TRICKSTER IN EXILE

BABYLON SWANS

WHEN I AWOKE

GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS

When I awoke
I saw them moving in
The vultures would descend
And circle back around again
 
I was hurried through a stall
Inside a rotten abattoir
Now I'm hanging by a thread
Underneath the diamond web
 
Thought I there is no end
Just a desert full of sand
Until I broke the hourglass
And blew away the wind

My arms are reaching for you
Caroline, falling through the sands of time
Where everything turns to dust
 
Dominoes
Dominoes are falling down
I'm gonna gather up the bones
Shake em up and shake em down
 
I was dancing at St. Luke's
And your skeleton was there
You moved so fast across the floor
You left it hanging in the air
 
You're always drifting to me
Caroline, I can see the blood in your eyes
Every tear rolling down turns to rust

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I saw you in a photograph
I could not help it
And I just had to laugh
Ain't that sad?
That I could only ever see you
Trying so hard to hold a smile
When you're still in denial
About what's really scaring you

Our little messenger
She lies to me
She only tells me what
I would like to believe
But it's not what I see
You cannot fool a fooler
It only took one look
For me to see right through you
Now I'm wondering
Maybe I'm as bad as you

We're just going through the motions
We're just going through the motions

Many times we've danced these steps
Now we're two lost marionettes
And we're struggling
to find our rhythm in this broken song
Our old rendition
Has gone on for far too long
And now the moment is gone
Must I go on?

Something is amiss
Something in our kiss
And I don't know how it ever got to this

We're just going through the motions
We're just going through the motions

What have you got to lose by loving me?
What have you got to gain from leaving me
All alone?
Has it really come to this?
Yes it's really come to this

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FLAMBEAU

SHEELAGH (IN ETERNAL HEAT)

I've got a bag of bones & an emerald stone
A lock of hair from Marie Laveau
Around your door, a pile of dust
A copper wire doll dressed in rust
 
I'm gonna do whatever it takes
I'm gonna drive you outta this place
I'm shaking off an evil blood embrace
 
A graveyard priest with galanga breath
Wore a nation sack around his neck
He wrote your name in the sand
John the conqueror in my hand
 
I'm gonna do whatever it takes
I'm gonna drive you outta this place
I'm shaking off an evil blood embrace
 
One step at a time
Dust all around your door

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I parked the car behind St. Joseph's Church
Blood rushing in my veins
Somewhere south of Dunsmuir Avenue
I saw you walking
By the river
In the rain

Light shining through your window
I can see a silhouette
Your curtain hangs like a veil
Wrapped around an angel
From a dream
I can't forget

Sheelagh in eternal heat
Surrounded by the flame
I'm sitting on the mercy seat
I gaze at the moon
A long sigh in vain
You used to shine your light on me
But that was just a dream
Slipping into darkness

Side by side on the railroad tracks
The summer stars were aligned
Somewhere underneath a night so black
I felt you tremble
I heard you whisper
In the pines

Sheelagh in eternal heat
Surrounded by the flame
I'm sitting on the mercy seat
I gaze at the moon
A long sigh in vain
I saw you coming back to me
But that was just a dream
Slipping into darkness

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TRICKSTER IN EXILE

SHEELAGH (SERPENT IN THE SAND)

I feel you slipping
But I'm still holding on
My hands are trembling
Reaching for the dawn
Under the moonlight
Under the moonlight
 
I look into the mirror
Who am I fooling?
I feel just like a stranger
Lost among the ruins
A trickster in exile
A trickster in exile
 
It's more than just a roll of the dice
You've got to look the King of Hearts in the eyes
Even if you're not able
Even if you're not able to shake off the doubt
You lay your cards on the table
I'm not betting on my luck running out
 
Your never ending
Constant trail of tears
Have left their mark pretending
The illusion was real
And when I pulled back the curtain
Your red eyes were uncertain
If the act was still working
If the act was still working
 
I can see you through your disguise
Behind your mask, you tremble like a child
But you got that look in your eye
Give it to me one wink at a time
I know you're trying to tell me something
I hope it's a lie
 
Like when you caught
A bullet in your teeth
That never left the gun
The end before the start
Of what never begun
Done is done
 
Beyond any reason
Beyond any doubt
Beyond any reason
Beyond any doubt
Beyond any reason
I wait for you day in
Day out

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I'm standing in the doorway
Where I used to light your French cigaret
You would blow a ring of smoke
To watch it just disappear
Underneath your stained glass chandelier

Sheelagh
Have you ever
Wondered whether
We ever should of
Just come right out and said it?
Babe just forget it

I overheard someone talking
About you dancing with you know who
But I won't believe a word
Til I hear it from you
So tell me it ain't true

Sheelagh
If you ever need a favor
Well you know where to find me

Sheelagh
Like a serpent in the sand
Always slipping away
Right through my hands
Always slipping away
Right through my hands
Always slipping away
Like a serpent in the sand
Slipping away

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CINDER SIFTER

TREBUCHET

I went the wrong way down
The rabbit hole
Never come, never go
 
Woke in a bone orchard
Could be worse
Marble eyes for the crows
Oh no
Cinder sifter
 
Here come the first of May
Hand that match
Sign said two over ten
 
Looking for my big black
Cannonball
Rolling over them all
Oh no
 
I never asked to be born
It's just something that happened
Don't know how to break the spell
Only time will tell
And time ain't talking
I just keep walking
 
Here come the switch man now
He's fleet foot
With two dogs foaming at mouth
 
Don't be a barnacle
Catch that drag
And just keep heading down south
Oh no
 
There is no calm in the storm
No shelter from the whirlwind
Who's got that map out of hell
Only time will tell
And time ain't talking
I just keep walking

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Too many cats
Next to the railroad track
Under the house
On the blacktop
Out in the yard
Around every corner
They're coming from the other side of the fence
I've got a bad neighbor
Need a trebuchet
God's stone thrower
Gonna throw em back over
Don't wanna put the cat in a bag
Drown em in the river
Got a bad neighbor
Wanna send him back to Dunsmuir
Under my porch
Under my sink
Sleeping in the halls
Inside my walls
I've got too many cats
Sleeping on my lawn
Terrorize my robins
Make a sound at night
Like an orchestra tuning up
They keep multiplying
They keep multiplying
They keep multiplying
Where do they go when the snow falls?
When the rain comes?
They go under my porch
Into my walls
Under my sink
Sleeping in the halls
I've got a bad neighbor
A real bad neighbor
Gonna send him back to Dunsmuir
Gonna get a real mean dog
Drive em out
Load em up
Drive em down south
Drop em off in city hall
Let em climb around those walls
A real bad neighbor
Need a trebuchet

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IMMORTAL WANDERER

THE SCULPTOR

Disembodied in time
You lit a torch in the void
A crow singing in rhyme
To the tune of the hopeless devoid
 
Suddenly, the moon!
Like a vision appeared
And like Our Lady Of Sorrows
The children wept and she disappeared
 
Fallen cherubim
Under the sun
Leaves turn in the autumn
Decaying golden
 
Mercury the Trickster has got you on the run
Quicksilver!
You'll have to keep moving
To keep from
Falling down
Falling down
 
Immortal wanderer
You're not going anywhere
Immortal wanderer
Your stench is everywhere
 
Plum petals are falling
You never paid any mind
And there's a fire burning
Behind your petrified eye
 
Drunk under the moon
A solitary reflection
Surrender to the tune
Like a tear lost in the ocean
 
Bare trees in the garden
The orchard is barren
Dead leaves keep on falling
And then there was none
 
Let it blow right through you
Let it come down hard
Let it fall on to you
A changing of the guards
 
Immortal wanderer
You're not going anywhere
Immortal wanderer
Your stench is everywhere
 
The promise of an eternal sleep
Broken when I woke from a dream
Discovering the shadow was mine
When I lifted up a cup of wine
With the moon and the shadow, we make three
I can use these two for my company
Endlessly

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I am the sculptor
I work alone
Carving out marble
Chiseling stone
Outside my window
The rain never stops
Just as I go on working
Round the clock
And I keep the fire burning
All night long

When I was a child
I lost my shadow
He ran off to hide
And I could not follow
I never saw him again
But sometimes I still wonder
Is he out there alone
In the rain?

And can he see his own reflection
Like a mirror in a dream?
And when he looks in my direction
Does he know just what it means?

I've been looking for my shadow
For such a long time now
It makes me wonder
If I'd even recognize him anymore

 
And can he see his own reflection
Like a mirror in a dream?
And when he looks in my direction
Does he know just what it means?

 
I've been looking for my shadow
For such a long time now
It makes me wonder
If I'd even recognize him anymore
How am I to know for sure
Who I'm looking for?
Is he a beast who's staring at me
With his horns?
Or a wilted rose who's missing
All his thorns?

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MOON OVER MANAGUA

TRAPDOOR

September rain
Washes the blood stains
From the cobblestone
On the streets of León
 
Amparo wept
Under a dark cloud
Next to the marble steps
When inside the cathedral
 
The lion stirred
Upon the tomb
They're gonna get what they deserve
And it's coming soon
 
Amparo don't you cry
Revenge is near!
Rigoberto walked right through the needle's eye
A blood sacrifice
 
Sugar cane
Below the volcano
You ran your bath and then
Looked on Momotombo
 
On the balcony
Carnelian trumpets
Bloom over the marketplace
And the moon over Managua
 
Is on the rise
Over the palms
I hear Dario's lullaby
Serenade the dawn
 
And the space between two thoughts
That you thought was lost
Tied you in a knot

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Oh what's the use in pretending
You don't see that hanging noose
Swinging from that willow tree
A tangled web we weave
Around what we refuse to believe
Don't mistake your blues for ennui
Will you cut me loose and set me free
Or will you leave me hanging?

Perhaps this what I was wishing for
I say to myself as I shove
The genie back in the lamp
Strange to find you here alone in the end
Falling down that trap door again

Oh the decay
Reach out and touch me
Reach out and touch me
Catch me I'm falling

 
Tick tock the clock
Is going round
But you're moving backwards
Into the ground unwound
Don't let it drag you down
Holy ist thou sound
Of the oblivion bound
You who were so lost
Like a king without a crown
A martyr climbing up his cross
Just as its falling down
A lamb will leave its flock
To not be found
And I will be left hanging...

Perhaps this is what I was wishing for
I say to myself as I shove
The genie back in the lamp
Strange to find you here alone in the end
Falling down that trap door again

Oh the decay
Reach out and touch me
Reach out and touch me
Catch me I'm falling

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I MUST HAVE BEEN DEAD

THIEF IN THE NIGHT

I must've been dead at least three days
Before my sister and my mother came to take me away
They brought me to the river and they washed my face
And then they led me through the deep cool water to wade
 
Steam rising up
From the morning dew
I'm gonna wade in the water
I'm gonna drown these blues
 
I've got to shed this skin
Wash away the mask I've been living in
I'd love to come clean but I won't say where I've been
 
You know what they say perhaps it's true
You take one step up and go down two
So many ways to make it through
But only one way back to get to you
 
I'm gonna wade in the water
I'm gonna drown these blues
 
Eyes rolling back in my head
The robes of my disguise weighing down like lead
I don't intend to die before I make my dying bed
 
And my blood is bled
And the river runs red
And the serpent is fed
With the poison
Of forbidden fruit
Remove this venom noose
Cut this devil loose
I'm wading in the water
Gonna drown these blues

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There's only so much praying for rain
That one honest man can do
Before it ain't no use
And every whistle from each passing train
Reminds me how much time I have to lose
And how I'm only passing through
Passing through
Only passing through
Like a thief in the night
And there's a river on the right
Called the no-return
I can follow every bend
Follow every turn
Until I'm standing at an altar
Between the darkness and the light
And with so much left to chance
It's hard to choose
Which one leads to you

You know some people got no choice
They're either coming or they're going
Like a hard wind blowing
But you know I hear a different voice
Loud as thunder rolling
Strong as a river flowing
It looks like rain
It looks like rain
I feel it in my bones
And the rivers gonna rise
When it finally comes falling down
Until its swollen like a vein
That carries more than blood alone
And I've got to let it bleed
Or else I'll drown
High water all around

Last night I had a dream
I was swept out to sea
I let the current carry me
Away on a slipstream
And I looked up at the stars to see
You dancing on a moonbeam
So wild and free
Like a fish swimming upstream
I don't know what it was
All supposed to mean
And you were laughing so hard
You were crying
And me I was dying
Looking in your eyes
Yes I was dying
Looking in your eyes

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SHOT IN THE DARK

BABYLON SWANS

The rosy fingered dawn tossed
The moon like a coin
Rolling through paradise lost
Waiting to rejoin
 
Maybe I'm still standing
Underneath these fading stars
Wishing for one to fall down dying
Like an arrow through a heart
 
That will never miss its mark
That will never miss its mark
That will never miss its mark
A shot in the dark
 
I leave a candle burning
All through the night
You might pass by some evening
And be drawn to the light
 
Remember how we used to waltz
Beneath our gleaming infinite arc
That was held up by a dream we had
Until we woke up alone in the dark
 
How did we ever stray so far
Planets explode then drift apart
You know the arrow missed its mark
A shot in the dark

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You are not longing
There is no desire
Lay down your roses
Upon the fire
Place you hands
Into the ashes
Like falling sand
Through an hourglass
What once took host
Will never last
Give up the ghost
That soon will pass
To become what once was flowing
Through your barren veins
O' mystery of mysteries alone

Neither a servant
Nor master am I
Neither the cursed
Nor the divine

A serpent wrapped around the vine
A lock of hair tangled in your spine
Unraveling the holiest design

A swan who floated on the moat
Outside the walls of Babylon
With feathers unlike the rest
He hid in the shadows
Away from the flock
Alone
He fell asleep
And drifted too close to the gate
A guard mistook him for a goose
And placed him on the emperor's plate
And just like the sun
Breaking through the dawn
He opened up his golden throat
And he sang this song

When you drink my blood like wine
When you eat my flesh divine
Remember this:
It won't save you any time
Wrapped up in your yarn so tight
You know you can't unwind

I could crawl on my hands and knees
Through a desert with no water
I could fall bending down to wash your feet
Like a lamb at the slaughter
I could howl like a dog in heat
Reaching for your daughter
But it just never feels complete
When I'm kneeling at the altar
Another lost child in Babylon

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FORBIDDEN DUET

Monk wandered off alone
Out into the heat
Trouble's always looking for an easy way out
And feeling like a cheat
Monk came down to your parlor
Unhurried by his doom
He wants to watch your little rosebud bloom
 
Pushed back in the corner
Sand was falling through the glass
The birdie on your shoulder
Said "It's never gonna last"
"Well who put thoughts like those into your head?"
"Everybody's got them" that's what you said
"Now set your boots down by the bed"
 
Monk lit a roman candle
And placed it on the floor
The figurines on your mantle
Their eyes fixed on the door
Rose water on your neck
Honey on your breath
Your temple to protect
 
These walls are closing in on you with memories
Of all the times you struggled to forget
The very thing that brought you to your knees
Once
When you were young
A forbidden duet
 
Monk was looking out your window
You were blowing on the fire
Under your kimono
The palace of desire
Shadows on the wall
Dancing in the moonlight
You could forget it all
You could forget it all
You could forget it all

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SAHARA

Sahara
Who will lift your veil
Sahara
Infinitely pale
 
The fragile moon
In your eyes
A flower blooms
Then it dies
 
Come out and stand in the light
 
Sahara
The wind is dying down
Sahara
Won't you come around
 
Give me your hand
Tonight
Upon the sands where
You hide
 
Come out and stand in the light

 

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