Middle Distant One Lyrics

This page includes original lyrics written by Tinplate Tiger.

The rights of Tinplate Tiger to be identified as auhor of this content have been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this page may be reprinted or reporduced or used in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means whatsoever, without permission in writing from the author.

Contents

Middle Distant One
Never Quite Goes To Plan
Midsummer Moon
His One And Only Love
The Flames And The Flood
Familiar Stranger
Sand In A Bottle
I Dreamed I Was In A Prison
Trip Back In Time
Town Of A Thousand Messiahs

 

Middle Distant One

He was the middle distant one
Never quite made it as the prodigal son
Sometimes drops in but never stays long
When they start talking 'bout all he's done wrong

Gazing through the window at the blur between
His own reflection and the sun in the trees
He never told of the worlds he'd seen
Never quite sure what it all means

In the middle distance words start to form
Buzz in his skull like a hornet swarm
Conjured from some place neither here nor there
They melt away into thin air

He was the middle distant one
Never quite finished what he'd begun
Never quite knew when the feeling would come
He was the middle distant one

Dad hides in the spare room listening to jazz
Dreaming of a life he never had
Named his sons Oscar, Sonny and Bud
Behind the locked door you'd sometimes hear a dull thud

Oscar, the eldest, studied finance and law
Makes money like a stinkhorn spreads its spores
Got marble worktops and real wood floors
All the right connections to open up doors

Sonny, the youngest, no girl could deny
Lured in by his curls and those soft brown eyes
Cash in his pocket, sharp cars, slick shoes
A sweet way of asking that was hard to refuse

But bud was the middle distant one
Never quite made it as the prodigal son
Never quite finished what he'd begun
He was the middle, middle distant one

Mother's fist love rode a motorbike
Treated her so wrong, but it felt so right
She work one morning to find he'd escaped
Heard he ended up in a cult in the States

Oscar looked a little like motorbike man
Sonny came later, he was never planned
Bud was meant to make it all good
Shame his mind never worked quite like it should

Bud was the middle distant one
Never quite made it as the prodigal son
Never quite finished what he'd begun
He was the middle, middle distant one


Never Quite Goes To Plan

A creature of a thousand coloured spines
Reached deep into my dullard's mind
With paper wings unfurled, flew me to that other world
Where I lost track of time

Exploring cloudy drifting lands,
Pirate starships drowned in seas of blue sand
Can a made-up life exist? I should ask my analyst
Though I'm not sure she fully understands

She says some day the boy must turn into a man
So I look around for a safe place to land
But, oh, for heaven's sake, don't we all make mistakes
And life never quite goes to plan

She says, I don't know why you always have to laugh
When you talk about the troubles of your past
We all need an escape, but - in truth- the paths you take
Have led you nowhere fast

She says some day the boy must turn into a man
So I look around for a safe place to land
But, oh, for heaven's sake, don't we all make mistakes
And life never quite goes to plan

That creature is no more a friend of mine
Left on the shelf, become a musty shrine
Now I cannot bear to read, the pages crumble, the ink it bleeds
All that childish nonsense left behind

I know, I know, a boy must turn into a man
And I swear I am still looking for a kind place to land
But, oh, for heaven's sake, don't we all make mistakes
And life never quite goes to plan


Midsummer Moon

Walked the last mile home in the moon's cool light
Heard dogs howl and lovers moan in delight
The mothers held their children to the window to see
Why they couldn't sleep, why the room was so bright

A white light fell across the sea
The ghosts of old songs were whispered by the trees
The artist awoke from her dreams with a cry
The universe boiled behind her eyes

Colours burst like lava from the earth's core
Flowed in strange waves from her mind to the shore
As I walked through fields and woods to explore
White steel from the night's furnace poured

The midsummer moon spilled over the ground
As I moved in slow motion with no sound
Looked up to the stars and the earth fell down
And in the pale flood my senses drowned

In the grey distance demons loom
Blood churns in the witches' wombs
I flly through the mist back to my room
Lie with curtains tight shut to lock out the moon

And I dream of your flesh bathed in those soft rays
A love that pulsed in moonlit waves
In the secret hours between night and day
Beneath the warm blankets where we once lay

 

His one and only love

He passed away in a rented room
43a his threadbare tomb
Milk and papers lay for 9 days untouched

They searched around in the gloom
For some kind of reason, some kind of clue
But they nevr found that much

A tooth brush, unopened aftershave,
A couple of books; The Remains of the Day,
Great Expectations, a pack of playing cards

Beneath the bed an old biscuit tin
With a dented lid and a rusted hinge
And a stack of faded photographs

That wedding photo of his young bride
Must have cut him like a knife
She looked so pretty in her china white hat and gloves
She was the one who left him sad
She was the one who drove him mad
She was his one and only love


They say he kept himself to himself
Never had much time for anybody else
Seems he preferred his own company

He had that far away look in his eyes
As if life had just passed him by
Like his sails were always waiting for a breeze

He had few friends as far as anyone knew
And no one knew what he used to do
But he had a stash of money saved

Guess he had no one on whom to spend
Just lay there waiting for the pain to end
'Cause he'd lost the only woman he'd ever craved

That wedding photo of his young bride
Must have cut him like a knife
She looked so pretty in her china white hat and gloves
She was the one who left him sad
She was the one who drove him mad
She was his one and only love

 

The flames and the flood

I'm caught between the flames and the flood
The storm in my brain and the fire in my blood
A voice says stay another's telling me to run
But I've been sat here drinking ever since the day begun

You know how it is when the smoke get in your eyes
You can't get a single thought straight in your mind
And you're caught between the flames and the flood
With a storm in your brain and the fire in your blood

Whoa bartender I shouldn't drink no more
But I'm suck to this seat so you better grab that bottle and pour
Yea I see she's trouble, and I'm not too far from the door
But my head's gone numb, my feet are melted to the floor

That's how it is when the smoke get in your eyes
And the sea is ablaze and your ship's listing to one side
You got caught between the flames and the flood
With a storm in your brain and the fire in your blood

Stars like burning birds fly round my head
She drags me from the dark sea, lays me down on her bed
And I sink down into that fiery swell
As she rides the waves of the foaming carousel

That's how it is when the smoke get in your eyes
And the room you wake up in comes as a big surprise
Coz you were caught between the flames and the flood
With a storm in your brain and the fire in your blood

 

Familiar stranger

Walking home one morning in love and half asleep
Her kiss still warm on my face
I took a short cut through the woods, saw figures in the mist
As I approached the lake
Men with yellow coats and peaked caps
Collecting litter I though at first
Though it was barely daylight and later
The idea seemed quite absurd
One big black bin liner between them
The rope still hung there like a child's swing
The sound of walkie talkies drifted nearer
Drawing me in to where
Men in longer coats and hastily knotted ties
Stood and wiped sleep from their eyes
And somewhere between the trees
Though where I could not say
I sensed you watch me watching
Before we went our separate ways

The first time I saw you was on a news reel
Of kids running from tanks in Vietnam
I knew it weren't a movie though I was only three
Too young to really understand
I've seen you every day since in the papers on TV
Part famous film star, part deadly disease
Watched from a respectful distance, as you
Ploughed your path of least resistance

There was a boy I had no reason to fight
Punched me in the face not once but twice
Searched in my eyes for tears of humiliation
Saw only you dance there with indignation
A few weeks later, though I never asked you to
You paid him a visit as if on my behalf
Crept in one quiet afternoon
Offered his brother your calling card
Helped him find the key to the cabinet
Showed him how to load the gun
Others wept when they heard the news
I congratulated you on a job well done

Careering down the motorway
We join a procession of cars
Rubber-necking we slow
To catch a glimpse of our star
Sift through the charred carcass
The twisted metal and bone
Where blood boiled to ash and
Fell like black snow

And I wonder when you come knocking for me
Will I recognize you as I answer the door?
Utter those famous last words
“Hey mister, haven't I seen you some place before?”

 

Sand in a bottle

Storms lash the iron windows
Surge over blood black seas
Tear a brittle black branches
Claw the moon, at dawn always seize
Fragments of restless beauty
As Eden burns in my dreams
I catch the last bus through the mountains
All those peaks and ravines

I long to float down to the delta
The sea of tranquillity
Turn away from the fire's slow death
Melt into the shimmering screen

Wrestling the snakeskin wheel
At sleep's edge strive to dodge
The demon face pressed to the window
The charred rainbows of our jilted gods
I wonder who dreamed here before me
Who turned the worn lock of this room?
What chancers and whores have passed through these doors
To taste love's stale perfume?

I see all those stolen moments
Blurred waves of joy and pain
Tangled bodies still as corpses
Buried in night's shallow grave

For whom did the morning chime brightly?
Who skulked in the shadows of shame?
All adrift on this human ocean
With only ourselves to blame
At the flick of a switch life continues
We crawl from the senseless glue
Learn to pretend that we care like a friend
For some that small comfort will do

We are layers of sand in a bottle
The colours shaken and confused
To this messy grey dirt that we live with
Though in dreams we still see all the hues

 

I dreamed I was in a prison

I dreamed I was in a prison with carpets on the wall
I could not escape the endless maze of corridors
That led in crazy circles and ended in locked doors
I have the strangest feeling I've been here before

Maids come in starched uniforms
Like they're from some twenties hotel
The walls are plastered with a million petty rules
And that's what makes it hell
The prisoners here seem friendly enough
But they've got empty sockets for eyes
I climb up to the roof
But I still cannot see the sky

I blink awake, but the strange world is still here
Open and close my eyes, but this room won't disappear
And the door has no handle, there's no slot to slide a key
And I fear all this deja vu will be the death of me

We play surreal soccer matches in synthetic replica shirts
Shots scream in like in a dream, but the tackles always hurt
I retire injured to my room, flick on a TV show
But all that plays upon my screen are security videos

We line up in the hallway for a swig of clozapine
They look inside our heads to check our thoughts are clean
And if we do all they've said, we're rewarded with luxuries
But they turn away when I tell them, all I want is to be free

I blink awake, but the strange world is still here
Open and close my eyes, but this room won't disappear
The door has no handle, there's no slot to slide a key
And I fear all this deja vu will be the death of me

Monks in crimson habits file in from the church
The prisoners squawk their mantras like parrots on a perch
Muffled gunshots ring out, they're killing wild things up in the hills
While monsters roam the haunted wing, all rattling with pills

A lady in a smart coat visits
She looks like my mother-in-law
I don't know how she gets in
Maybe she can walk though walls
I can still see that she might be
The girl I once adored
And I can tell she don't really want
To visit me no more

I blink awake, but the strange world is still here
Open and close my eyes, but this room won't disappear
And the door has no handle, there's no slot to slide a key
And I fear all this deja vu will be the death of me

 

Trip back in time

I'm taking a trip to remind me of you
I'll visit all the places we once knew
Find traces of the things we used to do
In the windows of our old street I'll see you face peep through

I'm taking a trip back in time
To when this world was yours and mine
When the memories merge with what's left of our world
I'm gonna see ya, I'm gonna feel ya spill through my mind

I'll go see where the old cinema stood
That facade is all that's left of our neighbourhood
What was that film we saw? St Elmo's Fire?
I'll reach for your hand in the dark, fell that shiver of desire

I'm taking a trip back in time
To when this world was yours and mine
When the memories merge with what's left of our world
I'm gonna see ya, I'm gonna feel ya spill through my mind

I ain't so dumb as you would joke I was
I know I can't change space and time
But I can still listen to those old songs we loved
Wear that old sweater, re-read those letters, turn 'round and see you smile

I'll drive the car we used to drive
To that cafe, I won't go in, just park outside
I'll see you sat there and I will realise
How few chances we have, how fast time flies

On that journey, you'll be there beside me
And the road will be all ours, as far as we can see
I'll mourn all the times I spurned to tell you how I feel
Though it's just some lame fantasy, I've learned to make it real

I'm taking a trip back in time
To when this world was yours and mine
When the memories merge with what's left of our world
I'm gonna see ya, I'm gonna feel ya spill through my mind

Town of a thousand messiahs

This town has a thousand messiahs
Eating wraps stuffed with chicken and papaya
They got dusty boots and check shirts
And they're so painfully hip, man it hurts

All day the tradesmen drive vans around town
They're mostly white, some shades of rusty brown
I could buy the tools, but I've the hands of a fool
Anything I tried to build, would fall right down

Then there's them with silver tongues and fancy ties
Who peddle in hopes and fears and other lies
They're always on their phones, trying to sell some schmuck a loan
In their cold world only the mean survive

All I got is three chords, an old guitar
So I go knocking on the door of every bar
I can't afford a band, but I turn up cap in hand
Wherever the drunks and dreamers are

I wish I was a pilot leaving trails in the sky
Or I'd tend the land so the corn grew so high
Be a nurse who mends both bodies and mind
And helps folk like me leave their bad thoughts behind
I could be a detective and find a lost child
Be that teacher who keeps the shy ones inspired
A lawyer with the grit to show right from wrong
But I admit all I do is pick a few songs

Oh I see them hip messiahs everywhere
I'm jealous that I can't grow that long a beard
But the thing that really irks, is their quiffs and western shirts
'Cause their vinyl just don't match the clothes they wear