Returning on Foot

by Penelope Swales

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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

tags

license

all rights reserved
Track Name: Sweet Moderation
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.
Track Name: Stone Cold Sober Part 1
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---
Track Name: Car
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!
Track Name: The Panther
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?
Track Name: Cusp
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.