfs the ocean on a tidal wave,
That’s no way to behave!
Surfer Joe.

He’s got bits missing but he just won’t quit.
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
His board’s all covered with weeds an’ shit.
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
He’s the gnarliest corpse you’ve ever seen,
He’s got big holes where the fish have been,
He’s phosphorescent green.
Surfer Joe.

A Barracuda chewed off his dick.
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
But he still wants to find him a surfer chick.
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
So he’s surfing across the ocean blue,
To get his decomposing hands on you,
Then he’ll take you to the barbecue.
Surfer Joe.

(JOE): I love you…
I really love you…
Let me hold your hand…
I love you…

He’s caught a wave and it’s heading West,
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
Two hundred feet from trough to crest,
Surfer Joe, Surfer Joe,
He’s hanging five on that awesome curl
And he’s thinking about his surfer girl.
He’s coming fast, and he can’t wait
He’s laying waste to half the State,
Then he’ll ask you for a date.
Surfer Joe.

(JOE): I love you…
I really love you…
Let me hold your hand…
Gee, you look swell..
Your hair smells nice..
I love you…

 

TAKE IT AWAY

The bandleader’s wife and their little boy
Listening to the wireless set in the lounge, when she says ‘Son…
You’re six years old and your Father and I
Think it’s time you learned music like him. Won’t that be fun.’
But when the child sees the new piano
He turns round and he starts to run. (He says…)

Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
Mummy no. Mummy please, Mummy, take it away.
Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
Mummy no. Mummy please, Mummy, take it away.

Twelve years hard work later he’s in music college,
And he’s got a strange look behind his eyes.
But in the big competition,
He play that Second Tchaikovsky Concerto so well, he win the prize.
But as they’re handing him the silver trophy,
He jumps up and suddenly cries…

‘Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
I can’t stand any more, won’t you take it away.
Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
Mummy no. Mummy please, Mummy, take it away.’

So they send him down to the Tavistock Clinic
Where they try to find out the cause of his attack.
And his friends all tell him ‘You’ve been given a wonderful gift,
And if you think about that, things won’t seem so black’.
But he says ‘It’s not much of a gift
If they won’t let you send the thing back.

‘Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
I can’t stand any more, won’t you take it away.
Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
Mummy no. Mummy please, Mummy, take it away.’

‘If a man were permitted to make all the ballads of a nation, he need not care who should make the laws’. Andrew Fletcher, 1703

‘It is the best of all trades to make songs, and the second best to sing them.’
Hilaire Belloc, 1909.

‘Rock’n’roll you wrecked my life. You’re a beautiful mistress, but a pig of a wife.’ Judge Smith, 1978.

You should see him now, he’s got a contract with Sony
And a Garage album in the charts. He’s really grand.
He’s got a six piece group and an Entourage,
But his girlfriend says he’s really hard to understand.
She should listen to the words he whispers
Each time he strikes up the band.

‘Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
I can’t stand any more, won’t you take it away.
Take it away. Take it away. Take it away.
Mummy no. Mummy please, Mummy, take it away.’

 

TELL ME YOU LOVE ME

And though we know
Exactly what we want to say,
The words
When they emerge
Don’t quite come out that way.
The language circuit doesn’t work too good,
No wonder we all think that we’re misunderstood.

So tell me you love me
But tell me again in French,
Now in a Welsh accent.
Say it in Maggie Smith’s voice
Then say it like Judi Dench,
Tell me you love me.

And then
Just when
Our message should have hit the mark,
I fear
It’s all too clear
We’ve left them in the dark.
The thing that’s said is not the thing that’s heard,
That’s the trouble with the spoken word.

What? So tell me you love me
Quoi? But tell me again in Dutch,
Que? Shout it in Swedish,
Huh? Whisper it in Norwegian,
Was? I like that one very much,
Eh? Tell me you love me.
What? Plug in your Modem,
Quoi? Select your transmit mode,
Que? Give us a handshake.
Tell me in Fortran, tell me in Basic,
Was? Tell me in Binary Code,
Eh? Tell me you love me.

And on
The words have gone
All meaning long since lost.
Yes Squire,
We’ve got our wires
Spectacularly crossed.
It read ‘Send’ reinforcements,
we’re going to advance’.
You said ‘Send three-and-fourpence,
we’re going to a dance’.

What? So tell me you love me
Quoi? But tell me again in Greek,
Que? Ancient or Moden,
Huh? Demotiki or Katharevousa,
Was? I don’t care which one you speak,
Eh? Just tell me you love me.
What? Tell me in Chinese
Quoi? And while we still have the chance,
Que? Talk in Tibetan.
Huh? Say it in Zulu, say it in Xhosa,
Was? Say it in Afrikaans,
Eh? Tell me you love me.
What? Buzz me in Morse Code,
Quoi? Flash me in Heliograph,
Que? Flag me a signal.
Huh? Will you try it in Esperanto
Was? If I promise not to laugh?
Eh? Tell me you love me.

 

THE CONCERT

When the curtain falls,
I sit here in the stalls.
When the stars had gone,
I still lingered on
With my fantasy.
With each song they’d do
I thought perhaps I could do that too,
And it’s going to all come true tonight,
So turn that spotlight right on me!

All the press have been told
And every ticket’s been sold.
I don’t care what they write,
It’s my turn tonight
For those bouquets and smiles.
Out there on the boards
I’ll sing my songs as everyone applauds,
And if they give me half chance
I know I’ll make them dance in the aisles.

‘Oh yeah it’s a great act. In the last number they release two hundred white doves and these chicks come on carrying the Flags of All Nations….’
I know it all
Goes much too far
But for tonight I’ll be a star.
Well the band’s been paid,
The opening number’s been played.
Nothing can go wrong,
It’s my favourite song
And they’re just starting to cheer.
The day after the show
That audience out there might not want to know:
Might not recall my name at all
Or stand and jeer,
But I don’t mind if I’m in shtuck….I’m on….
Hey everybody, look! It’s me! I’m here!

 

THE DYING OF THE LIGHT

At Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight,
Jimmy-Jimmy learned to read and write.
He wrote a book called ‘The Criminal Neophyte: ¬A Psychosocial View’.
Lord Longford made them set him free,
He got a Job with the BBC,
He’s now a Liberal MP.
Now would I lie to you?

The setting sun sets all aflame,
And what became of Whatshisname?

Ray and Val are still in debt
But you shouldn’t write them off just yet.
They’re working for a chap they met
At a Masonic Ladies’ Night.
Now Ray looks tough and Val looks cute
With the mobile phone and the power suit.
They’re selling time share apartments near Beirut,
Ray says “There’s a tunnel at the end of the light.”

But oh the night is falling.
They’re fading from our sight,
The shadows thickly crawling,
The dying of the light.

Me? I got a brand new hobby-horse
About World financial intercourse.
I’ll talk; but I’m an unattributable source,
Don’t want to die quite yet.
And my friend Fay moved to Aberdeen
With an Apple Mac and a fax machine.
She publishes a magazine
Called ‘Circle Dance Gazette’.

She said we had to stay in touch.
She never liked me all that much.

The Tzar’s doing what he does best,
He’s raised his flag in Bucharest.
It’s got more holes than an old string vest
But no-one seems to care.
‘Cause he’s the first of the gentle, new-age Tzars,
But you must attend his seminars,
And we all have flags with the Ring of Stars
And we wave them in the air.
But oh the night is falling.
He’s fading from our sight,
The shadows thickly crawling,
The dying of the light.
The darkness, all pervading,
Hides every face you’ve known,
But briefly, as it’s fading,
Each face looks like your own.

I must stop banging on this way
And work out what I’m trying to say.

The lives of everyone we’ve met
Are woven in a kind of net.
The twilight shows its silhouette
That’s hidden in the light of day.

But oh the night is falling.
It’s fading from our sight,
The shadows thickly crawling,
The dying of the light.
The darkness, all pervading,
Hides every face you’ve known,
But briefly, as it’s fading,
Each face looks like your own.

 

THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE

There’s something there deep down inside.
It’s very quiet; it likes to hide
It’s there no matter what they say
It’ll stay
And it won’t go away
And it will not decay

And beneath the decks, in the oily gloom
Of the super tanker’s engine-room,
The Stoker’s Mate nearly drops his broom
As a cry rings out like the crack of doom
And everyone saw the fixed grimace
Of frozen fear on the Stoker’s face
But he never told them what took place
And they had to send him back to base
But the Engineers all knew he’d seen
The Ghost in the Machine

Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine

Everything’s looking clean and neat
In the air-conditioned computer-suite.
It’s three a.m. and the run’s complete
The computer man can put up his feet.
He throws the switch, but there’s something wrong¬
The power’s off, but the tapes spin on
The printer keeps typing the word ‘Babylon’
And just for a moment, and then it’s gone
Is a shadowy face on the monitor screen,
The Ghost in the Machine

Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine

There’s something there deep down inside.
It’s very quiet; it likes to hide
It’s there no matter what they say
It’ll stay
And it won’t go away
And it will not decay

At the new recording studio
The band all went home hours ago
But the singer’s there and he’s feeling low
‘Cos the music’s sounding dull and slow
He plays the tape back just once more,
But there’s something there he’s never heard before
A vocal track that he did not record
Just the eerie sound that he was looking for
But who is the voice on track thirteen?
The Ghost in the Machine

Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine

In the underground laboratory
They are searching electronically
For the part of the anatomy
That contains your own identity.
They have ransacked through the human brain
And they know what all the bits contain
But their search for the soul has been in vain
‘Cause what thinks the thoughts? What feels the pain?
The answer is what it’s always been
Ghost in the Machine

Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine
Ghost in the Machine

 

THE HOTEL BELVUE METROPOL BEACH EXCELSIOR

There’s a hotel down this way
That’s a charming place to stay,
But at night I shouldn’t go up above the second floor.
I mean the bedroom’s rather nice
But I’ll give you some advice:
When you sleep just put a chair up against the door.
Vampire Light
It’s the same thing every night:
He comes, sometimes he goes
So that no-one knows,
At the Hotel Belvue Metropol Beach Excelsior.
Well I’m waiting here for you
And there isn’t much to do.
In the mornings I play chess with the Countess down the hall.
But the lounge looks cold and bare,
We’re the only people there,
With the waiter who comes silently when we call.
Vampire Light
Got to keep it burning bright.
Just one candle a day
Keeps the Things away
From the Hotel Belvue Metropol Beach Excelsior
They come creeping
When you’re sleeping.
Do their scheming
While you’re dreaming.
God preserve as!
I’m so nervous.
There are voices in my ears,
And my pillow’s wet with tears
But at four o’clock I wait for the sound of violins.
The Palm Court Quartet don’t jive;
They’re the oldest band alive,
But they really get it on with ‘The Student Prince’.
Vampire Light
Better get here Tuesday night.
We have my bills to pay,
It’s not cheap to stay
At the Hotel Belvue Metropol Beach Excelsior
Night and day…
Breakfast tray…
S’il vous plait…
That’s the way…
Jeux sont faits…
At the Hotel Belvue Metropol Beach Excelsior

 

THE INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH

It was the first day of July,
No wind breathed in the sky,
When a pin-striped suit
Saw that the Institute
Of Mental Health was burning.

He stood upon the comer
Where the sun was warmer,
Looking across the street,
Moved the shackles on his feet
As the Institute was burning.

Flames were roaring,
Singing like a thunderstorm,
Smoke was pouring
Straight up to the sky.
Timbers crashing,
Gothic doors and ceilings fall,
Windows smashing
And we both know why.

No one else came by to stare.
You see they didn’t really care.
Can’t call the Fire Brigade,
None of them had been paid,
So the Institute was burning.

No screams were heard from inside.
You see no one had really died.
No need to shed your tears.
They’d all been dead for years,
In the Institute, still burning.

In the city
People everywhere agreed.
It wasn’t pretty,
And everyone felt glad.
Doctored brains
Celebrate. and everyone
Waves their chains.
It’s a pity they’re still mad.

The Institute of Mental Health
Spontaneously killed itself.
Ashes to ashes.
And dust to dust.
My chains began to rust
As the Institute was burning.

 

THE JUDGE RIDES AGAIN

You tell me ‘Keep an open mind’. Oh, please …
I look best in a bonnet buzzing with bees.
I don’t care what clever Dicks say,
I’ll keep my idées firmly fixées.
The Judge rides again,
My hobby-horse between my knees.

I’m trying to ride the whirlwind, tame the gale.
I’m bumping into things, I’m parking in Braille.
Maybe I’m riding blind,
At least I know my own mind.
The Judge rides again,
My hobby-horse is hitting the trail.

Gee up, Silver,
Ride the whirlwind.

Yes, there’s a dozen points of view, old son,
That’s until you know the answer, then there’s just one.
True is true and lies are lies
And damn the Great British Compromise.
The Judge rides again,
And riding hobby-horses is fun.

You think I’m a beastly bore I s’pose it’s true.
Categorical, dogmatic, Pig-headed, Mule-ish. Help, I’m a zoo!
You put it down to middle age
‘Don’t set him off; don’t rattle his cage.’
The Judge rides again
His hobby-horse is galloping through.

You’re proud your mind is open wide.
You seize each new idea and stuff it inside.
You prove, beyond all doubt,
Garbage in means garbage out.
Higho Silver, Away! Scuse me, I gotta ride ..
Oh I gotta ride, oh I gotta ride, oh I gotta ride.

 

THE LAST AIRSHIP IN THE WORLD

Early mom,
Just after dawn,
Sky was turning grey,
When the last airship in the world
Flew away, Lord, flew away.
Shut the door.
The engines roar.
No more time to stay,
So the last airship in the world
Is flying away, Lord, flying away.
They say they’re mad.
Well that’s too bad,
Who cares what they say?
When the last airship in the world
Is flying away, Lard, flying away.
And all the crew,
The Captain too,
Shouted Out Hooray’
As the last airship in the world
Flew away, Lord, flew away.
Wave bye-bye,
But watch the sky.
They’ll be back some day.
See the last airship in the world
Flying away, Lord, flying away.

 

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

The Conference was deadlocked,
We weren’t getting anywhere.
The world was going to hell;
Then, a new voice addressed the Chair.
He’d been around for a while,
We thought we’d seen all he had to show.
There was all that raw charisma,
With nowhere for it to go.
Then the young man went to the podium
And said, “There’s something that you should know…

“I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
The blinding Light of Revelation,
The overwhelming Light of Love.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
Of the World.”

Then he was incandescent,
And the light streamed from his face.
It shone down deep within us all,
It filled the whole damn place.
It blazed out like a searchlight
As the vision raised it’s hand.
We had to turn our faces
From the radiance of the man.
The world changed in an instant,
And a Golden Age began.

“I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
The blinding Light of Revelation,
The overwhelming Light of Love.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
Of the World.”

It started as a courtesy
Which he came to expect.
We wished to do him honour,
Show the Leader our respect,
So it became the custom,
When our Lord was close at hand,
To turn the power off,
And artificial light was banned.
“My Light shines best alone,” he said,
“I knew you’d understand.”

“I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
The blinding Light of Revelation,
The overwhelming Light of Love.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
Of the World.”

Time came, we couldn’t light a candle,
No one would have dared.
“My own Light should be quite enough
For people,” he declared.
Then he turned his Powers skywards,
So strong had he become,
His scientists fired a black device,
Extinguishing the sun.
“You will have no other Light but Mine!” he said,
“I Am The One!”
“I Am The One!”

“I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World,
The blinding Light of Revelation,
The overwhelming Light of Love.
I am the Light. I am the Light of the World.
Of the World.”

 

THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT (UNLESS PERHAPS IT’S YESTERDAY)

There’s got to be some changes made, There’s got to be some plans.
If you won’t build me a machine,
I’ll do it with my hands.
I’ve said my piece, I can’t waste time. – I’ve other work to do,
But don’t think I’m enjoying this, I’m doing it for you.

Get up and pack your suitcase, girl And meet me at the station.
With things so bad, I’ve organised Our own evacuation.
I can’t talk now, I have to split, There’s no time on the meter.
I hope she comes, but as they say If you can’t join her, beat her.

There’s no time like the present, Unless perhaps it’s yesterday.
The future looks unpleasant, So let’s get in tomorrow’s way.
Please, please don’t miss the ride.

The Minister of Culture
Has really got us in his sights. He sent a robot vulture
That circled round the house at night.
Its amplifiers quivering,
Playing repeats of the J. Y. Prog.,
Piping Engle through the central heating And Donny up the bog.

There’s no time like the present, Unless perhaps it’s yesterday.
The future looks unpleasant, So let’s get in tomorrow’s way.
Please, please don’t miss the ride.

We better shift ourselves, It might not be too late.
We’ve a snowflake’s chance in bell
If we hesitate.
The net is growing tighter, Gonna move to Hindustan.
They won’t shoot me, I’m a writer,
Join me when you can.

There’s no time like the present, Unless perhaps it’s yesterday.
The future looks unpleasant, So let’s get in tomorrow’s way.
Please, please don’t miss the ride.

 

THE SELFISH SHELLFISH

I chose to lead the quieter sort of artist’s life,
No kids, no wife,
They weren’t part of my plan.
And sometimes I have conversations with the dead.
I’m off my head.
A quite peculiar man.

And if you say I should proceed a good deal more like other chaps,
I’d say ‘Perhaps,
But that’s the way I am’.
And if you say this clearly shows a certain lack of moral health,
I’d say ‘Go stuff yourself!
I’m happy as a clam.

I may be a selfish shellfish,
Just a crusty old crustacean
With ideas above his station.
Yes I may be a selfish shellfish,
But here within my cloister,
The whole cosmos is my oyster,

And as the fish swim past, I hear one cry,
‘That’s the prawn that makes those records
That no one wants to buy’.

I seem to have a certain knack for melodies
With harmonies
That linger in the mind.
But a critic pointed out that all my songs appeared
To be quite weird,
And he was being kind.

And if you say I should have used this gift to make a bob or two,
I’d say ‘That’s true.
I’ve probably been a fool’
And if you say my work has failed and thus my life has been misspent,
I’d say ‘Get bent!’
I’m stubborn as a moule.

I may be a selfish shellfish,
A sort of crabby hermit
Who makes art without a permit.
Yes, I may be a selfish shellfish,
But let the flashy abalones
Win applause by being phoneys,
I will stay under my rock and do my art.
To be such a lucky winkle warms the cockles of my heart.

I may be a selfish shellfish,
Like a scallop or an ormer
But perhaps more like the former.
Yes, I may be a selfish shellfish,
Of the order Gastropoda,
With a charming, fishy odour.
Yes, I may be a selfish shellfish,
But you can have to much of me,
I can bring on an allergy,
And so I’ll really have to try
To say ‘Goodbye, good bivalve, goodbye.’

 

THE VOICE OF THE NIGHT

Here in the night hours,
When all the world is asleep,
Listen please, for a moment,
To the silence so deep.
At midnight just off the mainstreet
Or three AM in the Park,
You’ll know when you hear it,
It’s the Voice of the Dark.

It sings to the sleepless
Those alone, those in pain;
Cold beauty; cold comfort,
Inhuman refrain.
But the melody dies with the dawning,
It’s afraid of the light.
So sweet in the blackness,
It’s the Song of the Night.

The anthem has sounded
Since the night before time began;
The music of gods,
Unconcerned about Man.
And after the ultimate nightfall,
When the world is destroyed,
There will ring out forever
The Song of the Void.

 

TIME FOR A CHANGE

Time for a change
I felt tired; things looked strange.
I was home, home on the range,
And it was time for a change.

Well, Young Man, when you grow up,
What would you like to be?
Please Sir, if it’s alright,
I’d like to learn how to be me.

Switch on the light,
Getting late, almost night.
A shilling puts you right,
You can switch on the light.

The world was looking stretched and tight,
An overblown balloon.
Got the feeling something big
Has got to happen soon.

Time for a change,
Out of breath, out of range.
Go tell that Dr Strange
That it’s time for a change.

 

THINGMAKER

Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Make a Thing! Make a Thing!
Etc.

Just make a thing…
Make it good…
That’s what we’re here for…
So make a thing…
Who cares what kind of thing…
Make it now…
A thing…
What else is there to do?…

 

VIKING

Looking out forward, over the prow of the longship,
Pulling our oars and listening to the foam,
Helmets and sheepskins salt-damp in the sea-mist,
We’re going home.

Snorri Thorbrandson, Einar Thorgierson,
Eric The Red and Thorstein The Black.

Looking for constellations above the horizon,
West wind cutting sharper than our blades,
Smiling forever into an endless sunrise,
We’re flying on the waves.

Thorfin Carlsefni, Aud The Deep-Minded,
Olaf The White and Sigurd The Powerful.

Out of dark Vinland, with grey waves racing before us,
We want no rest.
Back to the homeland, Iceland, sleeping in winter,
Back from the West.

Five years we roam,
Now we’re going home.

 

WEIRD BEARD

Do you dig the beat?
Well it’s reet complete
Does it go, man, go?
Solid, Daddio

Weird Beard
My baby love Juliette Grecco
Weird Beard
My baby love Jean Paul Sartre
Weird Beard
My baby love Modern Jazz, now
Weird Beard!
My baby love Abstract Art

Beatnik, Beatnik, dirty scruffy Beatnik!
They shout as we go by.
Beatnik, Beatnik, dirty scruffy Beatnik!
To my Beatnik love and I
When the others say No, No, No,
My baby says ‘Go, man, go!’

Weird Beard
My baby wear big dark glasses
Weird Beard
A duffle coat and a black beret
Weird Beard
My baby have a cigarette holder.
Weird Beard.
We sit around and talk all day

Beatnik, Beatnik, dirty scruffy Beatnik!
They shout as we go by.
Beatnik, Beatnik, dirty scruffy Beatnik!
To my Beatnik love and I
When the others say Now, Now, Now,
My baby says ‘Yeah, like wow!’

Weird Beard
My baby so intellectual
Weird Beard
But I love her anyhow.
We walk the Left Bank holding hands
The Seine reflects the sky above
She says it’s existential,
I say it’s love.
I say it’s love

(Spoken section to come)

When the others say No, No, No,
My baby says ‘Go, man, go!’

Weird Beard
My baby love leatherwork sandals
Weird Beard
My baby love Abstract Art
Weird Beard
My baby love Juliette Greco
Weird Beard
My baby love Jean Paul Sartre
My baby love Jean Paul Sartre
My baby love Jean Paul, Jean Paul, Jean Paul Sartre.

 

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS

Are you packed? Have you got everything?
I don’t want to find little bits of you
Hidden all around the place.
No little bottle in the bathroom with the Active Lipizomes
And finding one of your ratty sports-bra’s
Under the sofa in six months time
Would be too much for me to deal with.

Don’t go. I know, I know we’ve been all through this
But when push comes to shove it’s bloody hard letting go of you.
This isn’t light and controlled, like we said it would be,
I’m holding on to you so tight that when the taxi comes
We’re gonna have to cut my hands off at the wrist.

Who knows, you husband may have fallen under a bus…
Ok, I’m sorry. I’m sure he must be a good chap.
But it seems to me that living your life
Entirely for other people
Is as bad and wrong as living your life
Entirely for yourself…

Yes, you’re right, no letters
No cards, no phone calls either
This thing must end here…

But suppose he runs off with his blonde twenty-two-year-old secretary
You know what to do, just jump on the plane and come back to me.
Bring the kids, bring that cats, bring the whole damn shooting-match
Your dear old, silver-haired, Lithuanian granny as well.
You’ll know where I’ll be.

What’s he say in the film?
‘We’ll always have Paris’.
Don’t cry. You never cry, you told me.
Now is that the same one where she says
‘Don’t reach for the moon, we have the stars’?
You’re right, that was Bette Davis…
Oh Christ, the taxi’s here…

 

WHAT’LL I DO WITHOUT YOU

I take disasters in my stride, they don’t upset me,
And those that mean me harm are sorry that they met me,
But what’ll I do without you?
Do without you?
What’ll I do without you?
Yes do without you, do without you.
I’ll have to find someone else.

If time and tide and life conspire to defeat me,
I smile and carry on. I never let them beat me,
But what’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Do without you?
What’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Yes do without you, do without you.
I must find somebody else.

And if my seven senses, one by one, should leave me,
In the silent darkness I would be all right, believe me,
But what’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Do without you?
What’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Yes do without you, do without you.
I can’t find somebody else.

If that Dark Angel raises bony hands to clutch me,
I will not fear his sting If he decides to touch me,
But what’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Do without you?
What’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Yes do without you, do without you.
And so just what’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Do without you?
Oh no but what’ll I do without you?
What’ll I What’ll I Yes do without you, do without you.
I don’t want anyone else.

ZOOT SUIT

The man in the small suit, he’s a shrimp.
The man in the white suit, he’s a pimp.
But the man in the Zoot Suit is a hipster born,
The fingers snap every time it’s worn.

The man in the small suit…
He’s a shrimp.
The man in the white suit…
He’s a pimp.
The man in the jump-suit’s wrists are limp.
But the man in the Zoot Suit is a hipster born,
The fingers snap every time it’s worn.

Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit…
You know the jacket’s got to come right down to your knees
Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit…
And the cuffs on the pants give your ankles a squeeze.
Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit…

The man in the small suit…
He’s a shrimp.
The man in the white suit…
He’s a pimp.
The man in the jump-suit…
Wrists are limp.
The man in the rubber suit, he’s a gimp.
But the man in the Zoot Suit is a hipster born,
The fingers snap every time it’s worn.

The fingers snap…
The fingers snap…
The fingers snap…
The fingers snap…
The fingers snap…

The man in the small suit…
He’s a shrimp.
The man in the white suit…
He’s a pimp.
The man in the jump-suit…
Wrists are limp.
The man in the rubber suit…
He’s a gimp…
The man in the fur suit? that’s a chimp.
But the man in the Zoot Suit is a hipster born,
The fingers snap every time it’s worn.

Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit…
The lapels are as big as the living room door.
Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit…
And the key-chain hangs right down to the floor.
Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit, Zoot Suit…