Returning to the Sea

by Tim O'Connor & The Ant Farm Collective

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credits

released November 19, 2014

Tim O’Connor - voice, acoustic guitars & keys
Pete McLeod - percussion
Simon Strauli - bass guitar, acoustic guitar
Trish Silvester - voice
Dicky Deegan - uilleann pipes, whistles

all songs written & © tim o’connor 2014

produced by toc
recorded at Bywater Studios spring/summer 2014
mixed and mastered at Uilleand Music summer 2014

photography by viceversarobbi:fotografia
viceversarobbifotografia.co.uk

cover design by MTD

Uilleand Music
vcbd055
September 2014

tags

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: what comes next
the man with two sons
secretly danced the burlesque
he’d shimmy in sequins
and gossamer kept locked in a chest
at the foot of the bed
where the memories guiltily slept
and he’d take out a dream sometimes to see
if there was any of the old magic left

and wonders again to himself
what comes next

the girl with two daughters
can’t see where her yesterday’s went
her astonishing smile hides her rage
at inherited theft
that trickles down less and less
an economist said
the only dance that she has is packing carrier-bags
telling herself she’s doing her best

and wonders again to herself what comes next
what comes next
she wonders again to herself
what comes next

the sons and the daughters
although they don’t realise it yet
they all carry kernels of ideas
of quiet conquest
in the shadows of factories
bankrupt with fracturing debt
like a bright errant weave that appears unforeseen
caught up in the warp and the weft

deciding for themselves
what comes next
they’re deciding again for themselves
what comes next
let them decide for themselves
what comes next

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: where the dreamers go
you were living at the speed of understanding
well i wonder when
your wondering forgot
those noble martian warriors
and faeries in our garden
trapped like pressed flowers
between the literal
and reason’s tinderbox

oh don’t you remember being young
and not knowing what might come tomorrow
to delight you
and inspire you to reach up higher
to where the dreamers go
where the dreamers go

you were thinking it a little odd
a little left of centre
how the world can change it’s shape so
while you sleep
you awakened
shaking to dislodge improbable mysteries
of wonderlands and wardrobes
then wash your hands repeatedly

oh don’t you remember being young
and not knowing what might come tomorrow
to delight you
and inspire you to reach up higher
to where the dreamers go
where the dreamers go

it’s time to wake up now
it’s time to wake up now
it’s time to wake up now
it’s time to wake up now

oh don’t you remember being young
and not knowing what might come tomorrow
to delight you
and inspire you to reach up higher
to where the dreamers go
where the dreamers go

go where the dreamers know
to where the dreamers go

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: hickory clack crack
before chronological swiss clockery
and maniacal lunar mockery
and the great gregorian travesty
of cock-eyed calendar count

the waxing and the waning moon
and the turning of the tides avowed
without eldritch confirmation
when to plant and when to plough

to birth and harvest, when at last
festival fires come back some how
the clockwork minds chicanery
shall fade dwindling without sound

then here come the morris men
faces blacked and bells a-jingle
here come the morris men
hickory clack crack the past comes back sing
here come the morris men
here come the morris men
oh here come the morris men
hickory clack crack the past comes back
the past comes back

too boorish and too soon
or are you fashionably late again
living life on borrowed time
do you ken the interest you’ve paid

your index driven dividends
are phantoms in the lie you made
that daisy petal counting
was just some childish game

and now your clock speed greed commands
a rendered meaningless charade
‘cause coy autumnal trees don’t care
how many dragons you have slain

then here come the morris men
faces blacked and bells a-jingle
here come the morris men
hickory clack crack the past comes back sing
here come the morris men
here come the morris men
oh here come the morris men
hickory clack crack the past comes back
the past comes back

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: flow
there are shadows in the rising water
of sleeping stepping stones
undinal patience mesmerises
a watcher standing quite alone

wondering where this moment goes
if he braves the current and he trusts his step
or fears for his footing in the watery weft
don’t you want to know
if the other shore is greener than all the places you’ve been shown
or will you abandon all your hope and fall
and go with the flow
go with the flow

there are answers laughing in the swirl
of teasing vortices
dancing past their petulance
turns them just beyond his reach

wondering where this moment goes
if he braves the current and he trusts his step
or fears for his footing in the watery weft
well don’t you want to know
if the other shore is greener than all the places you’ve been shown
or will you abandon all your hope and fall
and go with the flow
go with the flow

the vertigo’s temptation
and the countercurrent’s song
irresistingly engulfing and demanding
that he choose just one

wondering where this moment goes
if he braves the current and he trusts his step
or fears for his footing in the watery weft
don’t you want to know
if the other shore is greener than all the places you’ve been shown
or will you abandon all your hope and fall
and go with the flow
go with the flow

the river is rising higher
over stepping stones beneath
concealed soon but for guessing gyres
and whirlpool’s clues bequeathed

he’s wondering where this moment goes
if he braves the current and he trusts his step
or fears for his footing in the watery weft
well don’t you want to know
if the other shore is greener than all the places you’ve been shown
or will you abandon all your hope and fall
and go with the flow
go with the flow
go with the flow
go with the flow

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: jugband memorial bar
while Graham Graham figures out
just how the song is going to roll
his super hero alter ego
stops the taxman going rogue
the master of the songs, JC
calls order to us all
novice and initiate
equal and enthralled

so take a drink and sing with me
celebrate their memory
raise your glass and lift your voice
conjure up the spirit of those good ole boys

we’re all touched and granted audience
with the beatific muse
join voices with the celebrants
ghosts of forgotten tunes
as each heartsong sung is captured
by the all-seeing prismic eye
their moment freed forever
and Viceversa caught in time

so take a drink and sing with me
and celebrate their memory
raise your glass and lift your voice
conjure up the spirit of those good ole boys

in the jug band memorial bar
in the jug band memorial bar
in the jug band memorial bar
bring your songs along
to the jug band memorial bar

so let us liberate libation
honour each that connie pulled
offer meritorious citation
to the Lion and Werewolf
let laughter ring and tears sting
it’s crooked weather with dogs in space
and Corona borrowed an Italian thing
to watch the smile on Holly’s face

so take a drink and sing with me
celebrate their memory
raise your glass and lift your voice
conjure up the spirit of those good ole boys

in the jug band memorial bar
in the jug band memorial bar
in the jug band memorial bar
bring your songs along
to the jug band memorial bar

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: returning to the sea
a woman walks outside her time
to be where she needs to be
a custodian of quiet elegance
and of gentle dignity
her conversations face the winds of change
yet her laughter has to ask
“where can i find such a man
with mustachio and hat?”

Ellie Ross is on the harbour wall
her words dance betwixt between
the breaking of the waves
and their returning to the sea
returning to the sea

she hears a piper playing sweet airs
conjured from the uilleann read
the sum of all his parts
translates an elemental speech
almost lost amongst the witless shoals
of people who won’t see
it’s at the edges of existence
all the magic places be

Ellie Ross is on the harbour wall
her words dance betwixt between
the breaking of the waves
and their returning to the sea
returning to the sea

she swings into the rain
dancing
like fiddlestix on fire with joy
she brings along a strange enchanting
to contradict the modern noise
like fiddlestix on fire with joy

she navigates with whimsy
her curiosities unlock
those mysteries mischievous
of the faerie and the fox
and she celebrates the season
of flying things falling from the sky
she nurtures and returns them
for no other reason than to smile
no other reason than to smile

Ellie Ross is on the harbour wall
her words dance betwixt between
the breaking of the waves
and their returning to the sea
returning to the sea

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: the cuckoo flew
you’re talking like a fool
she said she said
as though listening was the thing she did the best

‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest

i heard unspoken words
she said she said
disinclined is she to recognise the rest

‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest

you keep a cage in every room
she said she said
re-imagining bars kept inside her head

‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest

you watch too closely
she said she said
leaving caskets to disguise deceits she dealt

‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest

you begrudge my charity
she said she said
callously between one murder and the next

‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest

you will never set me free
she said she said
that libertine and unexpected guest

‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest

you’ll forget me soon
she said she said
the strange thing is the changelings not left yet

‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest
‘round around the cuckoo flew
looking for a nest

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: insanity is beautiful
how can you touch the sun
when you’re too busy living
all your life on the run
waiting for your star to rise
missing every moment as it comes
wondering what you’ve done

how can you taste the air
stuck stupidly sitting
in your leatherette chair
while documentary makers sanitise
the excitements and the wonders waiting there
for you
if only you’d dare

and you know deep down when you’re alone
in the quiet of the night there are truths
tantalisingly close
and it feels so dangerous i know
to leave behind the safety you agonisingly chose
so come on with me
come on outside and see
that the insanity is beautiful
the insanity is beautiful

how will you feel the earth
shopping for shoes and new designer shirts
looking at reflections all the while
flattering yourself for all its worth
the mirror’s glamour: a delusional curse

and you know deep down when you’re alone
in the quiet of the night there are truths
tantalisingly close
and it feels so dangerous i know
to leave behind the safety you agonisingly chose
so come on with me
come on outside and see
that the insanity is beautiful
the insanity is beautiful

how shall you hear the wind
while forgetting all the reasons for listening
is it safe to close your eyes against the night
having caged up all the fear you found within
you’ll miss the whispering of tooth and claw begin

and you know deep down when you’re alone
in the quiet of the night there are truths
tantalisingly close
and it feels so dangerous i know
to leave behind the safety you agonisingly chose
so come on with me
come on outside and see
that the insanity is beautiful
so come on with me
come on outside and see
that the insanity is beautiful
the insanity is beautiful

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: be welcome in this song
upon entering this song
please bear in mind these simple guidelines
for your enjoyment
and involvement in the piece
after commencement has begun
watch your head please everyone
for safe immersion
during this excursion and release

brace yourself, hold steady
whether or not you think you’re ready
sing along
sing along and be welcome in this song

the thing you should remember
is that whosoever sits with you
won’t be interested
nor invested in your life
they came for music to be heard
that jewel your witless whine pollutes
until your arrogance is apparent
in deathly quiet

brace yourself, hold steady
whether or not you think you’re ready
sing along
sing along and be welcome in this song

if your banter is a subtle
as a shattered champagne bottle
there’s accommodation
for vacant narration in t’other room
because your voice is like a shovel
your words melodious and motley
an irritating mating cry to the exhumed

brace yourself, hold steady
whether or not you think you’re ready
sing along
sing along and be welcome in this song

we all fail to see the relevance
that you’re looking forward to enjoying
another episodic dopey soap opera repeat tonight
your earnest self-importance
is becoming really quite annoying
so if i can paraphrase a chum
shut up

shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up
but if you want to get up and dance
that’s fine

brace yourself, hold steady
whether or not you think you’re ready
sing along
sing along and be welcome in this song

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: revelry of thieves
down she comes and up she goes
life on the circuit of a travelling show
mark the chumps to dip then blow
got no roots to call your own

welcome see the barkers and the freaks
welcome to this revelry of thieves

see the wonders large as life
they’re all inside if you pay the price
menagerie of grotesque sights
contorted limbs
cunning shills shine bright

welcome see the barkers and the freaks
welcome to this revelry of thieves

further in you can catch a glimpse
of the golden throne of a native king
next to dancing siamese twins
and listen to the song that the monkey sings

welcome see the barkers and the freaks
welcome to this revelry of thieves

use the rubes that come
use the rubes that come

the carnival makes fools pay
they’ve been gulled before
they’ll be gulled again
next time ‘round they’ll be just the same
ripe for the flim-flam
ripe for the take

welcome see the barkers and the freaks
welcome to this revelry of thieves
welcome see the barkers and the freaks
welcome to this revelry of thieves
this revelry of thieves
this revelry of thieves
revelry of thieves
to this revelry of thieves

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: 10 miles
it’s ten miles from here to whitby
and the rain is coming down
there’s no urgency nor wishing
as the dust begins to drown

there’s nowhere else to be
for she is here with me

around the corner sleeps the poetry
of summer’s arrogant display
their blushing hues immodesty
tended gently while they wait

there’s nowhere else to be
for she is here with me
there’s nowhere else to be
for she is here with me

for just one second
when we found that perfect moment
between the strangers we had been
and who we are
we held it for a thousand years
maybe more
‘til we were certain
that the memories we’ll make
are those we’ll share

while the water’s lacy patterns
trace down the window pane
arresting the descending fates
of tears spent yesterday

there’s nowhere else to be
for she is here with me
there’s nowhere else to be
for she is here with me

there’s nowhere else i’d be
she is here with me
for she is here with me
Pam is here with me

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: original mystery
spray leaves the wave tops rising up
in the twilight of the setting sun
the only sound is music of the moon and sea’s rhythm
being continually begun
movement that seduces and reveals
mechanics are all just chaotic schemes
who’s laws rewrite time after time
evolving to intentionally mislead

if you are stumbling upon original mystery
your heart is still young and strong
when tall cliffs are crumbling or gone
and your sigils and flags
fly tattered and torn
then we’re becoming one

the light that is coming in the morning
is the same light that had lessened the dark
where shadows cast don’t care who calls the dance
nor how bright nor righteous is the spark
whilst some looking inward
searching outwardly to reach freedom
from the oracles who claim
accidental juxtaposing theories can explain
an imperfect geocentric twist of fate

if you are stumbling upon original mystery
your heart is still young and strong
when tall cliffs are crumbling or gone
and your sigils and flags
fly tattered and torn
then we’re becoming one
we are becoming one

you’re falling past your stars coruscating flight
the crucible you came from
soaring through the depths of farthest night
into the confluence beyond right or wrong
becoming one
becoming one

if you are stumbling upon original mystery
your heart is still young and strong
when tall cliffs are crumbling or gone
and your sigils and flags
fly tattered and torn
then we’re becoming one
we are becoming one

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: apostles
she is moving like a piston
driven by the steam
her hair flies away like crazy
dancing in the wind

she knows where she is going
leaving where she’s been
knows what it is she’s racing
as the fire inside her sings

she is carrying the ghosts of apostles on the tracks
when she comes up to the ocean
she will turn and bring them back
and though everyone’s a hobo
she will never need to ask
suitors fall behind her
like apostles on the tracks
apostles on the tracks

she’s the mother of a nation
she bore her children west
the hope she put in motion
has tamed a wilderness

she knows the way she’s taken
is the freedom of a dream
she’s an idea given meaning
bringing eden within reach

she is carrying the ghosts of apostles on the tracks
when she comes up to the ocean
she will turn and bring them back
and though everyone’s a hobo
she will never need to ask
suitors fall behind her
like apostles on the tracks
apostles on the tracks
on the tracks
on the tracks

just when she reached a pinnacle
we thought everything could last
the herald of the future
became a derelict in the past

once out-running buffalo
now in shadows standing still
occasionally remembering
her thunder
and the thrill

she is carrying the ghosts of apostles on the tracks
when she comes up to the ocean
she will turn and bring them back
and though everyone’s a hobo
she will never need to ask
her suitors fall behind her
like apostles on the tracks
apostles on the tracks
apostles on the tracks
apostles on the tracks

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: eclipse
can you feel the sunrise calling you
through the cold and endless dark
to awaken and reprise for you
our dance amongst the stars

falling lightly
weightlessly making
and gracefully taking
long and lazy circles
spinning ‘round the spiral arm
gone beyond escaping
that first supernal spark

we are sailing through infinities
of celestial astral light
we’re breaking fragile symmetry
with coincidental life

falling lightly
weightlessly making
and gracefully taking
long and lazy circles
spinning ‘round the spiral arm
gone beyond escaping
that first supernal spark

what happens when the wonder has all gone
what happens when the answers are all matched
to every single question
ever thought about of asked
what happens when the wondering is done
what happens when the wondering has gone

coruscating memories
borne between the spheres
silent testimonies
of the quiddity we fear

falling lightly
weightlessly making
and gracefully taking
long and lazy circles
spinning ‘round the spiral arm
gone beyond escaping
that first supernal spark

© tim o’connor 2014
Track Name: don't look away
don’t look away
the things that you are hiding from
are the very things that make you strong
if you don’t look away

don’t look away
don’t fear to feel the shadows hold
secrets that liberate when told
if you don’t look away

don’t look away
from reflections of your face
imperfections that you see will fade
if you don’t look away

don’t look away
don’t look away

don’t look away
the things that you are hiding from
are the very things that make you strong
if you don’t look away

© tim o’connor 2014