When the music ends

by John Meed

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released March 12, 2009


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Track Name: When the music ends
My name is Jacob Cope and I come from everywhere
I sing a song of hope. a song against despair
My father taught me to play this gypsy violin
And I still hear him say every time a song begins

Count me out, count me in
Count the reeds, count the wind
Who knows what might begin
When the music ends?

We wear the badge of our race
In our hearts and on our sleeves
In the music that we play
And in the stories that we weave
That night by the fire, soldiers gathered all around
They thought they could count the time
And one more song they would allow

We set our instruments alight, and we began to play
All through the darkest night with little hope of day
Seven nights and seven days, never pausing for a rest
Our little orchestra still plays
Every note another breath

Nobody stopped the trains
Though everybody knew
Though Dresden was in flames
Though the lines were clear to view
Track Name: Red caravan
They came out of nowhere one midsummer’s eve
They tethered their horse in a field
I watched them in secret
From under the College Wood trees
They lived in a red caravan

Their children stayed home while I went to school
And they learnt to shine pots and to polish hand tools
Then one morning they vanished
With the wind from the hills
They left in their red caravan

Other country people travelled the land
Sleeping in haystacks, sleeping in barns
Offering work for a meal or a shirt
Selling clothes pegs and herbs
Camomile, sage and rosemary
For a life less sedentary

You can call them gypos, pikies or thieves
Move them along if that’s what you believe
But I’d have forsaken these solid walls
And all these certainties
I’d have gone with the red caravan
Track Name: Rainbow
I know it’s hard to be the one who’s waiting
I know it’s hard to be the one alone
And as the evening light is fading
I have many miles to go

I know she loves me like she loves
The lengthening shadows on the alien corn
I know she loves me like the exile
Loves the land where she was born

And if the stars should fail along the Angel Road
And if the light should pale and all the colours go
And if the storm should break before I make it home
She will be my rainbow

I know that I could find a cheap hotel
Help me make it through the night
Spare my eyes the blinding
Of these oncoming lights

But I would rather feel her fingers
As they brush against my arm
And I would rather plunge the darkness
Of her homecoming charms
Track Name: Queen Mary
We went down to the Solent sound
My family and me
To see my aunt and uncle America-bound
On board the Queen Mary
She was the finest ship afloat
With two swimming pools and a barber
And my dad said ‘Let’s get a rowing boat
Chase her out the harbour’

My Grandad took the starboard oar
And my father took the other
We’d have made a handsome coxless four
If I’d have had a little brother
At first we matched her stroke for stroke
And we rowed with all our might
Then those tugboats slipped their ropes
And she sailed out of sight

It could have been a family disaster
If we’d have rowed just a little faster
A hidden rock or a lump of wreckage
Would have sunk the whole male lineage
There’d have been no more Meeds

Sometimes in the night
I have a dream
I see that liner shining bright
And she’s sailing out to sea
And though I row with all my strength
I row my boat alone
I just wake up soaking wet
And that liner’s gone

And my aunt and uncle they stayed in America
And they praise the Lord up in Montana
And the Queen Mary she’s in Southern California
She’s a floating hotel
No more life on the ocean
No more sailing the seven seas
I guess that’s what happens to childhood dreams
Track Name: Waiting for the argonauts
Two singles for Delphi
And the heart of this ancient land
Where the eagles met and rested by the well
Past the crossroads where Oedipus
Cut his own father down
And I’ve a feeling I’ve been here myself

In a school in the cliff side
Where the nymphs used to play
Aristotle taught Alexander in the open air
Ideas can bring freedom, enlightenment and hope
Or they can roam the world with a sword of revenge

Don’t bring me coffee
Don’t bring me tea
I’m waiting for the argonauts, can’t you see
Hold the croissants, and the pain grille
I’m waiting ‘till the Argonauts come sailing over the bay

And I waited on the mountain
For the gods to reappear
With all the sacrifices that I brought
Out along the shorefront
Where the music rips the night air
I’m waiting for the argonauts

I waited in the monastery in those byzantine times
I waited with the sultans and their courts
I waited with the sephardim
On the one-way railway tracks
And I’m still waiting for the argonauts
Track Name: The Clarendon Road
I expected to hurt
And I expected to hide
But what I least expected
Was this emptiness inside
Hollow to the core
Scooped out and sore
And nothing to feel anymore

I expected to shiver
And I expected to slide
But what I least expected
Was to feel my face on fire
Hot coals for teeth
And nettles for a wreath
And I miss you, I miss you beyond belief

When it all comes round again
And I switch to overload
That’s when I remember you
And the Clarendon Road

Leaves dropped like acid
Outside your room off Clarendon
You made me chicory coffee
And you played me Micheal Chapman
But I’m not qualified to survive
I’m just the one who’s still alive
And song after song
Is a pointless reminder

I spin them round again
And the feelings overflow
When I remember you
And the Clarendon Road
Track Name: The empty nest song
Empty room where the sunlight plays
On an empty bed and an empty chair
Doorbell quiet at a quarter to four
Nobody kicks off their shoes and rushes upstairs

Days of anger, war and of peace
Days without seeing the wood for the trees
Days in the hills and days by the sea
A lifetime is just a collection of days like these

You say that I should be counting my blessings
Rather than counting the days
I’m sitting here just reminiscing
It’s the price one pays when childhood ends

You say that I should be acting my age
Rather than playing the fool
Standing alone on an empty stage
It’s hard to look cool when childhood ends

Sixth formers rush through the November rain
Back home to play the generation game
Round and again and again and again
That’s why today is childhood’s end
Track Name: The Woodstock rest home
They’ve taken over the asylum
The oldies are out of control
Watch out for speeding bathchairs
As you walk down your road
They may not know which day it is
But they don’t care
If you can remember the sixties
You just weren’t there

See the rock and roll grandad
Groovin’ to his favourite track
Watch the hippy grandma
Knocking those betablockers back
They took a trip too far
Around the pleasuredome
Welcome to the Woodstock rest home

Bob Dylan’s in the corner
For him the times have long stopped changing
Yesterday forever young
Today forever aging
Mick Jagger scorched his long johns
Jumping round the fire
While the Byrds inject the insulin
Just to keep them eight miles higher

And all those distant summers
Of endless love and peace
Are locked away inside
A hundred fading memories
On the mantelpiece are wilting
Those San Fransisco blooms
Welcome to the Woodstock rest home

Rod Stewart can’t remember
Which wife visited him today
But he flirts with all the nurses
And calls them Maggie May
Cat Stevens still can’t keep it in
I thought I’d like to warn you
While the Eagles think they’re staying
In Hotel California

And later in the evening
Round the table they join hands
Reach out to Jim and Jimi
Janis, Brian and Gram
So many tortured souls
These hallowed chambers roam
Welcome to the Woodstock rest home

We are the baby boomers
On that we all agree
And growing old was not the plan
In nineteen seventy
We tore up all the scriptures
We threw out all the rules
From Nixon through to Cheney
How we laughed at all the fools

And now that it’s the twilight
For a golden generation
We dream of one more acid test
And one more demonstration
But don’t you write us off just yet
We can always make some room
Welcome to the Woodstock rest home
Track Name: Every day
Maybe it was a Saturday, maybe it was a Sunday
Maybe when you first drove up
In your Citroen Deux Chevaux
I know you crossed the sea, you came to stay with me
But was it then I fell in love with you?

Maybe it was a Friday, we walked by the estuary
Maybe when the fog lifted you first came into view
I know and I understand why you almost held my hand
But was it then I fell in love with you?

And every passing day the plot just thickens
Just like a play by Shakespeare or a book by Dickens
But neither them nor me can write the mystery
Of how I fell in love with you
And why you fell in love with me

So many pairs of feet walking through airport arrivals
Wave after wave of faces
‘til yours came smiling through
If one more pair of feet makes my heart skip a beat
Was it today I fell in love with you?

Every day, every day, every day
Track Name: Woodpeckers and bluebells
Talk to me of woodpeckers and bluebells
Talk to me of home and Shipley Glen
On these dark winter days
I would see them again
I would wrap these ties of friendship
Round a bunch of daffodils
Don’t talk to me of yesterday
Talk to me of bluebells

Look at the woodpeckers and bluebells
I am feeling stronger now
And the cotton grass grows
Up on the moor brow
I would walk through these beechwoods
Down to the old canal
Don’t talk about tomorrow
Just watch the bluebells

Take these woodpeckers and bluebells
Store them in a song
For when your heart feels empty
And the days seem so long
Drink from this beaker of memories
As you wander over the hills
And hear the distant woodpecker
Sing to me of bluebells
Track Name: Flatlands
Clouds paint mountains in the sky
And I dream of northern hills and sigh
When I awake to find that I am in the flatlands
Ninety five miles in this train
Ninety five miles of pouring rain
Ninety five miles and still no end to the flatlands
In the flatlands all you can see is sky
In the flatlands all the clouds do is cry
The wind will scratch and claw at your eyes
In the flatlands

I left you today with just one caress
I didn’t mean to add to your distress
And anyway I know that you can’t care less
For these flatlands
And what I did today won’t save the earth
In fact it might make matters worse
And I wonder if it’s all been worth these flatlands
In the flatlands all you can hear is the wind
In the flatlands eternity begins
Cathedrals take your money
But they leave you your sins
Hallelujah flatlands

A girl on the phone with a gravely whine
Asks her mum to meet her at twenty to nine
Just like me she wants to leave behind the flatlands
Maybe Cromwell liked it here
Maybe the water’s good for beer
But the places I love are nowhere near the flatlands
In the flatlands all you can feel is the past
In the flatlands nothing’s going to last
The waves will come and take back what they’ve lost
Goodbye flatlands

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