Lyrics

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R@M

AT HOME WITH Mr TREBUS
(words and music by Dave Milligan. Voiceovers by Gareth Hall)

You live in a furniture warehouse
With half a dozen chickens and a goat
And everybody wishes it was their house
At least they’d have somewhere to hang their coat

I’d rather be with you than be you
In the co-ordinated chaos of your home
I broke into the warehouse to see you
‘Cos you were never answering your phone

"I think sir and madam will appreciate the wipe clean surfaces of the faux leather.
As you see, there are different cushions for different apllications.
Yes: That bed does vibrate..."

You’re a difficult one to get hold of
There’s not enough hours in your day
You refuse to accept you got older
You refuse to accept you’ve gone grey

You live in a furniture warehouse
With half a dozen chickens and a goat
And everybody wishes it was their house
If only they could make it past the moat

"I see sir and madame are looking for something different.
Special.
Motorised.
The Mark 7: It really is the ultimate in sofas...if you know what I'm saying..."

  -o-O-o-

MIKE LEIGH-ON-SEA
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

(And it always ends the same):
Six pills, two espressos:
A breakfast of heroes
Wake up on the shoulder of someone I won’t see again
A night as a rocker
A day on Berrocca
Wake up feeling old but last night you were feeling no pain

I know who to be
I’m Mike Leigh-On-Sea
I know who to see to get the good stuff for free
I’m up for the craic
I’m gone and I’m back
Then out on the town with my old friend Jack
And my good friend Stella

Congealing collation
Of old affectations
Milk of human kindness that curdles and turns into cheese
A charmer, a chancer (“Hello darlin’ ”)
A terrible dancer
Careering around like a dog trying to shake off its fleas

I know who to be
I’m Mike Leigh-On-Sea
I know who to see to get the good stuff for free
I’m up for the craic
I’m gone and I’m back
Then out on the town with my old friend Jack
And my good friend Stella

You’re talking much faster, you’re a man you’re a master
("You’re talking much faster, you’re a man you’re a master")
You know they’d all miss you so much if you wasn’t around ("We miss you, Mike")
A walking disaster ("Oh no! Look out!")
A month spent in plaster ("Let's sign your cast?")
Flew right of the end and hit everything on the way down

I know who to be
I’m Mike Leigh-On-Sea
I know who to see to get the good stuff for free
I’m up for the craic
I’m gone and I’m back
Then out on the town with my old friend Jack

And it always ends the same...

  -o-O-o-

SHE WAS ONLY A ROOFER'S DAUGHTER
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

There she sits, 5ft 6
In her transvestite father’s shoes
They'd be good in a flood
She could use ‘em as canoes
She’s a lazy sketch of features
Done in crayon by a kid
Calls herself Victoria Flatblock
Does her hair like daddy did

And she was only a roofer’s daughter
And she looked up to her dad
He was such a perfect father
 And the mum she’d never had
'Cos he was Vivien the roofer with his calloused hands
His Italian stilettos and his alice bands
And his pretty floral dresses and his lovely hair
Nobody looks up so he was safe up there

She was such a daddy’s girl:
They couldn’t bear to be apart
As she watched, he transformed
Into a walking work of art
But he left the job unfinished just like every artist does
So she dresses in his image; be the girl he never was

And she was only a roofer’s daughter
And she looked up to her dad
He was such a perfect father and the mum she’d never had
'Cos he was Vivian the roofer with his calloused hands
His Italian stilettos and his alice bands
And his pretty floral dresses and his lovely hair
Nobody looks up so he was safe up there

  Midnight rendezvous in Soho
  With a Mr Sakamoto
  For a rather boho photo
  On the front of his deSoto
  On the tiles every evening
  Fitting tiles every day
  When you spend your life on roofs
  You see things in a different way

And she was only a roofer’s daughter
And she looked up to her dad
He was such a perfect father and the mum she’d never had
'Cos he was Vivian the roofer with his calloused hands
His Italian stilettos and his alice bands
And his pretty floral dresses and his lovely hair
Nobody looks up so he was safe up there

  -o-O-o-

THIS IS MY STATION
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

There are ants in my life
And they get in through the cracks
And they’re queuing up to take me out
Piece by piece
There are ants in my life
And they get in through the cracks
And they’re queuing up to take me out
Piece by little piece
There are ants in my life
And they get in through the cracks
And they’re queuing up to take me out
Piece by tiny piece

Rage and frustration
Raging frustration
Rage in frustration
This is my station

I may never do this again
Please pay attention
I don’t want to repeat myself
Anything but that
I may never do this again
Please pay attention
I don’t want to repeat myself
Anything but this
I may never do this again
Please pay attention
I don’t want to repeat myself
Anything but that

Rage and frustration
Raging frustration
Rage in frustration
This is my station

How did I arrive at this
Frazzled re-analysis
Fractured metamorphosis
Nothing could be worse than this
How did I arrive at this
Frazzled re-analysis
Fractured metamorphosis
Nothing could be worse than this

Rage and frustration
Raging frustration
Rage in frustration
This is my station

  -o-O-o-

IT'S NOT BIG AND IT'S NOT CLEVER
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

Well the world is falling round my ears
The plastic wants me money
The stupid witch has packed me in
And you just think it’s funny
 Well tonight I’m going out on the town because I’ve never been so low
 I’m gonna drink till I fall over and then wake up in a doorway in soho

  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  I’m gonna get drunk with some of my friends tonight

Too much time on the sparkling wine
Makes you willing but not ready and able
And it’s hard to hit ‘em with your sparkling wit
When you’ve just slid under the table
 If everybody’s getting you down you know that you shouldn’t let ‘em
 Go out and drink till you fall over and then wake up in a doorway in Streatham

  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  I’m gonna get drunk with some of my friends tonight

As the night wears on and the fun wears off
And then you start to worry
As your shining wit turns to whining shit
And your sentences start with sorry

  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  It’s not big and it’s not clever
  But now I need it more than ever
  I’m gonna get drunk with some of my friends tonight

  -o-O-o-

MID LIFE CHRIS
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

A dominant position in the marketplace
The petulant derision of your peers
A Spanish inquisition by the fireplace
A manic superstition lasting years

A brief infatuation with an underling
A certain agitation from the wife
A hurried explanation left her wondering:
An unplanned complication in your life

40 years on the ten-to-eight
From forest hill to forest gate
40 years on the underground
If you hit the target first time you miss what’s all around

An ill-advised flirtation with a motorbike
Obsessional fixation with your age
A crusty hard exterior made of hammerite
A superheated geezer full of rage

40 years on the ten-to-eight
From forest hill to forest gate
40 years on the underground
If you hit the target first time you miss what’s all around

  You only live once
  If Bond got it wrong
  So do it all now ‘cos you haven’t got long

40 years on the ten-to-eight
From forest hill to forest gate
40 years on the underground
If you hit the target first time you miss what’s all around

  -o-O-o-

SONG FOR MY OLD LADY
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

There’s no fool like an old fool and I’m older and more foolish everyday;
Optimism overcomes the evidence and blows it all away
(But it’s lurking in the corner)
There’s no thrill like a new thrill, like a new toy on a grasping Christmas day
But what’s still there by autumn? Just the good stuff and the rest is thrown away
(Or hidden in the closet)

Let’s play
Squeak piggy squeak and bling drunk’s buff
Let’s play
Let’s play while we’re still young enough

There’s no songs like the old songs and we’ll sing ‘em as we’re dancing out the door
And every generation writes their new songs, but we’ve heard them all before
(Sing it loud; my ears are tired)
 
Let’s play
Let’s play a song that fills the room
Let’s play
While we can still carry a tune

Out in the long grass
Out in the sun
Before our free bus pass
While we can still run

Let’s play
Why stay in when you want to come out?
Let’s play
Be the parents that our people warned us about

  -o-O-o-

YOU LEARN TO CLIMB WHEN YOU'RE SMALL
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

In the park in the dark, looking into space
When a creature from the earth came up and kicked me in the face
He turned an ugly colour that I’ve never ever seen
Clockwork orange mixed with shepherd’s bush green

You learn to climb when you’re small
When everything is looking up you don’t look down at all
You learn to climb when you’re small
But when you’re high you never try you’ve got so far to fall

I’m not so deep but I’m pretty wide
A rough diamond with a flaw inside
Life’s a lengthy catalogue of all the things I’ve never tried
Start the list with ecstasy and end with suicide
Save it, use it wisely, don’t spend it all in here
Check for change - but fear of change can mean you pay too dear
When you can’t see what the peril is you’re gonna try your luck
But when your head’s above the parapet it’s telling you to duck

You learn to climb when you’re small
When everything is looking up you don’t look down at all
You learn to climb when you’re small
But when you’re high you never try you’ve got so far to fall

  -o-O-o-

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TOMORROW'S WORLD?
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

He was born in the sixties on a promise of free love and music
By the century’s end he’d be working a two day week
Now the music is free but the love’s only there if you make it
And he’s working so hard that he’s almost unable to sleep

  And he thought that he'd be riding around on a monorail train
  Full of miracle drugs so he’d feel no pain

He’s a 60s man with an 80s life
And a naughty kid and a 90s wife
He’s a 60s man with an 80s life

And the young would take all that was best; stuff it all in their pockets
Do the good stuff and leave all the rest to be done by machines
And we all would expand our horizons on drugs and on rockets
But the world of tomorrow turned out to be yesterday’s dreams

  Who'd've thought he'd still be limping around on a routemaster bus
  And the miracle drug just makes him one of us

And not a 60s man with an 80s life
And a naughty kid and a 90s wife
He’s a 60s man with an 80s life

For all the girls who never were:
He loved you all in his own way
And with your style, and with your smiles
You made him what he is today

(Which is a 60s man with an 80s life
And a naughty kid and a 90s wife
He’s a 60s man with an 80s life)

  -o-O-o-

WHY I'M NEVER INVITED TO PARTIES
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

Really rather sharp dressed fella
Walks like Steed with an umbrella
Living embodiment of floral flamboyance
Buzz like a wasp; he’s a noisy annoyance
 
Turn up at parties; never invited
Tends to break things when over excited
Stink up the room with verbal incontinence
Out with the rod; start fishing for compliments

Out here with the middle classes
Bigger cars and smaller arses
Incompatible behaviour
Nothing you can do will save ya

Drunken charm’s an oxymoron
Really just a poxy moron
Couldn’t understand they were trying to get rid of ya
Hanging around like a dose of Chlamydia

Out here with the middle classes
Bigger cars and smaller arses
Incompatible behaviour
Nothing you can do will save ya
 
Amateur hypochondriac
Dicky heart and dodgy back
Heavy breathing like Darth Vader
Coming at you; space invader

Invited on a walk down memory lane
Been there before; won’t go there again
"Never let the truth get in the way"
As my two headed uncle used to say

Out here with the middle classes
Bigger cars and smaller arses
Incompatible behaviour
Nothing you can do will save ya
Out here with the middle classes
Bigger cars and smaller arses
Incompatible behaviour
Nothing you can do will save ya

  -o-O-o-

IT'S JUST YOUR LIFETIME; IT'LL SOON BE OVER
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

It’s just your lifetime
It’ll soon be over
Soon you won’t have to show good will to all those men
It’s just your lifetime
It’ll soon be over
Soon you won’t have to go to parties with your friends

 Nothing’s worth running from, not much in life worth running to
 Running in circles is something you swore you’d never do
 “Women look better from the back” you always say
 “It’s not aesthetic; it just means they’re going away”

  All around the world
  Everybody’s railing in confusion
  No matter how you think
  You know we’re gonna reach the same conclusion

It’s just your lifetime
It’ll soon be over
Soon you won’t have to show good will to all those men
It’s just your lifetime
It’ll soon be over
Soon you won’t have to go to parties with your friends

 Before you know it all those frozen hours will melt away
 And you won’t have to wonder how to fill another day
 Life’s just a cracker riddle that you never solved
 Acting pathetic if you have to get involved

  All around the world
  Everybody’s got a specialisation
  And they’ll bore you half to death about it
  Without hesitation

It’s just your lifetime
It’ll soon be over
Soon you won’t have to show good will to all those men
It’s just your lifetime
It’ll soon be over
Soon you won’t have to go to parties with your friends

  -o-O-o-

SOMEONE ELSE'S TURN TO BE ME
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

the girl with the backpack jumps wide-eyed from the train
like she's learning parachuting in a burning plane
and she runs all the way
from the station to the bar
downs a quick budvar
and picks up a guitar
she days she likes a little panic, says it gives her an edge
makes her little stage feel like a window ledge

she says "it's someone else's turn to be me
cos there are lots of other people who I'd really like to be
and while I'm being someone with a bit more clout
someone else can haul my baggage about
because it's someone else's turn to be me"

the man with the glass eyes looks through windows all day
if you ask him what he does he doesn't know what to say
then he runs to the gym and he runs off the flab
then runs down to the bar and he runs up a tab

and thinks "it's someone else's turn to be me
cos there are lots of other places that i'd really ike to see
and while i'm seeing something that i've never seen
someone else can glare at this miserable screen
because it's someone else's turn to be me"

six months later they meet
in the same london street
on her way to the gym
she runs square into him
as they get up from the floor
he feels he's seen her before
comes and watches her play
and finds he knows what to say
and so they talk about plans
and they leave holding hands
she moves into his flat
and for two decades that's that
he says "i once was a mug
but now i'm a cup
and you are the saucer
that's holding me up"

they're doing just what they did
with an additional kid

who thinks "it's someone else's turn to be me
cos there are lots of other places that i'd really like to be
and while i'm living it up where it's all going down
someone else can fester in this tedious town
because it's someone else's turn to be me"

  -o-O-o-

BEATEN, BLACK AND BLUE
(words and music by Danny Scott)

You took your time didn’t you?
You never lied like the others used to
And I never really knew you
But now your life story’s suddenly see-through
I guess that’s ok
Because there’s nothing that we can do
Except wait
Till we’re beaten, black and blue

Your tattoos tell a tale or two
You loved your mam like I never could do
And the bright lights would sometimes blind you
But I knew you’d always come to me rescue

We just needed more time
But that’s the one thing I can’t give you
And so I’m left here
Beaten, black and blue

Even though you’re half the reason that I never did much with my life
You always gave me everything ‘cos you were never sure what I’d like
I wish I’d kept it ‘cos it’s not the sort of thing you can buy now
So goodbye now
I think we know where we stand

You took your time didn’t you?

  -o-O-o-

HERE BE THE CHORUS
(Words & music by Dave Milligan)

These lines are short
So I can get them out through my clenched teeth:

Just like a chorus
Coming round again
Coming round again, again
Just like a chorus
Coming round again
Coming round again, again

It’s hard to play along
But was I always wrong
The bruise you left was real
Its taken time to heal

Just like a chorus
Coming round again
Coming round again, again

These lines are short
So I can get them out through my clenched teeth

I didn’t always do
What you’d’ve liked me to
But why treat me so rough?
I thought I’d done enough

It’s hard to play along
But was I always wrong
You left a bruise that’s real
It’s taking time to heal

Just like a chorus
Coming round again
Coming round again, again

Man hands to man
Step by step on down to your own hell
Back in the van
And don’t forget to take your kids as well

  -o-O-o-

MIRRORBALL
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

sometimes i don't reflect in mirrors
i just don't give off light
cos if you spend too long reflecting
you flicker out of sight

but other times - I gleam like polished brass
and other times - my head's as clear as glass
because a mirrorball's just seven years' bad luck until
it's hit by a light in the dark

sometimes i don't appear in pictures
my understudy's in place
he has a number of my features
but doesn't have my face

but other times - i can just be myself
leave out the act - the the mask upon the shelf

because a picture isn’t worth a thousand words until
it’s struck by a flash of light

sometimes i am the poor relation
i don't know what i'm worth
and why would i believe in Heaven?
when i found you on earth

and thanks to you - i know just what to say
and thanks to you - I fall in love everyday

because a mirrorball's just seven years' bad luck until.....

sometimes i can't complete my sentence

  -o-O-o-

UNITED STATE OF GRACE
(words by Dave Milligan, music by Dave Milligan & Gareth Hall)

Seems to me you passed me in the night
And floated out of sight
A ship of fools left floundering around then run aground
An island far away
Where no one wants to stay
But no one ever leaves in case the current drags them down

There's no way you can win this inhuman race
What we need's a reunited state of grace
And I think we'll end up in the self-same place
We'll be in a re united state of grace

Seems a big hand parted the Dead Sea
Supporting you and me
And we were lost and tossed to our great cost internally
When we hit the beach
Our home was out of reach
The blind giving the bland a guiding hand and eyes to see

And I think we'll end up in the self-same place
See you in a reunited state of grace
From the shrapnel made of bits of broken heart
Thrown together just as we were thrown apart

No man is an island; don't surround yourself with sharks
Tell her all your sweetest nothings; leave out all your sour remarks
You don't have to both be diamonds, you don't have to both be rocks
Don't lock up your hearts of gold in separate vaults with separate locks
Use your gentlest persuasions, don't use blackmail and bribes
Tell her all your juicy stories, leave out all your pithy jibes

No way can we both win this inhuman race
Head towards a reunited state of grace
We can turn the other cheek and not lose face
We'll be in a reunited state of grace
From the shrapnel made of bits of broken heart
Thrown together just as we were thrown apart
Two directions up the same old piece of track
One way forward 'cos you know you can't go back

  -o-O-o-

LULLABY
(words and music by Chris Healey)

-lyrics available at www.arco.org.uk-

  -o-O-o-

ELEPHANTS' GRAVEYARD
(words & music by Dave Milligan)

it’s not the change that haunts me
but the things that stay the same
the ones who didn’t move away
the bar that only changes name

the world belongs to someone else
the roads we took are gone
and someone dug the garden up
and someone thought the house looked wrong

back to the elephants’ graveyard
on one last excursion
back to the rusty old junkyard
the whole trip as one long diversion

back to the elephants’ graveyard
the journey ends where you departed
back to the swing in the backyard
around the world and back to where you started

I stand and watch the conga line
snake into the past
I wish that I had joined in time
I was too young, they moved too fast

back to the elephants’ graveyard
on one last excursion
back to the rusty old junkyard
the whole trip was one long diversion

I went away and made a life
When I came back you’d gone
You took a husband, lost a wife
You sold the place up and moved on

back to the elephants’ graveyard
on one last excursion
back to the rusty old junkyard
the whole trip as one long diversion

back to the elephants’ graveyard
the journey ends where you departed
back to the swing in the backyard
around the world and back to where you started

  -o-O-o-

SHE SMELLS
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

She smells like you
And I wonder if she's got the things you've got
She smells like you
And I wonder if she'll be here when you're not

And now I'm going off my head
Retracting things I never said
Undoing things I never did
Unearthing things I never hid
You wouldn't get into my bed
She wouldn't get out of my head
And now I'm on my own instead

She laughs like you
But the times that we weren't laughing we would row
She laughs like you
And I wonder if she's laughing at me now?

My friends have told me I'm a fool
And that I'm using both of you
They say I'll get what I deserve
Just playing her as a reserve
Although we've been this way before
And now you're showing me the door
There's something I must know for sure:

She smells like you
And I wonder if she's this fresh every day
She smells like you
Is she getting up your nose in the same way?

  -o-O-o-

GOIN' BACK TO GRANDMA'S
(words & music by Dave Milligan)

All these people working at the weekend
All these people writing on the walls
Everybody shouts
And everybody pouts
Everybody kicks you in the balls

Oh yeah!
We’re going back to Grandma’s
Oh Yeah!
We’re walking in the rain
Oh yeah!
We’re gonna fit the jigsaw
Oh yeah!
We’re going back again

All these people whining on the weekdays
All these people sleeping on the train
Text instead of speech
Know instead of teach
Everybody’s showing you their pain (no thanks)

Oh yeah!
We’re going back to Grandma’s
Oh Yeah!
We’re walking down the lane
Oh yeah!
We’re gonna quit the bourgeois ("what's bourgeois?")
Oh yeah!
We’re going back again

All these people leaping to conclusions
All these people shouting into phones
Everyone’s in groups
And everybody snoops
But everybody wants to live alone

Oh yeah!
We’re going back to Grandma’s
Oh Yeah!
We’re going back for tea
Oh yeah!
Go back up on the see-saw
Oh yeah!
She’s gonna spoil me

Oh yeah!
We’re going back to Grandma’s
Oh Yeah!
We’re walking down the lane
Oh yeah!
We’re gonna quit the bourgeois
Oh yeah!
We’re going back again

  -o-O-o-

BEFORE I GO AWAY
(words & Music by Dave Milligan)

I thought I'd leave this note for you
Before I go away
In case you find me & I've changed
And don't know what to say

I have to go
It hurts us if I stay
Remember me
Before I slip away

Do you recall the old black dog
I couldn't bear to see
I need you to remember him
& not to look for me

You try to thrive
in the shadow that I throw
To stay alive
One of us has got to go

If you cut out the bruise
What's left of this old fruit will be OK
If you cut out the core
From the inside the flesh will rot away
Will I still be me? Well I Wouldn't dare to say
-Before I go away.

I saw a tired old man today
and I asked him what to do
He said I had to treat myself
To find a cure for you

And so I leave this note for you
Before this thing takes me
Two souls fighting for one mind
Is an ugly thing to be

We both depend
On a single limping heart
This is the end
Pull and watch it come apart

Do you recall the bitter days
The times when life was black
I need you to remember them
In case you want me back

And so I leave these words to you
Before this thing takes me
My aching mind & twisting heart
Will finally be free

  -o-O-o-

I'M READY FOR MY CLOSEUP, Mr DeMILLE
(words and music by Dave Milligan)

I don't know how to start
cos I won't know when to stop
and I don't know what to say
cos I won't know what to drop

but my hands are very big
and my head is very full
and my mouth is working hard
but I'm only spitting bull
grab its horns - have a cow
cos I think I'm ready now
for my close-up

I'm ready for my close-up
Mr DeMille-again
it's time to turn my nose up at what's making me ill-again
all the craggy lines that I've carved out over time
and all the numbered greying strands and the backs of both my hands
and the stubble and the spot and the teeth I haven't got
In my close up

I didn't have the gall
for the monsters in the hall
So I hid under my bed
for a dozen years instead

watched the world from the floor
through the crack under the door
sick of choking on the fluff
i'm coming out, i've had enough

Now I'm up and I'm back
And I'm ready for my crack
At my close up

I'm ready for my close-up
Mr DeMille-again
it's time to turn my nose up at what's making me ill-again
all the craggy lines that I've carved out over time
and all the numbered greying strands and the cuts on both my hands
and the eyes that always pierce
when i don't mean to look fierce
In my close up

i'm gonna know more than your shoes
i'll show the face i couldn't bear to lose
i'm going to get some inspiration
i'm gonna switch off my playstation
i'm on a 4-star caffeine buzz
i'm only doing this for us

I'm ready for my close-up
Mr DeMille-again
it's time to turn my nose up at what's making me ill-again
all the craggy lines that I've carved out over time
and all the numbered greying strands and the backs of both my hands
and the stubble and the spot and the teeth I haven't got
In my close up

  -o-O-o-

 

 

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