A Coat Worth Wearing

by Neil McSweeney

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06:02

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For a full discussion of the songs on this record visit www.acoatworthwearing.com

credits

released March 10, 2017

All songs by Neil McSweeney
Produced by Andy Bell
Hudson Records

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Neil McSweeney Sheffield, UK

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Track Name: Old Glory Blues
There’s tea in the pot, there’s sugar in the bowl
& half the world’s ours from digging the coal
Glory flies up and flutters away
We all go down in the yellowing clay

Mary I wish you’d let it be
All hangs well in the family
A time of change is a changing sea
It might drown just as easily

Singing hey haw, there’s no riddle
Glory flies up while we go down
In the middle
The good Lord wants a man
To mark his ground

Mary I hear the wind that overcomes
No less clear than the whistle and drum
A rising tide will lift our boat
If we play it loose with the hawser rope

Singing hey haw, there’s no riddle
Glory flies up while we go down
In the middle
The good Lord wants
A man to mark
His ground
But all things in moderation

There’s tea in the pot and sugar in the bowl
& half the world’s ours from digging the coal
Tobacco in the box, cotton on the pole
For the thin red line or the carmagnole
Glory flies up and flutters away
We all go down in the yellowing clay

Singing hey haw, there’s no riddle
Glory flies up while we go down
In the middle
The good Lord wants
A man to mark
His ground
But all things in moderation
Track Name: Forlorn Hope
How did we get here?
From the Newport Rising
To the Mutineers of Barrackpore,
Them men did fall –
Chopped to pieces with
The Jewelled Sword
Then stacked on ships in bloody bits
One more cargo with a lading chit
For the city men, the company board,
The Queen of Hearts and the House of Lords

Pirate or privateer?
When the Prize Court sits at them pearly gates
It will reckon clear all this plundered gear
Strip all warrant of the mortal sphere
Then stacked on ships in bloody bits
One more cargo with a lading chit
Will be the city men, the company board,
The Queen of Hearts and the House of Lords

Or shame for the Forlorn Hope
Shame for the Forlorn Hope

How did we get here?
To the quiet seats in a circle box while young players
Here now come to cheer
Test their talents while we sit and sneer
But never stacked on ships in bloody bits
Never hell-bound cargo with a lading chit
Were those city men,
The company board,
The Queen of Hearts or the House of Lords

So shame for the Forlorn Hope
Shame for the Forlorn Hope
Track Name: Danse Macabre
The wolf is
In the kitchen
Helping himself to all
Your possessions and
All of your
Wealth

Leave one
Alive and the wolf will
Win. Leave none
Alive and
You are
Him

The wolf is
In the library
Pleasing himself
All your ambition
Swept from the
Shelves

Leave one
Alive and the wolf will
Win. Leave none
Alive and
You are
Him

The wolf is
At your chamber
Preparing himself there
Is no resistance there
Is nothing
Left

Leave one
Alive and the wolf will
Win. Leave none
Alive and
You are
Him

The wolf is
In the basement
Hanging his
Head
Track Name: Land of Cockaigne
Summer’s here again
Men are working
We hear them coming in
Through the meadow

Labouring we’ve been
Through the day
And labouring again
We’ll be tomorrow

Now to dream of Cockaigne
Fatted land of leisure.
The laying off of pain
The taking up of pleasure

When the summer’s passed
We’ll have our time back
Then a turn of the wheel
Will have us fighting

I’ve got two are strong,
Lord save the other
From the snow & the filth
And from the hunger

Now to dream of Cockaigne
Fatted land of leisure.
The laying off of pain
The taking up of pleasure
Track Name: Atlantis
the sky did blue my infant eye
dew did fill my veins from dry
weaned upon the warm, damp earth and
chaperoned by crawling lice

i never shall return
i lost the chart and bearing
since i sailed, my heart has failed
to find a coat worth wearing

i mapped you out, such a room you were
how deep and soft the carpet pile
how high and grand the ceiling curve
with lightening flash and birds a-flying

i never shall return
i lost the chart and bearing
since i sailed, my heart has failed
to find a coat worth wearing

how dark your furniture of trees!
what castles they concealed
with peasantry of lazy bees
and nobles all to battlefield -

from whence returned to be interred
within a broken bottle and
daisies laid upon their graves
to mark the bold adventure

i never shall return
i lost the chart and bearing
since i sailed my heart has failed
to find a coat worth wearing…
Track Name: Strangers of Maresfield Gardens
The Strangers of Maresfield Gardens
{In which General George S Patton consults Sigmund Freud}

I’ve been told that I am mad
Herr Dr. please advise
In myself I don’t feel bad
And thus far have survived
Many other better men
Who perhaps more balanced were
But now whose balance is a noun
While mine remains a verb

Very well I hear you sir
I’ll begin with what I see
By chance the urn upon your shelf
Depicts a younger me
You’ll notice that I wield a spear
Against a yielding foe
Just how it ripped into his ribs
The image cannot show

The wind blows cold & the wind blows right through you

My mother was a Macedon
And so back then was I
When destiny awaited me
Upon the walls of Tyre
At the breech my sword did reach
Into the enemy
Before the murder was complete
She reached back into me

I then awoke as Hannibal
And then in Caesar’s ranks
Then again on Crecy field
As Phillip’s army sank
I rode my way across the Steppe
Alongside brave Murat
Made an end at Waterloo
My innards in my hat

The wind blows cold & the wind blows right through you

There is just one ambition left
In this my current life
And I mean to grab him fiercely
By the asshole and the eye
And drive him backwards underneath
His precious linden trees
And with my tanks pour death on him
For final victory

When the end comes round once more
I’ll happily be dead
And sleep a while until the world
Wants Old Blood & Guts again.

So tell me what’s the verdict
Have you reached a judgement yet?
How can you say that I am not the sanest man you ever met?

When the wind blows cold & the wind blows right through you
Track Name: Waving Not Drowning
Oh fragrant day, radiant day, symphony!
We’ve sacrificed love and life to the fire
Atoms and the void synchronize in me
Captured in a wave cresting on a sea

I am cause. I am effect. Beautifully awake
Caught in this balancing act
‘Til the day I break

Every thought I have bubbling to my peak
Shift-shaping my form just perceptibly
Every urge I have an eddy from the deep
That weighs at my back with tidal gravity

I am cause. I am effect. Brutally awake
Caught in this balancing act
‘Til the day I break

Roses
Atoms and void
Skylark
Atoms and the void
Rock of ages
Atoms and the void
Silence
Silence!
Empires
Atoms and the void
Seasons
Atoms and the void
Memory…

Reason…
Track Name: Night Watchman
Light don’t leave me I need you now
For my true love waits across the town
I’m to meet her and win back her heart
Though she’ll wait no more while it gets dark

Time bid this hour stay –
Boot-heels give me speed on my way
Luna delay - for love!

I’m sorry. I’m covering old ground
For all this life allows still these hollow vows
Comfort the most dearly

Dusk.
She rolls her eyes and I close mine
Ere she lays me down
On a fragrant ground of burning leaves
I am deceived

Raise your devil to hold me down
The weight of heaven couldn’t hold me
Now I feel all is weightless above

I’m sorry. I’m covering old ground
For all this life allows still these hollow vows
Comfort the most dearly

It’s the fight of a life
To win time just to have and hold
Against a bitter tide
Of red and gold

I’m sorry I’m covering old ground
For all this life allows still these hollow vows
Comfort the most dearly
Track Name: The Call
The call
Will not be arranged
You will not know the name
Of the one who brings the change

The call
From half a world away
Throws a curtain on the play
Drags you from the stage
Your senses they awake
Your heart beats in a cage….

Blood’s bright lust must have its end
Go fetch on your boots. Gather all of your friends
We’ve got some questions. So we need some answers
If it’s in questioning we should trust.
Take up your horny hammers and
Get them swinging in the dust.

Must our hearts all beat in cages?
Must our minds be bound by skull?
Reacquaint your brains with your boney chains
You are rotting wood
You are creeping rust

Will we ever more be shackled to the shiny things
Whilst they talk amongst themselves?
Beholden unto every Google guru
Every jumped-up, jocularising, jingoistic elf?

Hey all you oozers. Yeah you, you losers
All you heavy, handsome hoards
Get up on the scales. Let’s get some wind in the sails:
Blow the locks off the local library door.

Just how many pragmatists do we need to change the bulb?
What about the rest of us? Hey, what about some principles?
Is a drunken, broken fighter swinging wildly at the wind
Any less well-suited to the world we’re moving in
Than the newly mortar-boarded? Kings of learning crowned in tin
Crooked captains of industry trickledown with oilskin

Singing “I’m finished”

I’m finished,

What’s next?