Dead Orchestras

by Swimmer One

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1.
One day, love, all this will be yours. I just hope it’s enough, when we have gone to wherever we’re going, when we have gone and left you listening to dead orchestras. We tried hard to make beautiful things. I hope we made more than just stuff. When we have gone I hope that there's something in all this junk that you find some life in. Dead orchestras. Will you forgive our numerous failures and the fact that these songs were mostly about ourselves? 'Cause we really did love you Keep a brave face darling, we'll sing you to sleep if you want us to, or we’ll try to, from wherever we are.
2.
Now I’m dancing in the disco. Now I’m lying on my deathbed. Now I’ve made sure that you’ll never know. Now I’ve said what needed said. I have made it. Now I’ve got high for the first time. Now I’ve conquered my addiction. Now I’ve bought a place in the west end. Now I’ve burned your house to the ground. I have made it. I have waited all of my life. Now my racehorse is the winner. Now my little girl’s all grown up. Now I’m rid of you forever. Now the bomb is on the bus. You can try to make this music yours but it always slips out of your hands. This is the moment, we’ve made it This is the moment we made.
3.
I thought I'd end up here, I even knew where to park the car. I thought I'd drive out here, I even wrote a goodbye note but I am so scared of exits, I cling like a coward to the railings then silently scream at the traffic while the water indifferently flows under the Erskine Bridge I'm sorry for all the pain. I'm sorry for all of the heartbreak I caused you. I didn't know myself or understand anything that I felt for you. Too caught up in the water's indifference to everything we built above it, The way it says: 'Any time I like, I could rise up and smash that bridge And carry you all out to sea.' And if i had loved you more, and if I had been content with feeling safe and solid as bricks in a bridge it still would not be enough. I am tired of feeling numb, like there's so much guilt and anger trapped inside that there's nothing to do but jump, just to watch it all explode into the sky. There is no escaping the sadness of love, the cruelty of love, the violence, the cold cold water. So I will be leaving but I won't go that way because I don't believe in all these tall buildings. They are not ours, we should tear them down. Yes I will be leaving but I won't go that way because if I don't do something I will always be here in the shadow of the Erskine Bridge. The river has burst its banks, everything's floating away out to sea. I am not scared.
4.
No, I am not in this place shopping, I am tracing the letter A as directly as possible through the city centre. I started in Ashton Lane, and the line went through here. This is my friend Jim, he’s not shopping either. He does psychogeography. No for me it’s just a hobby, the designer shoes are that way, yes I’ll pass on my love, no I’ve not seen him for ages... And now I’ve run out of stuff to say so I hope you find those shoes, I could get on my high horse, say 'I’m not the one who’s lost', but a high horse isn’t practical, you can’t get it through revolving doors. When these shops are all flooded we’ll be in the same boat, drifting through the plague years, drifting through the plague years. Can we please leave this shop now? There is nothing of value here. All this stuff makes me dizzy, it gives me the fear. When all this is under the water these maps will be all that’s left, so we should try to make these maps beautiful. We are making geography, psychogeography.
5.
Do the bars round here ever close? Not until we've set the world to rights. Maybe both of us were a little too honest tonight. The point is not to take flight. Safe home darling, safe home. There’s no cause for regret, there’s no need to feel guilty. Safe home darling, safe home. If we both keep our heads maybe we can sleep soundly. So many ways you can love someone, I really had no idea. These hearts of ours are such fragile things, careful how you handle them, Here’s your train, safe home.
6.
Anyone here for love? We’re not gonna fix this mess. Not in a hundred years. So anyone here for love? Oh Lorelei and Dorothy I think we were made for this. We are here to watch a cabaret show, not to dispense justice. The moment they had is gone, the money they had is gone and there are no miracle cures to fix the damage they've done. But I have a dream of a country, I have a dream of a city, where there are late night bars that'll pay good money to see our scars. Everyone here's in need of love, now who'll be the first we kiss? We are here to watch a cabaret show, not to dispense justice. London and New York are sinking under the waves. No one's gonna sing for them. This is not a time for pissing round making hay. Dry land is a girl's best friend. It’s too late for us to go back to Little Rock now even if we wanted to. All the lights have gone out on that little old town Anyway they never loved you like I do, my Lorelei, my Dorothy. We could make the perfect team, girls. Please take me with you, won't you?
7.
I’m sure he loves you now, his head is full of wine. You look just like his wife but she’s not here tonight. I know how his mind works, our brains are wired the same. How could he not kiss you when there is so much love, so much love, that is filling up his heart? So much love, so much love, that he doesn’t know what to do with it but if you knew what he thought you’d run out of this bar before he finds the courage to ruin his evening and yours. You think that he’s your friend but he’s just like those other men. The difference is he pretends that this is about love, so much love that is filling up his heart, so much love, so much love, that he doesn’t know what to do with all this love, all this love, it’s so much it's made him sick. He needs a slap to the face and a chorus of disapproval: 'You have fallen way short of our expectations.' But this isn’t how it happens at all. I don’t point the finger, pin him to the wall. Say 'go home to your wife, stop dreaming of the circus,' because I just want you, because I just want you. Instead I just sit here, watch it all play out. There is no chorus of disapproval, just disappointment.
8.
The chair in my room is facing the wall. I can’t make it turn the other way, but I can move my head much better now, so I know what I’ll see when I finally stand up. They built a new forest today and the ocean’s a little bit bluer. The man two doors down is a surfer but I can look at all this any time. There’s no rush, no fuss, I am seven years younger and the depression is gone. I know this room won’t always be here, and I know that there’ll be no warning, but at least it will be painless and sudden. I just wanted a house near the beach where the sewage and the smoke don’t fill your lungs, where people don’t conspicuously die, where the water isn’t rising one minute at a time. And I know our parents wouldn’t understand. They never had the tools that we have but they didn’t have this weight on their shoulders. You have to look for comfort where you can. So I don’t want to know any of their names, I don’t care if they’re not what they say, just as long as we can all get along in a quiet and uncomplicated way. And outside it gets hotter by the hour, and bad news always feels like accusation but inside it’s as cool as you want it and there’s no death that you can’t come back from. And darling I hope that you’ll learn to forgive me. When I'm gone will you paint me in a positive light? Something like I was neither filthy rich nor cruel, I always voted green and liberal, gave money to the homeless on the street, (well ok, if they were right there, standing right there, in full view), but I just got scared I’d lose what life I had left, and I seem to lack the skills to try to make things better, and I couldn’t bear to sit here and just watch us all die, I’m really better off inside. It starts with a panic on Sauchiehall Street, the sight of you plugged in, locked in your own world, desperately wanting to make a connection while running headlong in the opposite direction. Dazzled by bright lights and white noise and shouting, loveless and joyless and poetry-free music that never shuts up for a second and makes you so numb you do absolutely nothing, you can sit there frustrated or turn round and flee. Come on, you know you can make it. Come on you know you can make it. Everything will be alright. There are places where we can be safe. It’s not what we were hoping for but do we have any reason to stay? Come on in, take a seat, you can make all the fear go away. We can build a better world than this one and if we can’t well then at least we can hide. Christine, Frank, Jennifer, Gregory... I'm not coming back but I hope to see you soon.
9.
The lobby seemed a decent place to wait. Sooner or later you had to pass through on your way somewhere. Everyone needs to sleep. I have lived my life in bland rooms full of nondescript anonymous stuff that offers you no clue where you are. I told myself that if i saw you passing through one of those rooms I'd write your name on all the furniture. Someone asked if I wanted a room. No way, I told them. If you unpack your life it might not fit back in your case. After that they left me alone with all the things you can't give names to, all the things you have to share with travellers who always leave alone, all the things you try to hoard but know that when you close that door will be somebody else's mobile home. We are all just tourists here, we do our best to leave our mark, But in the end, we know very well, all that's left when we are gone are broken hearts and dust and bones, ghosts in the hotel. Everybody needs to sleep, this is as good a place as any. Close your eyes, pretend it's your own bed. I'll be waiting here for you downstairs.
10.
02:24
And all the hits you take that play havoc with your heart, they were not sent here to test you. You’d be crazy to think that, darling. You’d be crazy to think that. But if you must think of them as something with a point think of them as your greatest hits, they are yours to wear like armour. This is a better time without the ridiculous rush of a hundred dance routines that simply leave you exhausted. Instead there'll be quiet music and everything will be ok, everything will be ok, just not in the way you expected.

about

The second album from Swimmer One.

credits

released May 31, 2010

Hamish Brown: guitars, keyboards, synth and drum programming, vocals, harmonica
Andrew Eaton: vocals, keyboards, piano
Laura Cameron Lewis: vocals
Robert Dick: violin
Jackie Norrie: violin
Liz Ford: viola
Pete Harvey: cello
Ben Seal: bass
Fraser Johnstone: drums

Songs by Hamish Brown and Andrew Eaton
Production by Hamish Brown
String arrangements by Pete Harvey www.cellopete.co.uk
Additional engineering by James Locke www.missionhallstudios.com
Mastered by Simon Davey at The Exchange
Design by Daniel Warren www.danielwarren.tv

You can read and listen to more here: www.swimmerone.co.uk

All songs by Brown/Eaton. C and P Biphonic Records 2010. Unauthorised copying, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

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Swimmer One Edinburgh

Swimmer One are from Scotland, and write and record their experimental pop music in a disused church in Edinburgh. Their music has been compared to everyone from the Pet Shop Boys and the Associates to the Blue Nile and the Who. They have made two albums to date, The Regional Variations (2007) and Dead Orchestras (2010). ... more

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