Peter Hammill - Patience 1983

  1. Labour Of Love
  2. Film Noir
  3. Just Good Friends
  4. Jeunesse D'oree
  5. Traintime
  6. Now More Than Ever
  7. Comfortable?
  8. Patient


    LABOUR OF LOVE

    You don't remember all the things I've done;
    You never catch the careful words I choose;
    Your present will not admit my patient efforts -
    It's a labour of love I offer to you.
    
    Unselfishness - does that hold the space between us?
    A helplessness, a nothing-left-to-prove?
    A silent more eloquent than any passion?
    ...It's a labour of love I offer to you...
    ...It's a gift of love.
    
    Take this hand and you will hold its stories;
    Beat, the heart, and find the tell-tale true;
    Take this gift: receipt will give it value -
    It's a labour of love I offer to you,
    It's a gift of love.

    FILM NOIR

    He casts himself as an adventurer,
    all foot on floor and hell for leather;
    She never told him what he meant to her-
    Perhaps that's for the better.
    She's never clearly seen dividing lines 
    between real life and parts she's chosen,
    confuses character and rising sign,
    sex and emotions.
    
    She waits in the caravan at the side of the set
    for the scene with her leading man 
    that he'll not forget...
    
    Things get crazy on location 
    and they had their little swing,
    only yesterday he told her 
    that it didn't mean a thing.
    
    Chorus:She's in love with the hero of the movie
    but she's lost herself on some dark trip;
    she's in love with being in the movie.
    Call for action!
    This is it:
    The method actress and the shooting script.
    
    So she waits in the caravan
    for the film's final scene
    and her love/hate for the action man
    will fill the silver screen....
    
    On the dresser is the pistol,
    in the chamber are the blanks,
    in her pocket are the bullets,
    with his name upon the shanks
    
    Chorus.

    JUST GOOD FRIENDS

    Drawing back the curtains, 
    sluggish city daylight in the afternoon...
    Here's that special silence, 
    just before you walk out of the hotel room.
    Each time we're so close I assume
    that we'll never be again - 
    oh, how long can we pretend
    that we're just good friends?
    
    A casual affair is all that you can spare
    from your emotional change;
    A calendar of meetings,
    strangers on the street
    the best we ever arrange.
    Now I just can't stand all the pain,
    all the constant make and mend;
    how long must we pretend
    that we're just good friends?
    
    I gave you my devotion,
    hiding nothing up my sleeve -
    If I walked clean out of your life
    would you even notice me leave?
    So much tangled-up emotion,
    should I stay or should I go?
    If I walked clean out of your life
    how long would it take you know?
    Are we such good friends?
    
    You used to say 'I love you',
    you used to say 'You make me
    feel alive and young';
    now we're just a habit, a flavour,
    one a month,
    to titillate your tongue.
    How sordid this has become
    as the means approach the end - 
    Oh, how long can we pretend
    that we're still good friends?

    JEUNESSE D'OREE

    The youth are voting with their feet -
    Such a shame that the dance-beat gets so complicated.
    Pretty, pretty it seems...
    On second glance, the look is overrated.
    In the lost-house there's a magic potion,
    timeless motion....
    Now and again now lasts forever;
    Jeuness d'oree gliding the lily of pleasure.
    
    The youth are voting with their clothes -
    Such a shame that the hip post is so calculated.
    Round and round it goes: how careless
    the rapture that's overstated.
    In the picture last devotion, waveless ocean -
    Time and again styles goes out of fashion
    Jeunesse d'oree taking the heat out of passion!
    
    Look at the kid with the golden touch,
    Check out the story expression;
    Look at the man with the golden arm
    and the sensational lesson.
    Follow-my-leader's a game we can play
    till we swallow the tail without thinking
    Catch the hook, tow the line - 
    never mind that we're sinking!
    
    The youth are voting themselves in...
    but the wheel takes a fresh spin
    and they find, tomorrow, 
    gaudy garments worn thin, all at best rent...
    and the worst are borrowed.
    Closing orders, fading nations, dissipation,
    time and again, time's unforgiving;
    Jeunesse d'oree gilding the lily of living
    Now and again, now lasts forever;
    Jeunesse d'oree gilding the lily of pleasure.
    ... Cut.

    TRAINTIME

    Along the track the wires are humming
    in bursts of code like far-off drums....
    Fathering the message:
    further up the line
    someone's shouting
    down the passage of time.
    
    The corridor restrains the window,
    no view without the eye within....
    bold upon the threshold
    but holding on the line
    we're shouting
    down the passage of time.
    
    Relatives speak on the phone, on the train,
    talking before they have thought to explain;
    Voices pitched wildly on tracks in the night
    can't pick the pace up -
    Oh let there be light!
    How light becomes the soul!
    
    You know yourself the centre of attention,
    You see yourself the locus of event...
    I'm sorry if it's painful quarrying the line,
    stage centre, shouting down the passage of time.
    
    The corridor retains it's shadows,
    it's secrets compartmentalised....
    damping down on ambience,
    damp the teeth and grind,
    shouting down the passage of time!
    
    What's there to see or make clear?
    What's there to know 
    when the voice is right here?
    What's there to promise or vow?
    What's to believe when the time is right now?
    Relatives spoke on the phone, on the train,
    talking before they had sought to retain;
    Voices projected, spears in mid-flight,
    frozen forever...
    Oh let there be light!

    NOW MORE THAN EVER

    Between coma and consciousness
    no hard and fast line,
    no chances to vote on the motioning eye...
    A mystical vision or a fall from grace,
    the chase in slow motion
    through alien space?
    I don't know what to make of the dream-time:
    It seems as though I'm me,
    but I'm now more than ever
    happening inside myself - I don't know
    whether I need anything else.
    
    Stored information or secretive clue,
    so much will fit the design....
    One field of life when free will
    won't cut through:
    The dream and the unconscious eye,
    in real time.
    
    We stand between waking
    and the breakness of sleep -
    the unconscious ocean,
    still waters run deep.
    We lay down all logic,
    all sense of control, suspend disbelief
    in the window of souls.
    I don't know what to make of the dream-time:
    It seems as though I'm me,
    But I'm now more than ever
    happening only in thought -
    I don't know whether
    any sense is caught.
    Stored information or secretive clue,
    so much will fit the design....
    One field of life where free will
    won't cut through:
    The dream disappears in the light.
    
    In the laboratory they're waking him up:
    The dreams on the lips
    but they swash the cup.
    A psycho-experiment, and there is no doubt -
    The dream's an experience
    I go crazy without....
    I don't know what to make of the dream-time:
    It seems as though I'm me,
    but I'm now more than ever
    happening inside my head...
    is this forever with the Ego dead?
    Stored information or secretive clue,
    so much will fit the design....
    One field of life where free will
    won't cut through:
    The dream and the unconscious eye
    in real time
    it's now more than ever.

    COMFORTABLE?

    She like to keep God out of church,
    especially when she prays:
    All in it's place all safely stored
    for some rogation day....
    The paradox is so apparent,
    the sense absurd, but all too real;
    The nonsense is arrant 
    but she just want to feel comfortable.
    
    A pound in the collection-box,
    a name-plate by the aisle;
    She always wears a heat,
    for he'll appreciates the style.
    Pays no attention to the sermon,
    Christ in himself has no appeal,
    the social custom is the turn-on
    and she just wants to feel comfortable.
    
    She doesn't want to know/here/see.
    Treading not on her illusions,
    I will not walk upon my own:
    We stand among the creature comforts -
    We're standing on the stockpiles of first stokes.
    
    We stand on the brink of the ultrapower,
    assume it's a proper place,
    view the living hour by hour
    in the first person singular case.
    On with the usual complacent wait
    for the mortal wound to heal.
    When the abyss is adjacent - 
    what right have we got to feel comfortable?
    
    On with the usual complacency,
    On with the customary zeal;
    She doesn't need to match a valency,
    she just wants to feel comfortable.
    
    It's her blindness and her blessing
    that the thought will not occur.
    That heaven, when it comes, might have
    no special place for her.
    She'll never look at the enigma,
    she doesn't want things quite that real.
    Oh, that's some kind of stigma -
    What right has she got to feel so comfortable?
    
    She doesn't want to think about it,
    she doesn't want to talk about it,
    She doesn't want to look at it:
    It makes her feel uncomfortable.

    PATIENT

    A system in the making
    self-healing for the blind,
    sitting in the waiting-room
    of the patient mind....
    Raging at the illness,
    when the rage may be it's cause.
    The purpose of the will is lost
    in the search for an escape clause,
    
    Fatal convalescence, the wound
    becomes a weal:
    the poison is in essence just 
    the virus of the real.
    But there's sympathetic healing,
    the power of the soul, bandages,
    concealing all that we can't control,
    
    Waiting for the doctor to come
    
    A system in the making,
    self healing for the blind,
    sitting in the waiting-room
    of the patient mind....
    But there isn't any answer
    the consciousness can't quote
    when the loaded dice of chance 
    are there rattling in the throat.
    
    Waiting for the doctor to come
    
    You put your faith in others -
    the fear could not be worse...
    But nature's not your mother now,
    ...just your suckling nurse
    And there isn't any doctor, 
    there isn't any cure -
    That might come as a shock to you,
    but can you really be so sure?
    
    can you really be so sure?
    


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