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Garden
Lyrics

Young Child

 

Young child, can you feel the sun

Form puddles on your arms

As you watch the world

With your single breathing eye

Trying to survive?

 

Young child, can you feel the world

Fall from its pose of haste

As you watch the sun

Through tears that hold the sky,

Trying to reach

Through the dark design

As your legs grow weak

And running takes you nowhere

But away from where you are?

Gathering

 

Sitting so silently,

Watching the scene unfold,

Hunting myself at once.

Wounded I fall to the ground.

 

Standing so quietly,

Tiptoeing down the hall,

Blinking at colours that

Flash here in front of my eyes.

 

Fates gather round me,

Divided their use, and yet

None of my kind care

For anything but borrowed plans.

 

Watch for me I'll be sitting

Beneath the highest throne,

Blind to succession

But ascending in a daze

Through the colours

That were laid before by gods

Who are too far removed from

Our minds to be seen anymore

We are colour blind.

 

Life’s cold aggression has lost all its measures

And corruption has come to our long sorrows

And the dead watch us, carried away

On the breezes of their conquerers’ sails

‘Til we have failed.

 

We are colour blind.

Nothing is As Warm

 

Nothing is like the cold air around me.

Nothing is as warm as the blood within my veins.

Nothing is like me but the things that I am

Are not what I want them to be.

 

Footsteps lead me nowhere,

Footfalls lead me where?

For being so elect I fear

They sent so many here.

 

I am falling skywards and the ground will never touch me

Falling here, with nothing like a soul.

 

The air is very thin

As the darkness tumbles in

And sets me drifting from the hub to the rim.

 

Green hills and trees

Radiating from the dirt below;

Stars and planets

Revolving in the blackness beyond.

From something we must grow,

But we preterite still know

 

Cold air.

Cold air around me.

Cold air,

I need cold air around me.

 

Nothing's quite like the cold air around me.

Nothing is as warm as the blood within my veins.

Nothing is like me but the things that I am

Are not what I want them to be.

Fell

 

And O, my love, I am here to say . . .

I am not laughing.

And O, my love, I am here to say . . .

Hold me.

 

Hold me . . .

 

Hold me . . .

 

And O, my love, I am here to say . . .

And O, my love, I am here to say . . .

And If The World is Done?

 

Sometimes I wonder why

People survive when they’re suffering so long,

And I wonder where they go

When I can't see them.

 

Sometimes I wonder how people,

Can be what they are, say what they do,

Feel what they may,

Hear what they can.

 

And I wonder if the world

Is done and we’re winding

Down into something

That’s only moving quickly

‘til it doesn’t move at all.

 

And what if the world is done?

 

Something you think is new

Is not as old as it used to,

So surely this is growing, but sometimes

You're not alive or more asleep than you seem.

 

I know I can never be like them

Even if I watch every single motion

And try as best I can to

Mimic everything they do.

 

And I wonder if the world

Is done and we’re winding

Down into something

That’s only moving quickly

‘til it doesn’t move at all.

 

And what if the world is done?

Hide

 

Afraid of moving. Afraid to wait.

Afraid to continue down the garden path.

Afraid of being perfect

In the fear that I would become as

All others would like to be.

Save me.

 

Can you read the colours written on the magic mirror wall,

By those who want to change the things around them,

But they're too tired of the world to care.

Leave me.

 

I know you'll see me differently,

Though I'm not aware you're watching me from outside.

I always assumed that it was crowded in here because you

Were in here with me.

Take me.

 

I see you through the colours

I've seen through all my life.

My craving passes

As I pass you by, but I still feel you

As I feel you as I feel you

Feel you feel you feel.

 Marshland

 

Shards of illusion

Are woven through your vision

At the head of the sky,

Making short of the long night.

 

 Wander the forest,

 Watch rain and the mist fall,

 Wait for the thunder

 To whiten with its bloom.

 

 Call out the name

 Of the land you desire,

 Watch as your hand

 Starts to plough it for you:

 

 Forms the shapes

 Of the woods and the water,

 Mountains and hills,

 And the things we believe.

 

Delight will envelope

The cage you built for me

But the thing that you called out

Will try to break us free.

 

 So run through the webbing

 And cut through the darkness,

 And wrench yourself from

 The restraints in your fears.

 Mirror

 

Holding my breath for the mirror:

Staring at my worst side and

My best side, seeing that there

Is much more to me than seems.

 

I was raised for nothing but

These years of great decisions,

And I have have found a mirror

Of the time when I was younger,

When I thought that there were

People far better than I.

Now I laugh to know that here

There is no measurement but mine.

 

Can we know there's something

Else outside our world or are

We just too small to see and

Agree that they are passing by?

Can we expect something more

In us to wish for, something

Unfamiliar, something waiting

In our blood to come alive?

 

Can I last much longer

Without breathing before I

Come to find I have at last

Lost my tiny mind?

 

Funeral

 

I’m waiting outside

In the absence of man

While the shadows within me

Tell me who I am.

 

Hues of refusal

Are stained upon my robes,

While the shadows beneath me

Are holding me close.

 

Sprites are forming in the mist,

Reminding us of things we'd missed.

Shining in familiar eyes
Reminding us of other lives.

   

The creature in the cupboard

Is familiar with my clothes

So it might as well replace me

In the eyes of those who know.

A shower falling on my eyes 
That colours this and other lives.

The voice that called out fell

From this reckless field ...

  

Spring Rising

 

(Instrumental)

 

In the Garden

 

I

 

Nettles, briars and black insects follow me

Like a cape through forgotton moonlight

On the grass beneath me,

Running swift before the storm

Into a maze of thorns.

 

So I'm lost in the Garden,

But the animals come to

Feed me mouth to mouth.

I let them eat

The warm, bloody footprints

I've left them on the ground.

 

They laugh my tender touch away.

They laugh at my anger.

 

They watch as I hide in myself

Like an angel arranging its light,

Then the nest in which I scream

Is opened wide,

And cut away,

Leaving nothing but over-exposed flesh

And their smiles

In the sunlight.

 

II

 

The Garden grows around me,

But the Wild Woods darken and Monsters

Are abroad banging pots and pans,

So I retreat down a private path

To the fountain at the other end

Of the Garden and watch

The leaves float upon the water

Till the eddies confuse me

And I drift off to sleep.

 

Come and watch me play within the Garden

With a murdered boy and blood and joy.

And the winding spasms of his

Ghost dances tunelessly to the

Ocean beneath the mountain

On which he stands,

Subtly copying the motions

Of the worms in his hair.

 

III

 

You tell me to look at the sky

As you guide my play

Like a genie in a bottle

Hidden in the trees,

And looking up through the leaves

That line the paths I see their faces:

The disguise is clever, but

Only the darkest whispers

Call attention to my heart.

 

Look at the north wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

Look at the east wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

Look at the south wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

Look at the west wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

 

And you will know, and you will know, you will know . . .

 

You’re one and the same

All alone in a place of silence

You’re one and the same

All I see is a place of silence

You’re one and the same

All alone in a place of violence

You’re one and the same

All I see is a place of violence

 

Look at the north wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

Look at the east wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

Look at the south wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

Look at the west wind and see the face looking back you and you will know

And you will know, and you will know, you will know . . .

 

IV

 

There are no monsters in the Garden,

Just this word that hurts my ears

And there was no one here to warn me

That the shadows on your back

Showed me nothing but

Where the Wild Woods

Are in your Garden.

 

There never was anyone

To tell me how to dream,

But I have never forgotten how to.

 

Fear is deep and life is long.

The fear is deep and its grip is strong.

 

The world is yours, the fear is mine,

Where’s the strength to carry on?

 

Fear is deep and life is long.

The fear is deep and its grip is strong.

 

The worlds is yours, the fear is mine,

Deep as the day is long.

 

The world is yours the fear is mine

Deep as the day is long

 

the world is yours the fear is mine the world is yours the world is yours the fear is mine the world is yours the world is yours the fear is mine the world is yours

 

 Young Child (Reprise)

 

 Young child, can you hear yourself

 Amid a voice that's not your own?

 You've never been

 Quite the same person

 Twice in your life.

 

 One day I will fall from this world

 Like an angel who falls from the sky.

 I am but a child

 Among children,

 And children were born to cry.

 

 Young child, the sun's but a painted picture,

 And the gardens where

 In youth you just sat watching

 Are just a memory.

 

 Young child, the world is but your mind,

 And the dreams you had

 Only told you living

 Is just a memory.

 

 Young child, change and you will live,

 For the world will change around you,

 And it doesn't matter

 When you were born,

 Because you've still

 Got a lot to learn.

 

© All lyrics and music by Glen Spoors

 
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Album Notes

Album Notes

 

The songs on this album were written between 1989-1993, around the same time as those on Draggle Glade. During a year long trip to England I decided to create an album for each season, and this was the Spring album, followed by Lakeside, Toymaker, and Opal Road. However, Garden is a fairly depressing Spring: the tone of the album reflected my growing sense of unease and nausea, coupled with a maudlin pastoral imagination. If Draggle Glade is about tragic romance, the songs on this album are about the lie that youth is an Edenic state.

 

Child evokes the way in which elemental sensations in youth (“puddles on your arms”) may be made uncanny when one considers their meaning and the possibility, with the threat of some dread purpose (“dark design”) behind their simple qualities.

 

Beetle is an early example of a genre of anthroporphic song lyrics, many of which find there way onto my album ‘Crossings’. However, my animal lyrics were written in a Beatrix-Potter mode, with the animals as characters, not symbols. If there’s any subtext in this song, it’s just that, in dirt or air, the beetle is still a bug and knows it.

 

Gathering evokes a ritualistic tone that influences some of the songs of this album, marked by a narrative arc of wounding, invocation, narcissism, and alienation. The reference to ‘Colours’ was part of an early, incoherent mythopoesis, and denoted a non-verbal abstraction of elements resolved from the kaleidoscope of matter, akin to Plato’s Forms,  yet without any underlying consolation of meaning.

 

What If the World Is Done was initially the long middle eight of a song called ‘The Hungry Goose’, in which Mother Goose did not get enough money selling her rhymes and was forced to eat her own eggs.  However, the time signature didn’t match, and I realised that this was really a separate song. The basis of this song is a child’s realisation of entropy (the heat death of the universe), against which all wonder ends and things fall apart and pass away into nothing. My first encounter with this kind of thing was realising that the sun would eventually explode.

 

Nothing is as Warm is another evocation of the void, and the connotations of ‘royal’ reflect an ironic sense of pride in, and identity with, abjection. ‘Elect’ is a Calvinist term silently opposed to ‘preterite’ (those who are ‘passed over’) and might be seen in pseudo-Gnostic terms as finding meaning in the dirt and death of other’s false heavens, or as romanticising one’s isolation .

 

Fell is related to the repetitive sections on ‘Draggle Glade’, as well as in the songs ‘Hidden’ and ‘In the Garden’. All of these songs at some point evoke the rhythm of emotion above the flow of melody, and their circularity try to capture the sense of riding waves of depression, anguish, or anger, or consoling oneself through rocking.

 

Hide evokes the tension between intense emotional states and the fear and shame which prevent them being expressed; this included my own recognition that no one else felt the same horror of the void. The imagery of a child unable to make the rite of passage from parental protection seemed apt to this; the ‘Colours’ were conflated with my own emotional textures, as if emotions, when sufficiently wallowed in, a form of magical incantation.

 

Marshland was a very early song, which used an intuitive fingerpicking pattern (similar to that of ‘I Am Your Well’ on Draggle Glade) that influenced the style of much of my early writing. The absence of a chorus - a trait common to early English folk songs - prefigured later songs that create evoke moody repetition and emotional inertia.

 

Mirror was at times going to be on my ‘Toymaker’ album because of the connotations of isolation and insanity, but chronologically it sits closer to the other songs on this album. The general idea was that the liminal state of the self is like a broken mirror in which facets of self and others appear, and these are felt as portals to other realms of being.

 

Funeral is stylistically related to ‘Garden’ and extends the sense of the amoral forces felt in moments of darkness, or, more broadly, my experience of a horrific void behind the veil of the world against which there was neither defence nor consolation.

 

Spring Rising is an instrumental that was also initially written for my abandoned album ‘Goblin Green’, but its poignant quality suited this album.

 

Garden was one of my early attempts to write music for a long prose poem. In this case it led to clear shifts between melodic sections, although I found such an approach usually led to ambient, rather than melodic, composition. While I often compose songs by adding music to existing lyrics, ‘Garden’, ‘Autumn Rites’ and ‘Toymaker’ are early examples of what culminated in The Horde, in which the combination of story and music leads to the abandonment of traditional song structure. The resulting open-ended structure, coupled with escalating repetition, recurs in my songwriting. While this approach sometimes ignores the listener, it is perhaps the most honest of music in terms of evoking the rhythm, intensity and incoherence of emotion.

        In this respect, ‘Garden’ echoes many of the themes in the earlier songs. The imagery draws from much of the same territory as Draggle Glade, though the ‘fay’ qualities have demonic connotations owing to my increasing sense of moral ambiguity and the seduction of another order of being and power. For obscure reasons, gardens have always had uneasy associations for me, of threat, nausea, and the void. Despite the funereal quality in this song, this was not a fear of death, but of being dragged screaming into endless space while everyone carried on unseeing and smiling on the stage of the world, beyond any hope of rescue. In this sense, the dominant emotion is alienation, coupled with a horror at how the emptiness of objects reveals the emptiness of people.

 

Child (Reprise) was written at the same time as ‘Child’ using a varied vocal melody; it seemed appropriate to use the two songs to frame the album. If it evokes a rite of passage, it is that the triumph over childhood fears requires a deadening of the imagination that makes life bearable.

 

Glen Spoors, February 2006

Korelai Music is a brand of Lost Isle Media
korelaimusic@gmail.com
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