Jack Hardy — Lyrics for Through

Copyright © 1990, 1998 Jack Hardy Music (BMI)

  1. Through
  2. The Crows
  3. No Man
  4. Discover What It Is
  5. What a Strange Thought
  6. No Future
  7. Before You Sing
  8. Elevator
  9. The Knight's Dream
  10. The Nightmare
  11. Four Ways of Framing the Spring
  12. The Child


she played the part of a virgin
she played it all too well
in real life she was a veteran
in the wars of kiss and tell
outside the dirty harlem streets
the dirty buy and sell
i said "how can you look out the window
and only see yourself?"

through the mirror darkly
through the looking glass
through the eye of the needle
this too shall pass ... through

"someday i want children, 
but not at this point in time"
she spoke it like a lawyer
i took it as a sign
but there was a longing in her voice
the long and painful choice
something shattered deep inside
so far away from the noise

(repeat chorus)

i was far away, so far
when i heard what she had done
but it was not my star
laid out on the horizon
only half have the nerve
only half have the heart
only half get what they deserve
out on that boulevard

(repeat chorus)

The Crows

the farmer he watches out over his field
he harvests just what he has sown
his only interest in a greater yield
for the machines and the chemicals he owes
each imperfection is now revealed
as the reaper's long arm rakes the rows
his yearly battle with nature is sealed
he abandons the field to the crows

let's look for a moment at the sleek dark mime
and the black and the blue of his wings:
he stalks his prey with the sharpness of a military mind
and nobody ever says he sings
an effigy made to scare him away
dressed up all in poverty's clothes
now only scares the children at play
we abandon the field to the crows

the rook he travels a straight and narrow path
he is neither the pawn nor the king
he fights out of sight with a terrible wrath
and then sleeps where the church bells ring
when the machines are so large that no one's in charge
and the young men know what they know
then all is in range for that brief exchange
we abandon the field to the crows

No Man

no man no man shall travel this land
'til the sand wash down to the sea
no strand no strand can hold its sand
when the waves fan endlessly
'til all i have is ransomed
all i have is sold
'til my country 'tis of thee

no sand, no sand in the hourglass stands
though i stand not wantonly
no hand, no hand shall tarry this hand
'til that man shall marry me
though all i have is silver
all i have is gold
'tis the source and not sorcery

to understand the talisman
and the clan of mystery
the forest stand, the wedding band
without apostrophe
though all my days are numbered
all my stories told
the riddle still is thee

Discover What It Is

discover what it is to be in love
far flung in the withered leaves above
the wings of light have filled my empty room
the winter light that glares and stares at you
i watched you light a candle with a friend
the flame the fling the falling feeling ends
i watched you take to flight and move away
far above the darkened clouds to stay

discover what it is to be in love
to test the fates the taste beyond enough
that lingers on the frostbitten core
that adam left behind when he wanted more
i watched you as the peeling hit the ground
i tried to hold the feeling in the sound
but you and i we had no heart to hear
the part of the flame that isn't clear

discover what it is to be in love
to lie beneath the stone where lovers moan
where two or three and one must never know
that fantasy is real when you let it go
and you and i belong to all this time
that lingers in the night of the falling stars
the hot and cold of crystal clarity
that brings the flame an inch away from me

discover what it is to be in love
with a lover who is spoken for in tongues
for the woman leads the man into her heart
but the girl must lead the dancers in the dark
and stumbling through the moon infested night
remember it is not a pretty sight
the flame the ash come crashing to the ground
remember it is not a pretty sound

What a Strange Thought

what a strange thought
that a life be tied to gold
deep in the mines out of sight
the gulf and the grave
the home of the brave
where the balance is held with fright

all our dreams are frozen in deceit
left us wedded to a warning we will not heed
all a white island frozen in a black sea
the cost is too dear when life is so damn cheap

what a strange thought
that a church would own a deed
or that a church would own anything at all
to invest in the scheme
the imperial dream
and then turn their backs on it all

(repeat chorus)

what a strange thought
that a party of free men
would be a party to endorse this plan
to buy and sell the gold
they buy and sell the man
and buy and sell the soul of their land

(repeat chorus)

No Future

the buildings stand empty yet they still stand
stand in the way of progress
the bulldozers come to make their mark
and the riot police are lurking in the dark
the last bastion of true freedom
the freeloaders and squatters on the land
the artists and students, the riff-raff and lowlife
these buildings have no future and they know it

there is a plan, an incredible plan
to build up the city of the future
and all they must do is make these buildings disappear
and then their way it is perfectly clear
we're all in this same project together
we speak the same language of economics
and it makes a lot of sense and it makes a lot of dollars
and if it makes a lot of homeless with no future, so what?

that the towers will be built is not debated
we hear them babbling in the press
words like urban planning and revitalization
they take away their homes and give them housing instead
though they have the gift of tongues they have no love
only the clanging of the factory bell
destroying the beauty, the chaos, the understanding
that is learned from that school called no future

and what doth it profit a man to leave another homeless
we who dare question this vanity
know that a prophet is not without honor
except among family in its own country
without the past there can be no future
the man ranting on the corner's been misunderstood
they have destroyed his past and given him no future
they look at their creation and say it is good

Before You Sing

before you sing
before you strum your silken strings
uncloud your mind
take yourself out of time
remember me as a child
unviolated and wild
laid out upon your bed
the wine but not the bread
your thirst among my fears
your verse for only my ears
but you had magic, you had might
you had everything in sight
and everything i gave to you
and still you do not know me

before you sing
before you strum your silver strings
put down your cup
which drowns the sounds of us
one hallowed night defiled
i conceived your child
the life that you disowned
the wife you tried to own
at the crossroads of will
the child you had me kill
but you had causes, you had hope
you always had enough rope
but as your mother i gave birth to you
and still you do not know me

before you sing
before you strum your muted strings
put down your cross
consider what it has cost
my mask it mirrors yours
the task you must endure
laid out upon your bed
to cup your weary head
but the mirror is unseen
and your life is obscene
you have poisoned well the songs you sell
you've created hell upon earth
and the gleemen laugh with their ghoulish glee
and still you do not know me


everyone knew that something had cracked
lately they even wrote songs
everyone knew of something she lacked
very few asked what was wrong
almost to a tee their lips were all sealed
totally immersed in their game
only using the muse she revealed
refusing to mention it by name

elfin ears sifting what to keep
long wispy curls hiding spikes
eyes that are always falling asleep
venus-de-milo-ing dislikes
all her collections of lyrics with names
tore holes in her confidence game
occasionally brightening her day just the same
refusing to mention it by name

endless numbers lit up as she passed
lifting her spirits like a jet
everyone said she would never be last
valentines stuffed in her net
all of us knew she collected us all
temporary insanity or blissfully sane
only i knew it to be her downfall
refusing to mention it by name

The Knight's Dream

we met as friends, as friends do meet
and swore our friendship we would keep
and turn our wrath on sacred quests
and not succumb to all those jealous jests

these dreams of mine i do not make
there was this woman of the lake
her face was young, her face was old
her voice was hot, her breath was icy cold

she dances on arthur's grave
amid the ruins on salisbury plain
in glastonbury's setting sun
and counts her suitors one by one

she let fall her handkerchief
he let fall the gauntlet grief
no second chances to decide
if might is right and right is on our side

converted by a wayward smile
he stood his ground demanding trial
and i who could not raise my pride
took his wound deep into my side

(repeat chorus)

but all the same i was to blame
i could not claim a martyr's name
for 'twas i who did betray
the sorcerer's mask i misused today

and only one thing troubles my heart:
a wound that will not succumb to art
that there are those who believe this lore
and conjure things worth fighting for

(repeat chorus)

The Nightmare

at the edge of the flame
where the heat is so clear
where there is nowhere left to hide
the smoke curls inside
the blue cellophane
in the neon shattered night
all her days she spent in despair
small cafés with her coat on the chair
the horse's head from the dustcover stared
how it stared
how it stared

patterns of rain
pearls of sweat
the stalls of the stable were clean
the locks of the mane
the veins of the neck
were taut and the nostrils were lean
all her days she'd been waiting for this ride
the thundering hooves and the moment to decide
the thrust of thighs and the scream from deep inside
deep inside
deep inside

at the edge of the flame
where it always has been
as long as you don't reach inside
she swallowed the wine
she shattered the glass
she somehow felt denied
all the night the waiter paced the room
wondering how and where and when to make his move
he stooped to sweep the glass, returned the stiffened broom
and she was gone
she was gone

Four Ways of Framing the Spring

i have stared at this drop of rain too long
so long it has disappeared
if i had touched this drop would it be here or gone?
i am a prisoner of my fears
the storm has passed me by again
this has all the makings of a drought
yet the desert has the most beautiful of all the sunsets
and anything's a work of art if you take the time to frame it

the women's skirts have a certain rustle in the spring
reminiscent of the leaves of fall
the park is lonely when it's crowded in spring
i feel suspended from it all
and i risked a fine for you today
picking park flowers for your hair
and still you ask me to define our relationship
well anything's a work of art if you take the time to frame it

he stared long at the tenement stairs
carefully lining up his shot
adjusting the lens to take in the chair
the naked lightbulb and the knot
and this one could win a prize or two
or hang on some banker's wall
another wasted life with no one to claim it
and anything's a work of art if you take the time to frame it

and i haunt the cafés where life's critics confide
idle conversation through idle lips
imagining novels from their wasted lives
marking time outside of it
i am beginning to see why there are 
more suicides in spring
for spring is such a crowning blow that nothing can follow it
and anything's a work of art if you take the time to frame it

The Child

and the child has found his way to the spring
with no one to lead him by hand
through the briars and brambles and nettles that sting
he follows each step of her plan
and the mother who washes her clothes by hand
looks up as the cranes cross the sky
as the old woman battles the chill on the strand
a shell that is left by the tide

and the child's built a boat to sail on the river
to play pretty prince to the queen
and the play is so real as to cause her to shiver
abandoned in the bulrushes unseen
and the mother who watches the ocean for help
for the boats filled with sweet spanish wine
as the old woman hobbles her way to the well
to draw up the flow with her line

and the child runs the beach with the horse-hooves of thunder
with his sword he does battle the waves
with abandon each thrust has now drawn him under
no thought and no spell can now save
and the mother who's left to watch o'er the spring
looks up as the horsemen pass by
as the old woman tends the boat as she sings
and holds out her hand for the tithe

in the time between time in the light before dawn
when the devil gets his due on the grass
and the sweet spanish wine lays spilled on the lawn
the sound on the wind does not last
in the time between time when the moon is at full
when love lies hobbled in the hay
by this water with no source and no force and no pull
by this water we are all washed away

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