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Discography

Picaresque

Released March 2005

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  1. The Infanta

    The Infanta

    Here she comes in her palanquin
    On the back of an elephant
    On a bed made of linen and sequins and silk
    All astride on her father’s line
    With the king and his concubines
    And her nurse with her pitchers of liquors and milk
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

    Among five score pachyderm
    Each canopied and passengered
    Sit the duke and the duchess’ luscious young girls
    Within sight of the baronness
    Seething spite for this live largesse
    By her side sits the baron
    Her barrenness barbs her
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

    A phalanx on camelback
    Thirty ranks on a forward tack
    Followed close, their shiny bright standards a-waving
    While behind in their coach, in fours
    Ride the wives of the king of Moors
    And the veiled young virgin, the prince’s betrothed
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

    And as she sits upon her place
    Her innocence laid on her face
    From all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets
    Melodies rhapsodical and fair
    And all our hearts afire
    The sky ablaze with cannon fire
    We all raise our voices to the air
    To the air…

    And above all this falderal
    On a bed made of chaparral
    She is laid, a coronal placed on her brow
    And the babe, all in slumber dreams
    Of a place filled with quiet streams
    And the lake where her cradle was pulled from the water
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

  2. We Both Go Down Together

    We Both Go Down Together

    Here on these cliffs of Dover
    So high you can’t see over
    And while your head is spinning
    Hold tight, it’s just beginning

    You come from parents wanton
    A childhood rough and rotten
    I come from wealth and beauty
    Untouched by work or duty

    And oh, my love, my love
    And oh, my love, my love
    We both go down together

    I found you, a tattooed tramp
    A dirty daughter from the labour cans
    I laid you down on the grass of a clearing
    You wept but your soul was willing

    And oh, my love, my love
    And oh, my love, my love
    We both go down together

    And my parents will never consent to this love
    But I hold your hand

    Meet me on my vast veranda
    My sweet, untouched Miranda
    And while the seagulls are crying
    We fall but our souls are flying

    And oh, my love, my love
    And oh, my love, my love
    And oh, my love, oh my love
    And oh, my love, my love
    We both go down together

  3. Eli, The Barrow Boy

    Eli, The Barrow Boy

    Eli, the barrow boy, you’re the old town
    Sells coal and marigolds and he cries out all down the day
    Below the tamarack she is crying
    Corn cobs and candlewax for the buying, all down the day

    Would I could afford to buy my love a fine robe
    Made of gold and silk arabian thread
    She is dead and gone and lying in a pine grove
    And I must push my barrow all the day
    And I must push my barrow all the day

    Eli, the barrow boy, when they found him
    Dressed all in corduroy, he had drowned in the river down the way
    They laid his body down in a churchyard
    But still when the moon is out, with his pushcart, he calls down the day

    Would I could afford to buy my love a fine gown
    Made of gold and silk arabian thread
    But I am dead and gone and lying in a church ground
    But still I push my barrow all the day
    Still I push my barrow all the day

  4. The Sporting Life

    The Sporting Life

    I fell on the playing field
    The work of an errant heel
    The din of the crowd and the loud commotion
    Went deafening silence and stopped emotion
    The season was almost done
    We managed it 12 to 1
    So far I had known no humiliation
    in front of my friends and close relations

    There’s my father looking on
    And there’s my girlfriend arm in arm
    With the captain of the other team
    And all of this is clear to me
    They condescend and fix on me a frown
    How they love the sporting life

    And father had had such hopes
    For a son who would take the ropes
    And fulfill all his old athletic aspirations
    But apparently now there’s some complications
    But while I am lying here
    Trying to fight the tears
    I’ll prove to the crowd that I come out stronger
    Though I think I might lie here a little longer

    There’s my coach he’s looking down
    The disappointment in his knitted brow
    I should’ve known
    He thinks again
    I never should have put him in
    He turns and loads the lemonade away
    And breathes in deep
    The sporting life
    The sporting life
    The sporting life
    How he loves…

    There’s my father looking on
    And there’s my girlfriend arm in arm
    With the captain of the other team
    And all of this is clear to me
    They condescend and fix on me a frown
    How they love the sporting life

  5. The Bagman’s Gambit

    The Bagman’s Gambit

    On the lam from the law
    On the steps of the capitol
    You shot a plainclothes cop on the ten o’clock
    And I saw momentarily
    They flashed a photograph, it couldn’t be you
    You’d been abused so horribly
    But you were there in some anonymous room
    And I recall that fall
    I was working for the government
    And in a bathroom stall off the National Mall
    How we kissed so sweetly
    How could I refuse a favor or two
    For a trist in the greenery
    I gave you documents and microfilm, too

    And from my ten floor tenement
    Where once our bodies lay
    How I long to hear you say
    No, they’ll never catch me now
    No, they’ll never catch me
    No, they cannot catch me now
    We will escape somehow
    Somehow

    It was late one night
    I was awoken by the telephone
    I heard a strangled cry on the end of the line
    Purloined in Petrograd
    They were suspicious of where your loyalties lay
    So I paid off a bureaucrat
    To convince your captors they’re to secret you away

    And at the gate of the embassy
    Our hands met through the bars
    As your whisper stilled my heart
    No, they’ll never catch me now
    No, they’ll never catch me
    No, they cannot catch me now
    We will escape somehow
    Somehow

    And I dreamt one night
    You were there in fours
    Head held high
    In uniform

    It was ten years on
    When you resurfaced in a motorcar
    With the wave of an arm
    You were there and gone

  6. (From My Own True Love) Lost At Sea

    (From My Own True Love) Lost At Sea

    Four score years
    Living down in this rain swept town
    Sea salt tears
    Swimming round as the rain comes down

    Mr. Postman, do you have a letter for me?
    Mr. Postman, do you have a letter for me?
    A letter for me
    From my own true love
    Lost at sea
    Lost at sea

    Mr. Postman, do you have a letter for me?
    Mr. Postman, do you have a letter for me?
    A letter for me
    From my own true love
    Lost at sea
    Lost at sea

  7. 16 Military Wives

    16 Military Wives

    Sixteen military wives
    Thirty-two softly focused brightly colored eyes
    Staring at the natural tan
    Of thirty-two gently clenching wrinkled little hands
    Seventeen company men
    Out of which only twelve will make it back again
    Sergeant sent a letter to five
    Military wives, his tears drip down to ten little eye

    Cheer them on to their rivals
    Cause America can, and America can’t say no
    And America does, if America says it’s so
    It’s so

    And the anchorperson on TV goes…
    La de da de da

    Fifteen celebrity mimes
    Leaving their fifteen sorted wretched checkered lives
    Will they find the solution in time
    Using their fifteen pristine moderate liberal minds?

    Eighteen academy chairs
    Out of which only seven really even care
    Doling out a garment to five
    Celebrity mimes, they’re humbly taken by surprise

    Cheer them on to their rivals
    Cause America can, and America can’t say no
    And America does, if America says it’s so
    It’s so

    And the anchorperson on TV goes…
    La de da de da de-dadedade-da
    La de da de da de-dadedade-da

    Fourteen cannibal kings
    Wondering blindly what the dinner bell will bring
    Fifteen celebrity mimes
    Served on a leafy bed the sixteen military wives

    Cheer them on to their rivals
    Cause America can, and America can’t say no
    And America does, if America says it’s so
    It’s so

    And the anchorperson on TV goes…
    La de da de da de-dadedade-da
    La de da de da de-dadedade-da

  8. The Engine Driver

    The Engine Driver

    I’m an engine driver
    On a long run, on a long run
    Would I work beside her
    She’s a long one, such a long one

    And if you don’t love me let me go
    And if you don’t love me let me go

    I’m a country lineman
    On a high line, on a high line
    So will be my grandson
    There are power-lines in our bloodlines

    And if you don’t love me let me go
    And if you don’t love me let me go

    And I am a writer, writer of fictions
    I am the heart that you call home
    And I’ve written pages upon pages
    Trying to rid you from my bones
    My bones
    My bones

    I’m a money lender
    I have fortunes upon fortunes
    Take my hand for tender
    I am tortured, ever tortured

    And if you don’t love me let me go
    And if you don’t love me let me go

    And I am a writer, writer of fictions
    I am the heart that you call home
    And I’ve written pages upon pages
    Trying to rid you from my bones
    I am a writer, I am all that you have home
    Home
    And I’ve written pages upon pages
    Trying to rid you from my bones
    My bones
    My bones

    (And if you don’t love me let me go)
    And if you don’t love me let me go
    (And if you don’t love me let me go)
    And if you don’t love me let me go

  9. On The Bus Mall

    On The Bus Mall

    In matching blue raincoats,
    Our shoes were our show boats
    We kicked around.
    From stairway to station
    We made a sensation
    With the gadabout crowd.
    And oh, what a bargain,
    We.re two easy targets
    For the old men at the off-tracks,
    Who.ve paid in palaver
    And crumpled old dollars,
    Which we squirreled away
    In our rat trap hotel by the freeway.
    And we slept-in Sundays.

    Your parents were anxious,
    Your cool was contagious
    At the old school.
    You left without leaving
    A note for your grieving
    Sweet mother, while
    Your brother was so cruel.
    And here in the alleys
    Your spirits were rallied
    As you learned quick to make a fast buck.
    In bathrooms and barrooms,
    On dumpsters and heirlooms,
    We bit our tongues.
    Sucked our lips into our lungs
    ’til we were falling.
    Such was our calling.

    And here in our hollow we fuse like a family,
    But I will not mourn for you.
    So take up your makeup
    And pocket your pills away.
    We.re kings among runaways
    On the bus mall.
    We.re down
    On the bus mall.

    Among all the urchins and old Chinese merchants
    Of the old town,
    We reigned at the pool hall
    With one iron cue ball
    And we never let the bastards get us down.
    And we laughed off the quick tricks–
    the old men with limp dicks–
    On the colonnades of the waterfront park.
    As 4 in the morning came on, cold and boring,
    We huddled close
    In the bus stop enclosure enfolding.
    Our hands tightly holding.

    But here in our hollow we fuse like a family,
    But I will not mourn for you.
    So take up your makeup
    And pocket your pills away.
    We.re kings among runaways
    On the bus mall.
    We.re down
    On the bus mall.
    We.re down
    On the bus mall.
    Down on the bus mall.
    oh ooh oh

  10. The Infanta

    The Infanta

    Here she comes in her palanquin
    On the back of an elephant
    On a bed made of linen and sequins and silk
    All astride on her father’s line
    With the king and his concubines
    And her nurse with her pitchers of liquors and milk
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

    Among five score pachyderm
    Each canopied and passengered
    Sit the duke and the duchess’ luscious young girls
    Within sight of the baronness
    Seething spite for this live largesse
    By her side sits the baron
    Her barrenness barbs her
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

    A phalanx on camelback
    Thirty ranks on a forward tack
    Followed close, their shiny bright standards a-waving
    While behind in their coach, in fours
    Ride the wives of the king of Moors
    And the veiled young virgin, the prince’s betrothed
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

    And as she sits upon her place
    Her innocence laid on her face
    From all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets
    Melodies rhapsodical and fair
    And all our hearts afire
    The sky ablaze with cannon fire
    We all raise our voices to the air
    To the air…

    And above all this falderal
    On a bed made of chaparral
    She is laid, a coronal placed on her brow
    And the babe, all in slumber dreams
    Of a place filled with quiet streams
    And the lake where her cradle was pulled from the water
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta
    And we’ll all come praise the infanta

  11. The Mariner’s Revenge Song

    The Mariner’s Revenge Song

    We are two mariners
    Our ship’s sole survivors
    In this belly of a whale
    It’s ribs are ceiling beams
    It’s guts are carpeting
    I guess we have some time to kill

    You may not remember me
    I was a child of three
    And you, a lad of eighteen
    But, I remember you
    And I will relate to you
    How our histories interweave
    At the time you were
    A rake and a roustabout
    Spending all your money
    On the whores and hounds
    (oh, oh)

    You had a charming air
    All cheap and debonair
    My widowed mother found so sweet
    And so she took you in
    Her sheets still warm with him
    Now filled with filth and foul disease
    As time wore on you proved
    A debt-ridden drunken mess
    Leaving my mother
    A poor consumptive wretch
    (oh, oh)

    And then you disappeared
    Your gambling arrears
    The only thing you left behind
    And then the magistrate
    Reclaimed our small estate
    And my poor mother lost her mind
    Then, one day in spring
    My dear sweet mother died
    But, before she did
    I took her hand as she, dying, cried:
    (oh, oh)

    “Find him, Bind him
    Tie him to a pole and break
    His fingers to splinters
    Drag him to a hole until he
    Wakes up naked
    Clawing at the ceiling
    Of his grave”

    It took me fifteen years
    To swallow all my tears
    Among the urchins in the street
    Until a priory
    Took pity and hired me
    To keep their vestry nice and neat
    But, never once in the employ
    Of these holy men
    Did I ever, once turn my mind
    From the thought of revenge
    (oh, oh)

    One night I overheard
    The prior exchanging words
    With a penitent whaler from the sea
    The captain of his ship
    Who matched you toe to tip
    Was known for wanton cruelty
    The following day
    I shipped to sea
    With a privateer
    And in the whistle
    Of the wind
    I could almost hear
    (oh, oh)

    “Find him, Bind him
    Tie him to a pole and break
    His fingers to splinters
    Drag him to a hole until he
    Wakes up naked
    Clawing at the ceiling
    Of his grave

    There is one thing I must say to you
    As you sail across the sea
    Always, your mother will watch over you
    As you avenge this wicked deed”

    And then, that fateful night
    We had you in our sight
    After twenty months at sea
    Your starboard flank abeam
    I was getting my muskets clean
    When came this rumbling from beneath
    The ocean shook
    The sky went black
    And the captain quailed
    And before us grew
    The angry jaws
    Of a giant whale

    (oh..)

    Don’t know how I survived
    The crew all was chewed alive
    I must have slipped between his teeth
    But, oh, what providence
    What divine intelligence
    That you should survive
    As well as me
    It gives my heart great joy
    To see your eyes fill with fear
    So lean in close
    And I will whisper
    The last words you’ll hear
    (oh, oh)

  12. Of Angels And Angles

    Of Angels And Angles

    There are angels in your angles
    There’s a low moon caught in your tangles
    There’s a ticking at the sill
    There’s a purr of a pigeon to break the still of day

    As on we go drowning
    Down we go away
    And darling, we go a-drowning
    Down we go away
    Away

    There’s a tough word on your crossword
    There’s a bed bug nipping a finger
    There’s a swallow, there’s a calm
    Here’s a hand to lay on your open palm today

    As on we go drowning
    Down we go away
    And darling, we go a-drowning
    Down we go away
    Away

    There are angels in your angles
    There’s a low moon caught in your tangles