A Beach Full Of Shells


ein Bild

 

The Immelman Turn

I always was the reckless kind, I do what I must do
I put the danger out of mind, and go on
I joined the barnstorm fliers back in 1922
And above those dusty farms , we put a shw on

Fly, fly to the western sky
Where the fog bank shifts and the danger lies
Why, why would you never learn
That you won't come back from the Immelman Turn?
Fly, fly to the red sunrise
Where the cloudbanks shift under copper skies
Why, why would you never learn
That you won't come back from the Immelman Turn?

From aboard a Curtiss Jenny, oh, you see things differently
And the farm boys wait for joyrides in the clearing
I went out walking on the wing in 1923
And above the engine noise I heard them cheering

Fly, fly to the western sky
Where the fog bank shifts and the danger lies
Why, why would you never learn
That you won't come back from the Immelman Turn?
Fly, fly to the red sunrise
Where the cloudbanks shift under copper skies
Why, why would you never learn
That you won't come back from the Immelman Turn?

You won't come back from the Immelman Turn
Why, why, why?
You won't come back from the Immelman Turn
Why, why, why?
There never was a one like you
Who knew that way to fly
But you won't come back from the Immelman Turn
Why, why, why?

The frost was on your aieleron's, and the wind was in your hair
When you went into the climb I saw you laughing
When the engine stalls and you start to spin
You won't get out of there
And a hush comes on the crowd as you go falling

Fly, fly to the western sky
Where the fog bank shifts and the danger lies
Why, why would you never learn
That you won't come back from the Immelman Turn?
Fly, fly to the red sunrise
Where the cloudbanks shift under copper skies
Why, why would you never learn
That you won't come back from the Immelman Turn?

You won't come back from the Immelman Turn
Why, why, why?
You won't come back from the Immelman Turn
Why, why, why?
There never was a one like you
Who knew that way to fly
But you won't come back from the Immelman Turn
Why, why, why?


Mr. Lear

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear
How pleasant to know at the end of the day he's near
With a portfolio that daily features diverse creatures

You open the book and it's true
The world is a lot more mysterious than we knew
Round every corner unusual things are prone to wander

When I was a young man I was oft-times at the zoo
To trace the visages and forms of parrots and cockatoos

It's over the hill now he goes
Pausing a while with the Pobble who has no toes
For your perusal, Victorian days are so unsual

Oh my aged Uncle Arly, sitting on a heap of barley
On his nosehis faithful cricket
In his hat a railway ticket
But his shoes were far too tight
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear

In Egypt, the first day of spring
You're painting a watercolor,hoping the light will bring
Guided by pens and inks, the pyramids and palms and sphinx

When I was an old man, I had a cat named Foss
Now he's gone I wander on
With this unbearable sense of loss

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear
How pleasant to know at the end of the day he's near
And if you should find him
His world is dancing close behind him


Royal Courtship

I sent my majordomo to your amanuensis
To ascertain your feelings, and strip away pretenses
And then a few days later, you sent back your vizier
And though he spoke quite courtesously
His meaning wasn't clear
Not to my majordomo
Not to my majordomo

So I sent my acolyte to further our relations
And he engaged your ministers in lengthy conversations
One or two were willingto discuss the matter frankly
We then received your advocate
Who told me that you thanked me
Also my majordomo
Also my majordomo

I therefore told my counselor to offer my best wishes
And he was greeted cordially with smiles and festive dishes
I further was encouraged by a note in your handwriting
Delivered by your confidant, it seemed you were inviting

My plenipotentiary with great felicitations
To join your chief of protocol in swift negotiations
But something must have happened
A secret door had closed then
The word from my ambassador was you were indisposed
And could not meet my majordomo
There's nothing I can do now
I sent my majordomo
I sent my majordomo


Rain Barrel

I 'm hiding in a rain barrel inside these consul walls
This shaft of light is so narrow I can't see much at all
Outside I hear the feet running
And voices all around
Footsoldiers with their guns coming
I can't make a sound

But if Mr. Williams keeps his word
My life could still be saved
I might live to see a time
When all these roads are paved
But if they break inside these walls
You won't see me again
But if Mr. Williams keeps his word
Somewhere, my story will be heard

I'm living in a strange country, it's so hard to find
It's not on any map, you carry it in your heart and mind
Outside I hear the ground shaking up from underneath
It's only when the empire's breaking
That you see their teeth

But if Mr. Williams keeps his word
My life could still be saved
I might live to see a time
When all these roads are paved
But if they break inside these walls
You won't see me again
But if Mr. Williams keeps his word
Somewhere, my story will be heard

I'm hiding in a rain barrel with one small patch of sky
Don't think I'm going to see tomorrow
Going to bid this world good-bye


Somewhere In England 1915

On the platform of an old railway station I enter a dream
And a couple are saying good-bye through the noise and the steam
But it's just "Brief Encounter" my mind is trying to rerun
And I wait for the poignant finale but the dream has moved on

And the train has turned into a ship that is sailing away
And the platform is a beach full of shells under silvery grey
And the girl on the beach is an English Prime Minister's daughter
And she watches the ship disappear at the edge of the water
And it feels like the pain in her heart will be never-ending
And everyone feels this way in the beginning

And she watches the ship disappear for the length of a sigh
And the maker of rhymes onthe deck who is going to die
In the corner of some foreign field that will make him so famous
As a light temporarily shines to illumine his pages

Then the scene has changed once again; now it's moonlight on wire
And the night is disturbed by a sudden volcano of fire
And a skull in a trench gazes up open-mouthed at the moon
And the poets are now Wilfred own and Siegfried Sassoon
And nobody talks anymore about losing and winning
And everyone feels that way in the beginning

And I'm up in the air looking down at a girl on a bed
She's lying asleep on her side with a boook at her head
And it's someone who left long ago
Was it something I said?
And I hope that she's reading "King Lear", but it's "Twelfth Night" instead.

Now the girl and the beach and the train and the ship are all gone
And the calendar up on the wall says it's ninety years on
I go out into the yard where the newspaper waits
There's a man on the cover we all know, defying the fates
And he seems very sure ashe offers up his opinion
Well everyone feels like this in the beginning

When you feel that the pain in your heart will be unending
Everyone feels this way in the beginning

If you feel that the pain in your heart will be never-ending
Well everyone feels that way in the beginning
 

Katherine Of Oregon

When I get even more old than I am now
I'll have a house overlooking the water
I'll read all the books that I never got 'round to
And pile my suitcases up in the corner

The lights of the city they blink off and on again
Names in my memory are there, then they're gone again
Albums of photographs spread on the floor again
I'll spend my evenings with Katherine of Oregon

I'll fill my garage up with things I've no use for
Obsolete knick-knacks that there's no excuse for
I'll turn my back on the world's grand illusions
Take my delights in the simplest amusements

The lights of the city they blink off and on again
Names in my memory are there, then they're gone again
Albums of photographs spread on the floor again
I'll spend my evenings with Katherine of Oregon

I'll wear my clothes with their colors all clashing
They'll be so old that they'll come back in fashion
I'll sit on the beach with my paper wrapped luncheon
I'll enjoy being the ancient curmudgeon

The lights of the city they blink off and on again
Names in my memory are there then they're gone again
I'll have a jukebox and play Lonnie Donegan
And I'll spend my evenings with Katherine of Oregon


Mona Lisa Talking

This is the Mona Lisa talking
Out on the street where love goes walking
Into the shadows that can't hide you
Here is a voice that speaks inside you

Go home, pretty baby, go on home, pretty baby
You will go home to the one who is waiting for you
Anything that you want, anything that you do
You will go home to the one who is waiting alone for you

This is the Mona Lisa talking
Out of a patch of oil and water
Over the street lamps and the river
Out of a smile that lasts forever

Go home, pretty baby, go on home, pretty baby
You will go home to the one who is waiting for you
Anything that you want, anything that you do
You will go home to the one who is waiting alone for you

O I know you think you're part of a tragic song
You can show reasons it's over, but I know you're wrong

These Renaissance girls know what they're saying
There are whispers at night in the halls of paintings
You think you're the first one to come untethered
But we've been watching you forever

Go home, pretty baby, go on home, pretty baby
You will go home to the one who is waiting for you
Anything that you want, anything that you do
You will go home to the one who is waiting alone for you

This is the Mona Lisa talking
This is the Mona Lisa talking


Class of `58

Old jazz guys being interviewed
Thirty years beyond their prime
With memories of road shows
From the Golden Age of Swingtime
The piano player strikes a chord
Leans forward on his stool
And through they've all seen better days
They've got that air of faded cool
It's an entree of another world
One of tailcoats and victrolas
And one day they'll make TV shows
On aging rock-and-rollers
On aging rock-and-rollers

Then came the kid with the red Colorama
And the Watkins copycat echo chamber and the toothy grin
With one hand glued to the tremolo arm
While the singer moves around like an Elvis clone
They really packed them in
And every song was short and sweet, and every beat was fast
And every paper in the land said rock-and-roll won't last
You know it just won't last, it's such a rapid burn
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn
It's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

Well what are you going to do when it's all over?
What are you going to do right now?
What are you going to to when it's all over?
Will you get along somehow?
I just don't know
Feeling like I do right now
Ask me tomorrow

Red guitar, red guitar
You know I really miss that red guitar
Red guitar, red guitar
You know I reallly miss that red guitar

And you can write this on my tombstone
That'll be my fate
I'm a gradute of rock-and-roll
Class of '58

'58, '58, I'm a graduate of the class of '58
Red guitar, '58, I'm a graduate of the class of '58

And there's no use analyzing these anthems that were sung
Rock-and-roll's not good or bad
It's just the sound of being young
And it's a long long way from pompadours
And doo-wop and payola
And one day they'll make TV-shows on aging rock-and-rollers
One day they'll make TV-shows on aging rock-and-rollers


Out In The Snow

I walked out in the snow
And left no mark upon the ground I trod
The sky, heavy and low
The exhalation of an Arctic god
And I heard words meant for no one
In the air,words out of nowhere
And I saw all at once at my feet
Unexpectedly, a shadow play

I broke off on a floe
And drifted aimlessly a hundred miles
The wind, beginning to blow
Carried me forward on this boat of ice
And I saw things half imagined
Far away, pictures and pageants
That were lost in a moment like words
From a langauge that I never knew

And this voyage seemed to be haunted
By a soul, lost and unwanted
Destined to journey through time
Always covered in a coat of white

I walked out in the snow
Never knowing what I came here for
A dream from so long ago
But we don't talk about it anymore


My Egyptian Couch

Now here's a book full of photographs
That my ancestors made some generations ago
They're wearing the lastest clothes in a nautical way
The Suez Canal close behind is frozen in time
The deck crews star out of a mime
And they seem to be considering me
Here on my Egyptian couch

O the life on Edwardian steamships
Is measured and slow, while down below
There are fires that shudder and clang and thunder
And sweat-caked in smoke, and cauldrons to stoke
To send the ship on her way
Tasting the salt and the spray
And a century later I scan the equator
From my Egyptian couch

And the news every day brings
Contains the strangest of things
But with confident smilesw my forebears decline
To gaze into the wings

So they look from the photographs
And they're curious now, wondering how we turned out
Let's say like the Chinese adage
We're living our lives in interesting times


Gina In The Kings Road

Gina in the King's Road, 1968
Blonde hair and eyeshadow, I hyperventilate
Purple leather mini, legs up to there
Don't you cast aspersions on my naugahyde affair

And she can make you believe
You're feeling almost sincere
And every day's New Years Eve
She's giggling in your ear
And yet she's so hard to reach
Although she's so close at hand
I'm like a wave on her beach
Sinking in the sand

Everyone went out with her, everyone knew why
No one ever stayed around, no one ever tried
Now Gina drowns her sorrows, drinks away the night
She's wrapped around some stranger, hanging on for life

And she can make you believe
You're feeling almost sincere
And every day's New Years Eve
She's giggling in your ear
And yet she's so hard to reach
Although she's so close at hand
I'm like a wave on her beach
Sinking in the sand

Now Gina in the King's Road, in a raincoat shimmering white
Hands thrust in her pockets ike Julie Christie might
Looks up into othe distance, puckers up her lips
I don't stop to talk to her,we're just passing ships

And she can make you believe
You're feeling almost sincere
And every day's New Years Eve
She's giggling in your ear
And yet she's so hard to reach
Although she's so close at hand
I'm like a wave on her beach
Sinking in the sand
 

Beacon Street

When your little world has fallen apart
You'll be living on Beacon Street
In a flat above a laundry
It's warm and forgiving on Beacon Street
Hundreds of paperback novels adorning your shelves
Piles of CDs that are eager to please
Still asserting themselves

There's something in the morning light
That is muted and soft down on Beacon Street
Then a bar or two of classical music
Will waft through the air
Newspaper adverts will usher the future your way
Indian teas and then take-out Chinese
At the end of the day

Shadows on furniture cast by the light of the moon
You've got a fridge full of food
You won't need to go anywhere soon

When it's time to start again
They will welcome you in down on Beacon Street
Everybody needs a moment or two
Now and then on their own
 

Anniversary

This is the day you disappeared
Your hand was steady and I know that your mind was clear
You left a note up on the shelf
Saying "I would rather be anyone but myself"

You took a simple ride across the Great Divide
You left the television on in you room
Your friends were sad although they said "I told you so"
You never really did fit into your skin

The small annoying things you do
All seemed so cute and entertaining when they were new
This kind of honeymoon can't last
I think you knew you wore your welcome out much too fast

I was surprised to see you played the lottery
Your winning ticket you won't need anymore
You were in such a rush you never stopped to check
You jacket pocket on your way out the door

This is your anniversary
I'll light a candle in the window so you might see
This is the day you had to go
Good-bye then, this concludes your portion of the show