tocsins & the remedy

by Tim O'Connor

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about

Tocsins & the Remedy
Tim O’Connor

Uilleand Music vcbd059

all songs written & © Tim O’Connor 2015/16

for Elle

produced by toc
recorded at Bywater Studios summer 2016
mixed and mastered at Uilleand Music summer 2016

photography by viceversarobbi:fotografia
viceversarobbifotografia@aol.co.uk
viceversarobbi.fotografia@facebook.com
www.flickr.com/photos/viceversarobbi

buddamask by toc
cover design by MTD

Performed by Tim O’Connor

With special guest:
Debbie Pullen voice tracks 6, 7, 10 & 11

credits

released September 15, 2016

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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: Elysian Fields
(Instrumental)
Track Name: Joe
he was listening to the radio
joe was over in the corner
he wasn’t making any fuss at all
about the broadcast that he heard

if things had happened a little differently
or someone had noticed and been concerned
and asked, “why the tears old man”
instead he saw a politician at the bar and turned

he watched him spewing sound-bites
and cleaver racist slurs
careful enough & never quite vulgar or brusque
like a surgeon cutting into puss

joe spoke up to remind him
of beer hall fascists of the past
of how tyrants twist duty and obligation
and joe said, “now you explain to us”

why should we sacrifice our children
on the alter of your negligent desire
and misanthropic husbandry
of brutish self-regard?

“once more, again, lest we should fail our country”
you cry and rally ghouls and usurers
to the charnel pits of your profit to strip
the limbless and the scarred

of dignity and meaning
in remembrance flowers and silent vigils
it seems a poor way to forget the bloody business
commending butchery ordered by you weaker men

so don’t look me in the eye and say it’s better now
that we’re safer with your bullets and your bombs
if you believed empires fell and crumbled
well what’s risen from their corpse is worse than hell

the careering politician laughed at joe’s concerns
and threw two fifty pound notes onto the bar
& the liar hooked the greedy and gullible blind fools
for the price of a couple of pints

yet joe saw around the edges of their shadows
to where teenage faces heard him question and defy
and he saw tears of a brighter future there
in those young men and women’s eyes

as they said
we will never give up the fight joe
we will never forget our right
to stand together and oppose those fascists joe
and recognise that their
wrongs divide
joe today we will unite
Track Name: A Better Life By Far
Norman clipped the tickets daily fare by fare
rode out westwards and returned to the east, to the sea
and on sundays chased temperamental notes between we choristers
and the secreted dreaming congregated souls
seated to atone for having won the war and wondering
if they’re really any better off at all

if we could change what has been
concede that our regrets are part of history
that teaches mistakes can be redeemed
and that indeed we could be
better than we are
better than we were
and live a better life by far

Mary rode the charabanc throwing conversation down the aisle
“Happy birthday” ricocheted through disregarding silent riders
as we traded news and laughter past disapproving cardboard cut-out
neighbours and strangers on that east riding transport
and then the penny dropped and Mary turned to incredulously scold
you little beggar, you were drinking in my pub at just eleven years old

if we could change what has been
concede that our regrets are part of history
that teaches mistakes can be redeemed
and that indeed we could be
better than we are
better than we were
and live a better life by far

better than we are
and live a better life by far

Brian the chimney sweep caressed the wheel to navigate the 1033
sole artery of hope since the railway died in ‘64
his double decker congealed red blessed bearer of fleeing ideals
drove roads paved not with gold but with entropy
carrying comprehensive experiments and BP Chemical retirement celebrants
with Tony and I toward the Trog Bar and Georgian

if we could change what has been
concede that our regrets are part of history
that teaches mistakes can be redeemed
and that indeed we could be
better than we are
better than we were
and live a better life by far

better than we are
and live a better life by far
better than we were
and live a better life by far
Track Name: Conversations
conversations overheard
tongues dancing as they twist
exciting the air
with their mundane rhetoric
day to day communiques
repeating each speech they heard

but the coffee tastes so good today
the coffee tastes so good today

flavoured with exotic
accents and well-rehearsed
choreographies
confusing silence
recently demure and regal
with toxic noise

but the coffee tastes so good today
the coffee tastes so good today

understandings reached
or sometimes missed
settling for less
happy at cross purpose
inwardly self-absorbed
craving absolution
for more than they confess
craving absolution
for more than they confess
absolution for more than they confess

but the coffee tastes so good today
the coffee tastes so good today

but the coffee tastes so good today
the coffee tastes so good today
Track Name: Those Simple Things
your silence is of meadow-bells
of moss and stone
rhythms with no fanfare
lest the spell is lost
before it’s spoken
fragile as a secret shared
passed between us
mend the broken

it seems to be
those simple things mean
much more
now you’re here

and like the space between the stars
there is everything within you
held there gently
as we touch and laugh
without need of words
our fingertips are dancing

and it seems to be
those simple things mean
much more
when you’re here

i am holding my breath
Track Name: Unreal (The Happy Bunny & A Giddy Kipper)
she wears a smile when she comes
a smile when she goes
in between she bears my company with kindness
and she’ll smile when she leaves
as she smiled as she arrived
for now
she stays awhile comfortably in the moment and says

i don’t like living in the real world
i escape and come to you
i can’t find my silence in the pale world
quietly i come to you
here I can be unreal as the truth

stocking feet pitter-pattering on carpeted staircase
in time we shall be brilliant
make the sunrise just for us
later sleeping on the sofa with the kittens and their dreams
she whispers without waking
her face hidden in her sleeve

i don’t like living in the real world
i escape and come to you
i can’t find my silence in the pale world
quietly i come to you
here I can be unreal as the truth

she has seven types of coffee
and a thousand books piled high
in her temple to the literate without hesitation writes
owls don’t have thumbs or jobs nor wonder why
nothing becomes everything
in the instant she decides

i don’t like living in the real world
i escape and come to you
i can’t find my silence in the pale world
quietly i come to you
here I can be unreal as the truth

i don’t like living in the real world
i escape and come to you
i can’t find my silence in the pale world
quietly i come to you
here I can be unreal as the truth
Track Name: Lightning Shoals
in eighteen hundred and fifty four
a clipper-rigged ship was the Lightening born
Boston built by Donald McKay
last great American tall ship sailed

for gold rush trade on the Liverpool tide
for James Baines owner of the Black Ball Line
carrying emigrant and mining tools
Australia bound with one hundred crew

and yo, ho under she’ll go
down go down in the Lightning Shoals
and yo, ho under she’ll go
four fathoms down in the Lightning Shoals

Bully Forbes two pistols drew
on the break of the poop to prevent his crew
beseeching him to shorten sail
“hell or Melbourne, come what may”

Captain Forbes mercilessly
drove the lee rail under the sea
fastest journey under sail
Melbourne - Liverpool sixty five days

and yo, ho under she’ll go
down go down in the Lightning Shoals
and yo, ho under she’ll go
four fathoms down in the Lightning Shoals

in eighteen hundred and sixty nine
the Lightening clipper of the Black Ball Line
loading copper and tallow and wine
and a thousand tons of wool caught fire

the blaze aboard was fought in vain
at Geelong Port in Cario Bay
so towed three hundred yards offshore
canon brought to sink her roared

and yo, ho under she’ll go
down go down in the Lightning Shoals
and yo, ho under she’ll go
four fathoms down in the Lightning Shoals

none struck below her waterline
but holed her side to fuel the fire
at four o’clock in the afternoon
boarded and scuttled by a few brave crew

as canvas sank with hempen line
the days of graceful tall ships died
without adventurous reckless speed
came the mechanical age of steam
that filthy age of steam

and yo, ho under she’ll go
down go down in the Lightning Shoals
and yo, ho under she’ll go
four fathoms down in the Lightning Shoals

and yo, ho under she’ll go
down go down in the Lightning Shoals
and yo, ho under she’ll go
four fathoms down in the Lightning Shoals

and yo, ho under she’ll go
down go down in the Lightning Shoals
and yo, ho under she’ll go
four fathoms down in the Lightning Shoals

in the Lightning Shoals
Track Name: Thought Crimes
what’s easy for you
may not be for me
it’s a tough time to think if you won’t concede
that armed with clichés
and saccharine bluffs
the greedy believe you can’t steal too much

thought crimes happen sometimes
don’t show it in your face
they won’t hesitate
thought crimes imprison your mind
if you've made yours up
well then it’s going to get rough for you
who knows what they’re going to do
thought crimes or freedom
you choose

do you solely own
those notions in your head
are you able to speak without fear or dread
wondering if the feelers of the leaders
of the free world
are listening for deviants and sharpening swords

thought crimes happen sometimes
don’t show it in your face
they won’t hesitate
thought crimes imprison your mind
if you've made yours up
well then it’s going to get rough for you
who knows what they’re going to do
thought crimes or freedom
you choose

these things which we keep secret
are the jewels we must scatter
underneath the feet of fools forever facing back
toward their blood line of privilege
these inbred braggarts
swagger as they choke our world to death

thought crimes happen sometimes
don’t show it in your face
they won’t hesitate
thought crimes imprison your mind
if you've made yours up
well then it’s going to get rough for you
who knows what they’re going to do
thought crimes or freedom
you choose

thought crimes or freedom
you choose
Track Name: The Carousel Begins
just when you think you know yourself
the world, dizzy, spins on a moment
takes your breath away
forgets yesterday

and when you least expect it
feelings that you’d left behind
locked doors inside your head
slip out from under them
lead us hand in hand instead

to where the carousel is waiting
standing silent now and stilled
the carousel is waiting
to lift and carry us on gilded manes
horses carved from heartwood
painted colours and flame
turning in circles of freewill
the carousel begins
turning in circles of freewill
the carousel begins
turning in circles of freewill
Track Name: Night Fishing
a stillness touched his cheek caressing gently and discrete
untroubled by devotion
as quietening rhythms of the moon pulled the fathoms fro and to
with siren’s charm’s seduction

yet the business of their consort isn't wishing
for more than he can catch night fishing
night fishing

the words that he had found to say were lost between the interplay
of light upon the water
those countless laughing eyes of sprites’ undinal starry guise
were beckoning like daughters

yet the business of their consort isn't wishing
for more than he can catch night fishing
night fishing

sweet songs from hidden shores echo their eternal calls
voracious the compulsion
of lullabies’ enchantment which the heart of man too rare resists
a hunger of corruption

when wonder turns to terror in the deep
whose beautiful confusions
tease with sensual delusion

yet the business of their consort isn't wishing
for more than he can catch night fishing
night fishing

an instant stretches to the stars who witness the crescendo calm
as fate fractures the deceiving
“the quality of this man’s love far outweighs snares of tumescent rush”
thus judged the unsated nymphs flee screaming

yet the business of their consort isn't wishing
for more than he can catch night fishing
night fishing

night fishing
night fishing
Track Name: Hither & Thither
hither and thither
from one to the other
invisible rhythms suspending deceits
deceiving the eye
with sleight of wing tricks
and mocking the sky

hither and thither
from nectar to egg
hither and thither
and to feathers again
the Burlington hummingbird
quickens and bickers
then flickers
indignantly blurs
hummingbird

a child of the new world
falls fastest for love
the smallest of birds captures the sun
to weave its cracked colours
into frocks of fragile gems
talisman the Aztec held

hither and thither
from nectar to egg
hither and thither
and to feathers again
the Burlington hummingbird
quickens and bickers
then flickers
indignantly blurs
hummingbird

leaving Ontario and all that winter brings
a migrant in Mexico
returning in the spring
remembering the garden
and the scented tended flowers
home sweet home
home sweet home

hither and thither
from nectar to egg
hither and thither
and to feathers again
the Burlington hummingbird
quickens and bickers
then flickers
indignantly blurs

the Burlington hummingbird
quickens and bickers
then flickers
indignantly blurs
Track Name: This Dreaming Land
as starlings cleave fantastical
feathered acrobatical
murmurating magic in the twilight air
endless combinations
of patterns weaving gathering
welcoming iridescent brethren there

at the ending of day
just fading away
they’re settling
waiting for dawn’s return and then
begin renewed again

adventures re-experienced
over fractal fields and hedgerows
in language born of graceful diving dance
whose music draws the stragglers in
communes an understanding
to extend familial welcome of this
dreaming land

at the ending of day
just fading away
they’re settling
waiting for dawn’s return and then
begin renewed again

their descent swiftly consensual
comes suddenly, ephemeral
it’s indistinct conclusion lost in dimming light
the wing-song becomes chattering
diminishing as feathers fluffed
the roosted congregation greet
the nurturing night

at the ending of day
just fading away
they’re settling
waiting for dawn’s return and then
begin renewed again

as starlings cleave fantastical
feathered acrobatical
murmurating magic in the twilight air
Track Name: The Asylum
i’m going around the bend
taking everything i know
i’m going to make new friends
with holes in their souls

i’ll be hidden behind the trees
the institution’s bedlam
degraded and demeaned
for the visions that i tell them

for your protection and the silence of my screams
this country is giving me to the asylum
to the asylum

i’ll stand straight and proud
unrepentant i’ll defy
these bullies without doubt
bloody butchers of the mind

i celebrate my tocsins
and the remedy
to desecrate their doctrines
of broken amnesty

for your protection and the silence of my screams
this country is giving me to the asylum
to the asylum

those wicked words i uttered
ushered in denouncing fists
with righteous hurly burly
lending weight to pious writ

expunging songs i made
of defiant angry sound
hastening my mouldering
in unconsecrated ground

for your protection and the silence of my screams
this country is giving me to the asylum
to the asylum