Raised In Vain & Afterthought


Raised In Vain

13 Down

Tokyo nights
LA days
Sunset on the seven seas
European ways
Asian eyes
Woken by a tropical breeze
Grand Central Station
The lost and found
Looking for the answer to 13 down

New York games
London rain
The colors of New England fall
Brazilian smiles
African skies
The dusty winds of Senegal
A tiny island
A brand new town

Looking for the answer to 13 down

The clues are tricks played by the mind
The blues are never far behind

Parisian dreams
Chinese fire
A girl named Boy in a Bangkok bar
Italian streets
Desert sands
The gentle kiss of the northern star
A drifting boat
On Long Island Sound
Looking for the answer to 13 down
Grand Central Station
The lost and found
Looking for the answer to 13 down

 

The Wasted Years

Take these things I possess
I know I’ll get by with less
That’s all I’ve learned I guess
Through the wasted years

I don’t know right from wrong
I don’t know weak from strong
Just know I’ve been silent too long
Through the wasted years

My heart just spoke
Like a dam just broke

Torn between east and west
Failing each and every test
Not knowing which direction’s best
Through the wasted years

I called you from Singapore
With feelings you had no use for
Hear the echo of that closing door
Through the wasted years

My heart just spoke
Like a dam just broke
My heart just spoke

Living like a weekend guest
Guessing where I’d come to rest
All my mail arrived addressed
To the wasted years

I have seen the other side
Where the broken hearts collide
God knows what kept me whole inside
Through the wasted years
I have seen the other side
Where the broken hearts collide
God knows what kept me whole inside
Through the wasted years
Through the wasted years

 

Empire Days

He never left the house without his hat
It’s funny how I should remember that
He smoked he drank but didn’t speak
He put his faith in the football pools each week
He was a man of habit
A man of quiet ways
A man like all the children of empire days

He kept his thoughts safe inside his head
Of friends and fallen comrades long since dead
He fought his wars he more than paid the price
On his way to heaven he saw hell twice
He was a man of habit
A man of quiet ways
A man like all the children of empire days

He was my mother’s father
He was my cornerstone
My empire didn’t really fall
Till he left us all alone
He was a man of habit
A man of quiet ways
A man like all the children of empire days

Men like him had eyes that saw too far
So they settled for the view from the end of the bar
They were men whose fathers’ heads were filled
With an empire that we had no right to build
He was a man of habit
A man of quiet ways
A man like all the children of empire days

 

Nowhere Near The Sea

Tonight I hear the waves but I’m nowhere near the sea
The ocean that I hear is the one inside of me
The eyes are looking forward but the heart keeps looking back
It gets so hard to care now to bother keeping track
To bother keeping track
There was a time
I would have fought every man for you
Now it seems
My fighting days are through

Words are only words but we turn them into gifts
Then we seem confused as their meaning slowly shifts
I don’t want you thinking this is easy for me to say
That I’m playing with words in my usual way
In my usual way

You’re the kind of woman all men hope to find
But we will always lose you first your body then your mind
I won’t say I’m lucky but I know sometimes I am
There are times I feel too much and times I don’t give a damn
I don’t give a damn
There was a time
I would have fought every man for you
Now it seems
My fighting days are through

The bottle is half empty but the glass is still half full
The axe I’m told is falling but the blade is old and dull
Tonight I hear the waves but I’m nowhere near the sea
The ocean that I hear is the one inside of me
The one inside of me

 

When All Else Fails

Turn to me when all else fails
I’m your train still in the station
Your ship before it sails
Turn to me when all else fails

Night will fall
It has no choice
There’s always pain
Inside the voice
That speaks to us of failure
Speaks to us of loss
Talking like a preacher
With his fingers crossed
Turn to me when all else fails
I’m your train still in the station
Your ship before it sails
Turn to me when all else fails

Kiss goodbye
To what you hold dear
It’s time to face
Your darkest fear
Recognize the question
In everything you hear
Recognize the distance
In what you thought was near
Turn to me when all else fails
I’m your train still in the station
Your ship before it sails
Turn to me when all else fails

I wear your heart
I bear your name
In time we saw
We’re just the same
God has never spoken
To you or me I know
And if he did well all he said
Was ‘time for you to go’
Turn to me when all else fails
I’m your train still in the station
Your ship before it sails
Turn to me when all else fails

 

Halfway Home

I’m like a young man
I’m like a young man
Running in an old man’s shoes
In this race I know we all lose

Young girl once said to me
Young girl once said to me
You too will soon grow old
From that day to this I’ve done what I was told

I know what I’m running from
I know what I’m running from
But I don’t know what I’m running to
Heaven’s vague reward’s not for me and you

We’re out here halfway home
We’re out here halfway home
Out where the four winds blow
Are we headed north or south I don’t know

Sometimes we cannot see
Sometimes we cannot see
I was carrying the weight of pride
Back in the days before my father died

You are my final love
You are my final love
You own what’s left of me
I wish I’d saved you more of what I used to be

We’re out here halfway home
We’re out here halfway home
Out where the four winds blow
Are we headed north or south I don’t know

 

Cowboy Child

A cowboy child ruled the plains
Rode on through burning sun
Through driving wind and rains
A cowboy child with his gun
Bullets without bleeding
Death was all part of the fun

Between the black row houses
This spirit running wild
Just another North of England cowboy child

Dreams so full of far away
Proud and weathered faces
And the magic words they say
The Odeon on Saturday
Images and stories
For days and days more play

Between the black row houses
This spirit running wild
Just another North of England cowboy child

The end of day is coming on
The horse and its pale rider
Have traveled far and long
A cowboy child his dream complete
His six-gun silent now
Walks back along High Street

Between the black row houses
This spirit running wild
Just another North of England cowboy child

 

Nottingham Lace

The factory gates at ten
He has to wait till then
To see her face again
He reminds himself what women are for
Reminds himself she’s just one more

The local boys are loud
The late night drinking crowd
They are both lost and proud
She dare not hope for the kind of love
The kind that she’s been dreaming of

But he won’t be there with her
Won’t be his name she’ll call
He won’t be the one to make her fall
He won’t be there with her after all
England 1938
Too late for dreams my love too late
England 1939
She holds her breath and draws a line

The sky is purple black
Except the tracer tracks
No one to watch his back
He says the little prayer that fuels the flame
And somewhere in it is her name

Crewe Junction rattled by
His heart was low but high
Not the first man to cry
Not for all the things he’d had to do
His tears were for himself for coming through

And he believed when he saw her face
Love was made of Nottingham lace
And he believed when he saw her face
Love was made of Nottingham lace

 

Journey To Your Heart

Somewhere back in England that’s where I left it all
So many crude rehearsals of my final fall
But when it came it wasn’t the expected fall from grace
I simply fell in love with an unexpected face
I had no way of knowing back there at the start
The journey I was taking was a journey to your heart

Everything and everybody I saw as something I
Had to stand and fight without ever asking why
I guess it was my nature I was born with a grudge
I was pushing back at history but history would not budge
I could not understand even pain had its part
Pushing me so slowly on my journey to your heart

Time is beyond knowing there is no master plan
There is just the distance from the woman to the man
The miles that must be covered the space that must be filled
The bonds that must be broken the fear that must be killed
Many times I wondered if you my counterpart
Knew that I was taking my journey to your heart

You can see the mind still working you can hear the heart reload
As we walk hand in hand along this smoky road
I am doing things that I never thought I’d do
Things I’d not imagined ’cause I’d not imagined you
The blues are packed and ready waiting to depart
They’re wishing me good luck on my journey to your heart

Now every stolen summer I watch your skin turn brown
Every winter fall and spring fate can send around
I wonder how I found you in this spinning world of grief
I feel like a fake I feel like a thief
When you throw me to the wind like a paper dart
Content to never finish my journey to your heart

 

Phoenix

I’m hungry as a river
And tired as the moon tonight
I’m hungry as a river
And tired as the moon tonight
Don’t take my words to heart I’m too tired to fight

Every day I wake up
With a tiredness that sleep won’t heal
Every day I wake up
With a tiredness that sleep won’t heal
I’ve forgotten how to show my feelings forgotten how to feel

Wherever I am living
I always want to be some other place
Wherever I am living
I always want to be some other place
Sometimes I want to disappear without a trace

Somewhere in between
An English autumn and New York
Somewhere in between
An English autumn and New York
I lost my soul to the moon and reckless talk

I watched her from a distance
Change her god and change her face
I watched her from a distance
Change her god and change her face
The one I loved for all those years in that distant place

Her Chinese eyes are lethal
They can look into my soul
Her Chinese eyes are lethal
They can look into my soul
The Phoenix rising now to make these pieces whole

In the darkness of your sleeping
In the short death of your night
In the darkness of your sleeping
In the short death of your night
You’ll hear the sound of one eye weeping but I’m all right

 

America

One mile wide
But one inch deep
Pray your lord
Its soul to keep
America is fast asleep

As we sow
So shall we reap
Faith is blind
But still we leap
America is fast asleep

No forgiveness in her heart
Nowhere else for us to start
America

Sirens wail
And cell phones beep
Washington
And Lincoln weep
America is fast asleep

 

Raised In Vain

Raised in vain to go no higher
Ashes waiting for the fire
Lies in wait for the liar
My voice and I
All that remain
Raised in vain

The young heart beats
The old heart sighs
Life becomes a thin veneer
The old bequeath
The young the prize
Of everything we’re leaving here

Raised in vain to go no higher
Ashes waiting for the fire
Lies in wait for the liar
My voice and I
All that remain
Raised in vain

The lover once
Laid out his plan
She held him close to make it real
She taught him how
To be a man
But could not teach him how to feel

Raised in vain to go no higher
Ashes waiting for the fire
Lies in wait for the liar
My voice and I
All that remain
Raised in vain

 

John

So this how we all grow old
Not by days
Or years

We drip like blood
From bullet holes
We fall like tears, John

 

Afterthought

All Things Being Equal

“You’re living for nothing now
I hope you’re keeping some kind of record.” *
– Leonard Cohen

I wish I’d kept a record like Leonard said I should
Memories are disappearing islands in a flood
All things being equal
Which of course they never are
Love would fall upon us all
And never leave a scar

I wish I’d kept a secret from my selfish heart
It was working on an ending from the very start
All things being equal
Which of course they never are
You’d still be here with me
It would not have gone this far

Smoke curled from your lips
Like a soul leaving the earth
I can tell you now you were the one
Whatever that is worth

I wish I’d kept you guessing instead of giving it away
I wish I’d learned to listen instead of learning what to say
All things being equal
Which of course they never are
Love would be a mystery
A wish upon a star

I wish I’d kept a record like Leonard said I should
Memories are disappearing islands in a flood
All things being equal
Which of course they never are
Love would fall upon us all
And never leave a scar

* Lines from ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ by Leonard Cohen.
Used with his kind permission.

 

The Truth

The only one you wanted was the one who was not there
This is how you came to me with riddles in your hair
As I tried to solve them you laughed without a care
I unwound all your secrets in a hotel room somewhere
But morning shuffled in and they withered in its stare
Your dreams were standing naked your ambitions standing bare
And I faced the final question – were you ever really there

Just close your eyes
And I’ll disappear
It’ll be just like
I was never here
No need to trick the heart with lies
Just close your eyes

The truth is in the way you hardly look at me
The truth is in the way we seldom touch
I have loved you from the first time that you walked into my life
But I know you never loved me quite as much

Just close your eyes
And I’ll disappear
It’ll be just like
I was never here
No need to trick the heart with lies
Just close your eyes

The truth is in the way you brush your golden hair
The truth is counted by those needs denied
Sacred preparations for the man who isn’t there
For the one who is – just distance multiplied

Just close your eyes
And I’ll disappear
It’ll be just like
I was never here
No need to trick the heart with lies
Just close your eyes

 

Jaded Heart

There’s a fog out on the Bay
Just the same as yesterday
All surprises here are self-imposed
If this city were a lover
You would find under the cover
Her golden arms are open
But her jaded heart is closed

There’s a fog out on the Bay
Just the same as yesterday
But it’s 1966 still down on Haight
In the Valley it’s ’97
That was their idea of heaven
For both the end came early
With lessons learned too late

There’s the City of Brotherly Love
And the City That Never Sleeps
Every night this city crawls
Beneath the sheets
And weeps…

There’s a fog out on the Bay
Just the same as yesterday
There’s a new philosopher in every bar
Disciples make their pledge
To the shifting leading edge
Believing that the future is
Nowhere but where they are

There’s a fog out on the Bay
Just the same as yesterday
All surprises here are self-imposed
If this city were a lover
You would find under the cover
Her golden arms are open
But her jaded heart is closed

 

More Luck Than Judgement

We’ve come so far
We’ll go farther still
We’ll take the strain
We’ll climb that hill
We’ll break the borders
We’ll cross the lines
Face whatever time designs
And more by luck than judgment
We’ll make it to the end my friend

We never knew
What was in our fate
We just had to move
It was getting late
We took the gamble
We took the chance
Changed our partners for the final dance
And more by luck than judgment
We’ll make it to the end my friend

May the luck of the devil be with you
He’s as good as a friend can get
We’ve been waiting for his counterpart
But he ain’t shown up yet

We know the truth
Or something close to it
We know the pieces
Don’t always fit
We know the reasons
We now the rhymes
We know we live in interesting times
And more by luck than judgment
We’ll make it to the end my friend

May the luck of the devil be with you
He’s as good as a friend can get
We’ve been waiting for his counterpart
But he ain’t shown up yet

And more by luck than judgment
We’ll make it to the end my friend

 

White Tiles (For Wesley)

Once upon a time
In a bar down in Brazil
We sat and talked all night
Our ghosts are talking still
I talked about the women
You talked about the men
I think you knew already
We’d never talk like this again

Once upon a time
Once upon a time

In Soho there’s a kitchen
With names upon the walls
A new white tile is added
For every one who falls
I’d like to make a journey
Perhaps one day I will
And hang your tile in the corner
Of that bar down in Brazil

Once upon a time
Once upon a time