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credits

released December 10, 2015

all songs written & © tim o’connor 2015

produced by toc
recorded at Bywater Studios spring/autumn 2015
mixed and mastered at Uilleand Music winter 2015

photography by viceversarobbi:fotografia

cover design by MTD

The Ant Farm Collective:

Tim O’Connor voice, guitars & keyboards
Trish Silvester voice & recorders
Simon Strauli bass guitar
Alan Drever-Smith percussion & voice

With special guest:
Dicky Deegan Uilleann Pipes ‘dark side of the looking glass’

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license

all rights reserved

about

Tim O'Connor Hull, UK

Tim O'Connor is an English Folk/Rock songwriter based in Yorkshire, UK, Performing & recording since the late Seventies, Tim has released a large catalogue of albums, 31 to date, available on his record label, Uilleand Music.

The Ant Farm Collective, formed in 2014:
Alan Drever-Smith - percussion
Simon Strauli - Bass & Guitar
Trish Silvester - Voice, Recorders
Tim O'Connor - Voice, Guitar & Keys
... more

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Track Name: dreaming is free
many times we'll merry meet
and merry part then merry meet again
old friends and new
many times we'll sit awhile
to mend our hearts
and fix our broken smiles with fire and dew

oh are we dreaming
seems that your feet are off the ground again
the worlds refrain is spinning 'til your dizzy
everything's within your reach
all you need is given freely
to those who see that dreaming's free
that dreaming's free

oft times we'd watch the sun
to shadow dance and talk of distant days
amazed we knew
oft times we'd chase the moon
and laugh in wonder
capering motley fools, lords of misrule

oh are we dreaming etc…

leading you between the hours and on into the trance
before the tranquil morning comes
to tease and laugh and dance
describing winds that remember still
the twisting of the lovers bower where all the secrets slept
recalling solstice dawns revealing
where the tryst was kept
and who's beginning to set the world a-spin

oh are we dreaming etc…
Track Name: written & © tim o’connor 2015 - coda: mea culpa
you're talking right
but doing oh so wrong
i can't see how
we can all get along
dancing to a tune
that only you can hear

i feel the coda
mea culpa drawing near
drawing near

you shout the loudest
yet you say the least
you're picking pockets
smiling like a thief
harvesting the gullible
and planting fear

i feel the coda
mea culpa drawing near
drawing near

you laugh with glee
despite your cruel quiet eyes
a fiscal high priest soothing sacrifice
dividing nations into corporate deals

i feel the coda
mea culpa drawing near
drawing near

i feel the coda
mea culpa drawing near
Track Name: the apprentice
he was just doing his job
minding his own business unless they gave
up their history of loves conquered
and all the dreams that they had lost and of better days

he never asked for much in the way of companionship
yet always offered an easy smile
to both the midday drunkard
and the mother trudging past towing a child

he was apprenticed to the barber at the corner of the street
where the new and the old meet

his teachers remembered him as a shadow
at the edge of the classroom
easily drifting to a place where his daydreams soared
above mundane and stale afternoons

he was apprenticed to the barber …etc

and some days he’d just stand like a secret
kept too long and waiting to be told
nobody could ever guess where he’d rather be
but knew he’d go there alone

he was apprenticed to the barber …etc

he was quiet in his ways
some thought him shy though they’d all say he was kind
nobody noticed him ‘til he left one day
and emptiness rushed into the hole in their lives

he was apprenticed to the barber …etc
Track Name: crying like a dancer
i heard you crying like a dancer
wearing broken dancing shoes
whose toes were frayed and bloody
could feel the ribbons coming loose
but every tear that fell
spoke of memories that tell

you cannot mourn a life while you're choking on regrets
you cannot lose a life you've not lived for yourself

i heard you laughing without echoes
despite a hollowness inside
while blinded by the footlights
and torn by familiar cruel punchlines
but every single smile that froze
told of experience that shows

you cannot mourn a life while you're choking on regrets
you cannot lose a life you've not lived for yourself

whatever you choose to do bear in mind
i cannot dream for you
you're living your own life
you're living your own life

i heard you talking like lonely people do
you were talking to your own shadow
distinctions became unclear, confused
between things you do and do not know
yet every answer that you gave
to all the questions remained the same

you cannot mourn a life while you're choking on regrets
you cannot lose a life you've not lived for yourself
Track Name: dark side of the looking glass
your life the way you tell it is like a shadow play
open to interpretive misreading though you say
you argue your position without knowing that you stand
in the belly of an hourglass reasons running through your hands

going clear and open-minded, you're only due what's yours
after all it's you who chooses which heaven's worth dying for
yet if believing is so easy why no salvation here today
no redeeming light of rapture just broken promises again

and if the trick is it it's transparent you'll just pluck out your own eyes
i wish you'd leave and take your foolishness into your precious light

in the darkness i am free to be those things we only dream of reaching
those things beyond believing that we just may be
the only thing that's real here and that out of there is a void
past the dark side of the looking glass there is nobody to judge us
nobody to save us or remember we have been
and wonder if we dreamed

your congregations growing smaller as vicious pieties distilled
offertory to st. calumniate the dwindling clinging to their guilt
your malformed mystery separates like milk left too long and curdled
your mediaeval rhetoric becomes business of the infernal

the beguiling innocence you wear is a wolf amongst the sheep
smile wide with benefaction as you lay them down to sleep
the hold you had is slipping so you now diversify
into politics and scheme for state and temples unified

to peddle your illusions as policies of truth
of divine constitution surely no god watches you

in the darkness i am free etc…
Track Name: foot in the door
every december she'd buy a new diary
then lock all her memories away
and never remember the knock-backs
the derisory and disingenuous praise

she'd make resolutions avoiding the clichés
that serve her male counterparts well
and wore her delusions that karma defrays
for the bruising refusals that tell

she is coming she is going without ever really knowing
what on earth it was that she was looking for
she kept coming kept going believing she wasn't showing
her confidence: just a trick nothing more
than a foot in the door

she recalls reading of the glass ceiling
between the get-what-you-wants and have-nots
an unbreachable meanness
upon which she is beating with the wings of a tiring moth
like a chimera of hieronymus bosch she becomes
graceless with inelegant ease
when gratuitous truths bluntly mock her because
she can look but can't expect to reach

she is coming she is going etc…

there is an optimistic glint that glows in her eye
that the system will fail one day
and imagines a time when we'll look back and cry
and remember the day
when misogyny died away

she is coming she is going etc…
Track Name: hands extended
written by tim o’connor
Track Name: last perfect crime
you seem prepared to commit
the last perfect crime
bring an end to happiness and to hurt
although you’ll leave
no witness to judge you behind
it’s still not the end of the world

beauty is there
whether or not you are to see
and is still guilelessly welcoming
tragedy though
is something that we seem to leave
cankerous stain with our fingerprints in

you’re dancing on melting floes
leaving footprints in the snow
as these dizzying days steal your balance away
and your senses explode with vertigo
keep hold, let go
of all your contradictory boasts
keep hold, let go
your descendants are already ghosts

and the nightingale heard
so with a whisper feather-light
turned away to sing a silent song
of how every owl knows
predators have to be wise
lest the hunt becomes murderously wrong

see you all could have risen
but instead became less
than your couplets and conundrums described
and choose whether to lay
mistakes to confessional rest
or epitaphs of vainglorious lies

you’re dancing on melting floes …etc

you’re dancing on melting floes …etc
Track Name: looking for a mountain
i went looking for a mountain
to climb above the rain
i went looking for a mountain
to rise high above the rain
and when i've met that mountain
i will climb back down again

i went looking for a good friend
to pass the time of day
i went looking for a good friend
to while away the day
and when i've met my good friend
i'll come back home again

i flew across the ocean
hoping that i'd find
i flew far across the ocean
trying hard to find
but on that side of the ocean
i missed those very things i'd left behind

i went looking for a mountain
to climb above the rain
i was looking for a mountain
to rise high above the rain
and when i met that mountain
i will climb back down again
yes when i've met my mountain
i will climb back down again
Track Name: rack & ruin
the wanderlust came knocking
knocking at her door
familiar of the traveller
that scholars cruel reward
when the moment comes it comes in silence
silence of the owl
nights predatory wisdom councils time
the time is now

before the rack and ruin comes this well-thumbed chapter ends
before the rack and ruin comes she runs rising through the fells
rising through the fells
the song you leave is not yourself
just part of who you hoped to be
the joy is in the journey and of discovery returning

she flees a dreadful magic
magical entropy
crying Rumpelstiltskin as the spell's glamour recedes
there's freedmen in her leaving
leaving Priam’s walls
her futures interceding
she makes her own rewards

before the rack and ruin comes etc…

there's a golden river flowing
flowing through her hands
dimming seeds of dreaming counting hourglass sands
yesterday keeps repeating
repeating clichéd prose
her loyalty is tinder dry and begging to explode

before the rack and ruin comes etc…
Track Name: cat out of the bag
you found him standing with a poke in his hand
and a smile on his face
you were to kind to be cruel
but sometimes being cruel is what it takes to celebrate mistakes

and accept that the laughter won't hold back
and let the cat out of the bag

you watched him wondering how anyone could blunder
so easily seduced
so dumb not to plainly see
counterfeited piggy-wrigglery was a ruse to bamboozle fools

and accept that the laughter won't hold back
and let the cat out of the bag

let the cat out of the bag
for our laughter
his amazement, at the kitty caught, escaping
oh let the cat out of the bag
because after we've done blaming
there'll be unending pig-piss-taking
so don't blindly take the poke
if you can't take a joke

you left him standing with a poke in his hand
and shock in his eyes as he began to understand
that sometimes being cruel is being kind
a lesson learned in time

and accept that the laughter won't hold back
and let the cat out of the bag

and accept that the laughter won't hold back
and let the cat out of the bag
Track Name: rivers
can you hear rivers coming
rising high, running wild
if so say goodbye to your innocent eyes
if you believe in liars
take your deceits to him
he’ll anoint pilgrims in baptism of fire

hear the pounding of his rhythm reach to you
it is plucking bloody leeches from your soul
he is the one true preacher
he’s the liar and the seer
bringing the flood to the insincere
repent – the rivers here

from the delta to the city
screaming through atlantic storms
his mission deep, the current strong, an unstoppable force
he is beating down the temples
calling forth the faithful to his cause
as his sermons and disciples bring down the walls

hear the pounding of his rhythm reach to you …etc

to exorcise your demons and emancipate your soul
bringing those blues back home

rivers’ roots run clearly
drowning burning crosses and their hate
whose echoes, down the age, still resonate
his blues spill like a deluge
extinguishing white hellfire and rage
and ghosts rising from the ashes shall celebrate

hear the pounding of his rhythm reach to you …etc