Peter Hammill and VdGG - Other Lyrics

  1. Firebrand
  2. The Liquidator
  3. W
  4. The Boat of Millions of Years
  5. Shrine
  6. Rain, 3 am
  7. Now and Forever
  8. There's No Time Like the Present (Unless Perhaps It'sYesterday)
  9. Roncevaux
  10. Rift Valley
  11. The Polaroid


    on VdGG Single 1968
    Sunday night, twelve weeks before winter,
    the world is in a smoke haze.
    Suddenly there appears a rider in the East
    brandishing flame.
    He rides on into the wintry darkness,
    and brandishes his flame like a spear;
    below him there races his ghost steed,
    draping the night in fear.
    His steed strains as he reaches out over the reins
    and hurls his flame at the West ...
    the mountains dissolve in fire
    and he races through them, screaming:
    " I ride an icy stallion,
    fire at each end and poison at the center -
    you won't hear my words as scream into the darkness:
    his plans are like a firebrand,
    his plans are like a firebrand ! "
    Njal, beware !
    Heed the words which emanate from Hildiglum !


    on VdGG "Time Vaults"
    I read the news, in a paper
    No flowers please, donations to charity
    Like the N.S.P.C.V.d.G.G.
    Just send the money to Guy and Hugh and David and me.
    It's a joke, there is no hope left, who ever might disagree
    Tell me that you're seen the worst, dish me the dirt
    Go on and rip the back right off my shirt !
    Tell me how I hate Hugh Banton
    Tell us that the bank account is zero ant that anyway
    There's no-one left to play to, oh well, there you go.
    Are we ever going to get this act together on time ?
    It's been totally screwed up and I really just don't know
    Is there any way of keeping a clean feed line ?
    Its out of the question, when the triple distortion booster's blown
    Jackson, please ! What's matter man ?
    You're freaking me out you know
    Only playing happy families, maybe playing different tunes
    Always playing too hard, too fast, too soon !
    Waiting for our fate to take us
    Waiting for liquidator
    Caught in colour by the paper in the middle of a show
    Waiting for our fate to take us
    Waiting for liquidator
    The only news is bad news
    When the only story is making up or carrying on.


    Life is and endless succession of waves ...
    you're happy / you're sad,
    and you don't appreciate the good times
    until you're in the bad:
    you wake up one morning ... w ...
    and you're twice as unhappy as you're ever been before
    in your like.
    You wake up, go to the window and see smoke
    billowing across the lawn.
    You pick your feet up, drag yourself downstairs
    and you're gone ...
    You're wake up, look to your left but you see
    no reassuring head.
    You stay in bed all day;
    at six o'clock you realize you're dead.


    Horus, the son of Isis, lay in the marshes of Buto,
    poisoned by Set.
    She called out to the High God Ra to kill this evil,
    that her child may live yet:
    casting aside her present fears,
    she called out on the boat of millions of years...
    Ra came and saw, and stopped the sun until he had cured
    the life of the innocent.
    Horus the Good lived in the North, in lands of fertility
    and beauty;
    but Set stayed in the hard desert, to him belonged
    all drought and perversity.
    While he sheds his tears beneath the boat of millions of the years
    he fights to kill the Hawk, bearing with him evil and darkness;
    but Horus lives with the Sun.
    Forever the battle rages, evil tries to kill
    the innocent baby
    and only Osiris, the Lord of the Dead, can eventually 
    save it.
    So we must cast aside our future fears
    and call out on the boat of the millions of the years:
    the God of Love is on our side,
    and with him we shall not die -
    there's life in the Sun !
    There's life in the sun !
    Only the violence is the cause lost:
    in peace, grey Set can't kill our baby of love.


    Lights are beaming in the city
    as the train I'm on arrives;
    my eyes are gleaming, my mouth is gritty,
    I'm begging to feel alive
    and, as I step out of the station into the pouring rain,
    I know that I'm a pilgrim once again.
    Get a taxi to my destination -
    she doesn't know yet that it's coming here.
    I'm relaxing in contemplation
    of the great times that we had last year;
    and, as I step out onto the pavement, and ring the bell of 29,
    I know that I'm a pilgrim, arriving at his shrine.
    A year ago we were together all the time;
    you were a goddess, and God! yes, you were mine...
    Landlord lets me in, I climb on up the stairs,
    and I'm knocking upon your door...
    what am I seeing, as you stand there,
    half your clothes off, lying on the floor ?
    And, as I look past your shocked expression,
    I see, in your bed, a new man
    and I'm a pilgrim in a strange land -
    and the shrine that was here has crumbled into sand.

    RAIN, 3 AM

    Spitting drops of rain probe down
    and touch my cheek,
    intermingling with my tears
    as I silently weep,
    then the fatality of life
    presses close and pokes in my eyes
    and I'm cold and hungry tonight.
    These great black walls of brickwork bow low
    and oppress my mind
    like the words of people
    I thought I'd left far behind,
    but presence of the words and walls
    is too close and it's too clear
    as the rain keeps washing through my tears,
    as the rain just washes through my tears.
    A frump looked down at me
    and he quickly turns away.
    He's hiding deep inside himself,
    all a ritual of these strange plains.
    There's no one else upon the street,
    just this dying of drunken me,
    oh yes, and a cat thet's hiding in the trees,
    and a cat that's hiding in the trees.
    My memory stretches back
    - as I continue to cry -
    to places where I went wrong,
    although I still don't know quite why.
    The plashing neonsign perclaims:
    all is spoiled where the human lives
    and in the darkness no-one forgives,
    and in the darkness no-one forgives.


    (on "Il sole nella poggia" by Alice; words and music by pH 1989)
    At first sight, helplessly falling,
    all at once, lighter than air.
    Feels just like, I've known you always
    and now it starts,
    Now and Forever's begun.
    You are the one I've been waiting for so long.
    Now, suddenly, everything's shining,
    now, suddenly, everything's clear.
    Here you are, so close beside me
    and now you're come,
    Now and Forever's begun.
    You are the one I've been waiting for so long.
    At first sight, helplessly falling, 
    all at once, lighter than air.
    Suddenly, synchronuous heartbeats
    and now it starts,
    Now and Forever, Now and Forever,
    now our Forever's begun,
    now our Forever's begun.


    (on "Democrazy" by Chris Judge Smith; words and music by pH and C.J.S 1973)
    There's got to be some change made,
    There's got to be some plans.
    If you won't build me a machine,
    I'll do it with my hands.
    I've said my piece, I can't waste time.
    I've other work to do,
    But don't think I'm enjoying this,
    I'm doing it for you.
    Get up and pack your suitcase, girl
    And meet me at the station.
    With things so bad, I've organised
    Our own evacuation.
    I can't talk now, I have to split,
    There's no time on the meter.
    I hope she comes, but as they say
    If you can't join her, beat her.
    There's no time like the present,
    Unless perhaps it's yesterday.
    The future looks unpleasant,
    So let's get in tomorrow's way.
    Please, please don't miss the ride.
    The Minister of Culture
    Has really got us in his sights.
    He sent a robot vulture
    That circles round the house at night.
    It's amplifiers quivering,
    Playing repeats of the J.Y.Prog.,
    Piping Eagle through the central heating
    And Donny up the bog.
    We better shift ourselves,
    It might not be too late.
    We've a snowflake's chance in hell
    If we hesitate.
    The net is growing tighter.
    Gonna move to Hindustan.
    They won't shoot me, I'm a writer,
    Join me when you can.


    on Time Vaults
    Fight within a war within a song:
    Roland dies, but memory lingers on....
    Soldier, approaching the Gates of Spain,
    treachery waits for you and the baggage train;
    a rearguard stand, your final war, it's what you've been living for.
    Soldier, as you sit astride Viellantif
    Durendal abides inside your sheath; soon you shall grace the day.
    Turpin and Oliver ride by your side,
    bishop and king's pawn about to slide; do you feel fit to slay?
    Carlon is riding far ahead
    and cannot hear your voice if you call;
    Ganelon, the traitor, in his tent
    cannot wait to hear the word of your fall...soon both shall laugh, in different ways.
    Soldier, approaching the Gates of Spain,
    the Paynim are sharpening up their blades.
    Glory! Your moment is here!
    Can you see Marsilion yet?
    Is that a vulture wheeling overhead?
    Twenty thousand Frenchmen, the flower of honour;
    stepfather's henchmen wait to fall on you - look around, the silent sound of death.
    Saracen plots and Frenchman aids his plans:
    ambuscade springs eternal life to man.
    Soldier, now white rises from the cliffs of Roncevaux -
    battle! Maybe you should heed the words of Oliver: it's time to blow your horn.
    Carlon twists and sc reams out in his sleep,
    Ganelon walks the night with knuckles raw; soon both shall die, in different ways.
    And you can see Marsilion now,
    Baligant wields Maltet in his hand;
    now's the time to hold to virtuous vows,now's the time to fight and die alone in foreign lands.
    Twenty thousand fall to sixty, there is no hope;
    Oliover can well say "I told you so" now....Blow the horn and sound the call for help!
    Too late, too late and Oliver falls,
    now only Turpin and thee, back to back;
    though Charelmagne wheels round tyo answer the call
    when he arrives he'll find your body hacked.
    Only revenge is left, Marsilion shall die,
    only revenge is left, the traitor's eye is beamed....
    Roland, the song is ended,
    Roland, the song is ended,
    Roland, the Song has only just begun.

    Rift Valley

    on Time Vaults
    At the edge of the canyon,
    looking down upon the haze...
    which hides the future of this planet,
    home, our earth through all the days
    which have been and will come.
    I hear the running feet of those yet to follow.
    At the end of such life as I call my own
    I glimpse that yet to come;
    springing from me in the future
    trees of family shall run.
    I have carried the seed:
    conceived from me, all people multiply forward.
    When it's over they will dig me from the gorge
    and proclaim that I am the first Man:
    first soldier, first speaker, first tool-user,
    that with me civilisation began, in some order.
    I have stumbled...
    Is it right or am I planned?
    Still I feel it
    still I know that some day
    the world will fall to this human hand, 
    this clenched fist.
    If that's the way it's going to be
    I can only say "Good luck!".
    You Men who follow on from me
    must crawl your way out of here
    or all our lives'll be
    trapped in the chasm.
    The dying day:
    I stand upon the edge, stare down
    at what's to come below.
    In a way there's all the future in me,
    destiny already known.
    Already tired in my heart,
    I start the long walk forward 
    into Rift Valley,
    to rest in Rift Valley.
    Still instinctively trying to save my kind
    I survive into the future.

    The Polaroid

    extra track on US "pH7"
    Me holidays on the Southern Sands,
    trying to get some fun by way of one night stands...
    I clocked this girl, thought l'd give her the chat -
    one of them Swedish blonde types
    and l've always fancied that.
    I showed her me Polaroid.
    She said "I like it, will you 
    please take my picture?"
    I say "Right then", thinking 
    this is gonna be me lucky day.
    She whips off her bikini top
    and I think "OK!"
    I say "It only takes a minute
    for this thing to develop."
    She says "I'd better push off now 
    or me feller'll be jealous."
    Just then I felt a hand on me collar,
    and it was a Boy in Blue.
    He says "You can't take 
    nude photographs on this beach,"
    and "I'm arresting you."
    I protested me innocence,
    but it was no use, the picture was forming;
    he gave me the official warning that day.
    He'd seen me Polaroid,
    so what could I say?
    I looked around, but she'd disappeared,
    I say "You don't understand, this was all her idea"
    but the copper says "Don't worry son, 
    I get the picture OK."
    He took me Polaroid
    and I got ten days.

Russian Peter Hammill / Van der Graaf Generator Page
Sergey Petrushanko, 1998-2023