Truly a track for a twin. A heartfelt lovesong.
I think the root of this came from a dream my first wife, Elke, had. Never heard anything so ominous— Waking up, going into the street to find people on the edge of panic but no actual event to warrant it. When she asked somebody what the problem actually was, she received the answer, “Don’t you know? Lilith gave second birth …” This dream left a deep impression.
Sitting in the van thinking of the bigger picture, staring at cows in fields and indulging in the beauty of it all. Just has to be a point really.
Childhood fantasy. I think I had scary dreams/fantasies in my early teenage years. I wrote an outline for this one when I was thirteen and showed it to my mum, who was horrified. The resulting lyric was refined around ten years later.
GRAIN OF SALT
It doesn’t happen often, thankfully, but once in a while a feeling of self-loathing literally overwhelms me. Not just “Bad Hair,” but bad face, bad body, bad karma. Bad. The mirror can’t lie because I choose not to acknowledge it at those horrendous moments. As for a reason — well, that’s obscure. I guess it comes down to deep-set memories of awkward years as a teenager. Never let anyone kid you that these are the best years of your life — it was the opposite for me. Awkward, out-of-place, and a perfect target. “A Grain of Salt” is written from the point of view of those who were throwing the darts. Only now do I realize that the persecutors were also probably feeling awkward, out-of-place, and rigid with fear that they could become the next perfect targets. I prefer not to dwell on that part of my life, but sometimes it’s there again, and sometimes I hate that damn mirror. lyric art & mp3
MINUTES TO LIVE
Similar scenario to “Crushed Velvet” only it was my own dream. Just waking up with that familiar ominous feeling.
DER CHINA DOLLS
Deeply personal song. I guess I saw myself as a victim in an insanely harsh world — it still resonates today.
I don’t live so well in the real world. The actions of our so-called superiors win no respect from me and sometimes I wonder if there ever was a wise old king, a trusted emperor, a politician who really did care about the people. Then we have the “people.” The revolutions, bloody and velvet — and always the stupid lamentable cruelty. If the human race is really at the top of the pyramid then the Universe is in deep trouble. Happily I don’t think it is.
YOUR EYES, YOU CAN BE A SPACE CAPTAIN
Came from a story I heard about a dying child. The doctor asked him what he wanted to be. He answered “a space captain” and died peacefully with a smile on his face. The lyric admittedly twists this touching story, makes it personal but is ultimately very pro-life at the darkest moment.
AND THE LION TREE
Just a dark little children’s story. My grandma used to read to me at bedtime when I was very small, and it made the world just a touch more wonderful (it is, you know — despite it all).
Loneliness. A need to belong but too frightened to peep from under the covers.
A ferry boat sank off the coast of Belgium back in the eighties and many people sadly died. It was a journey we all made very often in the Dots as we crossed back and forth from England to continental Europe. This accident affected us all deeply.
LADY IN KHARKI
Island of Jewels is about a future war, where an individual with an almost unbearable thirst for power lies face down in the stinking pit of his achievements in the penultimate “triumphant” scene. To get to this “pinnacle” he turns the world into his own arena where everyone is surveyed, studied, followed, and snuffed out if they choose to question. Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? I’ll mention no ids. The last scene sees the grass growing again — because it always does. “Our Lady in Kharki” is part of this tapestry.
LIGHT IN MY LITTLE GIRL’S EYES
A wild, wonderful dream.
“Dominic” was conceived after 9/11 when it seemed the planet was so dreadfully fragile — like an egg rolling around on a china plate poised on the end of a pole. Life neatly preserved in a small oval container to be boiled, fried, scrambled, or just thrown at the wall. How cheap can life be — a few dollars for a dozen? Why Dominic? Seemed like a good name for an egg.
“Little Oyster” was one of those back-of-the-envelope songs. Written in a few minutes, recorded, and then dispatched as a paper aeroplane. Sometimes spontaneity is the only way to go.
“Pennies” was around since the late eighties — there’s even an earlier (lost) version. Childhood trauma plays its part there — memory of a plane crash close to Heathrow when I was very young and “accident tourists” blocked emergency services. Queues of traffic, picnics, little children running around — ghoulish and deeply disturbing.
A song for Elke. Intensely personal, where one person transforms into another — the closest person to them.
Sometimes the saddest songs are written when I’m actually in a good state state of mind. Could it be that nagging fear that everything just HAS to collapse — because I’m somehow unworthy of such happiness? “Lisa’s Separation” is such a song. Lisa always was a side of me — not an actual person.
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