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Thursday, 23 December 2010

We Ain't Ever Gonna Die



I heard your boyfriend said he's gonna kill me
'Cos it was his daddy's bank that we robbed
I couldn't understand why he didn't want to kill you too
It must have been love

So we ran away to the hills
Made our bed up on the mountainside
We spent our days making faces out of the clouds
And we'd count them stars at night

I made you a wedding band of daisies
And you tore me up a crown
I can't see the river for the moonlight
On the wrong side of these railings looking down

Where you said throw ourselves to the river
It wouldn't kill us if our love was strong
Then you told me 'bout 118 people died
In the 1947 flood
(God, you're wild)

Hey, Wildchild, keep your hair black it suits you
Makes your eyes glow dark when you say what's on your mind
I know it might sound stupid but it just adds to your beauty
When you say, "We ain't ever gonna die"

Summer went quick and Winter rolled back in
We headed back to the city for some place warm to stay
I called up my best friend from a payphone
He said he just got himself a new place and the rent was paid

One day it rained so hard we didn't leave the house
But we soon ran low on cigarettes
So you ran down to the liquor store in the rain barefeet
Your white dress soaked through against your chest
(God, you're wild)

Hey, Wildchild, you're prettier than sunshine
But it's your darkness that outglows all that boring light
I know it might sound stupid but it just adds to your beauty
When you say, "We ain't ever gonna die"

You were gone way too long
So I ran down to the street
And pushed past them plain-faced strangers of the liquor store
Where the blood pooled at my feet

I knocked them people down
As they fought to save your life
And I screamed, "Oh, God, please don't take my wildchild from me
'Cos I ain't strong enough to get by"

The air inside the liquor store went cold
And rain fell heavy like iron outside
You raised your hand and you brushed it against my cheek
And said, "We ain't never gonna die"

(Then you died)

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Curse of the Drinking Man

Let me tell you something that, to me, sounds absurd
A man is defined by the sweat in his work
Well, I'll keep drinking every day that I can
'Cos work is the curse of the drinking man

In the working man's ring women are the prize
With sweet-smelling hair and big, soulful eyes
Well, I'll get me a woman, just you mark my words
This hard-drinking man'll get a working man's girl

But here's the funny thing about starting conversation
You gotta keep'm interested without letting'm know you're wasted
So just keep asking questions and every now and then
In between your listening slip in a compliment

Then every time you say the tiniest sweet thing
Watch her eyes drift down towards her wedding ring
That's when you know you've got her so give that girl a wink
But don't take her back to your place 'cos she won't like how much you drink

See, you take one look in my house and it's clear I like a drink
There's empty bottles on the floor and empty bottles in the sink
Empty bottles down the sofa, and bottles in the fridge
I got shelves made out of bottles covered with bottle ornaments

There's bottles in the mailbox and bottles on the lawn
Whisky on the ceiling and whisky up the walls
There's bottles in the treehouse that I built for the kid
Of a stripper that I knocked up back in 1996
(I was 12 years old!)

Now I think about it I should stick to loving ales
Whisky and champagne, gold tequila and cocktails
Gin and juice, Manhattans
'Cos love is the curse of the drinking man

Monday, 20 December 2010

The Hangover

All this alcohol
and demerol
don't make me happy,
just keeps away the sad.
I smoke these cigarettes,
try and ease these pains in my chest
it don't make for good-living
but it ain't half-bad.

I know I told you
I'd quit this drinking
but I got this itching
inside of my skull.
It's funny how love
lets the hangovers build up
but now waking up without you -
never been so low.

I hope you save yourself
'Cos heaven knows it's too late to save me now.
I would give you all the money in wallet
Except you wouldn't want it
And I ain't got none anyhow.
But I would do anything
To keep
You around.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Vagabond Cafe

Refuse to sit 'round, darkened down, waiting to ignite
So we hit the road with open souls and we set this world alight.
I ain't feeling bleak no more so if you're feeling alright
There's glory in a homeless life.

You live just to be remembered.
I've forgotten what I'm living for.
Everywhere we go you're forgotten now
And I ain't even noticed no more.
We're nothing but the bubbles in our glasses,
Tasteless and rising through the sweet.
Leaving nothing behind us. You can't
See where a bubble has been.
For every stain on our shirts there's a story,
And this is where stories are shared;
Every tale lived leaves a scar and just like
Veterans we sit 'round and compare

A vagabond cocktail at the Pink Cafe,
Constellations stay the same whilst the faces start to change.
In one pair of eyes there was something to explain
And staring straight back was the heartbreak and pain.
There were menus all torn and worn down at the edge.
We dress with desire though nobody's impressed.
I ain't feeling bleak no more and if you're feeling alright
There's glory in a homeless life.

Dreams are made of cloud but
The sky is blowing through fast,
Swept out on the wind now it's all just
Memories of my rootless past.
Memories are made of gold
And gold is easily found. You can
Sell any stranger your memories but
You can't put a price on a cloud.

Now we live for the streets,
For life and a better understanding.
This life's got me beat
But I'm still standing!
Golden leaves are blowing
Where tumbleweeds have rolled.
There's glory on the rippled mind
Of the wave that stays afloat.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Picking Flowers in the Dark

This Sunshine is all the whores
and heroin that I could ever need.
The Sun ain't afraid to be alone,
just afraid to love. Still, she'll do that for me.

I don't suppose
I could have the Sun
all to myself,
but that's all I want.

The Sun finally went down and
I've never been so sad to see it go.
The greatest night-owl's been shot down;
not dead, just gone.

See, if you leave
a night-owl in the Sun,
he's the vulnerable one
but that's all he wants.

These afterthoughts of you
are the flowers that you gave light to,
still growing in my heart,
that I pick in the dark.

Drunk Again



Drunk again and heartbroken and, god damn it, it's your fault
Easing into madness like a loner with his liquor and his thoughts
One more beer-baited thought of you and him's all I can stand
I wanna die tonight with his blood on my hands

I bet he's there employed and sober, making you smile just 'cos he can
Kissing you and touching you and pulling down your pants
Giving you all the love I was too stubborn to give
I swear I'd do it next time right but who the hell could fall in love with this?

It don't matter, I always liked the whisky more
Lying, cheating, dirty, stinking whore!

My clothes are dirty, my breath is whisky-stained
I swear if I see that man I'll smash his face!
Rip out his heart! Tear him apart! Man, I'm gonna go to town!
Or sit here in this bar and drink
'til I drown

Thursday, 2 December 2010

A Beautiful Shipwreck

Angel of Mercy
I can see you getting angry
I see it in the clouds you form
Dangerous and menacing
Piling up like mountains
Please keep my baby safe from harm

Wave of Good Fortune
Stronger arm of Neptune
Bring my baby back home to me here
Summon all the strength
From them sailors you have claimed
And keep my baby above the water

'Cos there's an ocean in my heart
For a sailor lost at sea
The beautiful shipwreck of a woman's plea
Tonight the menace of the moon
Casts a calm over the sea
You said my name looked pretty on the bow
And now it's going down

Crypt-keeper of the deep
If I go down to the beach tonight
And wade my naked body into the foam
Walk out 'til I can't walk no more
Then swim out 'til I can't swim
Will you save my baby's sinking soul

'Cos there's an ocean in my heart
For a sailor lost at sea
The beautiful shipwreck of a woman's plea
Tonight the menace of the moon
Casts a calm over the sea

The Make-up Artist

The make-up artist stares at the model's face and tries to
Figure the complexities of what's going on within her
With her hair tied back and her eyes half-glazed
She can't look away from the vanity mirror
But she's impatient, starts complaining he ain't painting her face fast enough
Says he's procrastinating, it's her time he's wasting, but the things she's saying only serve to make him
Give up
And she don't break her own stare the whole time she speaks
She's still speaking when the make-up artist packs up his brushes and leaves

He never really fit in on the make-up artist circuit
Got his qualifications in the evenings out of Birkbeck
Didn't drop out of some fine art degree in the city
Thought it'd be easy to get laid just tell a pretty girl she's pretty
But it's the pretty ones that get millions of compliments and ain't eyeing-up the help
And they're rich enough, with skins white as doves and lips red as blood, to trick into love
Somebody else
So he told the biggest lie he'd ever told
To the ugliest girl he could find
And then he wasn't alone

A Happy Song




I've tried drug-lords and street-gangs and prostitution rings
I've tried begging, stealing, selling just about anything
But my hands and my mouth and my feet don't move fast enough
And when you work that kind of job and it all goes wrong
You're on your own, ain't none of your con friends gonna take your fall
And the cops'll be the first to remind you there ain't no one you can trust

So I'm gonna write me a goddam happy song
As soon as something happy comes along
Down life's lonesome road, I suppose you never know what's rolling 'round the bend
All the roads I've been down - nothing happy's shown up yet

I've tried humanitarianism and I've tried vegetarianism
I've tried Buddhism, cataclisms, nihilism and narcissism
But none of that shit seemed to suit me right
I want a six-shooter Magnum and a big ol' hunting knife
A 12-gauge, shots and snares, a big ol' box of fireworks and a rocking chair
I want to make some real noise at night

Well, I've tried loving women but all that I can tell is that they always leave
I've had three wives, four mistresses, a daughter by a priestess and a queen
And with my heart in pieces, sick of women, I got me a dog
Well, that young pup softened me up and I got sweet again
This time with a green-eyed girl by the name of Gemma-Anne
Three months later Gemma-Anne ran off with my truck
And my dog

I won't take no more drinks now boys, I remember last time I took too much
I'll get the shits tomorrow morning and I ain't got nowhere to go and sober up
But I thank you for your company the frustration in my life comes from the loneliness
That and I can't get a job 'cos I ain't got no fixed address
And I can't get a fixed address 'cos I ain't got no job
And you want me to write a goddam happy song

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Scars of Christ

She says, "what's wrong with dying young and gloriously?"
he says, "it just wastes time that you could have spent with me"
and takes another big swig of his 6.5 from a can
She says, "i wanna make some noise when i go out"
he says, "who's gonna hear about it anyhow"
and as he says it this girl lets her fingertips slip from his hand

She thinks, who is he to take my hand
dig my nails into his hand
look deep into my eyes
and tell me he understands?

Those words went through her head like self-harm
she dug her nails deep in her wrist to try and keep herself calm
and the calmness came in through the holes that the blood came out
He didn't even have to lift up his head
to know her green eys were searching and her white teeth were red
as she held her new holes up against her open mouth

The night came on fast and the night came on cold
as the sun lost his breath and the moon took a hold
and when the moon takes hold there's a darkness that follows with
a silence that pushes the hurt around your veins
past the back of your eyes into the front of your brain
and makes you want to dig your nails even deeper in

A train of thought as smooth as a blade across a wrist
and that train left the station high on cocaine and drink
so they fucked for a while until they figured the wine had worn them out
She slept for a while then in the middle of the night
she gathered her few things, wrote him a sweet goodbye
then she punched him hard in the ear and kissed him harder on the mouth

She was thinking, man, it's time to go,
time for me to get away,
time to hit the open road
there's nothing 'round here for me anyway
except for him
and i can learn to love again
there's a hundred more that i could love as much
and a thousand more to love less
and who was he to love me
who was he to take care of me
who was he to sacrifice his own happiness
just to get me a little bit of happy
when i'd have been alright
if i had died
face-down on the bed that night
high on cocaine and wine
but he went and took that knife
and cut holes in hands that should have been mine
then he held them up bleeding to my beating chest
and looked deep into my eyes
and i saw the scars of christ

If I owe you money, get in line...

My hands are worn down by this cage
And there's scars from the bars on my face
I'm trapped inside a debt I just can't pay
Most nights I pass out with my wrists at a blade
And it's bound to come one of these nights
You'll find me 'neath a scrounging pile of creditors and mites
If I owe you money, honey, get in line

She swears there's a baby on the way
And she's telling him it's his
But there's rumours on this whisky-stained night
That she don't even care whose it is
I swear I'll stand by her if it's mine
This might be what I need to get me back in line
If I owe you money, brother, get in line

When I'm out 'neath the stars I feel closer to God
But He ain't listening to me
I'm alright, I'm hard up but I'm fine,
And I know, out there, there are more hard up than me

So I'm sorry for the debts that I've made
For the borrowings I racked up that I promised you I'd pay
For all the times I got evicted and all the times you let me stay
I swear I'll get it back to you just give me a few more days
Mama, you've always been my lifeline
I swear I'll pay you back I just don't have it here this time
If I owe you money, Mama, get in line
It's breaking my heart!
But if I owe you money, Mama, get in line..

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

i'm alright when i'm drunk

there's only so many days i can come home to you
after a long day at work
i'm only working to pay for the things
we both feel you deserve
trouble is, baby, i don't deserve as much
and i know you think i don't deserve them, too
so don't be there when i get home tonight
goodbye, it's been not-too-bad loving you

call me a cruel, unloving bastard for my time
i'll take it all in my unsteady stride
you girls have got a funny way of turning things around
but you don't know how much it tears me up inside
you know you ain't the first
and i know that you ain't the last
hard work and hard women are just so easy to get
the only hard thing's trying to stay attached

so now i'm going in late and i'm going in drunk
anything i can do to get laid off
i ain't needing money if i ain't needing you
i'm alright when i'm poor
i'm alright when i'm drunk

Friday, 5 November 2010

Building-site Train Station

Dinner reservations at the building-site train station, coat the floor with white carnations 'cos I know that they're your favourites and I know you'll wear that dress that has me lapping at your ankles, let the wax dry on your finger that you poured out from the candle, then you tell me things in broken French that kinda sound like secrets then you hit me with the J'adores in a chest-hollowing sequence - "Je voudrais se cramponer a vous pour toujours, pour infinite" - I pretend to not know what you say 'cos you smile more that way.

Diary entries that I'm not allowed to read 'cos there's a little red heart next to me and her feelings described graphically and god-forbid she'd waste her gift of keeping all her feelings hid, letting me in only bit by bit so I never really get the drift. I'll pretend that I don't like this, you'll pretend that you don't love it, I'll pretend to be better than this, you'll pretend to rise above it. It's always hard to tell apart what's going on inside our hearts so coyly lay your highest card, we toast... and we laugh.

In the daytime you're a dreamer, get the sack 'cos you believe it, fall in love but keep it secret 'cos the romance makes it deeper, you want to tell your man you love him and it's gotta be this evening 'cos you're gonna change the world someday and it's tomorrow you're leaving, now you don't want to be too cliche and don't want to embellish so when he tries to make you stay you figure you'll just tell him, "Hey, thank you for the flowers, baby, really. God, I love you. I wish I didn't have to go this is just what I've gotta do. I'll always hold you close to me wherever I go, wear this feather to protect me 'til I die and then my soul will sail across the ocean on the wind just like this feather 'til it finds you and our souls can ride eternal winds forever". Now I feel just like a bow that's had to shoot its favourite arrow which I wish I could plunge through my chest to keep me from tomorrow. The building-site train station starts to get a little cold. Maybe it's the weather or maybe now 'cos we both know. "C'mon... I'll walk you home".

Life's Gonna Fuck You

Billy could bluff a hand like he could eat or sleep
He'd bet big and we'd say, "Billy, man, take it easy"
He'd smile and say, "Don't worry boys, this is a sure thing"
Then he'd lay down his hand, shoot us a wink and he'd take home everything
We found Billy's body in the desert, just body and sand
We knew he was good but never pegged him for a cheating man
But he must have won too big the night before
'Cos there were five aces carved into his skull

See, if you lay down for Life - Life's gonna fuck you
And if you try and stand up and fight- Life's gonna fuck you
You see, fortune don't favour the brave any more than the meek
You ain't got no chance of surviving
But that's still more chance than me

Rosalita tended a bar out on the edge of town
She'd drink tequila with the patrons whenever they'd come around
Everybody knew tequila would make Rosalita loose
Drunk on tequila there ain't nothing Rosalita wouldn't do
One night four men come in with some home-brew tequila
And drove Rosie out into the desert where they had planned to leave her
Now it's been three years since anyone's seen them men around
And Rosalita's still tending bars out on the edge of town

See, if you lay down for Life - Life's gonna fuck you
And if you try and stand up and fight- Life's gonna fuck you
You see, Fortune don't favour the brave any more than the meek
You ain't got no chance of surviving
But that's still more chance than me

Little Blue House

I was born in a little blue house
I was born in a little blue house
'Til my old lady kicked me out
'Til my old lady kicked me out
She said, "Boy, you got some growing-up to do"

I fell in favour with a dirty barkeep
Fell in favour with a dirty barkeep
He gave me food and somewhere to sleep
He gave me food and somewhere to sleep
He said, "Son, stay here all you need"

So I did
Hell, it was free

I fell in love with a little redhead
Fell in love with a little redhead
She broke my heart the day that she said
Broke my heart the day that she said
"Boy, I got some leaving to do"

So I got me a big ol' bag of weed
And got me about a gallon of whisky
From the man who gives me all I need
From the man who gives me all I need
He said, "Son, take something special on me"

So I did
Hell, it was free

I wrapped it in my will and testament
Wrapped it in my will and testament
Which was a brown paper bag and on it, it read
It was a brown paper bag and on it, it said
"If I die - bury me with my boots on -

The cowboys made of rattlesnake hide
The cowboys made of rattlesnake hide
'Cos if I'm getting to heaven from wherever I die
If I'm getting to heaven from wherever I die
I got some walking to do"

Johnny, Come Home...

I never met someone with so much inside himself to fight about
He had one voice saying, "Come in", whilst another one says, "Get out"
He had one voice saying, "Stand up for yourself, man", another one said, "Sit down"
Too many voices for one man to have to drown out

I'm sorry that I hit you, Johnny, and I'm sorry you stabbed me
Doctor says if it happens again, next time he ain't gonna save me
And heaven's already said that it ain't gonna take me
Well, I told God to fuck himself and, oh Johnny, I wish you'd had seen

I know that you're walking right now bow-legged through heaven
In snake-skin boots with a girl on your arm your drug abuse impresses
And wings on your back that you snapped off an angel you robbed
I'd ask you why, but you'd only say "Because"

There's scars on my face and broken bottles 'round this place that still remind me of him
And if he came back through that door right now I'd only tell him to get out again
I got one keg left in this mess that we ain't drunken dry
I'm gonna drink it dry
Like the old times

The Prettiest of Roses

I can see it in her eyes and I can feel it on her skin
She's sweating out the love and everything
She feels just like a paperboy dumping all his rounds
She feels just like a circus without the clowns
And I ain't supposed to know
But she's a blood-trail to a body in the snow

She sits there in my shirt putting too much make-up on
And crying to herself she wipes it off
Then she smiles and I smile too because her mirror won't smile back
But it's a smile any reflection would love to have
And I ain't supposed to know
But her tears are like the voices to her mime-show

She stands up on the bed and swings the light-bulb round and round
Laughing about vinyl dying out
Then eyeing-up my records she says, "Can we smash them, please?"
And waltzing over takes my favourite out its sleeve

When she's here it's like I'm here alone
Staring at streetlights from my window
And I ain't supposed to know
But there's broken records all over the road

The prettiest of roses killed by thorns
Strung-up by her own umbilical chord

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Beautiful, Go






I don't care what people say
Loving and losing ain't that great
And I don't even hear what lovers say
None of them are ever gonna stay

I know you'll do what you will
It don't matter how I feel
Well, I feel like pouring my glasses tall
I feel like ending it all

'Cos this is one I won't get past, but you should go and not look back
'Cos you're gonna be happy now and I want that
So, Beautiful, go and don't look back

And if one day you wonder of me
Don't look back 'cos I don't want you to see
My cold, dead hands around a bottle of Absynthe
And your face burned into the back of my cold, dead eye-lids
And the gunsmoke rising up like the ghost that I am
So, Beautiful, go
And don't look back


Among the Beasts

There's a tiny little stage
Hidden in Holloway
Where mostly beasts and demons play
I ain't never known god
But I know he's been here because
He's left two angels in his wake
And I'll tell you their names
The first one's named Dan Cook
And the second's Rosie May

Now if god said join the revolution
You'd think something big was coming
And you'd be right
When I heard Cook & The Case
And when I first saw Rosie May
I swear I thought I'd died
And I wasn't even sad
So here's to Cook & The Case
And Rosie May's band

Here among the beasts we lie and cheat
But from the ashes of an art
Two phoenixes rise
Like gunsmoke
From the barrel of the gun of song
Locked and loaded by god
And aimed this way
One bullet for Daniel Cook
And one for Rosie May

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Black Halo

Sixteen years old and the world is barely hers
The universe revolves around the lipstick in her purse
Her daddy went to jail and her mother something worse
So she moves away
She finishes her make-up with her head up in the clouds
Looking out for love but it was solitude she found
She makes herself the princess when she's already been crowned
As the queen

This world won't let her live
It beats her down while she sleeps
An angel trying to be a girl
A beauty trying to be a beast

Fallen from heaven, she paints her halo black
And tucks her feathered wings in tight behind her back
A tear runs down her blushered cheek and leaves her make-up cracked
As she screams again
She turns the corner sullenly on to Reliever Street
Where every patch of light is filled with sailors on relief
She wipes the tear off with her sleeve, leaves lipstick on her cheek
But, still, she charms them

And she's not getting any sleep tonight
This wingless heaven's just in reach
But she'll move on again tomorrow
Treating love like disease

She's not the prettiest but she's pure and soft as snow
She sheds her dove wings for the black ones she has borrowed
The crows are so cool but they're so shallow
She won't fit in
She's so much better than them, there's poetry in her soul
Half-and-half, these kings and queens, our princess is a whole
With perfect love and perfect mind but how can she be told
If nobody knows?

Nobody knows she's an angel
And only God could work it out
She's fighting for a dream that's useless
The things that matter here don't count

She could recreate anything that's been destroyed
But she's so God-damned paranoid
Trying to be another fashion-focused android
She wipes her feet before she steps inside her own mind

Nobody knows she's an angel
She tramples the flowers that she breathes
But on the day she gives her life for no reason at all
She'll be released
She'll be free
She'll be an angel
Again.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Beautiful Whore



empty hand on empty hand your empty eyes are sullen, glazed and grey
broken heart on broken heart, a promise lying broken in its grave
hearts lying broken in the chests of every man you made
and every one woke up alone wishing you had stayed

no money for the heating bill and your bedroom gets real cold
a boxful of bruises drenched in tears from all the hearts you stole
scars on the insides of men from all the lies you told
asking me for money once again, but i'm so broke

a beautiful whore put on this earth
to take this desperate man for everything he's worth
so why does he come 'round
when he could just desert?
it's nothing more than he deserves

quiet steps down quiet roads these quiet streets don't offer up much change
a party-piece at someone else's party, at least everybody came
you must have put yourself somewhere else, i could see it on your face
asking them all for their money but no one's got that kind of change

Monday, 4 October 2010

Concrete-dwelling, weather-beaten flower in the middle of the road

I'm so sick of sleeping out in the cold
I blinded some guy over a space to sleep one night and he broke my nose
I've been walking for so long in circles now that my legs are bowed
But I'll keep walking 'cos I ain't got no place to go

I'm so sick of waking in a stranger's gaze
Full of pity on the streets of some city for which I wasn't made
Purporting to be all out of fortune for a stranger's small change
But I'll keep purporting 'cos I ain't got nothing else to say

A cardboard mattress on a cracked concrete bed
And these pains in my chest that I'm convinced are just stress
If I'd ever seen a doctor I'm sure he'd have said
"Get a job and get a girl, boy, this is all in your head"
But I can't help thinking that this curse worse than death
Was sucked in with the air when I drew my first breath
And no matter how much drink I pour down my neck
I can't lift this curse
Well, not yet

I'm the grave of a raincloud, I'm the death of a rose
That wilts into the garden it was borne from so another rose can grow
And the beauty is falling from my face now that I'm growing old
I'm the concrete-dwelling, weather-beaten flower in the middle of the road.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Tomorrow Night

There's a bridge that hangs over a river
Where it ain't safe to walk, so nobody walks
But in the dead of the night, I creep down to the riverside
And I think about ending it all

There's a girl somewhere in this world
Who, on her wedding finger, used to wear my ring
And in the dead of the night, down at that riverside
I think how long it's been since I threw mine in

I put one foot on that rickety bridge
Then I stop and wipe the excess liquor off of my chin
I touch the rotten railings with my damp fingertips
And put the half-empty bottle back up to my lips
I close my eyes tight and take three big steps
I stare down at the river running black as it is
I think about it filling all of my emptiness
Like the passion pouring out of a long, hard kiss
Then I cry a little
And back to the bank I climb
And I know that I'll be here again tomorrow night