Dream Token (2007) – lyrics

Dirty Company

Well the same thing has happened that has happened before,
I’ve fallen for her, my hearts on the floor.
Patterns of a candle-bearer walking his route,
Leave a trail of despair to his one and only troop.
That’s me I speak of, me that, I swear,
Cannot bring himself to meet and not care for
a feline, a woman, of any shape or size.
Private thoughts bellowed, heart bare in front of her eyes.

No time for envy, no time for pain, just get on that transport
and return to the frame where you were happy and free,
‘cos failure and toil make dirty company.

Dead Baby Blue

(or a dictation of a nightmare at 4am, with dead baby blue sky over Hackney)

With your breath on my face, why did I wake at this time?
With the sky dead baby blue, like a nasty nursery rhyme.
Are you grateful for your cherries you partisan of big regret,
Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall,
In case, ‘God forbid’, you should forget….

I wanna name this sunrise, name this sunrise: Dead Baby Blue.

Im spending a lot of time in train stations and
Im changing trains regularly.
Im sitting in a packed carriage, missing all my friends,
but knowing everybody in this vicinity.
Im involved in things that I don’t wanna be involved in
and I feel like a player in the game:
Next to me is where they lay the blame.
And its only so long ‘til I take it all,
And I wish that I was just a fly on the wall…
The other passengers look over their shoulders at me,
Giving me icy cold stares that chill me to the bone.
I think I want to go home.

I wanna name this sunrise, name this sunrise: Dead Baby Blue.

And then my hair became knotted and tangled in the night,
And my sofa is blood red,
And my carpet is a colour that I cant even comprehend.
The sky is like a blanket that I cant see through,
And theres only one thing I can do.
Theres only one colour it can be.

Story Gang

Everybody’s got a little story to tell, from the bankers and the bookies to the bombers in their cells.

My fingernails are jagged and my hair is torn,
I care less about things since the day I was re-born.
When I met that mystic gentleman and he told me his lies,
He was festered and pestered me with proverbs and flies.
He said: ‘these stories are not ours, they fly past, we catch them in a net’.
He was the craziest motherfucker I had met.
But he became my friend and he made a lot of sense.
Its easy to make sense of lies if that’s the way your brain is bent.

And we are the ones youve been dreamin’ of:
The ones who finish off your stories…..Story Gang.

This story may not help you, these words may fail,
But I just read a book that made me wanna chase my tail:
About a man who couldn’t fathom water in his cup,
And now that Ive finished it I wanna tear it up.
So what do you say to that bookworm? Do you feel like lynching me?
Do you wanna see me hanging from the nearest year-old tree?
Well catch me if you can you fucker I can run for days,
These polluted city branches couldn’t hold me anyway.
(this part is about ‘The Trial’ by Franz Kafka)

We are the ones youve been dreamin’ of:
The ones who finish off your stories…..Story Gang.

To be a member of this gang, you don’t really need to hang around with us.
We’re all individuals and we’re too wrong to trust.
The only thing we do together is jump in peoples heads,
When our own stories are over or the inspiration’s dead.
And everybodys got a little story to tell from the bankers and the bookies
To the bombers on their cells….

And we are the ones you’ve been runnin’ from:
The ones who finish off your stories…..Story Gang.

Tinsel and Metal

Pick up a page and write, I wrote some verse,
I stole a curse from a lady who wore black velvet and pearls.
She lived by the sea, she tempted me with riches
and wares beyond my wildest dreams.
‘Why so?’ she said.
She was older than me, so it went.
She was fair, wrinkled in all the right places,
she pulled the right faces, and left me alone.

Mice crawled, birds brawled, outside our window,
But we didn’t really look up from our books,
Or wear any clothes, but lied inside, on the interior.
Like shells on a mantelpiece, when dust settles
Because nobody cares, nobody cares.
Because they’ve got better things to think about.
‘Why so?’ she said.

Blood on the Coals

(about Shoreditch circa 2007)

You better keep those neon lights on,
Even when the sun has got his hat on.
This aint just a weekend place, people live here in the week,
But their jeans aint so skinny, and their hair aint so sleek.
You’ve gotta trick that magic duck to get the money in his beak.

O Felton is running, hes running around….
Making pennies and pounds from the talent that he thinks hes found.
Well good luck to him, hes the honest skag-head in town.
(Felton drew these amazing childlike drawings and sold them to dum tourists and suits in Hoxton, he used to make more money than I did working in a bar, bless you Felton, wherever you are)

‘And this is the way of the world’ she said.
‘don’t fight it, just swallow your pride instead’.

And these streets aint even dirty, theyre just in dis-repair.
This wouldn’t ever happen in West London where they actually
Care about the people that fall down the holes.
There aint no atmosphere here, its just blood on the coals.

‘And this is the way of the world’ she said.

You’re Pretty Tall When you Stand Up

‘Your’re Pretty Tall When you Stand Up’ she said.
You know why I don’t stand up?
I just feel like somebodys gonna hit me round the back of the head.
But if you’ve go the time, for rescuing someone….let it be me.

I wont take your little red pills, and I wont take the blue ones either.
If she told me all her stories, would I care? Would I ever believe her?
These things happen for a reason, and if you need a reason, please, let it be me.

Write it on your tiles dear, scrawl it on the ground.
‘cos if you really think you’ve found me, then fuck it, maybe I’m found.

And if your hearts in the right place, then please, give it to me.

Theres a little path we can take, it goes straight past hell.
Through a field full of lavender, to a wishing well.
We’ll tell ‘em all the things we want and they might just see us good.


I’m not gonna like something just cos you say.
I’m not gonna run away. I’m not gonna go away that easy.

The lion in you and the lion in me, they will come to blows, god knows.

Im not gonna fight in the way that you need.
I’ll break things, I’ll smash things up, I’ll bleed.

And all your philosophy wont mean a thing.
I won’t let it win, I won’t let you win, unless you bleed.

Dictionary Man

A poker playing heavy this man will never be, hes too interested in his dictionary.
So convinced that shes lying to me, too transparent to ever ever see.

Shades of yellow and shades of red, thoughts of collapse and failure in his head.
And every single morning he wishes he was dead.

He walks though his life like a suit in the street, pale un-noticed, unwittingly discreet.
He describes the moon to others in inches and feet, hes so distracted that he forgets to eat.

He’s mean, he’s lost, he’s lonely.

But he loves his friends and the people he has met,
Up in the hills above the grime and the wet cement,
Where he looks down on the city with a bloodshot eye,
And a pretty bird flies in the sky.
Theres a girl up there in a meadow
who will take him for the man that he used to be,
pick roses in his company,
make him forget about the man that he wants to be.
And they’ll put up all their possessions for sale,
And he’ll sell his razorblades and his cat-o-nine-tails,
And they’ll live happy-after in a fairytale,
Cos she’ll be doin’ the whippin’ from now on.
And they’ll look down on the city with their bloodshot eyes,
And they’ll cry for the years that they tried to survive
In a place where they couldn’t see the light of their lives.

The Belly of the Beast

(this is a journey song and was written mostly on the outer wall of a graveyard in Mile End)

You gotta wait around for her to come,
But when she comes, o you better be ready.
Cos she wont stay long zand when shes gone,
She’ll leave you bare, drunk, on your own and unsteady.
And you better pray that you wrote her down,
Or next time she comes, you better make sure you’re around.

Oh im not sure that I can write these words on the run,
A fallen sign and a punctured zeppelin tell me that its just begun.
Words are wrapped around the cactus trees,
And I can see your god floating on the breeze.
Oh I write ‘p’s like my brother I write ‘z’s like my dad,
Her jet-black hairs a killer, and it the best I’ve ever had.

You wont believe the things we’ll see or what we’ll have to teach.
You wont believe the things we’ll do or what we’ll have to preach.
Hold on my friend, we’re now approaching the belly of the beast.

The sand is red and my bottles empty, I’m crying from the inside.
This 4-leaved clovers helping, but it came too late to stop this crime.
So now im walking homeward on a dangerous dim-lit street,
Dreaming of the time that I had speed at my feet.
My hair smells of coal, I can see my goal…..
Way up in the distance by the hanger for my soul.
That where I’ll hang it up when we jump inside,
Next to all of our belongings and the folks that we made cry.

As I fall down the slide I’ll grab you by the scruff of the neck and take you with me,
Cos youre the safest bet.
You can come along and keep our feet on the ground,
Tell me to be quiet when my ego makes a sound.
Wrap me in your arms, the quietest kid gloves,
In return I’ll treat you gently,
With a special blend of anger and love.

You wont believe the things we’ll see or what we’ll have to teach.
You wont believe the things we’ll do or what we’ll have to preach.
Hold on my friend, we’re now approaching the belly of the beast.

It’s so dangerous to ask her for your oblivion to come faster,
Cos’ I’ve already reached it, and I’m finding it card to care.
Lets leave behind our homes and disappear into thin-air,
Cos there remains nothing here for us, here, there and everywhere.
We’re now approaching the belly of the beast,
We’ve seen the North, betrayed the South and lived in the East.
We’ll catch their smiles and linger on well after they have died.
We’ll leave behind the memories of the ones that we made cry.
Timings bad and things were said that never should’ve been,
And we’ll return as different men, weighed down by the things we’ve seen.
We’ll tell them stories of the murder of our innocence and purity,
They’ll say we never had it in the first place, we can see,
That you’re the perfect travellers of mind and of psyche….
So bring us back a souvenir from the land of insanity.
Cos we don’t wanna go, we just wanna know,
How it feels to get dirty and to lose all self-control.
So write it on a postcard from the depths of depravity
And I’ll show it to my friends when they get bored of me.

You wont believe the things we’ll see or what we’ll have to teach.
You wont believe the things we’ll do or what we’ll have to preach.
Hold on my friend, we’re now approaching the belly of the beast.

Blind Tour Guide

I don’t dance anymore, and I only wanna be with you.
I feel like your eyes have run me through,
Cut my heart into two.
You get half, I get half back.
And I have lost my blind tour guide,
He used to tell me places I could hide,
From commitment and from love,
But I was looking, I was always dreaming of….
Someone or somewhere to call home,
Someone who wouldn’t look at me and moan,
About my hair or my clothes….

She said ‘you’ve got telephone tourettes,
You’re too into making bets at the shop,
On the river and the flop,
But I love you anyway.
And hey, you don’t really look like the man of my dreams,
But nobody does it seems, except presenters on teevee,
But I don’t really think they’d like me’.
She said ‘I have lost my blind tour guide,
He used to tell me places I could hide,
From commitment and from love’.
But she was looking, she was always dreaming of,
Someone or somewhere to call home,
Someone who wouldn’t look at her and moan,
About her hair or her clothes….

The Sweetest Thing

You make it hard for me to ever say no.
You make sure its perfect.
So that nobody knows….

You take me to your special places…
Make time without you seem wasted…
You’re the sweetest thing that I’ve ever tasted.

Cos you’re a dirty little temptress,
Made of flesh and bone.
You don’t work like the rest of us.
You made my heart your home.

Sick as a Dog

Sick as a dog with boredom, anger and love.
Dry as a bone beneath the wings of my black dove.
As free as a time when I had no home.
As free as a diamond set in stone.
It’s like a still time before some storm,
And I’m not sure if the storms even coming at all.
I feel ready for nothing at all,
Waiting to pounce when you fall.
Energy coiled inside like spring,
Wishing for the relief only your touch can bring.

Sick as dog who’s lost the owner he loves.
Knowing his home is not a place,
But a look on his face.
As free as a bird with clipped wings.
Waiting for the joy your love brings.
Its like waiting in a queue for a ride,
Knowing that the rides gonna take you where you can’t hide.
Cos I know I’m just bound to fall,
With no safety net, with no saving grace at all.

RUSSELL JOSLIN www.russelljoslinmusic.co.uk