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lyrics

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

credits

from Take The Slow Train, released April 18, 2016

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