I don’t believe lyrics are necessarily to be read as poetry, so these aren’t printed to be admired as such. I put a lot of time into the lyrics, possibly more than the music. If I’m to sing something over and over again, I want to access the emotions easily and make them easily transmittable.
I’m happy with these words that have made it out in public, so I’ve put up my lyrics for those further investigating the thematic clarity in the songs (or who can’t understand what I’m singing).

There are two collections, the Mitropa (2019) set of songs and the Close as a Slow Dance (2012) album lyrics.

Mitropa (2019)

Hot Engine
Stolen Kisses
Oh Land Oh Lover
Riding Down The Moon
At The End Of Tonight
I Will Never Marry You
Two Horses
Lights On! Eyes Open!

Hot Engine

It’s hard to work with those soft, blue eyes
Women get mercy only after loneliness
You ride them down hard in the black dust
Of your thoughtful looks and your thoughtful lust

You chase them down east of Eden
Under the hot engine of the sky
And you talk of water, you talk of water
You talk of water ’til their mouths are dry

Time paints powerful pictures
Of what’s already dusty and displaced
She won’t pull the night’s takings and jump in that hearse with you
She will rest some and the darkness with lift away

You chase them down east of Eden
Under the hot engine of the sky
And you talk of water, you talk of water
You talk of water ’til their mouths are dry

You’re a still, deep river
They’re wide open
You’re a smoky range
They’re a suitcase by the highway
You’re a seat in the back of an old movie shack
They’re jars waiting by the fountain
I was asleep for so long, four years gone
I came back a veteran

You take pictures of their pictures of you
Put them in a book with clippings from the paper
Forging yourself with a spidery hand
Your maps are only made of sand

You chase them down east of Eden
Under the hot engine of the sky
And you talk of water, you talk of water
You talk of water ’til their mouths are dry

You’re a still, deep river
They’re wide open
You’re a smoky range
They’re a suitcase by the highway
You’re a seat in the back of an old movie shack
They’re jars waiting by the fountain
I was asleep for so long, four years gone
I came back a veteran

Stolen Kisses

Stolen kisses
You keep them in your bag next to your phone
He’s not in our circle of friends
He’s somebody that you know
They have a gravity
So that it’s just a little harder to walk beside you
They have a frequency
That’s only open between him and you

And if we were in the same room as him
Would I notice an electrical field around?
And if you never saw him again
Would you still feel the insistent pressure of his mouth?
And do you trace those fabulous lips of yours
With a finger so you don’t forget?
Are those secret messages –
Of love, of lust, of regret?

And when we steal,
We fear our treasure will be stolen in turn
Colonial kisses, so stealthy, beside me
Creeping in to make you burn
Well, I can see them baby
I can see them working inside of you
Every word, each polite embrace
Is a red thread between me and him and you

And even if it’s only stolen kisses
It affects the way you carry yourself
And it makes me crazy to think you wanted
His stolen kisses, his stolen kisses
His stolen kisses for yourself.

Oh Land Oh Lover

Oh towering darkness
Oh blessed countryside
Oh light whose hands caress us for too short a time
Oh land oh lover
You make us earn your favour
Though you never spend a night alone, we wait
Under towering darkness for the shimmering dawn

Oh maddening promise
Oh everlasting prize
Kisses on the forehead of the sacrifice
Oh drums, oh pyre
The withered king retires
And patient is ground to bone
For the maddening promise of the shimmering dawn

Riding Down The Moon

I’ve walked to the factory
Pushing through the men and past their dark sedans
However fast they drew
Still, I knew, to be faithful
Just to me

Give a little, not too much from desperation
Give just a word or two
And though they seem like tough, unjust years
They can be pulled through

And if I die tonight
Put out my red shoes. I will be
Riding down the moon

He kicked in my door tonight
No, this was the last time.
I stoved in his head
With his iron crow. Living’s by choice, I suppose
But death here is rarely so

They washed my matted hair
But they won’t get me medication
Sickhouse Fever Blues
I’m a piece of lost property
Without a claimant
Jail would be more secure

Give a little
Not too much


I haven’t felt that burning feeling
I haven’t felt that burning feeling
I haven’t felt that burning feeling for so long

I haven’t felt that burning feeling
Crazy love that’s crimson and beholden
That’s not paid up like the rent
That’s paid off in hock, like a desperate debt

I haven’t filled that yearning feeling
How do I hold true to a good thing
I was scratched with a brittle blade
I can’t shake that itch and sit still for a decade

Burning feeling

At The End of Tonight

At the end of tonight
When we ache no more
We’re spent and placid on the floor

Our enmities
They cut like teeth through our civility
Our meager land sought
Only agents, never heroines
So if we were to win, we had to take the streets like them
But only more so
And fight ourselves, our lovers, our machines
For the spoils

At the end of tonight
When we ache no more
We’re spent and placid on the floor

Our antic schemes
Two neophytes, we planned in semi-secrecy
Our hope, resilience,
Of brilliance to wash out mediocrity
We marked our targets
We laid the charges and we ran
We just left in time
Machinery exploded
And the air smelt like oil

At the end of tonight
When we ache no more
We’re spent and placid on the floor
When the low road’s out after the war
We’re satiated but are we safer than before?

The greedy bawling of our hunger was authority
And bore witness to our puncturing the body politic
We had a feeling, like at fourteen, before we knew
In democracy we fight ourselves, our lovers, our machines
For the spoils

I Will Never Marry You

You’ve lain in my bed every cold morning
You have demanded I be true
“I am the hunter,” you said,
“and I’m as you’ve demanded
I have bestowed my best gifts on you.”
“I’m not the hunted,” I said,
“and I can manage to be faithful
but I will never marry you.”

You can bind my raven hair with flaming red ivy
Present me to love in my own costume
“Melt me in your strong hands,” I said, “and in that way
I will consent to be consumed.”
In the palms of my strong hands, there lay my own reins.
So I will never marry you.

I see the love letter in your eyes. You fell for its fictions.
Have our long nights got to you?
I can teach you to love me without expectations
And our content will distill like the dew.
One day baby, we’ll be old together
But I will never marry you.

Two Horses

Two Horses, golden and silver
Caught your furious tongue as rioters owned London.
Dancing horses, you saw them blazing.
You rubbed them gently, before you slapped them hard.
They’re dancing.
You’re drawn and quartered.
In any case, your mind was divided.

Hard working words erode
Comfortable silences.
Ushers in the brand and sword
Terrible silences.

In your wake, smoke.
Cold fingers scraping in a gravel pit.
You search for ballast, but some holes can…just not be filled.
A night of patience spilt just as the day breaks.
Halfway to the hills, the coffee’s boiling over.
Any kindness goes to your head like champagne.

The urges come and go.
Comfortable silences.
Triggers and episodes.
Terrible silences.
You talk to strangers before you take care of yourself.
You could use a little help.


This machine wasn’t built to crush your bones.
You’re reeling up the Hume
Your mind is a riot of new, hot tendrils.

You skewed it in your favour
But you can’t press your advantage
Stoked by the motion
But you got no direction

Though people say you sing with tongue of angels
It’s a loaded red and violent bulb to you
Under firmaments of pewter. 

There’s no lightening peals of laughter
No contrast in your weather.
Choked in your devotions
By the bloody chorus

What machine will effect the transformation?
Gather up yourself to yourself
All your passions and importance

Even if you had faith
Enough to move a mountain
But all of it without love
You’d have precisely nothing

Lights On Eyes Open

Ask me for anything
Tell me what you like
Stay in this moment – look at me
Please don’t turn inside yourself

What we’ve got in this moment
Is more powerful than any fantasy
Lights on eyes open

You’re starting to surrender
I’m starting to let go
We don’t have to disappear
We don’t have to have control

If I start to fuck it up
It’s just that I’m scared of having happiness
Lights on eyes open

Close as a Slow Dance

Close as a Slow Dance album coverDancehall at Louse Point
Late August Early September
On the Outside of You
I’m Going Mining
I Hope You’ll Mend
No Time for Compliments Now
Our Old Oblivion
On the River Road

Click here to buy the album from CD Baby.

Dancehall at Louse Point

I just wanted to hold hands with some young, strong GI
While I waited for myself to cry enough tears to float you back to me

Bring me another gin
The air is stale and Autumn’s setting in and I’m still in love with him
And no-one wants to dance with me

If none of you are going to take me home
I may as well be carried out comatose cause I feel so numb inside
And all this pretty hair can’t hide that… I’m still in love with you

And though the future’s knocking
And my love’s a futile offering
And though my body knows better than my heart
I don’t wanna let go and I don’t wanna fall apart
Someone distract me now

The band starts another dance
And rather than offer him another chance, I’m paid to make the people cry
And sing my heart out ’til the lights come up
The band is out the door
The waiter waltzes his broom around the floor but I’m still standing here
Feeling lonely as before, ’cause… I’m still in love with you

My heart’s a dirty little mutineer…

Late August Early September

Make me a day, a day out of time
Time that is shimmering
Woven from everything pure and divine

Divine are the words, the words sealed on jade
Elegiac, ardent
In leaving, believing the promises made

We will have our day, my love
We will have our day
Te deum


Jacob, your sweet smile each time we pull apart…
That we ever have to stop at all would surely break my heart
I feel your wishes and your words in my skin
My hands are burning and my body’s singing
Te Deum for you, for you

Jacob, you have opened me like none before
I found solace in security and never asked for more
I heard the Ballad of Lucy Jordan
I thought she was just a foolish dreamer
Chasing her regret ’til you

Jacob, take me on a journey far from here
Roll your car up with the engine off so my husband doesn’t hear
I left my suitcase behind the door
I’ve got some records and the money-jar
And not a lot else more but you

On the Outside of You

Your troubled thoughts boil in your grey eyes
Don’t think I don’t notice, don’t think I don’t recognise
You’re so deep in yourself that you can’t hold me when I try to reach you
Head down like you expect me to beat you

I can’t stand it when you don’t trust me
I can’t stand it when you don’t trust me
After all that I tried it’s frustrating to be, still, on the outside of you

When you’ve got someone to hold you, when there’s fear in your heart,
When you pull yourself apart, I could be anyone at all
When you fall to pieces it’s not me you’re looking for
I’m just a door in a wall that doesn’t keep out the cold
I’m so tired

I’m Going Mining

I’ve got this picture of you, six years old
In your spiderman costume down the shops with your sister.
Where’s that unself-conscious face now?
I read a letter from an older man
He had longer hair, but he wrote in your hand.
Said he loved to make love and could talk through all the hard stuff

You rest gentle on my mind but you’re insubstantial in my hand.
Come on lover, where’s your spine?
Where oh where oh where’s my man?

No stories, no answers, no feelings, no nothing in your eyes

I’m going mining. I’m going mining.
Mining, finding your ruby heart, your ruby heart

30 records from this man
In his hot pinstripe, with his hand in the small of my back
And feeding me at our favourite restaurant
This other man, he chases me
On our bicycles through the dark back streets
And rides through the night when I need him

Is there nothing on your mind?
I’m unnerved by your gentle, distant eyes
You’re physically present
But you’re not here

Love, but not in love. Please give me something to go on

I Hope You’ll Mend

I was drunk, I was scared of the precious girl I made

I was scared I would break her
So I just had to break her to make her
Stronger, to handle the breaking I placed upon her

I’m sorry. I hope you’ll mend

I was angry with no words to say, I couldn’t handle myself

I thought if she learned to
Be tough enough to pull through, she’d survive all the worries life shoves you into
I think that she’ll work it out

I’m sorry. I hope you’ll mend

They say, “You don’t treat me no good.”
But they don’t understand it kills something in a man
To feel he can’t provide a home
I turned away

No Time for Compliments Now

We used to roll like tumbled gems
And like the sea we’d writhe
When you were young and strong
And I was young and lithe
We used to wreak public havoc
You’d wrench me around in the street
Take turns in wrecking each other
Die before calling defeat

What was I wearing last time we danced this way?
I remember it was white
It must have been our wedding night

All those hard nights only women can do alone
Hard nights men can only do in company
I wouldn’t bet the farm on your lasting charm
I wouldn’t buy another ticket in your lottery

Where were we the last time you held me so tenderly?I sat all night by your bed
You pulled me in and gave yourself to me

All those hard nights…

You were handsome, the devil
You were Red Lilith’s revenge
But there’s no time for compliments now


Break-up song on the radio
We’re as close as a slow dance
If that’s wrong, tell me so
Tell me something

Oh, say, say what you mean to say
(The waiting’s the worst of it)
Oh, come on! Ever since the world began it was this way

You’ll step back and see? That’s not enough for me

Do we wait like we’ve always waited for you?
Waited like good girls are supposed to do
For love we’re not sure will come through
(Waiting, waiting) Waiting for you

Choose some nerve, some courage
Or choose old and lonely
I’m handing you the apple now
This is not our Eden

Oh, say, say what you mean to say
(The waiting’s the worst of it)
Oh, come on! Ever since the world began it was this way

There is no good time so knuckle down or let go

Our Old Oblivion

He’s standing there in his ragged Sunday best
Smiling like an undertaker in the wicked Old West
He is a maelstrom in my simple heart, but I cannot bear to be leaving
Though I know he’ll just hurt me more if I stay, encourage his ways
He kills me, I swear, everyday

He’s my Capital, my king, my everything
We have not spoken to my family since early last Spring
And what I have chosen feels hollow now but there is a power in his strength and his pleading
He’s leaning on the door and I’m captured in this room, in this cold, distant town

There is no place, in this state, that I could go
He’s got a lot of… friends who’d tell him so
But I’ve never made love so overpowering
What am I afraid of?
Each way that I choose I feel like I’m losing everything
This adventure is all over now

This pill I’ve hidden inside my cheek will be my last kiss for him if it doesn’t put me to sleep
He says, “My girl, all could be forgiven”
So come here, my darling, and kiss me by this neon light
I know we are both longing for a taste of our old oblivion

On the River Road

Camphor Laurel trees, sugar cane and sky
On the river road, Lismore to Corakai

Come rolling like the hills, yeah
In the place where I was born
Never in my life have I known
A place to call home

The land, like lovers, lay hot and red against the sky
Naked and inflamed, and I know black tears well in my eyes

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