Love Chronicles


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In Brooklyn

"Oh I come from Pittsburgh to study astrology"
She said as she stepped on my instep,
"I could show you New York with a walk between Fourth Street and Nine"
Then out of her coat taking seven harmonicas
She sat down to play on a doorstep saying
"Come back to my place I will show you the stars and the signs"
So I followed her into the black lands
Where the window frames peel and flake
And the old Jewish face behind the lace
Even now trying to get to see what's cooking
Just John the Baptist in the park getting laid thinking there's no-one looking
And its eighty degrees and I'm down on my knees in Brooklyn

Her house was a dusty collection of rusty
Confusion with landings and tunnels
And leaning bookcases and spaces and faces and things
Where twenty-five Puerto Ricans, Manhattan Mohicans
And Jewish-Italian Pawnbrokers
Lead their theatrical lives in their rooms in the wings
While outside in the black lands
The violent day runs wild
And the black and white minstrels run through the crazy
Alleys while the cops go booking
And ruthless toothless agents sneak around and there's no-one looking
And it's eighty degrees and I'm down on my knees in Brooklyn

And oh, I'm back in the city again
You can tell by the smell of the hamburger stand in the rain
She spoke of astrology while muttering apologies
For coffee that tasted of hot dogs
I said "That's OK, mine was cold anyway, and just grand"
Then she lay on the bed while the radio fed
us with records and adverts for cat food
And I looked at her, holding my thoughts in the palm of my hand
And outside in the black lands
The evening came and went
And the bums in the street begging money for one last drink
Are hanging round the liquor stores trying to get a foot in
And the girl from Pittsburgh and I made love on a mattress with the new moon looking
And in the cool evening breeze I was down on my knees in Brooklyn


Old Compton Street Blues

Oh your pictures they don't really do you justice little girl
For you're careful not to let the camera touch your private world
And there's just a hint of sadness in your smile through the dark
As you slip your dress off slowly for the sailor or the clerk
And it could have been so different, and at times you feel bad
For you really did have something that the others never had
And the circle turns and turns and turns so mad, little girl
Ah you must have been just fifteen when you made your mind up first
That you'd make it in the movies and you couldn't lose the thirst
And it took you to the attic where the Agent King holds Court
And his courtesans are fully paid up losers of a sort
He looks at you and tells you that you just might get the part
But you don't get things for nothing and he doesn't want you rheart
And the circle turns and turns and turns so mad, little girl
Mmm, you made it to the silver screen and yet you're not a star
And advertising corsets didn't get you too far
But money has its favourites and yours went back to them
So you modeled in a studio in Greek Street for the rent
There you met Antonio, your lover from afar
Who put you on the streets to make the money for his car
And the circle turns and turns and turns so fast, little girl
Ah, your pictures they don't really do you justice any more
For they're crumpled now and faded and were taken long ago
And that faintly coy expression has now left without a trace
Ah there's little of it buried in the ruins of your face
It could have been so different, and at times you feel bad
For you really did have something that the others never had
And the circle turns and turns and turns so mad, little girl
For the circle turns and turns and turns so sad, little girl
Oh the circle turns and turns and it's too bad, little girl


The Ballad Of Mary Foster

1. Akt

David Foster lives in Gloucester with his family
Works 'til pay-time, through the day-time, then comes home fortea
Steak and kidney, then with Sydney to his club and feels free
They close the bar, he finds his car and then goes home to sleep
And his wife has been with Rosie, in the parlour where it's cosy
Watching telly, doing dishes, patching pants and making wishes
And he'll say "Bill should have wired"
And "Not tonight dear, I'm too tired"
And life drifts slowly by in the provinces

Peter Foster goes to Gloucester for his first school day
Bites his teacher, sees a preacher and is taught to pray
Sees some birds and learns some words it's very, very rude to say
Yes, he's rather like his father was in his young day
And his father has discussions, holding forth about the Russians
"Will the Red Chinese attack us?"
"Do we need the Yanks to back us?
"And in bed she feels his shoulder, but he grunts and just turnsover
And life drifts slowly by in the provinces

Wedding rings come with strings but love depends on the littlethings
"Oh could that still be really you?"
"Is there anything time can't do?"
David Foster's been promoted, he's a decent sort
Peter's gone to Dad's old Public School, it's good for sport
They've even got a private parking place down in Huntingdon Court
Maybe soon he'll be a magistrate, the neighbours thought
Yes, and then he'll teach the beatniks
And the hang-around-the-streetnicks
And the good-for-nothing loafers
Who knock girls up on their sofas
And his wife is quite nice, really
Though she seems a little dreamy
Recently...

2. Akt

]I was born and brought up on the east side of town
And my earliest days they passed quickly
I would play after school with the kids all around
In the sun and the dust of the back streets
Oh, all through my girlhood the war had its day
And my daddy he would always be leaving
So my brother and I we would sit by her side
Telling our tales through the evening
Oh, I grew with the days and the boys came to cal
lIn the back shed I learned about kissing
But I don't think my mother has noticed at all
For we've heard that my daddy is missing
Then my school days they were over and I went off to work
And my mother grew quieter and greyer
So one day I left her and went off to live
With Billy, a saxophone player

In our broken down attic we laughed and made love
And all that we had we were sharing
Oh, we slept through the day and played into the night
God, we did as we pleased without caring
Oh but a year's passed away and he's left me one day
To play in a far away country
And the sun told my eyes "You've got no place to hide"
As I waited to be having his baby

Oh I lived in the park and the men passed and stared
Each wondering which one had lost her
And one came to ask could he buy me a meal
And he said he was called David Foster
We were married that month and I swore to myself
Somehow I'd pay back what I owed him
Cooking his supper and cleaning his boots
Yes, and kidding myself I could love him
Oh, but now my baby is grown and he's gone out to school
And he looks very much like his daddy
And David has buried himself in his work
And the time on my hands, it hangs heavy

Oh, the neighbours they smile as we pass in the streets
And they make their remarks on the weather
But the butcher and baker deliver things now
And I've stopped going out altogether

Oh, I live by my mirror and stare in my eyes
Trying to make out who I see there
But I'm looking at a woman that I can't recognize
And I don't think she knows me either
There are lines on her face and her hair is a mess
And the light in her eyes it grows colder
In the morning there's nothing will change, ah but yes
I will be just a little bit older


Life And Life Only

Mr. Willoughby, whose only luxury is the sugar in his tea
Teaches history at High Worthington School
His clothing has remained unnoticeably plain
His common room technique suitably restrained, though maybe too cool
Work done in the summery sun, see the cricket ball fly
Intently, like a strange demented bird towards the sun
Considering its flight, he pauses for a while
Ah, but Mr. Willoughby, we've never seen you smile
Tell me how come?
Ah well, sometimes it must get lonely
Ah, but it's life and life only

"Maurice," said Renee, "Why didn't you say that you'd be so late
The supper that I made is ruined again.
Is there anything you'd like?".
"No, nothing", he replied
Standing by the stairs, not looking in her eyes, so stupidly male
All dark and lying in bed,
"You've been with her again" She blurts out, then turning on her side begins to cry.
At first he doesn't stir but then mumbling his words
He reaches for her hand, she shivers, but doesn't take it away
Ah, for sometimes it does get lonely
Ah, but it's life and life only

Oh Smithy Smithers-Bell, clerk from Clerkenwell
On the beach atBournemouth thinks he very well
May be next year in France
Inspired for a while, he decides to risk a smile at Mr. Willoughby
Who passes, polishing his glasses, studiously averting his glance
Renee, several deckchairs away, wonders if they would be better
While Maurice is with the kids out in the sea
And I was feeling small, sitting on the wall
Looking at them all and wondering who will I be?
Ah, but sometimes it does get lonely
Ah, but it's life and life only
Ah, but it's life and life only
Ah, but it's life and life only
Ah, but it's life and life ......


You Should Have Listened To Al

She said "Don't you think we're going downhill?
And I would hate it to be run-of-the mill"
Oh love me or leave me but please don't deceive me
For if you do, I'll know, believe me
I want you to know I don't want you to go anyway
And yes I was doing alright up until now
I'm beginning to think you should have listened to Al

She picked up her things and said "let's be friends
For all the good and the bad things have their ends"
Then she went lazily leaving me crazily
Wandering lost, the night was hazy
And everyone else looking sure of themselves but not me
And yes I was doing alright up until now
I'm beginning to think you should have listened to Al

Oh she left me the keys and a dozen LPs
A phone bill warning left for the morning
And I left the dark on a seat in the park feeling very strange
And yes I was doing alright up until now
I'm beginning to think you should have listened to Al

You should have listened to Al
Oh, you should have listened to Al


Love Chronicles

I can remember the first girl that I did love
It was Stephanie
In kindergarten arithmetic classes she used to
Sit next to me
I'd pass her sticky sweets under the table
Where the teacher couldn't see
Although she wouldn't remember me now
Sometimes I wonder where she can be

I can remember the first girl I kissed
It was Christine when I was ten
I'd been told we were moving away
I thought I'd never see her again
Oh don't forget me
I'll be back when they let me
Before you learn how to lie when you're leaving
Love is so much easier then

And at school would you believe three hundred boys
And no girls at all
But you're a fool if you should leave
Just think of the joys of rugby football
And prep in the morning and Brylcreem and acne
And cross-country running to kill evil thoughts
I'm surprised that I survived
I ran ten thousand miles with my back to the wall

I can remember the first girl that I made love to
It was in a park
In the lower pleasure gardens in Bournemouth
In summer just after dark
My mind was reeling: Oh what a feeling.
I missed the bus and walked twelve miles home
And it really didn't seem far

And all through my seventeenth summer
Running together from crowds and ties
Taking our clothes off and feeling each other
With fingers and senses and mouths and eyes
Incurring the glances of old disapproval
From elderly local inhabitant's eyes
Oh time, time we hardly even knew you
You didn't touch us with your lies

In the halcyon days of my late adolescence
My goal seemed clearly in sight
Playing electric guitar with a beat group
We set the ballrooms alight
Camping it up for the dyed blonde receptionists
Who told us we were al-ri-yi-yight
On an ego trip for a teenage superstar
On thirty shillings a nigh-yight

And so it fell that I came up to London
To look for fortune and fame
Starry eyed in my seaside successes
And much too sure of the game
First girl I met thereI thought I'd get there
But the first girl was nearly the last girl
She left my eyes in the drain
She sat on my floor in the dead of the night
Rolling a joint and looking round for a light
Her clothes were so black and her face was so white
How could I know what was right?

And I sat all huddled upon my bed
Watching her in my innocence
And it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
Oh Artaud's anthology lay spread on the floor
And the thoughts that she gave me,
I'd not met before
And stranded half hypnotised,
I watched her in awe
Of everything that she stood for

And I wanted more than anything to be like her with every sense
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
She came over to me and kissed me in play
Taking my hand between her legs as she lay
And she looked in my eyes but I turned them away
Finding no words fit to say

And I hated myself, but could not move
Shattered in my confidence
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
Now the stare of the lightbulb tore holes in my brain
As she got up in the silence that hung like a stain
And I wanted to speak, or to call out her name
But how could I begin to explain?

And my prosecuting room still holds
A strand of her hair in evidence
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
Oh I still think about her when the night fills with rain
And speaks in its voices uneasy and vain
And I think were I maybe to find her again
Oh I'd probably see her more plain

And I should have known she was just like me
It was after all only common-sense
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence
But it was no sense at all, but too much sense
That took me to the bridge of impotence

At first I didn't go out much at all
I just stayed at home in my chains
Picking over the threads of my confidence
And searching for the remains
And when I couldn't stand any more of it
Going down to a club
Mixing in with the sounds and the crowds
I let the music cover me up

And only, lonely, the harlequins and painted phonies
Pick their ways, through the haze
Of highs and lows and blues
And all that I could do was to pick my way to you
Though I didn't tell you
You were just a thing to prove
I was hungry when found you, but I'm alright now

They sigh, they lie, the refugees and superheroes
On ice, so nice to see you, what's your name?
And all that I could do was to say the same to you
Take you for the moment, though the moment wasn't true
But I was hungry when I found you and I'm alright now

Though the street lamp cut through the curfew
It shed no light on our mind
It would have been so easy to love you
At any other time
Only, lonely, you came to me the night hung coldly
In your eyes, some other time I might have stayed with you
But all that I could do was to turn around to you
Thanks for what you gave me now it's time to say "Adieu"
I was hungry when I found you but I'm alright now.

Ba ba ba alright now

And so it came that I stood disillusioned
By everything I'd been told
I just didn't believe love existed
They were all just digging for gold
Widows and bankers and typists and businessmen
Loved each other they said
But all it was though was just a manoeuvre
The quickest way into bed

And so I followed the others' example
And jumped into the melee
In the hunting grounds of Earls Court and Swiss Cottage
I did my best to get laid
Beer cans and parties, deb girls and arties
Bouncing around in the social confusion
Missing and making the grade

The very first time I must confess
I thought you'd be like all of the rest
And we'd be strangers once again
By the time we were dressed
But when you'd smoked your cigarette
And talked of some people that we'd me
I found myself asking was it set,
did you have to go yet

And so you laughed and then kissed me
And stayed for the whole weekend
Although the bed was so narrow
We had to sleep end to end

And so the weeks passed through my brain
In their dadaistic chain
I found myself seeing you again, and again and again
And all you gave you gave it free
Asking for nothing back from me
You gave yourself unselfishly as a part of me
And where I thought that just plucking
The fruits of the bed was enough
It grew to be less like fucking
And more like making love

Of all the girls I ever knew
some loved and some denied me
And all the words I ever said
have been no use to hide me
And all the songs I ever sung
each one of them untied me
And all the girls I ever loved
have left themselves inside me