The Red Telephone Boxes' Graveyard EP

by Blue-John Benjamin And His Amateur Humans

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1.
Christmas in the Market Square [the first of Blue-John’s songs to be broadcast on BBC national radio] Christmas in the market square, where a mighty tree held court. Local radio came to town for the switch-on. A brass quartet distilled warmth from the night. Christmas in the market square. Defiantly cheery. Just your sort of thing. It’s a pity, then, that you couldn’t be there, deliberately losing track of the hours. Dawn breaks across the Vale deep in snow, from the edge of the Moors to the Dales, and the last of the winter swallows calls to mind unclouded blue summer days. Painful thinness (little more than a wisp of wood smoke), despite a stream of biting air, swoops, rolls, glides, caresses the frozen river. Despite a blast of stinging crystals, we won’t come to rest by the frozen river. This is shaping up to be a final set of words— words that write themselves in the snow. Christmas Eve, the market square, above the newsagents down by Finkle Street. A spindly figure knocks back a miniature bottle of cognac, and waits for the last of the revellers, who remonstrates with the night. Unseen, an insubstantial man in the market square allows a sharp frost to pick his bones clean. A fleam of icy moonlight lets the tears flow out. Deliberately lost, he leaves illogical tracks, and they lead to me. Dawn breaks across the Vale deep in snow, from the edge of the Moors to the Dales, and the last of the winter swallows calls to mind unclouded blue summer days. Painful thinness (little more than a wisp of wood smoke), despite a stream of biting air, swoops, rolls, glides, caresses the frozen river. Despite a blast of stinging crystals, we won’t come to rest by the frozen river. This is shaping up to be a final set of words— a last-ditch melody. Intricately threaded constellations, words that wrote themselves now sparkle brightly in the sunshine. Christmas in the market square. A brass quartet distilled warmth from the night.
2.
Wolf in a Woollen Coat One finger on a synth, one finger on Rewind. Welcome to the litter-strewn labyrinth of your own mind. Beware, my little hummingbird, of serpents in the bower. Twisted words make a mockery of love, and are readily devoured. Her confidant—her suitor— edges into shot. Betrayed by him, I am out on a limb; he’s everything I’m not. Late-night caller, I am sorely tempted to seize you by the throat. I know what you are. I’ll prise away your disguise, wolf in a woollen coat, wolf in a woollen coat. Cut to the tavern: a silent relic, back from the dead, stamping snow from my boots. Cut to the chase: though you wounded me, I’m taut metal, aged wood, flesh and blood and English roots. I’m a creature of the night— a creature of the dawn. Bits inbetween, I can’t get right; her queen obliterates my pawn. A solitary beast— no lust for gore— I shun the pack for I, too, am a wolf, and I’ll pin him to the wall. A counselling certificate— another meaningless embrace. Welcome to the cold, black hole at the back of his face. Late-night caller, I am sorely tempted to seize you by the throat. I know what you are. I’ll prise away your disguise, wolf in a woollen coat, wolf in a woollen coat. I will go first, to prepare the way ahead. Do Not Resuscitate. When I’m ready, I will regenerate. I will go first, to prepare the way ahead. It’s okay. When the month of May comes around, we will spread our wings. We will find infinity within, we will find infinity within.
3.
(A Simple) Tree House “Tear your tree house down,” they said. “Tear it down at once; give it up; come down, down, down.” “Tear your tree house down,” they said. “Tear your platform down. Paint the town red; live it up; come down.” Jesus wept; my Lord; sweet Jesus of Nazareth; Heavens to Betsy; Heaven help us; Christ Almighty; Christ alive. Old acquaintances, Death & I holding on to the face of God in a gale. Can you count and read between my ‘laugh lines’? I’m moving out, moving on, moving mountains tonight. My body clock struck thirteen; past lives tucked themselves inside five stout boxes; sundry items were dismantled; my ghost walked through walls; and last of all, I’m folded into five stout boxes, five stout boxes. “Tear your tree house down,” they said. “Tear your airstrip down.” I’m in a fix. I’m mixed-up—upping sticks. Send a flying saucer down; flood this town with light. My head’s in a spin, whirling round and round, round and round, round and round. Jesus wept; my Lord; sweet Jesus of Nazareth; Heavens to Murgatroyd; Heaven help us; Christ Almighty; Christ alive. Old acquaintances, Death & I holding on to the face of God in a gale. Can you count and read between my ‘laugh lines’? I’m moving out, moving on, moving mountains tonight, mountains tonight.
4.
(A Simple) Tree House “Tear your tree house down,” they said. “Tear it down at once; give it up; come down, down, down.” “Tear your tree house down,” they said. “Tear your platform down. Paint the town red; live it up; come down.” Jesus wept; my Lord; sweet Jesus of Nazareth; Heavens to Betsy; Heaven help us; Christ Almighty; Christ alive. Old acquaintances, Death & I holding on to the face of God in a gale. Can you count and read between my ‘laugh lines’? I’m moving out, moving on, moving mountains tonight. My body clock struck thirteen; past lives tucked themselves inside five stout boxes; sundry items were dismantled; my ghost walked through walls; and last of all, I’m folded into five stout boxes, five stout boxes. “Tear your tree house down,” they said. “Tear your airstrip down.” I’m in a fix. I’m mixed-up—upping sticks. Send a flying saucer down; flood this town with light. My head’s in a spin, whirling round and round, round and round, round and round. Jesus wept; my Lord; sweet Jesus of Nazareth; Heavens to Murgatroyd; Heaven help us; Christ Almighty; Christ alive. Old acquaintances, Death & I holding on to the face of God in a gale. Can you count and read between my ‘laugh lines’? I’m moving out, moving on, moving mountains tonight, mountains tonight.

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released November 1, 2010

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Blue-John Benjamin Whitby, UK

"We put the boot in - flew the freak-flag;
We stood resolute like Morrissey’s quiff."

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