Left with the Skies

by Yellowbelly

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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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Track Name: Time Underground
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
Track Name: Trim the Lamp
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
Track Name: Hard on the Heels
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
Track Name: Devil's Horseman
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
Track Name: Rise
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
Track Name: Where the Kosava Blows
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
Track Name: Harbourmaster's Daughter
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
Track Name: Waiting for the Long Train
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
Track Name: She Said to Say
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
Track Name: Nothing
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
Track Name: Feed the Crocodile
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
Track Name: One Day the Ground will Thaw
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
Track Name: Trailblazer
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
Track Name: When the Day's Work is Done
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

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