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Belsize Blues

Well the roof started leaking, and the stairs were squeaking
There was water running down the walls
So we took down the carpet, scrubbed down the parquet
And the drains overflowed in the hall
In the pub across the street it was two feet deep
And the chairs were floating away
In the Chinese store all the food was on the floor
And they were wondering who was going to pay

But it's alright now she said
I'm a little bit tired, a little bit wet
But it's alright now she said
Though I believe I have the Belsize Blues

Conrad's bistro, the nights a go-go
With people talking over the flood
And Jenny from the newsdesk is looking at her shoes
Just to see is she's avoided the mud
And Annie comes slowly with a pile of ravioli
Fried chicken and a soup of the day
Moving round the table, she's a little Betty Grable
In the way she's got her hair today

But it's alright now she said
I'm a little bit tired, a little bit wet
But it's alright now she said
Though I believe I have the Belsize Blues

Philadelphia seems like a part of my dreams
And I cannot believe that I held the sleeve of her coat
But now the night is clear as a chandelier
And the trees are turning the water into a moat

We finally got cleared and the neighbors disappeared
We were sitting down for a rest
When the TV blew and the lights all fused
And the wine spilled all over her dress
So I lit up a candle, poured up a brandy
I was trying to get into a groove
And I was kissing her on the chin when the roof fell in
And I decided I was going to move

But it's alright now she said
I'm a little bit tired, a little bit wet
But it's alright now she said
Though I believe I have the Belsize Blues

That's as far as it goes now

Well, I don't suppose


Class Of `58 (Single-Version)

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 though they've all seen better days.
They have that air of faded cool
It's an entrée to a different world.
One of tailcoats and victrolas
And one day they'll make TV shows
On aging rock-and-rollers

In the beginning there were session musicians
Backing cabaret singers
Who were masquerading as teenage stars
Doing bad cover versions of American hits
With a whole lot of echo and borrowed riffs on jazz guitars
For all this false enthusiasm they don't seem alive
In this brand new world, you will be old at twenty-five
Old at twenty-five, and there's no where to turn
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

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 pack 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 can't last, it's such a rapid burn
And 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 do when it's all over?
Will you get along somehow?
I just don't know
Feeling like I do right now
Ask me tomorrow

From a bare-bones start, no skill, just heart
It's strange but a little sophistication is creeping in
With a little Mick Green and a little Hank B.
And an organ sound that they borrowed from Johnny and the Hurricanes
And there's a man who's a producer, and he puts their record out
But the song comes out on Oriole and it does not make the charts
No, it does not make the charts, and it feels like the end
And 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 in life?
Will you get yourself a steady job,
Will you get yourself a wife?
I just don't know
Feeling like I do right now
Ask me tomorrow

And oh, you drift awhile but the itch won't go away
You find yourself another band, one that can really play
And it all just clicks one day

Oooh-wah, now I'm on a package tour
Oooh-wah, gonna have a hit for sure
Brian Epstein says we've got talent to spare
I've got a flip-side co-write, my name's right there
Oooh-wah, now I'm on a package tour

Oooh-wah, now I'm on the radio
Oooh-wah, even 'Ready, Steady, Go'
I've met Andrew Loog Oldham and Cathy McGowan
At the Scotch of St. James, it's a party town
Oooh-wah, now I'm on the radio
I may not know much, but I do know I'm partial
To an E-major chord through a stack of Marshalls

Then came the first American tour
And an endless succession of motel rooms
And sleepless nights
From the ramshackle clubs in the back of beyond
To fourth on the bill with the Kinks and the Hollies
And the Dave Clark Five
And it's a long, long way from Liverpool to Sunset Boulevard
When everybody says you're cool
life doesn't seem so hard
It doesn't seem so hard, it's like it's all been earned
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

I think I'm falling over myself to get to the other side
And traces of the past just get in my way
Gonna leave them all behind
There's a palm tree growing in front of my house
Underneath a yellow sky
And the local girls won't leave me alone
And I can't even tell you why

It is all sha-la-la-la la la la lah
There's nothing that I'd really change
It's just sha-la-la-la la la lah
Though the band are acting kind of strange
Sha-la-la-la la la la lah
I think I'm gonna get up soon
Sha-la-la-la la la la lah
It's the middle of the afternoon
But there's nothing that I have to do

I am in a large tin can on wheels and we are rolling
Over miles and miles of empty countryside
We've been doing this for months and we are
Getting on each other's nerves.
And there is nowhere left to hide
And now I'm in an airport with a bag of dirty laundry
Waiting for a plane that's endlessly delayed
The mantra of the road is just eat, sleep,
Complain, complain
And that is what I do until it's time to play

I let it go, just let it go

The band broke up in a screaming fit
And they were trying to say that it was my fault,
But you know that isn't right at all
I took the first plane out and went back
To the High Street Apartment where I used to live.
You know it's funny that it seems so small
And they're probably all still out there
Getting old and crotchety
But when I think about us now, it's how we used to be
How we used to be, in that first light of dawn
And it's a hard, hard, hard lesson to learn

What are you going to do when you're over thirty
And you haven't got a car?
Will you be a roadie or a driver?
Will you work in A and R?
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 really miss that red guitar
And you can write this on my tombstone
This must be my fate
I'm a graduate 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 analysing 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 ageing rock-and-rollers
On aging rock-and-rollers

 

Dark Side

Lately I’ve been becoming aware of your dark side
The private demons hiding there in your dark side
Your mood swings and you rush to turn them loose
But you hurt yourself more than anyone else
With your dark side

There’s a promise lost behind your dark side
And a secret no one wants to find in your dark side
Why try to drive the world away
‘Cause you can’t give and the world can’t live
With your dark side.

I know that you say to yourself this is time to be changing
Ah, but there is no easy way.

Oh, no

There’s a pattern here that’s plain to see in your dark side
It repeats itself endlessly in your dark side


Dreaming

You
Is it you?
Are you there
In the dark of my room again?

True
It is true?
In the blue of the night
You can't stay away?

When I was dreaming
When I was all on my own
When I was dreaming
I was sure you were there
And you talked like you used to
Long ago

Real
Is it real?
Can it be that you're there
With your hand in mine?
I never thought you'd be back again
After all this time

When I was dreaming
When I was all on my own
When I was sleeping
I was sure you were there
And you talked like you used to
Long ago

Oh she comes and goes
Oh she comes and goes

You
Is it you?
Are you there
In the dark of my room again?

True
It is true?
In the blue of the night
You can't stay away?

When I was dreaming
When I was all on my own
When I was sleeping
I was sure you were there
And you talked like you used to
Long ago

When I was dreaming
When I was all on my own
When I was sleeping
I was sure you were there
And you talked like you used to
Long ago

Oh she comes and goes
Oh she comes and goes
She comes and goes
She comes and
Oh she comes and goes
She comes and
Oh she comes and goes
She comes and goes
She comes and goes


Elvaston Place

Elvaston Place
A run-down basement in South Ken
Hiding your face
Behind the railings in the rain
Stony steps to a small grey herd
Of dustbins blinking in the sunlight
Our yesterday lives
Crouched by the fireside
In Elvaston Place

Holes in the lace-
Curtains, splintery window frames
A small furnished space
We never knew the landlord's name
Electric bar to warm your winter toes
Evening paper for the bath mat
Watching the face
Happy beside me
In Elvaston Place

The city's spreading like a stony tide across the countryside
I live alone now in London town
Cars and buses everywhere, they hide the sun and eat the air
You need a friend when it gets you down
All the money that I've ever owned
I'd give it all tomorrow
If I could lay happy beside you
In Elvaston Place

Elvaston Place
I stopped to look at you today
New whitewashed face
Behind the railings in the rain
You once held a love of mine
She changed just like the weather
The Kensington skies go on for ever
In Elvaston Place


Fantasy

“I prefer fantasy to reality”
That’s what you said to me
Whenever we’d talk
Watching the world go by
You don’t act in defy*
With any thing they try to make you say or do

Here in a warm cocoon, under a dreamy moon
You can be lost as soon
As you want to be
And in this ever-changing world of wonder
Nothing bothers me
Living here in this fantasy.

Under a dreamy moon, in this warm cocoon
You can be lost as soon
As you want to be
And in this ever-changing world of wonder
Nothing bothers me
Living this fantasy


London`s Brilliant Parade (Elvis Costello)

Outside my window
Not long before sleep arrives
They come with their sirens
And they sweep away all the boys
Busy draining the joy from their lives
They never said their prayers out loud

And while I'm dreaming
There's a passing motor car
That broadcasts a popular song
And a girl appears to be saying
"Do you think that I'm going to go far?"

Just look at me
I'm having the time of my life
Or something quite like it
When I'm walking out and about
In London's brilliant parade

She's one of those girls that you just can't place
You feel guilty desiring such an innocent face
But of course they knew that when they cast her
Along with the red Routemaster
And the film takes place in an MGB
And a perfect re-creation of "The Speakeasy"
Everybody looks happy and twisted
Though she probably never existed
For old times' sake
Don't let me awake

I wouldn't want you to walk across Hungerford Bridge
Especially at twilight
Looking through the bolts and the girders
Into the water below
You'll never find your answer there

They sounded the "all-clear" in the occidental bazaar
They used to call Oxford Street
Now the bankrupt souls in the city
Are finally tasting defeat

Don't look at me
I'm having the time of my life
Or something quite like it
When I'm walking out and about
In London's brilliant parade
When I'm walking out and about
In London's brilliant parade

From the gates of St. Mary's, there were horses in Olympia
And a trolley bus in Fulham Broadway
The lions and the tigers in Regents Park
Couldn't pay their way
And now they're not the only ones

At the Hammersmith Palais
In Kensington and Camden Town
There's a part that I used to play;
The lovely Diorama is really part of the drama, I'd say

Just look at me
I'm having the time of my life
Or something quite like it
When I'm walking out and about
In London's brilliant parade

Just look at me
I'm having the time of my life
Or something quite like it
When I'm walking out and about
In London's brilliant parade


Lyke Wake Dirge

If ever you gave hose and shoes,
Every night and all,
Sit then down and put them on;
And Christ receive your soul

But if hose and shoes you gave none
Every night and all,
The thorns shall prick you to the bare bone;
And Christ receive your soul

From Thorny Moor then you may pass,
Every night and all,
To Bridge of Dread you come at last;
And Christ receive your soul

If ever you gave silver and gold,
Every night and all,
At Bridge of Dread you'll find foothold,
And Christ receive your soul

But if silver and gold you gave none
Every night and all:
You'll tumble down into Hell's flames
And Christ receive your soul

From Bridge of Dread then you may pass,
Every night and all,
To Purgatory fire you'll come at last;
And Christ receive your soul

If ever you gave meat or drink,
Every night and all,
The fire will never make you shrink;
And Christ receive your soul

But if meat or drink you gave none,
Every night and all,
The fire will burn you to the bare bone;
And Christ receive your soul

On this night, on this night,
Every night and all,
Hearth and house and candle-light,
And Christ receive your soul


My Contemporaries

People attempt to belittle us
Merely because we are circumnavigatory
Look I don't wish to be overly melodramatic about this,
I'm just referring to my peer group
Discussing my contemporaries
Discussing my contemporaries


Stormy Night

Stormy night
There you sit at the center of the stage
Smoky light
I can look at you, I can't tell your age

Stormy night
What's in a name?
I thought I knew you a long time ago
What did I know?

I thought I loved you a long time ago
Stormy night, lonely day

Stormy night
How they look at you
Just who can you be?
See the crowd
When you look at them
Just what do you see?

Stormy night
What's in a game?
I thought I saw you a long time ago
Down by the sea
You held a pebble, your hand poised to throw
Stormy night, dance for me

Stormy night
What's in your face?
Starry love child with bloodlike eyes
Down on your knees
Silver night, cloudless, star in the skies floating free
Stormy night, dance for me

Stormy night


Swallow Wind

Look out, look out, Phoenix cried
My time must be at hand
I'm feeling cold and I don't know why
The ground moves where I stand
All the lies she gave to me
In words that twist and bend
Now the only place for me is down in the swallow wind

Far off and long ago
She came when I was young
A silver moon shining in her eyes
And strange the song she sang
All so easy I trusted her
I thought she was my friend
Now the only place for me is down in the swallow wind

And I don't really know what to tell you now
It's something I just can't control
I thought you wanted to take my love
Now you want my soul
Last I saw her
She was standing in the sand
The ashen moon was in her hair
And a cross was in her hand
I'm sailing alone she cried
Though I can't believe I sinned
Now the only place for me is down in the swallow wind


The Elf

I sat upon the Evening Hill
The shadows set, the night grew still
And as I sat, guitar on knee
A voice of flowers called to me

Sing, sing to me your song
Sing, for I belong to the night
In the grey morning lightI'll be gone

I turned with eyes that strained for sight
And there amid the failing light
Dimly saw a figure small
Heard a voice of magic call

Sing, sing to me your song
Sing, for I belong to the night
In the grey morning lightI'll be gone

My fumbling fingers found the chords
My trembling lips fought for the words
I stopped to ask the stranger how
He softly said, no questions now

But sing, sing to me your song
Sing, for I belong to the night
In the grey morning lightI'll be gone

Then with the magic of the elves
My fingers danced among themselves
A heart with lightness thus endowed
Formed melodies I know not how

Song, played the whole night long
Thus he danced and clapped through the night
And with grey morning light he was gone

Now whispering wind plays o'er the hill
And the evening sounds again grow still
A year or more has passed since then
Oh, he will not pass my way again

And so I sing, sing to you my song
Sing, for I belong to the night
In the grey morning lightI'll be gone
So I sing, sing to you my song
Sing, for I belong to the night
In the grey morning light I'll be gone


The Ringing Of Bells

Upon this day, if all else fails
It seems we'll have to face the truth
I believe for my part in this thing
I really did love you

What you loved was love itself
And trying to make a lie come true
I believe for your part in this thing
You hardly even knew

All along the city streets
You can hear the voices swell
Like the ringing of bells

Memories on days like these
They echo like the rain in wells
Like the ringing of bells

The saturation point's been reached
Can't soak up any more regrets
I believe from the start of this thing
I must have paid some debts

Looking at you now and then
You seem to be like someone else
I believe at the heart of this thing
You hardly knew yourself

All along the city streets
You can hear the voices swell
Like the ringing of bells

Memories on days like these
They echo like the sea in shells
Like the ringing of bells

All along the city streets
You can hear the voices swell
Like the ringing of bells

Memories on days like these
Run deeper than time can tell
Like the ringing of bells


The World According To Garp

(All these things are ghosts and dreams in the world according to Garp)

It’s a restless world and the hands take hold as your eyes watch out for a fall
Then you end up flat on the landing mat as you try to fathom it all
Any sudden move could outmaneuver the plans you made at the start
The hopes and schemes of ghosts and dreams in the world according to Garp

I was born one day under skies of gray and called New England my home
And the single name that my mother gave was all I had of my own
I was taught the rules of steering school though they all fell short of the mark
But these things never meant too much in the world according to Garp

Bunky grows older, the nights they get colder
The lights burn low and the nurse is home
And the days won’t wait, you can’t make them slow
See how they go, see how they go
See how they go, see how they go

It’s a restless world and the lips are curled as the hands come reaching your way
But the writer’s pen simply moves again and puts it down on the page
On any stretch of road the undertow could be waiting there in the dark
But all these things are what life brings in the world according to Garp
All these things are how it seems in the world according to Garp

In the world according to Garp

In the world according to Garp


Tonton Macoute

Come on to Haiti, you don’t need a treaty
Papa Doc will do you ok
Tonton in the sun – he’s polishing his gun
You’d better just stay out of his way

If you turn a critical eye, he’ll drill you through the middle and cry
It’s just Tonton
It’s just Tonton
It’s just Tonton Macoute

Idi Amin Dada slowly going gaga
Some say it’s the yaya decay
Country’s going broker – but Idi he’s a joker
You’d better just stay out of his way

Anything you say that’s not right, you’re floating in the river at night
It’s just Tonton
It’s just Tonton
It’s just Tonton Macoute

Papa had the voodoo to bring you down and cool you
Idi learned the lesson OK
From Neo to Stalin, Froward to Mussolini
They’ve always had to have it their way

But you can’t make political pie, with such hypocritical lie
It’s just Tonton
It’s just Tonton
It’s just Tonton
It’s just Tonton Macoute
It’s just Tonton Macoute


Turn Into Earth (Paul Samwell-Smith & Rosemarie Simon)

Ah Ah Aah Ah A A Ah
How your restless hungry eyes
Speak of cloudy summer skies
The morning dew
Turns into rain
Lonely winds will blow my name
Dying leaves are seasons gone
Oozing life as they drift on
To soon in life
Return to earth
Only they can know their worth
Distant dreams of things to be
Wandering thoughts that can't be free
I feel my mind
Turning away
To the darkness of my day