Where The Stars Will Give Way To The Morning

The Curator



Alistair Murphy: Vocals, Guitars & Keyboards

Jez Salmon: Guitars and Percussion

Mark Fletcher: Bass

Laurie A’Court: Tenor, Alto and Soprano Saxes

Steve Bingham: Violins, Violas & Octave Electric Violins

Lindsey Mackie: Vocals

Diana Hare: Vocals

Ian Burrage: Drums and Percussion

Pat Mastelotto: Involuntary Drums and Percussion

Rachel Dunlop: Oboe on Chloe


Strings and Horns arranged by Alistair Murphy


Written, Arranged and Produced by The Curator


All Songs by Murphy except The Winter Sun (Murphy/Salmon)


Inner Sleeve Photograph by David Kirkham

Planet Paintings by Mark Bartlett

Mastered by Jeremy Carroll




LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN


You look up for a moment from your desk at their faces

And you’re surprised by their expressions as they’re looking at you

There’s madness in their eyes and you’re shaking your head

More out of confusion than sadness

A growing sense that something’s going wrong

You’ve taken what they once had

A sense of belonging, of community, a reason to believe

You’ve bought them off with toys and smart phones and dumb bells

And they’re ringing round their heads like the chatter of the dead

And though they smile they long to lay their burden down    


And you come home to your wife or your husband

It’s been a hard day, tough on the nerves and you’ve had to let some people go

And trouble on the tube, a man with madness in his eyes

Some issues unresolved, it’s hard enough without the nutters coming through

One day you’ll take the family and go, taking the savings that you’ve saved

You’ll all head out into the world

In a garden by a stream beneath a calm and gentle sky   

It’s taken years to find, this quiet place to hide

And now you smile and seek to lay your burden down


And I’m standing here and I don’t know what to say

It’s all behind me, it’s all getting in my way

It’s cost the world and I don’t know how to pay

I’ve done my time and I’m standing in the queue

Your’re reaching out for me and I am looking back to you.

And as we shuffle through the gates we look from side to side to side


But what if it’s you that’s the problem?

And all the time you’ve had your head down

You’ve missed what’s really going on

On the other side of the curtains that hang down upon your life

The flickers on the wall that you can hardly see

Are cast by flames that crawl into the town beyond

Where the ragged and the stray have turned their eyes towards the dawn

And as they reach your gated street with their sore and weary feet

They’ll be coarse and indiscreet in the manner they entreat

You with a smile that you should lay your burden down




THE WINTER SUN


The sky is bright but the sun is old

And the shadows stretch out for the living

Was it always this way, when the shortest of days

Would give way to the night and the grieving?

And in the bright city streets

Where the counting men meet

And the beat in their hearts is the craving

For the silence to fall on the graceless and poor

The strange, the unworthy and crazy

The winter sun burns cold in our eyes

As we look to the skyline before us

It reflects on the glass and the steel in their hearts

As we patiently wait for the solstice

But it’s not on its way, it’s not on its way

And up in the office of state

The lights will burn late into winter…


And out on the plain, in the cold and the rain,

The stones stand out like a warning

And the people are here for the turn of the year

And their arms are outstretched to the dawning 

And in the bright city streets

Where the cheating men meet

And the beat in their hearts is the yearning

For a life they once knew where their instincts were true

And their hopes and their loves are returning

The winter sun burns cold in their eyes

As they look to their lives and feel nothing

A moment of calm, in a song or a psalm

Something to drown out the loathing

But it’s not on its way, it’s not on its way

And out on the lightening plain

The stars will give way to the morning




IT CRACKLES (AND IT SPITS)


Something’s got to give, it’s always come and go

Incapable of life you had a lot of dreams

With all of this in mind and like we used to do

I swear you wore the smile that you’re smiling now


No matter what the day might bring

The light may never fall on you

Mumbling to some inner self

Throughout your life won’t bring you through

It just won’t do

You know it’s true


And if I turn to look you in your eye

To tell you what you’ve done to promise you will burn

And sometime soon you will come to realise

There’s no kindness in your life and no-one wonders why


And you can hold, hold it in your heart

Where it calls you by your name

And it whispers in the dark

Oh it will burn, burn you like a flame

It always ends this way

When only ash remains


It crackles and it spits, it crackles




TOM-ALL-ALONE’S


The path is still haunted with anger and pain

It’s been quite a while but they’re back here again

And they’re restless indoors and

They’re laughing in their sleep

The dogs in the manager, the wolves chase the sheep


In their hearts beating, there burns such a fire

You can’t hold back the tide, can’t stand by your door

Offer your view ‘cause you’re wrong and they know it


And all across the land they are putting up their barricades

Searching out non-believers for the common good

Breaking our bones and demolishing our houses

And we’re wrong to protest and we’re wrong to be wrong


What is that made you stray from your reason?

Bringing down the curtains on the truths you could perceive

And when did you awake to find it so important

That everyone around you should believe as you believe?


There’s a crazy old lady at the end of the town

In a house of broken windows, wearing a dirty old gown

She looks at the fire, or the shadow of the flame

Sees a world in her image

But no longer remembers her name


And in the street they’re putting up the barricade

A nod to the old days and the victories of the past

Here’s to the Lady and the chinking of the glasses

The pat on the back and the deaf and the dumb and the blind


What childhood slight made her stray from her reason

What fear or grief; foolishness or pettiness of soul?

And now surrounded by the fruits of her nonsense

Still waiting for her man in her threadbare camisole


Meanwhile back in the back streets    

In the narrowest of lanes, in the dark, in Tom-All-Alone’s

Cower the people without faces, without hope,

Without voices, without sound


You can keep your tomes, you can keep your theories

keep your shouting in the street and your missiles underground

Your symbols and signs, your wings and your prayers

The catch in your throat and the fire in your hearts


And if we could we’d be tearing down the barricades

Turning our faces to the warming of the sun

Trying to forget all the nonsense that we’re stewed in

We here, it’s now and our lives have just begun  

What was it made us stray from our reason?

What fear or grief; ignorance or pattern in the sand?

There’s no answers to our callings, there’s no-one else to hear them

Just you and me and the witless chatter of our fear


Meanwhile back in the back streets    

In the narrowest of lanes, in the dark, in Tom All Alone’s

Cower the people without faces, without hope,

Without voices, without sound




ANGLE OF REPOSE


Something’s changed, the floor falls away

The crooked walls, the splintered door

That holds the hounds at bay

All our certainties are growing cold

And here in the space between

Our hopes and fears, those left who dream

Of something better, are better not to dream


Here come the  clouds, the water teaming down

All the world’s a slide, a crazed fairground ride

On the rain soaked ground

Out in the darkness not so far from here

A ghost, a queen, a fool;

Her army’s coming after you

There’s always something coming after you




THE RIVER

Across the river the trucks still come and go

On the mountainside the lights will shine

A necklace down the road

We’re sitting here a million years away from home

Thinking where we been

And where we’ve are and where we’ve still to go.

Do you remember how we

Almost didn’t get to be here?

The river flowed and you were

Swept so far away from me

The water’s runs as it always runs  

Down the valley and on to the sea

We’ll play the game until the winter comes

But no matter how you change the rules

The river and the fish belong to me


Up on the roof the lights begin to fade

The fire’s burning low

But the world seems bright and so newly made

They’re all asleep except for you and me

And ringing strong, cicada song comes

Drifting from across the way

Do you remember how we

Almost didn’t get to be here?

The river flowed and you were

Swept so far away from me

Now the light is gone as it always goes

A last brief glimmer upon the mountainside

And we’ll be hanging on until the winter comes

Looking over bridges, quaysides, harbour walls

Until it’s time for us to leave




WALKING AROUND THE WORLD (Albert’s Song)


You’ve read all you can read

And learnt all you can learn

Some travel abroad to broaden your mind

Before you earn what you can earn

He’s placing stone upon stone and life upon life

As he walks through his garden

He’s raking leaves up again

As the judge in his head

Still refuses his pardon


A boat and a train and a train and plane

And a bus on a highway

And a girl with a child with a lingering smile

And a car going your way

He’s walking around the world

Though the door is locked and bolted before him

Albert stares at the small patch of sky he can see

And his shadow rises

Across the land

Across his family and friends

Across the dreams that he had


You’ve flown to the East and hiked to the West

And you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped

Now you turn to your home, your wild oats all sown

You climb to the top

But Albert was there before you

He tasted the world and he lit up the night sky

At the shoulder of a hero or two

But never was minded to question quite why


And now you sit, moving down through the pit

As the people around you stare out of their eyes

Their lives passing by

In the tunnels they rush through

But Albert can hear in the night

The sounds of delight, another year passing

The ringing of old and the chiming of new

And nothing has changed but the voice still keeps asking

Where is he now?

Where are his family and friends?

Where are the dreams that he held?




CHLOE


When everything’s done here then you can go.

With a shrug of a shoulder and a cry of “That’s so unfair”

It won’t be long before you’re not letting us know

Coming and going like a porter on a hotel stair

But ‘til then we’ll be watching over you.


When there’s that look in your eye

It’s like travelling in time

Back to your mother explaining how I was wrong

And now you’re slamming the door

And giving me a piece of your mind,

Longing for freedom and wishing that I were gone

But so soon, so soon, you’ll be here

And then you’ll be gone


There’s a-shouting on the quay

By the whispering ships tonight

In the doorway of the tavern

By the harbour wall

Strangers meeting, laughing

Fighting in the flickering light

Carrying stories of another world

And while you’re there you might catch the eye

Of a passer-by, just passing by


There’s a black flag flying at the edge of the bay

It’s offering you a life

That you’ve been dreaming about

A stateroom on a voyage out to the end of your day

A ticket to the future, a current to wash you away

And now the sands are shifting, time’s counting down


You’ve got the wind in your hair and the light in your eye

You’re rounding the headland

And your home is slipping from view

Your heart’s in your mouth and your soul’s in the sky

As if all of the world and all history’s

Been waiting for you

And now the breeze comes calling

It is comes calling your name.


At night you hear the laughing, mocking

Cruel voices at your door you don’t like

Or even understand the things they say

The fury of the water scares you

As it rushes past below

But you’re still glad

You’re on your way

For now you know

Why you caught the eye

Of that passer-by

Just passing by