Lyrics

The Cactus and the Dragon

Why d'you Treat me this Way

You expect me always to be there for you
but not to care about the things that you do
you keep asking me to leave, then begging me to stay
why d'you treat me this way?

You like to run around town
but you don't like it when I fool around
you want to make up all the rules to the games that you play
why d'you treat me this way?

You say it won't happen again
again and again and again
you say you want to make it straight but you keep going astray
why d'you treat me this way?

Haunted Feeling

I've got a haunted feeling that I took a wrong turn
hanging in the air like the chords to an unfinished song
but I know that you're right for me
even if everything else comes tumbling down

Chasing after my life like a ball thrown down a hill
carrying a tray of glasses that I'm trying not to spill
but I know you'll help me pick up the pieces
even if there is nobody else who will

letters lie accusing and unopened in a pile on the floor
life gets so confusing, I don't know where I'm going anymore
my mind feels like a cell, but at least I can always tell
you'll come and open the door

being pulled in all directions at once like a man on the rack
reaching out for things that are gone and they won't come back
feels like I'm going off the rails, but I know that you never fail
to put me back on the tracks

Floodgates

The first grey hints of dawn have started creeping down the wall
or maybe that's just my wishful thinking
hoping that the light will chase away another night
full of trying to fight the feeling that I'm sinking

and it seems all the time that I'm slipping behind
Like a swimmer against the tide
but the tide's going to turn and on my return
we'll open the floodgates wide

neon signs behind my eyes are flashing dirty little lies
that leave doubts to do battle with my reason
and no matter how I try the paranoia multiplies
that I'm surrounded by conspiracy and treason

and it seems all the time that I'm slipping behind
Like a swimmer against the tide
but the tide's going to turn and on my return
we'll open the floodgates wide

and I start to slip into the arms of sleep
and slowly drift away
into a sea of faces with sirens' voices
begging me to stay
and the current's strong as we're dragged along
but the jagged rocks slip past
and the waters calm as a gentle hand
unties me from the mast

so I'll start a new day on the crest of a wave
feeling like time's on my side
I'm going to let go and get back in the flow
and open the floodgates wide

Another Falling Star

telephone keeps ringing
can’t help wondering where you are
sitting in the corner
another town, another bar
I’ve covered many miles of late
but I ain’t got very far
feels like I’ve been chasing
yet another falling star

this old road keeps taking me away
from where I want to be
I don’t mind if you’re with someone else
I just wish you were with me
I wish you were with me

and if there is somebody
who’s holding you tonight
I hope that he’s not cruel to you
I hope he treats you right
but I’ve been going kind of crazy
ever since we’ve been apart
I hope there’s still a place for me
somewhere inside your heart

but this old road keeps taking me away
from where I want to be
I don’t mind if you’re with someone else
I just wish you were with me
I wish you were with me

Footsteps on the Stairs

I hear the familiar splash
of the whisky falling into my glass
someone shouting in the street outside
from time to time a car goes by

there's music drifting through the wall
a dog barking in the hall
and the world keeps spinning round
the clock's ticking seems so loud

and now the bottle's almost empty
the candle flickers, there's a chill in the air
just sitting here, listening for your
footsteps on the stairs

Middle Lane Driver

Don't go too fast, don't go too slow
It's a crazy world, you never know
what's waiting for you round the bend
but you're going to get there in the end
by driving down the middle lane of life

in the inside lane you might get stuck
in between those scary trucks
and the fast lane you would never dare
you'd have to be crazy to go out there
so you're driving down the middle lane of life

you've got the wife, the kids, the car
and on Friday nights the same old bar
when you left home you didn't go far
or try to reach for some distant star
and you try to behave like they say you should
a steady job, the prospects good
and you wouldn't change even if you could
you're a pillar of the neighbourhood

the speed limit you would never break
and you wouldn't even dream to take
along a hitcher for the ride
as you're being overtaken on either side
while you're driving down the middle lane of life

so you listen to “Sussudio”
on your fancy stereo
and think of all the things that you never tried
and you hate everyone as they pass you by
as you're driving down the middle lane of life
wishing you weren't going home to your wife
for more television, bitterness and strife
that makes you want to take the kitchen knife
and stop driving down the middle lane of life

Once you Start Running

You're always waiting for that knock on the door
There doesn't seem to be any way
of going back to how it was before

Once you start running
it gets so hard to stop
you have to keep one step ahead
until one day it all catches up

It got too hard to stay in town
but as soon as you get to another place
all the same scenes start going down

Once you start running
it gets so hard to stop
you have to keep one step ahead
until one day it all catches up

It's hard to know what there is to do
when you realise that what you're running from
is sitting there inside of you

Once you start running
it gets so hard to stop
you have to keep one step ahead
until one day it all catches up

Something New

It seems it's been a long time
I've been singing to nobody but the wind
that blows through empty places
waiting for the story to begin
and the familiar faces
saying all the things they said before
but something tells me
that there must be something more

I had a feeling when I woke up today
that something new is going to come my way

I've been running round in circles
trying to shake that sick old shadow chasing me
and searching round the world
for things that are already plain to see
and the rainbow's end
reflected in the bottom of my glass
which I keep reaching for
is just beyond my grasp

I had a feeling when I woke up today
that something new is going to come my way

Sweet Taste

I remember a time that seems so far behind
when love gave me such a sweet taste
I don't know where it went, was it squandered or spent
or did it just blow away on the wind
but now I look back at how I went off the track
and I can feel the despair closing in
but I know it will pass as I drain the next glass
and lose myself in one more pretty face

I leave on my own and I make my way home
and the road seems so hard on my feet
and God only knows all the things I let go
without ever counting the cost
there are visions that haunt me and memories that taunt me
looking back on the paths that I crossed
and I feel one more day go slipping away
like the cars that pass by on the street

Firelight Fantasy

I wish there was someone I could write this song for
some sort of angel that I could long for
someone who'd make me want to sing
and sit there hoping for the phone to ring

my heart would race as I'd hear her speak
or see her walking down the street
catch her eye in a lingering glance
or pluck up the courage to ask her to dance

and we'd both feel like we hadn't a care
as we walked home laughing in the cool night air
we could talk for hours by the firelight
as we watched the flames I could hold her tight

and in the morning we could watch the dawn
and this fantasy could go on and on
but I'm sad to say
It's just a song

World Spins Round

I'm going to write this song for you
because I know you liked the tune
I haven't seen you for a long time now
and I don't expect to soon
I'm sitting here with an ice cold beer
on a lazy afternoon
with the early summer sunshine spreading
slowly round the room

ain't it funny how the world spins round
and every now and then
it's all shaken up and settles down
then it all starts up again

I remember in a dream one time
you turned and waved goodbye
I still clearly see you standing there
with laughter in your eyes
now you live five hundred miles away
might as well be ten light years
because it seems a thousand lives ago
that you were living here

ain't it funny how the world spins round
and every now and then
it's all shaken up and settles down
then it all starts up again

The Cactus and the Dragon

The cactus and the dragon
and the jug upon the shelf
and the salamander climbing up
the wall just like myself

and the plants are turning yellow
and the fridge begins to scream
and the robot's laughing at me
telling me it's not a dream

and the bottles stand like pawns
on the board in front of me
as I'm sitting trying to figure
what the next move ought to be

there's a silence full of noises
that crowd around my head
and there's demons in the bedroom
and ghosts above the bed

now the stranger in the mirror
doesn't want to meet my eye
as clouds of dark foreboding
start to gather in the sky

there's a bag of broken words
spilt like marbles on the floor
and a world outside the window
about to burst in through the door

the cactus and the dragon
and the darkness in the hall
and the pages slowly turning
in the book upon the wall

now the fridge is turning yellow
and the plants begin to scream
and they're all laughing at me
and I know it's not a dream

 

The Devil on the Stairs

Slip Through my Hands

sometimes you can’t quite see
what you have until you’ve thrown it away
I poured my days away like so many grains of sand
and I let you slip through my hands

somewhere we got lost
we got our signals crossed
and just like the snow that melts back into the land
I let you slip through my hands

the last light fades away
on yet another winter’s day
and my mind takes me back to where it all began
and how I let you slip through my hands

now as I watch your tears
rolling back the years
one thing that I will never understand
is how I let you slip through my hands

 

On the Road that Brought me Here

I’ve been meaning to write to you
I know that’s nothing new
I was never the best correspondent
come to mention it, though, neither were you

but sometimes it just gets so hard
to make sense of it all
if I knew where you were living now
then maybe I would give you a call

it seems like it’s been far too long
since we shared a bottle of wine
and talked until the morning
about what was on our minds
you’ve seen all my changes
and I’ve watched all of yours
we took so many steps together
on the road that brought me here

and I remember all the journeys
hitching lifts and jumping trains
or sheltering in doorways
trying to keep out of the rain

you can’t live like that forever
t least I don’t plan to try
but I can’t help feeling restless
when the sun is shining and I see the cars go by

it seems like it’s been far too long
since we shared a bottle of wine
and talked until the morning
about what was on our minds
you’ve seen all my changes
and I’ve watched all of yours
we took so many steps together
on the road that brought me here

Another Place, Another Face

another place, another face to haunt my dreams
everything is different, but nothing changes it seems
streetlights stare into the darkened room
silence duels with the guitar, dawn will be breaking soon
breaking soon

last rays of summer, lying in the long grass
look down from the mountain, watching the time pass
watching the time pass

I hear a voice and in my mind’s eye I see a smile
chasing shadows, playing Canute just for a while
just for a while

Drowning

everybody tells me what goes up must come down
it’s a shame it doesn’t seem to work the other way around
I feel myself sinking, try to shout but there’s no sound
if I don’t get some air soon, I think I’m going to drown

I just keep on swimming, but I never reach the other side
just try to keep myself afloat until a change of tide
get my head above the water every now and then
but before I can draw a breath, the waves crash down again

help me I’m drowning, the water’s closing over me
help me, I’m drowning, and I’m drifting out to sea
help me, I’m drowning, the waves are crashing over me
help me, I’m drowning, won’t you come and rescue me

everybody tells me what goes up must come down
it’s just a shame it doesn’t seem to work the other way around
I feel myself sinking, try to shout but there’s no sound
if I don’t get some air soon, I think I’m going to drown

help me I’m drowning, the water’s closing over me
help me, I’m drowning, and I’m drifting out to sea
help me, I’m drowning, the waves are crashing over me
help me, I’m drowning, won’t you come and rescue me

Kaleidoscope

you see everything so clearly when you’re falling through the air
wondering if anyone will catch you, wondering if anyone will care
a kaleidoscope of faces spinning through my mind
a scattered trail of broken pieces of what I have left behind

there’s no point in feeling bitter
or regretting what’s been done
don’t stand in the shadows
if you want to feel the sun

the future’s stretching out before us like an empty page
this is not the time to sit around and build ourselves a cage
things that had been standing still start to move at last
I was looking through a window, now I’m stepping through the glass

there’s no point in feeling bitter
or regretting what’s been done
don’t stand in the shadows
if you want to feel the sun

I was lost and found, tied and bound
but now I’ve been set free
and thanks to you for cutting through
the bonds that were holding me

there’s no point in feeling bitter
or regretting what’s been done
don’t stand in the shadows
if you want to feel the sun

4' in the morning

well it’s 4 o’clock in the morning
and I still can’t get to sleep
I left my mind in a whisky bottle
some time last week

my poor brain is exploding
it’s getting beyond a joke
it’s too confusing
I think I need a smoke

snatches of conversation
running round my brain
too many questions
they’re driving me insane

going round in circles
where will it all end
back to the beginning
it’s time to start again

The Devil on the Stairs

I see your face as you watched me
through the window of the train
as it slowly pulled away and left me standing
and I walked home in the rain
and I see your smile
and the sadness and the laughter in your eyes

we walked down by the ocean
and watched the colours of the sunset fade
let our thoughts drift on the evening breeze
and mingle with the crashing of the waves
then you jumped over the fire
to chase all our troubles far away

but then a shadow came across your face
like a storm that had just blown in from the sea
it seemed like you could see forever
and forever was looking pretty bleak
and the moonlight was reflected
in the tear that was running down your cheek

you were running through the darkness
and waking up crying in your sleep
and you found you’d lost so many things
you realised you wanted to keep
there’s something in this city
that seems to drag some people in too deep

and I can picture a little girl
in a red dress in a doorway standing there
rushing through the darkness
that is full of things that lurk and make you scared
trying to reach her bedroom
before she meets the devil on the stairs

now you’re picking up the pieces
in another city far away from here
and that old devil’s still around
creeping in the darkness of your fears
but he ain’t going to touch you
if you turn around you’ll make him disappear

Hands of a Clock

I’m going round in circles
like the hands of a clock
whenever one door opens
another one is locked
when I think I’ve found a ladder
I find I’m sliding down a snake
I think I’m walking on the water until the ice begins to break

and everything is inside out
back to front and upside down
I’ve been falling for so long
I guess I must have hit the ground

when everything is perfect
there’s always something that’s not quite right
when I get up in the morning
it’s the middle of the night
for each bridge I get over
there are two more to be crossed
when I find what I was looking for
then something else is lost

and everything is inside out
back to front and upside down
I’ve been falling for so long
I guess I must have hit the ground

and whenever I improve things
I just seem to make them worse
when I think I’m going forwards
it’s just the world going in reverse
when I think I see the future
I find I’ve slipped into the past
when I think I’ve found the answer
I’ve forgotten what I asked

and everything is inside out
back to front and upside down
I’ve been falling for so long
I guess I must have hit the ground

Don't Want to Hear you Laugh

I saw your picture the other day
it brought you back into my mind
and I thought about the times that I spent with you
not so far behind
how we parted one summer morning
left everything up in the air
how I got on a bus, watched you walking away
and we pretended that we didn’t care

but I don’t want to hear you laugh
and I don’t want to see you smile
and I don’t want to see the light in your eyes
for a little while

now you’re with somebody else
so am I from time to time
and some day it’ll be just another memory
of somewhere along the line
and I wish you all the best
you couldn’t make a better choice
but I’m glad I’m far away from the place where you are
and the sound of your voice

because I don’t want to hear you laugh
and I don’t want to see you smile
and I don’t want to see the light in your eyes
for a little while

I hope that you don’t take offence
at what I’m saying in this song
and I don’t suppose I’ll keep feeling this way
for all that long
and I’ll see you again some day
when all this has slipped into the past
and we’ll laugh and we’ll sing and get drunk and fall down
when a little more time has past

but I don’t want to hear you laugh
and I don’t want to see you smile
and I don’t want to see the light in your eyes
for a little while

Night Train

I’ll take a night train to the border
I’m gonna sleep until the dawn
I’ll take a night train to the border
I’m gonna sleep until the dawn
you’re gonna wake up in the morning
and you’re gonna find out that I’m gone

I’ll take a night train to the border
when the sky is inky black
I’ll take a night train to the border
when the sky is inky black
as I hear those wheels a rolling
I don’t know if I’m ever coming back

I’ll take a night train to the border
I’m gonna hear those engines roar
I’ll take a night train to the border
I’m gonna hear those engines roar
I’m gonna hear that whistle blowing
just like so many times before

When it's Over

the dark street is silent now
my footsteps are the only sound
I see a shadow, turn around
but there is no-one waiting there
I guess somehow I’ll find my way
and tomorrow brings another day
but the echoes of what slipped away
are still hanging in the air

but when it’s over
it’s time to let it go
and turn to face the space
that’s left behind
and all the memories
that melt away like snow
and leave no other trace
that you can find

and the morning sheds it’s cold, grey light
on the fragments of a sleepless night
and the scattered remnants of what might
have been but now is gone
and there are corners full of creeping doubts
and fears that keep on leaping out
and life slips by like a passing cloud
on a winter afternoon

but when it’s over
it’s time to let it go
and turn to face the space
that’s left behind
and all the memories
that melt away like snow
and leave no other trace
that you can find

Taking a Taxi (sweet surprise)

started drinking in the afternoon
and I was bouncing off the walls pretty soon
and before too long I didn’t give a shit at all
well the day went on and the bottles fell
where I was headed ain’t too hard to tell
but I didn’t think there’d be anyone to break my fall

you said, ”I’m taking a taxi,
it might be going your way
or we could go to my place
and maybe you’d like to stay
we could stop at the all-night garage
pick up a bottle on the way
and we can sleep or we can
talk the night away”

sometimes it seems too much to hope
that when you’re drowning, you’ll get thrown a rope
but when it happens, it’s such a sweet surprise
that night you took me by the hand
and led me back onto dry land
and I remember as I look into your eyes

how you said, ”I’m taking a taxi,
it might be going your way
or we could go to my place
and maybe you’d like to stay
we could stop at the all-night garage
pick up a bottle on the way
and we can sleep or we can
talk the night away

and now I’m sitting here on my own
musing on how the dice get thrown
and wondering when I’ll see you again
and a cold, sweet sadness fills the room
like the strains of a melancholy tune
and I get to thinking back to when

you said, ”I’m taking a taxi,
it might be going your way
or we could go to my place
and maybe you’d like to stay
we could stop at the all-night garage
pick up a bottle on the way
and we can sleep or we can
talk the night away



 
 

 

 




© 2009   Mark Mulholland