Up on the Downside

by Ian Freud

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1.
Somebody wise once said “Life is short and then you’re dead” So won’t you hand me that bottle? I know that it’s trite to say Tomorrow is another day But nonetheless today will be gone by morning I don’t think that it’ll be missed So give me a glass and a drink I couldn’t care less tonight what your mother might think I’m in love, love, love With the here and now, And I can’t say I care For the wheres and hows I’m in love, love, love And it should be enough To be loved, loved, loved, Forget that other stuff Lower your cholesterol And don’t take paracetamol They say that you’ll be better off with wholemeal I’m too busy contemplating Time and space and I’m not waiting For the chance to narrow my waistline Give me a bassline instead I could be straight or be gay And I don’t give a shit what the doctor might say I’m in love, love, love With the here and now, And I can’t say I care For the wheres and hows I’m in love, love, love And it should be enough To be loved, loved, loved, Forget that other stuff Yes I guess that it’s true that it sucks to be you but it sucks to be me too And If this is the best we can do You can leave it to me and I’ll leave it to you And tomorrow we’ll see if the things that they said came true Sombody wise once said “Give us today our daily bread” I think that it might have been Jesus? I don’t claim to understand But anyway the point still stands: Please won’t you fetch me a sandwich? I haven’t the time And I’m not inclined to care I’m in love, love, love With the here and now, And I can’t say I care For the wheres and hows I’m in love, love, love And it should be enough To be loved, loved, loved, Forget that other stuff
2.
When I was born - oh forty years ago We had no money and we had no place to go The beer was weak and the gruel was thin The guy on the church door wouldn’t even let us in Tell yourself that you’re sadder than me But you ain’t seen the things I’ve seen I’m not you and you’re not me You can sing a sad song But I can sing a sad song too The devil came knocking on my door I said “please spare me ‘cos I’m so poor” He said “I’ll trade you one soul for yours” And you can’t really blame me for trading my soul for yours Tell yourself that you’re sadder than me But you ain’t seen the things I’ve seen I’m not you and you’re not me You can sing a sad song But I can sing a sad song too When I was low you left me there Rope in my hand and standing on a chair You washed your hands and I guess that’s fair But don’t you turn around and tell me that you care Tell yourself that you’re sadder than me But you ain’t seen the things I’ve seen I’m not you and you’re not me You can sing a sad song But I can sing a sad song too
3.
In the halflight, ships sulk in the harbour, And the sailors spit and curse the air, And the cold waves kiss the sullen metal, And sing the ocean’s song The fog clings to every single surface, Spelling morning in drops of glister dew Where spiders hang their crystal rigging To try to catch the sun Tell me why Show me something I don’t already know Tell me why There’s nowhere left for me to go I watch the waves crash down below In the morning, the last night turns to ashes in my mouth A pale disk peering through the thin clouds On the houses that tumble to the sea Down the steep streets that cling onto the cliffsides Like people to their dreams What happened? I piece together last night (I remember shouting things and standing at the bar) And I wonder what I might have said (Then I must have wandered cos I was staring at the stars) Turn my collar up against the morning (I clung onto a railing and was sick into the sea) Spit the night out on the street (Somehow found my way back to the poky B&B) Tell me why Show me something I don’t already know Tell me why There’s nowhere left for me to go I watch the waves crash down below In the morning, the last night turns to ashes in my mouth
4.
Disadvantage 02:33
I remember that I saw you on a glossy photograph Lying on your back on blanket In the middle of a field of grass Shielding your eyes from the sun in the sky Your eyes were so blue that it nearly blew my mind You have me at a disadvantage I don’t even know your name Or where you’re from What are you selling again? I see you passing by me most days on the side of a bus I’m barely even me so I can’t even see there ever being an us You’re selling me things just out of my reach Like two cars on the drive And a week at the beach You have me at a disadvantage I don’t even know your name Or where you’re from What are you selling again?
5.
She's a clockwork girl, In a clockwork world She does as she is told and she buys what she is sold, She’s my clockwork girl She's always there on time and she always looks so fine Her shoes were made in France That’s where she learnt to dance From une fille mécanique But when the lights are low And I try to take her clothes off To see what she is made of She turns her back to me So I cannot see inside my clockwork girl Everyone she meets as she’s walking down the street Gets an automatic smile ‘cos there’s not a hint of bile About my clockwork girl She always toes the line and she’s always “doing fine” What secrets does she keep… where does her mind goes when she sleeps Behind that clockwork smile? But when the lights are low And I try to take her clothes off To see what she is made of She turns her back to me So I cannot see inside my clockwork girl She’s a clockwork girl - tick tock tick tock She’s a clockwork girl - tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick I couldn’t take it any more, so one day I closed the door And I waited in the dark as she walked across the park Like a clockwork toy And, when the lights were low I tried to take her head off To see what she was made of Instead of cogs and gears She was wet behind the ears And she just stopped working So I made a jerkin So that I could be Inside my clockwork girl
6.
They brought the Olympic torch through here Through Brighouse if you please! For Coca-fucking-Cola A state-sponsored jamboree They say the Queen's been on her throne since 1953 And we're supposed to lap it up and watch it on TV But we are The North and we haven't gone away From the top of Blackpool Tower to the shores of Cayton Bay Yes we are the North and we’ll always be this way We're 200 miles from London, and 6 light years from Calais They've opened up another branch of Starbucks here I see With £2.80 flapjacks and fancy foreign teas They say that everything's Fair Trade - but that means nowt to me There's nowt that's fair that I can see in a three quid cup of tea 'Cos we are The North and The North we’ll always be From the opening of Look North to the fag-end of Tyne Tees Yes we are the North and we haven't gone away We're 200 miles from London and 6 light years from Calais. Where has tha bin sin I saw thee? Smoking fags, eating pies and watching Sky TV But we are The North and we haven't gone away From the top of Blackpool Tower to the shores of Cayton Bay Yes we are the North and we refuse to go away We're 200 miles from London, and 6 light years from Calais Cos we are The North and The North we’ll always be From the opening of Look North to the fag-end of Tyne Tees Yes we are the North and we haven't gone away We're 200 miles from London 800 miles from Paris 2000 miles from Berlin Fuck knows how far from New York And 25 years from today
7.
I think this is the house Unless I am mistaken Yes - there; those are the blinds We’d close to prying eyes I remember then When you were young and happy How you’d shyly look away And drop your underwear And things were different then When girls were girls and men were men And who and what and why and when Was no-one’s news When he was through and done She’d stand against that window Look down into the street As he got back in his car Tomorrow he’d be back And she’d still be here waiting Clutching at her skirts And listening for the door And things were different then When girls were girls and men were men And who and what and why and when Was no-one’s news Now he’s sat in a chair And they have to mash his food up And his eyes have clouded over And he stains his underwear She wonders what he feels And she wonders when they touch him If he remembers her Like she remembers him
8.
Sex Dream 03:13
I had a sex dream - and you were in it I'll tell you about it if you've got a minute We were both younger and a little bit firmer Your hair got all tousled ‘cos you were a squirmer We closed the bedroom door And then I had you on the floor But still you wanted more It wasn't exactly hearts and flowers We tangled the bed sheets for hours and hours You said that you liked it harder and faster We did it so hard that we knocked off the plaster The scene: a Travelodge for two The cast: just me and you Wondering what to do And when I wake up with her by my side again I wonder what I've done to be denied again It seems it’s only in a dream (oh really?) You wanted to do something highly immoral Cos you and your boyfriend had had a bad quarrel I shrugged and unzipped with a grin on my lips While you stood there and waited with your hands on your hips You said you wanted it there I blinked and said "where?" And you said you didn't care It wasn't exactly hearts and flowers We tangled the bed sheets for hours and hours You said that you liked it harder and faster We did it so hard that we knocked off the plaster The scene: a Travelodge for two The cast: just me and you Wondering what to do And when I wake up with her by my side again I wonder what I've done to be denied again It seems it’s only in a dream (oh really?) If I have another sex dream I hope your mum isn't in it
9.
You’re never alone with a mobile phone No matter how weird you’re not on your own There’s always someone out there who’ll play along And tell you you’re right when both you know you’re wrong We stay in the shadows Hiding from the sun Friends with everybody Searching for someone Who are you now And who were you then? When I was lost and in need of a friend People are strange Or hadn’t you heard? Strangers in deed - even stranger in words So what do you see And what do you feel - do you remember me? People are strange or hadn’t you heard? Strangers in deed - even stranger in words Now I feel like going down Throw down a gin and forget all your sins But they crawl up the windows trying to get in They rattle the glass and shake all the doors Until you can’t feel and can’t take any more We stay in the shadows Hiding from the sun Friends with everybody Searching for someone Who are you now And who were you then? When I was lost and in need of a friend People are strange Or hadn’t you heard? Strangers in deed - even stranger in words So what do you see And what do you feel - do you remember me? People are strange or hadn’t you heard? Strangers in deed - even stranger in words Now I feel like going down
10.
The moss that grows on England’s bones Is dark and green and grows unseen Cold hearts moulder in the earth Beneath the oaks that they gave birth So fill the breach with English dead And fill your head with English dread Give us today our daily bread As Good King James himself once said Unquiet dead in earthen tombs Awaiting lies of Albion Jerusalem was founded here Back in 1984 So fill the breach with English dead And fill your head with English dread Give us today our daily bread As Good King James himself once said Tower blocks of beaten grey Rise over all that they survey And children play among the cars Blessed are they beneath the stars So fill the breach with English dead And fill your head with English dread Give us today our daily bread As Good King James himself once said
11.
Kensington Skies Orange and crimson As the light danced For an audience of millions We all sat there and stared And watched on our phones As they died A terrible beauty It crawled up the walls Glared from the windows And blew down the halls We stood at the bottom Powerless like children And they speak with forked tongues 'Bout the millions they saved Maybe they'll use it To fill up the graves Councillors, spokesmen A hundred lost names They don't even know What to write on the graves Kensington Skies A pillar of blackness That reached for the moon And fell back as ashes As cameramen scrambled To capture the view 24 stories And 10 million reasons No inquest, no jury, It’s some kind of treason But they’ll dust off a Lord To maintain appearances And they speak with forked tongues 'Bout the millions they saved Maybe they'll use it To fill up the graves Councillors, spokesmen A hundred lost names They don't even know What to write on the graves
12.
Rising Up 03:42
Hate grows where they sow divides So they’re trying their best to plant secrets and lies They want to paint the daytime black We’ve got to keep it together and we’ve got to push back You can’t use darkness to drive out the dark Can’t use hatred to extinguish the spark we have We’ve got to stand up together for love Because standing alone just won’t be enough Keep your head in the air and your feet on the ground ‘Cos tomorrow is another day We’ve got numbers and pride and right on our side No matter what they do or say So lift up your voices and sing ‘Cos we’re coming on And we’ll keep coming on Ain’t no mountain too high to climb ‘Cos we’re rising up And we’ll keep rising up They teach anger and they try to breed pain If you think too much about it it'll drive you insane But if we build bridges we can knock down their walls And as fast as they build them we’ll make them fall Keep your head in the air and your feet on the ground ‘Cos tomorrow is another day We’ve got numbers and pride and right on our side No matter what they do or say Alright: sit down This ain’t the Ballad of a Thin Man ‘Cos I’m a fat man, yet I rattle like a tin can Hollow on the inside, and if you followed me outside, I’d show you what it’s all about (if you’re inclined) But I have to tell my story to the birds in the trees ‘Cos they’re the only sane people who will listen to me I know I’m a sinner, and I can’t be a saint But I know what I am and I know what I ain’t So lift up your voices and sing ‘Cos we’re coming on And we’ll keep coming on Ain’t no mountain that is too high to climb ‘Cos we’re rising up And we’ll keep rising up Keep your head in the air and your feet on the ground ‘Cos tomorrow is another day We’ve got numbers and pride and right on our side No matter what they do or say

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released January 10, 2018

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Ian Freud Leeds, UK

Idiot. Plainly too old, bald, fat and out of touch for this. Pay in pies and you have me for life.

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