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Warchild

© Ian Anderson 1974


Warchild

I'll take you down to that bright city mile -
There to powder your sweet face and paint on a smile
That will show all of the pleasures and none of the pain
When you join my explosion and play with my games.

WarChild! Dance the days, and dance the nights away.
WarChild! Dance the days, and dance the nights away.

No unconditional surrender: no armistice day -
Each night I'll die in my contentment and lie in your grave
While you bring me water and I give you wine -
Let me dance in your teacup and you shall swim in mine.

WarChild! Dance the days, and dance the nights away.

Open your windows and I'll walk through your doors.
Let me live in your country - let me sleep by your shores.

WarChild! Dance the days, and dance the nights away.
WarChild! Dance the days, and dance the nights away.
WarChild! Dance the days, and dance the nights away.
WarChild! Dance the days, and dance the nights away.



Queen And Country

The wind is on the river and the tide has turned too late,
So we're sailing for another shore where some other ladies wait
To throw us silken whispers: catch us by the anchor chains -
But we all laugh so politely and we sail on just the same
For Queen and Country in the long dying day.
And it's been this way for five long years since we signed our souls away.
We bring back gold and ivory; rings of diamonds; strings of pearls -
Make presents to the government so they can have their social whirl
With Queen and Country in the long dying day.
And it's been this way for five long years since we signed our souls away.

For Queen and Country in the long dying day.
And it's been this way for five long years since we signed our souls away.
They build schools and they build factories
With the spoils of battles won.
And we remain their pretty sailor boys - hold our heads up to the gun
Of Queen and Country in the long dying day.
And it's been this way for five long years since we signed our souls away.
To Queen and Country in the long dying day.
And it's been this way for five long years since we signed our souls away.
To Queen and Country in the long dying day.
And it's been this way for five long years since we signed our souls away.


Ladies

Ladies of leisure, with their eyes on the back roads -
All looking for strangers, to whom they extend welcomes
With a smile and a glimpse of pink knees and elbows;
Of satin and velvet - good ladies, good fortune.
Ladies.
Ladies.

They sing of their heroes: of solitary soldiers
Invested in good health and manner most charming.
Whose favors are numbered (none the less well intended)
By hours in a minute; by those ladies who bless them.
Ladies.



Back-Door Angels

In and out of the front door, ran twelve back-door angels.
Their hair was a golden-brown - they didn't see me wink my eye.
'Tis said they put we men to sleep with just a whisper,
And touch the heads of dying dogs - and make them linger.
They carry their candles high - and they light the dark hours.
And sweep all the country clean with pressed and scented wild-flowers.

[Instrumental]

They grow all their roses red, and paint our skies blue -
Drop one penny in every second bowl - make half the beggars lose.
Why do the faithful have such a will to believe in something?
And call it the name they choose, having chosen nothing.

[Instrumental]

Think I'll sit down and invent some fool - some Grand Court Jester.
And next time the die is cast, he'll throw a six or two.
In and out of the back-door, ran one front-door angel,
Her hair was a golden-brown -
She smiled, and I think she winked her eye.



SeaLion

Over the mountains, and under the sky -
Riding dirty gray horses, go you and I:
Mating with chance, copulating with mirth -
The sad-glad paymasters (for what it's worth).
The ice-cream castles are refrigerated:
The super-marketeers are on parade.
There's a golden handshake hanging round your neck,
As you light your cigarette on the burning deck.

And you balance the world on the tip of your nose -
Like a SeaLion with a ball, at the carnival.

You wear a shiny skin and a funny hat -
The Almighty Animal Trainer lets it go at that.
You bark ever-so-slightly at the Trainer's gun,
With you whiskers melting in the noon-day sun.
You flip and you flop under the Big White Top
Where the long-legged ring-mistress starts and stops.
But you know, after all, the act is wearing thin -
As the crowd grows uneasy and the boos begin.

But you balance the world on the tip of your nose -
You're a SeaLion with a ball, at the carnival.

Just a trace of pride upon our fixed grins -
For there is no Business like the Show we're in.
There is no reason, no rhyme, no right
To leave the circus 'til we've said good-night.
The same performance, in the same old way;
It's the same old story to this Passion Play.
So we'll shoot the moon, and hope to call the tune -
And make no pin cushion of this big balloon.

Look how we balance the world on the tips of our noses
Like SeaLions with a ball, at the carnival.



Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day

Meanwhile back in the Year One - when you belonged to no-one -
You didn't stand a chance son, if your pants were undone.
'Cause you were bred for Humanity and sold to Society -
One day you'll wake up in the Present Day -
A million generations removed from expectations
Of being who you really want to be.

Skating Away-ay! Skating Away-ay!
Skating Away-ay on the Thin Ice of the New Day-ay-ay-ay-ay.
Ay-ay-ay-ay!

So as you push off from the shore, won't you turn your head once more -
And make your peace with everyone?
For those who choose to stay, will live just one more day -
To do the things they should have done.
And as you cross the wilderness, spinning in your emptiness:
You feel you have to pray.
Looking for a sign that the Universal Mind(!)
Has written you into the Passion Play.

Skating Away-ay! Skating Away-ay!
Skating Away-ay on the Thin Ice of the New Day-ay-ay-ay-ay.
Ay-ay-ay-ay!

And as you cross the Circle Line, well, the ice-wall creaks behind -
You're a rabbit on the run.

And the silver splinters fly in the corner of your eye -
Shining in the setting sun.
Well, do you ever get the feeling that the Story's too damn real and in
the present tense?
Or that everybody's on the stage, and it seems like
You're the only person sitting in the audience?

Skating Away-ay! Skating Away-ay!
Skating Away-ay on the Thin Ice of the New Day-ay-ay-ay-ay.
Ay-ay-ay-ay!

Skating Away-ay!
Skating Away-ay!
Skating Away!



Bungle in the Jungle

Walking through forests of palm tree apartments -
Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents
Down by the waterhole - drunk every Friday -
Eating their nuts - saving their raisins for Sunday.
Lions and Tigers who wait in the shadows -
They're fast but they're lazy, and sleep in green meadows.

Well, let's Bungle in the Jungle - well, that's all right by me. Yes!
I'm a tiger when I want love, but I'm a snake if we disagree.

Just say a word and the boys will be right there
With claws at your back to send a chill through the night air.
Is it so frightening to have me at your shoulder?
Thunder and lightning couldn't be bolder.
I'll write on your tombstone, "I thank you for dinner."
This game that we animals play is a winner.

Well, let's Bungle in the Jungle - well, that's all right by me. Yes!
I'm a tiger when I want love, but I'm a snake if we disagree.

[Instrumental]

The rivers are full of crocodile nasties
And He who made kittens put snakes in the grass.
He's a lover of life but a Player of Pawns -
Yes, the King on His Sunset lies waiting for dawn
To light up His Jungle as play is resumed.
The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune.

Well, let's Bungle in the Jungle - well, that's all right by me. Yes!
I'm a tiger when I want love, but I'm a snake if we disagree.
Yes, let's Bungle in the Jungle - well, that's all right by me. Yes!
Well, I'm a tiger when I want love, but I'm a snake if we disagree.
Let's Bungle in the Jungle - well, that's all right by me. Yes!
Well, I'm a tiger when I want love, but I'm a snake if we disagree.



Only Solitaire

Brain-storming habit-forming battle-warning weary winsome actor spewing
spineless chilling lines-
Critics falling over to tell themselves he's boring and really not an awful
lot of fun.
Well, who the hell can he be when he's never had V.D., and he doesn't even
sit on toilet seats?
Court-jesting, never-resting - he must be very cunning to assume an air of
dignity and
Bless us all with his oratory prowess; his lame-brained antics and his
jumping in the air.
And every night his act's the same and so it must be all a game of chess
he's playing -
"But you're wrong Steve: you see, it's Only Solitaire."



The Third Hoorah

Hoorah!

WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?
WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?

When your back's to the wall, and your luck is your all,
Then side with whoever you may.
Seek that which within lies waiting to begin
The fight of your life that is every day.
Dance with the WarChild, (the WarChild) - Hoorah!
Dance with the WarChild, (the WarChild) - Hoorah!

WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?
WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?

[Instrumental]

WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?
WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?

In the heart of your heart, there's the tiniest part
Of and urge to live to the death -
With a sword on your hip and a cry on your lips
To strike life in the inner child's breast.
Dance with the WarChild, (the WarChild) - Hoorah!
Dance with the WarChild, (the WarChild) - Hoorah!

WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?
WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?
WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?
WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?
WarChild, dance the days and nights away -
Sweet child, how do-you-do today?



Two Fingers

I'll see you at the Weighing-In, when your life's sum-total's made.
Oy!

[Instrumental]

I'll see you at the Weighing-In, when your life's sum-total's made:
And you set your wealth in goodly deeds against the sins you've laid.
And you place your final burden on your hard-pressed next of kin:
Send the chamber-pot back down the line, to be filled up again!
Oh-oh-oh!
And the hard-headed miracle worker - who bathes his hands in blood,
Will welcome you to the final "nod" - and cover you with mud.
And he'll say "You really should make the deal,"
As he offers round the hat.
"Well, you'd better lick two fingers clean - he'll thank you all for that."
As you slip on the greasy platform, and you land upon your back -
You make a wish and you wipe your nose upon the railway track.
While the high-strung locomotive, with furnace burning bright,
Lumbers on - you wave goodbye - and the sparks fade into night.

And as you join the Good Ship Earth, and you mingle with the dust -
You'd better leave your underpants with someone you can trust.
And when the Old Man with the telescope cuts the final strand -
You'd better lick two fingers clean, before you shake his hand.

[Instrumental]




1996 - 2017 Willerup Brothers