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Forgetting and Why It Occurs: Acoustic Demos 2010​-​14 Vol. 1

by James Snowdon Harris

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1.
If I stand by the window, I can count from here How many of those out on the street have lived with you near, Cos we're all slowed down some by the change in the air – I sense the leaving days begin but I don't go nowhere, Yeah. There were times in this town In the final months of the century, I concede I was glad of that dream I’d had of you that was hard for me, Cos it helped me remember how to feel that way – No more school for the summer and no plans for the holiday. CH: You've got your own way of travelling home, You've got the system rigged for being alone, But I said that there is something here in the room with us That is calling out to us, And we cannot let it go unanswered. On a bright blue Sunday like you don't often get no more, I found a long unknown way home That I'd swear wasn't there before, And I saw you clearly, as I stopped for the trains, Climb on the first one out of the century, Never to be coming back again. (Repeat CH) There is something here in the room with us That is calling out to us, And we cannot let it go. If I stand by the window, I can count from here How many of those out on the street have lived with you near.
2.
I had a dream last night – I was you, you were me, Way-oh, way-oh, way out past believing, And everything was right – that’s the way it should be, Way-oh, way-oh, way out past believing. There are, I could have sworn, ten thousand homes more, Between the weather and the landscape for us born. Out of the window of a car at night, you can see them clearly – There's so much to be out here, girl. Don't get off of your bicycle, Till you reach the end of the island chain, Turn it around and ride back again, Lay down on the pier and remember me – Three stars later, it's a different story. I have a dream come true that is starting to show, Way-oh, way-oh, way on through the seasons, You're me and I am you – that's the way that it goes, Way-oh, way-oh, way on through the seasons. You're never gonna know which way the winds blow, When we been living in a box without a window. The rhythm of the cars at night holds the cards we're playing, But it ain't saying nothing, girl. Don't get off of your bicycle, Till you reach the end of the island chain, Turn it around and ride back again. Three stars later, believe in me – The end of the pier is the start of a journey. You and me, Life knows more of what we're gonna be Than a heart could give it credit for. You and me, Yeah life knows more of what we're gonna be... Than a heart could give it credit for. (x3)
3.
TV & Radio 04:10
Somebody died today, and she dreams now Of the broadcast towers in the north of London – Revelry and tragedy spill out across the sky. The media knows her, And it shows her lies that her heart believes in – Words and meanings And lines once drawn by the limbs of the gone In the air to be heard. CH: In other words, I will not accept what I cannot change, If I do not consider it acceptable to me, I will not just give it up and I will not start again, I will fight until I have destroyed everything. Somebody was born today, and she makes her start From the cold grey parks in the north of London, Wondering what day now brings the beginnings of the end. The media loves her, and it holds her safe On a fairground ride, where the many sides Of the stories found in the clothes of the drowned Wait still to be heard. (Repeat CH)
4.
Far Adrift 06:14
Running down the road in the rain, With your coat on your shoulders again And your phone in your hand, Looking for a news stand, You fell into another doorway, to tell another story. What did you think that this day could mean? It takes your head so long to get home, You hope it never goes anywhere. CH: But girl you don’t have to play games with yourself To be as beautiful as anyone else, And to be proud of the state we’re in Won’t do anything to help us breathe in anymore. Another night, another show, an empty dance floor And everything we know is growing tired here, love. You take your image to the cleaners, And you pretend for your loved ones when they watch That your heart is not quite stained black From the longing that you’re living for now – It’s just another side in the war that you carved out. (Repeat CH) And the circles around your eyes have shown you lies And made you hungry to be further adrift Behind the look of a child who only wanted to come home. Come home, come home. Cos girl you don’t have to play games with yourself To be as beautiful as anyone else.
5.
Man, it seems somehow, The panic's got a pull on our souls now, We're running from the things that we live without Cos we like the ways that they are. Sometimes it feels like we had nothing to lose or to gain Until we found we could believe in some kind of halcyon day, Like we'd be 27 living in New York, Getting coffee on our way back home. CH: So if you see things when your eyes are closed, You've gotta put them in a bag with your summer clothes, You've gotta pack them on the bus at the end of the road, Because we're headed for the places where the airplane goes. You know there's nothing in your heart that you cannot hold, So don't be afraid if you're beginning to change – You know there ain't no other way, There ain't no other way. My love grew up one day, She let go of her helium balloon, they say, She lost it down where the older kids play, She lost it and I guess that she feels like it's gone. You wanna see her when she wakes as the sun hits the sky, She's gotta know that she believes It still could be that easy to fly, And she'll be 27 living in New York, If she's anything else at all. (Repeat CH) May we be forgiven, This has not been life we have been living, But it has been our lives that have been happening. May we see beyond the storm. (x2) It seems that you and I have been misborn. (x2)
6.
She likes two dollar movies – The ones that cost two fifty these days, She drinks juice from an old salsa jar, She likes dope with her soaps But she's sober now she says. She likes tearing it up on the highway, But only six miles an hour over, She gets sad and she screws up her eyes Like she's trying to go supernova. And just when I think that I know what she's about, Something she does turns me inside out, And I find out again that I can't comprehend her at all. CH: She must belong to a different kind of world than this, From what I can see, She must belong to a different kind of world That is hidden from me. She likes getting up early, But sometimes she sleeps for a week at a time, She makes notes of her fears and her hopes And she posts them to me so the hopes can be mine. She gets caught in the cross-fire With her family asking which side she's on, So she got real good at the running away But she never stays out there for long. And right there beside her is where I wanna be, So I gotta tell you it's fine with me If I find out again that I can't comprehend her at all. (Repeat CH) I cannot believe her, I don't wanna leave her, I'm lost in a fever I won't live without, I could not have planned her, I don't understand her, But it is me and her from here on out. (x2) I cannot believe her, I don't wanna leave her, I'm lost to the fever I won't live without, I cannot have planned her cos I don't understand her, But it is me and her from here on out, It is me and her from here on out, It is me and her from here on out.
7.
They say that all of us, in time, Begin to move our operations to the coastline, Learn how to walk out on the sand And let the wind blow the lives right out of our hands, Commit them to its own plans. Up in the hills where the rivers rise is where her heart lies, She's got a dream of a packed suitcase, But nothing that's said or done could ever make that river run Better than an emptiness on her face, And it looks from the shore like it takes much more, But she's gotta let go, she's gotta be left to flow on, And if the rain will come to wash her empty again, She'll hear her name in the way that it falls. CH: Anybody that had a home found their way back I know, Found the way the feeling can grow inside, And it's only a matter of time till your storyline begins to show... That it all flows straight from the core of the earth. They say the best of us, in time, Attempts to trade his or her soul in for a plane ride, Cos love will always leave the ground As a building in a bigger town, But if the rain compels you to begin yourself again, Seek out your name in the way that it falls. (Repeat CH x2) That it all flows straight from the core of the earth. The charred remains of a name and last known address Lie in a hole down by the sea For each of those gone on to new agreements With old destinies.
8.
Last of Kin 05:50
Little girl asleep, why don't you try me out? I'm capable of taking you back to where you started from, Little girl, don't sleep when you could dream with a clear mind – You could have all along. Don't you know how it goes? I've been walking in sunlight like I'm freezing in snowstorms, I can never get my days right anymore. How d'you know? How d'you feel? I can hear you on the radio, I can see you in store windows, And how much rain could there have been today? When everything is cold out on the way, Call out, You can call out and I will hear you, You can call out and I will come for you. Little girl asleep, why don't you dry me out? I'm soaked through, But I'm capable of giving you everything you need, And anything you think you do. Don't you know how it goes? I've been walking in sunlight like I'm freezing in snowstorms, I can never get my life right anymore. How d'you know? How d'you feel? I can hear you on the radio, I can see you in store windows, And how much rain could there have been today? When everything is cold out on the way, Call out, You can call out and I will hear you, You can call out and I will hear you, You can call out and I will come for you, You can call, You can call.
9.
There's a girl been on my mind, She looks real fine on this show I seen, She's redoing life, she's twenty-five and she's seventeen, She says, “I know all of this is make-believe, But if the world all ends tomorrow, Boy, this is where you find me.” Cos she's hoping for a ride On an airplane line right across the sky, Each time she looks up There's one more there and it makes her cry, There's blue in her soul through which she dreams to fly, And most all her other dreams have died, But the sun always shines where she walks now. CH: And if I could only wake up somehow, I'd walk away right now, I'd be headed straight for where you are. Tonight, streetlights look like they're cars, And stars look like they're planes to a place Where every child gets a chance to grow up again, Say things right and find that the world has changed. Forego the laughter, if something sad can move you on, Tomorrow ever after, if yesterday is gone, It's all gone, gone. They got roads down by that shore That become me more than the streets here, But it's ten thousand miles – It feels like leaving the atmosphere, I play my guitar and days just disappear, But if the world all ends tomorrow, Still this is where you find me. Cos I've gotta get that ride On an airplane line right across the sky, I can't get the whiteness of that light to the dark inside, I may waste my whole life seeking paradise, But I feel like I've been born twice, And I'll make this one count if it kills me. (Repeat CH) Forego the laughter, if something sad can move you on, Tomorrow ever after, cos yesterday is gone, It's all gone, It’s all gone, gone. It's all gone. (x5)
10.
I step into my clothes as the sun goes down, Lord knows there's a desert growing in this town, But I have seen that it still knows green, It sings to the promise of spring, when I tell the night What it's like when I am with you. Life travels to where we are, Life travels to where we are, Wherever we are. Woh. (x6) My heart is now a cable, and when I'm able, I fix it to the outgoing tides, I stand out on the beach and stare beyond my reach, And pray that something comes and wakes me up inside. I walk over the course of the darkness here, My steps wind through these streets of mine Till the day appears when you, princess, Become my lioness – I hear you roar in the horizon, my eyes on that line, Counting time till I am with you. Life happens from where we are, Life happens from where we are, Wherever we are. Woh. (x6) My heart's a cable I found, and when at the edge of town, I fix it to the trucks as they roll away, I get up on my skateboard, and pray for speed – Lord, I'm dying and I still wanna live some day.
11.
Room After 02:48
She burns a hole in a couple of weeks or so, So she won’t remember That in her eyes it sometimes looks like she’s died, Like she’s cold inside. But she doesn’t wanna come alive, She doesn’t wanna come alive, Not tonight – not until the world is dry, Until the room says, “I lied and I’m sorry, and I lied and I’m sorry, And you’re beautiful and you’re right, You’re beautiful and you’re right.”
12.
Roads 04:38
Young punk with beer on her dress Pays no mind to any sign her life's a mess, Catching spoons in her eyes, she's got time yet – Coffee is still a surprise, And a cigarette still goes to her head. Many times when she was here, I saw her exchange a little light for a goodnight cheer, Knowing well it doesn't matter if she shines it right – It's amazing what you save when you live your life through twice. Out on the roads, if you're waiting for your lives to begin, Time takes its toll on your ears and your eyes, God only knows, but we're looking for a space to live in, A little fresh air and a little magic. Loose cannon with spring in her step, She's aware she's gonna take some getting used to yet, She's a heart before dawn on a better day, She's a lot to keep warm cos she never wants to stay. Out on the roads, if you're waiting for your lives to begin, Time takes its toll on your hands and your knees, God only knows, but we're looking for a space to live in, A little fresh air and a little magic. We’re looking for... (x2) Hey girl, get your gilet on, It's a brand new night and the summer is gone, It's a long way home and it's almost dark, There's a car in my garage and a sparkle in your heart. Out on the roads, if you're waiting for your lives to begin, Time takes its toll on your skin and your nerves, God only knows, but we're looking for a space to live in, A little fresh air and a little magic.
13.
Carolina call me – I can’t walk on, There’s only ashes in me now, Carolina heal me – my woman is gone, Her heart has changed and I don’t know how, I don’t know how. Carolina tell me what I need to know, There must be a reason for this pain, Carolina lead me – I’m bound to the road, I can’t go back to town again. Man, every thought I ever had was hers, Every step I took was for us, And now it’s gone. Carolina help me – I’ve come so far To find that she has closed the door, Carolina save me – I’m stuck in my car, I can’t go back to town no more. Man, every dream I ever had was hers, Every chance I took was on us, And now it’s gone. And now it’s gone. (x3)
14.
5AM, I saw the day before it changes, Before we lose our feelings in the same old way. I know a girl a bit like me – she tries too hard To find some kind of meaning in things that have none, When all of the hours that the sun shines on pass her window And she can't get them into her eyes. She says she hates to see the change In long hot summer days. Well I don't remember how they used to be, Cos I never set my summers free – I got no sorrow that don't make me angry, And my heartache shows – I'm always the last to go home. When the sun shines on my window, She can only see the clouds in my eyes. But I know why the blue sky always made her cry, Like she never saw the world before, Like she never made anything happen at all, And I see how the daybreak only wears us out – These children never get lonely no more, Cos they’re all grown up now. We’re all grown up now, yeah. 5AM, I hold the key To all the places that I can never go, That I will never see. I know this girl will still believe we fall asleep too fast To wake so slowly for much longer now, And when the long hot summer comes around, Drawn once again to our windows, We can’t know what it’s done to our eyes. And I know why the blue sky always makes her cry, Like she never saw the world before, Like she never made anything happen at all, And I see how the daybreak only wears us out – These children never get lonely no more, Cos we’re all grown up now.
15.
Lost Things 05:42
If you and I were living in the days before phones, My calls to you might make the skies their home Until my eyes turned blue, But I never would find anything up there That resembled how I feel about you, And Lord, my body shakes when I awake to find, In all these phone lines, not one can get through To the truth of you, Maria. So if you leave here, leave on a steam train, Disappear yourself in a landscape, Travel out across the plains to a land of colours changing, Where all the years go by, ten of yours for one of mine. CH: And thereby help me at least to find Something here that the heart can understand, Cos the mind now makes no sense Of anything beyond darkness and silence, Rolling out, rolling out before me. If you and I were living in the days before phones, My calls to you might make the hills their home Until my eyes turned green, But I'd never have seen anything out there That compared to what you mean to me, And Lord, it leaves me cold to find The phone I hold emits no sound That'll ever help me get my head round you, Maria. So if you leave here, leave with a hat on, Vanish into the mist you emerged from, Travel on, one more lost thing, long gone And not returning from where the years go by, Ten of yours for one of mine. (Repeat CH) I wish I lived in the days before phones, So I could miss you well.
16.
Well, Carol Lynn, if all the things you thought you knew Were nothing more than weeds That grew their roots in me and you, D'you think that you might meet me on the corner of your road, And keep your hand in mine till all the truths were told? Your Daddy prayed real hard for the economy to change, I ain't got no head for numbers, girl, so I did not complain – His jacket and his shoes Seemed like enough to lead him through, But I could not say where he and they were headed to. So I lay down on the grass and tried to drain into the soil, But I just could not learn to wind up green. Whatever you've seen, it could not have been more Than what we were groomed for – We're nothing but the products of the promise of closed doors. If you're ready to empty your heart of its memories, It's not too late while some dream remains Of some place many days' drive away from here. Under the cover of this darkness, Swear we'll both have disappeared... When all the lights come back on. (x3) Well, Carol Lynn, the road begins at the end of the land, I drove my car that far and I walked out on the sand, I saw us cling to so much that we're never gonna use, And I knew until we've let it go we're born to lose. So I lay down on the rocks and tried to flow into the sea, But I just could not bear to turn out blue. Whatever you do, be sure that it's worth more Than what we were drilled for – We're nothing but the echoes of the songs of a civil war. If you're ready to set free your heart from its enemies, It's not too late while some chance remains Of some place many days' drive away from here. Under the cover of this darkness, Swear we'll both have disappeared... When all the lights come back on. (x3) Begin the road, believe the road, become the road, What is on the road will be honoured for being honest And will move onward in time. (x2) We move onward in time, We move onward this time, This time.
17.
Oh my love, When the world is ending, When the rocks fall from the sky, And there's no more mending The broken days that passed us by, Will you walk with me down the length of Oak Island? Will you talk to me, in the still of the silence We discovered in your room, When I was making a start on being someone else for you, When I was teaching my heart a plan to share myself with you? I speak of you, I speak for you. Oh my love, When the war is over, When the winds blow across the land, And I’m getting colder, And I can't quite reach your hand, Will you whisper to me in an echo of laughter? Will you change with me, entrained ever after In the memory of your room, Where I was making a start on putting things in place for you, Where I was tearing apart my soul to find a space for you? I speak of you, I speak for you.

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Recorded live between 2010 and 2014.

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released April 12, 2015

All songs written/performed/produced by James Snowdon Harris.

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James Snowdon Harris London, UK

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