'Archive': Demos, Out​-​takes and One​-​offs 1995​-​2000

by Penelope Swales

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1.
Dizzy Edge of Freedom © Penelope Swales I see you Standin' on The dizzy edge of freedom But it takes courage to take the leap On the edge I hold my breath To see you soarin', but Will you do it? Here's a story 'Bout a very talented man that I once knew Who could write song and tell stories That put all the hardest things About life into words for me, And every time I saw him I felt New worlds opening up before me I wished the world could hear him sing He played guitar and sang in a band That played in a town that some people call a city And sometimes worked his nine-to-five And sometimes schemed his unemployed schemes And came from a culture that said Tryin' to live for music is a foolish dream And you must be stable and serene I saw you standin' on A stage that I'd just stepped from "Who's the spunk with the guitar?" We both thought I drove miles Out of my way to drive you home and You said, "I'm sorry, It's not to be, I've been well and truly caught." And you said "As my thirties yawn before me I'm getting edgy. I've always dabbled, but never done I have stayed safe, Stayed close to the hearth Close to love Ah, but something's gonna have to give soon." I wheeled wide, far in my Orbit of the East Coast The next time through, I cocked my ear A hunted smile, a matter of time You said "I love her But I can't keep shedding these tears" Gossip and debate were raging 'Bout your behaviour Then Rome crumbled in a day Amid the cries of accusation The condemnation We took our chance In the warm afternoon, For one sweet hour we lay I held my breath To see what you'd do next Would you take the chance and fly away To where opportunities lay You were making plans That changed and changed and changed again In the unexpected fragile dawn of a new day I think you were realisin' you were Gonna have to go away I saw you Wrestlin' with a Stage that I have been through I takes courage to follow dreams Livin' with the Fear of failure Takes getting used to To leave your home and what that means Amid all your intoxication The exhilaration I could see the fear of freedom in your eyes In your moment of doubt and hesitation There was somebody waiting And she took the chance to secure her prize The next I heard, The new word was - well, maybe next year And I knew next year would never come And I hear your New lover Don't like to share you with the music she's gonna feed those fears And keep you close to home Darlin', love is not always the answer Sometimes it's a cancer You can swap one prison, one lover For another On and on and never have to Face your life I saw you Standin' on The dizzy edge of freedom But it takes courage to take the leap On the edge I held my breath to see you soarin', but You didn't do it Here's a story 'Bout a very talented man that I once knew But like so many others of us When he got the chance to make his dreams come true He hesitated, deliberated Liberation is scary and new and well, He didn't do it It's just a story 'Bout a very talented man that I once knew Who could write song and tell stories That put all the hardest things About life into words for me, And every time I saw him I felt New worlds opening up before me And I wish you could have heard him sing
2.
Amy's Okay 04:29
Words and music ©Matt Radford Amy's Okay © Matt Radford Amy's very bored She's skint and feeling so bad Because she's unemployed She wants to play bass in a real speed-metal band Amy's got a new haircut Didn't make her feel a whole lot better When her boyfriend tried to break up He couldn't say it to her face so he put it in a letter Amy spends her day Walking 'round St Kilda Where she always says "g'day!" To all the people that she meets that's why they think she's so peculiar Chorus: But she's so strong When she gets her head together But it hurts to see that sadness in her eyes She's so strong But she changes like the weather And it's hard to find the confidence inside Amy needs her friends So she meets them at the Espy In the small cafe at 10 Amy reads their future in their peppermint tea Amy tells her friends About her major new disaster Well the guy's run off again And her friends agree with her when she says all men are bastards Repeat chorus Amy wants to change So she writes five affirmations And she chants them every day But her attempts at meditation always end up in frustration Amy's sick of tears And she's tired of all the fighting Well, she wants to cut her fears She hates playing the game, but it makes it more exciting Repeat chorus But Amy's okay, Amy's okay Amy's okay, Amy's okay Amy's okay, Amy's okay Amy's okay, Amy's okay.
3.
Shoe 00:41
I won't keep you too long from anything I'll tell you the reason why I did ring This morning I was cleanin' up my room I'm getting it together, not to speak too soon I found your shoe You left it didn't you? With all my shit it's been a year or two But anyway, I found your shoe I found a little music box Some Peter Jackson Extra Mild An old pair of jocks saying "born to be wild" A copy of Tropic of Cancer That's yours as well I didn't find an answer But what the hell, I found your shoe You left it didn't you? With all my shit it's been a year or two But anyway, I found your shoe
4.
Steel-Hearted Annie © Kath Tait Steel Hearted Annie came home from work Through the park in the dark where the rapist lurked Behind the bushes and about to attack With the cold wind whistling across his back He pounced on Annie coz she was slim Coz she looked so frail and feminine But he wouldn't have done it if he only knew That she was a master of Kung Fu! Chorus: Steel-Hearted Annie with an iron will Looks about as frail as a daffodil But you don't take a chance with a small slim dame With a punch like a piston on a steam train Steel-Hearted Annie don't like to pose Like a trembling victim in a movie show She gets mad when she's in distress Like an animal in the wilderness There's nothing she wouldn't do to survive Got a strong desire to stay alive And she looks cute in pink or blue But she is a master of kung fu repeat chorus Steel-Hearted Annie lived near a jail Where a psycho-killer was released on bail He crept stealthily through the night Broke into her house to give her a fright And the cold wind whistled through the window frames Made a sound like ghost rattlin' chains But the psycho-killer ran for his life When he saw Annie comin' with the carving knife! repeat chorus Steel-hearted Annie told all her friends Ya gotta stand up to violence She went to classes and learned to fight Now she's not afraid to walk around at night She's a great big shark in a little tin can A little firecracker with a great big bang So just be careful what you do Coz Annie's now a master of Kung Fu!
5.
Tin God (the Fucked Song) © Penelope Swales You seem to have some cosy thought That is I saw your point of view That I would say it’s all okay Bless your forehead and absolve you You seem to think that I’ve got nothing Better to do That to kiss your arse after all the crap you’ve put me through O, poor baby, how you’ve suffered over me For three long years you’ve made me The brunt of all your fantasies How irritating, how frustrating This relationship has been Coz you couldn’t make me be the one You thought that I should be And don’t go thinking I don’t think That what you’ve done is fucked I think it’s fucked I think it’s really fucked And don’t go raisin’ your nose sayin’ I don’t understand I understand But I still think it’s fucked Don’t you understand that I understand And I still think it’s fucked Yeah But you’ve been looking for the big one You’ve been looking out for number one Every love that comes your way You’re trying to elevate it Artificially inflate it To some legendary status But no-one’s gonna love you – not like you do! Why should they? If they don’t get no joy out of you And if the love you’re looking for Ever comes your way You might find that you can’t have it Unless you abdicate You make a god of your own desires Just coz you want it doesn’t make it right I think you’d be well advised To pay some thought to what gives love its light. Just a little bit to what you might give Instead of being so preoccupied With all these things to which You’ve got it in your head that you’re so entitled Such a disappointment I have been to you, it’s true But in spite of your love for me I really have loved you And you don’t seem to understand Why I don’t wanna be your friend Why all your justifications Have led me to this bitter end Why I’m not sure I’d ever wanna Come near you again Coz there’s just no way I can condone Your version of events And my bed is no place for the faint-hearted, honey And I hate to be so honest But you never even started to be brave enough, darlin So although I know your motivations I can’t play along Coz you’re not the deity You wanna be to me No matter how you carry on And don’t go thinking I don’t think That what you’ve done is fucked I think it’s fucked I think it’s really fucked And don’t go raisin’ your nose sayin’ I don’t understand I understand But I still think it’s fucked Don’t you understand that I understand And I still think it’s fucked And don’t go wringin’ your hands thinkin’ I don’t feel for you Sweetheart, I do Sweetheart I really do But don’t you understand that I understand And I still think it’s fucked That you make a god of your own desires Wantin’ somethin’ don’t make it right I think you’d be so well advised To pay some thought to what gives love its light. Just a little bit to what you might give Instead of being so damn preoccupied With all these things to which You’ve got it in your head that you’re so entitled Such a disappointment I have been to you, it’s true But in spite of your love for me I really have loved you Ah---------
6.
Poor Dim Sally © Kath Tait Poor Dim Sally from old Vim Valley She was taken in by the Moonies Her friends said they would rather be dead Than sucked in by a bunch of loonies Her mother cried and her father nearly died To see their Sally being hypnotised And listening to strange philosophical lies And giving all her money to the Guru While dancing to the tune of the Reverend Moon Sally was benevolent and breezy But it made her sad to see her mum and her dad Being hypnotised by the TV And giving all their money to the politicians Who wasted it all on their greedy ambitions And Sally was obsessed with her dubious position Enlisting more disciples for the Guru Poor Dim Sally from old Vim Valley She went knocking on doors Proclaiming the news and explaining her view And naming the Moonies’ laws Until she came upon a mysterious charmer Who appeared at the door in his pink pyjamas And talked her into following the Dalai Lama And that’s how she was rescued from the Moonies Sally took the ferry to a monastery Whereupon she shaved her head Her mother cried and her father said “Why Is our Sally so easily led?” The deprogrammers came to unscramble her brain But their threats and bribes were all in vain And Sally’s poor mother, she did complain “Why can’t we all just be nice Presbyterians?” Poor Dim Sally from old Vim Valley Was ordered to 11 days fasting But her need for food was so basic and crude And she really wasn’t very good at lasting When they found her hiding behind a tree With a marmite sandwich and a cup of tea She said “I wouldn’t be a failure spiritually If I was the leader of my very own religion…” So she became the leader of her own fringe sect She got all of the money and all of the respect And she made her disciples swear an oath To eat their way to spiritual growth Have another sausage roll, have another cream bun She said as she sat on her big, fat bum She said “We’ll all be saved from being eternally glum In Sally’s Own Original Religion!”
7.
Already Begun © Penelope Swales 1995 My heart hangs like a ripe fruit. Hangs before your eyes, a perfect peach. 
If you would pluck me now, and press me to your lips, all my sweetness, all 
my juices, and the fine fur of my skin, sun-warm, would burst into your 
mouth. My heart hangs like an over-ripe fruit in the baking sun. Hangs 
before your eyes, a perfect, dripping fig. If you don't pluck me now, I may 
well start fermenting. An alcoholic repungence, a bitter wine. In the baking 
sun, attacked by these, the grubs of doubt. I believe this process has 
already begun, I believe....... If my heart should hang too long. Hang 
before your eyes, in the baking sun while you make no move, well I could 
fall on the ground and rot, disgusting underneath your feet. But I would 
probably hang on. Dried by the sun and wind, smaller and smaller and harder 
and more withered - this sun-dried fruit in the baking sun. Anyone who 
dared to bite me (hard enough), bring me the moisture from their lips, might 
find me still good, if somewhat tough, I believe this process has already 
begun, I believe this process has already begun......My heart hangs a 
withered fruit. Hangs before your eyes in the naked branches, in the 
setting sun. Silhouette against the sky, in the raw ozone of autumn. Hangs 
dormant, hangs prepared to sleep through this pending winter. The kernel 
lodged inside may still make its way to the loving endometrium of earth. I 
believe this process has already begun.
8.
Madness, Mines and Mortgages © Penelope Swales With my head down and my bum in the air I'm getting on with my life While all around me, those profiteers Are creating more mess and more strife I know so many good people And we're all doing the same Just staying abreast of daily life While greed and chaos reigns Way in the North of our Southern land A handful of sanity fights To stop a mine that nobody wants And protect all our obvious rights Meanwhile down in the cities and towns No-one gives it a thought Oh, yeah we all know that it's madness At least that much we've been taught It's madness, madness I tell you, we're all mad And those little men in those great big companies I tell you they're all mad The money and the machinery The greed of the nuclear industry You'd have to be both brave and crazy To pit yourself against that But the ones that do and the only sane ones And everyone else is mad We're selling our souls for the simple things Like a house and a family Then we're stuck in a mill of paying the bills And don't it keep us distracted and busy? While the young and the wild with no mortgage or child Are left to save our land and our oceans Branded as fools with no money or tools Facing the fight on their own It's madness, madness I tell you, we're all mad And those little men in the Westpac offices I tell you they're all mad The money and the machinery The greed of the nuclear industry You'd have to be both brave and crazy To pit yourself against that But the ones that do and the only sane ones Everyone else is mad The intelligent poor who know what the score is Are trying to wake up our intellect While the media tells us the Kooris and ferals Ain't got no facts or respect Being pushed around, it's tough on the ground When you don't look like the locals do in the town But they're the only ones that can see what's coming And the rest of us are too bogged down It's madness, madness I tell you, we're all mad And that little man on Parliament hill I tell you he's stone mad The money and the machinery The greed of the nuclear industry You'd have to be deaf dumb and crazy To pit yourself against that But the ones that do and the only sane ones Everyone else is mad And that's the only explanation I can find for the crap that goes down in this Nation Just a few tryin' to find a solution yeah And everybody else is mad Being hypnotised by our daily lives And don't that make me mad!
9.
Nelly Van Dale © Adele Pickvance This is the story of Nelly Van Dale She lived in a house that was dark green and pale She grew green tomatoes with planted old bark And she smoked her tobacco in the cupboard at dark She had no friends coz they said she was strange They let her be all alone. So she talked to herself and she talked to the walls Waiting for darkness to fall And Nelly was born in the wrong year With the wrong kind of people around her She was mistaken In the old streets of Rochdale Nelly had a brother, a fine young chap With his perfect wife and his perfect hat He decided that Nelly should not live alone So he did what he thought was right He took her to stay in his house for awhile He helped her move all her things Little did she know that once she was there Her garden would become overgrown… And Nelly was born in the wrong year With the wrong kind of people around her She was mistaken In the old streets of Rochdale He locked the door and took charge of the key Letting her out for just supper and tea The rest of her life, it was spent in this room Looking for dark cupboards to escape all her gloom She lasted five years, and then she did die A sorrowful death, they declared I remember their words “It was for the best, you know” She grew crazier as time went by And Nelly was born in the wrong year With the wrong kind of people around her She was mistaken In the old streets of Rochdale In the old streets of Rochdale In the old streets of Rochdale
10.
Intimate Detachment © Penelope Swales Sit down with your books And search for wisdom, boy Dissect the human heart Pronounce its weaknesses Arm yourself for combat Take position, yeah Must admit I’m puzzled By your defensiveness To hasty then too humble, Too tense and then you fumble But honeychild, I tell you There’s no need Seems to me you can’t enjoy The things we might explore Coz you’re too busy worrying ‘Bout what it’s supposed to be Daffodils in their bright simplicity Have a wisdom you can’t see But you can sense it, yeah So you’ve thrust a handful at me I believe you’re hoping they’ll tell me something Something that you can’t About intimate detachment When I’m not wrong, You hasten to correct me, yeah It’s just that you’re not listening To what I’ve said When I’m not insecure You rush to comfort, hmm When I’m not asking, you advise On what I haven’t shared Why all this need to feel superior? It seems to me you see Everything in terms so linear Well it doesn’t need to be It’s all so depressingly familiar I’ve heard it all before Intimate detachment Everywhere around you, Life is right in front of you Relax, take its hand It’s not trying to make fun of you And now it seems to me you’re scared You’ve set some kind of precedent In all your ruminations You neglect to ask me how I’ve felt We could so easily Dispel all of this mystery But maybe you don’t like that either Maybe this way you have more power Than if I just said Hey – it doesn’t matter I’m easy either way I would willingly embrace you Or save it for some other Jay Why the rush to create distance When you asked me to stay? Intimate detachment Daffodils in their bright simplicity Have a wisdom you can’t see But you can sense it, yeah So you thrust this handful at me I believe you’re hoping they’ll tell me something What – something I don’t know? About intimate detachment Everywhere around you, Life is right in front of you Relax, take its hand It’s not trying to make fun of you Everywhere around you, And I am right in front of you Relax, take my hand I’m only trying to be friends with you
11.
Ocean 03:55
Ocean © Penelope Swales In the ocean of emotion I was a small boat He was my mooring, but he let me drift away When the rope fell in the water He made no move to retrieve it It didn’t happen quickly I watched the distance grow between us So you see I set sail by default Straining for his reaching fingers, But they never came In this ocean of emotion I am directly in the waves You are the sand beneath my feet, ever present, ever changing The shoreline dark and dangerous Embodies all my past experience That I must navigate by But not too close, because it’s treacherous Sometimes I’m well out of my depth But you know I get a toehold when you smile Dry land is deceptive in its safety The clash between the shore and sea Is where my lust for living takes me Ohh------ My feelings come up like the tide You are the rocks so sure and stable But sometimes the waves hide You could be my shelter from the storm Something to cling to and hold onto You could be the cruel surface I could be dashed to bits upon you Safe harbour I still sometime need We all know the hard part is gliding in between the reefs Dry land is deceptive in its safety The passion ‘tween the shore and sea Is where my lust for living takes me Ohh------
12.
Confidante 03:03
Confidante © Penelope Swales You put in my hands so much trust You gave me your diary From a time when your life Was heaving and changing The roller-coaster ride Left my stomach behind on the sharp bends I was quite ill by the time it ended So much passion gone to waste Tell me about it You have held me, I’ve hid my face And cried my grief out, it Does no good, it heals no scars I’m sorry folks, But it does take more than a good cry to heal a broken heart. Lovers may come and lovers may go But you are my confidante Our love may cruise or our love may grow But you can be confident Of my heart Of my continuing regard People might think I’m foolish, But I’ve long since ceased to care. The tangled knot of wrongness in a life We contemplate it We hesitate to use our knife For its irrevocable nature We are trapped, held in By an army of what-might-have-beens And still more dangerous, That phalanx of what-ifs So much passion gone to waste You tell me about it I have held you, you’ve hid your face And cried your grief out, it Does no good, it heals no scars What you like about me Is that I know it takes more than a good cry to heal a broken heart. Lovers may come and lovers may go But I am your confidante Our love may ebb or our love may flow But I can be confident Of my heart Of my continuing regard People might think you’re foolish, But I know you’ve ceased to care. And lying in someone else’s arms The thoughts that pierce a late-night bed I wonder if there’s anybody else I’ve ever met Who understands the grief and tears and blood I’ve shed
13.
Bush Bloom 05:18
Bush Bloom © Penelope Swales Does a flower hesitate to bloom Knowing a blaze in the bush may well consume How does a flower face the flame? Does it know in its secret heart The bush must burn to bloom again? When the birds whisper your name You will find the strength to face it Find the strength to face the unknown When the scorched earth is soothed by cooling rain You will find the strength to be there Find the strength to be where you are now You have become part of these trees Your life force can be felt within the ashes of these leaves That will become the new soil of the land Where deep-sleeping tubers Send forth their life again When the wind whispers her name in our ears We will find the strength to face it Find the strength to face that she’s gone When our scorched hearts are soothed by healing tears We will find the strength to be here Find the strength to be who we are now A flower bloomed with its roots in the soil That also strived to understand the sky Looking for the logic in the stars Yearning for the logic in our hearts A star in the grass, echoes a star in the sky We all strive to understand this thing? Do you realise the beauty that you are In the grass or in the sky, sweet star A flower only blooms for a short time To gladden the hearts of those who would appreciate Such subtle beauty in a life Our hearts and blackened and austure But sure as new growth follows fire We will once more come into bloom When the birds whisper your name You will find the strength to face it Find the strength to face the unknown When the scorched earth is soothed by cooling rain You will find the strength to be there Find the strength to be where you are now When the wind whispers her name in our ears We will find the strength to face it Find the strength to face that she’s gone When our scorched hearts are soothed by healing tears We will find the strength to be here Find the strength to be who we are now And in the warm months of the year If you look closely, you will find her here Where Christmas Bells are blooming They sing her soul They sing the soul of her red hair Sweet Claire.
14.
Cusp © Penelope Swales 1995 Something about the day Makes me just want to sleep all day Something 
about the wind Makes me want to let my mind blow away, blow away Something 
about the sun, Makes me just want to doze all day Something about the 
temperature Makes me want to dream on, dream on My dreams get stranger as 
my sleep gets lighter I can hear the sound of distant activity, But the 
cocoon of heat and light around me, Defeats all movement, Seduces all 
motivation, Dilutes all clarity The wind moves the leaves in the trees, A 
passing pensioner's just a mirage And I'm so far away, So far away, From 
wherever or whatever it was that I began Something about the dry Makes me 
just want to cry all night But if this desert's inside me, How can I water 
it With salt tears from the outside? It has its own delicate ecology And 
salt enough to ruin a richer plain I need the relief of rain I need the 
relief of rain To rinse it all away My heart goes out to greet the wind I 
never realised how much I had been missing The movement of the air, The 
presence of unseen forces Calmness is sometimes harder to navigate than any 
storm And I have been becalmed And now the breeze caresses me, Suspended 
here in my New-found, blue-bound Isolation.
15.
Follow in your wake © Penelope Swales 1991 Find me where your echo lays Where you led me down Through the mornin’ fog and the evenin’ haze In the smell of the high, dry grass I followed in your wake Lead me down the road to the foreshore Never seen fields so close to the sea before Walkin’ down through the cutting, Felt like the air there held it’s own fire Silver-white, the fireflies Winkin’ in and out of the dark, they were Hangin’ in their own light And if it hadn’t seemed to me That I was half-way to faerie I wouldn’t have believed my eyes And now I’m travelin’ down the road My head’s too congested to see the sky and trees I’m carryin’ my own load And you see me walkin’ down My head’s still back in town Under my own personal black cloud And you see me feelin’ down From a distance And you come amblin’ down You seek me out You’ll find me where your echo lays You knew that I’d come back here one of these days You’ll find me followin’ your scent Maybe not even realising that that was my intention But when you met me down in the high, dry grass You knew exactly what I meant And you lay me down in the high, dry grass I knew exactly what you meant Ahh…. And you see me feelin’ down From a distance And you come amblin’ down You seek me out You’ll find me where your echo lays You’ll find em wanderin’ around in a deep-blue fog, In a light-blue haze And in the smell of the high, dry grass I’ll follow in your wake And the smell of the high, dry grass Ever leads me back to that day In the smell of the high, dry grass I’ll follow in your wake
16.

about

These 16 songs are taken from Penelope's extensive personal archive of previously unreleased recordings made at various locations between December 1995 and December 2000.

The first six songs, along with track 16 were recorded in December 2000 at Soundhouse Studios. This three-hour "live to tape" session was designed to document long-standing core songs from Penelope's live repertoire that had never been formally recorded. These songs were produced by John Durr and engineered by Siiri Metsar.

credits

released January 7, 2001

Penelope Swales - Vocals, guitar, stomp box
Wayne Gillespie - Guitar and backing vocals on Track 8
Jan Preston - Piano, Backing vocals on track 7.

Tracks 1-6, 16 recorded at Soundhouse Studio. Produced by John Durr, enginered by Siiri Metsar.
All other tracks produced by Penelope Swales

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about

Penelope Swales Emerald, Australia

Penelope Swales has been articulating the human condition with passion and humour for 30+ years. She sings about politics, love, friendship, the unbreakable bond between us and dogs and the impact of the Internet on society. She won the 2019 Alistair Hulett Songs for Social Justice Award with “Cambridge Analytica”. “The Ides of March in Christchurch" was short-listed for the same award in 2020. ... more

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