Sing Something

Sing Something

Sing something that I know
Sing something before I go
He said he’d be here
But he didn’t show
So sing something that I know

I’ve missed the last train
It did not wait
Now I’m abandoned to my fate
So sing something that I know
Sing something sad and slow

The bar is closing
They want me out I came here with joy I leave without
So sing something that I know
Sing something sad and slow

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

 

Sketch For Joanne

Sketch For Joanne

Joanne comes around with a radio and absinthe
We start the afternoon with Polish Xmas songs on shortwave
She laughs as we burn the first shot, the green flame

I love Joanne
We’ve been friends for 12 years
We used to be lovers but now a hug can be just a hug
I followed her from Derbyshire to London
She’s the sub-librarian, the swan feeder, spectacle breaker

I wanted to buy her a bicycle this Xmas but she said it was too much
She can close me down like I let no-one else do

We watch the green flame in the window
And it somehow makes me think of Amsterdam or Paris –
Rain beneath canal bridges in neon cafe light

The phone rings but it’s not for me
The answering machine catches it
And holds it and holds it and holds it

 

(Words – GA Johnson)

Snow Drums

Snow Drums

Three on the backseat as we drive home from rehearsal
There’s snow on the drums
The snare shudders like a cold ghost between my mittens

In the trunk, guitars slide like dead over dead
It’s stopped snowing
We think we see foxes

I breathe a canvas on the window
To write your name on the landscape

The sky is a grey flint from coast to coast
With birds frozen in

Magic Trees share the dashboard with a Playdoh Jesus
Grapelli and Reinhardt lock horns on the radio

I draw a black skull on my jeans, not thinking,
Through to the skin
The headlamps come on at five

I miss you bad

 

 

(Words – GA Johnson)

Snowfall Soon

Snowfall Soon

Rain starts on you as your goodbye runs me through
Goodbye is nothing new but it’s last breath when said by you
And this world shrinks to a room
Weather inside : snowfall soon
No bookcase can rescue a man
Only a letter of sorry can

Handle with care if only you dare
I’m sensitive, touch sensitive
Handle with care if only you are
I’m sensitive, touch sensitive

I have a photograph
Mid-heaven, post-laugh
Eyes shine ridiculous
Illuminate the both of us
In the fold of a camera’s eye
In the time it takes to sigh
I open up an ashen heart
Pour out a thousand whys

Handle with care if only you dare, etc
Write or I’ll die
Handle with care, etc

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Soldier Song

Soldier Song

Poor little soldier, the war is all done
(So) tug off your medal and empty your gun
They found you a pillow to lay down your head
So hang up your hang-ups and climb into bed
There’s a chime on the hour and a light in the hall
And a picture of nothing in a frame on the wall
And there’s rain on the rooftops to the North of the shire
And the trains run the coal through the heart of the night
You fought for your country you fought for your queen
Now everyone’s happy, now everyone’s free
And God help the bastard who says it’s not so
And God help the bastard ‘cos what does he know?
Sleep in the knowledge that England is brave
For each loss of breath is a life that you saved
The angels will guard you, they’ll tend to your brow
Poor little soldier, come lay your head down

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Speed The Road, Rush The Lights

Speed The Road, Rush The Lights

Geography, be kind to me
For the miles apart are killing me
Tonight I would die to be by her side
So speed the road and rush the lights
Speed the road, rush the lights

Even bad girls sleep tonight
Even bad girls sleep tonight
Their aspirin white legs, scarred by young lust’s overbite
Even bad girls sleep tonight
Even bad girls dream tonight
Their aspirin white legs, scarred by young lust’s overbite

The snapped Ratner’s chain glints cold in the night
The snapped ankle chain glints cold in the night

Caution is thrown to the wind
And it does not blow back
Caution is thrown to the wind
And it does not blow back

Geography, please be kind to me
For the miles apart are killing me
Tonight I would die to be by her side
So speed the road, rush the lights
Speed the road, rush the lights

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Stations

Stations

I don’t know why, the lights, they never change
Been stood here far too long
It’s time to disengage

I don’t know why we’re better when it rains
I’m cold to your design
You’re cold to my embrace

I don’t know why I gravitate to loss
I feel too much inside
I cannot shake it off

I don’t know why you never hold a kiss
You snap it at the heart
It freezes on your lips

We’re stations, disconnected at the heart
Our rails are rusted veins
Our switches, torn apart

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Biggest Lie

The Biggest Lie

She said, “It’s ok – you’ll feel better every day
And all memory of this will fade away”
And that’s the biggest lie and I just wonder why
When love dissolves we don’t all just die

I sat by the lake when everyone had gone home
Nothing on my body but the sadness I had on
I felt death’s elbow nudging at my ribs, telling me to let go –
I don’t deserve to live

She said, “It’s ok – you’ll feel better every day
And all memory of this will fade away”
And that’s the biggest lie and I just wonder why
When love dissolves we don’t all just die

Liar

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Blue Hour

The Blue Hour

The clouds, they go their way
With indifference to us
A melancholy light
The ghost of summer past
The moon relieves the sun
Across the evening sky
And here we come undone
And here we say goodbye

The whispers in the bough
Are but rumours on the wind
This love was never ours
And yet we took it in
The headstones mark the lost
Erased by time and tide
Ashes cast to sea
Blow back as memories

Take the last kiss from my lips
Take the last look at my face
And then surrender all we have
Or I will never walk away

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The Canadian Brought Us Snow

The Canadian Brought Us Snow

The Canadian brought us snow
And Lucky Strikes for John to smoke
A Thursday night with powercuts
In mountain socks, burning books

We watched the Jetsons for too long –
Saw robots in our sleep
Naval lights from Amsterdam through the kettle steam

The Jesus glow of Calor Gas illuminates the frosted glass
The windowsill, a battle scene
Of Airfix kits and Disney Queens

Born too early, wake up too late
Minds of Chomsky but low birth weight
Sleeping beside, treat us like eggs
Box-jellyfish light; tinsel legs

 

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

 

The Drowning Of St. Christopher

The Drowning Of St. Christopher

There’s no heart in the men who run these mountain bars
All love extinguished by location and cold fronts
Dogs in the parking lot surround the car for scraps of affection, for eyes not glazed over like black ice
Thousands of kilometres of roughage and terracotta roofs
Horizons replaced by horizons
We run the belly of rainclouds between Madrid and Valencia, with the radio tuned into the weather we don’t have
St Christopher drowns crossing the river
Firs blown onto the windscreen disperse like a pack of tiny black birds
Service stations are watched over from the hills by shepherds who spend all their days flooded by thought – a deafening meditation
The cowbells, like bloody church alarms, smashing the silence of grass, of the air
I am interviewed in a sleepy bar by a girl who wants me to explain “the warmth of nostalgia,” incensed that I “glamourise sadness”
And after seven hours on the road, I have lost all defences – they are roadkill, torn up, gutted
At night, tiny red beacons crown lonely antennas
Everywhere is shepherded in the absence of gods
Cities spoil everything : that there is somewhere to go and something to do, when the partition between sleep and awake in the back of the van features such happy accidents – hazed dreams in an unfocused Super 8mm
On rainy nights, we are docked in the harbour of circular ballrooms playing to the shadows, playing to revolving mirrorballs
Our harbours are in brandy glasses
Our music is swilled/In hostels, fourth floor, bare rooms but for a bed and a sink, we stare vacant at sleeping guitars, wondering how many fucks and violence and drugs have intervalled us staring at sleeping guitars
And the taps can’t be turned off
And there’s suspect movement on the stairwell
Small pictures of boats in storms
Watches and money in our shoes
We wake up and the building is still there and we’re still in it, like miserable captains

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

The End Of A Dark, Tired Year

The End Of A Dark, Tired Year

The end of a dark, tired year
I slept bad, in bad dreams, on bad beer
I tried to get on but you nagged in my ear
And London is fucked – a busted bike with rusted gears
I walk around with a knife in the cuff
But that’s not gonna be enough

The end of a dark, tired year
I slept bad, in bad dreams, on bad beer
I tried to get on but you nagged in my ear
And London is fucked –
A busted bike with rusted gears
It makes me dark, dead in the eyes, a shark

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

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