Harlequins (2015) – lyrics

Up With The Birds

I wrote this song about a walk I did from Lyme Regis to the top of The Golden Cap, a cliff in Dorset.

We’d been waiting for a change so long
That I had the energy of ten men.
Drilling through coins and reading books,
Trying to inject some life into these days.
Saw a message from a seaside town;
‘Come and play your music for free if you want to,
take your lady for a holiday,
don’t speak to old folks, stick to the pathways’

So I played to a crowd of conducive ears,
connecting with their feelings and speaking through their mouthpiece.
It was quiet, didn’t have no fears,
Walked around with smiles and bare yellow chipped teeth.
Next morning saw The Golden Cap;
Shining like a breast exposed on a neckline.
Never reckoned on a path to God,
Until I took the old folk’s route up the bluffline

Ain’t no use describing this golden path
Right into God’s pretty mouth
Could’ve taken steps to my own death
Off the highest point in the south

I could tell you stories in the past tense,
Fill them up with pictures and words
Never would’ve seen it if I’d stayed low
Had to get up with the birds

The first stop was the Evan’s cliff;
Protected by the plastic paper little cash threats.
I don’t listen to the rules these days so I pissed on the ground at the start of the pathway.
Past the wonders of Jurassic times
No interest or time for the dead fish
Pushing forward like a fevered troop
To reach the very top on my feet was my one wish.

Ain’t no use describing this golden path
Right into God’s pretty mouth
Could’ve taken steps to my own death
Off the highest point in the south
I could tell you stories in the past tense,
Fill them up with pictures and words
Never would’ve seen it if I’d stayed low
Had to get up with the birds

Our Queen

You swing your love round your head like a soft pillow case
Hitting everybody here
Soft, seductive, American lace, with a hint of that elusive that’s needed
You hit perfection too early in the day, now it bears down upon you like a halo of clay
Making everybody stop and notice what you do
Without a thought for the essence of you
And maybe that’s your problem, you just look too good.
Like a park bench shining, made of the finest wood.
And how can you blame us?
We will try and scale your walls

So throw us all down in your moat
You’re in our presence, you are our queen
And that is all she wrote.
Remember the words that I said
We all had a crack but my line was the best
So keep a little picture of me in your head.

There’s a dirty little aura round the outside of you
Smells of roses and of dangerous tattoos;
Bewitching every single little fool in this room,
Collecting affections like skulls in a tomb
Powerful and potent like the seeds of a tree
Designed by some god to bear fruit of mystery,
A little bit of what you need sets you free
but beholding everything you desire’s like a disease.

So maybe that’s your problem,
You just look too good
Like a park bench shining, made of the finest wood
And you give us fractions of you, I want It all

So throw us all down in your moat
You’re in our presence, you are our queen
And that is all she wrote
Remember the words that I said
We all had a crack but my line was the best
So keep a little picture of me in your head.

What a Waste

If you think you’ve got answers in your pocket
You better take me out your diary
If you think that your sayings are the gospel
You better check at the friary
You drag me out holes of indecision
With the grip of a table vice
You face your emotions like a slave
I’m lucky if I get cold as ice
Oh I wear black, you can wear all the grey that you want to
Oh I turned back, you can carry out the journey if you want to.
Oh you’re my best friend
You’re my best friend
There’s so much tragedy in your haste

What a waste
You threw your love around in the wrong place
Throw it where you wanna be
Throw it where you wanna be
What a waste
Don’t ever sleaze around in the wrong place
Do it where you wanna be
Do it where you wanna be

If dry humping in cars isn’t your thing
You’re gonna have to do better
If you cannot lead her where her heart sings
You’re gonna have to forget her
If you really love  me like you say so
You’ll set me running in open air
We’re all born in the flurry of a passion
So very hard to keep it there
You embody the warrior of life, girl
Only fighting for better days
I never deserved all your love, girl
But you give it me anyways
Oh I wear black, you can wear all the grey that you want to
Oh I turned back, you can carry out the journey if you want to.
Oh you’re my best friend
You’re my best friend
There’s so much tragedy in your haste

What a waste
You threw your love around in the wrong place
Throw it where you wanna be
Throw it where you wanna be
What a waste
Don’t ever sleaze around in the wrong place
Do it where you wanna be
Do it where you wanna be
What a waste
You let your anger rage in the wrong place
Talk about a tragedy
Talk about a tragedy
What a waste
Don’t ever sleaze around in the wrong place
Do it where you wanna be
Do it where you wanna be

Pittsburgh It Is

3 hours out of New York
Which way do they wanna go?
Straight on down through the mountains, in the snow
Well it seems the weather is saying no.
So which way do they wanna go?

And its pedal to the floor
Can we make it? You know I’m not sure,
And I’m not sure about you
Or the one that you’re sat next to.
So please let me sit next to the pretty girl,
She’s scared enough to be in this world.

And I never felt so cold or to feel my brain fizz
Well I know exactly just where I am but not what time it is.
And I never had no cutey to miss
Pittsburgh It is.

So we sit around like refugees on the floor
I cannot take this no more
Let’s get out and see this town
And the wind is blowing the snow down
We got stories and opinions to throw around.

And all I can feel is this cold, hard industrial frown
This is a ghost of a town
And there’s nobody around
So let’s find a bar, shut ourselves away
There ain’t no trains leaving Pittsburgh today

And I never felt so cold or to feel my brain fizz
Well I know exactly just where I am but not what time it is.
And I never had no cutey to miss
Pittsburgh It is.

Doves May Fly

Speaking of kindness
And the way you care for me
Oh my little highness
I’m here at your tender feet
To give it all up to you
Anything you don’t want me to do
Will never happen again
For the sake of my friend
For the sake of my friend

We walk through this desert
Of insolvency and distant dreams
Thinking plans up
Making enemies and building teams
With the lovers, poets and fiends
Trying to carve out momentary scenes
Where some truth can finally be seen in all this mess

Cos the doves may fly from our carrion
If the vultures dive then the evil has won
But our meat will fry in the burning sun, as one.

We move like the ocean
Out of the depths, into the breeze
I told you I love you
I told you to leave me but darling please
Know you’re my best friend
‘Til the very bitter end
When I’m in your eyes, I’ll never pretend

Cos the doves may fly from our carrion
If the vultures dive then the evil has won
But our meat will fry in the burning sun, as one.

The Weight of This Room

Well I spent a day or two pushing you around
I spent a week after that writing it down
No-one would come along, nothing would go boom
And All I could feel was the weight of this room
It always seems to happen when I’m about to leave
In between the pain in my chest and dirt on my sleeve

Always on the outside with opinions to say
Now I’m on the outside running away
Petrified of silence like I’m in a cocoon
And all I can feel is the weight of this room

And I wrote this song with a burnt-out chest
Not for the winners, for all the rest
You can hand it to me and I know I’m blessed
Cos it’s you that stood that test

So if it’s my destiny I can see in your eyes,
Frightening to say, hard to realise.
We can run on the beaches, build a house on the plains
Cos you reached inside, touched the blood in my veins
So forget the malaise and the impending doom
Cos all I can feel is the weight of this room.

And I’ll wipe the tears and the sweat from your eyes
I’ll be the wings on your soul when it flies
From the side of a mountain, from a beautiful tomb
Where all we could feel was the weight of this room

And I wrote this song with a burnt-out chest
Not for the winners, for all the rest
You can hand it to me and I know I’m blessed
Cos it’s you that stood that test

Robin in Black

Well I was staying in the black, underneath the sun,
Playing with the boys and having some fun
One day I got so drunk that I couldn’t see
Still you drifted into sight right in front of me
I asked you some questions, I told you no lies
Your smile cut a shape into my blurry eyes
Now I’m bewitched from your gentle attack,
My blond-haired Robin in black.

So then I make a bit of effort, learn a bit more about you
Through your facades I’ll be lucky to break through.
There are layers exposing from the image at the start
As you smoke cigarettes you reveal a beautiful heart.
And you say you don’t drink, well that could be great
Cos my brain is half-dead from alcohol intake.
I start to suggest I could be the man for you
And your body’s saying yes like you want it too
So I ditch all the other girls in the queue to the back
I’ll wait ’til tomorrow for my Robin in black.

Oh cos now I’m bewitched my brain ain’t turning back
For my blond-haired Robin in black.

Now the third time I see you, you say with a grin
That you belong to a man and you’re living with him
Now you’ll be perceiving, you won’t need to be told
That I’m feeling sick now and my blood has run cold
Well steady yourself Russ, what are you gonna do?
She ain’t leaving the table, she still wants to talk to you
She makes me apologies and tells me no lies
I could curl up in the corner and die
Time to nibble my nails and leave my jaw slack
For my blond haired Robin in black

Cos I have to confess that this news ain’t the best
Cos there’s you and there’s God and fuck all the rest.
I could try and be your friend but I didn’t know it would sting
Like a jab to the heart with a broke wedding ring
I’ll be sleepless for days my brain will probably crack
For my blond-haired Robin in black.

Oh and I’ll look for you in every mirror I crack
My blond-haired Robin in Black

The Chosen Few

When the winter comes, I’m gonna let my boat drift away
I ain’t got the patience for sailing in the rough anyway
When the spring comes, we’re gonna build another boat in her place
It’s gonna catch the wind and fly like a paper bag
Straight down the river into your city place
And all the bridges are gonna have to move
As we take over the cityscape water
Freeze it like a lake in the new order
Freeze The Thames in a pretty symphony

So what do you do in the city when the river’s frozen
A Boat comes along, made us all the chosen few
What do you do in the city when the river’s frozen
A Boat comes along, made us all the chosen few

Oh the party’s gonna start in the days of June
It’s gonna continue through the light of the moon
People will meet who they never would’ve met
And summer’s gonna end too soon
Oh people will fall in love with people from races they never heard of
We’ll drink it all down in the summer of the town
On our frozen river before it thaws off
And all the suited-up gents can fight it out
Over the price of the new square feet
Cos even though it’s ice it’s still worth money to them
The problem is we’re giving it away free

So what do you do in the city when the river’s frozen
A Boat comes along, made us all the chosen few
What do you do in the city when the river’s frozen
A Boat comes along, made us all the chosen few

Good Fear

Sailing to the south, looking west
Back to the north with a deep breath
Dreaming of you coming with me
If we were not lost in this damn city
And it bleeds like a wound that will not heal

There’s a blanket of frowns on your bottom lip
A head full of dreams that you can’t let slip
So carve it all into your forearm
The only way out is if we stop remaining calm.

And get a little bit afraid of staying here
A little bit terrified of playing round here
So whisper it into my ear
We need some of that good fear

So if the weather turns sour we’ll be chopping logs
If the car breaks down it’s a walking job
But never no frowns, this is all we need
It’s all we know and it’s all we believe
So don’t make it so sad like a gift unreceived

So I’ll end this little song with a bitter prayer
I hope you disappear and reappear there
Meet down the end of the lane at the last farm
The only way out is if we stop remaining calm

And get a little bit afraid of staying here
A little bit terrified of playing round here
So whisper it into my ear
We need some of that good fear

Victory Parade

Well I started in the navy, I ended up flying a plane,
But they flew me over my old house
They said ‘your country, it needs you’
But that just drove me insane.
I broke my leg and I was out
And I had to find something else, something else to do
I tried the paints and the ink of my purple pen
Oh but I think I left it way too long
So I drifted along my open streets,
Ducking the bullets that came
From the frisbees and the footballs and the rain
And I had to duck when I saw a dove flying 20 overhead
Cos they told me that’s an unsafe range
And I had to find something else, something else to do
I tried the cards and pages of the lengthiest tome
There’s a signpost to my heartstrings in the army’s book of the dead,
But I couldn’t tell you the way there on my own.

And my mother and my father, they’re so damn proud of me,
For defending their triangular isle.
But I feel a little tremble in their voice and in their hand
I see a quiver in the corner of their smile.
So what did you give me and what did take?
Cos you told me not to weaken or let my soul break
And sir, it ain’t broken, didn’t I do well?
And didn’t you just send me half way to hell.
But please tell me, what is this ache
Won’t you tell me, what is this ache.
Cos I’ve got find that someone with whom to share these blues,
To find out if they’ve turned to the darkest shade.
Could you be the one?
It ain’t gonna be much fun finding out how this man was made.
Cut me open and if I’m broken,
Throw me in front of the victory parade.

Pale Mary

Pale Mary, pale you
In this room full of egos and paint-less expressions you shine through.

You’ve got all of the wisdom that you’ll ever need in your eyes
But it didn’t come from books, no elegant crooks,
Who tricked you and told you those lies.
And those eyes turn bright black in the sun
As you try to ignore everyone
And you don’t seem to care which way they all stare,
As you think about your next footstep

And I can’t try and summarise your plan
No that’s impossible for any man
And any man who tries, wound up and let fly
As you leave him lost and confused

Pale Mary, pale you
In this room full of egos and paint-less expressions you shine through.
Pale Mary, pale you
In this room full of broken hearts, yours is the one I cling to.

And just when I think you are gone
You turn round with a smile
That’s part right and part wrong,
Part making balancing hard on this ground I stand on.
And on those special days, when you talk to me
I suddenly feel like I don’t wanna be free
I wanna be your prisoner in that tomb of your heart.
I wanna forget all the things that I knew from the start.

Pale Mary, pale you
In this room full of egos and paint-less expressions you shine through.

And this was no surprise to me
But it was a surprise to you
Cos those people fell in love with the things they dream of,
When they have the privilege of looking at you.
And you could drive a man to drink.
You could drive a man to the edge of his brink,
So I’ll keep my heart guarded and my brainwork retarded,
‘Til I’m sure you won’t soup out of my heart

Pale Mary, pale you
In this room full of egos and paint-less expressions you shine through.
Pale Mary, pale you
In this room full of broken hearts, yours is the one I cling to.

RUSSELL JOSLIN www.russelljoslinmusic.co.uk