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The Broadsword And The Beast

© Ian Anderson 1982


Beastie

From early days of infancy, through trembling years of youth
Long marky middle-age and final hours long in the tooth
He is the hundred names of terror-creature you love the least
Picture his name before you exorcise the beast.

He roved up and down through History-spectre with tales to tell
In the darkness when the campfires dead-to each his private Hell
If you look behind your shoulder as you feel his eyes to feast
You can witness now the everchanging nature of the Beast.

If you wear a warmer sporran, you can keep the foe at bay
You can pop those pills and visit some psychiatrist who'll say -
There is nothing I can do for you, everywhere's a danger zone
I'd love to help get rid of it but I've got one of my own.

Beastie - there's a beast upon my shoulder
Beastie - and a fiend upon my back
Beastie - feel his burning breath a heaving
Beastie - smoke oozing from his stack.
Beastie - and he moves beneath the covers
Beastie - or he lies below the beg
Beastie - he's the Beast upon your shoulder
Beastie - he's the price upon your head.

He's the lonely fear of dying and for some of living too
He's your private nightmare pricking.He'd just love to turn the screw
So stand as one defiant - Yes, and let your voices swell
Stare that Beastie in the face and really give him Hell.


Clasp

We travellers on the endless wastes in single orbits dliding
Cold-eyed march towards the dawn behind hard-weather hoods-a-hiding
Meeting as the tall ships do, passing in the channel
Afraid to chance a gentle touch - afraid to make the Clasp.

In high-rise city canyons dwells the discontent of ages
On ring roads, nose to bumper crawl commuters in their cages
Criptic signals flash across from pilots in the fast lane
Double-locked and belted in - too late to make the Clasp.

Let's break the journey now on some lonely road
Sit down as strangers will, let the stress unload
Talk in confidential terms, share a dark unspoken fear
Refill the cup and drink it up. Say goodnight and wish good luck.

Synthetic shiefs with frozen smiles holdihg unsteady courses
Grip the reins of History, high on their battle horses
And meeting as good statesmen do before the TV eyes of millions
Hand to hand exchange the lie - pretend to make the Clasp.


Fallen On Hard Times

Fallen on hard times - but it feels good to know
That milk and honey's just around the bend
Running on bad lines - we'd better run as we go
Tear up, tear up the overdraft again.

Oh dear Prime Minister - it's all such a mess
Go right ahead and pull the rotten tooth
Oh Mr. President - you've been put to the test
Come clean for once and hit us with the truth.

Looking for sunshine - oh but it's black and it's cold
Yet you say that milk and honey's just round the bend
Giving us a hard time, my friends
Harding us the same line again.

Fallen on hard times - and there's nowhere to hide
Now they've re-possessed the Rolls Royce and the milk
Turning on the peace sign - and it's back to the wood
Soon there will be raised an holy stink.

Somebody wake me. I've been sleeping too long
Oh, I don't have to take this lying down
You can keep your promises. Shove'em where they belong
Don't ask me to the party - won't be around.


Flying Colours

Shout if you will, but that just won't do
I, for one, would rather follow softer options
I'll take the easy line, another sip of wine
And if I ignore the face you wore, it's just a way of mine
To keep from flying colours.

Don't lay your bait while world waits
Around to see me shoot you down - it's all so second-rate.
When we can last for days on a loving night,
Or for hours at least on a warm whisper given
You always pick the best time to rise to the fight
To break the hard bargain that we've driven
Once again we're flying colours.

I thought we had it out the night before
And settled old scores, but not the hard way
Was it a glass too much ? Or a smile too few ?
Did our friends all catch the needle match - did we want them to ?
In a fancy restaurant we were all aglow
Keeping cool by mutual permission
How did the conversation get to where we came to blows
We were set up in a red condition
And again we're flying colours.

Shout - but you see it still won't do
With my colours on I can be just as bad as you
Have I had a glass too much ? Did I give a smile too few ?
Did our friends all catch the needle match - did we want them to ?
We act our parts so well, like we wrote the play
All so predictable and we know it.
We'll settle old scores now and settle the hard way
You may not even like to outgrow it !
Once again we're flying colours.


Slow Marching Band

Would you join a Slow Marching Band ?
And take pleasure in your leaving
As the ferry sails and tears are dried
And cows come home at evening.

Could you get behind a Slow Marching Band ?
- Join together in the passing
Of all we shared through yesterdays
In sorrows neverlasting.

Take a hand and take a bow
You played for me, thats all for now
Oh, and never mond the words just hum
Along and keep on going.
Walk on slowly - don't look behind you
Don't say goodbye, love. I won't remind you.

Dream of me as the nights draw cold
Still marking time through Winter
You paid the piper and called the tune
And you marched the band away.



Broadsword

I see a dark sail on the horizon
Set under a dark cloud that hides the sun
Bring me my Broadsword and clear understanding
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman
Get up to the roundhouse of the cliff-top standing
Take women and children and bed them down.

Bring me my Broadsword and clear understanding
Bring me my cross of gold as a talisman
Bless the women and children who firm our hands
Put our back to the North wind. Hold fast by the river
Sweet memories to drive us on for the Motherland.


Pussy Willow

In the half-tone light of a young morning
She signs and shifls on the pillow
And across her face dancing, the first shadows fly
To kiss the Pussy Willow.

In her fairy-tale world she's a lost soul singing
In a sad voice nobody hears.
She waits in her castle of make-believing
For her white Knight to appear.

Pussy Willow - down far-lined avenue
Brushing the sleep from her young woman eyes
Runs for the train - see, eight o'clock's coming
Cutting dreams down to size again.

She longs for the East and a pale dress flowing
An apartment in old Mayfair
Or to fish the Spey, spinning the first run of Spring
Or to die for a cause somewhere.

Pussy Willow - down fur-lined avenue
Brushing the sleep for her young woman eyes
Runs from the train. Hear her typewriter humming
Cutting dreams down to size again.


Watching Me Watching You

I sit by the cutting on the Beaconsfield line
He's watching me watching the train go by
And they move so fast - Boy, they really fly
He's still watching me watching you watching the trains go by
And the way he stares - feel like locking my door
And pulling my phone from the wall
His eyes, like lights from a laser, burn
Making my hair stand - making the goose-bumps crawl

He's watching me watching you watching him watching me
I'm watching you waqtching him watching me watching
Stares

At the cocktail party with a Bucks fizz in my hand
I feel him watching me watching the girls go by
And they move so smooth without even trying
He's still watching me watching you watching the trains go by
And the crowd thins and he moves up close but he doesn't speak
I have to look the other way
But curiosity gets the better part of me and I peek
Got two drinks in his hand - see his lips move -
What the Hell's he trying to say.


Seal Driver

Take you away for my magic ship
I have two hundred diesel horses thundering loud
Sea birds call your name and the mountain's on fire
As the summer lightning cuts the sky like a hot wire
And you ride on the swell and your heart is alive
Think I'll make you my seal driver.

I'm no great : Looker, I'm no fast shakes
I'll give you a steady push on a six knot simmering high tide
I can hold us down - keep our head to the wind
Or let us roll on the broadside, cold spray flying in
And we'll ride on the swell and our hearts are alive
Let me make you my seal driver.

I could captain you if you'd crew for me
Follow white flecked spindrift - float on a moon kissed sea.

Could you fancy me as a pirate bold
Or a longship Viking warrior with the old gods on his side
Well, I'm an inshore man and I'm nobody's hero
But I'll make you tight for a windy night and a dark ride
Let me take you in hand and bring you alive
Going to make you my seal driver.


Cheerio

Along the coast road, by the headland
The early lights of winter glow
I'll pour a cup to you my darling
Raise it up - say Cheerio.



1996 - 2017 Willerup Brothers