Copyright © 1982, 1983, 1984, 1998 John S. Hardy Music
all that is open is the window i hold out my hand to the rain the tracks are glistening in shadow the ties, the steel, and the train stand in the cold at the station though it really isn't you at all the snare of infatuation the desperate ledge of a fall chorus: take the night train to paris hoping to escape all the rules take the night train to paris you hopelessly romantic fool oftentimes love is a pageant of kings and queens and of pawns more often love it seems stagnant the subject of tedious yawns the theatre, the alleys of vision the characters waiting to strike . the collectors of garbage and wisdom who catalogue all that is not right i waited for the cafes to open i watched pigeons peck in the rain that endless rain of confusion the cat in my lap did the same i hated to disturb her slumber sleeping so peacefully through the night the unfinished letter lay crumpled an unfinished heart has its price
they are laying the siege the queen has ordered the walls rebuilt stock of provisions and stock of skills they're taking their leave friends abandoned in times of plenty poisoning the beautiful moat with envy and i had a dream of a lost little girl who danced in lace and lightning white pearls the dizzying circles that blurred my sight as we looked to the tower where she appeared each night the siege is in force the candle, the torch for the hungry men hovering like drones in the poisoned pen that intimate course sucking the power from her lessening health making her feel guilt for all of her wealth and i had a dream of a beautiful woman who gave all her strength in the birth of a son the fullness she shone it was reassuring her venomous anger restrained for once the siege it is over the walls are in the ruins of the harpers' tunes they all run coughing from the smoke filled rooms where are they, where the silver's been plundered and stripped to the bone the well's run dry, there is a cold hearthstone and i had a dream that i saw it all the old woman in darkness who screams in the hall what little she has now is what little she had then they all want it over though they know how it ends
oh captain, my captain oh who is my captain? can it be that there is nobody at the helm? can they dare call it reason in the growing treason when the king has somehow abdicated the realm chorus: will they fall from the sky in the black of the night will they crawl through the jungle at dawn will they put in in the west down at puntarenas or in the east at porto limon i signed on in my youth, thinking there was but one truth that this mission was sent for a merciful good but when the port came in view came a far darker hidden truth that the cargo of business was understood or they'll come through the banks and the right-wing think tanks multinational only means the people they cry in the face of the reaper you know the people work cheaper keep a tight grip and squeeze all the freedom dry oh captain, my captain oh who is my captain? can it be that nobody here is my friend? for this history lesson we will pay in aggression that in business the means justify the end
fallen though the leaves were blown against the fence crossing there i saw you your step was like a dance the seasons they are changing we cannot change them back it's not for us to gamble for we have changed enough changed the ways of love fallen like the freight trains that used to cry the night the freedom that was with pain the escape to make things right all of that is over as i like myself beside you it's not that i am older it's just i've changed my luck and changed the ways of love fallen like the angel who knows that faults run deep and alters to erase them the child who falls asleep and somewhere in that dream world that clouds before the dawn he awakes to find the fear gone and understands the bluff we've changed the ways of love
'twas a bonnie bunch of roses that my true love gave to me she courted me quite freely when she was seventeen she courted me so fully that it went right to my head and 'twas a bonnie bunch of roses that i left beside her bed no, i never told a falsehood and i never told a lie i just stretched the bonnie truth a bit until i said good-bye but 'twas never my intention to go and make her cry that bonnie bunch of roses was a thorn into my side so i went off to seek my fortune as the only thing to do i went and bought a racehorse who only missed a shoe i was thinking 'bout the wagers and thinking 'bout the bets and the bonnie bunch of roses they would place around his neck well, 'round the final corner and 'round the final peg my bonnie bunch of roses went and broke his bonnie leg and 'twas me who did the running towards the bonnie red sunset 'cause it weren't no bloody roses they were puttin' round me neck so i went off to join the army as the only thing to do the duke of york was drafting 'bout a thousand troops or two and he gave us all a uniform and gave us all a nag with a bonnie bunch of roses on the shield and on the flag then he marched us 'round the town and marched us down the glen and he marched us up the bloody hill and marched us down again but there weren't so many coming down as there were going up and 'twas a bonnie bunch of roses that we placed upon the plots so i went back to find my true love as the only thing to do i went and said "i'm sorry" and then i said "i do" for she was full of surprises as soon it was i learned it weren't no bunch of roses handed me on my return and now i'm down to the pub most every afternoon my pension buys a pint and the children ask a tune sing "the bonnie bunch of roses" and sing it once again that bonnie bunch of roses gonna be my ball and chain
i saw them stand in line, the line went out of view and in their hand a form, the dream had been confused for they had all believed what steel and steam could do that what the hand could offer was what the hand could lose ah, but the dream is over, it has faded with the sounds the knickknacks placed in corners to be dusted all around ah, but the dream was grand when it held us in its grip though we were thrown about in the storm of authorship the child who cries at night is given a silver spoon i wish that gift could be the forest and the moon for when the child stops crying and wiles away the tears the building's empty echo will last for many years the man who looks about at the graying line of thought the child who plays on concrete is what his time has bought he does not believe it's over as he stands in line 'til noon to find another job, to buy another spoon ah, but the revolution that brought us here in droves and flushed us out of farmland and out of scented groves and crushed our winter wheat and bound our woolen threads that glorious revolution is ingloriously dead that the garden was forsaken and trampled all to ruin that the gates shall also crumble and tarnish like the spoon the line has now dispersed, home to the crowded rooms to tell their children stories of the forest and the moon to tell their children stories of all the silver spoons
what could ever drive a man to venture out in all this cold? what could ever be the dream upon his mind or the voice he heard come singing through the snow? singing down down, bless this soul singing down down, this i know singing down down down down, warning must be sent and by foot it must be brought and so we went for the wren when all the people are quite warm except the few who gather fuel they dread the wind when it gathers in the north that causes all the gods to be so cruel singing down down, bless this soul singing down down, this i know singing down down down down, to the forest end and perhaps it might be there we apprehend the wren these of caution to be seen abroad at night about the queen when all the world knows that deep down inside the burden of paradise is mean singing down down, bless this soul singing down down, this i know singing down down down down, games of pretend whether howling at the moon or magdalen or the wren a flock of birds must crown a king against the wind and under wing and never notice when the one in front he falls and another takes his place to gather all singing down down, bless this soul singing down down, this i know singing down down down down, hear the voices blend though those who stand behind will not defend the wren
catharine had a calling in the woods a secret spring that she knew well she chased a man whose knowledge was mistaken that his only weakness was the one she held catharine, who misused the gift of sight, was the woman on the hill a will o' the wisp who held vigils through the night who tracked him down to town against his will chorus: and all he could change she changed as well anywhere he'd hide she would find the riddle she made she held the answer 'til he cursed the name of catharine to the wind came the day when he traveled to the city found a room above the stairs the sleepless nights when the shapes and signs would haunt him at the answer to the riddle he would stare now riddle me this: of a tree that is no tree riddle me that: it is high yet low when leaves are brown in the autumn it is green and it heals though it poisons where it grows catharine took a job in the city selling apples on the street she bid her time seeking solace in winter she knew the time would come when they would meet tired of riddles she had welcomed her prey through the hallway to her room the paint was peeling leaving red on the rug where all she gained remained the same to lose catharine slowly loosened her hold to let him breathe and he fled again to sow the wind she had given up control to sow the storm she had wed the light and rain and so in time he returned to the fold with an answer upon his lips: a heart cannot be protected from weakness and on christmas eve betrayed her with a kiss
ottomanelli, his wife and two cousins had crossed the atlantic to see what they'd find one was a farmer and one was a baker and one was a painter, a maker of signs ottomanelli had one dream above all to eat and to drink and to make wine in peace he'd run from the fascists, he'd run from the germans he'd now run a dairy farm in the northeast chorus: late in the night he grew cold in the shadows tried to recall his homeland, his dream and all to what end were they following jesus trying to focus and follow the gleam because he believed in the pope he had children there were more mouths to feed but more hands to help to milk all the cows and deliver the produce and help plant the corn and make wine in the fall the years that were peaceful they soon were unsettled by salesmen come calling with things they don't need the children grew older, the children grew bolder went looking for jobs to buy all those things (repeat chorus) the oldest went out, took a job in a factory making the gunsights for colt m-16's they were much in demand for a war off in asia he worked overtime and grew wealthy and clean one day he was watching a televised ball game a can of budweiser and popcorn in hand "we interrupt program to bring you the great news the war it is over, your jobs have been canned" (repeat chorus) ottomanelli was too old to farm now the fields they lay fallow, he sold all his cows he could not compete with the lobbying dairy-marts and their certified, pasteurized, homogenized now and no one had learned how to plant all the cornfields or help make the wine in the warm autumn sun the real estate people want land to build houses so where do you go when your dreams are all done?
'twas not quite summertime out by the borderline i stopped for thirst one day at a smith's along the way and there by fireside was the brightest pair of emerald eyes the belle of gretna green her hair was golden brown if e'er one be so blest black velvet was her gown, white lace upon her breast a half crescent moon in silver on a golden chain and so my heart was claimed but she said she'd not be mine, for she'd soon be a bride her man would soon arrive from the northumberland side though it pleased not her clan that he be a highwayman 'twas safe in gretna green i drank a sad farewell that night in starry spell and as i bid good-bye the smith drew me aside he said 'twas true enough that she be waiting for her love 'twas all in vain, in mind ten years ago today, but seven miles away the dragoons rode him down, 'neath blackford's oak h'was found and no one to this day has had the heart to tell her his fate that half crescent moon in his hand and many the years have gone as i sing to you this song she does not age at all and many for her they fall and those of lonely bed can drink a toast to her instead farewell my belle, my queen the ghost of gretna green
you may see me on the corner with a big old smile that says "don't tread on me" with my hand on a bottle like a weapon in my hand that spells my liberty well, there ain't no work on a hot summer's night you know there ain't no work at all and a dollar and a quarter gonna buy another bottle help me make it to the fall i was itchin' for a fight when my country come a-callin' i was educated for that chore i believed what they said about fightin' them reds and i marched off to that war well, the only red i saw was blood on the field and my bank account when i got home and the red in the bottle that i thought that i needed 'gainst the nightmares of being alone well, out in california th'got some very fine wine and they keep it in the bottle 'til it's aged and they know when they bottle that the rich gonna pay so they place it in a wooden crate but the poison that they bottle for a dollar and a quarter you know it comes from the very same grapes but they play the percentage that no one gonna notice keep the poor man with nothing on his plate well, this country it was founded on a flag with a snake that said "don't tread on me" and a flag with a chain with thirteen little circles whose weakest link is me when cannon fodder sells for a dollar and a quarter how unlucky can one boy be but i'm pledging my time when i break this bottle and i say "don't tread on me"
the bells of san blas are still rung by hand hand over hand the child climbs the tower hammer in hand he rings out the hour and all of the children are called to the rail are called to the virgin, the cross and the nail outside of the cathedral, caught in photograph begins the procession, thy rod and thy staff a lavender bead was found in the dust lost from the chain that had crossed the gown the pride of the family, the pride of the town at fifteen years old the procession shall move and fit into the church as the hand fits the glove and out come the children chasing the rice if they ever think once, they never think twice sister anastasia came down from the clouds from the city of angels to the city of bells she offered her solace, she offered her help she taught them the handcrafts, she taught them to smile to sell to the tourists to help feed the child the design of the snake caught in the beak she came every year and stayed for a week the bells of san blas were all made by hand and carried by hand they spread 'long the coast the bells of the missions of longfellow's ghost the cannon are rusted, the bells have turned green they traded their gold and their land for the beads of the spaniards and indians the children remain they still sacrifice virgins though the altar's renamed
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