Album: How to Smile Upside Down  © 2020

1. Castaways

 

Castaways, are coming home

White sand on our lips

We’re coming home

 

Calling birds in Seagull Square

Hear the town clock strike the hour

Orange light, the rushing sky

Fairgrounds deckchairs, and goodbyes

Castaways - are coming home –

White sand on our lips

 

Carve her name in shifting sand

Harbingers are painting flowers

Seaweed wash along the shore

Upturned boats sleep on the floor

Castaways, are coming home –

White sand on our lips

Salt lines taint your kiss

 

Now this old town

Took my heart

I’m a castaway like you

 

We’re coming home

Cast, oh cast, oh castaway

She Comes and Goes

Wasting my day, I’m nine to five-ing

Wasting my life this way

I don’t want to be here,

Like something left behind

Lonely is a stranger,

Asleep within a mind

 

Going away how hard you made it

But going away is fine

So, if today you find her, tell her where I am

I might be a child tonight,

And she, might want the man

 

Cutting in line for the love she’s giving

Seeing her move away

And when she thinks I’m watching,

she slips inside her style

Cut’s loose from the promise,

She’s free for a while

There she goes

Then silence calls, as loud as a bell

Give your heart, love’s imploding

 

Ooh, she comes and goes

Ooh, she comes and goes

Ooh, she comes and goes

 

Upside Down

 

With my bag on my back but you are not packed

Time travels light on its own

When they call out my flight

on this warm southern night

I get up and stand right in line

Must a fool still wave goodbye

Smile forever but it’s kind of all

 

Upside-down, Upside Down, Upside Down

 

From Jackson to Maine then London again

The green apron lights pass me by

Through cloud base then home

where birds sound like phones

Hey, are you there, on your own?

 

Now it’s time to fly our red balloons

Chase them wildly through the night

 To get close we must let go

Smile forever but you know

It’s all upside down,

Upside down, upside down, upside down

Smile: The ballad of Dave & Jean

 

Smile, smile, smile, smile

 

Photo chrome don’t you lie

Butterfly in a sepia sky

The Waterfront and Chinatown

My camera stole your heart, took your soul

Open up that family book

Damn your fate but bless your luck

Every photographs’ a life

A shadow taken wings

 

Some win, some just feign

Innocence, we played that game

Kicking down the dead of night

One day this poor smile will hide away

Here you are at seventeen

Beautiful, the Harpers Queen

Every photograph’s a life

Just us growing up

 

Say hello, say goodbye

Stick around, ‘we could try’

Making money in our dreams

Don’t ask me where I’m going now, I’m going now

Cousin Jack and Uncle Jill

Witty pleats and little frills

Every photograph a life

That’s never clear enough

 

Photo chrome don’t you lie Butterfly in a sepia sky

 

Cloudless

 

Cloudless - I wanted it to rain

Cloudless – things will ever change  

 

All around the chosen there’s paint and wax

Circus clowns, animals - acrobats

Who cares if you are winning?

In the dark, I can see you grinning

Rising a foot off the floor

 

Cloudless - summer is here again

Cloudless- winter rearranged

 

So, climb upon my back, hold on tight

You don’t know what’s wrong or right

Who cares who is winning?

Our lives, they keep on spinning

Don’t let one of us fall

 

Middle

Hey preacher you sit can sit and sigh

But keep these harvest-moon’s passing by

I may not ever give you away

So, remember- remember

to look above you

It’s cloudless

Things will ever change

Cloudless

Things won’t stay the same

 

Coda:

Don’t you run, don’t you hide,

all the love you keep inside

It’s cloudless

Lie Right Here

At morning song you hold me

This blushing night

It fades so slowly

On silver bark

The frost lies still

For I don’t keep a score

We’ve played this game before

So I just want to lie right here

I just want to lie right here

In your arms

 

Still we laugh as we

Watch the stars and sea

Wave or drown?

They seem the same to me

Let’s kiss our time or fly

In the cradle of the night

 

So I just want to lie right here

I just want to lie right here

In your arms

       

Don’t know how, don’t know why

When I feel your heart

Beating next to mine

My my - I sense your doubt

Captured in a sigh

From a spinning palette of smiles

 

So, I just want to lie right here      

In your arms

The Girl at Charing Cross Station (Pax)

Seats are all taken

It’s Friday night

At Charing Cross Station

When I first catch sight of you

Standing alone

Am I dreaming?

A trick of the light?

Nothing’s changed,

You look the same

Then you slip away

The girl on the train looks like you

She’s looking back so I smile too

Though I hurt you—now I’m sated

Stop this war—kill the hatred

Slow and slow, slow and slow

Let’s go out tonight and sail out into the light

The girl on the train looks like you,

She’s looking back so I smile too

A thousand faces, this rain is burning

Run for cover, our platform’s turning

Slow and slow, slow and slow

Let’s go out tonight and step out into the light

God it’s such a pain—spending half our lives

Going round in circles, but we keep on running, Why?

Because you never know who you might find 

But which train are you on?

Which train are you on?

Which train are you on?

Walking Through Walls

 

In summer lines

Where fields of corn

Sway in sweet refrain

On city streets where lives have gone

Only savage hearts remain

 

Walking, keep walking, walking through walls

Walking, keep walking, walking through walls

 

Oh, you made the choice now feel the love

Press a life in thought

Come on, shout it loud

Still kneeled and bowed

But don’t you spill my blood

 

Walking, keep walking ...

No need to fight, or hold your hands high

Sweet December frost cannot fade our smiles

And I love this life why should I lie?

In my dreams there are …         

 

Still bright rows of anthems wave

In red, green white and blue

Come on, see them off - now blow a kiss

Safe, the moments truth

 

Walking, keep walking, walking through walls

Walking keep walking, walking through walls  

Saturday

 

Saturday,

The TVs on

They have taken some guy for ransom

So you had better pay

Or he’s got 24 hrs left to go

Before he gets—his-own-place—on-the-show

That they’ll make, that they’ll make

 

On Saturday they’re selling love in-a-box

With-a-ribbon

That you save

Four and you get yourself free

More and you get the TV

And reality, and reality

But when we walk between the raindrops

That fall on all our lives

The space between the raindrops

Is called paradise

So take me there, one more time

 

But the more I see you

The less I care

 

On Saturday, on Saturday, on Saturday

We turn the TV …

                            ***

Broke Promise Hill  Feb 2018

 

Night’s just a star less day

Under these vows

Ember frost clouds melt away

Coloured by doubt

 

You know that dreams change

They hang by a thread

Twisting and turning

Tangled in red

 

I’m calling out loud, calling out again

Calling out life as I walk

 

Into the light, that’s what we do?

Caught in the rain, holes in our shoes

Into this night, the sun is still

Fading right over

Broke Promise Hill, Broke Promise Hill

 

Hurting’s something

Both of us know

Badlands and compromise

And still get it wrong

 

So, I’m calling out, calling out calling out again

Don’t shoot me down, turn me round, start that lie again

 

Into the light, what can we do?

Caught in the rain, holes in our shoes

Into the night, this sun is still

Turning away from

Broke Promise Hill, Broke Promise Hill

'The Bellerton Canary (2018)

Men wear coal mascara
And a torch that parts their hair
Headstocks stand as gallows in the breeze
A young boy whistles  Bourrée  
In the Bowling Alley light
‘Cash only’ in the shops today

Come on out, don’t you break it, here’s to life – celebrate it

But still we dance together
There’s gold in those dark seams
The brazier fire of winter warms our hands

And down, underground,

A cage without a sound
As the Bellerton canary sings a round

Fifty ponies lie asleep in a meadow far below
Joe Ball’s ghost walks along that Lane
No coal  - now it’s gone
None to wash today
The Bellerton canary’s flown away

Chorus
Come on out, don’t you break it, here’s to life - celebrate it

 

 

 

Album: The Zen Kick  © 2012

 

1. Santa Fe  圣达菲                                                                               

One life, one heart and one love

Let’s start making it now

Moscow—let’s live a bit

Beijing—come on take care of it

London—for the rain and the snow

 

Santa Fe, I’m coming, Santa Fe, let’s hurry

Santa Fe, I’m coming back

In my heart and in my eyes for what it’s worth I could apologise

And you know I will fake it—home

 

New York—for the hell of it, Paris—for the fun of it

Maybe—we’ll come back here one day

Hohhot, get down in Baton Rouge, sure is, no cure for what you’ve got

Mosside, I’m away from you now

 

Santa Fe, I’m coming, Santa Fe, let’s hurry, Santa Fe, I’m coming back

In my heart and in my eyes, for what it’s worth I could apologise

But you know I will fake it

Home to Moscow, New York, Paris, London, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong

Shenzhen, oh and Shenzhen, yes Shenzhen

 

 

2. Mary’s Fate  玛丽的命运      

 

At first, we thought it was mist, sea-smoke, rolling in on a ball of luminosity. Briggs shouted to steer astern, his voice cracking with unease. I loosed the rope on the main-brace, watched as it slithered to the floor, alive as a snake.  Below, the sea eddied in menacing swirls, pulling Mary towards the edge. I knew we would soon be dreaming its secrets.

 

I swear the evil eye is looking         

Come on boys, on the blue, something is there, do you see it too?

Come on sweet child hush, don’t you go fussing

Sail to the lee, come on for Santa Maria, let’s get over

Something’s wrong and it’s coming on strong, it’s taking over

  

And I don’t want to lose all I have

Is New York, New York, New York and home but Mary’s going down

 

Briggs and the crew did not know what to do, she’s going over

Ship is ablaze in a skeleton haze

Mermaids sing in a boiling sea singing a song called, My Destiny

 

And I don’t want to lose all I have

Is New York, New York, New York and home but Mary’s going down

 

The Reaper smiles scythe in hand, saying lines I don’t understand.

Time-time-time, not much of it left now

Up goes the cry, ‘we’re all gonna die’

Water is rushing dead men high. Easy boys now, she’s going under.

 

*In November 1872, Captain Briggs sailed from New York Harbour on the ill-fated   ship, ‘The Mary Celeste.’ The crew of seven and Brigg’s wife and baby daughter were never seen again.


3. You Are  你 是

 

You are the sound of the night,

the first kiss I take at sunlight

A blush that excused itself then tiptoed away
That hungry embrace at the start of each day
That’s what you are, you are everything

You are the breaking bell sound, that smile when no-one’s around
The nights when I lay with you—when nobody cared
Switch off the light, let’s forget everything

That is what you are. You are everything

Life is as bright as a midnight Kowloon sky

So why can’t we get it right? Can we get it right?

It’s so easy, after all                                   

 

You are the mischievous clown, laughter made without sound 

Distance between then and now measured in pain

But give me a chance and I’d do it again
Because you are, yes you are, yes you are, you are everything to me

But when I looked for your love there was nothing

When I looked for your love there was nothing,

When I looked for your love there was nothing

Because you are nothing, yes you are nothing, yes you are

 

 

4. Dignity  尊 严

 

One life come on-come on- come on, make the best of it

One love, come on take the rest of it

One life one love one heart and your dignity,

Your dignity, is all that is left that I have

 

Take my coat, and take my hat

Take it all, it’s where your head’s at

Here take the money you have it all

But learn to walk because you've learned to crawl, crawl, crawl

Take my head and heart, one thing you can never have, my dignity

 

One love come on come on make the best of it …

 

It’s three in the morning, I’m all strung out

This time you left in no doubt

But I got your letters, I read them all, you’ve got to learn to walk

Because you have learned to crawl, crawl, crawl

 

*Three six nine the goose drank wine

The monkey chewed tobacco on a street called, Line

The line broke - the monkey got choked

They all went to heaven in a little rowboat*

Clap hands, it's what you think I'm here for, it’s what you think I’m here for

 

*(From the Clapping Song, Shirley Ellis 1965) 

 

5. The Zen Kick  禅 踢

 

Hold on—we’ll get closer

And I won’t lie—I thought I’d lost her

And though I tried, I could not say those words

Why, why? I still don’t know  

But now I’m lost and it's getting stronger 

 

All I want is you. All I want is you.

You are all I want, all I need,

If love is red then let me bleed —for all I want is you

 

Snow melts, like a lover’s promise

And a blackbird's song—fills the darkness

My angel’s arrived—she has come home

Now say you don’t need her, you, don’t need her

But it's a lie and you broke your promise

 

For all I want is you. All I want is you.

 

Do fish feel rain?  

Can you learn to dream in colour?

When I lose I gain —From the Zen Kick

And all I want is you, all I want is you

All I want is, all I need is you

If love is red then let me bleed, for all I want is you, all I want is you

 

6. Kerosene Stars  油灯星星     

 

Get your glass over here—get your glass over here

Get your glass over here let’s drink, till we fall

And I can tell that the moment’s arrived

Whatever took it so long?

Then we fall, come on let’s fall

 

And the moon will, and the sun will—and the stars will shine on

You, and your life

Come on smile, let me hold you for a while under those stars

 

Deep in your heart after midnight

Wolverines fight and brawl

Kerosene stars in the moonlight

Welcome the dusk and the dawn, then we fall, come on let’s fall

 

And I can tell that the moment’s arrived,

Whatever took it so long—then we fall, come on fall

And the stars will, and the moon will, and the sun will shine on your life

Let me hold you in my arms under those stars

 

Star light and star bright one hundred million strong

You know, I almost didn’t make tonight

But sometimes, yes sometimes, your star shines

Get your glass over here, get your glass over here, let’s drink till we fall

Everything feels alright with you

 

7. Umbrellas  伞         

 

Safe from the heat, safe from the wet

Only umbrellas would know

You gave me the shelter I am standing beneath

Watching your shadow implode

But as we stand in the rain just holding hands

I will try to explain, you’ll understand

We are divided by love, when the rain comes down

                      

And I’ve got me a stripe and a chequerboard too

A polka-dot strawberry-field,

Every umbrella that hangs on our wall

I’ve stood underneath holding you

But as we stand in the rain just holding hands, I’m gonna try to explain

We are divided by love when the rain comes down

And I’m gonna walk on by

 

I don’t even want to talk about it; don’t even know her name

Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, maybe you feel the …

 

We are gonna walk, gonna walk, come on walk on, baby walk on by

When the rain comes, when the rain comes down

When the rain comes down

 

 

8. This Bird  这只鸟

 

This bird still sings with broken wings

And he wants his song to go on

So if we can make this fly, he’s going to live some lie

Can a man and woman ever love?

 

So don’t let go, and I won’t let go

And don’t let go of me now

 

Oh, the joy, the pain of being that mistake again

And this world don’t make sense at all 

But these birds still sing with their broken wings

And they want their song to go on

 

So don’t let go and I won’t let go…..

 

We put our faith in healing – in hope, we weave our dreams

But when we get to our rainbows end

Life is never what is seems

No, it’s never what it seems–No it’s never what it seems

 

So don’t let go– I’m blown by a cheating wind,

And I won’t let go – until I’m back in your arms again

And don’t let go of me now, for what you hear

Is not how I feel, so take all you want of me now

 

9. Freeze Framed  定 格

 

Freeze-framed

By the traffic and the queues

Then she says, “tonight we’ll make the news”

And birds fly in circles like dreams do

Then slow dive — for they know

That we cannot hear, and cannot speak and cannot feel

But I wonder why it has to be this way, why it has to be this way

 

Freeze-framed

With our backs’ against the wall

Then she waves,

From the shadows of St Paul’s

And birds sing, on wires like birds do

They're calling, for they know

That we cannot hear, and we cannot speak and we cannot feel

But I wonder why it has to be this way, why it has to be this way

 

We’re going backwards now, we’re going backwards now,

We’re going backwards now, to where we started from

 

Were going backwards, backwards  now, we’re going backwards now

To where, oh where, oh where, where we started from

 

 

10. The Desert of Eden  伊甸园沙漠                                             

 

I said I would wait, in the Desert of Eden

Follow you down, cross the dust bowl of time

Bring me my knife

I will bleed just to please you

And bandage my heart

From your wedding gown

 

So in love, so in love, so in love I will drown

 

For show me a trick something to amuse me

Down by your tombstone I'll wait at sundown

That’s where 'Sick Eye’ the raven

Watched the ‘Wolf’ take the woman

Now he has found her

She has gone from this world

 

So in love…

 

So here comes the rain, the flood that will take me

Down by the Desert of Eden I will drown

 

So in love…

 

Driving in a big red car, driving me around she said

She’s driving in a big red car I think it’s gone right to her head

 

She drove along the freeway to Junction 21

In the distance, I just saw her as she drove into the sun

By Cloudy Ridge, I caught her

She turned and said, “you’re slow”

Then smiling fired the engine and turned up the radio

 

She’s a lone runner in a hot summer

I was sure of her now that car’s, that car’s got her

 

Driving in a big red car “It’s driving me around” she said

Driving in a big red car. I think it’s gone right to her head

It could have been a Buick maybe a DuPont

I could see her in the mirror as she pulled away in front

Filled the car with poison and the devil watched the rear

He pressed the pedal hard whenever I got near

 

She’s a lone runner, in a hot summer …

 

And I’m eight miles high

And I can’t fly, I’m coming down

I’m coming down mama

I’m coming down mama,  I’m coming down

 

 

 

 

11. Vanished (Like the Blue Tiger)    逝

 

Like a Blue Tiger caught by his tail

That caged bird waiting for May

And I don’t think I will see her again, no no

Like a Blue Tiger out on his own, waiting I’m hunting alone

And I don’t think I’m gonna see her again

 

Over the smoke and sea, behind the factories

Why must I always be forever waiting for that dream to pass by?

The dream both our lives just vanished

 

We took the Harty-Ferry,

It goes nowhere,

swear I won’t go there again

Not such an ordinary

Girl from a Medway town

When I got lost, and we all get lost, when I got lost, she got found

 

I’m a blue tiger caught by his tail,

That caged bird still waits for May

And I don’t think I’m gonna see her again

Like a Blue Tiger out on his own, waiting, I still hunt alone

Not sure if we will see him again

 

We took the Harty Ferry,

It went nowhere

Swear I won’t go there again

The Swale, the church, the people

were not what I wanted

But what I wanted wasn’t there

Ooh, if life could always be like this

 

12. Lucky Man  走运的人         

 

Some people say

That I have been a lucky man

I do not feel to be such

A lucky man

I’m spinning,

Wondering what I should do

Is this a phase, we are going through?

Or just a game and you play it to, you play it to

 

Although people claim

That I have been a lucky man

I did not choose to be such a lucky man

Because yesterday

Your skin was as warm as your smile

So how could that change?

What did we do?

Was it a phase?

And you feel it to,

did you feel it to?

 

Some people say that I am a lucky man

But if I’m a lucky man

How could I lose?

So why did I lose?

 

 

Players, Perpetrators and Problem Kids

 

Gary Hurlstone: guitars, vocals + Holy Fire pedal  www.garyhurlstone.com

Peter Scherr:  double and electric bass + guitar/moog synthesizer

Hugejiletu: horse-head fiddle, throat singing, mouth harp www.myspace.com/ajinaiband

Bob Mocarsky: piano/keyboard

Lao Tian: Chinese Di and Xiao flutes, saxophone

Jack Greminger: percussion

Robbin (The Dub Viking) Harris: percussion (tracks 2, 3, 6, 7, 8)

Zhuo Ma: vocal on the Zen Kick, recorded at her Tibet Fengqing Bar in Lhasa.

 

Peter Scherr: recording, mixing and creative inspiration

Production: Scherr/Hurlstone + Robbin Harris (Track 2 Mary’s Fate)

Recorded at: The Studio in Sai Kung, Hong-Kong   www.peterscherr.com/studio.htm

Mastering: Scott Hull, Masterdisc, Manhattan, New York

Lucia Chen: management, publicity and photography

 

Very special mentions to fellow Knives, Dasos Loizou (djembe), Jeevan Gill (tabla),  Tom Bird (bass), Lao Xie (djembe) and Zhou Feng Ling (guitar), for live performances in China.  Thanks so much guys.

 

 

                       Dedicated to Zen