.​.​.​Loves You

by The Black Maria Memorial Fund

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1.
Master Of The Alphabet A B – that’s as far as some girls get they never C, D E F Gee, Huh, I bet you’re not that dumb... J K – peut-être tu peux parler français? Voici une fille gentille qui j’aime baiser L M N O je t’aime, oh je t’aime ma chérie P Q the cheerleaders to shout and spell out how great we R… S T U know it’s true! V W! Drive me to the sea! I never want to be your X Y can’t everything be so e… Z! And if they ever ask me why, oh you are master of the alphabet You can make such pretty sentences like: I L O V E Y O U are the mistress of the alphabet! You can make such pretty sentences like: I L O V E Y O U 1 2 3! You’re the only girl I see! You’re what I’m living 4! And if 5 broken certain laws of phy6 floating to your door, your door is 7’s g8: it’d be assi9 if I weren’t flying when you opened it up and I played this song and you said ‘Yeah, I like it! Now, don’t take this wrong – I think the last part is a little too long. Maybe it could be rewri… 10?’
2.
Over the river they’re ringing the bells as you ring in the view from the Esmeralda Hotel the Esmeralda Hotel The man at reception must have seen how I was feeling he’s travelled in time, papered the ceiling with love a garden of Eden above our heads above the bed: bright pink flowers bursting through kitsch green shoots of bamboo As next door, the bookstore begins to awaken and my newfound friends know there’s stock to be taken outside – each nook has its own book to hide And each book was cut from its own tree of life this one won him a wife this concealed a knife and this propped up a chair where a French girl cut hair with a smile with a smile exactly like: bright pink flowers bursting through kitsch green shoots of bamboo While there in a drawer is a book I’m not reading it starts out alright in a garden of Eden that’s not quite as bright as the one behind your mother’s house Where I strung out my shirts only ten days ago and you lit up the path and I longed for you so to say, ‘Let’s take a walk to the lakes, j’apporterai une belle nappe.’ And you said just that Who would have thought there were pockets sewn into the air? Someone must have sewn invisible seeds in the air ‘Cos I look around I look around and suddenly everywhere: bright pink flowers bursting through kitsch green shoots of bamboo And the bells are still ringing out for Esmeralda And this is how he’d have felt if he’d held her: bright pink flowers bursting through kitsch green shoots of bamboo Over the river they’re ringing the bells as you hold my gaze and my everything else in the Esmeralda Hotel
3.
Jenny was an octopus she lived deep in the ocean just like every good octopus should and Jenny was the best She knew the secrets of the sand she was always keen to lend a hand or a tentacle to her fellow man (or octopus, I guess) Yes – Jenny was an octopus and her friends all knew she was in love with a pirate boy who dwelt above the ever-rolling waves She longed to take her tentacle and smash it straight up through the hull and hold him till her ventricles beat in time with his But Jenny was an octopus, not a giant squid Billy was a buccaneer he knew his trade he knew no fear though he was not advanced in years and he shed his tears for home and after dark on silent feet across the sleeping deck he’d creep and hold a lantern to the deep where Jenny swam alone, oh… …uh-oh! One summer night a Spanish tar spied his candle from afar the grapeshot flew poor Billy knew the sea rush through his heart When Jenny saw his lantern fall she used an arm to plug each hole carried him off through the shoals of dead men to the shore knowing, if he lived, that Billy wouldn’t sail no more When the doctors woke him up Billy let an eight-armed tear fall to the floor... Jenny was an octopus we met in an aquarium back when our hopes and cares were young and we were barely old Jenny was an octopus we told each other stories of each time we finished making love and we were feeling cold Jenny was an octopus I dredged up as a sign of trust in a hallway with your teeth half-brushed and your eyes full on the door Oh Jenny is the octopus still wrapped around my heart and she’ll just plug the holes as best she can until I’m safe ashore Jenny is my octopus – I’m not sailing anymore
4.
Come and find me in the mean time in a night-spot-lit by the moon They’ll be cutting down on my screen time there’ll be younger stars coming through I’ll be wearing a suit I’ll have fashioned from illusions I’ll think I have lost (letters of blood, declarations of love) you’ll open your mouth – I’ll say: ‘Stop – stop posing like you’re the question to the answer to my prayers I need a room I need my books I need my health I don’t need anyone else to be there.’ And an owl will swoop down beside us and he’ll take my side too like a broken-hearted chorus he’ll tell you you’d be a twit to woo And I’ll pull a rose from the riverbank and I’ll show you the thorns held below I’ll say, ‘Yes, the petals are pretty, I guess, but then pretty soon they’re gonna go, so, though you’re posing just like the question to the answer to my prayers I need a room I need my books I need my health I don’t need anyone else to be there.’ And the moon will drop for the May moths you’ll put a finger to my sullen pout and you’ll say, ‘What was all that in aid of?! All I did was open my mouth! Well I see that suit that you’re wearing, but Kieran it isn’t your style – don’t you see how the sleeves are tearing every time that I smile? A flower can open again and again long as you don’t cut it off show me the lessons you think that you’ve learnt and I’ll show you whole schools you’ve forgot You could take me You could leave me There are others for whom I could care I need a room I need my books I need my heath I don’t need you to be there I don’t need you, but I like you – I think I still like you – and I’d like you to be there.’ And I’ll say, ‘OK. I’m convinced. Let’s fake our own deaths! Let’s live in a treehouse! Keep the squirrels! Keep the squirrels as pets! Then let’s… let’s… …let’s get married! Never get out of bed! And let’s not be too careful – I like the name Zoë, tell me, how to you feel about Jed? Let’s teach injured sparrows to learn once again how to fly! Let’s invent a thousand new languages never once a word for goodbye We don’t need to I know we don’t need to I know we don’t need to – but honey – let’s try’
5.
Interlude 01:28
6.
... 05:49
Back when time was just a twinkle in the eye of the great, great grandfather clock the sky contained the words of one long story and the moon was a ( and a ) and a big . And Orion’s belt, was a space for … I don’t know what You see Orion’s shining belt, was one interstellar dot-dot-dot So time began, the words fell from the sky they hit the ground they cried they looked about and they developed arms and legs and heads and heads is where the words then started hanging out where they gave themselves new compound names like human thought and free will and Xerxes and Napoleon and Jennifer and Sylvia and Phil And the words now known as Jennifer sold real estate and worried about their widowed dad And the words known as Napoleon dreamt of marching through what would be Stalingrad And some words crossed the oceans and some words worked out maths and others painted pictures to express the words they lacked Still, in their deepest syllables the words all sometimes felt the pull of the story in the sky that they had lost so they made up books and movies and some made something much less fun and they called it god But the best of all the words, I think they just became lovers yes the best of all the words, I think could find new stories in each other And they had names like Romeo and Juliet and Greg and Joe and Casimir and Sue and Jeff and Len and Marianne, and Carrie-Anne and me and you And as we sit here talking on my bed it’s clear the words called me aren’t coming out on top so I’m trying not to reminisce about the words called you biting on their fist and squirming and wearing just a single sock ‘Cos the words called you are careful and they're much wiser than my lot and I’d like to know them better yes I’d like to know whatever words you’ve got We can leave a space for Alnitak and Alnilam and Mintaka and we don’t know we still don’t know what We can take some time to find out just what kind of words tomorrow’s got in stock We can leave our futures hanging like an interstellar: … Let the summer hang above us like one interstellar dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot-dot...!
7.
Zugzwanged 04:24
Well I hope you don’t mind if I write you a song while we sit here and drink and play chess It’s got that old kind of tune that makes no sudden moves takes you only where you might expect I could write you an opera of kings and their queens filled with scenes of great symbolic depth …but though you’re holding the night in your mouth girl, sometimes the simplest songs are the best sometimes simple is all for the best Yes it makes us both smile when you pick up the pieces picking them up with your lips but if we drink much more wine I don’t think you’ll pick up the pieces no you won’t pick them up with a kiss We could make this an opera of gambits and pins where each turn further tangles the thread …but you’re not looking to act, no, let’s take these moves back say, ‘The simplest songs are the best. The simplest songs are the best.’ You’ve exposed your flanks I’ve overcommitted we’ve zugzwanged each other, I guess …but the bar’s pretty empty, nobody’s to know if we tell them we were just playing chess And that I was just writing some old little song about the simplest ones being the best We came here as friends, we could wake up as friends who have helped each other to undress …but we’ll both say goodnight ‘cos there’s some truth in the lie that the simplest songs are the best Goodnight, goodnight – it’s no out and out lie that the simplest songs are the best It just seems, sometimes, even the simplest of mine have a habit of turning complex
8.
Tea towels snow globes light-up Louvres awnings reaching from the roofs a web to catch the flies from the bateaux mouches but don’t we all just long to be caught in truth like Sylvie walking there wrapped up in the jacket of her Baudelaire who stops pushes back his hair lighting up his dinner as they turn to quit the square They take the Metro to Abbesses he pulls a notebook from his vest the front page shows the number of a bar at her request he reads the wine list like a will divides estates divides the bill ‘cos it’s clear that they’re just friends yes it’s clear that they’re just friends until the piano makes them lovers in the ring of the arpeggio it’s the young player’s half-cut hands vs Cupid’s old and rusty 88 string bow The sky’s a tiger a lantern in its jaws I track it down Montmartre I'm earning its permission to send you these clippings from its claws The hammers strike a gypsy waltz back up her 6/8 pulse her major charm and his minor faults merge in the sustain as the refrain exalts and I wish that she was you and that I was he and were dancing too to the keys that unlock the rooms in which we keep our angel-selves away from view Metro to Abbesses notebook from my vest image of a bar at your request I read the wine list like a will divide estates divide the bill it’s clear that we’re just friends ‘Cos everybody here’s just friends until the piano makes us them lovers plugs them deep into the flow of the sad joy and the desperate comfort of knowing there are things that you will never know Oh oh! You are a tiger! Oh how your lantern roars! I walk on beside you you’re holding my heart in your dramatic paws! And the player punches out a final chord as a poverty of poets stomp on the floor and the streets are all but crying with the weight of the wine in the dark a sacred heart is up there starting to chime and I’m sending my piano to you sweetheart I’m sending my piano to you sweetheart I’m sending my piano to you sweetheart one note at a time
9.
They told us today was the first day of spring and wheeled us out into the light of a garden that’s long like a haiku gone wrong – strung out with military spite And though no shoots had burst from the fists of the earth and the hills still had knuckles of white I know that the tilt of our axis will help them relax and I know that it’s good that you write I was trying to describe you to a hit-man named Laverne I said, ‘Pick out a place in-between her two faces take twenty paces and turn’ And if he should miss, I may learn to forgive the night that you pissed in my urn but his rubber band gun’s hanging loose at his thumb and I guess that you will never learn how much I love you Yes, I love you And yes, I remember, Zembla in June the street-sellers’ cries and the room where we slept How we let the mosquitoes and the children we vetoed repaint the walls, make us breakfast in bed and the landlord would walk in on eggshells and baulk at the splashes of passionate red but most of all I recall all the mornings we’d rise with the moon in our eyes try to talk the sun down from the ledge Sister Marie brings me paper and crayons she steals from the visitors’ lounge she lives here upstairs in a dorm that she swears is just as attractive as ours she’s been testing her bed and our caretaker Ed and she folds every night at the score and she shrinks from his side as she tries on for size the voice beating up through her floor desperately singing: ‘I love you Yes, I love you‘ The Sister was reading your letter she said that this time I just must understand so I’ve had to disclose some of our secret codes and your gift for disguising your hand And she kissed both my cheeks and she sobbed with relief when I showed her what you’d really said how you’ll be here any day now to take me away and to help me to sort out my head I will meet you when I’m nine years old in a park where the swings are on fire and we’ll play in the dust as the roundabouts rust and the trees hold the telegraph wire so you won’t be alone on the night you come home to find out that your dad couldn’t steer and I will grow up just fine knowing my missing rhymes were your laugh and your smile and you’re here and you’re saying, ‘I love you. Yes, I love you.‘ Yes I...

about

In the last days of last summer, Patrick, Windom and I recorded these songs in a little church, in the sleeping heart of rural Bedfordshire.

Overseeing proceedings from behind his large, mixing desk-shaped lectern was our friend and hero Johnny Parry.

In the short time we had together, Patrick got very excited about the church's bell*, Anne-Marie Kirby stopped by and shipwrecked our hearts with her violin, and Johnny taught us how to waltz around a darkened kitchen floor.

Most of the songs were recorded completely as live**, either in the little church or in the sprawlingly beautiful cottage we were calling home. While we sang and tripped over each other's feet, Claire Harrison was back in Falmouth, designing the album's foldingly beautiful sleeve.

The last song on the album is the last song we recorded. As we reached the final verse – and despite the unrepentant atheism of more than one the preceding tracks – the heavens opened. Turn the volume up at the end and you'll hear us sitting in the pews, trying to be quieter than the rain.

Love Kieran, 21.06.2011

*Witness the opening few seconds of Hotel Esmeralda.

**Recording ‘as live’ here means recording everybody playing at once, often with little or no room to correct mistakes later. If you plan to use this phrase in conversation, it’s important to remember that there is no direct opposite to describe the much more common approach of recording one instrument at a time. The sentence ‘Yeah, I heard they locked themselves away in the studio for months, recording the whole thing as dead’ is not correct. Well, maybe if you're referring to a goth band. ;)

credits

released August 21, 2011

The Black Maria Memorial Fund... loves you.

Performed and arranged by...

Kieran Haynes – Guitar, Vocals
Patrick Durkan – Accordion, Bass, Church Bell, Glockenspiel, Percussion (mostly
triangle), Vocals
Windom Owl – Vocals
Johnny Parry – Piano
Anne-Marie Kirby – Violin

in Beds at...

All Saints Church
Whitehall Cottage
MIMS Studio

The Black Maria Memorial Fund loves...

Patrick, Johnny & Liz, Claire
The Haynes family
Dave & Katy, Roger & Rose, John
Dave and Martin (especially for their generosity with bass guitars)
Coline, Arnold, Stan and their families
Joe, Casimir, Jack, Deva, Cally, Zapoppin’ and all the musicians of Falmouth, UK

This record is for JR & A Cox, and JT & S Haynes

Words and music by Kieran Haynes, © 2011 Kieran Haynes
Performances recorded and produced by Johnny Parry
Art and design by Claire Harrison, © 2011 Claire Harrison
This recording © 2011 Kieran Haynes
www.thememorialfund.com

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