Take The Slow Train

by Philip Jeays

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1.
HERE SHE COMES The height of the season The heat crawls and clings Waiters in waistcoats stand in alleys And smoke by the bins Then just when you think It couldn’t get hotter That’s when the fire begins And here she comes Rising and falling Her way through the crowd A barber’s blade riding A long strap A skirt of tight leather She’s naked under her sweater And somewhere there between The alley and the orchard Somewhere there between The talking and the touching Somewhere there between The desert and the ocean There somewhere You’ll call her name And the old men will smile For they know all too well There is a time to fall in love And a time to run like hell The wind rises up And blows in from the shore While boys playing pinball twist and shout And kites rattle and soar But just when you think It’s turning cooler The weatherman points to the door And here she comes Walking like treacle Poured over a spoon Her toffee-blonde hair tied up Falls down She moves like the ocean She rocks and rolls in slow motion And somewhere there between The orchard and the apple Somewhere there between The touching and the kissing Somewhere there between The ocean and the drinking There somewhere You’ll sigh her name And the old men will smile For the old men recall How sometimes you fall in love But sometimes you just fall Down, down, down Down, down And the lights float away Down, down And the colours all run Then just when you think It’s all over You find out it’s barely begun And here she comes Coy and beguiling All glitter and fog Beautiful, rueful Her eyes rise Like a saint on a window A stained-glass holy placebo And somewhere there between The apple and the maggot Somewhere there between The kissing and the silver Somewhere there between The drinking and the salt There somewhere You’ll curse her name And the old men will smile To hear you complain For they know, just one hint of a kiss And you’ll do it all over again
2.
THOUGHTS OF ADELINE She pulls on her coat With a butterfly stroke The most beautiful girl in the world She flicks out her hair That her collar trapped there The most beautiful girl in the world I’d tease her then inventing men Who never had possessed her Who’d end their grief somewhere beneath An off-peak train to Leicester She’d punch my arm and laugh And chase me down The garden path And how many flowers in Spring Heads bobbing in the wind I cut down for Adeline She would laugh and I would sing Days like dandelions blowing in the wind But oh how strange still to find These years bring to mind Thoughts of Adeline Thoughts of Adeline The fragile breaking daylight shone So delicately on her New York brownstone eyes beyond Their fire escape mascara She dances down the silence Of city streets in early dawn And half asleep, on the train she draws pictures On my arm, then she says ‘Come and find me Sunday Underneath the weeping willow’ And there in musk and white muslin Her knees tucked in beneath her chin She took my heart unopposed With one eye open And one eye closed And how many flowers in Spring Heads bobbing in the wind I cut down for Adeline She would laugh and I would sing Days like dandelions blowing in the wind But oh how strange still to find These years bring to mind Thoughts of Adeline Thoughts of Adeline
3.
TAKE THE SLOW TRAIN The gardens are mown And the hedges are sheared There’s no sign of flames But you can smell the fire God loves a man In hat and a beard To dream is human But fancy-dress is divine There’s a warning on your peanuts Packet may contain nuts Just look at how the rivers All run into the sea There’s a man in the precinct He could be a deviant He could be the anti-Christ He could be the chosen one He doesn’t seem to blink He doesn’t care what you think He’s a bona fide nickel-plated Grade A consumer He’s a man on a mission He’s got laser beam precision He walks like a stranger But he knows like a madman That’s the way You find Jesus That’s the way You buy your car insurance That’s the way You accessorise That’s the way You’re an individual People travel miles To lay flowers for a child They never even knew It’s conspicuous compassion It’s sentiment as status It’s lining the procession Emotions are credentials When people crave importance Watch the angry man Run to hit the prison van Just look at how the rivers All run into the sea There’s a man on my TV Showing me his MBE They pat him on the head And tell him he’s a good boy Everybody needs a prize To make them feel special A martyr has his paradise A mistress picks out something nice Have yourself another slice Buy into the dream Your life is over With your first down payment That’s the way You find Jesus That’s the way You buy your car insurance That’s the way You accessorise That’s the way You’re an individual It doesn’t matter who you are We’ve got the colour just for you We’ve got a range of finishes Designed with you in mind Look into the dark You can still see the light But it’s fainter now And there are papers to sell Keep your head down And you’ll be alright Just pop your top off Hey, we can sell that smile Magazine snappers snap Side boob and thigh gap Just look at how the rivers All run into the sea Take a brief nonentity Forge a golden effigy Put them on a pedestal Call them a celebrity This is the realm of Sisyphus This is the modern alchemy Another burning Icarus’s Meltdown in the Sun Looking for a fire escape A diet or a sex tape Grasping for glitter In the noise and circus That’s the way You find Jesus That’s the way You buy your car insurance That’s the way You accessorise That’s the way You’re an individual Oh yeah The kids are in love again They’ve got a new buzz again And everything’s amazing Have you heard this band? They’ve got a bandoneon They’ve got an accordion They’ve got a mandolin And someone dressed like an Edwardian Time will tell But you know damn well It’s just a matter of when They’re gonna break America That’s the way You find Jesus That’s the way You buy your car insurance That’s the way You accessorise That’s the way You’re an individual You know you want it You know you want it You want a piece of everything You want to live in orange skin You want to all be different Just as long as you’re the same You want to sieve war graves for peace You want to know the hand of God You want a tilt at paradise With faith and home essentials You’ve got time, you’ve got views You’ve got interactive news So why not tell us what you think Hashtag la la la You’ve got blood, you’ve got fire You’ve got all your heart’s desire And when the world ends You can film it on your phone And all the boys Well they just wanna be And all the girls They’re like ‘don’t look at me’ And all the boys They model Summer clothes And all the girls want a ride With the soft top down Well It doesn’t matter who you are no We’ve got the colour just for you We’ve got a range of finishes Designed, designed with you in mind Take it down Spin it around now Take it down Spin it around now Take the slow train home Take the slow train home Take the slow train home Take the slow train
4.
Mavis 05:12
MAVIS There’s a black girl on the corner By the old newspaper stand Wearing headphones, eating cherries She spits the stones into her hand Nodding to the music She sways and taps her feet Dancing in the early Evening heat And milling on the pavement Boys stand around outside Thin and sharp as razors But still trying to look wide They tense like drivers waiting For the lights to change But they’re just going through the gears And back again Though something of those feelings Still remains The black girl eats her cherries Then she throws the stones away She walks down through the market As it folds itself away She teeters on the kerbside As she waits to cross the road And she smiles at the man Who lets her go The faithful march to prayer Clinging on for all they’re worth They know their gods are dying As they retreat they scorch the earth They blame the gays and godless For the famine or the rain But they’re just going through the gears And back again Though something of those feelings Still remains The black girl meets her boy And she greets him with a kiss And watching I remember It was on a night like this When we were just teenagers How Johnny took the piss That night when I first Kissed you Mavis I think that I last saw you At the end of Connaught Road Just before they pulled the house down When the cracks already showed And I told you that I loved you And we never spoke again You were just going through the gears And back again Though something of those feelings Still remains The black girl walks away Arm in arm with her beau Through the warm Whitechapel evening Heading down the Mile End Road I watch them disappear Laughing as they go Waiting for my own true love To show And picking at the stitching Of those battles lost or won The memories unravel As the years come undone Sally sitting on the jukebox As Joe Jackson plays again French cigarettes, French kissing Mavis dancing in the rain And suddenly you’re standing there All Monday eyes and lazy hair And I’m still that teenage boy I was Standing here tongue-tied because You are so beautiful What else can I say to you I love you I love you I love you
5.
THE DEVIL’S TUNES Our dear and charming American cousins Plead the right to bear arms And so die in their dozens But who could deny them This longing they have To visit their children On mortuary slabs Oh it’s true that the devil Has all the best tunes And when he plays I just gotta sing along La la la... And there are some holy men Without even taking a look Say a man should be killed Just for writing a book They take to the streets And they call for his head Then they riot and fight And it’s them get killed instead Oh it’s true that the devil Has all the best tunes And when he plays I just gotta sing along La la la... And there are women who say They love bastards the best That a decent man Can’t hold their interest But when the bastards behave Like they wanted them to How they whine and complain And come crying to you Oh it’s true that the devil Has all the best tunes And when he plays I just gotta sing along La la la... Well maybe I’m wrong Maybe I shouldn’t laugh At people who choose A different path And oh yes I know I’m going to hell But knowing what I know Maybe it’s just as well Coz’ I know that the devil Has all the best tunes So I can nick them from him Instead of Jacques Brel
6.
THE BALLAD OF A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE GIRL Shy woods watch beyond the tracks Tin-faced skies that spit and spill Their leaves across the pavement cracks That lovers’ superstitions fill And you, All fragile swagger and disdain Anorexia and cocaine Well aren’t you quite Quite the modern girl So detached so controlled You walk away so cold I wonder why You called my name And even more Quite why I came at all And why small town people seem to think You’ll be impressed by how much they can drink This time of year Northamptonshire Can freeze you to your bones Kate Jones October seeps into the cracks Left by September’s breaking days Decaying houses turn their backs And then their thoughts to better days And you, All frail reason and complaint Modern art without the paint Well aren’t you quite Quite the modern girl All double vodkas and high heels Low esteem and high ideals I was surprised As anyone To find you here At twenty one you know And more to then one day realise How brightly still your light shone in my eyes It would appear Northamptonshire Makes shoes complete with stones Kate Jones
7.
Waterloo 04:16
WATERLOO Walking down from Waterloo I saw them hug as lovers do Along the river bank And I would just have passed them by If something had not caught my eye That made me wander back And getting close as I could get I saw that both were soaking wet Both soaking to the skin And that their hug was less to love And more as to some drifting wood To which drowning sailors cling They held each other in their arms The way slow dancing lovers dance Just rocking to and fro And on their arms home-made tattoos Whispered all they had to lose Was lost long long ago And as a couple turned away I overheard the woman say He’d pulled her from the Thames And there they stood, lost and naive Like children who still believe Love songs with happy ends As in defiance or self defence She begged him ‘Will you love me Every second of every minute Of every hour of every day Will you fight for me Will you spit in angels’ faces Will you curse love’s holy scriptures Would you die for me When all the world is aching And there’s nothing left to live for Will you breathe for me When I am old and I am tired And there’s no more breath inside me Will you hold me when I am broken Will you know me with words unspoken And if the monsters come again Will you lead me safe away Will you hold me close and say All our dreams will come true?’ And a cold wind ran through Waterloo Then one by one the people cleared And as for them they disappeared Alongside the river wall Leaving as they walked away Just a puddle there to say They were ever there at all And suddenly it seemed to me Like she was you and he was me And we were drowning just like them Clinging just to stay afloat Clinging still to every note Of love songs with happy ends So in defiance or self defence I’ll tell you ‘I still love you Every second of every minute Of every hour of every day I will fight for you I will spit in angels faces I will curse love’s holy scriptures I would die for you When all the world is aching And there’s nothing left to live for I will breathe for you When you are old and you are tired And there’s no more breath inside you I will hold you when you are broken I will know you with words unspoken And if the monsters come again I will lead you safe away I will hold you close and say All our dreams will come true’ And a cold wind ran through Waterloo
8.
THIS IS THE AGE OF THE NAKED EMPERORS My ten-year-old nephew name of Thomas Ironically left us with no doubt In him the devil was upon us And that that devil was devout When he began to scream and shout And streams of filth came pouring out We tried to bribe him into silence With threats of Santa's non-compliance But that just deepened his defiance He said 'Open your eyes I know it's dad You fucking twats' This is the age of the naked emperors The psychic conjurors The Jungle and X Factor This is the age of the aura therapist Your devils are all cock now please get dressed We're not impressed And so to calm his disposition And help take his mind off everything We took him to an exhibition Of those artists that are 'in' Where people nod and stroke their chin At those great artworks housed within But as I gave an explanation Of just what made an installation He cut across my ostentation He said 'Open your eyes It's just a bed You fucking twat' This is the age of the naked emperors The psychic conjurors The Jungle and X Factor This is the age of the aura therapist We've all looked at your cock now please get dressed We're not impressed I said 'My songs will make me famous I'll get rich and have you cured abroad' He said my claims were quite outrageous And that my evidence was flawed My songs left everybody bored And I was hated or ignored I said 'No, fame will be the answer It will bring me love and cash and laughter And then I'll live happy ever after' He said 'Open your eyes It isn't real You fucking twat' This is the age of the naked emperors The psychic conjurors The Jungle and X Factor This is the age of the aura therapist We're voting off your cock now please get dressed We're not impressed So then we came to this decision To place him in the hands of God The vicar said an exorcism Would soon put right the little sod We gave the reverend the nod 'Don't spoil the child nor spare the rod' But there before the congregation As people prayed for his salvation Young Tom cried out with indignation He said 'Open your eyes There's nothing there You fucking twats' This is the age of the naked emperors The psychic conjurors The Jungle and X Factor This is the age of the aura therapist Two thousand years of cock now please get dressed We're not impressed So finally we took him to a clinic To see what the doctor could explain She looked him over for a minute Then she said 'You've come in vain He isn't ill he's got a brain And that's what's driving him insane' And so, good people, in summation Don't give your kids an education Intelligence just breeds frustration When you're living in a world That's fucking full Of fucking twats This is the age of the naked emperors The psychic conjurors The Jungle and X Factor This is the age of the aura therapist Just put away your cocks and please get dressed We're not impressed
9.
THE WIDEST WALK Where does it begin? The longing or the look? Is there a wider walk in all the world Than for a lonely man up to a girl? Love is just a game We never won But hold me just the same Till morning comes Then step into the light Stretch to touch the stars Even if you never will But fail and fail again It’s the stretching that is wonderful It’s the stretching that’s incredible It’s the stretching that’s so beautiful And it’s the stretching makes life special to me To me Where does it begin The struggle to engage? Is there a wider walk in all the world Than for a man to step on to a stage And every little town Is just the same The dressing room run down The fear again Then step into the light Stretch to touch the stars Even if you never will But fail and fail again It’s the stretching that is wonderful It’s the stretching that’s incredible It’s the stretching that’s so beautiful And it’s the stretching makes life special to me To me Stretch to touch the stars Even if you never will But fail and fail and fail again It’s the stretching that is wonderful It’s the stretching that’s incredible It’s the stretching that’s so beautiful And it’s the stretching makes life special to me To me

about

CD version available here: www.jeays.com

credits

released April 18, 2016

Philip Jeays: Vocal, guitar, other nonsense
Vince Cordell: Piano
John Peacock: Solo electric guitar
William George Q: Bass
Arvin Johnson: Drums
David Blanchard: Saxophone
Adam Thrupney-Watt: Trumpet
Saul Moine: Trombone
Jim Smith: Bass trombone
Lucy Capel: Clarinet

And the massed ranks of the Aldercott Philharmonic Orchestra

All songs written by Philip Jeays and arranged by Vince Cordell, Philip Jeays and William George Q

Thanks to Pete, Emma, Geoff, Will, Robin, Robb, Paul Jackson, Ali at Brighton Road, all of the musicians above as well as David Harrod, Jezza Campbell, and Paul and Kerry Stapleton

Cover photo by Steve Best
Recorded at Ditton Pye and Brighton Road studios
Mixed and mastered by Vince Cordell at the Little Alabama School House
A Ditton Pye Production for Irregular Records

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