Blood Guitar and Other Tales, Lyrics




There's a young man we know, Daniel is his name

He's never low, He's always on his game

He lives nearby, On Gananoque Lake

A really nice guy, who isn't on the make



He stands up tall in the middle of the yard

And says 'Thank you, sir, for working me hard'

Good kid


He did his stint, in the army for a time

Hard as flint, thinks laziness a crime

He toils out back, earning his stake

You can't live slack, on Gananoque Lake




Well there's no other way, to be a man

But labour all day, like Gananoque Dan

Don't cheat or steal, or act like a crank

Put shoulder to wheel, and money in the bank




And now I think, of that other bunch

Who Occupy things, and want a free lunch

Yes, they could take a lesson and some

By Gananoque Lake where Daniel comes from.






I remember when I was a boy of sixteen

I'd lie in bed and hear the houseflies humming on the screen

And the sound was like a promise of the music still to come

When the song is in the string and the march is in the drum

So it goes


I dreamed I gathered up the flowers that the tempest shook

And pressed them in between the unread pages of my book

And I placed the book upon the shelf to find some other day

The story in the print and the scent in the bouquet

So it goes


I tossed and turned and woke to find that I was twenty five

I thought I would get up because the bride would soon arrive

Well I saw her from my window but I lost her in the crowd

There were drops on the pane there was thunder in the cloud

So it goes


Season followed season faster than I could keep up

So I lit a cigarette and filled my coffee cup

And began to hear the silence in between the tick and tock

Now I set the alarm but forget to wind the clock

So it goes


Even in my very house I've always been a guest

Whiled away the mornings never wanting to get dressed

And I know the hour is moving on and I have hills to climb

I'll just have another coffee and forget about the time

So it goes




I dreamed last night that we had gone to some island

Not the kind of place you find on the map

I said to you my dear, well, don't you fear visiting my land

Don't you be afraid to cross the gap



Come to me my little one

Stay with me till the deed is done

And then you'll find that you are part of my island


And in that dream you said that you'd be my woman

No matter how I played around and lied

And still I wondered if one day you'd say "This isn't so much fun.

Who's that man lying by my side?"




But now I know that when I dreamed of my island

And brought you there to be my captive bride

The time would come when you would finally understand

There are some dreams that you must live beside






Sometimes I wonder when you're sitting in your chair

What sort of thing you're mending

Sometimes I ask myself if you are really there

or if you're just pretending


I only know that time is ticking in the heart

The nights grow darker two by two

Let's make the most of it before we have to part

Oh how I loved you


Sometimes the coffee just grows colder on the sill

You know it's not improving

I can't help but wonder if I love you still

The minute hand keeps moving


I only know...


Sometimes I just can't figure what I've gone and done

It seems that I am driven

Let's take the shadow that accompanies the sun

We're all that we've been given


I only know




I didn't know that you were there

That time that I came up for air

When you went and saved me from my plight


I live to love you in the morning

I live to love you in the night


People say you've got one chance

And then you can forget romance

There's no such thing as love at second sight


I live to love you...


I never thought that it could be this way

You make me feel just like I've come into my prime

Doesn't matter if it's night or day

I live to love you all the time


Well, I sought a rhyme for bliss

Turned out to be your kiss

I never thought that love could put me right


I live to love you...



The sun comes up and does its stuff

Goes down soon enough

But still I'm feeling like I've seen the light


I live to love you...




Easy come, easy go, felt that way long ago

And it seems the time has come to sing another lay

And I look at her with speaking eyes, O lady, stay

Stay with me, Love sets you free


Some say that it's best, live for the day, forget the rest

And I know it's true they could be right and if they are

Well, I'd rather be a half-demented man by far

That's the key, Love sets you free


The same goes for my lady love: Who knows what she's thinking of

When she looks at me with speaking eyes and troubled gaze

Does she wonder if she's clear of mind or in a daze

Still we’ll see, love sets you free




Driving into Westport town, when the weather gets you down

Seamus Cowan says it's fine, playing music all the time

But when you look beneath the hood, you see it's not all good

For the music always tells you who you are

It's the blood guitar


Always too early or too late, waiting to recuperate

There's no reason now to brood, still you're in that funny mood

For when you look within your mind

Beware of what you'll find, and you never really need to look that far

To find the blood guitar


Seamus plays guitar and bass, he likes the music of the place

But I hear a darker sound, I hear it when I'm walking 'round

But why put on a bitter frown, here in Westport town

Yet there's nothing for it but the whiskey jar

To still the blood guitar


Here at the place they call The Cove, like birds all a-twitter in a grove

Singing country, blues and folk , and everyone tells a joke

But there's no way we can stem, the strains of the requiem

For every man must carry the scar

Of the blood guitar




Darling one, I wish that I could promise you the whole wide world

And see you smiling like a little girl

You know that I will always be somewhere

even if I'm not always there



But you were there when I was just a foolsh man

You were then when I was really no one

You were there when everything was only struggle, storm and strife

And now you're the love of my life


Darling one, I wish that I could make you finally understand

A poor man doesn't have that much to spend

But I will give you all of my savings

Listen to the way a poor man sings




Darling one, I wish that I could give you more than merely love

But I can only give you what I have

Love is only part of the bargain

But baby, I'll do what I can






What's the hurry, my friend,

I don't mean to condescend

Surely, you must discern

It’s the age of the Calendar page you turn—



You don't need to fly like the crow

It's time you let the world go

I'm talking to myself but I'm talking to you also

It's better to live by the flow

Of river time


Why are you running around

Don't you know where you're bound?

Ask yourself just how

You can bend a rigid agenda now




Living by the Rolodex

It's a straight line to Oedipus Rex

It's time to ricochet

For you can't write a poem

By the metronome, no way




Down here on Riverside Road

You find that you're breaking the code

You don't even know the date

It seems that I'm never on time, It's great






I would want her true

Before we even met

Before she ever knew

I'd be in her debt


I know she has a past

Just as we all do

But I resent the last

Man that she knew



I know it's unfair

And still it seems that I'm

Wishing she had been there

Knowing she was always mine

And living in the rose of time


No man owns his girl

Or what she used to be

She is her own world

Yet she belonged to me




Where all that love redeems

Is there at the start

When she was in my dreams

And I was in her heart






Who could have known

When you were alone

What the future held in store


You put your trust

In flecks of sacred dust

But you always needed more


You need never fear to be reviled

Even if you're just a child

As you spin your silver dreidel

And become a Jewish maidel

Girl, Come into my life


Who could have guessed

Once on your breast

There lay the sign of the cross


Nothing sufficed

But my brother Christ

Who helped repair your loss


Now it seems that this is something different

Another message has been sent

And so you rise up from the cradle

You've become a Jewish maidel

Girl, Come into my life




A charm don't count for much before an omen

A wind don't count for much before a wall

A man don't count for much before a woman

And pride don't count at all before a fall


You know I never wanted to offend her

And really I've done nothin' to regret

But she was there for someone to remember

And I was there for someone to forget



What is there to say when she is many miles away

Even if she's so close beside

And what is there to do, oh I must love her anyway

Even if I can't be where she hides


Well words don't count for much if she won't listen

I might as well be singin' to a stone

And maybe there is somethin' I am missin'

But a man don't count for much when he's alone




I'm singing of the princess of November

It's raining out and I am on my own

And I have got no comfort I can lend her

For a man don't count for much if he's alone






The first I knew, it was more or less a life ago, in the wilderness,

I was lost and I came upon her house

It was a bleak and dismal day

I thought I'd knock and ask my way

The door swung open: on the bed she lay


I'd never seen such a haggard crone, yellow skin and frozen bone

She said, welcome to our honeymoon

Come lie beside me on my bed

but if you don't I will strike you dead

I shut my eyes and did just as she said,


Then I remembered an ancient tale that love and kindness would avail

to turn a witch into a lovely girl

I kissed her mouth, I touched her breast

and waited for kindness to do the rest

She only laughed and said, let's get undressed


The next one was a haughty thing; I was the jester, she the queen

But I loved her big black limousine

The door would open I'd step inside

and then we'd go for a nice long ride

but was it love, that was never verified


I was her way of passing the time, with a joke and a song, and a riddle, a rhyme,

I was in her power and she was in her prime

The next one was a righteous child

who lived her life unreconciled

with everything that was violent and wild


She belonged to some moral sect governed by the intellect

She did not want desire but respect

She spread the banquet of the night

but wondered was it wrong or right

Oh tell me, what is ‘wrong’ and what is 'right'


The next one thought that she was it, the next possessed a lively wit,

the next was very sweet and intimate

And I left some and some left me

but it all remains a mystery

as if it all had happened by decree


and whether strange or orthodox, what secret lies behind their locks?

I torture every one but no one talks

And I cannot recall or guess

how many since in the wilderness

that day I met the ancient sorceress


But she was the mother of them all and every daughter dutiful

beneath the veil, underneath the shawl

and underneath the lovely skin

you find, where all the nights begin,

the bones of her ancient discipline


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