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Lyrics

Lyrics

B-SIDES
The Foundry

under the greenwood tree
Underfoot

BLACK HOLES IN THE SAND
Black holes in the sand
Flowers in the hair

Still water
Winter moon

FLASHLIGHT SEASONS
Tunnels

Fog round the figurehead

I turn my face to the forest floor
Bluebeard
The Diver
Damage
Damage II
The Ice tree

Hopechapel hill NIGHTWATCHMAN’S BLUES
Nightwatchman’s Blues

THE WESTERN LANDS
Saints

She Dances
Hollow man
Song among the pine
Trust
Farewell, farewell
Hourglass

Grand Union canal
The collector

FIRES IN DISTANT BUILDINGS

Down river
The velvet cell

Animals
Nicole
Cities beneath the sea
Song from under the arches
Herne the hunter

NIGHTWATCHMAN’S BLUES E.P.

NIGHTWATCHMAN’S BLUES [top]

I hear it calling from the stars
i feel it in the underpass
but like a place in a dream that remains out of reach
it still eludes me

the signalmen flood the track

the night train will never come back
at morningrise I’m sent to war but still don’t understand
what I am fighting for

sifting through old photographs
through the night the hours pass

in the bricked-up room they lead me too
I sing to you
I sing to you, nightwatchman’s blues

B-SIDES


The Foundry [top]
two black wolves chase a whitetail through the snow
into a ring fence, there’s nowhere left to go
for purity and industry

for the gathering dust on aspen leaves
i’m watching wolves chase a whitetail through the snow

and you won’t know when evil comes
evil looks just like anyone
and i blame

i blame
i blame anyone but me

if you let them burn books you’ll let them burn bodies
the man with the match could be anybody
a uniform changes something inside

holding a gun makes you feel so alive
and everyone else is doing it too
-it’s alright

and you won’t know when evil comes
evil looks just like anyone

and i blame
i blame
i blame anyone but me

under the greenwood tree [top]

under the greenwood tree she fell asleep
a missing sign
a roadside shrine
the roots run deep
hold on

we drank the city dry that night
on flowers sewn from bones below we watched the sky
hold on

and i’m told that tree upon the heath
steals the souls of those who pass beneath

and if love is a drug
maybe i’m trying to relive the first buzz
hold on

Underfoot [top]

gray light whispers
dark body swimmers
on the way to the river
to swim again, clothed
to swim again
in the half-tones

try to capture everything
before the light goes
barely remember
thrashing in the dark
you thought you heard something
we returned to the car

circling the empty lot
afraid someone would steal you
cause you thought you heard something
something i just haven’t got
something that the water took away

and that is precisely what it looks like
don’t stop

in the same room
where i left you
i’d do it all again

this time with your remains
underfoot

BLACK HOLES IN THE SAND

BLACK HOLES IN THE SAND [top]

in the small hours I realise what I have done
in the small hours I realise what I have done
I held the hand that threw the stone that killed the bird
that woke the city
I held the hand that threw the stone that killed the bird
that woke the city

and I could not feel the flower in my hand
I could not feel the cracks beneath my feet
and black holes in the sand

FLOWERS IN HER HAIR [top]

she wore flowers in her hair
and all the town would stare
and all the young girls followed
picking up the petals strewn everywhere

and when the flowers died

they saw through the disguise
and all the townsfolk circled her
with prayers and tar and feathers and fire

there’s a dog loose in the woods
a fox tied to a tree

and when the farmer raises his gun
the bullets pass right through me

and everyone you know
will be crawling through the snow
at the four furthest corners of town

where they buried my bones

STILL WATER [top]
buried in the sand
an ancient talisman

touched by a thousand hands in violence

uncharted waters call
to the desert’s inner soil
but lead us to a wall of silence

and as I lie among the stones, carvings and bones

the still waters run deep

buried in the sand
an ancient talisman
touched by a thousand hands in violence

this monument to greed

we are cowering beneath
is crushing everything we fought for

and as I lie among the stones, carvings and bones
the still waters run deep

WINTER MOON [top]
we sit in warm rooms
outside the winter moon shines down
on a frozen field
far beyond the edge of town

furrows ploughed hard as mountains

we sit in warm rooms
outside the winter moon shines down
through branches of needle trees
rake the black sky like leaves

and the stars are silent

and in our rooms beside the fire we talk
ignoring all of the dramas played outside

and in our rooms beside the fire we drink
unaware of all nature’s forces in our lives

DIANE [top]
(words and music by Husker Du)

FLASHLIGHT SEASONS

TUNNELS [top]
my memories keep me feverish and sane
that night alive with stars and signs

i can’t explain
i recall an autumn fire, a burnt out car
the shutdown cinema
do you?
it’s never the same this way
the world versus itself

it’s them and us, there’s no-one else
shoot a glance across the room
lightning strikes, no-one moves

tunnels we dig into our tired souls
rip up the foundations expose all the holes

tearing away at the tense
and frayed supports
i understand anger, i know what it’s for

FOG ROUND THE FIGUREHEAD [top]

one more ride before they take it down
and drive to a neighbouring town
sixteen miles away
they’ll turn off the lights on all the rides
sell off the parts to some nameless guy
six years from today

and you’ll find yourself
painting your windows
so you don’t have to look at what’s
hammering outside your door
and the heart recalls everything
in the first language

all of the skin peeled back
but there’s nothing to see
emotions you could never name
are piling into your thoughts again
but you’re used to it this way
it’s got too late to change


I TURN MY FACE TO THE FOREST FLOOR
[top]
it’s the kind of thing that once drove men
into the desert night
i see no deserts here

and the east end rogue you so admire
is a murdering fuckhead
the influence is clear
you’re only a stone’s throw from
all the violence you buried years ago


BLUEBEARD
[top]
you stood for all that’s true and honest
it makes you feel hollow
you can’t decide which path to follow

you dig your own hole

are you coming out tonight?
we’re going for a drive
the answer’s in your eyes
the voice inside your head

says stay at home and stare
at the demons that thrive inside
a tale left half told
wouldn’t you love to know
how the person inside survives
is it any wonder

you get sucked under

and you can’t rely on those you turn to
they turn against you
you don’t know why you whore those values
which burn your soul blue

THE DIVER [top]
i’m getting deeper
and i’m still swimming
it hits me again

it’s getting darker
and i’m still swimming
it hits me again
and I am never frightened
no I am never afraid
and you will never understand

the depths I sink to light your way
see, left behind on my own
I have the ghosts of autumn murders
walk me home
see the girl on the shore
my ideal, nothing more

it’s getting darker
and i’m still swimming
it hits me again
the sun is sinking
palebluesaltwaterbreathing

it hits me again
and I am never frightened
no I am never ashamed
and you will never understand
the lengths I go to light your way

DAMAGE [top]
and now you’ve got your face on the scene
page seventeen wltm someone like me
our back door is open to people

on their knees
emily don’t go to the house tonight
stay on your own count your blessings
hold onto them tight
just one more week and the paper comes through
just one more week and you’re mine

people will say how they
never saw the signs

ugly boy in fourth form
suffered a head blow
puts up the buildings in the west country

carefully maps out the garden
hides the letters from your sister
they’re not here to understand

DAMAGE II [top]

emily said the things in my head
are keeping me from sleeping
if I don’t go to them
they’ll come for me instead
and the company i’m keeping
and this is how the damage is done

climbing the stairs in the dark
I won’t reach out for anyone

THE ICE TREE [top]
at six in the morning the ice in the tree

thaws into the millpond
returns to the deep
i caress where my lover once lay by my side
before i turned inwards
and forced her to fly
we try to connect with the people outside

they pass through our slumber
like trains in the night
i caress where my lover once lay by my side
before i turned inwards
and forced her to fly
after the cold night

the raindrops that froze
melt into the thin air
like the footsteps of ghosts
i caress where my lover once lay by my side
before i turned inwards
and forced her to fly

for she could not know me
for i know not myself
and without understanding
love isn’t enough

HOPECHAPEL HILL [top]
shapes born of darkness
the landscapes within
a cry of indifference my future moves in
the man on the tv has a sermon for me

a fear of the future
ashamed of the things that i’ve see

it is nothing at all i say
as i fall to the floor
still i’d like to know

all the things that make my freedom flow
you’ll never control all the things
that this world puts you through
have as much of a grip on it as it has on you

the next thing i’m crying

can’t remember my name
the faces the voices calm words of support
all amount to the same
to see beyond this day
look deep in their eyes
to a place you avoid

see yourself staring back in disguise

it is nothing at all i say
as i fall to the floor
still i’d like to know
all the things that make my freedom flow

you’ll never control all the things
that this world puts you through
death just walked in
and i didn’t have time to undo
all the things that i wouldn’t have said had i known it was due
and the things you try hard to avoid

are sat in the next room

THE WESTERN LANDS

SAINTS [top]

at seventeen I heard my calling
to suffocate with my embrace
murder ten to save a hundred
drown the whole world in my faith
from a long line I descended
immaculate, an empty womb

and the spur is desperation
maybe God is desperate too
in watermarks and lonely places
a private measurement of time
in made-up names and blacked-out faces
I will trace my blood line

SHE DANCES [top]
then she dances
skirt swaying in the half-light
she dances

white blossom in the black sky
‘I need new clothes’, she thinks,
‘new skin; a mind I can bear to live in’

HOLLOW MEN [top]

locked in a room with the book and a rope
the hollow men close in
justice begins at home
her name is known
her name is known
cut her up

cut her out
crush her will before she finds it

SONG AMONG THE PINE [top]
Song Among the Pine

cones and needles lie
atop the dark soil
they will come for me
with searchlights streaming through the cedar trees
cold ash smother the fire
cold ash smother the fire

the ripple of the stream
is just one way the forest speaks to me
the anger in the streets
is just the way a broken city breathes

TRUST [top]

I had no idea
I was your latest big mistake
I had no idea
we were dancing on someone’s remains
given he is marked like me
would I see him in a crowd?

given his lines
resembled mine
would I catch his eye?
we could hammer it out in a neutral space
and he would say
trust is a hard thing to come by these days

and you have no idea just how it will feel until it happens for real
you have no idea how bad it will feel until it happens for real
we could hammer it out in a neutral space
and he would say
she will suck you in
she will fuck you up

she will throw you away
and trust is a hard thing to come by these days
trust is a hard thing to come by these days

FAREWELL, FAREWELL (Words by Richard Thompson) [top]

Farewell, farewell to you who’d hear
You lonely travelers all
The cold north wind will blow again
The winding road does call

And will you never return to see

Your bruised and beaten sons
Oh I would, I would if welcome I were
For they loathe me every one

And will you never cut the cloth
Or drink the light to be

And can you never swear a year
To anyone but we

No I will never cut the cloth
Or drink the light to be
But I’ll swear a year to one who lies

Asleep along side of me

Farewell, farewell to you who would hear
You lonely travelers all
The cold north wind will blow again
The winding road does call

HOURGLASS [top]
when i think of you
i stop and turn the hourglass again
the past is a strange place

but i want it back
and i just won’t wait
city girl, what have we done to ourselves?
black spine northern line
feeds on money and time
you cut your soul to fit

battle scars from all night bars
never thought that i would be so drawn to it
city girl, what have we done to ourselves?

GRAND UNION CANAL [top]

i’ve walked every street in this city
i can’t find a way out
beyond these walls
a clarion call
‘find a way out’
i have burned every bridge in this city

trying to get to you
while you are waiting for me
by a copper-blue sea
i am fading away in this room

THE COLLECTOR [top]

so here is justice
another someone
disappears last week
you say you saw someone hanging around
did he look like me?
twenty-five missing now

no-one looks to me
the land of the free can longer deal
with the truly free
events conspire to make you famous for a while
two weeks ago you were unknown
now all know your smile

from photographs on file

FIRES IN DISTANT BUILDINGS

DOWN RIVER [top]

the plans we made
we planned in vain
a waste of time
now winter’s hand
made me understand
you’re no friend of mine

so I play your game
like cornered prey
I play for time
and quietly
you abandon me
true to my design

from the river bed
to the water’s edge
high tide
something’s stirring
you feel it on your skin
down river it lies

THE VELVET CELL [top]
to understand the killer
I must become the killer
and I don’t need this violence anymore

but now I’ve tasted hatred I want more
the velvet cell within men
gloriously rusted masks
grey death heart crocuses
and I had always thought
the desire to kill was a disease you caught

but it’s dormant in the hearts of everyone
waiting for a spark, an emotion

ANIMALS [top]
they descend upon the city like flies

spraying their eggs into a dead dog’s eyes
it’s England on a Saturday night
I wish I could be like them and I try
but I find it more rewarding to walk along the river
picturing my body discarded in the water
I wonder who will do it and I wonder what they’re doing right now

they opened up the sewers tonight
animals caged in their appetites
let loose upon the passer-by
and people like me are just parasites
take me to the river
I want to feel the water

closing in and helpless as you’re pushing my head under
I wonder if you’ll do it and I wonder what you’re doing right now
at four am you’re lying right there
with urine and wine dried in your hair
I take you to the river
I want to show you something

I’m making a map from all the flowers I’m collecting
I wonder if I’ll do it and I wonder what I’m doing right now

NICOLE [top]
find me the captain

tell him I want to know
just who is steering and who’s merely holding on
and when the next wave is the last wave
I’ll drag him downwards to the engine room
and never let go
oh Nicole

from the moment we met we let it get out of control
the universal dance
the black romance of running prey
the slowing down
the giving in
the final give away

I cry for mercy
you stare back blankly
I want to jump but if you’re pushing me
I’ll hold on tightly

CITIES BENEATH THE SEA [top]

I live on both sides of the mirror
feel the pain that destruction brings
I want to help put everything in its place
I want to destroy everything
there are cities underneath cities
cities beneath the sea

in deserted towns and burial mounds
there is beauty that no-one will see
and the magic of stones when taken back home
is left on the beach
the dead see through the eyes of the living
the dead know all of our names

powerless to stop us repeating the same
careless mistakes that they made

SONG FROM UNDER THE ARCHES [top]
I’ve seen bad things in bad places

what did I learn?
wallow in grime
tonight we’ll drink the sewers dry
we can’t function outside of these dreams of suicide

HERNE THE HUNTER (Extra track for Japanese release) [top]

stray light filters through the trees
from the forest to the sea
but in my silent domain the dawn arrives too late for me
in dead gardens of wintertime
no moon no stars to spare their light
and be my guide

I’m the figure in the trees
the world will turn and leave behind