Retrospect

by Forever and Ever

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credits

released June 6, 2001

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Tony, Caro and John London, UK

The band, a slightly bizarre combination of ex-folkies (Tony, Julie, Caro), electronics aficionados (John, Rod) and R & B types (Simon, Jonny), one that has persisted through numerous spin-off bands, the loss of several drummers, onstage electrocutions, and long expatriations to Norway, Holland, Spain and the USA. ... more

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Track Name: Ageing Hippies
John works in computers, Rod’s in consultancy
Tony’s with a multinational oil company
Simon he’s an ad man, but when we meet at John’s
We all take off our red glasses and we really get it on

Ageing Hippies, stop messing around
Take your suits off, and let your pony tails down
Ageing Hippies, you’re slipping too far
Forget the mortgage and pick up your guitars

The band reunion starts off at a quarter to eight
We check who’s thinnest on the top and thickest round the waist
The women leave the sinking ship as if at some command
They don’t mind the bad behaviour, it’s the music they can’t stand

John can’t play a boogie, Tony can’t keep time
Rod’s synthesizer plays itself, Simon can’t remember his lines
But we find a riff and play it till the early hours of morn
And then we have a bowl of soup and watch a little porn

Ageing Hippies, stop messing around
Take your suits off, and let your pony tails down
Ageing Hippies, you’re slipping too far
Forget the mortgage and pick up your guitars

Ageing Hippies, stop messing around
Take your suits off, and let your pony tails down
Ageing Hippies, you’re slipping too far
Are you ready to pick up your guitars?
Track Name: Eleusis
He reads the bible every night
His cockney vowels are a delight
Golden ringed and clothing loud
Shadow boxing for the crowd
Thrills them with his wit

He's the once and future king
David sent out with his sling
The one who syndicates his pain
Who dies and is reborn again
In any face that fits

Figures shamble through his dreams
With double vision, ruptured spleens
Broken fingers, broken schemes
Broken men with bleeding brains
Who don't know when to quit

In the dressing room he waits
And tries to summon up some hate
Hardly hears the trainer's words
As like two tearing, screaming birds
They're thrown into the pit

The canvas leaps and hits again
Crimson shock waves, pain on pain
Swollen faces oozing gore
On his gloves and on the floor
Mingling with the spit

Now the old king's on his back
Backbone arched and pupils black
Now at last he can atone
For every hurt they've ever known
Now he can pay for it

The new king gives a last salute
His face a bruised and punctured fruit
The crowd cheers as he lifts his hands
I guess I'll never understand
How they can idolize a man
Whose job it is to hit.
Track Name: Zero Sum Game
Shall we slice the cake between between us?
Shall we battle for our turn?
Shall we turn up the CD
While we watch the city burn?

And play the zero sum game everybody
My gain is a loss for somebody
Carry on, carry on , carry on
And if that is what you want
Turn on each other when you go to the wall
Divided you stand so discarded you fall
Well if that is the God that you serve
You get what you deserve

Advertise a better future
Advertise for better health
You just adjust the image
And watch reality take care of itself

And play the zero sum game everybody
My gain is a loss for somebody
Carry on, carry on , carry on
And if that is what you want
Turn on each other when you go to the wall
Divided you stand so discarded you fall
Well if that is the God that you serve
You get what you deserve

Is greed a law of nature?
Is it magic or divine?
Will selfishness become good
Like water into wine?
Do you believe in progress
For better or for worse?
Will the bubble keep expanding
Or will it burst?

And play the zero sum game everybody
My gain is a loss for somebody
Carry on, carry on , carry on
And if that is what you want
Are you Pavlov’s dogs, are you Skinner’s pigeon too?
Will you jump for each crumb that they offer to you?
Well if that is the God that you serve
You get what you deserve.
Track Name: Suspended in Time
The household is warm and well ordered
The fire has stopped in mid-flame
A man is asleep in the armchair
The TV is locked in freeze-frame
A woman stands out in the kitchen
The rings on the cooker glow red
The children are up in the bedroom
The cat is curled up on the bed
This is the dream that I walked in
Suspended in time

Outside the smoke from the chimney
Hangs like a wraith in the air
And only a metre above it
The fuselage is hanging there
The mid-section broken and gaping
The stubs where the wings took their flight
Some figures with seatbelts still tightened
Aglow in the ghostly street light
This is the dream that I walked in
Suspended in time

This is the dream that I walked in
An instant suspended in time
And I went like a spectre among them
Checked none of their faces were mine
Then I started and woke in my armchair
My dinner was cold on the tray
On the TV the news was just starting
And fate one statistic away
And I know I’m still dreaming
Suspended in time
Track Name: Plain Jane
Plain Jane, say it one more time
Let me hear your love
Plain Jane, you caught me in my prime
Let me hear your love

It's no good thinking that everybody's thinking
That you're tied up inside
So get revealing the things that you are feeling
Succour to my pride
Succour to my pride

Ooh let me hear your love
Ooh let me hear your love

Plain Jane, we get along just fine
Let me hear your love
Plain Jane, everybody knows you're mine
Let me hear your love

Do you imagine that everybody's having
A ball out there tonight
Don't want to damage my cultivated image, now
Let's get this act right
Let's get this act right

Ooh let me hear your love
Ooh let me hear your love
Track Name: Where Life Runs Thin
Driving through the intersection in the rain
Cardboard boxes on an empty plain
Faded billboards swaying in the wind
See the nodding donkeys broken down
Scattered like weeds on the stony ground
You've come to the place where life runs thin
Where life runs thin

Here among the clustered towers of glass
Tombstones rising from a field of ash
Ayn Rand's paradise beckons you in
Vacant lots in the noonday sun
The freeway a desert where you see no-one
And nothing breaks the spell where life runs thin
Where life runs thin

Some bits of paper in a broker's tray
In a city half a world away
Sucked you dry and left no life within
Made a desert of your community
Here in the land of opportunity
But nothing shakes your faith where life runs thin

I wish the world would leave me alone
I've got enough troubles of my own
It's every man for himself, sink or swim
We're all drowning in that same old sea
'Cause there's just one way, one philosophy
And it leads you to the place where life runs thin
Where life runs thin.
Track Name: Throw Down a Line
It's a lesson too late for the learning
It's just too late to find where we went wrong
Now there's really only just eight notes to an octave
And we just keep churning out the same old song

'Cause you go so gladly into that dark night
Smile and say there's really not much time
I don't know if you're dead, or just resigned
But if you need it, throw down a line

Now when I see you I'm ashamed to be human
Your skull may be swollen but you're less than a fucking ape
Don't come to me with your platitudes and epigrams
Don't give me crap about man's high estate

'Cause you go so gladly into that dark night
Smile and say there's really not much time
I don't know if you're dead, or just resigned
But if you need it, throw down a line

Yes you taught me how a person should behave
You made me eat raw meat and go back to the caves
You taught me it's better to be guilty than be kind
Your legacy is with me all the time

'Cause you go so gladly into that dark night
Smile and say there's really not much time
I don't know if you're dead, or just resigned
But if you need it, throw down a line
Track Name: Cinquefoil And Tormentil
Somewhere, out across the sea
There's a place where I would be
Where sky met sea, where sea met land
Where you and I walked hand in hand

And this feeling comes upon me
When I think about it still
So hold me, lead me to the hill
With cinquefoil and tormentil

Bright streams from the snows above
Where I first lived with my love
Yellow sun lighting up the west
Where my two children first drew their breath

And this feeling comes upon me
And it takes an act of will
To hold me, further from the hill
With cinquefoil and tormentil

Ferry boats out upon the sea
Making lines to infinity
Birds wheel in the scented air
Though far away, my heart beats there

When this feeling comes upon me
My cup is overflowing still
So hold me, lead me to the hill
With cinquefoil and tormentil
Track Name: Hugh Miller's Gun
His spirit walks these shores
The more layers he strips away
The more the mystery shows through
Looking out from the shores of Cromarty
Searching for a soul

And the sands turned smooth as the tide lapped the shore
Did it wash away the footprints of the creator?
The starry dome and the mountain core
To all these things, farewell
Sun and moon and Kingdom Come, all is one
To Hugh Miller's gun

A fearful dream now rises on me
May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me
My brain burns as the recollection grows
My dear, dear wife farewell
Life and death and Kingdom Come, all is one
To Hugh Miller's gun

And still his soul's abroad
He'll look out upon the shore
Till the miracle's restored
And he knows that the testimony's there
Written out in stone

And the gunsmith picked up
Hugh Miller's gun
He looked down the barrel and he saw oblivion
And you who stare through your eyepiece now
You glimpse these truths as well
Life and death and Kingdom Come, all is one
To Hugh Miller's gun
Track Name: Intensive Care
There were a few and you were one
Who bore his double standard along
Who gathered round him in the night
Like moths around a light
Told him what he did was right
To stick beside him to the end
Be both a cuckold and a friend
That was the trend

But in the end just you remained
Paying homage to his pain
And though not one of them was real
You knew his wounds would never heal
Everybody knew the deal
And when he told you he would die
You let him believe in his own lie
Don't ask me why

'Cause now the hole in your heart has healed over
And nobody wants to know an ailing Casanova
Because it's getting nowhere
And now you know he didn't want to recover
He needed a nurse and an uncomplaining lover
A drip feed to his ego and a lifetime of intensive care

And oh the heart that beat so true
Was just a valve his life passed though
But with the pulse no longer strong
And the circulation gone
Must the body linger on?
Turn off the life support machine
And leave him to his private dreams
Behind the screens

'Cause now the hole in your heart has healed over
And nobody wants to know an ailing Casanova
Because it's getting nowhere
And now you know he didn't want to recover
He needed a nurse and an uncomplaining lover
A drip feed to his ego and a lifetime of intensive care