European Sun

by European Sun

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1.
Rise and shine, see how you’ve grown Each new day, a new seed sown The fresh bright sky that the new light brings The waking sun makes the birds all sing Breathe in, breathe out today Reach in, reach out today Don’t be afraid of the high piled snow Every day is a good day to grow Blink and look at the new wonderland All the best journeys are hand in hand Let it in, and let it go Let it linger, let it flow Let it in, and let it go Let it fizz and let it flow Look how small the best things are The tiny speck of a distant star Take yourself lightly and you will fly Chase each wish as it floats on by
2.
Sometimes I wish Robin Hood was my friend Then right and wrong would be simple again We’d rob the rich and give it to the poor I’d be more healthy from just living outdoors I’d say to him, ‘Robin I find it so very Hard being a man, let alone being merry…’ Sometimes I wish young Prince Hamlet would call And say, ‘Steve, y’know the readiness is all. Your mind’s a prison and the jailer is you Be kind to yourself, and you might just get through.’ I’d say, ‘You’re telling me, your Dad was a king Mine left school at fourteen, it’s a whole different thing…’ I’d like to hang out in the cafés at night Just hoping Vincent Van Gogh will drop by I’d buy him a beer and say, ‘You’re weren’t wrong Being so true to yourself for so long.’ He’d say to me, ‘Steve, but I feel so all alone.’ So we’d swap numbers and I’d call him on the phone. I wish I hung out more with people like Sylvia And Emmeline Pankhurst - people who’d fill ya With hope for the future, and treat you the way You hope that everyone is treated some day. We’d discuss the future of the feminist agenda: Toxic masculinity, non-binary, transgender Then one dark night, when I’ve got really old I’ve had enough of doing all that I’m told I’ll go to the crossroads and wait there in the rain For Robert Johnson to come by again. He’ll say, ‘Hey, Steve, won’t you come on in my kitchen?’ And I won’t say a thing, I’ll just sit there and listen…
3.
I see the pale green heads Of the snowdrops appear As they taste the frosty air With the snow lying near And the spring’s on the branches That with catkins are hung Telling me no-one, no, Is too old to be young And when the first snow fell In our garden for years We made a snowgirl there And threw snowballs at her And all the fun we had On a freezing cold day Proves that you’re only old If you forget how to play
4.
The Robin 03:24
There’s a robin on the fence A redbreast on the plant pot’s edge Looking in to see if I’ve been good To see if I’ve been all I really should And she was there, always there When I got lost, when I went too far When I had no home, when I crashed my car Yes, she was there, always there When I couldn’t say a word, or mend my shirt When I burst with joy, when I burst with hurt Cos what you get is how you live But it’s only worth the things you give So she was there, always there When she was old, when she was alone When she was cold, when I was full grown She was there, always there
5.
So Small 04:09
Driving to the football Scruffy, sweaty and late I pause for a Ferrari That purrs through an electric gate The driver’s like a page from Vogue Manicured, designer, tall She makes me, she makes me feel so, she makes me feel so very small I don’t like that at all It’s the playing fields of the public school Where the weak are bullied by the strong A place where Britain’s future leaders Celebrate the bloody Somme Then assemble in the dark, oak-panelled, solemn, Portrait-crammed great hall It makes me, it makes me feel so, it makes me feel so very small I don’t like that at all Winding up the coastpath On the cliffs above the bay The sea looks like an angry demon Glowering, imperious and grey The clouds are dark and thick and full A heavy rain is going to fall It makes me, it makes me feel so, it makes me feel so very small I don’t mind that at all
6.
The first job that I had I guess was being somebody’s son The first few years were really good, we had a lot of fun But after that, I took it for granted, I took but didn’t give I took as an entitlement what should have been partnership This time I’ll try my best Now I’m ready to be a princess Then I tried being a husband, again I started strong – but got confused, and lost my way, and it all ended wrong: ‘Please dance,’ she said, ‘I can’t,’ I said. She knew what was in store I know now as a husband, I owed her a lot more I’ve been practising, more or less Now I’m ready to be a princess Now I’ve had a lot of other jobs, the kind that pay the bills, But none of them have made me rich, and none have quite fulfilled; I like to pretend it’s not my fault, just bad careers advice, But I’ve always run from commitment, and I’ve always paid the price I’m a setting sun, I’m going West Now I’m ready to be a princess My granny asked, when I was young, ‘What do you want to be When you grow up?’ and kissed my head and sat me on her knee, And I knew then that nothing grown-ups did really appealed But I thought as I got older, something good would be revealed. Yeah, my mind is quite a mess Now I’m ready to be a princess If all that kept me awake at night was a pea beneath the mattress And the only choice I had to make was, ‘This dress now or that dress?’ If my castle had a drawbridge, and my gates had iron bars, I could keep out the prime minister and practice my guitar Here’s my plan, if you haven’t guessed Now I’m ready to be a princess I must have had my headphones on when opportunity knocked And I went round to the church to pray but all the doors were locked I’ve passed my ‘best before’ date – cue the tears, or cue the laughter? All I know is I’ve got one last chance at Happily Ever After. I just hope there’s no kind of test Now I’m ready to be a princess Yes, I think overall it’s best Now I’m ready to be a princess
7.
I made a nest For her to grow And shelter from The wind and snow I made it strong I made it warm So she was safe from The gathering storm But she will fly away She will fly away She will fly away One day She’ll catch the wind That’s in the wood And fly away Just like she should
8.
Oh yes it was her favourite day He bought her a la-la-latte Then she browsed the seafront stalls And she bought nothing at all The sea was brown, not blue, But it was love she knew When they both sang along with Lou She got sweaty, holding hands Ice cream melting on her chin She spent too long in the sun With not enough sun cream on Sand in her Pringles too But it was love she knew When they both sang along with Lou Far too noisy in the club Far too crowded in the pub Way too cold to stay outside Walked her home and went inside But that’s when they both knew That it’s a perfect day, it’s true When you both sing along with Lou
9.
Dirty old men In charge of TV With power cuts And three day weeks Liquid lunches Jealous of youth ‘The filth and the fury’ A moment of truth Ninety seconds that changed the world Gave a new voice to young boys and girls Now they all swear But they don’t care So let’s sing along I did you no wrong A bohemian blasphemy Queen didn’t show ‘Just a rude word: Next question?’ ‘No, no.’ Take the flowers out the dustbin History beckons ‘Say something outrageous: You’ve got five seconds’ ‘Demand the impossible’ The T Shirt said Now just like Brahms Bill Grundy is dead But if something good Came from the day Be reasonable He had his part to play
10.
An evening primrose when the sun goes down A morning you can lie-in long in bed Elin when she swears there’s no one like me Gwen when she shares the books she’s read A bag of chips with just enough salt Walking on the quayside when the waves are high Florence singing Disney with all her heart Felicity’s little wiggle when she dances by There are always places we don’t feel at home And there are always hours when we feel alone But always - for a moment here and there - You will know you belong somewhere The kettles boiling and the teabag’s in The neon ripples in the city at night Strictly Ballroom’s got me crying again The September sun’s got that gossamer light Thorn-pricked fingers, blackberry-stained A pint of bitter on a Wednesday night Robert Quine calls like a guinea fowl A sudden jerk on a flyaway kite
11.
Small Steps 04:53
It’s the gift you always wanted Proudly given with a kiss For the man who has it all But you don’t know what that is It’s an acorn on the tarmac It’s a moth beneath the light It’s a horse on the hard shoulder It’s a long, hot sleepless night It’s a jobseeker’s vacation It’s a fish left on low tide Jesus’ face in a potato A critic at a pantomime
12.
I wanna buy sleep cottage It looks like peace to me Wrapped in Dorset’s greenest fields And not too far from the sea The bees will buzz me a lullaby The blackbirds sing to me sweet Underneath an oak canopy The wind will rock me to sleep Sleep sleep Deep deep sleep Don’t want to work a lifetime Just to pay for a little peace I wanna buy sleep cottage It looks like peace to me Underneath an oak canopy Not too far from the sea The birds will sing me a lullaby The branches rock me to sleep Wrapped in Dorset’s golden arms The waves will lull me to sleep
13.
Was it the hugs your mum didn’t give Was it your dad too scared to live Oh where, oh where did you get so sad? Was it the teacher who made fun of you Or was it the friends who wouldn’t stay true Oh where, oh where did you get so “bad”? Was it your shape you felt let you down When you compared it to others around Oh where, oh where did you get so “bad”? Was it the lover who never said That you were the nicest person he’d met Oh where, oh where did you get so sad?
14.
I tried to book a train today I thought it wouldn’t take me long I had my destination right But I typed the date in wrong Screen went blue, then flashed at last ‘Outward travel must not be in the past.’ Isn’t that just me all over Always leaving stuff behind Little precious bits and pieces Little fragments of my mind Look around for what I lack ‘Always check the luggage rack’ Even as a little lad, I Used to miss my bus stop home Cried my eyes out when I woke up In the dark back seat alone The driver didn’t worry, he Said, ‘Worse things happen son, at sea.’ Even then it didn’t help to Hear the clichés that he said To know that some far distant sailor Missed his mother and his bed It wasn’t any consolation Because I always miss my station
15.
In the summer sun When my mum was young She wore long sleeves to hide The bruises on her arm Then her father died And she no longer cried But the shame and the fear left A permanent harm I know both sexes have a lot to learn But men, well men, you know they’ve had their turn The future’s female There’s a four by four In the drive next door And he leaves the engine running for days He voted to leave And he seems to believe, That it’s fun to make jokes About Muslims and gays Oh how I despise Those leather-clad guys Who hold their guitar like it was a penis And if you wanted a deity To spread a bit of gaiety It wouldn’t be Mars, it would be Venus

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released September 11, 2020

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