My Mind, She Runs

sugar

 

My Mind, She Runs

I’ve always heard them say
That Golden Brown & Perfect Day
Are smuggling in some heroin
Cos that’s so rock & roll !
But I don’t think that’s such a feat
When looking at each lyric sheet –
There’s nothing there to threaten or cajole.

The Stranglers waltz around with metaphor
About…well, what ?
Some vagueries that lapse into an ideal love, perhaps,
To fox our trot, but little more.
And Lou is not opaque at all,
Just thanks for needed company –
And if it’s from a needle, well,
He fails to wink sufficiently.

Now, there’s no reason songs can’t hide
Another message deep inside,
But usually they’re straight ahead –
And if we let our fancies fly
We’re chasing diamonds in the sky
And swearing blind that Paul is dead.

 

 

Three Minute Pop

black and gray vinyl record
Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

 

Three Minute Pop

Attention – this is a radio edit,
This is a cut-down and re-spliced precis,
This is an abstract for those who ain’t read it,
This is a digest, a brief prima facie.
Right about now there should be a solo,
Alas, this synopsis has run out of credit.
The next verse is missing – the hole in the polo –
For this résumé is a radio edit.

 

 

The Power of the Ballad

lighters

The Power of the Ballad

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would start so low and so far.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
With piano or strumming guitar.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d start so low and alone –
But we waited for strings and we waited for drums
That the first verse would only postpone.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would start so low, but they’d build.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it yearned or lost or fulfilled.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d always start so low.
But we knew there were strings and we knew there were drums,
All to come as the slow songs grow.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way that our love must go.
We should have been so angry, shrieking out with rage –
Instead of slowly dancing, or shrieking at the stage.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would slowly grow as they’d build.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it spent or hungry or willed.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they’d always build so good.
Cos we knew there were drums, and we knew there were strings –
And the strings entered here, as they should.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way ev’ry time would flow.
But DJs gave us no-one else to lead us by their lights,
So who else could we turn to through our adolescent nights.

So we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want to feel like they belong ?
So we sang and we sang, and still we got it wrong,
So we thought we had to listen even harder to the song

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That didn’t stay low, cos they’d build –
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Be it craved or broken or thrilled.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
And they didn’t stay low for long –
Cos we knew there were strings and we knew there were drums,
And we knew that the climax was strong.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way when you start off low,
But that’s what we thought, cos that’s what they’d tell:
That it builds and it builds till it surges in a swell.

So we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want to sing out with the throng ?
So we sang and we sang, and still we got it wrong,
Even though we did it all like they did it in the song.

But there must be other songs we can play –
There must be other songs where it doesn’t go this way.
But if we trust the ballads, then will the answers come ?
Or will our eyes be closed as we’re swaying to the drum ?,
That starts its beating here.
Cos we may come and go, but the ballads persevere.

By the time we hit the middle-eight,
We maybe should have learned
As our lighters sway, but always late:
Behind the beat, with fingers burned.
By the time the raw falsettos flood
From songs that start so low,
Our doubts are drowned in pulsing blood.
I guess it’s time to play the solo.

We were so young, too young to know,
That that’s not the way that the songs should go.
They should sometimes start fast, and should sometimes never build,
And should sometimes anticlimax or suddenly be killed,

But we all sang along, sang along –
Cos who wouldn’t want for their love to build so strong ?
So we sang and we sang, even though we knew it’s wrong,
And still it never played out like it plays out in the song.

But there must be other songs we can play –
There must be other songs where it doesn’t go this way.
There must be other songs where our love strangely comes –
So unclose your eyes and ungate your drums,
And let them ring out clear !
For the ballad is done, but we all still are here.

We all grew up with those slow, slow songs
That would end so high, but they’d fade.
And they ev’ry damn one were all about love,
Till the coda would close the parade.

The Long, Long Chord

vocalist performing on stage
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Long, Long Chord

My mother always fears
I’d have ringing in my ears –
Of course, I never really thought I would.
But here I am, and hear I do;
She warned it me, I’m warning you,
A cautionary tale from the buzzing brotherhood:

The chainsaw guitars
With their scattershot strobes,
The piercing vocals
With scouring probes,
The throbbing basses
Vibrating my lobes,
And the beat –
The beat that was pounding my whole,
That was pounding against all my thoughts and control,
And was pounding my drums and my skull and my soul.

My thousand belting solos on my air guitar
(A Fender),
And my crooning to my hairbrush
Till my larynx cried surrender,
While my head was busy banging-
So my hair could whip its splendour,
And the only way to do it, dude, was loud.

My mother never understood,
The self-same song is nowhere near as good
Until it’s cranked up to eleven,
Till they hear it up in Heaven,
And its words ain’t sung no more, its words are howled.

But no, I’m not deaf, I still hear fine
It’s just when all is chilled and quiet,
There comes a gentle radio static –
F-sharp in my cranial attic.
My mother was right, I cannot deny it.

But it’s cool, it only serves
To call to mind the legend’ry crowd
That I still pump in there, far too loud.
So let it hiss, cos that hiss is a part of me –
And who needs a shell to hear the sea ?
It’s what I’ve got, so best just to surf it.
Cos you know what ?
On balance, it’s probably worth it.

Æsthangelist

altered book
Altered Book by Isobelle Ouzman

 

Æsthangelist

I read the most wonderous novel last year –
So moving, so thoughtful, so witty and sheer.
I think you’d enjoy it – it’s somewhere round here.
So feel free to borrow, I’ll bring it tomorrow –
It ain’t gloom and sorrow, but will raise a tear.

I don’t mean to hassle or bug or cajole,
But these are the hands that have touched at my soul –
Yet all of their beauty is wholly unknown –
These pages get lonely to wander alone.

I heard the most marvellous album last year –
So rich and inspired, so quirky and queer.
I think you’d enjoy it – the vocals are clear.
I’ll lend you the disk if you’re willing to risk –
The tempo is brisk, but it long haunts the ear.

I don’t mean to pressure or preach or ensnare,
But these are the songs that assuaged my despair –
I long to belong, to be part of the show –
And know there are others who know what I know.

I saw the most glorious movie last year
So moody and epic, so lush and sincere
I think you’d enjoy it – oh, please volunteer !
By all means I’ll lend what I sure recommend,
For what kind of friend would not loan out their gear ?

I don’t mean to labour or pester or dwell,
But these are the visions that saved me from hell.
They may not be normal, they may not be rife –
But maybe, just maybe, they may change your life.

I’m waiting to hear what you thought of my dears,
Waiting for rapture or rancour or sneers,
Waiting for days and for weeks and for years –
Until they come sheepishly unopened back to me –
And still you will miss how remiss this appears.

I don’t mean to censure or grumble or such,
For you are my friends who have given so much –
Yet still you don’t think or else still you don’t care
When you once again leave me with nothing to share.

 

 

Squeal For Me

man using brown and black electric guitar while singing
Photo by Thibault Trillet on Pexels.com

 

Squeal For Me

Get back to Soul Town, you Lowboy !
This life ain’t no place for raw baritones –
Cos rock is for shrieking, not groans.

For all of you boomers – no joy.
Basses have four strings and never play cords –
Your earthquakes are cannons, not swords.

Metal might give you employ.
Growling and gabbling their horror and death –
Their technique is wheezing, not breath.

Blues are so grumpy, they cloy.
Whinging as low as the gutter, those swines –
But rock ain’t for whimpers, but whines.

Now disco’s the real McCoy
Falsetto dudes, but too poppey and lite –
They ain’t got much power, just height.

Your throbbing would really annoy.
There’s nobody rocking the joint from down there.
You rumble and roar, but we blare.

I think you’re out to destroy.
Rock is the lightning  – not thunder, not blunt.
We bellow and howl, we don’t grunt.

So drop the guitar, it’s no toy,
But a hazardous tool for no baritones –
Cos if she goes off then your tremors and drones
Won’t master this Helen of Troy.
But scream at the girl and she screeches and moans,
She hollers in harmony, pumping those cones.

So save all your moping for quinoa and soy,
For rock is too out-there for subtle and coy –
Our vocals jar teeth.  Your vocals jar bones.

 

 

Con Occhi Aperti

crimson king
In the Court of the Crimson King by Barry Godber – the subject of which is clearly just having a singalong.

 

Con Occhi Aperti

If I don’t close my eyes when I sing,
Don’t think that it means that I don’t mean a thing,
When all that it means is I don’t close my eyes.

It don’t mean I don’t know the words,
Or when comes the moment to harmonize thirds,
It don’t mean I’m frightened of botching the song,
By notching too low for the highs.
I’m just like the whole throng of songbirds,
Whose eyelid ain’t tightened and eyeballs are watching,
Whenever they sweet vocalize.
If I don’t close my eyes up to sing
It just means I don’t close my eyes.

If I don’t move my lips when I pray,
Then don’t get to saying I still must be praying –
I could just be thinking away.
If I don’t snap my fingers in time with the beat,
If I don’t nod my head and I don’t tap my feet,
Don’t think I don’t got it,
Or done gone and shot it,
If I keep my feelings discreet.

I don’t need to wring out no tears to sing out,
Cos weeping – that just ain’t my thing.
It just means, besides, that I don’t close my eyes,
When I don’t close my eyes when I sing.