From Rainbow’s End (Ballad to The NHS)

“This is our green, our pleasant land,
where porters, nurses make their stand
with all who risk their lives to heal,
in whitewashed rooms not Flanders field.
And so the memory of this time
will be the ones who joined the line,
to reach the plate, two steps apart,
and ask where they could sign.

What beacon to this finest hour?
Not church bells silent in the tower.
But all who clapped at eight pm
to find the rainbow’s end again.
And all the things that made us smile … will make us smile again”

From The Girl and the Flag

“See that girl in Stars and Stripes
She wrapped herself for thirty nights
That’s the flag I saw her bless
And kissed before she left

Don’t ask me what our country did for her
A stain left on our conscience like a curse
But someone said the other side were worse”

From It All Comes Back to This

“Upset, gone to bed, was it something that I said
About you swinging with the trust-fund beatniks
Secretly, and unseen, gets her kicks on James Dean
Pretends she’s down and out but daddy’s rich
Imagined roads with Kerouac, your battered Ginsburg paperback
You take that but I’ll take back in black

Live Aid, Queen played, at the edge but unscathed
These were the days of our lives
Unhitched, some missed, hindsight’s fine but still a bitch
Who’s going to drive you home tonight
Go do the things your daddy said, your brother’s shotgun by the bed
Where some men pass the others fear to tread

And I’ll forgive the things you did
But you weren’t born the way I lived
And in the end it all comes back to this”

From Labelled With Life

“When you’ve tried a drink from every kind of bottle
Pick out one in your colour and your size
Fold up those memories stained by tears of living
Push them in and label it with life

So go on bottle up this wasted life
Label it on up with wasted time
And put it in a place where it might be found
Or lie it right beside me on this dead man’s ground”

From 46th Street

“Just out of St Luke’s, collecting cans on 46th street
Moments from death, walking out in the deep freeze
No 911 call, no inquest to plead
Will you take my hand on 46th street”

From Man You Take for Worse

“This morning the shame, drives a pain in my chest, like a knife
And an ashtray parades, the lipsticked remains, of last night
But the stale smell of cigarettes, and the scratches of glass on the table
Don’t make me feel as guilty, as the scratches on me, or the clothes strewn on that empty cradle

This scene is a picture, a canvas of lies, that I painted
The bleak house of my mind, has nowhere to hide, that’s still vacant
So I crawl out of bed, for a coffee and beer, or just beer
And the smell of cheap perfume, it stabs at my conscience, and reminds me of why you’re not here”

From On the Happiness Train

“Go draw me a smile with lipstick or paint
A fake rictus grin to hide my real face
Expressions of sadness, well they’ll just have to wait
Cause we’re all on the happiness train

So go doctor doctor sign me that script
You make me happy and I’ll make you rich
And when the pills all run out
We’ll find out the whole world is sick”

From On the road again

“Stepping out on the road again
In motel rooms where no one’s shamed
You can write down your number
But I’ll never remember your name

Somewhere over the mountain range
There’s a town of your dreams, and a girl with your name
She’ll be there waiting
Out on the road again”

From Prodigal Son

“Go bleach out your hair, put a ring in your ear
Got to be inside to be an outsider here
Somebody said you confirmed their worst fears
But they got in a cleaner to mop up the tears

Whose got that song now that’s at number one
I hear it’s the prodigal son

Will they sacrifice people if they can’t find a lamb?
For the return of the prodigal son”

From This Life Running Away From Me

“Old peeling paint and calendar girls
They might offend but the light doesn’t work
Just pour me a coffee and spare me your views on the world
Go on and check if the new guy will bleed
But I’ll fight you first if you ever touch me
Please don’t assume that the ride that I got here was free

Contraband cigarettes, an old Lenin badge
Maybe they envy the lives that we have
I’ll just sleep out the night shift from all of the vodka I had
And I hand out the prizes as the sun starts to rise
And the only thing red are the whites of my eyes
These were moments in time but for some there the rest of their lives”

From Slow-time symphony

“Left half of my brain in the nineties
Left half of my brain in the bin
Spent an hour of my life in a chapel
And the rest of it living in sin”

From Snow White

“Bad night, Snow White
There was no truth to set you free
Bad night, Snow White
You took the needle from the tree
And now the stage you walked is empty

Did you ever guess they’d hurt you
Steal your soul and then desert you
Cut your sad and bleeding heart in two….so they could wear it on their sleeve…

Bad night, Snow White
Is there a place where you still sing
Bad night, Snow White
You were the perfect offering
The mirror cracked but still no prince”

From Yours, sincerely sorry, and goodbye

“Some people say that happiness is found when you forget
But some can hold the past without regret
I know it takes an old man to kneel down and repent
But a brave man is the first to make amends”

From Is this how we show them the world?

“My daughter watches TV where no one ever works
Where everyone has everything and nothing really hurts
Except not getting on that guest list or your favourite mini skirt
Is this how we show them the world

Netflix mini-series where everyone’s a star
Where by your 18th birthday you already own two cars
And all the girls are pretty and the boys are all so smart
Is this how we show them the world

Relentless in its images of everlasting proms
An endless stream of limousines that carried you from birth
And if you can’t be a pop star then it’s someone else’s fault
Is this how we show them the world

Back here in the real world when they’re working 9 to 5
And living in a bed sit with no limousine outside
We may wonder why young people are committing suicide
Cause that’s how we showed them the world”