Peter Hammill - The Noise 1992

  1. A Kick To Kill The Kiss
  2. Like A Shot, The Entertainer
  3. The Noise
  4. Celebrity Kissing
  5. Where The Mouth Is
  6. The Great European Department Store
  7. Planet Coventry
  8. Primo On The Parapet


    A Kick to Kill the Kiss

    He'd like you to call him lucky,
    the original self-made man;
    no sense of wide-screen vision,
    no gender strangeness he can understand.
    
    Roll on the old, old story,
    you can call it original sin;
    yeh, stamp that one in his passport,
    paste it and colour it in.
    
    Colour in a history of pride and prejudice;
    what he wants is mystery, but what he gets is this:
    a kick to kill the kiss.
    
    Hey, he thinks it fair competition,
    somehow having and eating the cake
    when the women are in their bodies
    and the men are all over the place.
    
    What he wants is Paradise, of which he has no clue.
    What he wants: Oblivion. ("...Baby, all I want is you.")
    What he wants and what he needs are very different tricks....
    Got some strange philosophy through going for
    that dictionary tic
    and the kick of kiss-me-quick.
    
    A kick to kill the kiss
    and he says
    "Baby, all I want is you."

    Like a Shot, the Entertainer

    Like a shot from the barrel of a smoking gun, he's not;
    still he aims for adoration.
    On the spot where the kettle has been called black by the pot
    he awaits his true vocation.
    You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the street;
    what you got is the secret that he'd trade his soul to keep.
    Like a shot he will tell you all his stories -
    is that what entertains the entertainer?
    
    Like a shot of the elixir of youth your trade in stock,
    both a curse and a protection;
    like a shot, in like Flynn, he'll tie his tongue up in a knot
    to profess his true affection.
    You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the street;
    you're so hot that he turns to tango every time you meet.
    Like a shot he'll be thrown upon your mercy -
    is that what entertains the entertainer?
    
    Entertain the entertainer....
    
    Like a shot, like a paparazzo picture gone to pot
    his decay bears no reversal;
    on the rocks he will take his medicine straight
    but this is not, I repeat, not dress rehearsal.
    You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the street;
    X the spot where he hopes he'll always fall upon his feet.
    What a shock when he stumbles in the spotlight -
    is that what entertains the entertainer?
    
    Let's talk about something else; let's talk about us;
    let's talk about egocentricity; let's talk about keeping it up.
    
    You're so hot, eggs are frying where you walk upon the street;
    what you got is the secret that he'd trade his soul to keep.
    Like a shot he'll regale you with his stories -
    is that what entertains the entertainer?
    Like a shot he'll be thrown upon your mercy -
    is that what entertains the entertainer?
    What a shock when he stumbles in the spotlight -
    is that what entertains the entertainer?
    
    Let's talk about something else; let's talk about us;
    let's talk about egocentricity; let's talk about keeping it up.

    The Noise

    I loved the Noise,
    electric breath;
    Noise filled the emptiness,
    roared in the emptiness.
    
    A noise to strip the paper clean off the wall;
    a noise to crack the masonry like a breaking-ball;
    the cutting edge of sonic, the wave that never breaks
    and the heart and soul are pumping
    me awake, me awake, me awake.
    
    I loved the Noise;
    shake to the core;
    that's what the Noise is for.
    
    Nothing came of nothing except what was left behind
    in the barrage of the bombard, under organ grind.
    I'm caught there in the moment, bug-eyed overnight drive
    and the heart and soul are pumping
    me alive, me alive, me alive, me alive.
    
    And in the rush of silence with my arms
    wrapped round me warm
    I'm holding breath, impatient
    for the dark before the dawn....
    Just at the crack of daylight,
    that'll be the curtain torn,
    that'll be the ground in a forewarning murmur
    of the Noise, of the storm.
    
    I loved the Noise,
    electric breath,
    Noise filled the emptiness;
    I loved the Noise,
    I loved the heat -
    pump-pulse that priming beat.
    
    A statement of intention, an elemental plan -
    the Noise is in the temple, the Noise is out of hand;
    the needle on the end stop, crescendo in the choir...
    yes, and the heart and soul are pumping
    me on fire, me on fire, me on fire, me on fire.
    
    I loved the Noise,
    I've drunk my fill;
    the Noise is with me still.
    I loved the Noise
    though now it's gone
    some glorious echoes of the Noise still linger on.
    
    Power on.

    Celebrity Kissing

    Celebrity kissing, this has got to stop:
    yeh, they're swarming like flies,
    they're like bees around the honeypot.
    Celebrity kissing, will it never end?
    Well, you know and I know this is only pretence....
    
    You give it all you've got in radiance on the podium,
    manicured fingers grip the figurine.
    You taught us all you knew in missionary position;
    throw your arms around your latest scene,
    it could have been
    celebrity kissing... this has got to stop:
    yeh, they're swarming like flies,
    they're like bees around the honey;
    you were wonderful, darling, does it never end?
    Well, you know and I know this is only pretence.
    
    They saw you coming for a thousand miles,
    knew something wicked by the pricking of the thumbs;
    they can't believe this cheek you're turning is your better side;
    I think they preferred it when you acted young and dumb.
    
    So you take it to the limit,
    take it from the top,
    shake it till it's broken,
    does the penny never drop?
    
    Celebrity kissing, this has got to stop:
    yeh, they're swarming like flies,
    they're like bees around the honey.
    You were wonderful, darling, does it never end?
    Oh, you know and I know this is only pretence....
    
    Oh, look out. Oh, yeh, will the penny drop?
    Some kind of madness in characterization,
    some kind of method in your made-up face;
    you got your wake-up call, your open invitation,
    you get to party in the pagan place.
    
    This is only pretence.
    Cut and print, cut that kiss, cut....and print:
    this is only pretence.

    Where the Mouth Is

    Money where the mouth is, pennies on the eyes.
    Yeh, times are hard and you find that you're in trouble
    but it's hard to sympathize.
    You talk up quite a story, you blow the bubble well.
    Money where the mouth is, silver-tongue the sell.
    
    Put up or shut up.
    Cut price or cut-up.
    Put up or shut up.
    
    Money where the mouth is, will there be just desserts?
    White-collar crime - yeh, the summing-up will reckon
    surely nobody got hurt.
    Hey, offer jam tomorrow - the cash will do quite well.
    With your fair shares for all, try to practice what you preach
    when they ring that Lutine bell.
    Hey, put your money where your mouth is
    and hope the money talk will spring you from the cell.
    
    We've heard the empty promises, the barely veiled threats;
    we've yet to see the colour of the money now -
    we've yet to see it, Oh, but we'll get to see it, you bet.
    
    Put up or shut up.
    Cut price or cut-up.
    Put the money where the mouth is.
    
    Yeh, you copped for quite a lot, but everything you got
    fell off the back end of the yacht.
    You did your best to grease the machinery,
    you shut us out of the talking shop:
    the desks are empty when the buck full stops.
    Hey, you put your money where your mouth was not.
    You put your money where your mouth was not.
    
    Well, put the money where the mouth is,
    snuffling in the trough.
    Yeh, put your money where your mouth is,
    with the pigs in the trough.
    
    Where the mouth is,
    where the mouth is.

    The Great European Department Store

    It's a triumph, material triumph
    mass consumption and conformity.
    Down in hardware, the shelves are stacked up
    with the latest line in luxury.
    The perfume counter has make-up ladies
    all immaculately make-believe;
    they sell you lifestyle package
    and you'd better buy, because you're never going to leave.
    
    Nations of shoppers consume in a frenzy
    the security of branded names;
    they're fighting in the food hall
    for exotic vegetables and fruit, eco-friendly game.
    It doesn't matter which currency you use
    becasue they're all exactly the same.
    
    And it's all on offer, everything's on offer
    multi-national door-to-door
    in the Great European Department Store.
    
    It's on offer, it's all on offer, you can pack it flat to take away:
    Scottish heather to Spanish leather,
    German turniip to Dutch weather-vane.
    If you've got the money the door's wide open,
    they are only here to pamper you.
    The ethnic art room has plundered several continents
    to decorate your living room.
    It doesn't matter which credit card you use
    or if you even sign your real name
    because they're all exactly the same.
    
    And it's all on offer, guaranteed natural, quality control assured
    in the Great European Department Store.
    Hey, let's shop; let's go!
    
    In the Great European Department Store....
    
    Ooh, the shopping's something shocking now;
    ooh, will the shopping neve stop
    in the Great European Department Store?
    
    In the Great European Department Store.

    Planet Coventry

    You find you're standing alone - not so splendid, isolation.
    In the Green Room the talk is all of righteous indignation
    and you might as well have landed
    in some strange and distant galaxy.
    The rules are unspoken on the Planet Coventry.
    
    What reaction can you gauge, naked on the stage?
    
    The gravity's not so great, but the atmosphere's chilling;
    you mad some serious mistakes
    the day you pushed yourself for the grilling
    and the jigsaw pieces - take a look - a jumble of asymmetry.
    All the corners are cut on the Planet Coventry.
    
    Out of order, out of reach,
    briefless on the beach;
    no reaction you can guage,
    only silence from the front row,
    silence from the back row,
    silence and you're naked on the stage....wake up.
    
    You dreamed you'd no need of dreams: that's an alien situation.
    In the Glasshouse the mimers mill in dangerous mutation
    and you might as well have landed in a different reality.
    The rules are all broken on the Planet Coventry.
    
    Out of order, out of reach, briefless on the beach;
    one more punter for the chop, dried up in the dock;
    headless chicken, total block, tongue a Gordian knot;
    no reaction on this page,
    only silence from the front row, slience from the back row,
    silence from the prompter, silence all the rage -
    only silence and you're naked on the stage.
    
    You wake up, and you're naked on the stage.

    Primo on the Parapet

    To crawl on hallowed ground without a map;
    to walk on hollow legs, leaving no footprint;
    to drift like a ghost through the quarters of lost desire;
    breathing underwater,
    still running through the fire.
    
    Four horsemen drive the coach of Holocaust home;
    and with what sense of history do we view our bright new world,
    with the video nasty blasting through the set
    of our next door neighbour?
    Do we learn to forget? Do we learn just to forget?
    
    And raw barbarity seeps, spore in soil?
    And no-one's an innocent, no-one's entirely immune....
    Oh, still we wait for a saviour, there are no saints as yet.
    Just that gilt badge of survival,
    we learn to forget.
    
    The blindest eye is turned on the beast we clothe,
    drab in the uniform of silent acquiescence.
    I'll raise this toast to Primo, climbing up upon the parapet
    with one final word of caution:
    we must learn not to forget.
    
    There's pain in remembrance,
    but we must learn not to forget.
    
    Here's a toast to Primo,
    let's learn not to forget.
    Here's a toast to Primo,
    forgive but don't forget.
    Here's a toast to Primo,
    let's learn not to forget.
    
    One last word of caution
    from the very rim of the parapet.
    One last word in remembrance...
    we must learn not to forget.
    


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