Birds of Plenty

by Yellowbelly

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1.
Fly in a Jar 03:09
Fly in a jar Felled like a pine that has grown too far Brought down to earth like a shooting star We lost the manual for who we are Trapped like a fly in a silver jar Don’t blame the wasps because thy won’t blame you They’re only doing what the wasps will do Sting in the tail and the venom too Trapped in the sun til the summer’s through I don’t mind as long as you’re there We’re inclined to states of disrepair And that fly in the jar he was a billionaire Charged by a lion you should stand your ground If you’re the only biped there for miles around Forget about Instagram don’t make no sound Trapped on a world that is way too round Here comes the loa loa worm through your eye That’s really all they want to do and they don’t know why n symptoms are fatigue and itching then you die God says you’re trapped go forth and multiply Elephants are grieving by the water hole the Crocodiles are cruel man they got no soul their Keith Richards smiles they think they’re rock and they’re roll Trapped in a crowd when there’s no crowd control Scare away the birdies coz they eat the corn Thank you say the insects as they start to swarm 30 million starve and their mothers mourn Trapped in a game where you’re just the pawn
2.
Save the best I’ve been south and I’ve been west They televise the sunrise but I save the best I been here all along I decode every road that I’ve been on I set sail for seven seas And I dropped anchor at the slightest breeze Turned my hand to shape the sun Released the Birds of Plenty but I held my tongue Stole the show shared the spoils Is that a ring or just the serpent’s coils I was sleeping on the job I would flatter to deceive I was the mainstay of the plot the prosecution had to weave If you needed a conviction someone blind to take the fall There’s a way up through the briars If you will bear the pall Soldiered on, the bitter end Barricades abandoned, nothing to defend Bore the brunt, took the knocks It’s not the fall that kills you it’s the sudden stop I’ve been south and I’ve been west They televise the sunrise but I save the best
3.
The Ratcatcher’s Apprentice Build a copper tower and idolize the light The Ratcatcher’s apprentice has slipped into the night Go down into the cellar and there drink of the dark The woodpecker will prise away the tree from the bark I’ve 5 lame dogs and I’ve one deaf mute I ve got the data but it don’t compute The ratcatcher’s apprentice he’s got work to do For the children of Hamlyn and for you Born and bred to fetters hidebound by the sight Of contraband exchanging hands the wrongs that make a right If terminal velocity should take your tower down You can always earn as crust by turning witness for the crown When the will and the fist join the thief of time The whisper in the bones the truth that keeps you waiting Maybe you’ll grow wings on your way down And what if your copper tower should shake and should fall Your backup files are empty of a heart to reinstall Or if your copper tower’s 4 ways in and no ways out The faithful crack the whip over those all wracked with doubt
4.
Tack with the wind Patch up my sails with that dress that you ripped On the old rusty ladder Down by the quayside Fix up my keel with a plank from the bench when the sky was our friend And the world was wide Plug all the gaps in my leaky hull My rigging must weather a storm We’ll spend one more night with the gulls and the shingle And I’ll tack with the wind in the dawn Fill up my hold up with old beaten copper and pygmies from china and yarns that I’ve spun Far fetched and all true Shanghai me a crew who will follow me blind Where the map gives no quarter in the brass monkey weather Where I’ll still look for you Scrape all the barnacles off from my hull My rigging must weather a storm We’ll spend one more night with the gulls and the shingle And I’ll tack with the wind in the dawn Swear me an oath though we don’t have a bible You’ll keep all my secrets when I run aground Don’t stand on the shore just turn and go lightly For as the crow flies so the clock it is wound Scuttle my hopes for I’m dead in the water My rigging must weather a storm We’ll spend one more night with the gulls and the shingle And I’ll tack with the wind in the dawn
5.
Sickle and the saw Cut down deep to find the marrow in the bone Squeeze real hard you’ll find there’s blood inside the stone And money in the church roof when the father’s not at home And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw Skin the cream and throw the milk away Pay in peanuts and its monkeys all the way While your menials in overalls find needles in the hay And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw Drain the swamp for all the gators care Feed on truth well-done medium or rare Always outperform you with that cold reptilian stare & there’s gold in the sickle & the saw As you fade away at the top of the hill Throwing in the towel becomes a marketable skill The days are full of numbers and the nights bring on the chill And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw Turn the screw until the timbers squeal The show’s a sham but the showman’s real Packages are empty but the brand appeal And there’s gold in the sickle and the saw Sell the lease before the roof caves in Read up on the weights of silver nickel rocks and tin Bet your bottom dollar that the house will always win Working for the sickle & the saw Roll the stone and watch the woodlice scram Board the boats in droves make off for New Amsterdam Your little legs can’t do the job but blind ambition can You can’t run from the sickle and the saw Brave a raft of rubber or the whip inside the home God plants seeds but the devil sows the stones Everyone’s a winner and the prizes are the loans No rest from the sickle and the saw
6.
High 05:08
High Fish in the cock pit of a B52 Salvaged the propellers they were rusted through Seams of silver that we left in the ground While we choke on plastic and it’s smiles all round Build your aspirations build them windturbine high Watch them as they turn as they blot out the sky Longshore drift (‘ll) blow the bones up the beach Medusa’s on a roll she’s got a long, long reach Where do I hold my head do I hold it high, hold it high When I meet my maker do I look him in the eye look him in the eye Lizard wave his little legs as much as he can Extinction it beckons from the sky little man Wipe that Triassic species smile off your face Me I’m the undisputed winner of the long arms race Won ultimate freedom of infinite choice And I choose a shackle with a small thin voice To pitch my delivery and polish my style And underneath it all there’s that Triassic smile Are the fish complicit in the chain of the sea Are the targets moving much too close to me Attention deficit will concentrate minds My cognitive delusions are all live online
7.
Celandine 02:51
Celandine A hayrick by the river a kite up on the rise Kapella and the pipistrelle pirouette just for the skies Comparisons with angels all lost upon the mean Me I’ll beat the sun just me and celandine Precarious the willow, hedgerow and the shore None to let it slip what you’re down here for Strike a light and show me a dry and dusty scene The gate is always open for me and celandine I’ll swallow the ocean of all I’ve said and done Of time that is past or passing or to come Wanting Bilberry and flaxweed And flowers that are sung Me and celandine, we’ll walk beneath the sun Banished to the battlements with only love and war Guns to sheer the mountains for settling old scores Ragged robin and valerian I know where I’ve been Come with me cos there’s a place for us and celandine
8.
Hijack a plane We’re gonna hijack a plane we’re gonna bring it down Not gonna land on a runway not gonna land on a map We’re gonna hijack a plane we’re not bringing it back We’re gonna ransom the crew we’re gonna make em sweat Coz we wanna be you not necessarily rich Don’t call a choice a choice when there’s a hitch Not born with a silver spoon a knife or a fork We knew we were losing before we knew how to talk We’re gonna hijack a plane we’re gonna bring it down We’ll be taking the ship and all the stuff in the hold Can’t afford virtue when you’re hungry and cold At the end of a chain you tend to do what you’re told and his family love him it looks bad if he dies we’ve done some research know what the captain is worth it’s not stamped in your passport it’s stamped on you at birth
9.
Tell me if the Ocean’s Blue Smoking gun deep in the bedrock sleeping dogs they never lie Smell a rat from half a mile and leave the passers by What you break you pay for but the cheque’s a little late And if the fish won’t bite well then it’s time to change the bait Can you tell the pinprick from the needle, enchantment from the curse Any fool can read your fortune any ghost can drive a hearse saying send charts and a compass and you left like people do and tell me if the ocean’s blue I’m a hit in Remouchamps lips the best place for a scar No-one winds up by accident down in Les Trous de Bra So I left without Orion and the wind picked up the tune The owl comes out at night because his only fiend’s the moon Can you tell decay from diamonds, the bad from what is worse Any fool can read your fortune any corpse can drive a hearse You learnt the lines by heart and played the oldest scene anew And she said tell me if the ocean’s blue Belief’s a worthless currency it never pays the bills Credit where it’s due I want the baubles and the frills The rooks won’t drink the water there in Deadwoman’s Ditch No gallows on the map because the hangman struck it rich Slept underneath a sunflower, a murmur through the dark Of the shadows time has carved inside the craters of the heart Paced a hill in winter hidden deep inside the pack And I never once looked back I never once looked back I never once looked back
10.
Bowsprit home Wind stir the grass on a black night A long hot day of disenchantment And the winds of 8 directions Bring me charity and a prayer See all my sons at play Hear my daughters laugh and moan There’s a ship long cast adrift In all your wayward hair And I sing a song With the wind in my face Carry a cargo That’s yours to replace Steer me a course set it in stone Where is my bowsprit home Is the keenest air in heaven? And the sharpest minds aspire To overcome the sky And the gentle sound of rain When the eastwind runs the west Young men lay claim to fortune Yet I will not be daunted By the standards you have set Speak not of moderation I blow straight from the sea Do not doubt the wordws so fleet upon wind Do not doubt me
11.
That Ridge 02:59
That Ridge Beyond that ridge there’s a myth lived still Free of half-life embers and the graveyard chill Over the escarpment there’s a light so charmed Notes poured pealed down on a land becalmed Don’t look for me cos I’ll be gone For a cloud in passing a wild raven’s song Don’t look for me cos I’ll be gone For the salmon falling where the root is strong Far from the soothsayers with empty eyes (In the) half light grey another long day dies Cross the fell to find a furnace rage At the fallow questions on the gilded stage Spurn the highway the defendant’s plea Obtuse to charnel house reality Things I love are things I cannot see today Take a turn with all your joys and cares If daylight comes upon you unawares Thank the helmsman when you’re safe on shore The crossing’s hard but that’s what hardship’s for
12.
Before you get there I hitched my wagon to Solferino Put my head in the lair of the bear But I’m not cut from the stuff of heroes And I’ll be gone before you get there I plied my trade at Chatanooga At Paschandale I did despair With my Gattling gun and Luger But I’ll be gone before you get there I saw the sun rise at Isandwala Had to shield my eyes from the glare For the sunrise is not a given thing And I’ll be gone before we get there I raised the standard at Borodino Fought with a courage beyond compare Now that valour become a freak show And I’ll be gone before we get there I wrote my name at Carthage in the dust I know the words to every prayer One day those blades and barrels they will rust away But I’ll be gone before we get there
13.
Deadwood bridge Meet me by the station at the deadwood bridge Bring a piece of everything you’ve been A star that guides a thousand periled sailors home Just so they can all drown in their dreams Meet me at the cloudburst by the deadwood bridge An eye out for the place to say goodbye Held you in a backwater you tied my hands You said all the better for to fly You won’t have to cover for me When I’m gone the price that vice will pay For virtue’s only child Will hold her ground and not be swayed Meet me where the maple shades the deadwood bridge Stay until you see the dying sun Should I lick the wounds or push the splinters in And taste the barbs that I’ve sown upon your tongue Meet me where the pondweed fills the deadwood bridge Butcher birds will take it all apart Sky holds too much light and the time to go With the feathers you have placed inside my heart
14.
Silver of the Mantazas There’s one law for the wicked and one law for the rest of us Rivets rust the sky comes loose and claims the very best of us hala There’s one law for the cunning and one law for the meek of heart Spirits sink blood runs cold the wind will tear the weak apart hala Deep beneath the turmoil of the waves she rises Deep beneath the turmoil of the waves she rises hala There’s one rule for the tiger and one rule for the tiger’s skin In the jungle of the hungry his claw upon the monkey din hala There’s one rule for the heedless one for the attentive child Tendering the future slain all things uncouth and wild hala and all the silver of the Mantazas will not bring my children back There’s one road for desertion one for those that stay the course We’ll strip the fields of barley and when we’re done we’ll eat the horse hala There’s one road to the palace and one down to the sullen seas Where ships over the skyline drown their crews remorselessly hala
15.
Half in Hope 02:21
Half in hope Hung around the linden tree half in hope you’d come Cut a switch at the old wharf wall half in hope you’d come Peddled time where the hogweed bloomed half in hope you’d come Looked for you when the jackdaw flew she said be on your way Penned a tune as the west wind blew it said be on your way Sat outside til twilight knew that I was on my way It ain’t miles and miles or the roses on the hill Not the shadows lengthening as shadows always will Kicked my heels when the blood moon grew half in hope you’d come Never left when dust was due half in hope you’d come Stuck around like people do half in hope you’d come
16.
Mountain Goat I’ve got the rage I’ve got the heart I’ve got the tools I’ll take the whole damn sky apart I’ll shake my beard at god on his throne It must be so very lonely all on his own Your tears will stain the mountain side but I will not be moved I find the little places I’ve got cloven hooves I’m going to stay on the mountainside I’m going to live me in hope The sheep will all come down when the snow falls Hard But not this old mountain goat but not this old mountain goat Tell me the stars sing me the rain the granite will age me but my heart it will remain The poets will whimper and the bards they will sing Of the horns of their dilemmas and all your broken things Leave path for the highway leave the rocks for the few Leave the heights to be scaled by the love that I bear you Trace me the peaks Drench me the day Not brave a step above the treeline nor kiss my grace away Defy the hours mock city walls Curse my luck at nightfall when the ghosts come out to call When the proud heart is over all that’s left is blood and stone Wear my beggar’s cape and hat and call the world my own

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released February 17, 2020

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Yellowbelly Nuremberg, Germany

Yellowbelly are Lawrence, Stefan, Markus, Boris and Kathi. They play guitars, violins, drums, a double bass, a banjo, a mandolin, a lap steel, an oud and other instruments, but not all at the same time. Yellowbelly play in pubs, churches, barns, internists's surgeries, fields, living rooms, stages and castles. Yellowbelly play songs about forgotten space probes, trains, cicadas and ratcatchers. ... more

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