I have written Lyrics since my time in The Mekons (1976-82).  Those shown here are more recent, but have no current home, if you are interested in them do let me know. Contact: whitemarkarts@gmail.com

They are subject to the usual rules of copyright

I took me down to the river

 I took myself down to the river

and I washed me down

the water came over my Hunters

I haven’t seen sight of him yet

 

I stood at the crossroads at midnight

In terror, guitar in my hand

I wished for the tunes of the devil

I get little songs about guilt

 

I chant for meaning at sunrise

I turn at dawn to the East

I doze to the sky getting lighter

And wake to the taste of bad teeth

 

I‘ve chased God down the nave

Tried to take him up the aisle

Can’t get no tendency to deprave

it should stick out by a mile

 

I walk along past a heritage sign

14 martyrs were burned right here

Can a non believer have a sense of sin?

want to kill fellow sons of Abraham?

 

 I’ve seen saints in a painting

A blue eyed god in the sky

The sky is grey, visibility poor

A better forecast goes Sailing By

 

Want to remove unresting death?

Look no further than the Trinity

Sign up here for the loyalty card

Buy one god and get two free

 

Unlike the cat in the box

You are either dead or you’re not

Is this tale of greed and power

Really the best you’ve got?

 

I took myself down to the river

and I washed me down

But the water came over my Hunters

and I haven’t seen sight of him yet.

 Chorus

I’m waiting to see Christ in a pizza,

His mother in a doughnut ring

Every time I ride to the river

I get nothing more than wet

 

Mechanic wanted

I’ve spent my time by the side of the road

Trying to fix the gears on a slipping heart.

I’ve watched happy families driving by

Mr Bun the baker and his car full of smiles.

 

No loud lament for eternal love

Just drizzle drizzle on the roof

And the squeak of wipers on the screen

Like me they’re old and none too smooth.

 

No loud lament for eternal love

just squeaking rubber and not quite rain

No croaking cry to a god above

A defective vehicle on tow again

 

The caravan I towed contained no love

Just a little bit of sadness and a sense of loss

We’ve been to Misery says the sticker on the screen

Along with the National Trust and Camberwick Green

 

Down along the bypass, to the end of the road

You don’t turn right and you don’t turn left,

The end of love is not speaking at all

From Hangar Lane to the M6 Toll

 

Families like nations are not built on truth

Our little white lies went slowly black

When I said I’ve stopped drinking

She found the bottles and never came back

 Chorus

There’s no kiss at the turn of a mile

My curiosity ran out, after a while

I hit sorrow in all four gears

My little deuce coupe just made out of tears.

Blake’s Lament (Walking Back to Happiness)

 I stood here once to watch the river

Now I sit to watch the cars.

Every thumb stroke marks the numbers

Mind forged manacles just flow on down

 

John Clare wrote I can’t forget,

walking up the Great North Road.

Chewing grass and eating sadness

To see the grave of his first girl

 

John Constable takes the scenic route,

painting greens in a Sainsbury’s row.

Francis Bacon strokes meat on offer

Sliding swiftly down to the casino

 

I walked with Diggers on St Georges Hill,

walk don’t walk on Kinder Scout.

Saw convoys beaten on the Beanfield

And miners broken on Orgreave Plain

 

The sky is blue as Ford Orion

When I input movement on my PDA

In my dying dreams of innocence

I see no visions in the darksome air.

 

 Chorus:

I saw angels at Peckham Rye

Though father beat me for telling lies.

Angels in a tree at Peckham Rye

South Circular going down to the M25

Not in my name (or, not if but when)

When we said goodbye at the depot

She wore a pack apon her back.

She was older, we were sadder,

The girl looked nothing like a military man.

 

When I watched the leader’s new speech

He wore a black suit apon his back.

Smiling down to 600 cities

Slaughtering thousands with simple faith

 

When I took the text from her captain

Sending back her military pack.

Our dear daughter ‘neath the sun,

Was never, ever coming back.

 

When I sit in the pub by the station

An old mac is wet apon my back.

All those clever hopes for the nation,

Left me crying and no plan of attack.

 

When Adam found the body of Abel

That pain won’t go back into the sack.

The first father outliving his child,

Another little one never coming back.

 

I hear her mother in my head

See a cap badge and a wedding ring

All she said was:

Not in my Name

Not in my Name etc

Saul on the road

I’m pissed with all this walking

Riding out a rail on dirty sand

I’m hot, I’m tired, I’m sober

I’m out collecting taxes for the man.

 

Then some bastard sticks his hand from the sky

Say’s he’s the truth, the light and the way

Well Damascus you can fuck off

I vote circus, I vote money, I vote girls.

 

So I little heart heaven

In the beginning the word, the text

though I still need a drink or three

and a cutie in a too small vest

 

And the man with the hand says this high

I jump and I jump and I jump

And the man with the hand has my mobile

I worship him from on high

 

I’m just here in the Vatican

waiting for the best to happen

Taxes come in from far and wide

I voted circus, I voted money, I voted girls

 

Then some bastard sticks his hand from the sky

Says he’s the truth, the light and the way

Well Damascus you can fuck off

I vote circus, I vote money, I vote girls.

 Chorus

But Oh Lord I’ve lost my mobile

No one can reach me now

Oh Lord I’ve lost my mobile

Find it and I’ll walk your way

Slow fade, end.

 Welcome welcome to the long stay ward

The falling of the House of Usher

I lie so trussed and dripped in my shroud

I don’t run away like I used to

 

Daytime TV talks turkey Trevor

Trev, how deep are we now?

In his hair and his gell and his leather

Deep enough he said turning to bow.

 

The computer calls me illegal

The first time since punk died away

The man in the next bed ends it all

I can’t wait to go all the way

 

I see back through thick, thick glass

Uniforms marching down and up again

Stand by me and watch the camera pass

Time runs down into a single frame

 

Down below the Prospect of Whitby

Men drown on the incoming tide

The child of my child demands money

from close up to slow pan I shoot wide

 

It’s another good day for the elderly

Just move my chair to the sun

It’s another good day for the elderly

Won’t have to go through it again

 Chorus

So this is what it’s like to be happy

Good to find after all these years

I’ve got my chair in front of the telly

And nurse gives pills, so cheers my dears

Sneeze we all fall down

I’m planning the songs for my funeral,

With a nose rubbed red like a clown

I’m planning the songs for my funeral

at least till this cold dies down

Every life shall have some roses

Every life shall have some thorns

someone took away my flowers

life in a world full of pricks

I lie like a whale without bearings

A beach looms up on my side

Stranded in grit and worn plastic

I’ll stink when it comes to low tide,

Like God who saw everything was good

Till one cough later I feel despair

I don’t remember ordering sainthood

Or finding that I just don’t care

Hanging around in the town of unsleep

When every single shop is shut

Stuck where the shit runs thigh deep

Hoping my throat will be cut

Against the background noise of the past

I’m always at home to Mr Gloom

The Enemy of Promise?

When Braque first met Picasso

They went for a beer at Barney’s,

Pollock asked them out for a fight,

The Velvets tuned down in the corner,

And Michelangelo scowled at us all.

When Jackson and Hank get talking

and pissing away in the fire,

there’s no one here can stop them

so Willem talks Dutch to the wall

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

Off duty Raphael, eyes girls all night,

Benvenuti Leonardo lovely in lilac,

Lisping golden mean with beauty

It’s boys in the back room again.

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

Ernest and those who can stand him

drink Bellinis at Harry’s till dawn.

Request  Gin and O at Mollys

And listen to the siren call

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

Robert taking photos with Patti,

though only in black and in white.

My doctor feeding milk to John Lee

Saying no we don’t need no more.

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

While Bob sits staring at Andy

Lucian and Francis have large ones

with Maureen in the Colony Rooms.

As Andy films Bob, one and all.

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

Now coming up to midnight

Last orders in gardens of pleasure

You might hurry up please, it’s time

TS raises another glass to Ezra

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

Calypso pours Odysseus a stiff one

To keep him staying on site

The Fisherman with us drink Flowers

To keep Dylan T standing at all

And Michelangelo scowls at us all

At the Baron Hotel in Aleppo

Orenz takes tea with Shariff

Leonardo is back testing the water

While his boys crush ice with their teeth

And Michelangelo scowls at us all

Living sculptures stand drinking Gordons

While Gilbert is dancing with George

Rimbaud is goosing Verlaine again

In the French so our vessels are small

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

Jack types his being on paper

while Bill puts his up his arm

cutting time in the Café de Paris

Berlin David is watching it all

And Michelangelo scowls at us all.

Every night down at the Fenton

We drank our own body weight

in beer and opinion and laughter

mortality and mortgage could wait

And Michelangelo still scowled at us all

Coda

We’re down drinking at the Cedar

Downing a few at the bar

Living it large with the old boys

Getting one in for them all

Triage

Three wise men come in from the bar

Counting their lives in pints of beer

One day I thought I’d be sitting there

Nobody said life was fair

 

From enclosure to closure

it was ever thus

men bound up for the common share

just goods sold on as surplus

 

I liked it out on the farm

Flowers grow in the corn

Wilting after reapings done

Now it’s shot by a hired gun

 

There was never much of a welcome

When I came back each day

But that was where I came from

I will never go there again

In the summer out to cricket

Be one of the big house team

No matter what I wanted

I was volunteered again

 

We went out with the horses

Though I’m an arable man

We went up to the fighting

A horse that scared would run

 

Michaelmas plough in blood and bone

To make the crops grow strong

Cold and grey and not yet spring

Wrong time, wrong crop, all wrong

 

I won’t have to hide my eyes now

Wherever I am going

Thank you miss for smiling

Holding my hand while I go

 Chorus

It will all be over by Christmas

We’ll put our feet up with the rest

It will all be over by Christmas

You can lay me down to rest

This Special Brew; the climbing boys song

Lets go back to Hercules buildings, late nights in Lambeth

Where Billy talked of painters, shining ancient in his dreams

Who showed him angels, four colours and the truth

Triangles on circles inside golden glowing dreams.

We drank burning spirits running the length of Fetter Lane

Billy’s golden arches shining out on a starry sky.

Jewels of Albion running down the kennels and the lane

We lay on dreaming beds on golden pillars high.

Let’s go back to Billy’s, his beauty made us pure

labouring printer of ages in the Valley of Despair

Marigolds in his garden and vines around the door

Stepping out with songs to light the darksome air.

We saw Billy’s Newton kill thought with reason

The compass arc that crucifies the bow

For every artist a perfect season

Now Billy lies with dissenters down on Bunhill row

 Chorus

Lets go back to Billy’s, he is our Liberty boy

This sacred land, this special brew that puts us down to die

Lets go back to Billy’s, washed by rain shining in the sun,

Climbing boys reach for fathers high, our work is never done.

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