0. Footnote

“A Wild Holy Band”
by Mike Scott, 2009

I was longing to be moved
I was ready to be humbled
By the words that you had written
By the syllables you had mumbled
Yeah I was ready in my heart
To have my heart invaded
By the fervor of your passion
Yes I came to be persuaded
But when I heard your ragged voice
Something switched in my perception
And I knew I was the victim of
A beautiful deception
All my once-exact beliefs,
Like a tangled thread, unravelled
I walked out stunned and liberated
And so began my travels

Keep the river on your right
And the highway at your shoulder
And the front line in your sights
Pioneer
Keep your eye on the road
Remember what you told her
This is all in code
My dear

You better get yourself a coat
Said the handsome taxi driver
And he sighed like seven bridges
Like a natural born survivor
As we drove into the night
I could feel the forest jangling
All the choices laid before me
And their consequences dangling
We came upon a stricken ship
That must have once been splendid
The captain, as he died, said
‘Boys, our revels now are ended’
I heard a wild holy band
Playing jazz that was outrageous
That recalled the days of rapture
When our love was still young and contagious

Keep the river on your right
And the highway at your shoulder
And the front line in your sights
Pioneer
Keep your eye on the road
Remember what you told her
This is all in code
My dear

In a dim-lit motel room
Two sad lovers were discoursing
On the dignity of exile
And the merits of divorcing
She said all certainty is gone
But he leapt up still denying
Cried ‘I won’t believe the flame I lit
is dead or even dying’
She left him drooling in the dust
And, with rucksack packed, begun her
Bitter journey to the border
Which is where I wooed and won her
She was Aphrodite, Helen, Phoetus,
Eve among the Satyrs
She was Venus in a v-neck sweater
She was all that ever mattered

Keep the river on your right
And the highway at your shoulder
And the front line in your sights
Pioneer
Keep your eye on the road
Remember what you told her
This is all in code
My dear

Like Dean Moriarty’s ghost
I came in quest of secret knowledge
In the winter of my journey
To a crumbling Druid college
There I read the books of lore
And contemplated in seclusion
But I took my leave embittered
Still in love with my illusions
In the drizzling Irish rain,
As a tender dawn was breaking,
In a doorway I stood spellbound by
The ancient music they were making
I took my breakfast with the gods
On a blushing summer morning
A wind blew them all the way
Without a moment’s warning

Keep the river on your right
And the highway at your shoulder
And the front line in your sights
Pioneer
Keep your eye on the road
Remember what you told her
This is all in code
My dear

Under cold, electric light
I watched the scenes mutating
Like an old-time frontier ballast
Or a carousel rotating
As if in a moment from a film
With astonishing precision
The camera zooms in closer
And a figure comes in to vision
I’m in Tokyo, it’s dawn
And it’s raining hallelujahs
Down the bright-lit neon canyons
Along the sidewalks of Shibuyah
I’m trying to take a stance
And rise above my contradictions
But I’m just a bunch of words in packs
Most of those are fictions

Keep the river on your right
And the highway at your shoulder
And the front line in your sights
Pioneer
Keep your eye on the road
Remember what you told her
This is all in code
My dear

Keep the river on your right
And the highway at your shoulder
And the front line in your sights
Pioneer
Keep your eye on the road
Remember what you told her
This is all in code
My dear

::

1. A Folky Capital-‘B’ Ballad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: