The Red Telephone Boxes' Graveyard EP

by Blue-John Benjamin and his Amateur Humans

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credits

released November 1, 2010

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Track Name: Christmas in the Market Square
Christmas in the Market Square

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 .. [etc]

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.
Track Name: Wolf in a Woollen Coat
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

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 in-between, 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 .. [etc]

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.
Track Name: (A Simple) Tree House
(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 .. [etc]
Track Name: Wake Up, England
Wake Up, England

Between Liverpool and Manchester,
And you and me,
I caught a glimpse of God on a scooter -
24-inch flares flowing in the breeze.
I’m losing my way - losing my mind again.
What’s more, I no longer care - no longer care.

Northern Quartermasters
Abandon café bars;
This town found a reason to reconvene.

Wake up, England,
Fetch your coat,
Switch off the box;
See you down
In the basement club.

London calls us;
She can wait.
Tonight belongs
To the underground.

All the dreamers retreat,
Closing bedroom curtains.
Far & wide, they scheme in the gloom,
Patiently biding their time.
Then a clarion call from a dingy club -
Something momentous about to begin.

From London to Paris to Berlin,
Africa, Asia, America, Oceania:
All the people, all the love,
All the hurt.
All the dreamers rising from the dirt.

This gilded age
Chills me to the bone.
If there’s no scene here for you,
Create your own.

Wake up, England,
And give your face a smack.
There’s something going down;
Welcome back.

London calls us;
She can wait.
Tonight belongs
To the subterraneans.

All the dreamers .. [etc]
Between Liverpool and Manchester .. [etc]
All the people .. [etc]

My skin lacks colour, my heart is black.
Falcons and horses - the black plumes of Blue-John .. [rpt]
Pale skin; African heart;
Englishness in my blood, in my blood.