The Colour of Chameleons

 

I have always found it hard to believe

I have always longed for a sign I could perceive

I have always worn my doubts upon my sleeve

But I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

 

I have always tried hard to make the grade

I have always watched others join the big parade

I have always stood behind the barricade

But I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

 

One day maybe I’ll cross the desert plain

One day maybe I’ll stand in the hurricane

One day maybe I’ll find the truth again

Then I’ll see the real colour of chameleons

I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

 

I have always found it easy to begin

I have always found it easier to lose than win

I have always tried to take it on the chin

But I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

 

One day maybe I’ll cross the desert plain

One day maybe I’ll stand in the hurricane

One day maybe I’ll find the truth again

Then I’ll see the real colour of chameleons

I have always tried to see the real colour of chameleons

 

 

 

I Turn to You

 

When I’m standing in the shadows and the fat grey clouds go chasing ‘cross the moon

With the morning breaks the dawn and then the twilight always comes around too soon

And I’m aching for the longer days of spring to warm away the haze I’m in

Then summer comes it’s quickly gone and leaves me with an autumn song of what has been

 

That’s when I turn to you

You always know what to do

You guide me from the darkest night

You take me out into the light

So I can see again, see again

 

When the wall I built around me stretches up so high it’s blocking out the sun

And climbing’s an endeavour that is ended just as soon as it’s begun

Despite how hard I try to grip I might as well give up and slip behind

For there’s nothing to hold on to when the wall is only real inside my mind

 

That’s when I turn to you

You always know what to do

You guide me from the darkest night

You take me out into the light

So I can see again, see again

 

That’s when I turn to you

You always know what to do

You guide me from the darkest night

You take me out into the light

So I can see again, see again, see again, see again

 

 

Franklin’s Last Voyage

 

While sailing westward one night on the deep

My hammock swinging took me into sleep

I dreamed a dream I prayed were never true

Concerning Lord Franklin and his brave and gallant crew

 

There was Captain Austin from Scarb’ro town

And brave Captain Ross of high renown

Penny and Granville and so many more

All gone to sail along that icy Arctic shore

 

All told a hundred souls had sailed away

The year was ’45, the month of May

To seek a passage all around the Pole

And save poor sailors from the stormy southern toll

 

I dreamed misfortune came upon their course

Their ships twixt mountains of ice were forced

Where but the Inuit in his skin canoe

Can be the only one e’er safely to come through

 

There in Baffin’s Bay where the whale fish blow

I saw a fate that no man may know

The fate of Franklin no tongue can tell

As beside his crew in the snowy wastes did dwell

 

My vision saw them weaken through the days

All stricken down with a strange malaise

Though food be plentiful and all supplies

I saw them fade away before my very eyes

 

Though they tried more than any man could do

With hearts undaunted and with courage too

Now many a widow is left to mourn

In grief and sorrow and with all hope forlorn

 

And now my burden it gives me pain

For my long lost Franklin I will cross the Main

All of the bounties that the Good Lord gives

I would forgo gladly just for news that Franklin lives

 

While sailing westward one night on the deep

As my hammock swinging took me into sleep

I dreamed a dream I prayed were never true

Concerning Lord Franklin and his brave and gallant crew

 

 

Going Home

 

I remember when we made music together you and I

We laughed and sang of rainbows and we gave them to the sky

Going home, going home

But the summer evenings flew and the winters were too few

Now the passing of the seasons has created us anew

Going home, going home on Sunday afternoon

 

The paths that we have taken since those journeys that we shared

Have brought us some good fortune in the ways that we have fared

Going home, going home

And I may lose sight of the endings but I well recall the start

For the rainbows tie the places that may ever seem apart

Going home, going home on Sunday afternoon

 

And I wonder where the rainbows have all gone

Brush strokes in a cloudy sky they’ve been there all along

And I wish that we might see each other soon

Going home, going home on Sunday afternoon

 

I remember when we made music together you and I

We laughed and sang of rainbows and we gave them to the sky

Going home, going home

And I may lose sight of the endings but I well recall the start

For the rainbows tie the places that may ever seem apart

Going home, going home on Sunday afternoon

 

And I wonder where the rainbows have all gone

Brush strokes in a cloudy sky they’ve been there all along

And I wish that we might see each other soon

Going home, going home on Sunday afternoon

 

And I wish that we might see each other soon

Going home, going home on Sunday afternoon

 

Going home on Sunday afternoon

 

Going home on Sunday afternoon

 

Going home on Sunday afternoon

 

 

Blood Red Roses

 

Can you remember when the passion turned to pain

When did the sunlight first get shrouded by the rain

Has your home become an empty house where every doorway closes

Will you try to buy your way back in with a dozen blood red roses

 

Has your drinking turned your wounded heart to stone

Does a bottle stop you feeling so alone

Are you always blaming them for all the trouble that life poses

Will you try to buy your way back in with a dozen blood red roses

 

Blood red roses, blood red roses,

There was a time when blood red roses used to mean a lot

But now it’s roses when your sober

And it’s only tears and bruises

Only tears and bruises

Only tears and bruises when you’re not

 

When you’re left with only what you can recall

The spring and summer leading to your fall

Will you deny the pain you cause and seek another diagnosis

Will you try to buy your way back in with a dozen blood red roses

 

Blood red roses, blood red roses,

There was a time when blood red roses used to mean a lot

But now it’s roses when your sober

And it’s only tears and bruises

Only tears and bruises

Only tears and bruises when you’re not

 

 

Standing Together

 

Sometimes I wonder what it is I have to share

So that no one stands to face me with denial

Sometimes I wonder if the world can learn to care

So that each of us can feel that we’re worthwhile

Please don’t look down on me today

I may not be just like you

For the more you cause me fear and pain

The more it comes to you

 

There have been times I do believe

We’ve almost lost this human race

But I see signs of hope like when

A smile breaks out on someone’s face

So don’t lose faith let’s not despair

There’s a long way yet to run

And I would like to think that there’s

A prize for everyone

 

Standing together

Standing together

Standing together side by side

Standing together

Standing together

Together we can turn the tide

 

I think the time has come at last

For each of us to take a stand

There is so much we can learn

From reaching out an empty hand

The cost is light the gain so sweet

We all know this deep inside

It’s just one small step that soon can turn

Into a giant stride

 

Standing together

Standing together

Standing together side by side

Standing together

Standing together

Together we can turn the tide

 

Standing together

Standing together

Standing together side by side

Standing together

Standing together

Together we can turn the tide

 

 

Puppet Master

 

When the puppet master pulls your string

And tells you all to dance until you drop

And the wealth that you create is like a spring

Where the first flow always pours out at the top

Where the first flow always pours out at the top

 

For it takes a while to trickle down

It just takes a while to trickle down

Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down

It takes a while to trickle down

 

When he puts that word demand after supply

When he talks about economies of scale

He’ll promise you a castle in the sky

You know it’s just another fairy tale

You know it’s just another fairy tale

 

For it takes a while to trickle down

It just takes a while to trickle down

Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down

It takes a while to trickle down

 

When he talks of wealth to follow by and by

And the sacrifices needed on the way

Be wary of the tongue that tells the lie

He’ll have you heading for your final working day

He’ll have you heading for your final working day

 

For it takes a while to trickle down

It just takes a while to trickle down

Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down

It takes a while to trickle down

 

He talks of cuts that may cause some slight pain

If he only knew the fear that slices to the bone

And the threat of never having work again

The pool he stands in then would be his own

The pool he stands in then would be his own

 

For it takes a while to trickle down

It just takes a while to trickle down

Trickle down, trickle down, trickle down

It takes a while to trickle down

 

 

West Coast Days

 

When there’s a warm wind blowing in August

Cuts the air right out of the day

Carries the scent of the shore line

‘Cross the lowlands on its way

I’ll take train out of Central

Ride down to West Kilbride

Stand on the beach at Seamill

Where the ocean meets the Clyde

 

Gaze across at the smoky hills and the islands in the haze

Just another one of those sleepy west coast days

Just another one of those sleepy west coast days

 

Standing outside Nardini’s

With a flavour to make you smile

Catch a ferry and rent some wheels

Cruise the island for a while

The day cools down and the sea lights up

With a thousand neon signs

I’ll head home with a hot fish supper

Wrapped in yesterday’s Evening Times

 

Gaze across . . .

 

When I hear stories people tell

Recalling summertime dreams

Sailing down the water to Rothesay

Sand castles in the Bay at Wemys

Maybe those times will come no more

Forgotten good old days

No more steamers going down the Clyde

Just sleepy west coast ways

 

Gaze across . . .

 

When there’s a warm wind blowing in August

Cuts the air right out of the day

Carries the scent of the shore line

‘Cross the lowlands on its way

I’ll take train out of Central

Ride down to west Kilbride

Stand on the beach at Seamill

Where the ocean meets the Clyde

 

Gaze across . . .

 

 

Chosen Land

 

As I was walking in the hills that I call home

I came across a valley that seemed carved out of the stone

There I stood in wonder contemplating nature’s throne

In this land where I have chosen to be me

 

I sat on a rock as I gazed out across the shore

I told that rock my story I believe I could have told it more

But when I listened for its secret it was silent to the core

In this land where I have chosen to be me

 

Mountain paths and country byways

Well trimmed urban plots of grass

The crags and screes behind the schemes

Where the streets are paved with broken glass

The incandescent cityscape too bright to ever last

In this land where I have chosen to be me

 

I looked westward down the river watched the sunset paint the clouds

Saw monuments to industry standing bent but never bowed

From grimy toil to landscaped soil a journey to be proud

In this land where I have chosen to be me

 

Mountain paths and country byways

Well trimmed urban plots of grass

The crags and screes behind the schemes

Where the streets are paved with broken glass

The incandescent cityscape too bright to ever last

In this land where I have chosen to be me

 

For as long as I survive I’ll rejoice to be alive

In this land where I have chosen

In this land where I have chosen

In this land where I have chosen to be me

 

 

Harley Dreaming

 

Two wheeled dream, single white line

Wind in my face, the road’s all mine

 

Don’t believe in corners, never see the bends

Black strip’s eternal, road never ends

 

Feels like an animal, seems like a friend

Don’t feel like I’m riding a machine

There’s a spirit internal, combusting to ascend

But I’m only Harley Dreaming

I’m only Harley Dreaming

I’m only Harley Dreaming

 

In the realm of the figured casing, the Chromium King rules supreme over the Whitewall Magicians, and the eagles of the enameled mountains cast their fleeting shadows as they soar above the lowly herd

 

Feels like an animal, seems like a friend

Don’t feel like I’m riding a machine

There’s a spirit internal, combusting to ascend

But I’m only Harley Dreaming

I’m only Harley Dreaming

I’m only Harley Dreaming

 

 

The Cleansing

 

Moonlight filters through the shadows of the trees

Illuminates the man who spent his life upon his knees

As he searches in his being for identity and pride

And he tries to find a meaning or a reason why they lied

When they promised

Justice, freedom and dignity for all

 

Then vengeance traveling with ignorance and fear

Rides swiftly through the valley bringing hatred in the rear

And forced to leave their homes the victims of the cruel tide

The cleansing has begun and now there’s nowhere left to hide

From cries of

Justice, freedom and dignity for all

 

For as long as there are those who say there’s is the only way

Self righteous masquerading as the chosen

The world will count the casualties and those who run away

homeless hungry desperate and frozen

And those who sell identity in parcels of the past

Who demand to be the first in line they don’t care who comes last

With scant regard for truth or fact of what has gone before

They’ll watch their neighbours suffering and then choose to ignore

The cries for

Justice, freedom and dignity for all

 

For as long as there are those who say there’s is the only way

Self righteous masquerading as the chosen

The world will count the casualties and those who run away

homeless hungry desperate and frozen

 

Moonlight filters through the shadows of the trees

Illuminates the man who spent his life upon his knees

As he searches in his being for identity and pride

And he tries to find a meaning or a reason why they lied

When they promised

Justice, freedom and dignity for all

Freedom and dignity for all

Freedom and dignity for all

 

 

Roots and Wings

 

It started so very long ago six days then one for rest

Man arrived and turned it sour the cuckoo in the nest

Brought greed and hunger fear and pain the list’s as long as time

Was the young and innocent made to pay the victims of the crime

 

And no matter what the future brings

Give them roots and give them wings

Give them hope but above all things

Give them roots and give them wings

Give them roots and give them wings

Give them roots and give them wings

 

 

Many are the ways of man there’s evil and there’s good

We teach our children what we can though seldom what we should

It’s from example that they learn not from the things we say

So let them see us caring for tomorrow’s kids today

 

And no matter what the future brings . . .

 

There are those who sing and those who play and those who bring us joy

Their message is so plain to see help every girl and boy

The third world is not far we stole their present for our past

So help the children of today build a future that can last

 

And no matter what the future brings . . .

 

The world is so much smaller now than it’s ever been before

History has taught us much that we’ve chosen to ignore

Poverty is with us still though there really is no need

It’s not enough to teach our children how to work and how to breed

 

And no matter what the future brings . . .

 

Hungry kids can walk like kings if you give them roots and give them wings

 

 

 

 

The Eastland Disaster

 

I was born and raised near Plymouth Quay, a miller’s son, no life for me

When I turned fifteen I went to sea on the steamship Aureole

A stoker’s shovel replaced my toys, twelve hour shifts in the heat and noise

Sorted out the men from boys, ‘til we berthed in Montreal

 

There I signed on board a Great Lakes tramp, shipping lumber from the logging camps

The winters got so cold and damp, I looked for a job on the land

Learned the linesman’s trade and travelled around, then I found work in Chicago town

Got hired by Western and settled down, life started looking grand

 

July 24, 1915, the biggest party there’d ever been

Western’s workers filled the scene, five thousand, maybe more

At the Eastland berth by Whacker Drive, we started boarding at 7:05

She was moving like she was alive, tugging at the shore

 

And I never felt so cold,

If I think about it still it makes me shiver.

When the Eastland rolled,

In the dark and chill of the old Chicago River.

 

To the Eastland we all joined the race, five other ships but she was the ace

Nothing on the Lakes could match her pace, the star of the cruiser queens

By 8:15 we were crammed on board, at least two thousand, maybe more

Plenty others still on the shore and we started to feel her lean

 

Up on deck a dance band played, she leaned again and then she swayed

Someone screamed, I think I prayed, as she spilled and threw us down

In the minutes that followed eight hundred died, the Eastland settled on her side

You couldn’t see the river for the tears we cried, it’s a miracle I didn’t drown

 

And I never felt so cold,

If I think about it still it makes me shiver.

When the Eastland rolled,

In the dark and chill of the old Chicago River.

 

Sixteen hundred survived that day, I kinda recovered and I’m OK

It was a hell of a price some had to pay, so I count my blessings still

Sometimes I go by Whacker Drive, I know I’m lucky to be alive

I mind the ones who didn’t survive and I think I always will

 

And I never felt so cold,

If I think about it still it makes me shiver.

When the Eastland rolled,

In the dark and chill of the old Chicago River.

 

 

Duncan And Brady (updated lyrics, newly recorded on album It Takes All Kinds)

 

Twinkle, twinkle little star, along comes Brady in his ‘lectric car

He’s got a mean look there in his eye, going to shoot somebody just to see him die.

Been on the job too long

 

Duncan, Duncan, he was tending bar when in walked Brady with his shiny star

Brady said “boys, you’re all under arrest”. Someone shot a hole right there in Brady’s chest

Been on the job too long

 

And it’s Brady, Brady you know you’ve done wrong

Busting in here when the game was going on

You smashed the windows, broke down the door

Left you lying, dying on the bar room floor

Been on the job too long

 

Up stepped the doctor and the doctor he said, “I believe to my soul, King Brady’s dead”

Tell the undertaker bring the rubber-tyred hack. Take him to the mortuary, take him out the back.

Been on the job too long.

 

When all of the ladies heard King Brady was dead, they all went home and re-ragged in red

Came strutting and sliding, stepping down the street, with their big Mother Hubbard’s and their stocking feet.

Been on the job too long

 

And it’s Brady, Brady you know you’ve done wrong

Busting in here when the game was going on

You smashed the windows, broke down the door

Left you lying, dying on the bar room floor

Been on the job too long

 

Old Ma Brady, stood by his grave. She turned to her sons, said “Boys be brave”

“I know it’s true, your daddy’s gone, but we get his pension from now on”

Been on the job too long

 

Judge found Duncan guilty, said “Boy you’re going to swing. Every witness testified, all saw the same thing

They said the black man pulled the trigger, all swore it was true. The only black man in the bar, Duncan that was you”

Been on the job too long

 

And it’s Brady, Brady you know you’ve done wrong

Busting in here when the game was going on

You smashed the windows, broke down the door

Left you lying, dying on the bar room floor

Been on the job too long

 

 

 

Psalm 9:11

 

I’d like to send this message to our leaders everywhere

You’ll know if this applies to you, you’ll think it’s a prayer

I hope you receive it well, and my words are not in vain

Please stop your righteous daydreams, wake up and smell the pain

 

When I look to see who’s listening, might as well be on my own

The lights are on... but there’s nobody home

 

You disregard so many views because these views aren’t yours

You claim they’re irresponsible you damn them and their cause

You tie them down with legal chains and gag them with your laws

Then you tell the world you mean so well, do you think the world ignores?

When I look to see . . .

 

I see through all the tricks you play with mirrors and with smoke

All the demons and familiars you keep tucked inside your cloak

You preach your rules and doctrine like some true evangelist

But you’re the one who does the kissing, you’re not the one who’s being kissed When I look to see . . .

 

God knows I’ve tried to tell you year after bloody year

You can’t win the peace with bombs, you can’t win hearts with fear

But you smear your shiny leader’s grin across your front page views

And you scribble out your lies and spin wrapped up in greasy news

When I look to see . . .

 

So scrap your tanks and gunships, build hospitals and schools

Build houses for the homeless, give your soldiers useful tools

I’m not asking for Utopia that’s really not my aim

I just want all the players to get a chance to play the game

When I look to see . . .

 

 

Woodland Waltz

 

Hornbeam and willow, maple and elm

Sycamore, chestnut and yew

Redwood, hazel, rowan and beech

Oak and holly to name but a few

 

Can you imagine a world without trees?

Do you think you’d survive it for long?

Put your self to the test, you can try it with ease

Hold your breath for the rest of this song

 

The tropical rainforest burns day and night

In Brazil they need land for the cow

The Amazon Basin, the lungs of the World

Have a cancer that must be cured now

Can you imagine . . .

 

The scale of destruction to ease the production of

Beef for the hamburger kings

Those meat Mafioso whose motives are oh-so

Divorced from the havoc they bring

Can you imagine . . .

 

Well if you’ve no objections to making a buck

And you don’t think the future looks black

When it comes to the end you could be out of luck

If you have to inhale a Big Mac

Can you imagine . . .

 

Hornbeam and willow, maple and elm

Sycamore, chestnut and yew

Redwood, hazel, rowan and beech

Oak and holly to name but a few

Can you imagine . . .

 

 

Albatross

 

When he was no more than just a boy,

My father flew above the waves, like the albatross he wore.

Caught up in the glory of the times,

He hunted down the sea wolves, to make the seas a safer place,

For then and evermore

For then and evermore

 

With a roar they raced the dawn into the sky

Heading for the north Atlantic, far beyond the shore

In the company of angels on the wing,

My father and his crew, would they be hunters for the moment, or

For then and evermore

For then and evermore

 

Thoughts about the lives of those they sought,

Like the U-boats, surfaced only rarely to the fore.

In the deadly game of hide and seek they played,

There was no time for thinking of the quarry, just the watching hour

For then and evermore

For then and evermore

 

Reluctant hero caught up in the chase,

Trained to function in his dreams, in a constant state of war.

When part of the child became a man,

Innocence that once was lost, never to be held again

For then and evermore

For then and evermore

 

He never talked of this when I was young,

But let me see his other skills, with hammer, brush and saw.

As a child I loved to watch his hands,

And waited until as a man, I understood him more,

For then and evermore

For then and evermore

 

When he was no more than just a boy,

My father flew above the waves, like the albatross he wore

For then and evermore

For then and evermore

 

 

Beautiful Swimmers

 

The sail canoe cuts like an eel through the water

We slip the dredge in the four-fathom lay

The wind fills the jib and we head up to Tangier

To catch the big Blues on Chesapeake Bay

 

The bay has been giving me my way of living

‘Twas my father’s before me and his father’s too

They sold in Virginia and up into Boston

Then New York and Philly when the railroad came through

 

Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers

The Chesapeake Blue is the sweetest of all

Beautiful swimmers, beautiful swimmers

I’ll catch the big Blues when the Chesapeake calls

 

The boat that I sail my grandfather bartered

For a horse that he borrowed on his way out of town

She’s patched and she’s wheezing, she’s re-rigged each season

She skims through the shallows, the fastest around

 

Now there’s so little left for the crabs and the oysters

The city folk came with their toy boats to play

The noise and the traffic and the smell of the diesel

They’ve scared off the Blues from most of the bay

Beautiful swimmers . . .

 

I have no sons to take on the dredging

But I’ll shed no tears for I think it’s as well

There’s so little to catch now I scarce fill a barrel

And apart from who’s listening there’s no one to tell

 

The sail canoe cuts like an eel through the water

We slip the dredge in the four-fathom lay

The wind fills the jib and we head up to Tangier

To catch the big Blues in the Chesapeake Bay

Beautiful swimmers . . .

 

 

Pay Day

 

Well I’ve done all I can do but I can’t get through to you

Gonna take you to your Momma, pay day

Pay day, pay day

 

Well, the rabbit’s in a hollow log, I ain’t got no rabbit dog

I hate to see that rabbit get away

Get away, oh Lord get away

 

Just about a week ago, I stole me a ham of meat,

Gonna keep my skillet greasy if I can

If I can, Lord if I can

 

Well I’ve done all I can do but I can’t get through to you

Gonna take you to your Momma, pay day

Pay day, pay day

 

Well the hounds are on my track, got my knapsack on my back

Gonna make it to my shanty afore day

Fore day, fore day

 

...break - Govanhillbilly Stomp

 

Well I’ve done all I can do but I can’t get through to you

Gonna take you to your Momma, pay day

Pay day, pay day

 

 

The Gathering (updated lyric re-recorded on CD It Takes All Kinds)

 

Let’s gather all the people, who never quite fit in

The ones who really are too fat and those who are too thin

All the ones who have bits missing those who cannot see or hear

The hard of understanding and while we’re at it, let’s not forget the queer

 

This gathering should, of course, take in the ugly and uncouth

It might as well embrace the old and we can balance them with youth

What’s your view on colour? Should dark tones go in as well?

Defining white can’t be that hard and while we’re at it, let’s not forget the ones who smell

 

It’s time to tidy up humanity here’s what I suggest

There’s truly nothing personal, I’m sure we all agree it’s for the best

We all agree it’s for the best

 

I know the list is growing but we should include the poor

They’re always getting in the way and poverty’s a bore

I suppose obscenely rich folk should be added to the list

Then there’s junkies, speed freaks, pot heads and while we’re at it, let’s not forget the pissed

 

There have been some suggestions for others who should go

Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jews any kind of holy Joe

And there’s Tim and Proddy Christians, just how do we pick

It’s all those who would convert us and while we’re at it, let’s not forget the sick

It’s time to tidy up humanity . . .

 

There’s Britain First and the Ku Klux Klan and all the other national fronts

They claim to speak for the common man but they’re just a bunch of crypto-fascists

They all hate Johnny Foreigner, I think it’s time to take a stand

Let’s gather up the racists, and while we’re at it let’s not forget the marching bands.

 

Some other nominations I’m afraid were just bizarre

Removing cyclists wearing lycra might be taking things too far

To gather each minority would cause a massive fuss

If we need a final solution, while we’re at it, let’s gather all of us

It’s time to tidy up humanity . . .

 

 

I Am No Hero

 

I look around me what do I see

Too many hungry, too few are free

They don’t want our pity, they don’t need our tears

They want us to listen with our hearts not our ears

 

I can feel for the downtrodden and the abused

I could reach out a hand to the sick and the bruised

The problems are real they don’t live in my head

Wish I could take action find answers instead

 

But I am no hero, I don’t know the hero’s ways

I am no hero, courage don’t know where I stay

I am no hero, not even a hero’s friend

I’m just a child, grown up is how I pretend

Grown up is how I pretend

 

Updated lyric:

But I am no hero, I don’t know the hero’s ways

I am no hero, I don’t have courageous days

I am no hero, I don’t have any hero friends

Like each small boy or girl, In my make believe world

Being brave is just a pretence

Being brave is just a pretence

 

 

And I don’t need disguises, I don’t need a mask

I don’t need permission I don’t have to ask

There’s no need for weapons I don’t have to fight

Just get on my feet, stand up for what’s right

 

But I am no hero, I don’t know the hero’s ways

I am no hero, I don’t have courageous days

I am no hero, I don’t have any hero friends

As each small boy or girl In my make believe world

Being brave is just a pretence

Being brave is just a pretence

 

 

Dear Green Song

 

When I first came here in search of a living

I gave up my roots and I came here to stay

I could hear ancient songs with young voices singing

If you listen real hard you can hear what they say

 

When kestrels hunt high between towers in the Gorbals

When the kingfishers dart on the Cart and the Clyde

When the heron stands tall on the banks of the Kelvin

When we talk of the past to our children with pride

 

And I found here a welcome more like a home coming

More like part of the family than I’d dare to say

There’s a pulse to this city like a marching band drumming

It’s a heart beating steady, brings life to the day

When kestrels hunt high . . .

 

So now I look forward to years with my family

Wrapped up in the thrill and excitement of here

But I’ll always remember that day in October

When I first saw the signs that the future was here

When kestrels hunt high . . .

 

 

Hazel’s Song

 

Well I dreamed that we were flying

As hand in hand we walked along

And the power of your innocence

Surged through my wings and spreading them

We soared up to the sky

 

And we told each other tales

Of all the places we had seen

In lands of long ago and far away

Where strange folk lived though

Beautiful to see

 

And I remember every time you questioned all I said and did

But all the world and all there is to know

Just wasn’t mine to give to you

 

Now I can see that you and me

We’re much the same in oh so many ways

Beyond the name or so it seems

We’re tied together always in our dreams

 

Well now I still dream we’re flying

As hand in hand we walk along

And the power of your innocence

Surges through our wings and spreading them

We soar up to the sky

 

So go on now and greet the years

With open wings while I recall from

Times to come the day I lost my adulthood

And shared with you the sky

Forgetting for a while I couldn’t fly

 

Forgetting for a while I couldn’t fly

I dreamed that I was flying

Forgetting for a while I couldn’t fly

 

 

So Weary

 

Wake up in the morning, thinking of you

So weary, since you’ve been gone

Breakfast in a bottle, makes me feel so blue

So weary, since you’ve been gone

 

My daddy told me, no woman mean what they say

You said you’d always love me, honour and obey

Try not to remember when you went away

So weary, since you’ve been gone

 

And I don’t get the picture, I can’t understand

So weary, since you’ve been gone

Why don’t you come home, take care of your man

So weary, since you’ve been gone

 

My daddy told me, no woman mean what they say

You said you’d always love me, honour and obey

You’ve been gone so long now, still feels like yesterday

So weary, since you’ve been gone

Oh so weary, since you’ve been gone

Yes I’m so weary since you’ve been gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acceptance Speech

 

If I accept you for what you want to be If

I accept you and everything you say to me

If I accept you unreservedly

Will you accept me just for what I am?

 

If I accept the world is yours to see and hear and feel

If I accept that I’m excluded from the deal

And if I accept that I have no right of appeal

Will you accept me just for what I am?

 

My voice is joy in how I am

My choices aren’t the ones I’d plan

Put together altogether different

There are flaws in my design

But who’s to say yours is a better one than mine

 

So if I accept you for every part you’ve ever played

If I accept there’s no-one ever hears a word that’s prayed

And if I accept it’s just the way we are made

Will you accept me just for what I am?

 

My voice is joy in how I am

My choices aren’t the ones I’d plan

Put together altogether different

There are flaws in my design

But who’s to say yours is a better one than mine

Rpt Verse 1 &

Will you accept me just for what I am?

Will you accept me just for what I am?

 

 

The Serpent And The Rats

 

Said the snake “I have a story, to hear it you must pay”

But the price was far too high for what the serpent had to say

While sliding on his belly through the filth all on the ground

His view is just the underside of everything around

 

Rot, corruption and decay are all he ever sees

And the light is always poor and there’s just a fetid breeze

Below down in the gutter is where the serpent plays

He has only rats for company, it’s on the rats he preys

 

I heard the serpent hiss

I heard the rattle of his tail

There was venom in his kiss

In his eyes I saw betrayal

 

We give the rats their purpose, it’s not too much to ask

To be our entertainment is their solitary task

So we have rats as a consequence of the choices that we make

We just need to keep them in their place not feed them to the snake

 

I heard the serpent hiss

I heard the rattle of his tail

There was venom in his kiss

In his eyes I saw betrayal

 

So never trust a serpent when he comes to you with news

He’s really only hunting rats to bite or to abuse

Said the snake “I have a story, to hear it you must pay”

But the price was far too high for what the serpent had to say

 

 

The Cowboy’s Dream

 

When I grow up I want be a cowboy,

Riding on my pony ‘cross the range

To where the good guys always beat the bad guys

And the rides into the sunset never change

And I’ll have me a six-gun made of silver

With stars cut in the handle made of pearl

And I’ll never draw on anyone in anger

But each time I pull the trigger

One or more of those mean hombres

Will be destined for to leave this troubled world

 

And the horse I ride will be a palomino

Burnished gold and shining like the sun

He’ll understand most anything I tell him

And we’ll blaze a trail together just for fun

Storm will be the name that I will give him

Thundering hooves and lightning speed will testify

And though the bad guys may try to outrun us

Old Storm and me will be there

To round them up and catch them

Bring them back to face a judge or choose to die

 

But in the Summer time we’ll ride up through the Rockies

Just to be there for the folks who need a hand

When Winter comes we’ll mosey down by El Paso

Where a brown-eyed Peon girl

With a head of raven curls

Will dance before a small, Mexican band

 

Now I know that I’ll as likely never make it

Across the Pecos or the Mason Dixon Line

But every boy’s got a right to dreaming

When he dreams of living right and doing fine

And sometimes when I’m alone I get to wondering

And I think I hear that lonesome coyote’s distant call

And the warm winds on the prairie softly whispering

Old Storm is out there waiting

For me to come and find him

It don’t feel like I’m imagining at all

But in the Summer time . . .

 

Dance before a small, Mexican band

Oh yes, she’ll dance before a small, Mexican band

 

 

Looking In Your Eyes

 

When my heart is sinking and my spirit’s falling low

When I’m so tired of thinking of all the things I need to know

When the rain comes falling and it sounds like a thousand lies

I draw my strength from looking in your eyes

 

When I’m standing all alone, no-one to hear my voice

No cause for celebration, no reason to rejoice

When it don’t matter how loud I scream, nobody hears my cries

I draw my strength from looking in your eyes

 

When all I have is uncertainty ‘bout what I’m supposed to feel

When I can no longer tell what is fake from what is real

When I feel like breaking out and my hellos become goodbyes

I draw my strength from looking in your eyes.

 

When the walls are closing in and the windows all seem barred

When every door is jammed even though I’m pushing hard

When my cup of human kindness finally drains and then it dries

I draw my strength from looking in your eyes

 

When my heart is sinking and my spirit’s falling low

When I’m so tired of thinking of all the things I need to know

When the rain comes falling and it sounds like a thousand lies

I draw my strength from looking in your eyes

 

Looking in your eyes, looking in your eyes

It should come as no surprise

That I can draw my strength

From looking in your eyes

 

 

Lakes of Pontchartrain

 

When summer came in back ‘65 I bid New Orleans farewell

Took the railroad north to Jackson town, my services to sell

But with all the Yanqui bosses there, no work could I gain

And my heart was sore with longing for the Lakes of Pontchartrain.

 

So I headed south ‘cross the open range, I was walking night and day,

Through storms and floods I’m sure the Devil sent to bar my way.

With ten days passed, I came at last on sight to ease my pain,

I fell in with a Creole girl by the Lakes of Pontchartrain.

 

I was so poorly dressed and I confessed my money was no good

But for lodgings I could work, I‘d sweep and cut the wood

“You're welcome here kind sir,” she said, “though our house is very plain

“We never turn a Ranger out by the Lakes of Pontchartrain.”

 

She took me to her mother’s house they treated me so well

For her jet-black curls and dark brown eyes, I very quickly fell

But to put words to her beauty would surely be in vain

So bonny was that Creole girl by the Lakes of Pontchartrain.

 

With the passing weeks I declared my love, asked if she’d marry me

She refused me for another who was far away at sea

She’d promised that she’d wait for him and true she would remain

'Til he returned to his Creole girl by the Lakes of Pontchartrain.

 

So I bid farewell to the Creole girl and I’ll see her never more

But I’ll not forget her kindness in the cottage by the shore

Now whenever wine is passing round a flowing cup I'll drain

To drink a health to a Creole girl by the Lakes of Pontchartrain.

 

 

Sing The Spirits Home

 

First came the traders, the Dutchmen who bartered for slaves

They headed inland from the Cape leaving so many graves

By ’37 the Voortrekkers littered the plains

Settled the Free State, the Transvaal established their Gains

And the man with the white face stood under the African sun

Gave thanks to his god, praise the Lord for his work has begun

This land we shall tame as a mark of what we can achieve

We’ll stake out a claim and enclose what refuses to leave

And we shall see that the black man obeys

Learns to respect, his masters to praise

Gives back to the Devil his dark heathen ways

Gets down on his knees to work all his days

 

Freedom at long, long last has come

Freedom at long, long last has come

Freedom at long, long last has come

Time now to sing the spirits home

Sing the spirits home

 

They found diamonds and gold and the men from the empire got word

They sent the Uitlanders, demanding their voices be heard

1881 at Majuba they turned them away

But the lure was too great, knew they’d come back some day

As the century ended so then a new one began

Heralding in such a dangerous new age for man

Ladysmith, Mafeking, Kimberly so many more

That which brought wealth for the few only ended in war

And the British will see that the Empire’s secure

With their bribes, guns and torture, they’re lusting for more

By starving the child, make the mother a whore

What does it matter she’s only a Boer

Freedom at long, long last has come...

 

Then two generations of Calvin restructured the game

To gain power for themselves the Afrikaners’ soul aim

One hundred years after the Dutchmen had taken the land

SABRA came up with a way for non-whites to be banned

With shackles of townships and passbooks to set them apart

Malan’s apartheid and Kaffa to tear at the heart

The doctrine gave birth to the means and gave life to the goal

But Sharpeville, Soweto and Crossroads refused it a soul

And without a soul it must wither and die

So when both sides abandoned an eye-for-an-eye

When deKlerk and Mandela reached up for the sky

With voices as one, a nation can cry

Freedom at long, long last has come...

 

 

Beginning With Blue

 

Empty sky, day goes by

Turns a darker hue

I spy with a curious eye

Something beginning with, something beginning with blue

 

Dark and cool, seems so cruel

Hiding what is true

Quiet shadows overrule

Something beginning with, something beginning with blue

 

So many people are looking but they never see

Sometimes the vision is not what it’s cracked up to be

Revealing the answer may not bring anything new

Just something beginning with, something beginning with blue

 

See the day invade, shadows fade

Everything comes into view

Soon another sky is made

Something beginning with, something beginning with blue

 

So many people are looking but they never see

Sometimes the vision is not what it’s cracked up to be

Revealing the answer may not bring anything new

Just something beginning with, something beginning with blue

 

Empty sky, day goes by

Turns a darker hue

I spy with a curious eye

Something beginning with, something beginning with blue

Something beginning with, something beginning with blue

 

 

Alchemists Of War

 

It’s the old men beat the drum while young men march to the rhythm

Whenever there’s contention the drums you’ll surely hear

Given swords, clubs, bombs or guns, they’ll spread dissention with them

While the old men speak of vengeance, young men deliver fear

 

And with terror in their eyes they only speak of liberation

While those who fail to listen will soon be made to bend

Count the democrats by their lies who once were freedom fighters

They’ve only passed their weapons on for younger men to tend

 

So cry out for the innocent

Cry out for their pain

Cry out loud and let your voices soar

Cry out for the children

Dispossessed and disappeared

The ones who just got in the way

Of the alchemists of war

 

Old men sit upon their thrones and gather hatred by the hour

They bait their traps with glory, see how wide the nets are cast

Unspoken silent tongues have gifted them their power

But as the circle closes, their time will come at last

 

For the old men need our fear as their crucible needs fuelling

It’s filled with the blood and tears of victims dead and cold

Add the splintered broken bones and a potion is completed

A spell is cast to transform fear and turn it into gold

 

So cry out...

 

Well the time is coming soon when the old men will be calling

And yours could be the name they choose to conjure a battle yell

If you’re not part of the cause be part of the solution

Don’t listen to the alchemists there’s no magic in their spell

 

So cry out...

 

 

Father And Son

 

Won’t you tell me what you did in the war Dad

And what was it that you got your medal for Dad

Did you fly in dogfights up above the clouds

Did you lead your men to battle marching proud.

 

Did you send a U-boat to a watery grave Dad

Did you take a gun post with your last grenade Dad

What’s the matter is there something in your eye

You looked just like you were about to cry...

It’s just a bloody shame

It’s always been the same

The generals and politicians talk about the gains

They forget to mention all the pain

They forget to mention all the pain

 

Don’t go they’ll have you knee deep in the mud Son

The noise of all the shells will freeze your blood Son

I was there remember I know what’s in store

We never even knew what we were fighting for.

 

When the captain put the whistle to his lip Son

That’s when I felt my heartbeat skip Son

He gave a blast we scrambled over the top

And we ran like hell and prayed that it would stop

It’s just a bloody shame . . .

 

But this time it won’t be like your war Dad

We know what we’re fighting for Dad

It’s all machines now no muddy trench for me

It’ll all be over soon just wait and see

 

There’s no more strike a match and light a fuse Dad

It’s technology that I’ll be trained to use Dad

They say these skills will stand me in good stead

If I can learn it all and keep my head

It’s just a bloody shame . . .

 

Won’t you tell me what you did in the war Son

What did you get your medals for Son

I can’t read the words they’ve written where you lie

I think I may have something in my eye

It’s just a bloody shame . . .

 

 

Hole In My Life

 

There’s a hole in my life, where you used to be

It started out so small, barely nothing much at all

Now it feels like it might swallow me

Oh it feels like it might swallow me

 

There was a time when I longed to be free

But that was down to my age, there were no bars and no cage

It was just you used to care for me

It was just you used to care for me

 

Now I never worry, about things I can’t see

There’s a hole in my life, feels like a knife

Has cut you right out of me

And I hope Doctor Time has a cure in his bag just for me

There’s a hole in my life, it’s where you used to be

 

You gave me direction, you opened my eyes

You taught me compassion, before it went out of fashion

You were never too strong on goodbyes

You were never too strong on goodbyes

 

I never worry, about things I can’t see

There’s a hole in my life, feels like a knife

Has cut you right out of me

And I hope Doctor Time has a cure in his bag just for me

There’s a hole in my life, it’s where you used to be

There’s a hole in my life, it’s where you used to be

 

 

As Long As The Memories Glow

 

Old Mrs. Haggerty lives in a home with a room overlooking a square

She sits at the window describing the scene

At breakfast and supper, sometimes in between

To someone who’s not really there

Mrs. Haggerty knows but she doesn’t care

 

Old Mrs. Haggerty seems to spend much of her day in a world of her own

Of the places she visits and the times that she goes

If anyone asks, she may well disclose

But she’s happy to be there alone

Mrs. Haggerty simply recalls what she’s known

 

For as long as the memories glow

She’d have them light up again

While she’s reminiscing, if she can remember

Re-kindle what’s missing, some spark or an ember

Of what happened so long ago

As long as the memories glow

 

Old Mrs. Haggerty keeps track of time with a calendar pinned to the wall

She marks off the days with the greatest of care

Tuesday it’s bingo, Thursday it’s hair

And on Friday someone might call

Mrs. Haggerty doesn’t miss much at all.

For as long as the memories glow . . .

 

 

Shadow Of The Storm

 

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

I will pay no heed

To talk of gods of any creed

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

 

I will never seek to save my soul

By insisting that the rest of you enroll

I won't preach or teach creation

Or oppose emancipation

Or hear messages from mission’ry control

 

I’ll pay tribute to no prophet, priest or saint

Nor worship icons set in stone or wood or paint

They're fashioned well from hate and fear

To serve some greedy racketeer

I will not be bound by their constraints

 

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

I will pay no heed

To talk of gods of any creed

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

 

The faithful may declare their righteous aims

And condemn me to their everlasting flames

I had faith as a youth

Now I'm older, I have truth

I no longer play those superstitious games

 

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

I will pay no heed

To talk of gods of any creed

As I travel in the shadow of the storm

 

 

You Have To Have The DNA To Fly

 

If you have them you can flap your wings

You can flap a stack of things

No matter how hard you try

When all is said and done

When your runway’s run

You have to have the DNA to fly

 

Take the humble bumblebee

Aerodynamically

She should be a stranger to the sky

But there’s no mystery

Just natural history

You have to have the DNA to fly

 

Now here’s a can of worms

Darwin’s book confirms

Natural selection shows us why

Take a look and see

Evolution is the key

You have to have the DNA to fly

 

If you’re wondering just what to think

About a missing link

The evidence is there before your eyes

Don’t get yourself in a flap

Check out the genome map

You have to have the DNA to fly

 

Now here’s a can of worms . . .

 

If you have them…

 

You have to have the DNA to fly

 

 

Monopoly

 

You’d have to be some kind of fool to meekly follow every rule

Without first enquiring who’ll likely profit from the game

It’s always the bankers that prevail, and even when they fail

No one points them to the jail and they never take the blame

 

Sometimes you win sometimes you lose sometimes it’s others who will choose

Their choices may confuse as you struggle to comply

When your friends all turn their if you fail to pay your tax

You’ll see the banker soon reacts the price of losing can be high

 

For the game of life is fine

While the bankers are benign

And you take your turn in line

Til your just another useless tool

But when the game get’s hard

When there’s no credit on your card

If you’re not on your guard

You’d have to be some kind of fool (rpt)

 

Just when you feel like you belong, all your relationships are strong

There’s nothing can go wrong that’s when complacency sets in

So while your life is going well, try to plan for a leaner spell

You never can foretell when hard times will begin

 

For the game of life is fine . . .

 

So learn the rules before you play always try to have your say

It could be costly to delay nothing ever stays the same

You’d have to be some kind of fool to meekly follow every rule

Without first enquiring who’ll likely profit from the game

You’d have to be some kind of fool...

 

 

Kingfisher

 

Flash of blue

A light

Or was it Green

Or maybe white

Iridescent sparks

The early sun

Reflects

The dazzling

Has begun

 

Did I really see

Or did I feel

Hallucination

Polished edge

Of steel

No Metal Sheen

No image

Of the sky

Brief sighting

Then

So Blessed the eye

 

Flash of blue

A light

Or was it Green

Or maybe white

Iridescent sparks

The early sun

Reflects

The dazzling

Has begun

 

No sprite

Burn dweller

Lord of flight

Apparition

Burnished bright

Wondrous thing

Creation

To Evolve

Kingfisher

Water

Earth

And ether

In resolve