Sand in your shoes - Weather the storm

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Sand in your shoes

 Tous Les Animaux Sont Tristes
Tous les animaux sont tristes
Apres avoir faire l’amour
Wondering if there was more than this
Wishing there could be more - just a little more.

Harry bought a little boat
And with his boat he made some money
His wife bore him a daughter and two sons
The sun shone and they were never hungry

He bought more boats, a bigger house
And more ships were his goal
But even after making love
There was a darkness in his soul.

Tous les animaux sont tristes
Apres avoir faire l’amour
Wondering if there was more than this
Wishing there could be more - just a little more.

His fortune and his children grew strong
His wife slept sweet contented
He paced the floor till dawn sometimes
Until the night relented 

One morning he heard a song bird sing
A song to take his darkness away
And he put a roof over his garden
So that forever it would stay.

But the songbird was small and plain
With its heartache healing song
And he tired of the repetition
And wished that it was gone

So he tore the roof from off his garden
But he’d fed the bird and it remained
Till he shot a silver arrow through her heart
And his darkness came again.

In time the children forgot
The loss of their singing bird
And the light came back to their garden
As his emptiness returned

So he sailed away in one of his ships
Married a rich widow in America
In photographs they were always smiling
He needed her but did he really love her? 

Islands, The
We do not fear the long  ships, we've seen long ships before
Men sailed here from the north land and hauled their boats ashore
They brought with them the music, the language and the law,
And burned their boats and stayed here on the islands.

It's midday in the wintertime before the moon does pale.
The winter songs are very long, the storm winds and the gales.
The midnight sun's as distant as the ca’ing of the whales,
Till spring returns and comes to paint the islands.
The grey seals and the otter, the salmon and the charr,
The land bound and the sea trapped, the free birds of the air,
The shepherd and the farmer and all those in their care
Harmonise the music of the islands.

We never feared the long ships till the coming of the "Braer"
The roaring sea in anger beat that broken boat ashore.
Spilled fuel enough to take that ship twice round the world or more
And filled the air with oil to paint the islands.
As if the sea had realised the tragedy in store
Its waves continued pounding about a week or more
Most of the crude was washed away and never came ashore
The sea regained its temper round the islands.

Oh let this be a warning to those whose faceless greed
Would sail close to the shoreline to save both fuel and speed
The sea is our protector, provider of our needs
A jealous guard and keeper of the islands.

Fear of Flying
I always knew the other side of love 
I needed every friend
To fill up the bus and to stay with me 
So the journey won’t ever end.

We’ll have a little music sure enough
To keep our spirits high
Some of us may even fall in love
Others gaze out of the windows and sigh.
There’s a bus leaving town tonight
Someone has already said
It’s not the arriving it’s the getting there
But the road is dark ahead.
Don’t you worry ‘bout the destination
We all know where it ends
On this trip it’s the only certainty
That’s why I need all these friends.
The last time someone got off the bus
I never realised how long we’d spend
Looking at empty seats in front of us
It’s a long old road that has no bend.
There’s a bus leaving town tonight
Every second of every day
It’s not the arriving that matters so much
But what happens along the way.
Only bet what you can stand to lose
Don’t take a lover if you don’t want to cry.
How can you reach out for the stars
If you’re too scared to fly?
I always knew the other side of love
I needed every friend
To fill up the bus and to stay with me
So the journey won’t ever end.
Care in the Community
      There’s a man riding the tube train
He’s got voices in his head
One voice says get off at your stop
But he might get on instead
Another voice tells him it’s time
Be ready to take a life
Another voice tells him he’ll know when
In his pocket he handles a knife.
There’s a woman who stands in a doorway
In a shop out on the Strand
A litany spills from her cracked lips
She hears but she don’t understand.
Why are these dates so important?
Like a nun in her cell she repeats
As she stares through her mirrored reflection
At the world blurring past on the street.
You better take care in the community
The community better take care
There is no immunity
Everybody must bear his share.
Slowly a young girl comes down
From what she’s had to do
To feel cradled in somebody’s arms
Fixed for an hour or two
You see she’s helping herself
Providing for what she needs
The community cares for itself it seems
It don’t affect you or me.
It seems that the system is working
At least for you and me
Now that everyone is taking care in the community.
There’s a young man who hangs round the station
And he strides up and down as he talks
It’s a one-sided conversation
And he’s constantly checking his watch
Confused and so full of anger
Sometimes he thinks he’ll explode
He’s frightened of leaving these city streets
But he’s even more scared of the road.
A bus pulls up at the station
Commuters clamber inside
The office is only just over the road
A two hundred metre ride
But this way they don’t get hassled
By the beggars around Waterloo
One’s only got so much compassion
And what can one person do?

I Don’t Think About You
Not a day goes by
When I don’t think about you
Wonder how you’re doing still
Not a night goes by
When I don’t dream about you
I don’t think one ever will.  

Guess by now
You’d think I ought to know
      Maybe I just love the holding on
And I won’t let go
But when I put it this way
I can truly say
That I don’t dream about you.
Not a morning comes
I don’t wait for a letter
To tell me that you’re doing fine
Not an evening comes
I don’t hope for a phone call
To tell me that you’ve changed your mind.

Guess by now
You’d think I ought to know
Maybe I just love the holding on
And I won’t let go
But when I put it this way
I can truly say
That I don’t wait for a phone call
Guess by now
You’d think I ought to know
Maybe I just love the holding on
And I won’t let go
But when I put it this way
I can truly say
That I don’t think about you.
Not a month goes by
When I don’t think I see you
Somewhere on a crowded street.
Not a year goes by
That I don’t think that somewhere
Sometime we are bound to meet.
Guess by now
You’d think I ought to know
Maybe I just love the holding on
And I won’t let go
But when I put it this way
I can truly say
That I don’t wait and I don’t dream
And I don’t think about you.

Enemy Within, The (The Band)
There was a time when the strike was on
 I thought that we might win
Even after we’d been called
The enemy within
But the tide just turned against us
It seems that blood and coal
Were bound in hellish partnership
 To keep us from our goal.
 There was a moment as we marched back
With the colliery band in front
Some said we’d been defeated
But it felt as if we’d won
All on account of the cheering
The music and the crowd
Back to the pit with tears and smiles
Bloodied but unbowed.
 There were months as the scars healed up
Things didn’t seem so bad
Thursday nights in the band room
And a few beers with the lads
I told our lass it would be all right
 As hope replaced despair
And the band pumped reassurance
Into the summer air.
 On Thursdays now I go to town
And spend most of the dole
Loading the shopping trolley
Instead of trucks with coal
I see the lads in the band room
But less of us meet there
While the band breaks up all around us
And nobody seems to care.
 I’ve spent months now the music’s gone
Gazing at the mine
The rust that creeps across the plant
Like a dullness in the mind.
The gates are closed, the shops are shut,
Our very jobs they stole.
The band room’s just a shell that keeps An echo of our soul.

Sand in Your Shoes
You don’t so much feel dirty
You just feel like a fool
You were way past thirty
            She was hardly out of school
            I can understand the way you feel
            Your pride’s been somewhat bruised
            You cried the dust from out of your eyes
            But you’ve still got sand in your shoes,
            Got a little sand in your shoes.
            It’s sad think of how you felt
            When she was on your arm
            Those burning eyes they made you melt
            You heard no smoke alarm.
            You look like Doctor Watson
            Lost but looking for clues
            And if I was Sherlock Holmes I’d say
            There’s still a little sand in your shoes,
            A little bit of sand in your shoes.
            This affair had a mercury switch
            It was only a matter of time
            Everyone else took cover
            But you marched on down the line
            And now it’s blown up in your face
            These things have a pretty short fuse
            Like a phoenix you will rise again
            But leave a little sand in your shoes,
            Leave a little sand in your shoes.
            To err is only human
            And you ran true to form
            Only the camels seem to sense
            An approaching desert storm
            A few grains blew up your nose
            It depends on your point of view
            A touch of grit between your toes
            Or a little bit of sand in your shoes,
            A little bit of sand in your shoes.
            Remember that magic seaside day
            When you were a little kid
            And they said it was time to all go home
            And you nearly flipped your lid
            Do you recall the little sand dance
            You did when you refused
            It rubbed your foot but it made you smile
            To feel a little sand in your shoes,
            To feel a little sand in your shoes.
            And you’re still looking about you
            At things far out of range
            You say you can’t help falling in love
            I guess you’ll never change
            I love your soft shoe shuffle
            It dances away your blues
            You might grow old but you won’t grow up
            If you keep a little sand in your shoes.
            Keep a little bit of sand in your shoes.
Jesus  Wept
                      The day that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem,
            The adventure almost over, the night he hadn’t slept
            Dreams and premonitions made him tired and emotional,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            He wasn’t scared of dying, he’d made that commitment
            Fulfilling the old prophecy, his bargain he had kept
            He was due some satisfaction, but he was deeply troubled,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Was this his true destiny, or could he still make changes,
            Someone else’s nightmare into which he’d stepped?
            Damage limitation couldn’t save the situation,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            In his dream he saw the crusade and all wars that would follow,
            Declared in his name when he thought he’d been direct
            Love thy neighbour, do not kill, and turn the other cheek,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            He saw the inquisition and the burning of the saints,
            The conversion of the innocents he swore he would protect
            He saw them bless the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Though Peter would betray him, he made him the rock
            On which he would build his church to sort of keep him in his debt
            A man about to die is allowed some confusion,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            He thought of his disciples, especially of Judas,
            The job that was ordained for him and the reward he’d collect
            He saw him in the tree with the silver coins around him,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Then he thought about the good times when he turned the tables over,
            Chastised the money lenders and he earned the boy’s respect
            He was proud of Godly anger, but ashamed of manly temper,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Rumours started flying about water into wine,
            Sight to the blind and that he’d even raised the dead
            The biggest miracle was that anyone believed it,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Then he mused on human nature, how fickle were the public,
            So ready to accept him, so quick now to reject
            Where were the five thousand he fed with loaves and fishes?
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            In his dream he saw a garden with all his friends asleep,
            He walked away the hours until the morning crept
            He wondered would the nails hurt, would he be man enough?
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Was he supposed to bear it like a man or like a God,
            Would tears show a weakness or a strength by their effect?
            Would they be viewed as compassion or failure and self-pity?
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Then he saw his houses burning on both sides of a border,
            Saw the guiltless suffer with the guilty and the rest
            And when they called his name and he knew he couldn’t help them,
            That’s why Jesus wept.
            Then he saw two armies marching and he heard their crucifixes
            Reduced to superstitious muted jangling round their necks
            And he heard his name intoned as they interred their companion,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            Then he thought about his mother and the stories she had told him,
            Who’d filled his dreams with angels, put voices in his head
            Then the scent of pine trees made him think of dear old Joseph,
            And that’s why Jesus wept.
            That’s why Jesus wept.

After Rain
         Come on now and dry your eyes
          Time will ease away the pain
          Clouds disperse and show the clear skies
          The earth smells sweeter after rain.
          There has never been a deluge
          That could wash out every stain.
          In cracked pavements weeds find refuge
          Earth smells sweeter after rain.
          The world is vast in pain's horizon
          Wrapped around us makes it small
          If you break out of this prison
          Depending where the teardrops fall
          Out of barrenness renewal
          Hope is just a tiny grain
          Irony is often cruel
          But the earth smells sweeter after rain.
          Debris left where floods receded
          Was surely bound to cause you pain
          Just ignore all that's not needed
          Earth smells sweeter after rain.
          Sadness is a poor heart teacher
          You're not alone we're all the same
          Running down the road to meet her
          Palace Gate or Factory Lane
          Joy is not to one confined
          Neither then is grief and pain
          Water only draws the line
          And earth smells sweeter after rain.
          After rain.

Peppers and Tomatoes
This year in my garden I grow peppers and tomatoes,
Peppers and tomatoes, they grow together well,
And my neighbours all around me they grow beans and potatoes
Cabbages and onions in this village where we dwell.
 And later in the year we will bring wine to the table
Bring wine to the table, and reap what we have sown.
Like my father did before me and his father did before him
And his father did before him, we will share what we have grown.
 This little patch of dirt, this little pile of stones.
I can wash the dust from off my face, and skin
But this earth is in my bones.
 Military vehicles are passing through our village
Passing through our village with young soldiers ill at ease.
Unsmiling and unshaven, distrustful and uncertain
Distrustful and uncertain, and all smoking constantly.
 And my neighbours say “Don’t worry for you are one of us,
You are one of us and it will not happen here”,
But the next night at the café, when I bring wine to the table,
I bring wine to the table, but they are sitting drinking beer.
 Oh, last night the hand of friendship fell heavy on my shoulders,
Heavy on my shoulders as I turned away to go.
As I said goodnight some old men, some old men and young soldiers
Were humming tunes and singing words to songs that I did not know.
 Oh this little patch of dirt, oh this little pile of stones
I can wash the dust from off my face and skin,
But this earth is in my bones.
 This morning my wife told me that she’d been to church on Sunday,
Been to church on Sunday, she had felt the need to pray.
Our children were baptised there but it was just to please the old ones,
Just to please the old ones, and I don’t know what to say.

Tonight, as dark is falling, I am tending to my garden,
Tending to my garden, and the crop that I have grown.
And my car is heavy laden, and soon I’ll start the engine,
Soon I’ll start the engine, wake the children and be gone.
 My shotgun it is loaded, and it’s hidden in the cabin,
It’s hidden in the cabin, and the evening’s growing chilled.
My mouth is dry, my hands are moist, and if someone tries to stop me,
Someone tries to stop me, I am ready now to kill.
 Oh this little patch of dirt, oh this little pile of stones
I can wash the dust from off my face and skin
But this earth is in my bones.
  I am watering my garden, when I smell the cigarette smoke,
Smell the cigarette smoke, and I turn round in the dust
And I see the glint of rifles, but I cannot see the faces
But I recognise the voices that say, “You must come with us”. 

Case of Otto Schwarzkopf, The - Poem by Schmuel Huppert  adapted by Ralph McTell 
The case of Otto Schwarzkopf has reached Jerusalem
            The letters ‘A.L.L.1’ branded in black
            Are burned into the leather and there’s a Prague address
            A faded hotel sticker on the back.
            Which shows the Tyrol prayer shawl draped with snow
            Blue skies, pine trees, a lake.
            Were you alone?  Was this a family outing?
            Did you read or did you swim on this life-affirming break?
            Did you climb or simply walk below the mountain?
            The case gapes open wide its emptiness a soundless cry
            We pause to gaze at it, at you, through time.
            Where now the socks and toothbrush,
            The shirts and underwear, the family snaps, the works of Heinrich Heine.
            In winter nineteen forty-four the German order came
            Take what you think you’ll need, you’re moving East,
            And don’t make any fuss just leave everything to us.
            Twenty kilos or just one suitcase each,
            And now it’s here on show its palm-warmed handle cold
            The leather cracked its metal clasps corroded
            As the steam train pulled away from Theresienstadt that day
            Did it rain or did you weep as it was loaded?
            Reference your trip / ‘A.L.L.1’ / cattle trucks as per specification.
            The livestock rule allows thirty pigs or seven cows,
            One hundred and twenty Jews for transportation.
            The case of Otto Schwarzkopf has made its way without him
            To Jerusalem in anger, guilt and sorrow
            Pray humanity can hear what it cannot see through tears,
            The cry of yesterday before tomorrow.

Daddy’s Whistling Home
Daddy’s whistling home from work
Mamma’s ironing Daddy’s shirt
Tea is on the table, baby’s in his cot
Money’s tight for everyone, they ain’t got a lot.
But what they got’s their own
The rent’s paid on their basement home
And from the chilly kitchen she’s gazing at the moon
Of Daddy whistling home.
She seems to spend so much time on her own
He swallows down his tea then it’s off to evening school
He’s doing it for the family, but sometimes life is cruel.
Lately he seems so tired
Too tired for making love
Shouts out loudly in his sleep sometimes
She’s scared he’ll wake the neighbours on the floor above
Or the baby in his cot
He’s got his Daddy’s eyes, he doesn’t cry a lot.
The war is over now, it’ll take a little time
Till he can say that we are his and she can say he’s mine.
Maybe we’re all too tired
Expecting too much so soon
Through the black-out curtain she can see some stars
But can’t explain the hurting while she’s searching for the moon.
Baby’s lying in his bed
Trying to remember what was said
Something about a letter dropped behind a back
But someone pulls a curtain and the whole scene fades to black.
Mama’s ironing kiddie’s clothes
Nothing’s ever said but everybody knows
Singing in the kitchen, wonderin’ who he’s kissing
Wonderin’ if he ever talks about me
And listening for Daddy whistling home.
Still in Dreams
This morning I am still in dreams
Of you and I both young as Spring
My step is cautious down to breakfast
The floor of dreams is eggshell thin.
There is a green mist in the trees
The toast is burnt to cindered crumbs
The sound of bees hum in my head
And I am all fingers and thumbs.
I’ve been sleeping now for hours
I can’t seem to wake me up
Getting rained on in the shower
Fumbling with the coffee cup
Deep down I know I’m in a mist
And that really I’m not even trying
For I have always been like this
Whenever I’ve been flying.
I drag a comb through knots of dreams
For when I shave I must address
This image mirrored back at me
That’s weathered in time’s wilderness,
Whilst yours is fixed in summer light
Not creased or lined and smudged with age
A new print from time’s negative
A red dot on a linen page.
There is a green mist in the trees
Along the river known to me
There is blue mist in the grass
And I am lost and all at sea.

Irish Blessing, An
How my life is changing now
My young ones start to leave their home
I wish that their uncertain road
Was one that I could tread with them
As when I walked them home from school
Or safely caught them when they fell
Or chase the demons from their dreams
With jokes and stories that I could tell.
May the road rise with you
And the wind be at your back
Go raibh an ghaoth I goónai ar do chûl
Go n-éiri and bóthar leat.
And now it’s me who has to learn
To let you make your way alone
To try not to direct each turn
Your triumphs and mistakes your own.
Your path will different be to mine
No tricks of my trade no use to you
To others and yourself be kind
Your suffering would hurt me too.
I hear the calling of your heart
I see in your eyes that you know
To cherish is the easy part
The hardest task is letting go
So let me see you to the corner
Let me watch you down the street
May my love be your protector
And walk with you till next we meet.
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