The Trashcan Sinatras are “Song Hunting”

cake lyrics
cake

cake

1990 go!discs/london records
all songs the trash can sinatras/emi music publishing ltd.

obscurity knocks

always at the foot of the photograph – that’s me there
snug as a thug in a mugshot pose, a foul-mouthed rogue
owner of this corner and not much more
still these days i’m better placed to get my just rewards
i’ll pound out a tune and very soon
i’ll have too much to say and a dead stupid name

though i ought to be learning i feel like a veteran
of “oh i like your poetry but I hate your poems”
calendars crumble i’m knee deep in numbers
i’ve turned 21, i’ve twist, i’m bust and wrong again

rubbing shoulders with the sheets till two
looking at my watch and i’m half-past caring
in the lap of luxury it comes to mind
is this headboard hard? am i a lap behind?
but to face doom in a sock-stenched room all by myself
is the kind of fate i never contemplate
lots of people would cry though none spring to mind

though i ought to be learning i feel like a veteran
of “oh i like your poetry but I hate your poems”
calendars crumble i’m knee deep in numbers
i’ve turned 21, i’ve twist, i’m bust and wrong again

know what it’s like
to sigh at the sight of the first quarter of life?
ever stopped to think and found out nothing was there?

they laugh to see such fun
i’m playing blind man’s bluff all by myself
and they’re chanting a line from a nursery rhyme
“ba ba bleary eyes – have you any idea?”

years of learning i must be a veteran
of “oh i like your poetry but I hate your poems”
and the calendar’s cluttered with days that are numbered
i’ve turned 21, i’ve twist, i’m bust and wrong again
ought to be learning
twist, i’m bust and wrong again
feel like a veteran
twist, i’m bust and wrong again
calendar’s cluttered
with days that are numbered
and i know what it’s like
to sigh at the sight
of the first quarter of life

maybe i should drive

i’m on a b road heading for the sea
to see if hands across the ocean
shake or wave
(see if hands across the ocean
shake or wave)
through the whiplash of the windscreen wipers
i can see for miles
but all i do is watch the time
(i can see for miles
but all i see’s the driver’s hands)
he harbours thoughts on personal grief
i said your hardship’s
only one of a fleet
that didn’t go down well

listen son if you’d spent
your life in the last lane
you would have an accent to grind
punch-drunk on patriotism
blind-drunk on borderism
maybe i should drive

and while you’re castaway
the mice’ll play
they’ll have a license
to dull those left back home
what about those poor souls?

listen son if you’d spent
your life in the last lane
you would have an accent to grind
punch-drunk on patriotism
blind-drunk on borderism
maybe i should drive

and as i jumped to these conclusions
he thumped his feet on the brakes
but we still hit a songwriter
trudging through the rain

scrambled out and watched him
rest in pieces
said a prayer and rifled
through his pockets
and the side of his mouth
still had something to say
at the toss of a coin
i end up head in the dirt
and tail in the air
and yet you can dance away
but be it friend or hard-up-man
fellow or kin
when your chips are down
they’re down for good

thrupenny tears

that reminds me of the time i felt
it’s time for sin and catholic guilt
two years later to the day
i had reason to confess
with her hair a shining shade
of bus-conductress blonde
tales of music and movement
were told in grip and groan
but to put these thoughts
in songs like theirs
of the honest truth
there’d be no trace
just lying out loud

meanwhile i’m back here in wonderland
a sorry sight with flowers in hand
pours his heart out till his thirst
for college girls is satisfied
standing there with ego
proudly on tip-toe
all the time i’m thinking
well, well, here we go

another perfect song of greed
brings the house down to its knees
by dying out loud

one more awful dancer
steptoe’s son a song and dance of love
when i think of soap operas
and what makes them so popular
the answer’s posing in front of my eyes

here comes our hero in hand-me-downs
and he’s strutting to the strain of
‘send in the clowns’
and troops his true colours
when no-one’s around
and his desk-top tales
are the best around but
putting pain to paper reads
like a lunge at fame and greed
just crying out loud

even the odd

even the odd one out is in with a shout
weather the term and
weather the storm
the clumsy climb and
the elegant fall
even the odd one out is in with a shout

that may be the story
that may be the lie
with great ease, with the pole greased
it’s down you slide

must you protest till you’re blue in the face
(even the odd one)
or blue in the blood
an ugly greed is the sole need
on a fragile high
but i can’t breathe
i just can’t seem to acclimatise

it’s all coming back to me now
i fell to the ground and slowly came round
and you stood over me
and you told me it never will be
but don’t tell me it never will be
don’t tell me it never, never will be
(even the odd one)

i’m out of my depth,
i’ve come up for air
show me how to become
the life and soul of something – anything
show me the film of when I was young
i didn’t climb trees then
i’m not climbing them now

the best man’s fall

could i interest you in a little something special
pay the earth but if you have no money
your attention’ll do
and if you don’t give a damn
you’re welcome to keep it
it’s a hard road when you know where you’re going
and it’s harder when you know where you’re not
so i’ll stamp my clay feet till the staggering stops
but good god give me strength to face another lazy day of
“if i was a millionaire i’d be a million miles from here”

hands of the clock give me a round of applause
for getting out of bed and the scars of the night before
have turned into scabs and still I’m seeing double
and i’m looking twice my age
it’s getting to the stage where
i’m old, not wise, just worried

stories of rags to riches leave me in stitches
and with a thread that’s hard to follow

you came into my life like a brick through a window
and i cracked a smile
remember those good
who remembers the good old games
that seemed to fill our days
like a kiss, cuddle and torture and
i-spy, s-p-i-t in your eye

those around me who came up trumps
would always get down on their knees to brag

circling the circumference

all around the alphabet
to hide a sadder tale of someone sad at
circling the circumference
show me the way from the periphery
but everybody is wrapped
in a warm embrace
with their arms around the answers
while i’m wrapped up
in my own rigamarole because

i can’t have that in my life
but soon I’ll find
i won’t have that in my life

right or righteous? – i can’t say
another day, another dilemma
don’t have the time, thirst, wish, itch
or urge to fit
or that’s my story and I am
stuck with it!

i can’t have that in my life
but soon I’ll find
i won’t have that in my life

you’re deep in conversation
where you really swim
and in the shallow water
i’m the first one in
a straight-forward answer
is out of the question
why her whole body joins in
in the way she smiles but
it’s all too much of a muchness for me

i can’t have that in my life
but soon I’ll find
i won’t have that in my life

i’m the man who missed a sitter
the pearly-gate crasher
the king’s new clothes hanger
skeptic kind of sucker
straight man gone solo
drunk or canned laughter
i’m sorry -
what was the question again?

funny

i know she doesn’t play the field
but she likes to know the strength of the team
she says she doesn’t like my style
but i loved her in my own fashion
kept her under wraps
planted lots of verbal traps
but she won’t be gone for long
nothing good ever comes of a bad mood
and when she comes home
she’ll kick up some dust
and ask me what’s wrong

she’s a funny kind of girl
set sail in a ship in a bottle
she’s a funny kind of girl
do the swiss fake it when they yodel
she’s a funny kind of girl

i know her face so well
although the color of her eyes
escapes me for the moment
so i’ll send out the spies
to hassle her at home
and all the words to the wise
and the why’s to the words i say
though her embrace
is like being short-changed
or under-charged
i’ll never revisit the scene of the crime
where i’ve seen you crying with glee

she’s a funny kind of girl
give bad directions to a drunken sailor
he ended up in the hills
and she ended up
in the wrong hands
she’s a funny kind of girl

i’ll stick out my neck
and i’ll raise the heavy head of importance
and when the cap fits i’ll wear it
and if i knew what made carpets fly
i wouldn’t be sitting here
twiddling my thumbs
i’d threadbare my soul
and wheedle my way
into other people’s lives
and out of my own
out of my own

only tongue can tell

once upon a sign i read a warning and it said
‘when in rome don’t feed the lions’
what is meant i can’t hazard a guess
but now i’ve learned my lesson i’m a better person
i’m filled up with high hopes and i’m fed up with soft soaps
long in the tooth and short on wisdom
up to here with the ache of it

and if the matchmaker calls hand in hand
with a catch of the day i’ll rise to the bait
but it’ll still be more than a heart can take
more than feeling great
more than a tongue can tell

i’d need to take leave of my senses to get a moment’s rest
following in footsteps
footsure in fancy dress
head in my hands i’m making plans
hoovering up for the day

when the matchmaker calls hand in hand
with the catch of the day i’ll raise to the bait
but it’ll still be more then a heart can take
more than feeling great
more than a tongue can tell

and the itch to get rich quick
has never been so hard to reach
with my hands tied behind my back
shin deep in cement and sand
just like the anchor man i broke loose
and crashed to the sea bed
clutching the shortest straw
and if you threw me a line that’s as smart as you think
it wouldn’t stop me sinking down to cry
on what flashed before my eyes
what flashed before my eyes

you made me feel

so typical – a battle of wits
and i’ve come half prepared
i know all the ropes
but i haven’t a hope
of pulling you back to me
i’m losing my grip
and sailing this ship
from barstool to borstal and back

you made me feel i was born again
it’s a shame i never grew up again
i’m a boy at sea
and i’m stowaway scared
scared that my friends see
the man amongst the many

now bottle scars are all that I have
to show the boys back home
who’d said that to plead
was a sign of the weak
and to fight was a sign
of the strong
just fairweather words
from four-letter friends
but i found out
the four-letter way

you made me feel i was born again
it’s a shame i never grew up again
i’m a boy at sea
and i’m stowaway scared
scared that my friends see
the man amongst the many

and now i’ve swallowed my pride
i promise you i
couldn’t eat another word
i’ll count to three then i sail to sea
i just got to eight
when you started to say
i’ll bid you farewell
i’m going, going, gone

january’s little joke

all i can hear is the clucking of tongues
i can see them
plucking at crumbs of conversations
a drunk uncle’s breath
and they’re touching my hand
as now turns into then
dream turns into dreamt
spend turns into spent
one turns into one too many
(say when)

and in the blue corner
crouches a mediocre joker
the laughs are on me
and the arch of my back cracks under the weight
of the wisecracks
stop the clock – I want to get off
though i knew what argue meant
and i knew what punish meant
and i knew what embarrass meant
i never found out what achieve meant

all heaven broke loose
but i knew they had something to hide
they were turning the page
but i glimpsed the very last line
now we raise a toast to celebrate
as december’s embers fade
but every fire is just a hoax
for january’s little joke