Carry On, Crow

by Ichabod Wolf

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credits

released October 31, 2018

Produced by Tom Nash and Kieran Smith
Engineered and mixed by Tom Nash
Mastered by Lewis Young
All songs written and performed by Kieran Smith
With Simon James Clowes, Tom Didlock, Leila Hunt and Nicola Smith
Artwork by Tarquin Clark

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Track Name: The Fall of Saigon
It was the fall of Saigon
I was looking for a copy of the New York Times
To keep as a gift for my kids when I am gone
Just to prove I had some fun

They built the hydrogen bomb
I checked the weather over coffee
I’ve been feeling fine
Made tracks across the water just to prove it can be done
Never meant to hurt no one

And I’m worried I’ve been losing sight
Confused the TV screen for firelight
These are the things that keep me up at night
While I am safe and warm

And I’m ready to give up the fight
I’ve got a silent bark and toothless bite
It’s so much easier to run and hide
And shelter from the storm

A fourteen year old boy with a gun
Shoots the sky in sycophantic syncopation
The music of misinformation
I tap my toes along to that most lucrative song

They put the whole world in the palm of my hand
So I squeezed a little tighter
Just to let you know the chaos now is under my control
And what great fun
To put the squeeze on everyone
Track Name: Terms of Surrender
If I die now
At least there’s a guitar in my hands
Though I never made the big time
And I broke up the band
And all of my songs are derivative and bland
At least I’ll be going out singing

If I die now
At least I have holes in my shoes
Though I never won the heart
Of a lover with my moves
And I never quite managed to get in the groove
At least I’ll be going out dancing

People like me aren’t destined to be the contenders
It’s all too tough for someone so timid and tender

When you ask what good it’s for
When we’ll never win the war
I’ll negotiate the terms of my surrender

If I die now
At least I’ve a story to tell
Though it starts sad and slow
And it doesn’t end well
The part of the hunchback just might ring a bell
But at least I’ll be going out swinging

If I die now
At least I’ve left tracks in the sand
That they’ll say of me
There was a rambling man
Though I never did cover too much of this land
At least I tried to keep moving

People like me aren’t destined to be the contenders
It’s all too real for such a persistent pretender

When you ask what good it’s for
When we’ll never win the war
I’ll negotiate the terms of my surrender
Track Name: Bone Town
In this town
Since they closed the last factories down
I have been haunted by visions
And grave apparitions of you
A true rock and roller

Where the dogs don’t bark
At the car alarm noise anymore
There is a house
With a room
With your name in a heart on the floor
Reliving histories

A glass raised in toast to the dead drunk
Told stories so charming he choked on his own silver tongue
And I don’t believe we will see his likes again
But I’m proud to have walked on this earth the same time as him

In the ground
Where the soil and the sod keep us bound
I have been burying hatchets
Deep under the ashes
Where you once turned to cinder

Between nicotine yellow florets
On the living room wall
There is a photo of you and my old man
Preparing for war
Unrecognisable

A glass raised in toast to the dead drunk
Come back from California still singing that old Irish song
You will find him propping up the bar
With all the might of crooked plough and pilot star

In peculiar discourse on regret and remorse
As the end of our abstinence nears
There is a sad strange refrain
When you mention the name
Of a kid I’ve not thought of in years

It’s a lonely walk home ‘til the rain turns to snow
And we know it’s not just snowing here
There’s a vast blanket of white
Wraps the dead and alive
Til the whole goddamn world disappears

And the preachers keep telling me that I should feel blessed
For being in receipt of a whole host of gifts must’ve been misaddressed
And what use is music and song
When all that I hear is the sound of rattling bones
Track Name: Consonants
O, Melusine! My serpent queen
Return to me
We can whisper through cracks in the wall
Play at Pyramus and Thisbe
And such things I would tell you
Such terrible unshapely things

I miss the lips I never kissed
The lies composed at your fingertips
The coil of your tail and the crush of your hips
The very sum of earthly bliss

In your big doe eyes are the ocean
In which I would happily drown
And after the nuclear fallout
I’ll come running
We’ll hunker down

Ondine Ondine
On the tide return to me
For though I’ve little much to offer
How I would love you with a fervour
How I might just boil over
At the page
At the pain
At the consonants in your name

I miss the mist that bellows from your lips
The heave of your breast and the pulse at your wrist
Your lithium kiss and your wrought iron fist
The very sum of earthly bliss

Love of mine are you still human
Or all my desires in tangible form
For even if you were the raindrops
I’ll forever
Be chasing the storm

The thought of him beneath your bedclothes
Like the merchants in the temple
If only you would let me worship
To give my tongue in exhalation
And all things broken and uncomely
We can rebuild
We can rebuild
Track Name: Painted Horses
In the coffee shops of Amsterdam
Full blooded Anglo-Saxon men
Vomit and shout
They’re slaves unto their culture

While in Birdholme Working Men’s Club
Stands the only girl I have ever loved
She’s draining suds from her husband’s half of porter
I am wide-eyed
A lamb to the slaughter

In some piss-stain room off Boythorpe Road
Talking in code down borrowed phones
All the rest is overload
And I’m losing focus

‘Til someone calls another round
And a short one more to wash it down
There’s no need to be nervous now
We’re in this together
It was so good for so long
Nothing lasts forever

It was only once I’d returned to my senses
Did I realise you were always at the centre
We were all just painted horses going round

So the Artex ceiling drips its stalactites
While the smoke crawls through the window into night

Once the priest delivers sacrament
The coroner scrawls accident
We’ll carry on
The world must keep on turning

‘Til all that’s left are souvenirs
The only proof you were ever here
And the loose change in my pocket is money for burning
God knows I feel old now
There’s so much I’m still learning

Alone astride the carousel
Rich tapestry or living hell
The only constant is the changing of the seasons

But I believe in Herrmann Hesse
In Gustav Klimt and Joan Baez
I believe we must be put here for a reason
I’d unlock the secrets
But can’t get the key in

Then how shall I articulate this grief
With the romance of a poet
Or the honour of a thief
The things we treasure most we cannot keep
I’ll miss you old friend but I will not weep

We begin again
When we go to sleep
Track Name: Little Light
The bells the bells
Must they haunt me
Each and every waking hour
Do they toll in remorse or for victory
Who was it gifted them such power

And mother is it true
The poison passes through
Then what will I become

I’ve seen it in the eyes
And heard it in the cries
The unmovement of your sons

Come
Let me in
I won’t bark
I won’t bite
I’m just looking for a little light
To shine on me

Sweet sister I beg you
Forgive me
I know not what I’ve done
When the source of your sorrow is a mystery
Must I always be the solution

And lover is it true
Your red eyes once were blue
Then what have I become

I’ve seen it in the eyes
And heard it in the sighs
I never was the one

Sometimes we all must be somebody new
‘Til midnight strikes and I am myself again

The bells the bells
Must the taunt me
How long now ‘til I succumb
Do they toll for the good man I tried to be
Or this heathen I’ve become

And mother is it true
I learnt these tricks from you
Then what will I become
There’s a rider on the rise
And thunder in the sky
A bugle call
A beating drum
Track Name: Races Run
I was four miles I guess
From the nearest Tesco Express
Stoned to the bone
Under duress
Lord would you help me get out of this mess
And back on the straight and narrow

I was put here in jest
To distract and distress
Who the fuck did I think I was trying to impress
Cupid must be blind
Or shortsighted at best
I was hit with somebody else’s arrow

Ain’t you ashamed of what we’ve done
Then again we had some fun
Let’s pass on the baton
Had chances but our race is run

On a cold day in hell
At The Heartbreak Hotel
I asked the king how he kept his command
He said some things you don’t tell
And he simply won’t sell
Not for all of the rhinestones in Graceland

So I payed what I owe
Like some regular Joe
We’d been playing for fortune and fame
But it’s a hard line you toe
And I’ve my own row to hoe
So I reluctantly withdraw from the game

So I got myself smart
Checked the maps and the charts
To see where there’s land left to claim
But I quickly lost heart
Got sent back to the start
To begin it all over again
Track Name: King of the River
On gilded ships we met the shore
Some filthy spectre of the sun
And carved the words there on the stone
All of the things we’d left undone

And the heavens hung above us
While we stood on feet of clay

And of this earth we both are made
And Avalon was yours and mine

I used to think that I was king of the river
But now I know
I’m just the ebb and flow
Going nowhere
I am nothing at all

With cruellest winter came decay
My crooked heart now caving in
You were my queen and I your slave
To Aphrodite we gave sin

And the oceans parted for us
While we took an easier way

And of your blood were borne the wolves
And of your bones the borderlines

And Olympus rose before us
While our bodies turned to clay

While in Elysian Fields you dwell
I build my home in Asphodel
Track Name: Hideous Heart
I have ought
But a hideous heart
It’s yearning for the ugly love
Of a better half

And a hideous heart
Does little but pine
Receiving no reply
Such is a hideous heart as mine

And a hideous heart
Is battered and bruised
Your fingernails claw
At my open wounds

Please be golden children
Please be everything I’m not

Needs made must
With a terrible lust
Everyone I’ve ever loved
Is turned to dust

And a hideous heart
Knows little but pain
I’ve seen the true face
Of Dorian Grey

And a hideous heart
Is battered and bruised
Your fingernails claw
At my open wounds

You are golden children
You are everything I’m not

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