John Cale
Fear Is A Man's Best Friend - John Cale

Lyrics

Music For A New Society

Music For A New Society

  1. Taking Your Life In Your Hands
  2. Thoughtless Kind
  3. Sanities
  4. If You Were Still Around
  5. (I Keep) A Close Watch
  6. Broken Bird
  7. Chinese Envoy
  8. Changes Made
  9. Damn Life
  10. Risé, Sam And Rimsky-Korsakov
  11. In The Library of Force

Taking Your Life In Your Hands

The children are all leaving school today
Mama said, don't worry, I'll be back one day
The blue men in uniform smiled and waved goodbye
She was hiding those tears in her eyes

Roll up the history books, burn the chairs
Set fire to anything, set fire to the air
They're riding to begin and running at the end
'Cause mama said, you take your life in your hands

Taking your life, your life in your hands
But don't take your life in your hands like I did
I don't feel so bad, and always look forward with hope
Forward and hope that the children will always be there

Cancel the day, cancel the night
Cancel the day, cancel the night
'Cause who could be watching when she steals and runs away
Full of hysterical laughter, and say
Mama, mama, I've left school today

I hope I get to see you in that funny school far away
But those gentle men in blue, and those in grey
Say I'll never, never see mama again

'Cause she took those lives in her hands
Yes, she took all those lives in her hands
Yes, she took all those lives in her hands
But let me wonder, what was there left in those hands?

[top]

Thoughtless Kind

When we grow tired of the friends we make
In case we mean to say something else
Say they were the best of times we ever had
The best of times were the thoughtless kind

We dress conservatively at the best of times
Prefer the shadows to the bright lights in your eyes
Of the ones you love, the bright lights in the eyes of the one you love
What we see, what we imagine, the eyes tell us nothing
The bright lights in the eyes of the one we love will tell us nothing
Like the scars of imagination, the scars of imagination
The bright lights in the eyes of the ones we love will tell us nothing
Except that we're the thoughtless kind

So if you grow tired of the friends you make
Never ever turn your back on them
Say they were the best of times you ever had
The best of times were the thoughtless kind

[top]

Sanities

She was so afraid
Since her mother, white with time,
Told her
She was a failure.

She was so ashamed
Of everything she said
And everything she did
For her mother, white with time.

Everything around her mother
White with time.
And dirty.
Her mother was greedy with dirt.
Greedy.

Then she heard choirs of angels,
Singing choirs of angels,
Greedy angels,
Spitting glory on her failure.

That stardust of failure,
As if it was medicine
That didn't work,
Anyway.

Anyway
The windows they were closed
And the midwives had locked their doors.
They didn't understand.

And after all what was there to understand?
But the angels, sheer choirs of angels,
In a friendship.
No, more than a friendship,
It was a marriage, a marriage made in the grave.

In shivering night,
The searching of the river continued.

The bullet of searchlight,
That searchlight found her so cockleshell and sure,
Sick and tired of what she saw,
But cockleshell and sure.

Sure of what the world had offered a tired soul.
From Istanbul to Madrid,
From Reykjavik, to Bonn,
To Leipzig, to Leningrad,
To Shanghai, Pnonm Penh,
All so that it would be a stronger world
A strong though loving world to die in

[top]

If You Were Still Around

If you were still around
I'd hold you
I'd hold you
I'd shake you by the knees
Blow hard in both ears
If you were still around

You could write like a panther
Whatever got into your veins
What kind of green blood
Swung you to your doom
To your doom

If you were still around
I'd tear unto your fear
Leave it hanging off you
In long streamers

Shreds of dread
If you were still around
I'd turn you facing the wind
Bend your spine on my knee
Chew the back of your head
Chew the back of your head
'Til you opened your mouth
To this life

[top]

I Keep A Close Watch

Never win and never lose
There's nothing much to choose
Between the right and wrong
Nothing lost and nothing gained
Still things aren't quite the same
Between you and me

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

I still hear your voice at night
When I turn out the light
And try to settle down
But there's nothing much I can do
Because I can't live without you
Any way at all

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine

[top]

Broken Bird

Like a broken winged, like a broken bird
She senses every damn thing that's near her
And nothing in the light of day could see how
Her happiness faded away
Her happiness faded away with the night
Away with the dawn
As the sea faring gun
The fish and the heron
Walking stiffly, the stalker of oblivion
Keep me alive in this
Stars at night
And they shine on you either way
Broken wing on the bird
A broken wing
He did not have to break
Only reading, reading the long signs
And thinking, hell
Where his arm is
Just saying
Could it be I'm just saying the safe thing again
And, Ladies and Gentlemen
Can't reread on the help
Lend me your fires, 'cause I'm broken winged
Could be anything, anything
Any day, any time or year or month
Satisfied, are you satisfied
Now that you're satisfied
Done it again

[top]

Chinese Envoy

She was a princess, much lower than people thought
A master of nothing a mistress of something she thought

She could talk about things that never mattered ever
From one person's miserable life after another
She could talk to the French and Germans at will
They'd never listen

Calling out her name you'd be surprised at what came
Galloping out of the darkness like furniture
We'd have lost it all if it hadn't been for Cardinal Richelieu
And all his courtiers
The chinese envoy was here but left
The chinese envoy was here but left in his broken hearted pagoda

[top]

Changes Made

When the winter days are gone
Never find any summer breezes
Until you've gone through spring
Another way out of here
Another way out of here
Another way
Another way out of here

Cause I'm a lofty man
I'm a hungry man
Gonna be, gonna be, gonna be, gonna be some changes made round here
Another way
Another way out of here
Cause I'm a man who lives
Lives inside me

The children's caravan
moving slowly hand in hand
Knowing all it takes
Is a kind word
Is a kind word
Is a kind word
Ahhhhhhhh.......
Gonna be, gonna be, gonna be, gonna, gonna be some changes
There gonna be some changes
There gonna be some changes
There gonna be some changes
Gonna be a change

There gonna be some changes
There gonna be some changes
There gonna be some changes
There gonna be some changes made
There gonna be some changes made
There gonna be some changes made

[top]

Damn Life

Damn life
Damn life
What's it worth?
Damn life
Getting on without
This city
It's just self-pity
Damn life
You're just not worth it
You're just not worth the pain

They'll eat you alive
They'll drink the sweat from your brow
Eating the salt of the earth you'll never know
Oh no, respect
Respect
What's respect?
Cause and effect
Self respect

She was the one got left behind
She was the one got lost
Never took from anybody
Self-sufficient at any cost
No, nothing can break this heart of mine
It stands invincible all the time
You always get what you left behind
Seek and you shall find
Seek and you shall find
Damn life

So she's still wandering her heart away
Doesn't even know if it's night or day
And even if someone helped her up
She'd stand little hope
Of recognizing those friends she had
And in many, many ways
Those friends were glad

[top]

Risé, Sam and Rimsky Korsakov

Words: Sam Shepard

I knew a guitar player once, who called the radio friendly
He felt a kinship, not with the music so much as with the radio's voice,
Its synthetic quality,
Its voices distinct from the voices coming through it.
Its ability to transmit the illusion of people at a great distance

He slept with the radio,
He talked to the radio.
He disagreed with the radio.
He believed in four way radio land.
He believed he would never find this land.

So, he reconciled himself to listening to it only.
He believed he had been banned from the radio land,
And was doomed to vault the airwaves forever
Seeking some magical channel
That would reinstate him to his long lost heritage.

[top]

In The Library of Force

We kill in the world
We live in it
We live in it
Then you smiled crawling as your houses were burning for God

Books crawl down from the shelves Read themselves to you Read themselves at you In the Library of Force

In the Library of Force
William the Conqueror flipping from the pages of History
Drink from the pages
Come the precious stones of guilt

The tracking of detention
Was lurking in the Souls of Man

From the Last Day of Language
Beaten
Bludgeoned
Ransacked
Stoned
The Written Word
The Written Word
Written Word
Commands to the Sky to Starve the Sky
And the crawling skin of God



© 1999- Hans Werksman