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The Spirit Salon

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THESE SONGS ARE SO PAINFUL THEY WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER!

This album is light entertainment for highbrow ruffians. You are invited to read the album’s lyrics and supporting documents, which you will find below.

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WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?

The Spirit Salon is a sociable gathering of several centuries’ worth of spirit voices, speaking achronologically of times spent as story-tellers and ballad-sellers, MIDIeval wanderers and have-a-go heroes, TV personalities and housebound mugs.

The salon is a civilised and domestic environment. The spirits who attend have been summoned from public, outdoor realms: the open sea, the Houses of Parliament, Edwardian garden parties, the musical theatre, and English Civil War battlefields.

OUR LITTLE FRIENDS BEGIN TO SHOW THEIR FACE. THEY ARE ACE!

Alaska Blue sings on Prologue and My Girlfriend Was Insulted by a Futurist Artist.
Anne Marie Varrella sings on Treat Me Like a Fairy.
Chris Trigg and Kate Wakely-Mulroney sing on Lord Byron’s Marriage.

Make-up and photography performed conducted admirably by Virginia LeBlanc.
Matthew Jacobson is responsible for further art direction and design, and for being cavalier enough to oversee the release of these murmurings.

Ross Hawkins is the author of these songs, but under the cloak of digital folk art collectivism, he has picked the pockets of the several arists and entertainers.

YOUR GUESS IS NOT AS GOOD AS MINE

Jonny “Opinion” Bradshaw expresses:

You may unearth a joke where you least expect to. Idle Tigers – a sham? – I know him (them) as Ross, which rhymes with dust, the most part being the sound of empty space, which too rhymes with dust (it was Ross who originally taught me that everything rhymes) which is my earliest memory of Ross, who rhymes with Huysmans, Brel, Byron, Bacon, fake, fact, fad, gadget. There might be a song here called “A Shadow Falls Across the Fridge, Frank” and if so, that’s my fault, because Idle Tigers is the sound of the concrete made ridiculous, disguised as nothing of the sort. I don’t expect you to appreciate this and (I expect) neither does Ross. Idle Tigers are deeply suspect. You’ll find beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, buggery and bishops, and has any alliteration ever better captured a nation? In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is ugly. This is my impression of Ross. Music is falling, it’s game over. The human race does not deserve something so pretentious: but every generation gets the tigers it deserves.

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Prologue

Adolescent sexual encounters behind hedges
Battlefields, birdbaths, the play of light on fridges
Boyhusbands, bedsheets, white roses, white witches
These songs are so sad, they will have you in stiches

Radios, catfish, men who want to marry him
Transvestite footballers, painters who are masculine
Unnecessary thoughts about the lives of married writers
These songs are so charming they will give you horrid nightmares

When all was sad and fun, he was never in the running for a prize
Oh my eyes!
He was in the salon de refusees, where idle work belongs
Ha! Ha! He writes such lovely songs.

Spirit photography, old men of letters,
These songs are so painful they will make you feel better.

Prologue (as heard by Jonny Opinion)

Adolescent sexual encounters behind hedges
Battlefields, birdbaths, the pale light of fridges
Bonnie husbands, spreadsheets, white roses, white witches
These songs are so sad they will have you in sticthes

Radios, catfish, and if you want to marry him
Transvestite footballers and pizzas aren’t masculine
Unnecessary thoughts about life’s hard writers
These songs are so charming they’ll give you horrid nightmares
I’m always selling fruit, he was never in the run-in for a prize
Oh my eyes!

He was in the cellar, direct, you say? while idle work belongs
ha, ha, he – writes such lovely songs
Spirit photography, old men and letters
These songs are so painful they’ll make you feel better.

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The Shadow Falls Across the Fridge, Frank

The shadow falls across the fridge, Frank
The spirit’s moving in the fish tank
So lie right back and have a good hard think
About what you’re gonna do next

I am the unobtrusive type
I lead a quiet and peaceful life
I am an image made of light
I am the unobtrusive type

I am the unobtrsuive type
I play with matches in the night
I dream of children dressed in white
These are the kind of things I like

I’ll call my friend up on the phone
And she will laugh at all my jokes
I’ll spend the evening at home
Dressed as the women that I know

The shadow falls across the fridge, Frank
The spirit’s moving in the fish tank
So lie right back and have a good hard think
About what you’re gonna do next

Don’t complain that you’re haunted, it’s a pleasure to be wanted
Your telly’s hooked up with your radio
Don’t complain that you’re haunted, it’s a pleasure to be wanted
Your ansaphone’s dancing with your radio

The shadow falls across the fridge, Frank
The spirit’s moving in the fish tank
So lie right back and have a good hard think
About what you’re gonna do next.

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Giving Up The Ghost

I sailed off the edges of the earth, the corners of the world,
now I’ve returned to you again,

to make you feel more reassured and secure,
to make you feel more comfortable and safe

Think of mother, think of a number,
we’re all grown-ups, everything’s OK.
Put flesh on the bones of the ghost of a grown-up,
think of another — OK!

The idea is to make people look stupid.
No-one ever achieved anything by trying.
So I work just like an angel —
that’s to say I never work at all.
And I go on and on about civilsation,
which is funny, ‘cos I’m not civilised at all.

I am a Victorian Member of Parliament
who’s chosen never to address the House again.
My constituency is in the realm of alchemy
And I’m a distant sister of the Comte de Saint-Germaine.

I’ll make an offer you can refuse,
but you’re gonna end up feeling lonely.
I’ll make an offer you can refuse if you so chose,
but you’re gonna end up feeling lonely,
so lonely,
so lonely baby,
you could die.

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My Girlfriend was Insulted by a Futurist Artist

He liked his modernism High and Hard
He was the cock of the avant-garde
He was friends with the very great FORD MADOX FORD
and he was born to be adored by women.

She was shy and nineteen,
she was studying to be
A portrait painter,
but everything changed when

My girlfriend was insulted by a futurist artist
Who turned up tight at the garden party
He was an animal,
He was a bloody disgrace

He wore his hair dressed High and Hard
The style was inspired by racing cars
He was a modernist, misogynist ART STAR
and he was born to be adored by women

She was shy and nineteen,
she was studying to be
a portrait painter,
but everything changed when

My girlfriend was insulted by a futurist artist
Who turned up tight at the garden party
He was an animal,
He was a bloody disgrace

My girlfriend was insulted by a futurist artist
Who supported the Italian Fascist party
He was an animal,
He was a bloody disgrace

He liked his modernism High and Hard,
He was the cock of the avant-garde
He was reciting sound poetry out in the back yard,
And this is the noise that we heard…

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Put Your Trousers On

My grandad was a simple man, he lived an honest life.
He always did what he could to keep his kids and wife.
There was only one department where my grandad got it wrong:
He used to toddle through the park without his trousers on

And we said

Put your trousers on, you silly old fool!
The children get excited when you wander past the school
Put your trousers on, you dirty old rogue
Buy some proper clothes

Believe you me, it was quite a thing
to see the people stare.
If you’d stared too, you’d know it was untrue
to say his marbles weren’t all there.

My grandad said to the greengrocer,
“It’s lovely out today!”
The grocer said “yes, but someone’s coming —
Put it away!”
You’ll admit that it’s unconventional,
displaying your unmentionables
To vicar’s daughters and policemen’s nieces.

But I don’t blame him that he had the whim
to break a tiny law.
He even went around like that
when he went off to war.
He was struck by a shell — he was surprised!
The only way they recognised
my grandfather was by his bits and pieces.

And they said

Put your trousers on, you silly old fool!
You’ve caused a fuss, you’ve made them blush
In the army hospital.
Put your trousers on, you mucky old thing
Tie them with a string

Put your trousers on, you silly old fool!
The children get excited when you wander past the school
Put your trousers on, you dirty old rogue
Buy some proper clothes.

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Treat Me Like a Fairy

Where the beck bends back
Frances and I made some photographs
Off the path, behind a blade of grass
Where there’s much, there’s brass.

Whirligigs, fairyfood
A bit of what you fancy does you good
We finished dinner quickly as we could
It was good.

We led the men to them
We were solemn faced comediennes
But they were sulking hiding oh my gosh
They’re so gauche.

Elsie said to the fairy “treat me like a lady”,
the fairy said to Elsie “treat me like a fairy”.
You’d think that they were starlets from the way they did their hair.
They weren’t with her in Africa, it’s too hot for them there.
They never said “yes”, they never said “no”,
they threw back their heads and posed for a photo.
They called Conan Doyle and his medium mates
And the theosophists and WB Yeats.
But when they got there, the cupboard was bare, the poor dog had no bone.
And fairies require and fairies desire a room of their own.

All the lego’s gone up the Dyson,
hey ho little men.
My friends are in the television
messing about again.

When they got there the cupboard was bare, the poor dog had no bone.
And fairies require and fairies desire a room of their own.
We heard our poor late grandpapa calling on the phone.
Hello?

They return at night
They eat up negatives and drink the light.
Papa’s camera maks a little pop,
then they stop.

In a turn of sound
In threads made from a ballerina’s gown
Our little friends begin to show their face
They are ace.

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Catfish

Catfish is sleeping, you think that you know him
He’s sleeping and thinking and eating his dinner
You might never see him but all of the time
He is hidden beneath you and constantly growing.

I dance like a stone and I stay at the bottom
It’s darker and colder and the news moves much slower
And this is my kingdom and this is my garden
And these are my courtiers — they flatter me rotten
I have my own grave and I have my own angels
A choir to tell me that I’m better forgotten
I leave it behind me, I’m coming to find you
I find it disgusting that you think you could like me
You think you’ve discovered some kind of new species.
You haven’t.

Catfish has been here forever, he makes his own weather,
The wetter the better.

You’re under the water, you’re under the weather,
Where it gets wetter you had better get swimming.
You think that you’re evil, but I have seen spiders
Who are bigger and better and brighter than you.
I make my own weather, I keep it inside me
Polly put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea.
I make my own weather, I keep it inside me
Polly put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea.

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Jonah

Jonah had no manners, Jonah had no patience
God said “Go preach in Nineveh, they’ve got a grand appreciation
for heathen bloody-mindedness, violent sex and pain.”
Jonah couldn’t be arsed with that, so he took a ship to Spain.

He was on the ship when a storm let rip, and a member of the crew
found Jonah hiding in the bogs and said “who the fuck are you?”
Jonah said “I’m fleeing God’s authoritative stare.”
The sailor threw him overboard and said “like fuck you are.”

And Jonah felt significantly out of sight from God,
And Jonah felt significantly like he had been had.

The sea rose like a mountain range around the stupid prophet,
and he was bobbing up and down as if he were a puppet,
when a wild and wandering whale woke up from the dim abyss,
saw Jonah bobbing up and down and said “I fancy a bit of this.”

So Jonah sat inside the whale saying “what’s this all about?
I’ve got to get out of these guts but I’m fucked if I know how.”
The gut contracted tight and rank around Jonah the prophet.
“Can God still see me now?” he said. He was very idiotic.

And he was right resentful, yes, he was retching up resentment,
but Jonah’s overwhelming mood was one of quiet disappointment.

The whale saw something surprising that he’d never seen before.
I don’t know what it was, but it made him cough, and he spat out Jonah whole.
He swam to shore, and God said “I’m sure you’ll go to Nineveh now, won’t ya?”
He built a bed upon the beach… “Like fuck I will”, said Jonah.

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The Wanderer

Won’t it be strange
when the world stands waste
And the wolves eat the men
Who fell by the way?
Come, let us sail,
you’ll find me nailed
To the surface of the sea.
It’s not me —
Just a signal from a ship that’s all alone.

They go away again.

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The Small Electrical Lieutenant

There’s a movement in the air,
the sound of people who are scared.
Have you heard the horses laugh at night on Marston Moor?
You’re in danger from a thief,
from an angel cutting teeth,
cashing in on light relief and leading us to war.

Yeh!

The lieutenant’s wounded!
No!
The lieutenant’s wounded!

Oh my word! Martyr your mates!
Make them feel “inappropriate”!
Come on, this is sanitive laughter —
away with your morbid obsessions!
I impressed everyone with my cold shoulder
and disgusting sense of rhythm.
Avenge O Lord thy slaughtered saints —
the earth is murmuring.
Avenge this vast unhidebound corpse —
I am not suffering.

The lieutenant’s dead!
No!
The lieutenant’s dead!

The lieutenant’s rising!
Yeh!
The lieutenant’s rising!

Remember him.
Remember him.

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Every Young Lad Needs Mates

You will be charged, it’s getting late
You’d better ring and tell your mates
You might not see them again too much.

You’d better ring and tell your friends
That you’re glad you did what you did,
And you’ll do it all again,
But you’re so busy now.

Ring and tell your friends you love them,
Ring and tell your friends you love them,
Ring and tell your friends you’ll do your best for all their (sakes/sex) tonight.
Oh no.

It would be dangerous not to do.
Now you know.
Oh, now you know.

If I should get along OK, if I should get along…
If I should get along OK, if I should get along…
I’ll have heated birdbath in my garden with a little pond at the end
And have sexual fantasies focused on the image of a very loving friend.
It’s the future and I’m sitting at the foot of her bed,
Asking for help, but instead of saying what I meant, I went and said
Something that just went under my head.
I’m asking for advice, I’m in a bit of bother,
But stay under the covers, I am not your lover.

Who will I walk up and down the cherry tree with now?

It would be dangerous not to do.
Now you know.
Oh, now you know.

It’s the future and I’m sitting in a litte restaurant,
Full of cinematographers, women geographers,
Waiting for my friend (for my very loving friend) to come.
My friend is here! My friend is here!
My god, my god, my god my god.
Talk to me, talk to me,
Come into the garden, Maud.
I’ll be here forever, but she will not.

It would be dangerous not to do.
Now you know.
Oh, now you know.

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Organ Grinders

Dust is settling sordidly
Across the phonograph cylinder
The doctor thinks that he hears something
Like the cry of a child from behind the window.
The doctor’s been working in his own little world.
He’s picking up voices from a strange little girl.
The doctor’s been living too much in his head —
He communicates with the dead. He said,

It came to me, it came to me,
Like a little bit of light it came to me,
It fell on me, it fell on me,
Like a little bit of dust it fell on me,
It entered me, it entered me,
Without taking a thing it went from me.

The old man of letters sound-proofed his study
Against street-criers, savoyards, they were all bloody
Malodorous, unmelodiously grinding their organs,
Cluttlering about the back streets of London.

Shut up! Shut up!

Dust is settling sexily across the gramophone.
Everybody loves you now you’re on your own.

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Barnaby’s Visit

Things weren’t so clever last weekend.
My nerves were positively weakened.
My telephone picked up a signal from someone
Who said that’s my spirit that’s speaking.
He said that’s my spirit that’s speaking.

He watches me sitting in traffic.
He hums to the radio static.
He stands behind windows and looks for a channel
To find a way into the circuit.
And then someone closes the circuit.

I did not know where I was going.
My nerves and my wires were showing.
He said that he wants me, he said that he wants me,
I hope that he comes back to haunt me.
I hope that he comes back to haunt me.

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Unlace Me Behind The Hedge

“Where do you want me to touch you?” she said.
“Here, by the side of the road”, I said.
“Sit on the stone wall and play with my hair,
Come here, unlace me behind the hedge.”

I think that sex is just special effects,
A right performance from the fireworks department.
Someone powders our faces and sorts out the lights,
Makes sure that we’re all having a really nice time.

My first ever scene was filmed on location,
Two-thirds of a mile from the nearest bus station.
I will lie down here and you can do it to me —
The lurid little lambs were in love with me.

The girl is polite and the weather is friendly —
These little things are the things that will end me.
Panting fresh air, breath to breath,
Behind the hedges comes my little death.

It’s OK. I’m not scared.
Just keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll never stop shivering,
We’ll go to the farm and jump in the river and drown.
Never pull me out.
We will sink in the mud — it will do for a bed —
I couldn’t be any wetter than I am wet now.

Hot breath, cold hands, I was pushing at a door.
A shiver is forever, I was scared to know —
Pearls before swine, what’s on the other side?
Your guess is not as good as mine.
I was very touched — it was too much and
She held me, she held me in one hand.
I was lying flat back, it was happening to me.
The lurid little lambs were laughing at me.

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Light Entertainer in Prison

I am a monster on display, a monster on display, a monster on display
They saw my credit card receipt, it’s hard to be discreet, it’s hard to be discreet
The right wing press can be so cruel, the press can be so cruel, the press can be so cruel
My mother has to read those things, and won’t know what to think, she won’t know what to think

They were cruel about my last performances, they said unpleasant things about my private life
They’re rush-releasing my biography, with a message of support from my ex-wife

You won’t see me on television
I’m a light entertainer in prison

Oh god, you’re thicker than I thought, your’e thicker than I thought, you’re thicker than I thought
It wasn’t difficult to see I had a shady history, a shady history
And I can pull a funny face, but do you think it’s in good taste, do you think it’s in good taste?
I am a danger to your kids, a danger to your kids, a danger to your kids

I’ve written rude words upon the wall, oh mother, what’ll I do now?

(repeat chorus)

Well I think I’ve gone to hell and there aren’t many jokes to tell, not many jokes to tell down here
Thank you! Goodnight! I hate you all! etc

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Lord Byron’s Marriage

The Lord is in an awful mood today.
The Lord is in an awful mood today.
Whoever thought they’d ever say
they had seen Lord Byron’s wedding day?
The Lord is in an awful mood today.

The Lord is in an awful mood today.

My oldest friend, I loved how you told me
When you slept with all those women, and left them, and told me.
You collected so many lockets of hair,
And you showed them to me. Will you show them to her?
There was Caroline Lamb, who you dressed as a man,
And Augusta, your understanding half-sister.
You’re dangerous to know, and bloody good-looking.
Farewell, crippled beau, farewell to fair fucking.

And Lord, you seem so nervous today.

Brittle and settled, and tied in a knot.
Does anyone know any reason why not?
Ask the antelope women and the young Turkish boys,
But the antelope women have changed their address,
And the young Turkish boys have become Turkish men,
And they’re not at your wedding. I am. I’m your friend.

But Lord, you seem so uncomfortable today.
And I’m holding your hand as the carriage drives away.
The one time when I’ll most need you,
You’ll be on your honeymoon.
I’ve holding your hand as the carriage drives away.

And you say “I do… but give me privacy.
I do… but soon I won’t.”
I don’t mean to be a misery, but
The wedding is full of guests and ghosts.
In sickness and sickness, till death you two part
Or an elephant treading on your heart.

An elephant has trodden on my heart.
An elephant has trodden on my heart.
The one time when I’ll most need you,
You’ll be on your honeymoon.
An elephant has trodden on my heart.

Goodnight!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2008 7:09 am

    Come on then.

  2. Heather permalink
    January 25, 2008 8:01 pm

    Jonny and I are going to go fishing, instead.

  3. Viginia permalink
    April 21, 2008 3:35 am

    Excellence!

  4. June 9, 2008 7:29 pm

    This is very, very interesting.

  5. June 10, 2008 1:06 am

    I’m glad you think so!

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