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Left with the Skies

by Yellowbelly

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Time underground there’s a hole in the map And the mischiefs of men We’ll moult one last time serenade you til then Time underground I can’t hear myself think The trees are enraged The soil it erupts and the sky is upstaged time underground underground time underground time underground in our burrows and holes biding our time the world it revolves with victimless crime Time underground put the cat in the wall With a rat in its jaw The bolts are all thrown but they come through the floor Time underground Tithonus is ours It's death you can cheat when the rules of the game are declared obsolete
You’ve come too far to turn now That ancient dust lies easily You’ll hear the footfall on the mat again One day You’ll trim the lamp you set out for the sea You’ll rise at midnight hold back the dawn To keep a watch upon the quay You name the east wind I’ll blow with the west One day We’ll trim the lamp we set out for the sea I know every stone Every storm petrel at sea One day You’ll trim the lamp that you set out for me
Hard on the heels of the flood comes the rain Just when you got the wheels out of the rut again Take a tip from Sisyphus, he knows that life’s in vain Hard on the heels of the flood comes the rain When I was just a young boy my papa told me son Time is the enemy one day your race is run When you get to my age think of this song i sung But don’t be looking back on all the stupid things you’ve done When I was just a young man I saw things on TV I did not think were possible in 1983 People dying of hunger we could have fed easily You think the sea wall’s safe because you have not seen the sea Hard on the heels of the flood comes the rain Just when you got your head out of the sand again Don’t stand there with Tantalus no gravy on the train Hard on the heels of the flood comes the rain Buy a cheap umbrella and it will not last the day Damn the yellow river and wash lots of things away Go out enjoy the sunshine in the merry month of may But I just spoke to Noah and you know what’s on the way Hard on the heels of the flood comes the rain Just when you got your name out of the mud again Don’t dine with Phinaeus find your own ball your own chain Hard on the heels of the flood comes the rain Creepy crawly weird things slither cross the ocean floor Got no long term memory but they’ve all been here before No use trying to stop them, no recourse to the law All waiting for the day when the heavens start to pour
Pick me up in gallows end i’m traveling light You’ll never see the driver’s face or out in the night Cross my palm with silver and my teeth are gold >From a blacksmith down in BabiYar or so I’m told Drop me off in Stanley where the road sign’s broke Never trust a wishbone, they’ll make you choke Don’t hang around the crossroads when the sun goes down Folks always leave their trash out on the edge of town There’s somethings that you’ll never cook With hemlock and a saucepan And there’s someplaces you’ll never go ‘less you pay the devil’s horseman the devil’s horseman Don’t tell the other passengers I’m boarding here Don’t hang around the gaslight when the shadows turn Coz I can teach a lesson that the bairns don’t learn Look away and watch the stars and count your rosary Ride throughout the night until you reach the sea As I fade into the moonlight pull the shutters fast The road you could have once turned off is long since past There’s somethings that you’ll never cook With snakeweed and a saucepan And there’s someplaces you’ll never go ‘less you pay the devil’s horseman the devil’s horseman Watch me disappear into the sawtooth hills Fret about your leaders and pay your bills Make haste over the pass while your trail is young Never meet a stranger’s eye and hold your tongue If you see another day and hear the rooster crow Feed the pig and buy a cow and watch the children grow Pick me up in gallow’s end I’m travelling light Never see the driver’s face or out in the night There’s somethings that you’ll never cook With wolfsbane and a saucepan And there’s someplaces you’ll never go ‘less you pay the devil’s horseman the devil’s horseman
Rise 04:22
Tell it like it is on the 4th of never Furrow up your brow and spin straw to gold If god cursed the land he’d curse the land forever Who needs a sinner back in the fold And I’m going to rise with you in the morning And I’m going to rise with you in cold How hard they try to leave with the swallows How hard the moon tries to get you to stay The rose falls from my mouth the indiscretion that follows I’ll be there at the death as clouds and deserts decay At 3 in the morning your blind spots will find you The wind will remember the key of your sigh The path never taken is there to remind you I came for the sun but I left with the sky
Retracing my steps neath contessa del vento I’ve a work too hard for the teeth of time The chariot leaves when it’s full of marmelo Looking for a language where everything rhymes Holed up for days til the khamsim dropped In a cracked shieling and we hunkered down Sky froze so hard that the air it locked I only sleep well on the cold hard ground And I packed up my things to go where the Kosava blows Told all my plans to a wireline driller What you can’t learn is always on the hoof Don’t cross the floes when the sun’s still up And take down the weather vane on the roof There’s a reaver’s blade and a settlers law Persephone’s back here again Storms always leave fresh meat on the shore A pail by the door full of yesterday’s rain You won’t find traction on a toad’s eye tin I bought these charts from a slipstream girl Promised me haven in St Kilda For a jasmine crown and a Foulness pearl Paid off the crew in Samarinda Burnt my tent on the Veszprém flats Shot all the dogs when the food was through So now it’s just me and the wind at my back
I lost my heart to a harbourmaster’s daughter Who said she’d keep herself safe from the Barbary Corsairs So I signed up for 3 years on the water And when I came home she was long long gone The innkeeper said that we were raided once again And the harbourmaster’s daughter well she’s taken or she’s slain So I stowed away with a sabre and a musket In a barrel on a sloop bound for Tunis I was gone The powder monkey found me and the crew they hauled me out They were all afeared of the Barbary Corsairs And when my tale was done the captain gave a shout Promised me his cannons, ship and crew to track her down so we put into Tunis, laid out florins for a guide Who saw which men had veracity and which told barefaced lies We greased a lot of palms and the alleys all were blind A ragged beggar let it slip that my love was alive At night we stormed the palace and we overcame the guards The eunuchs in the harem of the Barbary Corsairs But that lass was not among them and so beaten lost and scarred We turned tail and fled not knowing where next to turn Then a voice called out to me and stopped me in my tracks Saying you knew I’d keep myself safe until my man came back But the hard cold life of a harbourmaster’s daughter Cannot brook comparison with marauding on the waves So I became the husband of the harbourmaster’s daughter Joined the thieving and the plunder of the Barbary Corsairs Silver wine and grain the merchants sailed across the water We stole them all with pleasure and we lived a life that knew no care Until the day the English blew our ship to smithereens Clamped us both in irons and now I tell you what it means To win the hand and the heart Of the harbourmasters daughter Who’ll swing with me together at the rising of the sun
Thorn trees pleading with the sky Lightening don’t strike it passes by Fugitive don’t struggle any more Why scale the wall when you can walk out the door I may have the patience of a saint But a guide to the promised land I aint Though we know that all roads lead to Rome Stabbing Ceaser’s something we’ve outgrown And I’m waiting and I’m waiting and I’m waiting for that long train to pass Little do I know what’s on your mind Feel like I’m a passenger left behind Covering my tracks up all with sand So the devil cannot find me and my idle hands I always left well enough alone I fit my corner like a socket fit a bone Had my fill and never wanted more than this Time to lose that helicopter day Amputated memory hold sway Scan the skies and let the raptors be Wait up on the platform here with me
Got the world to ride upon got my hardened features on Would you put out the cyclops’ eye the kind of soul on whom the gods rely You don’t have to say a word Coz although your speech is clear my mind is slurred She said to say you think I’d know that repartee by now She said to say got you battened down boy got you filed away Left my brainchild in the rain took her in she weren’t the same Cut my cloth like everyone cut my words to suit my tongue That’s the ebb tide there’s the ceiling stars up in the sky freewheeling Floatin voters learn to swim politicians reel them in Glitterati come and go learnin curve is way too low There’s the rip tide there’s the ceiling Excuse me while i let this feeling go guess that all that running made me lame
Nothing 02:52
There’s no fattened calf when i come home No fire in the hearth, there’s no money to burn The hills are not painted in auburn and gold And nothing’s as fine as I’m told They don’t hang out the bunting just for me The sunset’s the same as all of the sunset’s I’ve seen The chapel closed down congregation forgot how to pray And nothing’s as fine as they say I’m no prodigal son nobody care what I’ve done Those dragon’s I’ve tamed or those cities I’ve names They all think I’ve been on the run Your days are all numbered in TV and ghosts And squabbles break out over who gets to argue the most My dreams were convicted now they’ve all been released on parole And nothing’s as fine as I’m told
A pound of meat a pound of lamb I quarry stones out of the dam Enthusiastic for a life boy it’s infectious Get your hands caught in the till you’d best be ambidextrous Or nimble boy at best A pound of Fleisch a pound of beef a tube a day to clean the teeth No trace of tooth decay don’t radiate remorse Blinkers tunnel vision or flogging any horse alive or dead Alive or dead I fed the crocodile so he’ll eat me last I learnt my lessons from my blood-stained past I keep my distance baby thoughts to myself I’ll be the last thing that he finds on the shelf I look after that crocodile and I look after myself A piece of dog a piece of cat they’ll feed you this they’ll feed you that We’re not really choosy who we pick up off the plate Feed off high and mighty or beggars at the gate Or anybody there Eye of newt and tongue of bat sleight of hand magician’s hat Can’t breathe in the moral high ground the oxygen is thin Now you need a reference just to be let in So you stay down in the swamp with the mosquitoes and the hookworms And the things that creep and crawl I fed the crocodile so he’ll eat me last I am untouchable the non get eaten caste I keep my distance baby thoughts to myself I’ll be the last thing that he finds on the shelf I look after that crocodile and I look after myself
Throw the lions to the Christians Put the Henker in the dock Poison our friends the bees Take the hands off all the clocks Put the sheep inside wolves clothing Let the treacle run When I meet my maker I will boast of what I’ve done One day the ground will thaw One day the ground will thaw Kill the King when he is sleeping Put a zero on the bill The world’s as full of sorrow As the ocean’s full of krill Lock the maiden in the tower And claim you never knew That the seeds of your destruction were all in the plants you grew When the dogs have had the rooster and the cold has had the crow Slip a silver to the gaoler free the inmates on death row When the fox finds he’s the fleeter and the whale’s the harpooner For all your pretty pennies there’ll be no way out of here Losing all the food parcels Throwing finless creatures back Dungeon key’s been found go dust off all the racks Pluck the bristles from a pig steal the bucket from the well They’re ploughing up the ground in the places soldiers fell Run the urchins ragged sap the juice from all the wells Beguiling the weak-minded til I run out of my spells They’ll come out of the woodwork now the litmus test is in The devil never fails to pay the wages for the sin
Trailblazer 03:55
Fall out with the phone unplug your friends Lose the connection between the means and the ends Sever the ties between the fair and the foul The pussycat’s filed for divorce from the owl Someone’s blazing a trail for me out of here tonight Unchain the monkeys take the paint off the clowns Say your goodbyes to the ups and the downs When the ringside is empty and the cages are bare I never got that joke that we shared Someone’s blazing a trail for me out of here tonight Somone building a thoroughfare just for me tonight Now the king has retired and the jester’s in charge The jabberwock and his friends are roaming at large I keep my head in the cumulous clouds Coz me and the larks well we can’t stand the crowds Are you coming too Are you coming too
It’s an empty road home won’t you meet me at the station Juliet With that smile that you told me was all mine I’ve been away the world’s as crooked as it’s round Juliet I need that smile that you told me was all mine Don’t try to part the clouds anymore Only the blind stare at the sun We were raised in the darkness and if our prayers are heard Then they’re heard when the days work is done Spring will blow me home used my bootlaces for something I forget I never thought those bootlaces were mine It’s a devil of a job to know the currency in which you hold the debt I never really thought those debts were mine I’m coming back for my wings coz I haven’t used them yet Sky said she hadn’t found the time Those stars look like home I’ve been as far away as any soul could get And I never met no-one who had the time Nothing but holes in my pockets and I’ll be off the train before the sun has set The wind has proved me wrong in every town And looking like the furniture and songs sung in the slow key of regret But I’ve kept all the rain that I have found


We are selling beautuful hard copies of the CD at gigs

1 Time Underground
2 Trim the Lamp
3 Hard on the Heels
4 Devil's Horseman
5 Rise
6 Where the Kosava Blows
7 Harbourmaster's Daughter
8 Waiting for the Long Train
9 She Said to Say
10 Nothing
11 Feed the Crocodile
12 One Day the Ground will Thaw
13 Trailblazer
14 When the Day's Work is Done


released May 1, 2017

Copyright Lawrence Davies
Image Sian Bowi (with permission)


all rights reserved



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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