Returning on Foot

by Penelope Swales

/
1.
Sweet moderation © Penelope Swales 1995 Sweet moderation sounds so good, I wish I'd known about it. This situation, 
me and you, can't help but groan about it I'd rather take it easy after all 
this time I never thought I'd want to turn my back on that old love of 
mine I'm too worn out to keep on covering the same old ground Can't scream 
and shout, not anymore, rather not be around You know I love you, and 
passion's fine. Then again, so's whisky, I think I need a gentler wine Sweet moderation sounds so good, sweet moderation sounds so good. I'm going 
to make a fresh start soon, oh, won't you come along? If you move things 
could improve, but here you know it's wrong. I hate to see you sinking in 
this muddy swirl Come back if you don't like it, but take the chance to 
find another world I've known for years that all that glitters, glitters is 
not gold This may just be a silly dream but I am not too old. You've run 
this spiral, you know how it ends You've already been there what's the 
point of going through again? Sweet moderation sounds so- ah! Good! Sweet 
moderation sounds so good. Sweet moderation tips her cap to this ol' heart 
o' mine It's the excess of all this crap that makes me leave behind I'm 
going to seek adventure on the open road It might not sound too moderate, 
but that's the way I'm gonna go Sweet moderation soothe my soul, I hope 
she'll come along I don't believe I'll get much rest, but then, I might be 
wrong Only one thing left to make it all complete Life might be almost 
perfect, if only you would come with me Sweet moderation sounds so good, 
 Sweet moderation soothe my soul Sweet moderation, this situation, too much 
frustration, soothe my soul Sweet moderation, this situation, 
over-compensation, soothe my soul.
2.
Stone Cold Sober Part 1 © Penelope Swales 1995 I sometimes wonder 'Bout the things that I find in my head. I know they're 
memories Was that really me? I know it was. So young, so urgent, so 
subjective, so determined I was stone cold sober, I thought I knew all 
about life I was stone cold sober, I thought I knew my left from right I 
was over-reacting to everything I was being told I was fifteen years old I 
got myself into some Strange situations with strange men, strange friends, 
strange substances I fell in love with a pretty guy - he played some pretty 
games And some scar tissue still remains I was stone cold sober, so 
serious about life I was stone cold sober, I thought that I was in the 
right I was over-reacting to all the little games he played. I was sixteen 
years of age There followed a period of madness, Oh yeah, three years, 
maybe more Can't really say I was sober all those times I passed out on the 
floor I was trying to keep my wits about me, even if they weren't that 
sharp And though stone cold sober's not really the words that I should use, 
 I was stone cold sober when I made the decision to abuse I was 
over-reacting to all of the sordid things I'd seen I was just about 
nineteen That's when I met you Yeah, you wanted to be my best, best 
friend You wanted to be the one man I could trust Wanted to be the one on 
whom I could depend Not to drag me into negotiations over general-purpose lust Funny how things work out I was stone cold sober when I said that I 
wanted you for life I was stone cold sober when I said that I would be your 
wife I was over-reacting to everything that you said and did In many ways 
I was still a kid At twenty-one I ran away with you, we never even told our 
friends When we reappeared, oh dear! Well they always said that it would 
end in tears There followed a period of happiness, Oh yeah, three years, 
maybe more At least I was happy, yeah. My tongue was vitriolic, 
sometimes My temper, whoo! Was volatile I knew that I would settle down 
 But I thought that it would take awhile You bore the brunt, you bore the 
brunt But you said it wasn't hurting you And I was stone cold sober, yeah I was just trying to get it right. I was stone cold sober those times I kept 
you up all night Because I'd over-reacted to some little thing you'd said or 
done I was still pretty young You're holding up to me some past behaviour, 
 Things I've said and done Well, I can't say I didn't say them I can't say 
I didn't do them Your message is contradictory, Your desires 
incomprehensible My reputation's shot and my behaviour's reprehensible Your 
presence in my life Is as painful as it is indispensable And now I'm wasted 
with crying And trashed with sleepless nights, And you're stone cold sober, 
 You're trying to make me see the light I think you've over-reacted to some 
of the things that I once did Please remember I've grown up a bit And I 
could not have done that Without your forbearance And if I'm coming through 
for you Just as you're giving up. Well. That's a tough one Oh---
3.
Car 05:41
Car © Penelope Swales 1995 Down the freeway, See the glow light up the night And weaving through the 
foothills, Glimpses of this city's lights It's a city of demons for me 
Lurking in the fold of the hills, Its hiding, keeping its advantage Down the tollway, 
 Further into the heart of the spreading monster Twisting, turning, dipping, 
weaving All the other drivers speeding The hand of apprehension clutches 
my throat Claws at my coping mind Deprives me of my voice Glancing off 
the centre, Streets I recognise Here's where I took that "e" that went so 
bad Never do that again That's the Cross down there Where playing 
"Knocking on Heaven's Door" to drunkards Was my only grip on life But not 
tonight The roads here shift and change As if the city was made of sand Before you know it, you've taken a wrong turn But don't fight it, Just 
drift into an eddy where you can Scratch your head about where you went 
wrong There's no margin for error in the stream Out Old South Head Road now to Bondi, There the "forest bods" are waiting. They've worked hard For 
the attention of this city, yeah Driven by the urgency Of their 
acknowledged responsibility Out of their sweet, complacent havens in the 
North And down into the heart of the monster To spread the word, to raise a 
quid, And struggle against the woodchip machine for another year Another 
year.... Another year I was here, But I was different then My mind now is 
superimposed on my mind then, Everything I see is met with two sets of 
reactions Almost as if The me I might have been has been waiting for me 
here, Lurking in damp, piss-reeking alleyways, Hiding behind skips and wheely-bins I turn my head, is that my face? Yellow webbing satchel and 
busted guitar case, But it's someone's else's black leather shoulders 
 Shrugging in the cold And I know I'm rolling, rolling - ah, Speeding, 
speeding - ah, Freewheeling - ah! Rolling, rolling - ah, Speeding, speeding 
- ah, Freewheeling, - ah! And so are the wheels of this world, embodied in 
this city, So are the wheels of this world embedded in this city So are the 
gears of this world crashing in this city, The gnashing fears of this world 
clashing in this city My mind now is superimposed on my mind then, Down 
into the heart of the monster we go, To spread the message everyone already 
knows And I know that My car runs as blood in the veins of the monster, My 
car runs as blood in the veins of the monster, My blood runs in my veins in 
my car My car runs as blood in the veins of the monster, My car HIV, Hep C 
in the veins of the world, My blood runs in my veins in my car The monster 
is powered by me and myriads like me, The monster's powered by me and 
myriads like me, My blood runs in my veins in my car The monster is powered 
by me and myriads like me, The monster's powered by me and myriads like me 
 Even as we scream - STOP!
4.
The Panther 07:11
The Panther © Penelope Swales 1995 I couldn't say to save my face That he dragged me into his lair More that I 
sat at the door and hugged my knees and said "Can I come in there?" He 
smiled, turned away, arched his back and then he said "Mmm....." He smiled 
as though embarassed, thought awhile and then said " Yeah, hop in" It was 
then that I realised I'd climbed straight into the den of a panther Like 
Leda and the Swan but more carnivorous I put my arms around his deep chest, 
I put my face in his fur I breathed deep his animal scent, arched my back 
beneath his paws And there rose inside me, Deep in my human flesh, Deep in 
my female flesh, n answering panther call Rraah! I watched him play like 
big cats play, with water I watched him cautious like big cats are with 
fire I watched him watching me, that sideways, feline glance burning with a 
cool fire The flicker of interest concealing the furnace of desire In the 
middle of the night, I rang my mother I told her all about the Panther She 
said "My dear, these are the best years of your life. You should just go 
ahead and fuck" I said "Well, I would have anyway, but it's nice to have 
your sanction." She said "My dear, I completely understand. Sometimes it 
happens that way, Sometimes you find a man Who'll bring it all out in you. 
 Who'll pull it all out of you Who'll pour it all into you." Oh, all night, 
every night I'm in there rolling with the Panther In the day I wear my 
scratches and my bruises with pride In the evening I stalk the city streets 
with the Panther by my side I ride the Panther's back, I ride the Panther's 
flanks And he rides mine In wild lands of bitumen and traffic fume, I 
found me a panthe He said "If Chippendale's a jungle then we may as well 
be wild beasts" He said "I like it when you're really demanding. Go ahead, 
do what you want with me" And I felt inside me, Deep in my female flesh, 
 The Panther's claw, ooked in my belly, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Pulling it 
all out of me. Pouring it all into me Pulling that call out of me. Oh, all 
night, every night I'm Riding the Tiger with the Panther In the day I wear 
my scratches and my lovebites with pride In the evening I stalk the city 
streets with the Panther by my side His liquid movement My liquid 
tendencies His panther pride. The Panther came with me as far as the Blue 
Mountains, Then he switched his tail and turned away and went back the way 
we came He said "When I've finished constructing this particular cage, I'll 
be free I might just come sniffing after you so keep your hunter's moon out 
for me." And he caressed me there, at the station in his panther paws 
Pressed against me, yeah, just a reminder oh Of that panther claw in me Pulling it all out of me Pulling that call out of me Oh, all that day, 
like blinding sunlight in my eyes, all I could see was the Panther All that 
night I fled Sydney like a cat out of hel Fleeing my recent past into my 
not too distant future Hurtling towards it, hurtling towards that day Hurt, hurtling towards that moment, hurt, hurt, hurtling toward that 
instant I'm hurtling still. Rraah! Rraah-la-lul-la-lul-lul-lul-la-lah. Who 
can make sense of female response? Who can map the logic of desire? What 
makes it fly, what makes it cry, What makes it strive, what makes it die? 
 What makes it strive, what makes it die? Who can translate for me, what 
happened to me? Who can make sense of it? Hey, hey, what happened to me with 
that Panther man?
5.
6.
Miss You 06:15
7.
8.
Cusp 04:13
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.
9.
Blockade 05:46
10.
11.
12.
Aunty Betty 05:46
13.
14.
15.
Jacaranda 03:38

about

Penelope's second CD release, released as a double cd. Tracks 1-9 were Disc 1: The Third Journey. Tracks 10 - 15 were Disc 2: Returning on Foot. Originally released on Girl Zone Records.

credits

released January 7, 1995

Recorded at Cest Ca recording studio between December 1994 and May 1995. Engineered by Siiri Metsar, Produced by Penelope Swales and Siiri Metsar. Front cover photograph by Evan Clarry. Layout at digital imaging by Sean Doyle.

Thanks to: all the musicians who brought this album to life with their skill and dexterity. Extra special thanks to Sean Doyle for time and enthusiasm and Siiri Metsar who in my opinion should be voted a national living treasure. ALso to Peter Woolnough from Aurora Guitars, John Swales and Interactive Generation, David Alderson and Intalekt, and Norm and Moira from Cest Ca. Nick Morrey for the loan of his 12-string guitar, Mark Anstery for the loan of his mandolin. Kerryanne Farrer, Stephen Luntz, Miguel Heatwole, Aunty Betty King, Sam Watson and the Brisbane Aboriginal Legal Service, my mother Eve, various lovers, Louise fro the loan of her portable casette recorder, the 'acid test' machine one which we tested the mixes and all the others whose supprt and hospitality made this album possible.

Penelope Swales plays Lowden Guitars on this album. For enquiries regarding Lowden, contact Peter Woolnough, PO Box 768 Mullumbimby NSW 2482.

Octave mandolin by Jack Spira

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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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