Lost Songs

Lost Songs

 

Open Doors

It might have been the page and pen
Were once enough to save the world
Now it doesn’t answer
Tables have been turnedSave your smile, and woe betide
These seven simple offerings
Daylight hides the answers
Walking through open doors

Light defines our states of mind
They push us through our sufferings
To lose ourselves in laughter
Life lets you flow

Understand how underhand
We reinvent ourselves again
Waiting for the answers
And walking through open doors

Bright as day and soft as sky
The oracle goes passing by
Giving us no glances
Life lets you flow

Fear is not when all is lost
And all is lost when suffering
Daylight hides the answers
Walking through open doors

It brings to mind that simpler times
Were once enough to save to world
Now it doesn’t matter
Time has been scorned

Annotations

This song is named after a series of performances I recently took part in, which took place in small villages around different provinces of Cambodia as part of a cultural exchange entitled “Open Doors”. The tour was conceived and organized by Marcel Crompvoets, who is currently involved in APLE, or Action pour les Enfants an organization to help fight human trafficking and abuse of children in Cambodia.

Pin Hole Cameras

Lyrics

I’ve seen this city through eyes of pin hole cameras
Shadows grey and upside down
I’ve seen these streets stretch like slides in panorama
Vanish into darkness on the edge of town

I’ve walked the alleys with my camera in my pocket
I’ve stopped to watch the sun set, Ladybird Lake, Austin
I’ve captured moments, places, faces lost and empty
I’ve seen them starving, living in this land of plenty

It makes me sorry
My pin hole camera
These photographs
Reveal no answers

I’ve traced the lines of broken prayers on empty spaces
Recorded time in strange and cryptic wire transmissions
Postponed the days I felt fit to reveal the deception
Does deception reveal itself?

I’ve kept the world a secret in my instamatic
I’ve captured history upside down
Taken light from others heedless of their vision
Lost memories to anger in a split decision

It makes me sorry
This world of cameras
Our photographs
Reveal no answers

Annotations

These lyrics addresses our dependence upon photography in modern communication, and invites us to question the validity of what we see in the photographed images that we are inundated with on a daily basis.

Up to Infinity

Lyrics

The darkest days they lie before us
The world, a monster coming back to eat her master
Remember when we bathed with candles
The granite eyes of Horus danced about our naked mantles
This cross, which cross
Which cross is the one
This cross, which cross?
You’ll hang the witches from?

A mother screams, a child answers
Her flesh is ripped apart and dashed upon the flagstones
A father cries, a soldier dances
Streets of fire, raped bodies piled among the ashes
Which son, which son,
Which son is the one?
Is this son the one you waste your kingdom on?

The seven songs of spring, a dish to set before the king
The solemn secret signs for those who died before their time
The fallen king is found, his mouth is gagged his hands are bound
The seven fiddlers play for those who won’t survive this day

A mother screams
Which son is the one?

Annotations

This song is about the Syrian civil war. We believe that tyranny and despotism suffered by any people, anywhere, is intolerable, and not an internal matter, but one which justifies international intervention.

The line “Pardon all of them” was inspired by the song ‘Pardon Up Here’ by the band Berntholer.

Opera Obscura

Lyrics

Anchors away, we raise the canvas
Ride the rising wind across the blank space
Brace the sails tie down the main stays
Fix down the hatches while the storms rages about our heads
Would I come crashing down into the Storm
Out of a dream to fly the wind god is born

Fire in the hold, release the captives
Embrace the fury as the torrent screams about us
Across the waves, across the planets
Across the empty skies our hopes are dashed like antlers
I would come back across seas of the remote
I will come back to you and bind you to your oath

Annotations

The lyrics of this song are specific to my novel Strange News From Another Planet, the first preview of which was published with our last album ‘Tao of the Dead’, and the latest sections of are included in the deluxe version of this album.

Lost Songs

Lyrics

Lost songs, they’re going nowhere
Lost for words, with nothing to share
Lost beats with no emotion
Swimming through remotest ocean
Vague shapes and blunted knives
Give their best to crumpled up lives
In this port there’s nowhere to go
Only void to swallow you whole
Sometimes we might wander through these aisles
Picking up the tracers with our minds
Tell me this is where I crossed the line
Winding through the isle of lost songs

Lost loves, they rot around you
Their molten despair fills the blank air
Lost chords they can’t be broken
Drenched in holes, words unspoken
Vague shapes and lying signs
Take the beauty from these lost lives
In this world there’s nowhere to go
Only void to swallow you whole
Sometimes as we wander through these rites
Picking up transmissions with our wires
Tell me there is something to inspire
Living there inside these lost songs

Annotations

This song is inspired by the idea that perhaps there really are simply too many songs in the world, many of which, like so many unwanted children, might never be heard by those who might appreciate and love them. It is a cynical observation made in a time where we are flooded with musical quantity at the expense of quality. But perhaps this is a good problem.

Flower Card Games

Lyrics

A space, a line, a thought, a crime
A peace of mind, flower card games
A throne, a jewel, an empty pool
Break all the rules to flower card games

I cross the empty space, deny myself again
Somehow I break away, flower card games
I won’t resign to be defined
I can survive these flower card games

Can we play flower card games?

I am the ghost, I am the son,
I am the one flower card game
I will devise, conquer divide
I will be here in time, flower card games

I won’t deny the shame, I won’t hide it away
I want my love to play flower card games
I will escape the chains, I will come back again

I want my love to play flower card games

Annotations

Flower cards are a game from Korea. Jim Morrison once said, “All games contain the idea of death”.

A Place to Rest

Lyrics

Lay on the ground
Taste of the shade
Save your last sound
Burn it away
Lights on the hill
Wolves on their way
As above
So below

Fight for the throne
Hunt for the horn
Dreams had been sown
War has been born
The wolf hath devoured
Where oaths hath been scorned
As above
So below

Shadows waiting for the day
Gyre and gimble in the wabe
Bastard son sent to the wall
Bastard bitch sits on the throne
Life so cheap for one so young
Flesh so soft for one so dumb

Annotations

This song is about Game of Thrones.

Heart of Wires

Lyrics

Out from the wires under the ambience
Born from the violence haunting the town
Indigo stains, eyes that answer
To one with no one around
Here on the many cold day she walks among this heart of wires
Steal her memories back from the boy whose mind has come alive

Blood becomes oil melts into acid
Thoughts become blurs on the monitor lights
Who is to say that life is not sprung up
From silence that dwells in disguise
Here amidst the cold razors she walks among this heart of wires
Give her memories back to the boy whose mind comes afire

Who from the heart of these wires
Rises up from the mud
Into their graves, I’ll bury the stones
Make silent their innocent tongues
Here amidst the cold razors she walks among these heart of wires
Seize the beast and the boy and bring them back to me alive
Here on her bellicose days she stalks among these heart of wires
Steal her memories back from the boy whose mind has come alive

Adsel come back here!
I will come after you
I will come back here

Annotations

This song, specific to Strange News From Another Planet, concerns a cyborg creation called Eloise IX.

Catatonic

Lyrics

We had so many dreams
We had so many breaks
Who were we trying to save?
What were we trying to say?
Where are we meant to go?
What are we meant to do?
Why are we standing still
When all about us moves?

Catatonic
Looking for something new
Eclipses reason
We’re catatonic

I see dying in your palms
I see nothing in your eyes
I see torment in your past
See boredom in your glass
A scene of us alone
So endlessly remote
Nothing to conceal
Or fill the depth we feel

Annotations

This song was originally called Catatonic Youth. It is a portrait of an over-privileged, dispassionate generation.

Awestruck

Lyrics

Meriam, her boy in hand
Lies awake and thinks of him
Who was she to ask for then?
Wandering lost in grey
The singing of the amber waves
Moving through the cloud sea scape

Get out!
Get awestruck!

Universal song of men
From the lips of a girl who takes
Her place among the hall of saints
Raise your eyes up to the sun
Sing a verse for everyone
Answer for the wrongs you’ve done

Annotations

This song references two characters from Strange News. It was inspired by my travels and time spent in Cambodia.

It is meant as a rallying cry to encourage all people, but especially young people, to step outside of their country of origin and travel our rapidly changing planet. For the first time in history a global community exists as a result of the internet but also aided by relative accessibility of air travel. The phrase “Charity starts at the home” once meant our immediate community, but now it means the entire planet. In order to affect any real change and understand the upcoming changes we are about to witness it is absolutely necessary for us to step outside of our comfort zone and dare to be awestruck.

Time and Again

Lyrics

I had this crazy feeling that I had lost you again
Looked about to find out where you are
Turned around and caught your frown standing on the street
Dressed the color of your guitar
When I took you to the places I’d been to as a kid
Cities where the sidewalks never lie
We were drifting through the crowds, I saw you glancing away
Terrified to meet my eyes

I hope you understand I won’t be easily turned away
But if you need me to I’m happy to oblige
Somehow I can sense that you are lost and hesitant
In the sum of your denial I know too well the strain of losing someone you’ve tried to save
Friends of ours who fell to bitter ends
To have our best put to the test, knowing that we failed them
Time and again

Annotations

This song is dedicated to the many wonderful friends who have shared our musical journey but who no longer play with us.

Mountain Battle Song

Lyrics

In the summer of that year we moved the men down from the highland
Our bodies were tired but our beds warm and dry
In the valleys the tribes had formed a secret alliance
That morning our general moved us east across the Rhine

Drums beat down the valley, through the forests in the distance
Coming from all sides we heard cold and savage cries
As the sunset that night we knew we’d meet the resistance
But we didn’t know that we the sons of Rome were going to die

My wife, she writes to tell me of our little praetorian
In the Forum theres talk of more wars on the way
And I think as I lie here beside three fallen legions
Die for what you believe in, not the gold you get paid
Down with the Emperor

Annotations

This song is about the Battle of Teutoburg forest, the events of which took place about seventy kilometers away from the studio we were recording in. The battle was a great defeat for Rome, and a particular painful one since three legions were annihilated by, essentially, an undisciplined alliance of barbarian tribes. This song also addresses the theme of tyranny. It is a bonus track on the deluxe version of the album.

Bright Young Things

Lyrics

Riding up their faces down bright young things wade through town
Starved souls come to life with pursed up lips and starstruck smiles
See the creatures on the prowl pushing through the sea-foam crowd
Bedridden femme fatales lining up to follow them around
I have caught this city It won’t me go

Archives of wasted times in hazy states and drunken minds
Hung beauty on the walls who risk the world to bare it all
Gloss writers stuck for say ask why it has to be that way
Stare at their nascent lines and wonder why they lack for rhyme
Our sick generation
Our festival

Stop to watch the sun sink down beneath a line of manmade clouds
Rode through the flood zone mire with broken lights and one good tire
Raced up the temple hill, took a blessing for a cheap thrill
Disposed it for a laugh, post it to a face book photograph
I love this city
It’s a spectacle
A laugh a minute

Raised to avoid the lie, never learning how or why
Taught to defend that right but never knowing what to fight
The schooling we’d forget chained us to a world of debt
Waste paint on what we feel, without the art to make it real
But we love this city
We won’t let it go
And we are this city

I watched the sun sink down beneath the line of manmade clouds
I watched the undead rise and walk the streets in search of life
I’ve seen you back away, talking to yourself for days
I’ve seen you sifting through a trumped up list of what life did to you
And I thought you’d make it
But you let go
Let yourself go crazy

Archives of wasted times in hazy states and drunken minds
The schooling we’d forget chained us to a world of debt
Gloss writers stuck for say ask why it has to be that way
Waste words on what they feel without the pain to make it real
And I thought you’d make it
But you let go
Let yourself go crazy
Your festival
Sick generation
A spectacle
How I love this city
It won’t let me go

Annotations

This song is inspired by Austin, Texas and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is an exercise in contrast. It also addresses the folly of a system that forces its youth into debt just for wanting to be educated.

Idols of Perversity

Lyrics

This is the story of the protector
From the land between the hells
In answer to the great adventure
She rode the Storm and back again
The story of a misshapen pretender
A creature not from this domain
Stole the relics from the defendant
And took them to the villain’s cave
The land between the hells
A land between the hells
The land within the air

Annotations