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Sunday, 18 December 2011

It's Christmas Eve


Nobody going home Christmas Eve will spare her a word
She's singing for money, she sings sweet as a bird
The songs that she sings are of loves lost and dreams that have drowned
I toss her a fistful of coins but I keep my head down

It's snowing on Christmas Eve but still the stars manage to shine
She's thinking she's lucky to be here as she stares at the sky
The tears on her face make her cheek cold as she wipes her eyes
She looks through our window where it's just you and me and red wine

You and me we finish our wine try'n set fire to our tree
We give out receipts with our presents to return in January
Then we lie on the floor, entwined in red wine and unspoken misery
It's Christmas Eve

She wanders along to a park bench where she brushes off the frost
Lays herself down in the darkness and takes her clothes off
She dreams of the children she'd borne but'd been unfit to raise
'Til her dreams freeze over like her body in her park-bench-grave

Friday, 9 December 2011

Just Another Bone

You've got a secret
Don't tell it, just keep it
It's just another bone in the skeleton
You keep locked in your closet

You made some promises
To someone you can't keep
A promise like a heart can be ripped apart
But neither mend easy

And some promises you just can't break
Some take an earthquake
But ain't no earthquake in this world can match a red-headed girl
For devestation and heart-break

But with the walls broken down makes for an easy escape
And with this packet of tobacco I will be on my way
I've got a loose-fitting belt with all the notches on display
I've found some eggs to round-up and some more hens to lay
I've got lyrics that need writing and a guitar to play
I've got some sunshine to find and my own hearts to break
I've got a suitcase, some dreams and a weather-beaten face
That keeps the whores givin' me discount and the pimps out of my way
I've got a bottle in my pocket I can finish, smash, replace
And I can drink until the morning from the morning everyday
I got a coat that smells like sleeping rough that I've had for a decade
And when I speak it reeks of week-old spit at the bottom of an ashtray
But I'll be okay...

No...

I'll be great.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Cruellest of Lies are Told in Silence

The cruellest of lies are told in silence
And those that say they're lying for each other are just lying for themselves
The strongest of ties can always be broken
- They say the Devil was an angel before temptation led him to Hell

I tore away your lies like he tore at your clothes
But the only ones who know what really happened there are you and him
And that's the way it's always gonna be now
'Cos if I ever have to ask that motherfucker one of us'll get killed

You don't know love but you're good when you fake it
You don't know love but I love when you make it
I gave you my heart knowing you'd break it
Still, I won't give this broken heart to anybody else

You should have killed it off when it started up
'Cos when you bury what you ain't killed, what you ain't killed'll rise up
You didn't bury yours down deep enough
Still I dug...

You seem OK with how you justified it
You got to have your cake and eat it too and no one's head got rolled
Still everybody thinks that you're the sweet one
So I thought I'd write a song about the things you did - let everybody know

You don't know love but you're good when you fake it
You don't know love but I love when you make it
I gave you my heart knowing you'd break it

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Rollin' for Nothin'




Well I've got myself into another fine mess since I fell for a girl who couldn't love me less and this one didn't even have to get to know me. Well, I ain't upset 'cos nothing's really happened yet and it don't affect me directly 'cos I'm kinda used to it. And I'm alright being lonely.

See, I'm a whorehouse built out of lovers' lies and guilt and you're a disco with everybody dancing. I don't mean to be a slut it's just a pick-me-up when I've sunk too low and I've drunk too much. Does it still count as the last laugh if there's no one else laughing?

You ain't the first that I've led astray when what could have been love quickly turns to hate, like the flowers they're gonna harvest for my grave. Well, I hope someone comes along and picks them up and passes them on to someone they love 'cos a flower that pretty shouldn't die beside my grave.

Lately my behaviour's been somewhat unchristian. I've been screaming out for God but he can't hear me or ain't listening, still I'll send a prayer up there somewhere for you. And with that said, I'll let you find a better man, sit here, get depressed and really drunk again 'cos that's just what I do.

You made me see it wasn't about her, it was something in me that I'd often heard people say but until now it hadn't sunk in. Well, maybe I wasn't really listening to them but I think, 'cos I'm romantic, that it sunk in when you said it 'cos there's something when you speak.

I've been a gambler my whole life. I've been taking my chances when they're wrong and when they're right. Tonight I've still got the dice but you're holding my money, so I'm rolling for myself else I'm rolling for nothing.

Well, no I ain't OK, man, I'm going insane since little Miss Kane put the thought inside my brain and now there's a moral decision I have to make. And morally, I've never really stood upright - I've been a whore-faced, lying cunt for all of my life and if you've learned nothing this evening won't you just take this away...

That I meant everything I said and did that night. I just wish you'd known me better.

Now you do.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Homeless Jack


A thousand thoughts word for word he recalls how he'd wake to the whistles of them steam engines yawning / Clackety-clack goes the old train track where homeless Jack tells them same old stories / how he used to live with these two fugitives he'd stone-faced insist were just a couple of lovers / he said they'd sleep 'neath the bridge, stay up all night drinking with him and when the cops finally came in he said they cuffed everyone of us // Law put his face in their office, they said he was an accomplice for the ill-gotten profits of robbing the trains / they said he went through the carriages, through suitcases and packages of the unsuspecting passengers and they changed his name / to bad Jack of the Tracks // Jack tried to quell his reputation, he moved up out of the station, took cheap work at the plantation under a different name / but when Industrials arrived buying all the land they could find / they bled his plantation dry and they canceled his wage / him and his friends that he made there, they jumped on the railway / for years on days on nights they rode / on charity's wine, 'cross almost every line jack and his old friends still ride / right under old John Law's nose // He sleeps on the sheets of the grass on the banks by the rails / spends his days with his band of runaways and renegades swapping tales / of how they've all been cheated / how they're all down but none of them are beaten / and how this Friday night is gonna blow last Friday night away // 'Cos on a Friday night they all blag their way into these bars / and they dance so hard it breaks your heart / they take their shoes off and dance with the girls barefeet / and we buy them drink / 'cos they've had it so hard // He spoils these old ladies, and them beautiful young girls / and they love him back / homeless Jack ///.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

You don't know what drinking is...

Los No Amados opened the next day
After they swept the broken glass and blood away
If you drink there on your own you'll hear them say
That they still keep the killer's piece behind the bar

There's an old man sitting quiet in the corner
They say's the guy who lost his only daughter
On the day of the No Amados slaughter
They say her lover put a bullet straight through her heart

The old man in the corner lifts his glass
And pours another beer past his moustache
The waitress does;t wait for him to ask
To bring another

When your heart sits in your belly with the weight
Of all your fear, your sadness and your hate
When everything you've loved is laid to waste
Comfort's discomfort

You don't know what drinking is
'less you've sat down with a drink
In a quiet bar to think about what you've lost
You don't know what drinking is
'less you've sat down with a drink
Knowing it's the only thing you've got

They say God works in mysterious ways
I'll never know why He let me get away
But for my sins I'll carry 'round this pain
For all my days in my heart

I don't know who God is keeping quiet
Or if I scared 'em hard enough to keep them silent
Or if the people there were too drunk when I fired
But they still keep my piece behind the bar


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Bar 170

She's unholy
I've never seen a smile spread so fast
Drinking slowly
I crush another pill into my glass

The bar is filling with the night and the windows are smoke-stained
The cigarette machine spills light on the concrete floor
The waitress comes around and she changes the ashtray
Asks me if I want another of what I can't afford

Dancing slowly
She holds the darkness like a midnight mass
Shy and lonely
I crush another pill into my glass

My head is swimming in wine and my fingers are smoke-stained
Her serpent body writhes as she continues to dance
Everything  is spinning 'round in circles
I steady myself again on the edge of my glass

Fucking slowly
But feels as good as fucking fast
Drenched in groaning
The shy and lonely moment's passed

Sheets are damped with sweat and the windows are smoke-stained
This room don't seem as cool with my wrists untied
I rest my spinning head on her sweat-stained pillow
As the morning light shines through the Hockney-print blinds

She's unholy
Lucky for me I've given up God.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

A Travelling Song

Here's a travelling song for a girl that don't ever travel
A rambling song for a girl that don't ramble at all
Left by the roadside tracing his name in the gravel
Wishing her love travels safe if he won't travel home

A travelling song for the girl who got left by the roadside
Who cried three days straight before making that roadside her home
For the girl who buried her shoes in the dirt by the roadside
And carved her name in a rock on the top so that it looked like a gravestone

Here's a travelling song for a girl that don't ever travel
A rambling song for a girl that don't ramble at all
Who'd dig her own grave if only he'd left her with a shovel, but above all,
Wishing her love travels safe if he won't travel home.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mad Dog



It's been a good day - I've kept myself out of hell.
I'm on the train up town to go and meet my girl.
With blood-spattered stains on my shirt, his back slides smooth down a wall
And Mad Dog says he'd got a job anytime, just give him a call.
Now there's a heist going down not even Mad can do alone
And Jenny says she'll kill me herself if I don't come home.

Jenny's here, half-crying, aching to hold me tonight
She says the train-whistle-wind's gon' bring the chill of the night
And there's a feeling in her gut that ain't the thrill of this fight
But I tell her it's alright.
She says, "What's a man gotta do to get a name like Mad Dog?"
She says, "Sometimes I wonder 'bout you, kid, if you ever think at all".
So I think for a minute 'bout how Mad Dog in his stead
Can take the floor from underneath you and the hat from off your head
I said, "There's glory on them battlefields where braver men have bled"
And she said, "The only thing on battlefields are the bullet-ridden dead!"
I said, "Honey, you're mistaken I'll be with you soon again,
I got Mad Dog on my shoulder and a pistol full of lead"
She said, "These whispers in this bed tonight, they fill me full of dread
And, God, I need you so please come home to me again".

The next day was beautiful and that night stars riddled the sky,
I left my room at midnight, kissed my baby goodbye.
I'm doing this all for my baby, I swear with the money I make
I'll get out of the business and we'll move away.
Dawn arrives at usual time and I met Mad down at them tracks.
We jumped onboard where bullets poured after half the train'd gone past.

Bullets flew like songbirds singing straight into your heart
On destined wings that duly bring life's faithful counterpart.
Broken bones with open eyes that used to be the guards
Now lay ripped apart.
And I think, "What's a man gotta do to get a name like Mad Dog?
Is there a point in everyman's life when he has to question it all?"
So I think for a minute 'bout how Mad Dog in his stead
Had beaten both the drivers and left every guard for dead
And I prayed that my Jenny she still be safely tucked in bed
And thought I must be a hero with all this hero's blood I've bled!
So now I'm lying here half-crying aching to hold Jenny tonight
and that train-whistle-wind went and brought the chill of the night.
Now there's a feeling in my gut that ain't the thrill of this fight
No more.

Mad Dog was hit too, but not as bad as I was
In the perfect serenade of the bullet-ridden violence
Still, I can't compare the pain that lightning'd through the silence
As we stared down in the bag at nothing but glass diamonds.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Too Much to Lose (The Ballad of Mickey McKeith)

You can take a snake's poison, leave him with his fangs
You can take a rogue's handgun, leave him with his hands
But you've still got a cobra, and you've still got a thief
And nobody knows it better than Mickey McKeith

The cops took his pistol, and bagged it as evidence
Gamblin' father, junky mother, Mickey was bred to chance
But he'd been feeding them habits so long we figured he'd never get caught
He'd chance everything we needed and we'd buy anything else he'd got

A rogue by any other name is still a rogue
And the blood runs thick round here and red as rose
To hold the broken parts of hearts when one of our own
Goes one of the only two ways we always go

But a thief's life is stolen time
Oh, they're gonna lock you up,
Mickey, for a long time.

And 'round here, Mickey, all anyone's been talking 'bout
Is how we should club the cop that cuffed you, steal his keys, and break you out
But we'll raise a glass instead to your name again like people 'round here do.
We mean it when we say we'll bust you out, Mickey, I swear we do,
We just got too much to lose.
Too much to lose.

They say you'd let anybody fill your glass but no one your boots..
You'd let anybody fill your glass but no one your boots..
And anybody'd fill your glass but no one your boots..
We've all got too much to lose.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Walk Like A Man



We've got nothing left to say
Except - are you gonna have that baby?
Well, that's OK.
Just know, I ain't sticking around -
I need to get out -
I don't need no baby to hold me down.
I got a job now
In some other town,
But I hope everything for you and your new kid works out.

Maybe you could re-marry.
You're a pretty girl and you're smart and you care too much,
And what is love if it's not just someone caring too much?
Lord knows I ain't a lover.
Lord knows I ain't much.
Lord have mercy on you
If you believed I could love.

Who needs a dad anyway?
I got on alright, made my own way -
I did OK.
I just can't stick around,
I always need to get out.
I'll do anything you ask
Just don't ask me to stick around.

Oh, Baby, don't cry...

...Yes, I can hear what I'm saying...

...So I ain't great, well, nor are you and nor's this kid and fuck you
And fuck me if I'm staying.

If it makes you happy, things ain't worked out so well;
I've been knocked down and stamped on everywhere I've been,
I've been kicked out of every hole that I've tried to crawl in,
I've been starved of love, money, clothes, food and friends,
Now I'm broke in a land with a language I don't understand,
And I've been beaten into knowing what it is how to walk like a man.
I just can't.
I just can't.

I know there's no room for me where you are now.
It don't matter anyhow,
I'm still no good at sticking around.
But if you promise that my boy learns how to walk like a man,
I promise you'll never hear from me again.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Mariachi Music


Old Street's South of the Border done up like Mexico's Day of the Dead
Face painted on like a skeleton and a sombrero on her head
She's never been but every night she dreams of them hot, sweet Mexican miles
And as she speaks that Mexican heat comes burning out of her eyes

Mariachi music, not even God
Can know what he's losing if He don't know what He's got
I know what I'm losing and it's breaking my heart
I know what I'm losing, I just can't make it stop

White-skinned girl, the prettiest in the world and easily the sweetest
Face painted on like a skeleton with her eye-line burning West
Blazing trails that no cowgirls have ever done
She says goodbye with a mile-wide smile then sets like the Mexican sun

Mariachi music, not even God
Can know what he's losing if He don't know what He's got
I know what I'm losing and it's breaking my heart
I know what I'm losing, I just can't make it stop

She don't need no Spanish - and she ain't got no care
If someone you love's gonna vanish it don't matter where

She always said she'd go to Mexico, the land of the free
She could be with any Mariachi, he's never gonna be as good as me.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Best Friends with the Devil

Call it a sickness of the soul turning to delusion
Some things you lose in life make it not matter what else you're losing
Call it a crisis of faith. Please! Call it something else -
Call it the lost and the lonely finally finding his place in the world

May you live happy and you live long
May your strength keep you faithful and your faith keep you strong
Not me, I'm weak, I'm giving up God
I've been waiting for him to save me so long, now saving ain't what I want

My behaviour lately's been nothing short of unchristian
I've been screaming out for God but either he can't hear me or he ain't listening
So I put myself on a self-made cross of self-pity
And I've been wondering what the barrel of a gun tastes like whilst I'm drinking

'Cos drinking is something like crying
And there's enough tears in my glass to drown
I've been screaming for heaven my whole goddam life
Now I'm hell-bound

Don't preach to me about salvation I'll preach you something better -
Makes the loss I feel from losing in life not even matter
You can call it mortal sin, call it growing old disgracefully, whatever,
But from now on whenever you see me call me best friends with the Devil.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A Petal in a Hurricane

You cry like a dancer, your tears twirling on tiptoes
As sweet as the tramp in the park watching the ducklings grow
Watching you fall in love as sweetly as you do
I almost don't want to catch you

When something is perfect you pray it'll always be the same
But no one can ever really tell when the wind is gonna change
It takes away your love and leaves you lost like a teardrop in the rain

Teardrops fall from your face just to be near us
Dancing like thoughts in the rain with eyes like dreamers
It's not my fault this time that their music won't play
I'm just a teardrop in the rain

Kissing out in the field and you said "No daisy's the same"
Picking them out of the ground and making me a chain
I wear it in my hair for the rest of the sunshining day

But I'm so lonely now,
I laugh at myself holding daisies, crying, graveside, in the rain
As the sweetness of the wind brings a petal to your grave.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Scuffed-up Shoes





Scuffed-up shoes from running loose
She's been living on the streets again
Knocking back the hardest drinks in the bar
Where she can pretend she's got friends
This guy compliments her and buys her a drink
But she blocks out what he says
She watches him slip off his wedding ring and thinks to herself
'Oh, man, here we go again...'

She drinks to forget how lonely she is
But only the lonely will buy her a drink
She looks around
And slams another glass down

With holes in the soles of her shoes she goes
Back to this married man's house
Up into his marital bedroom
The kids' pictures face-down
She closes her eyes as he touches her thighs
And she wonders what his wife must be like
If this is how a man treats his spouse and she's alone
Maybe she's doing alright

There's only so many men in this world
And none of them know how to treat a girl
She waits for him to sleep
And then she quietly leaves
Stealing some money from the side and flirting wild
With the driver of the taxi

She refuses his advances so he pulls her out of the car
He leaves her in a heap beside the bar

Talking to a stranger from out under her hair
He asks her 'Why you drinking?', she says 'Why do you care?'
And with a casual reply
He says, 'Some men are just nice'

She didn't believe him but what's another beating
So she went back to his place
She still didn't believe him but when they were finished
He wanted her to stay
So they talked all night about their lives
And in the morning stayed in bed all day

Maybe this one will work out alright
'Hey, baby, slide over, come on, hold me tight'
That itch that used to burn underneath her skin
The itch that she could only scratch with drink
Is all at once soothed by him
When he says,
'I love you'.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I cry into my beer...

When my Mama left she left just me and my Dad
I was only 8 years old
Dad was never really one for bringing home the bread
So everything she left had to be sold
Daddy never told me where my mother went
And I don't think he even knew why
All's I remember is he'd come home almost every night
And into his beer he'd cry
He'd never say a word

He didn't speak or work much whilst I was growing up
Me and him we both got thin
I moved out as soon as I could work a job
Just to make life easier on him
Now as it goes you know I don't speak or work much myself
Them apples don't fall far from the tree
I say 'Good Morning' to my boss and I thank him for my cheque
And even though he don't like me
He treats me alright

I save what I earn
I don't drink like Dad
But every now and then when I get really sad
I get me a six-pack
And sit here on my couch
I ain't got no friends so I don't go out

I just sit here
I just sit here and cry into my beer