A Tale from History (The Shooting)

(recorded by June Tabor, Iain Ballamy and Huw Warren

Quercus [ECM] 2013)  

Do you remember what he said

The tune he whistled when he left

Slipping on his coat to go

Do you remember what he said

 

Just a morning like the rest

Weather’s cold but we’re the best

But the best is still to come

I don’t remember what he said

 

It’s so easy making simple plans

 

Someone else’s dreams get twisted

Dreams we never dreamed existed

Party songs that make the night

Turn to this horrific might

 

Someone saw him close the door

Remembered what he couldn’t know

What he made and what he tried

Why he laughed and why he cried

 

It’s so easy making simple plans

 

Tales from history line our breath

Start with passion, end in death

Trigger pulled and fill his brain with songs

But are the songs the same

A tune of bullets tinkling in

There’s nothing left of you and him

Hope lies bleeding, pride and fear

Are breeding in the gutter here

 

And years and years and streets and streets

And fields and fields and lives and lives

And years and years and streets and streets

And fields and fields and lives and lives

And years and years and streets and streets

And fields and fields and lives and lives

And years and years and streets and streets

And fields and fields and lives and lives

 

Do you remember what he said

The tune he whistled when he left

Slipping on his coat to go

 

Cheerio...Cheerio...Cheerio

  

© David Ballantine

The Cornerstone

(Chorus)

You are the cornerstone

Of loving’s tender zone

You set my world to rights

Play down my crazy nights

You take it all away

The pain that I feel

You are the cornerstone

I’ll build upon

 

Strayed down some lonely roads

Where only my laughing shows

Stumbling from day to day

Trying to find my way

When this tired heart was running low

I bumped into your smile

I love you. It said I love you

 

(Chorus)

 

Climbing so high I knew

Only what clouds can do

Fell on my face again

The same old mistakes again

Still searching for what might have been

Until I saw your smile

I love you. It said I love you

 

(Chorus)

 

© David Ballantine

Belfast Dancing Slow

 

Some sad city will make me blue

And Belfast city, that girl is you

Your love is narrow, your heart is true

And no one else can take me from you

 

Just sitting sideways and never wrong

I’m running through you, the streets are long

I love religion, it makes me right

I’d kill to see you on another night

 

So where are you?

It’s all goodbye

You’ve had such a bad dream

Shhhh...

 

Belfast city you’re dancing slow

Let me cool your aching bones

Pull me closer on your stage

Before you fly into another rage

 

Tomorrow’s got a heart

But somebody loves you

Today

 

© David Ballantine

Chance and Cheery Town

 

Look into my face, I’ve got hallelujah grace

I got a whole lot missing, but nothing I can’t replace

Got a feeling in my heart, this old heart’s been chipped and down

I’m on my way to Chance and Cheery Town

 

There’s a hole in my shoe, but I don’t feel no pain

I’ll get around to worry when it starts to rain

I’m floating on a promise, you won’t see me frown

I’ve packed my bags for Chance and Cheery Town

 

(Chorus)

Love gets weary, love goes wrong

But now I know where I belong

So if you see me, say hello

You might meet me, I don’t know

Don’t hesitate to call around

To my brand new place

In Chance and Cheery Town

 

Momma take it easy, papa take it slow

We learn a lot from history, but the mystery makes us flow

Breathing in is interesting, but breathing out’s the show

So I’m checking out the sunshine on the Chance and Cheery Road

 

(Chorus)

Love gets weary, love goes wrong

But now I know where I belong…

 

 Come now, throw now all of your stones

But don’t try to get me on your telephones

You’re breaking up, I’m closing down

Till I’m up and running in Chance and Cheery Town

 

(Chorus)

 

© David Ballantine

It’s Funny How Life Goes On

 

Got a key in my pocket

A place in my head

A space in my heart

For what might have been said

The places we go to

When dreaming is gone

It’s funny how life goes on

 

There’s a song in the traffic

A memory in tow

A stream with a sparkle

Where does it flow?

A daffodil sways in a

Breeze that belongs

It’s funny how life goes on

 

(middle eight)

I know where I’m going

No map in my hand

Can’t say I’m lost

’Cause I know were I stand

A mile from your loving

And still going strong

It’s funny how loving goes wrong

 

The stream has a ticket

Sparkles and all

To a river beyond

In the night’s weary call

As I step to the door

Looks a little like home

It’s funny how life goes on

 

 © David Ballantine

Paint

 

I want a little dab of paint to colour in my day

I need a tiny drop of oil to smooth the blues away

I want a cup of something serious

That will make me go delirious

I want a car to drive my brain

I want a thief to take the pain

May it always be the same

May the rain forget it was meant to fall

 

Is there a heart without a door, a goal without a war

I need the time without a clock and a fall without a floor

Won’t you please just get me out of here

Everything is much too clear

There’s a horse behind a cart

And a beat that lost a heart

Before forever falls apart

May the night time find a different line

 

(Chorus)

Love and illusions are far

Like the light that fills a distant star

And the paint that covers all

Will be cracking on the wall

 

I want a little, I want a little,

I want a little, I want a little

 

(Repeat first verse and chorus twice)

 

 

© David Ballantine