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DEBORAH CONWAY INDUCTED AS LIVING LEGEND FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL LIVE MUSIC AWARDS

This is the speech I made accepting the National Live Music Awards – NLMAs for 2019’s Living Legend. It was pretty amazing to come out on that stage to a standing ovation before I had even opened my mouth. Thank you all so much, you made an old lady very happy. 

Thank you NLMA for this honour which in 2019 marks 40 years since I became a musician. I think my first gig was at an RMIT Archi Review night, attended by then young architecture student Ted Baillieu – he went on to become Premier of Victoria & I went on to do a shit load more gigs!
In early 1980 I joined Melbourne prog rock band The Benders & played for 8 months in a lot of venues though not to a lot of people, I perfected the onstage bosom flash at the drummer to see if he would skip a beat, he never did.
We both got jack of it & within the year had run away to Sydney to form a band. In response to the excessive playing we did with The Benders Do-Re-Mi’s first shows avoided the beer barns and grungier clubs & instead opted for Art spaces. After we were signed by management & record companies & the first single from our debut album became a surprising chart topper, we hit the road big time, around 300 gigs in that year. Wonderful memories of bellowing out Bring The Hammer Down at The Trade Union Club; playing Standing On Wires at the ANU with frenzied crowds hurling toilet rolls at the stage as stand-ins for streamers; playing Man Overboard to 100,000 people at The Milk Festival in The Hague, Amsterdam in 1986 and the Oz for Africa concert at Sydney Entertainment Centre that was televised around the world was unforgettable.
We supported Culture Club, UB40, Simple Minds, too many to remember over 8 years.
And then we went our separate ways.

I launched my solo career in 1989, after a few false starts & eventually recorded what become String of Pearls. It came out in 1991 and me and my band, The Mothers Of Pearl – featuring the late great Peter Jones on drums – cranked up for a year long tour. Bitch Epic came out in 1993 & me & the Mothers (who I should have renamed Sons of Bitches) hit the road again.
Ultrasound was a band project with the much missed Paul Hester & there was more touring to accompany it – but the show I remember most from that year was a duo with Willy (or was it a trio) performance at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre on the 10th of February 1995, memorable for the gasp that went up from the audience as me & my 8 and1/2 month pregnant belly bounced up & down on the stage – our first daughter was born 3 days later, probably due to the aforementioned aerobics & maybe not curiously now she also treads the boards.
Touring & pregnancy became inextricably linked after that, projectile vomiting is not unknown in both circles & there were a couple of shows in 1997 memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Still the red sequinned dress with the gold mesh cutout heart edged with rhinestones & stretched over my belly was a crowd favourite & the ensuing progeny – 2nd daughter – has become a gifted singer in her own right.
I have so much to be grateful for playing with so many extraordinary musicians that I’ve toured with over 4 decades of live music performance, – from lush Symphony orchestras, to spiky avant garde jazzers, from incredible chamber ensembles to darkly energised rock n rollers, the gorgeously talented participants of the 4 iterations of Broad concerts, the all female revue; the cast of Always Patsy Cline, the concerts in celebration of David Bowie and the countless completely acoustic Summerware parties or home concerts Willy & I pioneered in 2004 for thousands of lounge-room listeners.
There are so many people to thank over the course of a 40 year career & I haven’t time to mention everyone’s name – to all the wonderful men & women who I have ever been in a band with, some gone to G-d, though most still with us; you guys are the best of the best, to all the wonderful artists who have ever said yes to one of my hair-brained schemes; to Dorland Bray, Stephen Phillip, Helen Carter & Keith Welsh, to Michael Gudinski, Amanda Pelman, Frank Stivala, Richard Pleasance, Peter Farnan, Andrée Greenwell, Jon Nichols, Mark O’Meara, Pierre Baroni, Roger Grierson, James Black, Gerry Hale, Dave Williams, Vika & Linda Bull,Jack Spira, Paulie Higgison, Miranda Brown, Deborah Murphy, Erica Hart, Kate Ceberano, Paul Grabowsky & Paul Mason; to my long suffering parents who sent me to a shrink when I joined my first band but who eventually became my biggest fans, to my sister Shellie who has been there through the thick & the thin, to our glorious grown up daughters who have provided songwriting inspiration & lent their vocal talents to shows & records, and to our stalwart fans the Bitch Listers (LJ, Pez, Groubes, you all know who you are) who support our shows & work so hard to spread the word beyond our coterie of followers – to all of you who have believed in our varied endeavours & unconventional methods – huge gratitude.

But let’s get back to 1991. I was putting a band together to embark on an extensive touring schedule to promote my debut album. One guitarist came highly recommended. Willy Zygier was a gifted player with an unusual pedigree having worked as a sideman jazzer for Vince Jones & other luminaries but had also led a number of his own alternative art bands.
He turned down my first offer saying his band had a gig. Not to be deterred & frankly intrigued to meet a musician who would turn down a year’s worth of touring for a single show, I pushed back my tour start date and tried again. We met for tea at my East St Kilda flat next to the Sandringham line & thus began a partnership that has produced more than 10 albums, 4 concert series of Broad, 3 children, 2 Jewish Music Festivals, countless live shows & concert tours and that has inspired me for the best part of the last 30 years. I believe the last three albums we have made constitute our best work so far and I think we have more to say! So tonight while I am absolutely thrilled to accept this wonderful accolade, it must be shared equally with my insanely talented husband, co-songwriter, collaborator, toughest critic, father of my 3 daughters & best friend Willy Zygier.
Homo sapiens have been participating in the creation of live music in some form or other for millennia for sacred & secular reasons. On the other hand the history of recorded music is a minuscule brief 130 years old though it’s had an incredible impact on how we think music should sound now. Ironically with the advent of increasingly sophisticated methods of both documenting and distributing recorded music we have come to an interesting historical moment in our industry, once again recorded music is secondary to live music, it is merely the calling card for the real deal which happens in venues from vast to intimate everywhere. Who could have predicted that, and what a wonderfully surprising outcome. While I have heard some despairing about the decline of record sales signalling the end of music, I prefer to believe it’s only the beginning….
Thank you everyone

Fallen Star

I like to toy with my clients

I like the deals that we make

I like the way they’re so righteous

– So sure it’s not their mistake

You know who, you know who, you know who, you know who, you know who rules the world

They all think they deserve better

They all think their time is now

They all think my lies are prettier

I told ‘em who really brought the Towers down

You know who, you know who, you know who, you know who, you know who rules the world

And I tell you that it’s easy to pass on the blame

I sing the call to do battle

I sing it in the new places they pray

I sing to the best & to the brightest

Cos the best and the brightest are always plagued

We will all be cared for 

And those who don’t want to be cared for better get the fuck out of the way 

You know who, you know who, you know who, you know who, you know who rules the world

And I tell you that it’s easy to pass on the blame

I like to live near my people

But I like the ear of the king & commissar

I am first among equals

I like to travel First Class 

Amongst those who’re sure this time perfection can be built to last

It’s an army we’re building, we’re no longer just fallen stars

You know who, you know who, you know who, you know who, you know who rules the world

And I tell you that it’s easy to pass on the blame

And we’re falling fallen falling fallen falling….hey hey

Imperfect Words

I might have been a teacher

A rabbi or a preacher then

But as the path got narrow

I understood I wasn’t one of them

Not for me

The shepherd for a flock of lost souls

I sing I sing I sing

Imperfect words

They roll off my tongue 

I got something for everyone

And as I’ve gotten older

I don’t have the steady shoulder I would like

My framework is more fragile

It’s true I’m less agile in a fight

Not for me

A pugilist scrapping on the kerbs

I sing I sing I sing 

Imperfect words

They roll off my tongue

I got something for everyone

And when I was a dealer

I met people who were meaner than me

They stole my pot my cash 

You could say they let me down reliably

Not again

A merchant of magical herbs 

I sing I sing I sing 

Imperfect words

They roll off my tongue

I got something for everyone

They roll off my tongue

You know I got something for everyone

So gather round friends

Come listen to me

You cunts who thought

I lived the life of a devotee 

Well I’m a big bad wolf

Breathing at your door

You let me in with these words I sing

You let me in once more

In a life that’s full of choice

I got to use my voice, fate smiled

In my strange chosen profession 

I got permission to stay a child

Not for me, responsibility

I’d rather be off with the birds

I sing I sing I sing

Imperfect words

They roll off my tongue 

I got something for everyone

They roll off my tongue 

You know I got something for everyone

I Need To Complain

Everyone ‘round here

Is driving me insane 

All the contradictions are screwing with my brain

I see their lives are good

I see that life is fine

Then they list all the reasons we’re not living in good times

My mother’s old refrain, I need to complain

I need to complain 

I need to complain – toast me with champagne

I need to complain

A casual remark 

Can earn you the Mark of Cain

And sorry just won’t cut it while the wolves are baying

There’s no hiding in a safe space

And no-one’s feeling safer

Everything you wanna say gets you denounced as traitor

Can you feel the hurricane, I need to complain

  I need to complain

I need to complain – bring on the cocaine

I need to complain

They’re shouting from the rooftops

Everybody’s just the same 

I’m not sure about the rules but I understand the game

They’re waiting for the pill

That changes one into another

Water into wine, sister to a brother

Well at least that’s the claim, I need to complain

I need to complain

I need to complain – smoke the Mary Jane

I need to complain

They’ve complained about desire

Well it leaves a sodden stain

A man might light a fire a woman fan the flame  

They think you can be retrained they think they can rewrite ya

But nature is eternal love will come on back to bite ya

And nothing’s gonna change, I need to complain

I need to complain

I need to complain – find another vein

I need to complain

Everyone ‘round here

Been driving me insane

Recruiting for the cause, every week a new campaign

They say their lives are nogood 

They say their lives are not fine

But I don’t believe they really know

What’s coming down the line

Here we go again, I need to complain

I need to complain   

Toast me with champagne, 

Bring on the cocaine

Smoke the Mary Jane 

Find another vein 

Here we go again – I need to complain

There’s A War That’s Coming

There’s a war that’s coming but you don’t want to fight

Or maybe you’ll fight me

– Hey that ain’t right

The people in this neighbourhood they got better things to do

They think the Fascists won World War Two

Who do you think is coming?

Who do you think is coming for you?

Who do you think is winning

In the battle for this tune?

There’s a battle going on in every street

And a house where there’s no battle is not complete

The enemy is everywhere he disagrees with you

It feels good 

To tear ourselves in two

Who do you think is coming?

Who do you think is coming for you?

Who do you think is winning

In the battle for this tune?

Who did I see you out with last night at the club?

I was warned I shouldn’t let myself fall in love

The people in this neighbourhood 

Have agreed to all split up

There’s a war that’s coming & love ain’t enough

Sometimes I think fighting’s all we got

Who do you think is coming?

Who do you think is coming for you?

Who do you think is winning

In the battle for this tune?

There was war between sapiens & neanderthal

Every century since has a ghastly roll call

You & me are signed on our battles starting small

Our melancholy souls yearn 

For Eden before the Fall

And the ones who know they know 

Are who …

We should fear most of all

Who do you think is coming?

Who do you think is coming for you?

Who do you think is winning

In the battle for this tune?

Don’t You Forget Me

What can an old lady tell you

That you might want to know

What can an old lady sing

If it’s not only the beginning

I give you a piece of my heart

What else to impart

On this well worn path 

Don’t you forget me

You won’t regret me

I’ll still sing if you let me

Lets drink to getting old

It’s easy to be seduced

By those sirens’ calls

You gladly hand them your cock

But they want your balls

All I’ve got is my fading soul 

And rock ’n roll

That takes it’s toll 

Don’t you forget me

You won’t regret me

I’ll still sing if you let me

Lets drink to getting old

The old and the withered

Were once the young and the strong

Make way make way

For the new youth to sing their song

I’ve moved off centre stage

Traded all that for wisdom or rage

Or a little of both

Don’t you forget me

You won’t regret me

I’ll still sing if you let me

Lets drink to getting old

Let’s make some heaven

In this place that feels like hell 

Get over here baby

You know how to ring my bell

So it’s you and me

Got our grandchildren on my knee

That’s distinctly sexy

Don’t you forget me

You won’t regret me

I’ll still sing if you let me

Lets drink to getting old

Yours With Disgust

If I told you that I loved you

Would it fill you with disgust

Would you tell the world about me

And put me in the dock

Can I tell you I have failed

Failed as a human being

Failed in holding back lust

Failed in the art of seeming

I can tell you

Oh I can tell you

I can tell you without too much fuss

It’s time to take my leave

Yours, with disgust

If I told you you’d entrusted

The world to mad men

Who trade our gorgeous hell

For a totalitarian heaven

Can I tell you I’ve been asked

To spy for the counter revolution

Would it reflect on my probity

Would I be problem or solution

I can tell you

Oh I can tell you

I can tell you without too much fuss

It’s time to take my leave

Yours, with disgust

If I told you that my parents

Met at a school dance

Young and sweet and innocent

That first blossom of romance

Can I tell you that if you could find

The imbalance of power

In something so pure,

Purity is devoured

I can tell you

Oh I can tell you

I can tell you without too much fuss

It’s time to take my leave

Yours, with disgust

If I told you about a world

Where the good had had their way

With me, with you

And none of us could stray

Which means I can tell you

I can tell you

I can tell you

What I want you to say

I can tell you

Oh I can tell you

I can tell you without too much fuss

It’s time to take my leave

Yours, with disgust

Seaside Resort

I stayed up all night when Ii heard that you’d checked out

From a seedy motel in that seaside resort

The one that we went to together, we weren’t together not then or ever

We did some bad things & never got caught

Truth just the truth you wanted to tell it 

No matter whose feelings wouldn’t be saved

You’d call all my boyfriends losers, I made excuses for your abuses

Then you’d turn around & lie about your age

But you got caught you got caught

You seemed too smart & I never thought

You’d get caught you’d get caught

In a bath in a seaside resort

We spoke a week or so before they called me 

You were on fire about some conspiracy 

Going to court to defend your reputation 

Which needed no defending if they’d only asked me

But you got caught you got caught

You seemed too smart & I never thought

You’d get caught you’d get caught

In a bath in a seaside resort

A man for all seasons a saint of lost weekends

My dear best friend, you loved me thought I

But the syrup of darkness was waiting, no hesitating, so captivating

Into the abyss – die die die die die

And you got caught you got caught

You seemed too smart & I never thought

You’d get caught you’d get caught

In a bath in a seaside resort

But you got caught you got caught

In a bath in a seaside resort

In a bath in a seaside resort

Notes On Ten Plagues

I been thinking about the ten plagues

It took ten plagues for Pharaoh to change his ways

And sometimes we need a gentle prod

To remind us all that we’re not G-d

And we’re not G-d in so many ways

Though the story says in G-d’s image we’re made

But sometimes we have to know what’s what

Which is just how much that we know not

‘Cos we know how to pose like kings 

But we’re blind to our crucial shortcomings

Which sometimes means it’s hard to see

What is actually necessary    

So it’s necessary to free the slaves

And it’s necessary to face down all the plagues

And it’s necessary to shoulder the blame 

For this trip we take, we take alone

There’s Not Much Sleeping To Be Had

There’s not much sleeping to be had 

In the early hours in my king size bed

You’re lying on the other side

I can’t reach you

G-d knows I’ve tried

There’s not much sleeping to be had 

At least admit we’ve given it time 

Neither one of us is in our prime, the engine 

Was gonna stall sometime

There’s not much sleeping to be had

Your ex wives tell the same sad story

Your eyes glaze over once you’ve dug the quarry, & wander 

Looking for new territory

There’s not much sleeping to be had

There’s not much sleeping to be had

I’m like the waking dead

Trying to mend broken thread 

Strangled in my bedspread

There’s not much sleeping to be had

There’s not much sleeping to be had

I’ve forgotten why I had enough

I’ve forgotten what we should discuss

I’ve forgotten why I’m so fucked up

I’m so fucked up

There’s not much sleeping to be had

You drive all night in your black cab

Picking up the stoned and sad, anything 

But coming home’s preferred

There’s not much sleeping to be had 

There’s not much sleeping to be had

There’s not much sleeping to be had

There’s not much sleeping to be had

None of our friends are still together

The rule of thumb from which we measure

While none of it gives me any pleasure

I wish you best of luck in your future endeavours

World of Love (from the album Bitch Epic)

WORLD OF LOVE – CONWAY/ZYGIER

6/8

Intro

C   /Am   /F   /D Eb/

Verse

C   /Am   /F   /D Eb/ C   /Am   /F   /D Eb/

Am /C   /Am  /C   /Ab  /D Eb /D D7/D Eb/  x3

C   /C7   /

Bridge

FCD /F E /FCD /F C /

FCD /F E /FCD /3/8 F /

6/8 Solo

C   /Am   /F   /ID Eb/ C   /Am   /F   /D Eb/

Am /C   /Am /C   /Ab  /Ab  /

C   /Am   /F   /D Eb/ repeat & fade

Everybody’s Begging

beggar man keeps company

with soldiers, sailors, spies and thieves

everybody’s got a scheme

beggar man wears his on his sleeve

the priest is begging for a soul

the rabbi’s begging for the scroll

the ferryman begs for his toll

the jelly’s begging for the roll

Oh oh everybody’s begging

you have a lot of everything

you have someone to do your every bidding

and I see you living like a king

but you know there’s still something missing

the dog is begging for a bone

the heir is begging for the throne

the poor man’s begging for a loan

the unknown are begging to be known

Oh oh everybody’s begging

nothing like an earthly hell

to bring out all the-self styled angels

but the ones who spell it out can’t spell

you give them something and they want something else

there’s writers begging to be read

there’s voices begging in your head

there’s blood that’s begging to be shed

there’s hungry begging for some bread

there’s hooker’s begging to be paid

you think it’s fun just getting laid

there’s junky’s begging for a fix

that’s not enough until it is

Oh oh everybody’s begging

  we are the miserable mammals

every day’s so hard to handle

the path to salvation’s one long battle

the darkness lit by one lone candle

there’s secrets begging to be hidden

the future’s begging to be written

there’s fuel begging for ignition

i’m a soldier begging for a mission

in the dark begging for some light

in the dark begging for a fight

you can just point me at the action

everyone’s begging for distraction

Oh oh everybody’s begging

everything you’ve ever owned

every place that you’ve called home

every piece you thought would fit

the physical and the spirit

what we are is less than what we’re not

and what we’re not is less than what we want

and what we want is where we’re always heading

and all i see is everybody begging

Oh oh everybody’s begging

Through Your Blood Shall You Live

They were young and looking for employment

This was Budapest in 1944

Sitting in the waiting room in the office of the Consulate

Two young people who’d never met before

The Consul claimed he’d know a cheat or scoundrel

Claimed he’d know just by looking in their eyes

Had no time for foreigners or scandals

Or the authorities giving him advice

Through your blood shall you live

Two young people struck up a conversation

Small talk in a crowded waiting room

Both trying to hide their agitation

Before they lied in their respective interviews

They were lying but there was a kind of knowing

A spark of something undefined

His name was called he approached with some foreboding

But he left the office with his permits signed

Through your blood shall you live

She looked to him to give her reassurance

“Is he the bastard he has the reputation for?”

He smiled and asked to meet her at St Stephen’s

Under the Bell Tower that afternoon at 4

She wasn’t sure why she agreed to an encounter

He was handsome but strolling with a stranger wasn’t wise

Both of them were brand new out-of-towners

But there was something so familiar in his eyes

Through your blood shall you live

He left the Polish Consulate whistling softly

He’d been running for a long time without rest

All he wanted was someone to hold him calmly

Let his guard down lay his head upon her breast

He waited in the Bell Tower Square impatiently

The clock struck 4 and then a quarter past

It wasn’t safe for him to loiter aimlessly

He was about to leave when she came at last

Through your blood shall you live

The Siege of Budapest had not begun yet

They walked the boulevard in the autumn sun

As dangerous for them as Russian roulette

The danger was what they carried in their blood

Her mother her father and her little brother

Had been taken she’d seen enough to know they were dead

Her sister had escaped somehow or other

She survived by trusting nothing no-one said

Through your blood shall you live

What he wanted most to ask was very risky

They talked of this and that and such and such

Would he be the victim of mistaking her identity

In the end temptation proved too much

Now we’re getting to the wonder

The part we’d listen to so eagerly

When your grandfather asked your grandmother

“Are you Jewish?” and her eyes flashed and she snapped,” How dare you ask me?”

But your grandfather sang to her very softly

The opening line of the Shema Yisrael

And your grandmother finished off the prayer that he had started

They fell into each other’s arms & there ends the tale

Through your blood shall you live

Blessed

You fell into a trance one night

Saw the Lord in blazing light

And prayed to him to favour you with wisdom

But all the wisdom was a test

Like all the women you undressed

And rumours of your holiness

blessed? were you blessed?

blessed beyond the dust beyond the flesh

You took the beauties to your room

your songs of love made them swoon

You worshipped at their altars you were shameless

You laid your head on every breast

Every word a new conquest

You cannot love and you cannot rest

did it get you blessed? did it get you blessed?

blessed beyond the dust beyond the flesh

Poets aren’t you all the same

Playing G-d at His own game

Creating out of nowhere out of nothing

The blank page is your nemesis

But the girl who moans against your chest

Lets you believe your press

did it get you blessed? did it get you blessed?

blessed beyond the dust beyond the flesh

I loved you, thought I was the one

Sheba to your Solomon

You were my moon, you were my sun

Now I’ve seen what’s left of your monuments

I read your lines in the testaments

I believed whatever you confessed

Thought I was blessed

Every breath just empty air

Every deed just disappears

The wise & foolish in the end are levelled

All our works a vain protest

Our drowning hearts, our souls possessed

The bad die just like the best

were we blessed? were we blessed?

blessed beyond the dust beyond the flesh

blessed, blessed

blessed beyond the dust beyond the flesh

We Walk The Wire

if we pray

if we sacrifice

if we’re patient

if we light the lights

if we work hard

if we fit in

even if we lie down unprotesting

we walk the wire

and if we fall 

we fall to what’s below

take my hand

so we don’t stray at all

let’s walk the wire 

if you steal our home

if you burn us down

if you slander our name

if you claim the higher ground

if there’s no war we can win

nor can afford to lose

even if we plead you refuse

we walk the wire

and if we fall 

we fall to what’s below

take my hand

so we don’t stray at all

let’s walk the wire

if they fight

if they use their fists

if they kill

if they make arrests

if it never stops

if all your hate persists

we’ll do what we’ve always done

we walk the wire

and if we fall 

we fall to what’s below

take my hand

so we don’t stray at all

let’s walk the wire

if we pray

if we sacrifice

if we’re patient

if we light the lights

if we work hard

if we fit in

even if we lie down unprotesting

we walk the wire

and if we fall 

we fall to what’s below

take my hand

so we don’t stray at all

let’s walk the wire

Kol Nidre

Before we can start we have to close

Renounce all our vows all our oaths

All the curses and laments to the wrong gods we chose

’Til we’re empty ‘tiI we’re empty as the sun goes down

 

I’ve done many things I regret

I’ve made a life woven from broken thread

But I want to dance another dance & smoke another cigarette

I am swaying I am swaying in your holy house

 

Sing for me the slow melody that sets me free

 

I found a path I found old steps to retrace

As familiar as my mother’s embrace

And I am here to hear the horn, to be with you, to seek some grace

I am ready I am ready I am empty I am empty I am swaying I am swaying

As the sun goes down

 

From the belly of the whale to the heart of Israel

As Sweet As Battles Won

I was there at the camps

I was there at Babylon

I saw your face at Babi Yar

I am gone baby gone

I felt your breath upon my neck

Smelt your perfume on my gun

I was with you in the olive groves

As sweet as battles won

I was there right beside you

When we sang the workers’ song

I was there when the idols

Became dust that dully shone

I held you in my arms

As you dreamt of old Zion

I’ll love you at the shore line

As sweet as battles won

As sweet as battles won

I was there working for Pharaoh

I lay bruised amongst the stone

I heard of hearts that stopped beating

And I know we all die alone

Yet when you hold me down

With words of love on your tongue

The future is a dream we dream

As sweet as battles won

The future is a dream we dream

As sweet as battles won

I was there for your condescension

I was there to play the violin

I was there to be moved on

Again again again

You hate the fucking Jews

But you always liked Bob Dylan

It’s me that you got now

As sweet as battles won

I was there for your equations

The Lord our G-d the Lord is one

I was there on the seventh day

When you said the world was done

You got other things on your mind now

Everyone’s forgotten about the bomb

I heard your love’s eternal

As sweet as battles won

I heard your love’s eternal

As sweet as battles won

I saw the birth of a country

Saw the country near succumb

I watched them build the Temple

All that glory and then none

I was there to hear glass shatter

As the wedding songs were sung

And inside me a child’s growing

As sweet as battles won

As sweet as battles won

As sweet as battles won

Life’s A Curse

the road was dark and narrow

the rain couldn’t get much worse

we were heading for the border

with a load in the back of the hearse

your face lit by the headlights you muttered something terse

stared ahead gripped the wheel said baby life’s a curse

break your back

on the wheel we’re all on

we push it up

we push it down

we never stop

life’s a curse

we drove all the back towns

every one just like the first

the days were never-ending

every night a grim rebirth

our perfect double act

you’re the doctor, I’m the nurse

we’re saving souls in all those halls that echo life’s a curse

break your back

on the wheel we’re all on

we push it up

we push it down

we never stop

life’s a curse

we saw her in the moonlight

she was swinging her black purse

singing songs of mourning every word in every verse

the ghost of every minstrel with a hunger and a thirst

who know the disappointments who know that life’s a curse

break your back

on the wheel we’re all on

we push it up

we push it down

we never stop

life’s a curse

the road is lined with corpses

wherever you traverse

you can signpost all your failures and repeat them in reverse….

This Song Has Got Me

Now I do this for the money

But I try to get it right

It’s been a way to feed the kids

And pull the darkness from the light

It’s been a way to fill the void

A way to get applause

A way to keep away the wolves

And a way to bolt the door

love me sweet, love me long

you got me in this song

this song has got me

and you got me in this song

Once I did it for rebellion

For the poet in my soul

For spotlights, for attention

Sex & drugs & rock n roll

I did it for redemption

I did it for my needs

I’ll be here til I’m bleeding

I’ll be here when you leave

love me sweet, love me long

you got me in this song

this song has got me

and you got me in this song

this song has got me

and you got me in this song

It’s a way to see perfection

On a road that’s full of flaws

Most times it’s all effort

And rarely am I sure

I bumped into an old man

He had been to where I’m going

Gave me a look of pity

‘Cos up ahead was Leonard Cohen

He told me Cohen struggled

He went and shaved his head

He went and served another

– when all those words did him no good

He went to find G-d instead

& G-d said

love me sweet, love me long

you got me in this song

this song has got me

and you got me in this song

this song has got me

and you got me in this song

What else would I do if I knew I couldn’t love you?

Throw Me A Lifeline

Throw me a towrope ‘cos I’m going down

Drag me to the shoreline & out of this dream

I’m drowning in sorrow I’m out of my depth here

Getting further & further into uncharted sea

Throw me a lifeline

This is the end, the last revelation

The sky is bruised black and the water blood red

I can’t feel my fingers my legs gone beneath me

And I can’t see a future more than one step ahead

Throw me a lifeline

The whole world is laughing

Standing on the shoreline

Pointing & laughing as I choke for breath

the sideshow, the scapegoat, the constant distraction

So much easier to mourn me in death

Throw me a lifeline

They’ve all turned away now, bored of the drama,

Salt fills my mouth & salt stings my eyes

Left to the monsters who prey in these waters

Knowing there’s no-one to drop the lifeline

Throw me a lifeline

G-d are you listening, I can pray louder

G-d if you hear me then give me a sign

I’ll be the beast, I’ll be the sea monster

I’ll be the nightmare, beyond the shoreline

I’ll be my angel I’ll be my saviour

I’ll be the flight that signals the slaughter

I’ll be the hunger the feast & the famine

I’ll be the mother I’ll be the daughter

I’ll be my husband I’ll be my bride

I’ll be the wine I’ll be the succour

i’ll be the widow i’ll be the orphan

i will be reason just keep us alive

Throw me a lifeline

Serpent’s Tooth

Leave your armies at the border

I surrender

You won’t need your slings and arrows

I surrender

Take down your hair my  lovely

All the pins that hurt my hands

the sharpness of your judgments wound

you leave me dumb

please still your tongue

leave your weapons at the entrance 

i surrender

you won’t need your guns or bullets

i surrender

all my heart is yours to keep

the tenderest of all my parts

be careful of your brutal feet

don’t trample me

beneath this love

leave your armour on the doorstep

i  surrender

you won’t need your wall of silence

I surrender 

all the sleepless nights we spent

in the comfort of my arms

your tangled legs your warm sweet scent

my pillows dent

in remembrance

leave your tempest in the hallway

I surrender

you won’t need  thunder you won’t need lightning 

I surrender

you won’t need that moat around you

i surrender

Somewhere Different

I’D LIKE TO START OVER AGAIN
I’D TAKE MY TIME AND SEE THINGS YOUR WAY
NO WE WON’T RUSH
OH JUST NICE AND SLOW
YOU LEAD AND I’LL FOLLOW
TO SOMEWHERE DIFFERENT

MY POINT OF VIEW HAS TURNED AROUND
SINCE THE PAINT DRIED ON THIS PART OF TOWN
GONE, THE LATE NIGHT SONGS
WE SANG ALL WRONG
NOW I JUST SIT AND LONG
FOR SOMEWHERE DIFFERENT

SWEETHEART TIME APART WON’T MAKE
OUR LOVE MORE FAIR
BUT IT’S DIFFERENT SOMEWHERE

I’VE BEEN SINGING
MY FUNNY VALENTINE
AND DREAMING YOU’RE STILL MINE
SOMEWHERE DIFFERENT

It’s Not The Same Without You

I’M OUT ON A LIMB
IT’S LUCKY I CAN SING WITHOUT YOU
I CAN TWEET OR SQUAWK FOR SHOW
BUT I CAN’T CROW
BECAUSE I KNOW YOU’RE LONG GONE
YOU’RE NOT COMING HOME

IT’S NOT THE SAME WITHOUT YOU
NOONE TO BLAME WITHOUT YOU
I FEEL SO LAME WITHOUT YOU
COS IT’S NOT THE SAME WITHOUT YOU

I’VE SAT AROUND FOR HOURS
WRITING HEARTS AND FLOWERS WITHOUT YOU
I DON’T MEAN A WORD
AND IT’S NOT RINGING TRUE
I’M COMING UNSTUCK
AND I’VE RUN OUT OF GLUE
I’M STUPIDLY BLUE

IT’S NOT THE SAME WITHOUT YOU
NO HEAT IN MY FLAME WITHOUT YOU
I’M MISSING MY AIM WITHOUT YOU
COS IT’S NOT THE SAME WITHOUT YOU

I’VE SAID ALL THIS BEFORE
I CAN’T SING IT ANYMORE WITHOUT YOU
IF IT’S REALLY TRUE AND THIS TIME WE’RE THROUGH
I’D SELL MY SOUL BUT I CAN’T GIVE IT TO YOU
TOO OLD TO QUIT AND TOO YOUNG TO STEW
THOUGHT I’D PAID MY DUES BUT
FARWELL MY MUSE

IT’S NOT THE SAME WITHOUT YOU
I’M BOUND AND I’M TAME WITHOUT YOU
I GOT NO CLAIM WITHOUT YOU
I’M SO ASHAMED WITHOUT YOU
FROM BACK WHERE I CAME WITHOUT YOU
WHO’LL REMEMBER MY NAME WITHOUT YOU
IT’S THE END OF THE GAME WITHOUT YOU
COS IT’S NOT THE SAME WITHOUT YOU

Take Pity On The Beast

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
MAN LIVES HIS LIFE ON THE LEASH
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
TIL HIS BURDEN IS COMPLETE
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

I WAS WALKING (MY DOG) IN THE GARDENS
THE DAY RISING UP WITH THE SUN
A WELL DRESSED MAN IN LEATHER TOLD ME
I AM THE SON
I AM THE SON OF GOD, THE MESSIAH
AND I SEE EVERYTHING YOU DONE WRONG
BEFORE YOU IS REDEMPTION
THEN HE BLESSED ME AND WAS GONE

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
IT’S ALWAYS FAMINE NEVER FEAST
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
UNTIL THE SUN SETS IN THE EAST
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

MY GOOD FRIEND HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN
TRUTHS WERE LEAKING OUT OF HER LIKE SHIT
SHE SAID MY WHOLE LIFE‘S A SICKNESS
I AM SICK
I AM SICK AND I’M A LIAR
AND I DRIP SADNESSS EVERYWHERE I GO
I SEE NO LIGHT, NO JOY, NO BEAUTY
THEN SHE SAYS BUT I’M GOING ON WITH THE SHOW

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
ONE DAY SOON HE’LL BE DECEASED
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
HE’S BEEN ROBBED AND HE’S BEEN FLEECED
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

HIS SKIN IS PAPER THIN AND WORN OUT
HIS BLUE EYES ARE VACANT LOTS
AS A YOUNG MAN HE WAS A SURVIVOR
OF THE HOLOCAUST
THE HOLOCAUST WAS HIS COMPANION
A LIFETIME AT HIS SIDE
NOW ALL THAT’S GONE WITH HIS MEMORY
AND ALL HE SAYS IS ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
HE KNOWS ENOUGH TO KNOW HE’S LEAST
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
WHEN HE’S CRUMPLED AND HE’S CREASED
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

I KNOW A MAN WHO DENIES HIS ESSENCE
HE IS A MAN WHO IS NOT AT ONE
WHEN HE SWALLOWS MOODS FROM A BOTTLE
HE IS BLIND DEAF DUMB
BLIND DEAF DUMB TO REASON
CRYING OUT FOR MORE
CHEMICALS AND CRAZY HORMONES
A ONE MAN SELF WAGED WAR

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
IF YOU’RE RABBI OR YOU’RE PRIEST
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
LIKE A LOVER JUST RELEASED
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

WE WERE SLAVES IN THE LAND OF EGYPT
WE WERE DOGS UNDER PHAROAH’S WHIP
‘TIL THE FIRST BORN LAY DYING
AND THE MOUNTAINS SKIPPED
THE MOUNTAINS SKIPPED THE JORDAN TURNED BACKWARDS
THE SEA SAW AND FLED
AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
TREMBLED AND WEPT

WE LURCH FROM POST TO PILLAR
REPEATING OUR MISTAKES
IN EVERY GENERATION
WE ALL ACHE
WE ALL ACHE FROM OUR DESIRES
FROM ALL OUR MISPLACED TRUST
IN HEROS, GODS AND SCIENCE
BUT STILL WE ARE DUST TO DUST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
WHATEVER SCARE THEY PREACH
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
IT’S MILK SWEETER THAN IT’S MEAT
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
YOU GOTTA TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST
LIFE IS BRUTAL TIL IT’S CEASED
TAKE PITY ON THE BEAST

Lying Next To You

WOKE UP TODAY THE SKY WAS ALL GREY
I WAS LYING NEXT TO YOU
SO HOW COULD I MIND IF THE SUN TAKES HER TIME
WHILE I’M LYING NEXT TO YOU

THOUGHTS COME AND GO JUST TICKING OVER SLOW
WHILE I’M LYING NEXT TO YOU
WHAT WAS BEFORE DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE
LYING NEXT TO YOU

THE DAWN CHORUS CHOIR
THE ALARM’S ABOUT TO FIRE
I’M LYING NEXT TO YOU
YOUR BREATH SOFT AND WARM IN THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
LYING NEXT TO YOU

I’M SPENDING TODAY A MILLION MILES AWAY
FROM LYING NEXT TO YOU
BEFORE THE BLINDS ARE DRAWN
I NEED A MOMENT MORE
LYING NEXT TO YOU

AND TONIGHT WHEN I FALL AT THE END OF IT ALL
I’LL BE LYING NEXT TO YOU

YES I KNOW WHEN WE FALL AT THE END OF IT ALL I’LL BE LYING NEXT TO YOU

Cul De Sac

I LIKE THIS HOUSE
YOUR FACE
THIS PLACE
I ADORE IT
THIS ROOM
MY CLOTHES
OUR BED
I ENJOY IT
AND ALL WE SHOULD DO IS WALTZ RIGHT ON THROUGH IT
OUR SHACK IN OUR CUL DE SAC

EVERYDAY’S FINE
LIKE SUMMER WINE
WE’RE LOVE BIRDS
WE’RE DRUNK
ON DREAMS AND SCHEMES
IN THE SUBURBS
THIS SEDENTARY LIFE
YOU’RE HUSBAND, I’M WIFE
WE’RE ON TRACK IN OUR CUL DE SAC

WE CAN PRETEND
WE’RE RICH
AND SPEND
WHAT WE PLEASES
WE’LL BUY
THE SKY
THE BIRDS AND THE BREEZES
AND ALL THEY CAN DO IS FLY RIGHT ON
THROUGH IT
OUT BACK OF OUR CUL DE SAC

CHILDREN GROW UP
LEAVE SCHOOL
LEAVE HOME
CHILDREN GET MARRIED
HAVE CHILDREN OF THEIR OWN
THE DOG JUST DIED
HE’S UNDER THE DAISYS

TIME DRIFTS ALONG
OUR DAYS
STRETCH ON
BUT LATELY
EACH YEAR
I’M HERE
SEEMS TO TAKE APPROXIMATELY
HALF AS MUCH TIME AS WHEN I WAS 9
ON DAD’S BACK WALKING HOME
THE TWILIGHT SO LONG
THE ROSES IN BLOOM
WHILE THE MOON LED US ON
SHINING LIGHT ON THE PATH
WE’D SING OUT AT THE DARK
COMING BACK TO OUR CUL DE SAC

Spoken Like A Man

I SHARED MY BED WITH YOU HONEY
I SHARED ALL MY PILLOW TALK TOO
AND WHAT DID I GET IN RETURN FOR THAT?
A FEELING I SHOULD WATCH MY BACK

I SHARED MY HEAD WITH YOU HONEY
EVERY DREAM I EVER HAD
I STAYED HOME WHILE YOU TRAVELLED THE WORLD
YOU DIDN’T BRING DIAMONDS YOU NEVER BOUGHT ME PEARLS
BUT YOU’D STILL CALL ME YOUR GIRL

AND YOU SAID –
“ I LOVE YOU, I THINK I DO
I’M JUST CONFUSED, I NEED A BREAK
CAN YOU TRY TO UNDERSTAND”
AND I THOUGHT –“ SPOKEN LIKE A MAN”

I SHARED MY LIFE WITH YOU HONEY
GAVE YOU MY SUPREMO YEARS
I SAID I’D BE PATIENT LET YOU WORK IT THROUGH
A MAN’S GOTTA DO WHAT HE DO

I SHARED MY TRUTH WITH YOU HONEY
BUT HONEY DID NOT SHARE IT WITH ME
I WAITED AT THE CROSSROAD WITH MY HEART OUT OF SHAPE
WAITING, AS IT TURNED OUT, FOR A TREACHEROUS SNAKE
COS YOU WERE JUST PLANNING A WAY TO ESCAPE
INTO ANOTHER’S ARMS

AND YOU SAID –
“ I LOVE YOU, I THINK I DO
I’M JUST CONFUSED, I NEED A BREAK
CAN YOU TRY TO UNDERSTAND”
AND I THOUGHT –“ SPOKEN LIKE A MAN”

NOW YOU SAY WE CAN MAKE IT ALRIGHT
YOU WANT BACK IN MY BED AND MY HEAD AND MY LIFE
HONEY YOU CAN BEG ME FOR AS LONG AS YOU LIKE
BUT YOU AIN’T NEVER MY MAN

I SAID
“ I LOVED YOU, I REALLY DID
BUT I’M NOT CONFUSED, THERE’S NO MISTAKE
“YEAH I LOVED YOU, BUT THAT’S THE PAST TENSE
AND I’M NOT CONFUSED, THERE’S NO MISTAKE

AND I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND”

– SPOKEN LIKE A WOMAN

YOU CRY OUT LOUD A BOO

Say Goodbye To What Is Left

I MEANT EVERY WORD I EVER SAID
EVERY GOOD DEED IN MY HEAD
EVERY THOUGHT I EVER THOUGHT
AND EVERY SINGLE SALTY TEAR I SHED

AND I DON’T MIND IF YOU DISAGREE
JUST STRIKE ME OFF YOUR LIST
AND I DON’T CARE IF WE FIGHT SOMETIMES
COS I WON’T BREAK
AND I’M NOT SCARED
TO SAY GOODBYE TO WHAT IS LEFT

BUT IT SEEMS SO FAR FROM HERE
WHEN WHITE WAS WHITE AND BLACK WAS COMPLETELY CLEAR
YOU SAY I’VE STUMBLED BECAUSE I’VE SEEN
WHITE AS BLACK AND BLACK DARKER THAN A DREAM

EVERYBODY’S YELLING AT ME
EVERYBODYS MAKING TOO MUCH NOISE

YOU FUCKING KNOW IT ALL
YOU THINK YOU’VE SEEN THE LIGHT, WHAT’S RIGHT
BUT I KNOW WHAT’S LEFT

AND I DON’T MIND IF YOU DISAGREE
JUST STRIKE ME OFF YOUR LIST
AND I DON’T CARE IF WE FIGHT SOMETIMES
COS I WON’T BREAK
AND I’M NOT SCARED
I WON’T GET HURT
COS I DON’T CARE
I WON’T COMPLAIN
COS I’M NOT THE SAME
SO I SAY GOODBYE TO WHAT IS LEFT

Into The Blue

ROCK ME IN THE CRADLE
SING A LULLABYE
THE MOON IS BIG AND ROUND AND HIGH
WISH ME TALL AND GRACEFUL
WISH FOR ME TO FLY
AND WHEN I’M ABLE PLEASE DON’T CRY

DON’T COME FIND ME I’VE GONE WANDERING
DON’T KNOW WHERE I’M WANDERING TO
DADDY’S WORKING MAMA’S BUSY
I’M FALLING INTO THE BLUE

INTO THE BLUE, INTO THE BLUE, INTO THE BLUE
DADDY’S WORKING MAMA’S BUSY
I’M FALLING INTO THE BLUE

I’M GONNA BE A BALLERINA
WELL I’M GONNA BE A BIG STAR TOO
I’M GONNA CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN
AND WAVE A FLAG INTO THE BLUE

INTO THE BLUE, INTO THE BLUE, INTO THE BLUE
I’M GONNA CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN
AND WAVE A FLAG INTO THE BLUE

OUT THERE MOTHERS WAIT FOR CHILDREN
TO SLEEP SOUNDLY ALL NIGHT THROUGH
SOON THOSE CHILDREN WILL BE MOTHERS
AND WONDER WHAT THEIR CHILDREN DO

INTO THE BLUE, INTO THE BLUE, INTO THE BLUE
SOON THOSE CHILDREN WILL BE MOTHERS
SINGING OUT INTO THE BLUE

Say Goodnight

SAY GOODNIGHT, DON’T SAY GOODNIGHT
HAVE ONE MORE DRINK TO BE POLITE
WE’LL WATCH THE MOON SINK TO THE FLOOR

WE’RE FEELING FINE, WE’RE FEELING FINE
THE MUSIC AND TOO MUCH RED WINE
SO DON’T GO RUSHING OUT THE DOOR

HOLD ME ‘TIL THERE’S NO MORE SHADOWS
I’M STILL PRETTY WHEN IT’S LIGHT
DON’T SAY GOODNIGHT

IT’S TIME TO SLEEP, IT’S TIME TO SLEEP
BUT ALL THOSE PLEASANT DREAMS WILL KEEP
I‘D RATHER HANG AROUND WITH YOU ALL

THE LATE SHOW’S DONE, THE LATE SHOW’S DONE
WE’VE SCREWED AROUND WE’VE HAD SOME FUN
BUT CURTAINS ALWAYS HAVE TO FALL

HOLD ME TIL THERE’S NO MORE SHADOWS
I’M STILL PRETTY WHEN IT’S LIGHT
SO STAY WITH ME TONIGHT
IT’S DEFINITELY QUITE WRONG
TO SAY GOODNIGHT

THE LATE SHOW’S DONE, THE LATE SHOW’S DONE
WE’VE FOOLED AROUND WE’VE HAD SOME FUN
NOW THE CURTAIN MUST COME DOWN.

The Writing’s On The Wall

Throw them overboard
Loose the safety cord
All my deep beliefs
My ballast in this life
Has weighed me like a chain and ball and kept me pinned to certainties long gone
And the writing’s on the wall

Sold my soul today
Got a pocketful of change
Almost what it’s worth
On current currency exchange
My prayer went up to G-d, where’s my love, my fame, my talent that should have come from up above?
All I get is writing on the wall

It’s started getting cold
I can see my breath like smoke
It reminds me of New York
When you used to love me back
And we’d walk and talk for hours through those graffitied streets and the giant holes that once were world trade towers
We never saw the writing on the wall

I am numbered, I am weighed, I am found to be wanting –
In the balance I am lame and insensitive to other people’s pain

Back in 6BC
There was a conqueror’s feast
Where Belshazzar held court
Amongst one thousand lords
They drank from stolen cups toasting their false gods until that disembodied claw
Put the writing on the wall

He thought he had it all
Just pride before the fall…

G-d

I am the creator, the violator
Of your natural law
I am pure vengeance, the death sentence
Happy to destroy
Send in the plagues, the flood, send fire
I never tire of misery
I’ll slay your first born, I’ll slay your second born
I’ll make it easy to believe
I’ve done it before
I can do it again
Let’s start with you atheists, a good way to begin

I am, I will, I do, I see

I am the code, the secret road
To your hidden soul
I am the noise and I am the poison
That will take you all down
Here is the pestilence, don’t want to talk sense
To anyone here
I’m not forgiveness, nor am I kindness
Or justice, just fear
I made the world
And I make the rules
You think there aren’t any, you’re fools

I am, I will, I do, I see

Light your candles, bend your knee, lift your eyes and cry again
Why me, why me

No hiding friend, we’re at the end
I’ve predetermined destiny
Too late for prayers, you think I care?
I’m gonna blow you to smithereens
I’ve done it before
I can do it again
Hear it coming, the day of reckoning
I’ve done it before
I can do it again
I’ll still be here after Armageddon

I am, I will, I do, I see

In every generation
I help a nation to fall

Book Of Life

Blow the horn blow the horn
Give a voice to all the mournful souls who search to be reborn tonight
Forgiveness like the sharpest knife
Oh G-d inscribe me in the Book of Life
I’ve been hungry since before the dawn

Everybody’s empty but it’s not for food
Everybody’s praying here to be rescued
Examining our sins it’s hard not to conclude
We’re screwed
The worlds in flames these maddened days of black and white
No shades of grey to keep at bay the darkest night
There’s never been a song that could save a life

Blow the horn blow the horn….

Tired and full of uncried tears I still can’t shed
Stored up with the unsaid things we never said
You wanted forgiveness I wasn’t ready yet
Now you’re dead
For all the souls who lost themselves I sing for you
Apart from that there’s nothing more that I can do
And though I know it’s useless it kind of helps me through

Blow the horn blow the horn….

I want to see my children out in the world
Grown into women from little girls
Why didn’t you want that too?
The older you get the more friends you lose
Next year I won’t disappear in fire or flood
Next year I’ll still be here to do some good
I won’t be taken by pills or thrills or wine
I should be doing fine

Blow the horn blow the horn….

East Of Eden

She turned round and said, “I’ve had enough
Of sleeping rough I want more from life,
This is not Paradise”
They were sitting on the bus, and heading west
He felt a mess but kind of blessed
Like they were man and wife
They’d first met on one defining evening
When the moon hung low and heavy in the air
And everything around them seemed enchanted
While they held on and laid each other bare

He pushed back his seat and checked the stars
Did life on Mars make more sense than this?
He was kind of hoping she’d reveal a secret stash,
Plan something rash, a mad dash to cash her chips in
But she was saying nothing
He remembered music from his childhood
Tried to hum it with the engine’s low tattoo
He was hoping she knew what she was doing
Cos he realised he didn’t have a clue
It’s worth a try, it’s worth a try
And if we don’t fall we’re going to fly
To a great height

3am and they’re still on the bus
And all that gloss of taking off
Has worn a little thinner
We know being poor is crap it lays a trap
For every sap who thinks that happiness
Fills you more than dinner
He leant across to be a little closer
She turned her back and shifted in her seat
She was dreaming of another happy ending
And waking up would only mean defeat
It’s worth a try, it’s worth a try
And if you don’t fall you’re going to fly
To a great height

Only a poor boy with an open heart
Could find himself on top of the world
With nowhere to go but down

He learnt in bible class the world was made
In just six days and on the seventh
G-d stood back to marvel
Then Eve and Adam really screwed things up
And all for what was never worth much
A lousy piece of strudel
He thought about his sleeping companion
All she wanted was to exit gracefully
They had entered from opposite directions
Both drawn by the apple on the tree
It’s worth a try, it’s worth a try
Cos if they don’t fall they’re going to fly
To a great height

The bus stops before dawn he feels torn
‘tween what’s behind and what’s before him
The desert is so quiet
The driver fills the tank the diesel stank
He wanders off to smoke a fag
And dream of things he hasn’t tried yet
She’d only offered something that he wanted
A chance to really see things as they are
But his vision’s gone all misty round the edges
And he lets the bus leave him in the dark
It was worth a try, was worth a try
Cos if we didn’t fall we were going to fly
To a great height

Third Time Down

The drought broke hard without much warning, it rained, rained, rained
Floods filled the pretty parks, houses and cars float away

First time the water closes over I’m going down
Second time all my sins forgiven
Redemption on the third time down

To Postman’s Ridge, below the mountain, the torrent roared
Covered everything, the devil himself could have done no more

First time the water closes over I’m going down
Second time all my sins forgiven
Redemption on the third time down

Creeks turn to seas
People lost in disbelief
I was held by the tide but now I am released

Close the doors, lock all the windows, it’s wet outside
Turn on the radio, you can pray but I’d rather dance tonight

Nothing Tastes The Same

I been looking out of my window
Late at night
See couples on the street
Distracting me while I’m trying to write
Lovers trying out a slow waltz
I remember that game
Makes me sick to the stomach
‘cos nothing tastes the same

Nothing tastes the same
I don’t know what’s changed
But nothing tastes the same
No nothing tastes the same

I been hearing all about you
People think I want to know
The phone is off I lock the door
Pretend there’s no one home
But downstairs they’re playing love songs
And drinking champagne
That stuff sticks in my throat
‘cos nothing tastes the same

Nothing tastes the same
I don’t know what’s changed
Nothing tastes the same
Nothing tastes the same

I’m drunk before I drink, I’m full before I eat
I can’t stay awake by day and night times I can’t sleep
And all the sweets are bitter and all the bitters sweet

I been thinking on fallen emperors
And once mighty empires
Tables laid for feasting
Everything they desired
But it all comes to nothing
I know about that pain
When all that’s left is hollow
You don’t care about tomorrow
‘cos nothing tastes the same

Nothing tastes the same
I don’t know what’s changed
Nothing tastes the same
Nothing tastes the same
Nothing tastes the same
It’s a crying shame
That nothing tastes the same
Nothing tastes the same

Outside Of Zion

Falling at your feet
Coming apart slowly
I kneel before you now
Asking forgiveness for all that I’ve done
Standing outside of Zion

The Lord writes better tunes
I pray for some guidance
My work is rough and rude
There was a time when I heard your song
It rang out so sweetly, and I sang along
And it’s still in my head, playing 1 2 3 1
Standing outside of Zion

Every mistake that I made
I’d make them all over again
‘cos all of those wrong turns and stumbles I took
Let me glimpse perfection

I dreamt the Promised Land
But I’ve lost my way lately
And I don’t know how this ends
There have been times when my faith was strong
There have been times when I got it all wrong
And there have been days when the people were crying
Lord were you lying
Leaving us standing outside of Zion

Too Loud

Too loud, too pushy, too smart, too brash
You’re a schemer, you’re a plotter, you deserve what you get
Pack your bags again, time to move on
You’re not welcome friend, get gone, gone

You’re the headline, you’re the subtext, you’re the reason we’re awash
You’re the other, you’re the other and it’s always your fault
Pack your bags again, time to move on
You’re not welcome friend, get gone, gone
Change your name again, find another trade again
Go back to where you came from

You’re a spy, an infiltrator, you’re always underfoot
And where the hell is your messiah you keep banging on about?
Pack your bags again, time to move on
You’re not welcome friend, get gone, gone
Shove your moral stances, let go of my finances
No more second chances for you
Take your book for what it’s worth
Your children will wander the earth
Exiled and cursed for what you do

You’re a victim, you’re a whiner, you’re the most vilified
You unite the rest of us to hate that you survive
Pack your bags again, it’s time to move on
You’re not welcome friend, get gone, gone
And when you rise in self-defense, build yourself a brand new fence
We’ll force you to recompense your foes
‘cos you keep getting greedier
You own Hollywood and the media
You assimilate like a chameleon but you show
You’re a bleeding hearted socialist you’re a Neo-Con with an iron fist, you’re a
coward and a recidivist
And you think, you think you’re chosen

At The Western Wall

It’s just a prayer
Don’t expect too much
You weren’t there
Are you ever there at all?

Heard a siren
Mistook it for your cry
I ran to find you
I’d forgotten that you’d died

Loneliness is the home
The way things fall
I dreamt you were alone
At the Western Wall

I took a walk
The wind was blowing from the south
I can’t get warm
And I can’t hold you close
The cracks in the stones
The hand written notes
The sound of prayers
The stories of ghosts

Loneliness is the home
The way things fall
I dreamt you were alone
At the Western Wall

Loneliness is the home
The way things fall
I dreamt you were alone
There was no way on
The desert shifts and moans
As it shrouds the sun
The dust is in our mouths
This dream is done

It’s just a prayer
Some old sad words
Sung into the air
I pray somewhere you heard

I Used To Know You

Outside my window sits a stone statue
A boy dressed in lichen his head in his hands
Under the maple, dead leaves all round him
Reminds me of you now you’re gone
So many memories, we’re always laughing
Nothing too serious until it was
But that’s not how I knew you
And what I come back to
Is maybe I never knew you at all
Saw you grow child to man
Fearless and deluded
I used to know you
But who the hell were you?
To leave us all living
To cry at your graveside
Just a stone statue I never knew at all

Stories Of Ghosts Review Sydney Morning Herald 28/02/2013

The Sydney Morning Herald

February 28, 2013

Chris Johnson

Stories of Ghosts

Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier (Intercorps/MGM)

There is something sublimely distinctive about Deborah Conway.

It is her voice, her songwriting, her attitude.

It is a challenge to find any musical work Conway has been involved with that isn’t simply magnificent.

So when she teams up with life and musical partner Willy Zygier on another recording venture, the outcome is sure to be something special.

And it is.

Stories of Ghosts, the latest offering from the Conway-Zygier team is simply outstanding.

It would have been hard for the couple to follow their last album, the brilliant Half Man Half Woman, which was very well received by critics and fans alike.

But they have done it. Was there any doubt they would?

The Conway-Zygier team is a match – at least musically speaking – made in heaven.

How fitting then that this album is about God and ghosts.

On track two, titled G-D, Conway even plays the role of the big guy in the sky, although in a somewhat demented and vengeful characterisation.

Actually, Stories of Ghosts is an incredible collection of simply stunning songs centring on life’s journey. Songs about beliefs, struggles, loves and the deepest of human thoughts – with lots of themes that relate to the Old Testament.

The ten tracks on this album are all original Conway-Zygier compositions and flow naturally.

Conway’s singing is at its best, with her voice perfectly suited to this material – during both the delicate and the edgier tracks.

Vika and Linda Bull lend some backing vocals on a couple of tracks, which is just adding class to more class.

And Zygier’s voice is in great form too.

But what takes the album to another dimension is Zygier’s prowess on just about all things stringed.

Zygier is a master guitarist and a complete joy to listen to. Whether it is acoustic guitar, bottleneck slide guitar, mandolin, banjo, bouzouki or ukulele, Zygier can make his instrument sing. (He plays most of them plus piano on this album).

All of the instrumentation on this album, by Conway and Zygier as well as a handful of backing and guest musicians, is superb.

Track four, East of Eden, is the standout number, but they are all exquisite.

Chris Johnson