Justifying your Longings to the Doctor

by Penelope Swales

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1.
Just Twisted 05:57
Just Twisted © Penelope Swales 1998 Well I--------------------- Wasn't born yesterday I learned my lessons the hard way then I got cocky, and I forgot, And had to learn it all again. On the way I lost my resilience I'm brittle, but I'm experienced People see my tough exterior And think that I don't care But you, my friend seem to look at me with x-ray eyes I know I shouldn't count on that, but it does feel kinda nice Honesty sounds simple But it's not, my dearest chum Most people wouldn't know their own mind If it bit them on the bum The run around in circles emitting bitter wails Well, that's the way it always is When you're chasing your fairy tail But for all the reasons that I may have to complain I've had good love before, and I believe I'll have it once again So roll over, my darling Bless me with your eyes This sort of good fortune doesn't often happen twice Ah----------- A bed can be a battle ground Where blood runs and hoarse cries sound I've watched you writhing in your sleep I've called you from there many times Now does it sound peculiar To say I love you more for your compromised past? Well, maybe that's because at least you're not talkin through your arse about suffering Yes, I know you know what it means But for all the crazy visions that have clawed across your brain I don't believe I've known someone so lucid or so sane So roll over, my darling Bless me with your eyes This sort of good fortune doesn't often happen twice 'Cos discretion is the better part of valour And suppression is the greater half of love, my love Won't you listen to all those sweet nothings out there Sound just like enterprise bargaining More concerned with what they get than what they share oh, yeah We all love to scream and gibber About how much we love each other But close the door and run for cover The minute someone shows their true colours Now I'm not bitter, I'm just twisted But people look at love like it's a shopping list I wanna house, a spouse, a picket fence Someone who always talks in the present tense So it's never just me - no, always "us" With no-one ever raising the slightest fuss No, never a word 'bout the scratchin' clawing Things going on behind closed doors an' I tell you it fills my soul with claustrophobia I tell you it fills my soul with claustrophobia It's painful to love lucidly In full knowledge of your vulnerability Without the little lies we tell ourselves To make it bearable My confidence is shaken My faith nearly annihilated But for some strange reason It feels like treason To apply these doubts to you So if you think you could throw your lot in And not ask me to be what I'm not, then I guess I could dare to hope again I guess I could dare to hope again Well, what else is there to do, my friend? For you see, my darling I've been blessed before And that love was the price I paid For the wisdom needed to retain it Roll over, my darling Bless me with your eyes This sort of good fortune doesn't often happen Roll over, my darling Bless me with your eyes This sort of good fortune doesn't often happen twice Oh------------------ La dat da dat da-------------------etc
2.
Absorb You 04:56
Absorb You I lay in the arms of a man so thin You could see his kidneys under his skin Count every sinew, twang every nerve See every heartbeat, feel the blood rushing I am the cushion for those razor-blade hips Beside you I can feel My softness, abundance, my strengths, my reserves No matter how hard you may be, I will always be Soft enough to absorb you Soft enough to absorb you We are strange creatures We need sleep, we need rest Our eyes that interpret the world that surrounds us Redden and fail us, yes The bones of our bodies, the ropes of our wrists Ache wearily, weary, release me from this The sea of subconscious You'll drift, you will dream No matter how hard you may fight sleep will always come Soft enough to absorb you Soft enough to absorb you Life is a tunnel that descends into night When you don't have the crutch of religion Love's a placebo, I'm holding you tight But we're bound for the same nether region Ahh................ And this, your dear body - so sweet, so divine Shall one day be cold and lifeless And this, my warm body - so soft and so fine Shall one day be dust and ashes The bones of our bodies, the ropes of our wrists Shall slacken and stiffen, release us from this The Belly of Oa will be opened wide* No matter how cold or hard you be The earth will be Soft enough to absorb you Soft enough to absorb you Soft enough to absorb you Soft enough to absorb you Soft enough Soft enough * See "The Inheritors" by William Golding
3.
Begging Bowl 04:02
Begging Bowl © Penelope Swales 
1998 Your voice right in my ear Those luscious lips, so sweet, so salt Whispering to me from another hemisphere. You say "Hey, babe - tonight my feet are cold" I'm lookin' out on the sunshine here Every detail of your life So near, so dear, so clear And so irrelevant to me now The distance, the time and the longing So irrevocable Have I come so far Just to feel so faint-hearted Wanna run back to where I come from? Oh, freedom is an empty cup A lot of people don't realise It's up to you to fill it up You can hold it out to strangers like a begging bowl You can mix up in it your own strange brew Of mingled joy and sorrow I can see you now - that table! The mess and the mice and the bongs I can feel you now, My senses aroused courtesy of British Telecom Your stormy soul reaches me even here Ya Might say I got cold feet But babe, you've no idea Of the ice blocks that I'm walkin' on now Now that you're so far away from me Oh, god, oh, god now tell me how did I get here? But what's relevant to me now? The phone and the road and the songs I can feel your lush longing It's following me around Courtesy of British Telecom And now you say your life is an empty cup Well, you don't need me to tell you It's up to you to fill it up You can hold it out to me like a begging bowl You can mull up in it your own strange brew Of mingled joy and sorrow But what's relevant to you now? But what's relevant to you now? But what's relevant to you now? The distance, the time and the longing? Or is it the mess and the mice and the bongs? Or is it the phone and the road and the songs? Or is it the movement, and those mountains? Your movement in those mountains? Hey, babe I know you could move mountains Oh, ho da-hey-da hey hey etc
4.
Lost in London © Penelope Swales 
1998 I was sitting in Soho square Listen to the mobile telephones ringin' Havin' just descended out of the air I was tryin' to get a grip on everything The out-of-tune agony of ice cream vans Beggars and people with outstretched hands Private book readers, public school kids Lovers and stony-faced matrons Aeroplanes and car alarms and the unending cacophony Abounding this wee droplet here of relative tranquillity Ahh I didn't expect it to be so full-on I expected empty benches like in Kirsty's song But it's summer now, but it's winter where you are But it's summer here, now, but it's winter in my heart But it's summer now, and what's more, it's peak hour Ahh And my poor feet were pinched and smarting Walking the streets in m' new Doc Martens My old heart was sick and sore Pounding the squares of the Monopoly Board People say "Ooh you're from far away! Now can you sing us the theme from Neighbours A Country Practice, perhaps Rolf Harris Or the tune from Home and Away Here the cyclists wear gas masks And the beggars spit brimstone in the politely ignoring parks And people of all shapes and shades speak the same London drawl To look at an Elm tree and see it belong here Is something I wasn't prepared for at all Harlequin couples warm my cockles Smacked-out madman hassles and hustles A man who looks like Bowie Comes sloping by in platform shoes Other solitary women wear the same hunchback of caution that I do Ahh And my poor feet were pinched and smarting Walking the streets in m' new Doc Martens My old heart was sick and sore Pounding the squares of the Monopoly Board People say "Ooh you're from far away! Now can you sing us the theme from Neighbours A Country Practice, perhaps Rolf Harris Or the tune from Prisoner Cell Block H And I was thinkin' of his shyness and his slender hips between my thighs As my fingers sought the handgrips on the back of his motorbike Dipping and weaving in the traffic and noise And my bare Knees got paranoid There's no margin for error in New Cross Not an opportunity in sight Ahh When I'm lost in London I try to stay close to couples in love I warm my cold soul in their radiance Tell myself - one day I'll be back in the sweet fold again I observe the city from the cocoon of a train And I'm amazed at the persistence of life Weeds growing out of window-sills Flowers blooming on asbestos roofing And pigeons nesting in factory grills And how do children still skip and glow With that strange, pure luminosity While they drink this hard water and breathe this foul air? Ahhh repeat 1st chorus And the pissed old farts in the back of the pub sang "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo" All through the chorus of "Already Begun" In some smoky dive where I played with a band called The Wayward Sons Ahh Hornpipe: "Weepy Jamie" With a smile on my lips and a song in my heart I'll be steppin' along in my old Doc Martens Sweet, familiar streets of North Carlton Stepping up to your door
5.
Stalks Of Last Year's Fruit © Penelope Swales 1998 I sit in the sun Listen to the bees hum in the wisteria Can't help but imagine The sort of honey you would have called forth from this area I miss your happiness, my friend Hey, you should be careful Misery is habit forming (Take it from me) You can get to thinking That you're not really living properly if you're not suffering I miss that smile you used to wear That gift for joy you have Must still be in there somewhere Yes, I know you stuffed it up You tell me all about it every day It's gone on long enough And you know that, and still you act As if the blues were here to stay It's 'coz you're so damn stubborn You don't wanna let go of anything Not the things you might have had Not the things you haven't got And not what used to be I hate to be harsh, dear But there's no excuse for a girl of your class, dear Someone with your background To go moonin' about as if you're not worth anything Without a man around The world is at your feet Oh darlin', I know you miss your garden But we don't stand and grieve among the stalks of last year's fruit We turn them in, we start again And we call forth something fresh and new All these dead things you have been clinging to Will kill you Get a move on, life is waiting And you have friends who love you Everywhere you go, they open up their homes And they shower the best of love on you All these dead dreams you have been clinging to Will twist you Come sit in the sun Listen to the bees hum in the wisteria Can't help but imagine The sort of wisdom you'll be callin' forth from this experience I miss your happiness, my friend Oh, I miss your happiness, my friend That gift for joy you have Must still be in there somewhere The world is at your feet Ah- la la etc
6.
Chainbrake 04:59
Chainbrake © Penelope Swales 1998 I was stompin' 'round thinkin' I had problems When I get this letter in the mail And here it is again, the same human love and courage The will to fight the spirit to prevail And when I think of you I start cryin' in the supermarket That blonde checkout chick Thinks I'm a nutcase And when I think of you I check I got my seatbelt on I change the battery in the smoke alarm I test the chainbrake It's the joy of life that makes us reckless When life tastes so good, it just couldn't go bad When you're laughin' and the moon's sailing high When the morning sunlight splashes on the bed And when I think of you I start cryin' in the supermarket That blonde checkout chick Thinks I'm a nutcase And when I think of you I check I got my seatbelt on I'm not thinkin of me so much I'm thinkin' about my Mum Oh------------------ My dearest love was nearly blown to pieces He held a dying man in his arms Even now, he looks down, He still sees the bloodstains He still thanks the dawn for every day And when he heard 'bout you He got all teary in the express lane Oh, that young girl Elaine' Thinks we're hippie weirdos And when I think of you I check I got my seatbelt on I'm not thinkin of me so much I'm thinkin' about my loved ones Oh------------------ And when I think of you I start cryin' in the supermarket Oh------------ And when I think of you I'm not thinkin of bodily harm I'm thinkin' of wit, and warmth I'm thinkin' about your heart I'm thinkin' about your heart Your heart Your heart Oh----------------------------
7.
Image 04:03
Image © Penelope Swales 
 1998 Talk to me My awkwardness is beyond belief I ring you up, I don't know what to say. Listen to me You could bring me such relief When I hang up, I curse my foolish ways. Desire is born when romance dies In my dissatisfaction, I cast about my eyes. Is it a genuine attraction, or does my own heart lie? I hunger for you And your image does not fade Your image does not fade Your image does not fade Your image does not fade To your mind I am as one taken But to mine, I'm oh, so available. How do I convey this information When your behaviour's so goddam respectable? I never signed away my life As far as I'm concerned, I belong very much to myself This restlessness cannot be denied Don't you go thinkin' That I'm up on that shelf Don't you dare go think it, No don't you dare go think it, No don't you dare go think it. Come, My body's ripe and reckless My mind barely more sensible Let your mouth devour my senses Lay with me Don't talk to me of abstinence But I am caught within your chains Conventional conceptions of conventional ways Now, how are you to know I was never properly trained? I tell you darlin' I don't live beneath those reins How are you to know I don't How are you to know I don't How are you to know I don't Love needs nourishment But lust can feed on itself For sure, it feeds on me. I try and I strive But something has gone missing My hunger turns inwards, that's where you'll find me Desire is born when romance dies In my dissatisfaction, I cast about my eyes. Is it a genuine attraction, or does my own heart lie? I hunger for you And your image does not fade Your image does not fade Your image does not fade Your image does not fade
8.
Guenevere and the Fire © Fred Small My grandmother was born in 1900 On a farm in New South Wales She wed a dairyman who liked to raise a pint of ale The first child came when she as twenty Five more babes in seven years That first daughter was my mother They called her Guenevere Little Gwen would play beneath the willow "Yes the Queen would love some tea" Helped with chores that never ended Tried to mind, tried to please Sometimes she heard the music, Wild and strange in the summer night "They're dirty people," warned her mother "Never go near their campfire light" "Stay away from the camp of the blackfellas Little white girls have disappeared! They drink and dance when the moon is red Never, never let them see your golden hair!" Came the winter of '27 So cold the milk froze in the pail Her mother hung the nappies by the hearth Her dad in town for a round of ale A spark leapt from the fire that night And wrapped her mother in a gown of flame Flailing, dancing in a frenzy Falling down in voiceless pain Stillness, and the stench of burning Then so soft, 'twas like a ghost "Fetch the Cunninghams" she whispered "Bring me aid, or I am lost!" The Cunninghams were not two miles away And they the nearest whites Past the camp of the Aborigines Past the demons of the night Stay away from the camp of the blackfellas Little white girls have disappeared! They drink and dance when the moon is red Never, never let them see your golden hair! "I must run to save my mother I must go now, I must fly!" But still she heard her mother's tales Of the devil drums and the evil eye Her mother's breathing ever fainter Gwen frozen in her fright Seven hours 'til dawn she waited For the safety of the light Now she runs 'til her feet are bleeding To the house upon the hill Now comes the doctor's wagon speeding t To her mother cold and still They laid her down in the Nowra graveyard >From the bible read a verse Children sent to aunts and uncles Some to Melbourne, some to Perth Gwen packed her canvas satchel, Could not hold the salt tears back Turned to leave her home forever Faced a woman gnarled and black "Child, our hearts are heavy With grieving for your loss We live so close by you Why did you not come to us? We have herbs to heal the burning We have salves to ease the pain We could have helped, had we but known And made your mother whole again" Stay away from the camp of the blackfellas Little white girls have disappeared! They drink and dance when the moon is red Never, never let them see your golden hair! Stay away from the camp of the blackfellas White girls have disappeared! They drink and dance when the moon is red Never, never let them see your golden hair!
9.
Bougainville 06:11
Bougainville © Penelope Swales 
1998 '69 was the year that I was born It was also the year that a company called Rio Tinto Zinc Opened up a copper mine On a little tropical island paradise, yeah Not far from Australian shores By the time I was twenty years of age A billion tons of waste Had poured into the Jaba River All thirty-five kilometres of its length >From spring to delta poisoned dead. The islanders tried For many years they complained They lobbied and they campaigned But their words fell on deaf ears Many of them died working in the mine The risk to find that they still couldn't earn enough To feed their families The labourer's wives with hungry mouths to feed Had to sell their bodies on the streets To workers from overseas Who were paid twice what the local men received And all food, clothing, medicine, everything All owned by the company And they cried "Land is our life, it is our only life It is food, it is sustenance Land is our life, it is our social life It is marriage it is status It is security, it is politics In fact, it is our only world Land is our life, and if you take our land You're cutting out the very heart of our existence" Bruno said "I worked for the mine The company denied they were the cause of any of the damage But our fruit trees no longer bore fruit Their leaves were killed by acid rain There are no fish in the river The damage they did will be here forever We workers went on strike, But still our words weren't heeded So something more was needed So in the end, a few of us In the middle of the night With the company's own explosives Yes, forced the mine to close and when the riot squads arrived we were singing Land is our life..............etc" Marcelline said "The PNG, they can never win our hearts They killed my brother We cannot accept it, we cannot forget our loved ones They have killed us in cold murder We never had anything like this before The only place I saw anything similar Was on that Television of yours.......Ahhh---" The troops poured in Armed and funded by the Australian government Yeah, they reigned fire on unarmed villagers Raped and pillaged, yes Long before Spicer, long before Sandline Sticks and stones, and arrows and bows Were all the islanders had when they started But ten years later on, with home-made guns And vehicles run on coconut oil, yeah They're still there singin' "Land is our life..........."etc So you see, we must agree 'Cause we have so much in common More than humanity, more than regional ah---- Because land is our life, it is our only life It is food, it is sustenance Land is our life, it is our social life It part of marriage and it's certainly part of status It is security, it is politics In fact, this is our only world Land is our life, and if we destroy that land We're cutting out the very heart of our existence" Ah-ha...........
10.
Sidmouth Song © Penelope Swales 
1998 Today loneliness gnaws at my insides A small spiky creature claws at my guts No placebos at my disposal will do Not alcohol, not other drugs And your company's no comfort Another long walk in the sun The Southern rocks of a Northern land The jagged coast of my ancestral home I'd have thought it would mean more to me Perhaps after all, I am antipodean I know you're concerned 'bout my state of mind I say "No I'm fine!" but I think - yes, well you might. A Little inconsistency goes a long way to undermine my image You define, define, define My strengths, my weaknesses and how I can be expected to react The Garden of Eden is riddled with land mines The green and pleasant land inside a heart But this is what humans do with paradise Or the wide, brown one that's really in my soul Well it's as good as any other place to start Lately I've felt a touch dislocated The things I do, I say not quite appropriate The things by which I have navigated are irrelevant and far away Without your life You come to realise your true size I defy, defy, defy the lines I've never known such claustrophobia More space is required for a chafing heart I who had been so affectionate Now feel I want to make my home on Mars
11.
Hundred Thousand © Penelope Swales 
 1998 I've got a wind chime that plays the blues As it jams in the nighttime I lie in bed and I think of you Well it hasn't been too bad lately But tonight I'm feeling old The workings of this world They make my blood run cold Any one of a hundred Any one of a hundred thousand Any one of a hundred Any one of a hundred thousand things Could have led him there She said "Grief Is like a chill, dark room I sit in the corner I can't seem to make myself move Over to the window To let that sunlight in But I need to feel it I need to feel it on my skin" She said "Guilt Is my constant companion It sits in the corner When I'm not watchin' it's always waiting It walks in my shadow Hummin' it's cruel refrain Just as I'm droppin' off to sleep I hear it singin' once again 'If only we hadn't been fighting Maybe he'd still be alive today If only we'd done things differently Maybe he wouldn't have gone that way, that way' " Any one of a hundred Any one of a hundred thousand Any one of a hundred Any one of a hundred thousand things Could have led him there Could have led him elsewhere "I'm wrapped in a blanket Embroidered with my story I look at the colours Its senselessness and its glory Can't seem to believe it I can't believe it's mine I don't talk about it much 'Coz it just seems too unkind Now tell me Why does a man climb a mountain? They say he climbs it because it's there And if I was the peak he could not scale Well he decided to try his luck elsewhere, elsewhere And now that he's lying Dead under a hundred thousand Tons of rock and ice On Aoraki, South Island Well, I can't plant no vine Up there on that ice But I'll seed it with my presence, yeah And hope somehow he knows I'm there" Any one of a hundred Any one of a hundred I'm wrapped in a blanket Embroidered with her story She told me the outline I can sense its senselessness and its glory Oh. I can imagine Because I'm too familiar Too familiar with that clashin' Between dear love and passion But any one of a hundred Every one of a hundred If a bird had eaten the butterfly That flapped its wings and changed the weather If somebody else had booked that flight Made him travel one day later If only he hadn't got drunk that night Or maybe chosen another site Every step we've ever taken Is leading us to where we'll end Now tell me Why does a man climb a mountain? They say he climbs it because it's there And if you were the peak he could not scale Well he's bound to try his luck elsewhere, elsewhere And now with the springtime Grief loses it's grip She says "I can smile sometimes And even love a little bit It's a conscious decision Made with every day To walk in the sunshine And say my farewells my way and if now I live with these high, dark walls Well, I'll climb them because they're there Because life in its callousness does go on I'll have to try my love elsewhere And remember Any one of a hundred Any one of a hundred thousand Every one of a hundred Every one of a hundred things Every one of a hundred Every one of a hundred thousand things That have led me here Well, they can lead me elsewhere"
12.
Corners 03:45
Corners ©Penelope Swales 1998 Oh sister, dear sister Sitting in the corner of the room Oh sister, dear sister Listening to you talk about your life The mischief in the corners of your smile makes me wonder Ooh---- You make me smile You make me laugh out loud Make me watch the corners of your smile You make me laugh You make me talk all night Make me watch the corners of your smile Oh sister, dear sister Lurkin' in the corners of your mind Oh sister, dear sister are such sore times have they left behind their watermark? The mischief in the corners of your smile makes me wonder About the mischief done to you You seem too rich to have been plundered young To have been plundered early And you know, for all that's ever been Taken by force from me, Ah, but it was never more than I could handle I may have been young, but you know, women are strong But girls should never have to live in that sort of fear, Oh, no No matter what they're made of Sugar and spice and all things nice And the ground up tails of rats and mice Ah, such stern stuff is my sister made of You make me smile You make me talk all night Make me watch the corners of your smile You make me laugh You make me cry all night Make me watch the corners of your smile Oh sister, dear sister Watchin' from the corner of my eye Oh sister, dear sister Just the way her hair fell down, 'round from her neck As she bent over her guitar All I could see of her face Was the corners of her smile You make me laugh You make me talk all night Make me watch the corners of your smile Makes me wonder You make me laugh You make me cry all night Make me watch the corners of your smile Makes me wonder Make me toss and turn and Dream all night 'bout just Touchin' the corners of your smile
13.
Underbelly 05:06
Underbelly © Penelope Swales 
 1998 I'm concerned I scare myself With what I've learned Beneath my innocent skin A monster lurks within And every now and then it rears up and devours all my loving My focus is swamped with images I just can't seem to keep my mind at home I tell myself - Be good! I promised that I would But underneath some part of me has never understood He's golden, he's so good He's healthy and he's rude And nine times out of ten He holds my attention But I get lost in these nasty little fancies now and then Tell me, why should it be That corruption is always so much more tasty than purity? In the name of exploration I unleash my imagination And then I'm sickened by the way I can relate to abberation I try to concentrate But I'm seduced by the darkness and the weight And always at the time I find a way to justify And afterwards I'm nauseated by my bottom line But beneath my lidded eyes Poison runs disguised When I feel it welling up, I'm almost always hypnotised He's golden, he's so good He's healthy, he's so rude And nine times out of ten He keeps me right there with him But I get lost in these nasty little fancies now and then And he's so goddamned understanding He tells me that It's normal, that I'm nice Ahhhh---- But beneath my innocent skin A monster lurks within That can scratch my underbelly where nobody reaches in Oh---------------- Ah----------rrahh-dat-dah-dat-da------ Beneath my innocent skin A monster lurks within That can scratch my underbelly - hey-----------------
14.
Respect Baby 03:50
Respect Baby © Penelope Swales 
1998 Why listen to me, why try anything new When you can sit there looking at your own point of view? Why talk to me, why try to work it through? You've already got someone who perfectly understands you! And every thing I say to you You stand it on its head Every point I make, you bend it 'round And send it back my way instead And respect, baby, is a two-way street You scream for respect do you think you deserve it? In a tantrum you complain I treat you like a child And when I try to point it out, you just get all riled But people will judge you on what you do Not on what you intend to do The road to my personal hell Will be paved with your intentions, I can tell You're awful fussy 'bout the way I talk to you But when you talk to me, monosyllables will do I'm only tryin' to get you to see my side Still, you say you're so considerate, but you won't say why And respect, baby, is a two-way street You scream for respect do you think that you've earned it? In a tantrum you complain I treat you like a child And when I try to point it out, you just get all riled You don't wanna be treated like a babe But you require encouragement every step of the way A gold star here, a brownie point there But I get no thanks for my wear and tear Vocal ad lib....................... Respect, baby, ah da-ha................... And if I get angry, that's my fault for not having enough self-control And if you get angry, that's my fault for getting you on a roll Why even bother trying to make some sense when you can sit there rushing to your own defence? One day I'll turn around and say goodbye And I bet you never even know why And respect, baby, is a two-way street When you scream for respect do you think you command it? In a tantrum you complain I treat you like a child And when I try to point it out, you just get all riled You just get all riled You just get all riled ----------- Get all riled ------------------ Get all riled -------------------
15.
Justifying Your Longings To The Doctor If some alchemist Was to take a scraping from my womb What a potent residue that man might find I am not clean I have been stamped and stained Cherished and discarded time and again I am not pure But I am not ashamed These indelible marks tell a story Not for the faint hearted If some bright young shrink Was to pull a thread from my mind What a tangled, coloured skein that boy might find I am not neat My thoughts lie in piles Memories lie heaped in corners, jumbled files I am not clear But I might be wise These dog-eared diaries tell a story Not fit for such innocent eyes If some strange surgeon was to poke his curiouscope into my heart What four-chambered horrors might he find? If he was to steal my blood and place it writhing on the slide He'd find it to full of plankton to sustain a human life My courage has been watered down by the oceans that divide us They've diluted all my own humble tide If some long-fingered specialist was to wrap his knuckles 'round my wrist He might wonder why the hell I'm still alive In fact, the only reason I can find For why I haven't pined and died Is because it is so goddam out of style If that Oriental sage was to read my pulse What story would those jungle rhythms sing? They'd sing a song of longing and betrayal Of hope too stubborn to need faith And a loyalty too deep to be assailed It's hopeless, Doc It's terminal I can tell just by the look upon your face How did I become impaled In a way that other loves have failed To nail me to a given time or place? Can you tell me how it came to pass That I should become so soaked in sadness That everything I touch, I leave a stain? Blood-red footprints in the sand Smudges where I lay my hands Iridescent in the moonlight's trail

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released January 7, 1998

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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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