Jack Hardy — Lyrics for The Mirror of My Madness

Copyright © 1965, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1993, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 John S. Hardy (BMI)

  1. The Tailor
  2. Houston Street
  3. Locked Up in Feelings
  4. Murder
  5. Down Where the Rabbits Run
  6. Out of Control
  7. Victim of the Dawn
  8. Night on the Town
  9. The Boat Song
  10. Resolution
  11. Big Wheels
  12. Go Tell the Savior
  13. Al Cormier (CD bonus track)
  14. Expatriot (CD bonus track)
  15. Middle of the Road (CD bonus track)

The Tailor

the king's guardsman's greedy
he's underpaid he knows
tailor sew me a cloak of indigo
that will disguise me well
for the highwayman's game
no one will suspect evil
and the king's cross are the same
i will pay you dearly
with half of what i claim

no said the tailor
the tailor said no
a cloak will not hide
what your own eyes see
a cloak will not change
what is hidden underneath
just as mine does not confine
the idea of what i am
i am not a tailor i'm a man

the king's queen is hungry
for the pleasures adultery knows
tailor sew me a cloak of scarlet
that will disguise me well
for courting on the sly
that will make the fever
transparent to the night's eyes
i will pay you dearly
with favors and with sighs

(repeat chorus)

the king he is frightened
with shadows behind his back
tailor sew me a cloak of sable
that will disguise me well
from the daggers of my foes
that will keep me far above
those that are below
i will pay you dearly
if you fail on the gallows

(repeat chorus)

Houston Street

a man lay dead on houston street
but i could not feel the pain
the path of least resistance
is driving me insane
and it is hard to please your conscience
when all of love's a crime
and it is hard to call the police
with your last lousy dime

i know you're just laughing
'cause there's nothing else to do
but you might die laughing
'cause the joke's on you

crazy alice was a would-be actress
until she got bored with the lines
and started practicing insanity
when she got no valentines
now she plays the part of a lover
in the late-night pickup bars
and i might go on home with her
if i didn't mind the scars

(repeat chorus)

i never had a nathan's hotdog
until the old man died
so you couldn't call him famous
you could only say he lied
and the proof ain't in the pudding
when there ain't no pudding at all
and it's hard to take the kidding
when there is nowhere left to fall

(repeat chorus)

my dreams they reek of madness
and i try to understand
how people can rely on sadness
as the only card in their hand
and you find out 'bout the weather
when you get rain in your eyes
and you find out who your friends are
as a consolation prize

(repeat chorus)

a man lay dead on houston street
he'd been dead for many days
and they all walked by with nervous feet
as though he was just drunk or dazed
after all there was nothing they could do
like donate time or money
but i'm going on back to houston
where they don't talk so funny

(repeat chorus)

Locked Up in Feelings

a leaf blows through my window
was my only message of fall
tears flow through my eyes
like the songs drift through the wall
but i do not hear the words
there is no need with that tune
i am locked up in feelings missing you

prisons offer freedom
it matters less when they lock the door
than it is opened by force
like rich force the poor
but that open door is killing me
because i cannot move
i am locked up in feelings missing you

poisons are for preachers
who misinterpret verse
seasons are for visitors
who escape when things get worse
change is all that's constant
when i lie myself to sleep
i am locked up in feelings missing you

somewhere in the depths of reason
is my reason for loving you
where in hell is this heaven
that tortures us like fools
that crystal fire of morning
half frozen in the frosty dew
i am locked up in feelings missing you

if there were not so many suitors
chasing that hand as it flees
seeming like so many tutors
trying to teach where there is no need
my dark lady softly whispers
misinterpreted verse subdued
i am locked up in feelings missing you


they say that he is crazy as he walks down the street
to the place where the darkness makes your heart skip a beat
but he's walkin' a little bit slower than all of his friends
perhaps he knows more than he pretends
but it is hard to argue with a parasite fool
'cause he uses his memories instead of his tools
and the game that he's playin' it's got its own rules
and he's getting away with murder

well there's bats in the belfry i am proud to report
where the clergy vacation at their midtown resorts
but they keep them out of sight by changin' their tune
and they are dyin' of fright just a little too soon
and there is never a word about those far-away lands
where another kind of hourglass has run out of sand
and the ten-cent survivors they've got holes in their hands
while they put 'em on trial for murder

there's no sense in arguin' it is very plain to see
about the comparative worthlessness of college degrees
when you pay for your smiles with your green stamp books
and land jobs according to how your bottom half looks
yet along comes this man with his limerick jokes
and dissertations of grandeur on the tobacco he smokes
and his conscience is wrapped up in edgar allan poe
and other tales of murder

but i'm trying to be fair to all that is involved
at least till the other half of this mystery is solved
when the pedestal is moved and the balance is lost
and the failures and the mistrials all add to the cost
they got a new rule book that always says no
to the kids who want to stay up for the late late show
but they keep them readin' comic books 'cause they never show
the true color of murder

so let's say a prayer for organized crime
as the patron saint of the commerce of havin' a good time
we'll send someone out to investigate the dirt
though the last one he came back just a little bit hurt
they found him on the beach with his head in the sand
and you know he wasn't out there just to dig some clams
and though the suicide note was in his own hand
to me it smells like murder

well they run you through changes 'til you run out of breath
by feeding you cigarettes and gasoline and other forms of death
and then they force you into buyin' all their worthless machines
that can do everything better except for cleanin' the latrines
but depression ain't the worry of most of these folks
they're worried about their worth as the butt of these jokes
and losin' their jobs permanently as a part of the hoax
and forcin' them to resort to murder

well franklin and fulton and alexander graham bell
along with einstein can all go to hell
'cause you can't ask the computers to feed you a meal
and you can't turn on the tv set to see how you feel
and the man who invented that horrible bomb
is probably as american as george washington's mom
and uncle sam's changed his name to uncle tom
to avoid the rap for murder

Down Where the Rabbits Run

time is but the distance
that we have brought between our friends
while men are wrought of wisdom
and violence wrought of song
we followed 'long the stone walls
when day was close to done
lyin' in our promise
down where the rabbits run

the birds that fly so freely
have never fought the wind
landing on a dogwood
amongst the flowers and kin
but soon that they be hungry
within the search there come
the cats that stalk the raven
down where the rabbits run

the path we followed freely
it has followed into fall
the fields we left fallow
to follow our own call
but the colors burn so naked
blistered by the sun
the mirror of my madness
down where the rabbits run

i hope that you will never ask
me to raise an arm or kill
nor force me to be forceful
nor bar my windowsill
for the men who talk of reason
have reason for their guns
but there is never talk of treason
down where the rabbits run

Out of Control

you don't have to run away to join the circus
the circus is right here and it swallowed you whole
you don't have to fake a fall to make us nervous
by drinking from an empty bowl
but that tightrope walk is just danger on the take
and it's a lot more safe than bein' burned at the stake
and those crocodile tears are just a little bit lake
you've got your net if you lose control

out of control, out of control
cast your fate to the wind
tie your saints to their sins
you know you're never gonna win
'til you're out of control

they're handin' away free tickets for the show
they're payin' off reporters and people in the know
the band wagon is rollin' in a screen of smoke
the emperor has definitely got his new clothes
but his story got borin' the second time around
and the crowds stayed home when the rain fell down
and his fame faded quiet without no sound
you know that nature was what they could not control

(repeat chorus)

saint joseph and mary at the end of their rope
dreamin' sacrilegious messages to send to the pope
resistance not submission is our only hope
you know that faith can take its toll
rememberin' a time when another child was born
no means of support or time to warn
no conception of what it means to be torn
when your father says you are out of control

(repeat chorus)

the freedom fighter is fakin' his friendship
with a fifty-state waltz of ethnic roles
foundin' his fortune on faces called hip
who know that he's ahead in the polls
but somethin' is missing in that down-home smile
like judas kissin' babies ahead of his trial
and grass-roots religion ain't a martyr to style
you know the vote is what they cannot control

(repeat chorus)

the pagan rain falls out in left field
red hair and hotdogs and a wounded goal
it was the last of the ninth in the early summer heat
before the factory claimed his soul
and those achin' voices vasectomizing dreams
cut off from vision with midnight screams
banishin' blessing like a wounded priest
when his life fell out of their control

(repeat chorus)

the animal uncaged in a rat-black coat
in a typewriter romance with eyes like coal
findin' his fortune in a rainbow boat
alchemist treason for his pot of gold
i am with you he cried as if he just made up his mind
the reluctant reaper is shakin' with desire
but tomorrow is loose on the horizon of fire
i would pay you but i lost control

(repeat chorus)

Victim of the Dawn

it's a bitter fruit to swallow
for a child who loved her sweets
and it's a hard crime to follow
down the dark and the dirty streets
but they say that she was teasin'
that's how she was in the wrong
they say that crime has got no reason
she is just a victim of the dawn

in the shadows of the gallows
where the smirking lawyers shine
and the lies and innuendoes
keep that man from doin' time
and the money tips the balance
where justice once belonged
and the verdict of that jury
is just the victim of the dawn

now the shattered life she is leadin'
is just written off as fate
and every heart that's bleeding
is just a mirror of her hate
and we can all feel bad together
preachin' that twenty-second psalm
and resign ourselves forever
as just the victims of the dawn

now all our hopes for changin'
are just goin' down the drain
burnin' books in west virginia
or sayin' prayers at notre dame
perhaps the priests who die in brothels
are the saviors of us all
or their hastily dressed up bodies
are just the victims of the dawn

Night on the Town

the wind was blowin'
i could almost see the stars
city moon was lyin' low
i do believe she's scarred
there is a pain in this gloom
that caught me off guard
the fire of day is gone
and left the night charred
and the bums just sift through the ashes

open up your arms big mama
i am all alone
new york you're a mother
but you're home
to nine million hungry souls
who'd be lost without you

misery is lost
like the bricks on the street
covered over
like the rain cools the heat
back in awhile
like the cop on the beat
who's polishin' his badge
so he seems to be neat
and not let the folks know he is nervous

(repeat chorus)

whoever told you
that a child feels no pain
all that is left for him
is to die or go insane
all my shame is for him
we made him a thief
who says hail mary
is different than hail to the chief
but pity i reserve for his people

(repeat chorus)

there ain't no more fair fights
there's just degrees of hate
there ain't no more forty-fives
just cop thirty-eights
you'd move west again
but it's a little late
the west is movin' east again
i guess that cycle is fate
but working can also be called a habit

(repeat chorus)

grandma taught sunday school
with an indiana soul
played that broke church piano
with fingers made of gold
but on each sunday
when she was down the road
grandpa got to thinking
'bout his children leavin' home
and took out a bottle of religion

(repeat chorus)

The Boat Song

last autumn's leaves cling to your feet
like they're frozen in the salty tears
the waves they trespass on freedom
breakin' over the casualties of years
the shells lay broken and scattered
remnants of a beauty once so frail
a passion unleashed and unshackled
scarring all the uncharted trails

but i would love to take you sailin'
over that uncertain sea
where the waves wash away all your vanity
and though that feeling is foreign to you
on the borderline you are left alone
i would love to build a boat
that would carry you home

the tide it only gains and then recedes
it is never constant for complaint
there is no assurance of what you need
only what you want and what you ain't
the chill it is spoken on the shore
when first indulged upon the sand
but the ocean it is only like a whore
who's been used to many a man

(repeat chorus)

so bring your blanket close to the edge
so close you can feel the ocean's wealth
the rhythm of the moon's only mistress
that teases you into being something else
the storm it is forging in its wisdom
on the lazy and the beggared guilt
for those who take the sea for granted
wash away the sand on which their love is built

(repeat chorus)


each time i leave this goddamn town
i swear it will be the last time
the last time i let myself be swallowed
by the misery the self pity that surround me
the people all claim that they don't believe in believing
then they bleed you and squeeze you
into believing that it is all a part of freedom
but the last time turns into the next time
so silently in shame
and i find myself back here again
i don't believe i could ever love
another place quite the same

each time i stand with my backside to your doorway
i swear it will be the last time
the last time i let your catlike independence
and innocence play with my insecurity
i don't care to let myself be taken by that thief called time
that drags you into an unmade bed
to waste those tender moments so far from your desire
but the last time tums into the next time
so silently in shame
and i find myself beside you again
i don't believe i could ever love
another woman quite the same

each time i lift this glass to quench this thirst
i swear it will be the last time
the last time i find myself drunk and disorderly
unable to control my sense of time
i don't care to let myself be taken to that all-night lost and found
but each time i lift this cup of life
i find no place to set it down
but the last time turns into the next time
so silently in shame
and i find myself drunk on life again
i don't believe i could ever love
another cup quite the same

Big Wheels

night was fallin'
and the cold wind was freezin' at my face
everyone was just lookin'
for a place to die
the rich bums go home
to their unhappy matrons
while the poor ones
head on down to the railroad station

but the guard
he knows them all by heart
he's seen it all
before my time
he's the one kind word
in an unkind place
and he knows that face value
is just simply value saving face

but soon them big wheels
will come rollin' through
and they might complain
if you're found lyin' here
them big wheels
with the gray flannel suits
only fear the ones
that point out the truth

now i ain't no drunkard
and i ain't no piece of trash
i'm just a hungry traveler
who's a little short on cash
and i might stumble
and a-fumble for the right words to say
but there ain't no way
what's in my pocket's gonna
get me through today

(repeat chorus)

but the waitress
she knows it all by heart
she's seen it all
before my time
she knows that hunger
has a friend that don't waste no time
and so when no one is a-lookin'
she's a friend of mine

(repeat chorus)

now we don't want no business man
dyin' of fright
just 'cause he finds out
that there is more than one place to spend the night
some day they'll be dead right
or they'll be dead wrong
and there is more than one place to sleep
when they are dead and gone

(repeat chorus)

Go Tell the Savior

this is the last weary road
i'm gonna travel
the last weary night
in a cheep hotel
and it is hard to kneel down and pray
and thank the lord for another day
when the mornin' only means
you missed another meal

go tell my mama
that i was wrong to break her heart
go tell my papa
that he was right right from the start
and go tell them patron saints
that they forgot                                  
to watch out for where i roamed
and go tell the savior
i'm coming home

(repeat chorus)

well i must admit
it was my childhood dream to travel
from the stories that you hear
of wine, women and song
but if the wine don't blur your eyes
the women might make you realize
that they're takin' off their clothes
just to put you on

(repeat chorus)

this is the last weary road
i'm gonna travel
the last weary night
in a cheap hotel
and i'm feelin' all i've got
are my feelings all tied up in knots
and the mornin' just might find me
halfway to hell

(repeat chorus)

Al Cormier (CD bonus track)

today Al Cormier is going to die
he's lain on his death bed for many a night
breaking the heart of carolyn his child
but the winds of his life they are no longer wild

he was only a woodsman he worked with his hands
yet he's known as an honest and helpful man
his wealth that he gathered are many strong friends
who passed by his grave when he came to his end

there was old joe "the roofer" a penniless bum
who squandered his life on whiskey and on rum
but whenever he was down and his pocket was a-hurtin'
he would run to al cormier and al cormier would give him work

there was glista the judge who came covered with robes
so deep and distinguished and so very cold
but he was only one of the thousands who did cry
and his tears they fell harder than his gavel that night

well you talk of the kingdoms and the powerful pen
of men who would like to be followed by man
but to the working man these dreams are just faraway games
for they've neither the time or the money to play

i watched young carolyn down on her knees
as her father was dying of a dreadful disease
and i thought of the wealth spent on wars and on hate
but death is only the living main's fate

Expatriot (CD bonus track)

one of the bricks has fallen
from the wall that held the names of those who died
and the stains of their blood
were whitewashed by the flood
the backlash and the pride
of the survivors who lied

and now the leaves have fallen
and the city's lost its only trace of god
and the wind that sweeps the streets
also chills the feet
and the churches lie in ruins
wherever the armies have trod

now the chains break for the last time
it's not enough just to do the best you can
but i only wish you'd care as much as the others
but it's a lot to ask
for concern is a lonely thing

now that the soldiers have fallen
they lay drunk in the scum and the mud
and the wine won't stop the rain
and it won't bring their friends back again
it won't ease the pain
or the sight of the blood

now that the leaders have fallen
we cannot waste the time to even mourn
for flags are made of dust
and armor made to rust
and faith that dies with ease
is faith that was never born

now that the seeds have fallen
like a sign for the beginning of the end
and the summer lasts 'til fall
'til the reaper makes his call
and the harvest brings a death
but a death that comes as friend

Middle of the Road (CD bonus track)

fortunes melt the same as ice
troubles curse the crying eyes
feelings change and break with the brand-new day
faster than a prairie fire
moonlit nights of hot desire
winter is just a season gone astray

the gang is on the tv show
they didn't know which way to go
'cause the bossman and the hitman are the same
the feeling of the family's gone
who is going to say it's wrong
when they don't even know if the victim's got a name

spider starts to spin its web
causing you to lose your head
wondering exactly where to go
there are plenty of ways to overrule
if you just recall the golden rule
you cannot drive down the middle of the road

it ain't so bad being so small
watching all the heroes fall
samson's just a freak who lost his hair
of all the diseases lovers cure
shame is the worst he must endure
and don juan only wants his share

the newspapers tell the tale
they say the story is not for sale
except for the lawyers' paid advice
and the devil claims it just ain't fair
fire has kept him unaware
that anyone can walk on water as cold as ice

(repeat chorus)

there just ain't no more home
out where the buffalo roam
the sunset's far too gray to hold its own
and it ain't that i hate your color tv
your cadillac or your wife to be
it just must be awfully hard to live alone

the news is on the radio
they still don't know which way to go
although they tell you exactly where it's at
a man complains that he's too fat
a woman claims she lost her cat
how i wish that i could have troubles like that

(repeat chorus)

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