Lyrics: Wise After The Event

 

We're All As We Lie (Written in 1977)

August saw a contest fit for Kings
From far and wide they came to trade their swings
Little grubs with stone-age clubs 
And tanners' sons with foxes gloves
They came to face the stiffest course since Tring
 
Harold took an eight-iron at the first
Hoped the hedge whilst Tostig chipped and cursed
Sliced into a sticky patch and, playing out,
He'd met his match
When lettuce leaves had made the crowd disperse.
 
So, we're all as we lie
We're all as we're lying.
No, don't tell me it's time,
It's all in the timing.
 
Getting wiser, so much wiser, introspected ostraciser,
Drinking up with no holes barred to play.
 
Daphne lay beside the Silent Pool,
When suddenly the air began to cool
Otto heard it, running back,
And tried to stop the thudding crack
As Luther strode up, crying "Winter Rules".
 
"Holy Mackerel", cried the Papal Prince,
"You're out of bounds I'm really quite convinced".
Luther drew his driver but the Pope pulled out a fiver
And they halved the hole on points of sacraments
 
So, we're all as we lie
We're all as we're lying.
No, don't tell me it's time,
It's all in the timing.
 
Getting wiser, so much wiser, Seven Sisters sympathiser
Drinking up with no holes left to play.
 
The hour of confrontation now was nigh
As Plato and Justinian were tied,
Locked in mortal combat firing vulture after wombat
Their supremacy now could not be denied.
 
The Seventeenth lay waiting for the pair
As both advanced with silent, ashen stares
But there they stood, incredulous,
The distance reading "Nebulous"
And "Best of luck, Buzz Aldrin beat you there".
 
So, we're all as we lie
We're all as we're lying.
No, don't tell me it's time,
It's all in the timing.
 
So, we're all as we lie
We're all as we're lying.
No, don't tell me it's time,
Or else I'll be crying.
 
Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Birdsong (Written in 1970)

 I hear the birds come greet me in my morning
They sing the songs of love in tongues of ages past.
And all the while a vision is unfolding,
The Moorhen pipes at me, "don't sleep the day away".
 
And so with cautious steps I tread
A measured path through vale and rook,
And many signs you'd want to take me with you.
 
And I go down to the Landing.
Heron's Flood flows on storm-clothed
As the harbour lights guide the wanderers home.
 
I see the sun come greet me in his dawning,
He holds the seed of life within his aged hands.
And, in the sky, a vast procession streaming,
Royal banners held aloft to mark the halcyon time.
 
And so I walk in meadows below,
Amongst the springs and weevil-gall,
In myriad throngs the grass will take me with you.
 
And I climb up to the Hawk's Throne,
Cragshorn lies at Umbrian
And the marram-slopes span the sapient sky.
 
I feel the night come bidding me his greeting,
He draws a glowing veil upon a sleepy world.
And in the sky the stars roll through the heavens,
Below, the new-hatched dove stares wondrously above.
 
And so to Esma I am come
To forge a passageway through time
And all, too soon, you'd come to take me with you.
 
And I strike north to the veld-plains,
Dorn Ridge melts in snow-gold.
As the Moorhen
Pipes the pinkery moon.
 
Birdsong, so sweetly, hear them calling you.
Birdsong, so sweetly, hear them calling you.

 
Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Moonshooter (Written in 1977)

Every little thing she's wanted
Every little thing she's had to get
Every single thing she's squandered
Every single thing she's had to let.
 
Moonshooter, as free as ebbing tide
Moonshooter, no gaping cracks to hide
Some at the windows
Some at the lights - 
 
Carry on shooting your moons...
Maybe we'll come back soon
Yes we will come back soon.
 
Florida is where you'll find her
Lazing in the sticky summer sun
Living in a dying city
Waiting for the travelling troupes to come
 
Moonshooter, as free as ebbing tide
Moonshooter, no gaping cracks to hide
Some at the windows
Some at the lights - 
 
Carry on shooting your moons...
Maybe we'll come back soon
Yes we will come back soon.
 
Moonshooter, as free as ebbing tide
Moonshooter, no gaping cracks to hide
Some at the windows
Some at the lights - 
 
Carry on shooting your moons...
Maybe we'll come back soon
Yes we will come back soon
Yes I will come back soon
 
Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Wise After the Event (Written in 1977)

Four thousand monks in a maelstrom
All crying out for release.
Three cheers for old Mother Hailsham
She's sticking to her beliefs.
 
A hundred ships took to the high seas
Intent on sailing the world.
They might have known that a rainy sky
Would scatter swine before pearls.
 
One by One, the Centaur is breaking its chains
And, after all, we're blood and flesh and pain.
Cover it up high, cover it up low
Cerebus stirring,
Finally learning,
Lamplighters' torches extinguish
The flames of our fate.
 
Six sturdy Bold held the Tiber
Across the stakes they did swarm.
And in a chance he was leaving
Throughout his watch he was warning their guards.
 
I met a man on a spreading kite
Who set his course for the sun.
But when I asked him what he'd found up there
He said he'd just been for fun.
 
Hour by hour the jigsaw is piecing together
In fear and dread, we wait the final act,
Gathering up high, gathering up low,
See how the earth quakes
Watch as the crust breaks
Beating the air as the hot wind
Comes my way.
 
A million men marched on Memphis,
To pay respects to their King
But when they came to Fort Lauderville,
They found they all had to sing - 
So we're getting so much wiser, it's so much fun.


 
Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Pulling Faces (Written in 1977)

Flashing meteors follows
Comets climb in starling numbers,
And the saucers slip by upon the Milky Way.
 
Marking time, counting sheep on Venus,
Stranded here on Ether
I couldn't get me feet into a windbreak today.
 
Pulling Faces and swapping places
Grab the Bull by the horns
But I still seem to be torn
From the Plough I have
Seen the Earth rise
And the Bear sailed away....
 
Correlating clusters
Destination undecided
As the Virgan Voice cries, "Proceed to Orion"
 
Lighting years with Aurora's Beacon
Banished here for treason
They didn't give a reason for this sentence in space.
 
Pulling Faces and swapping places
Grab the Bull by the horns
But still I seem to be torn
From the Pole I have 
Seen the Crab rise
And the Fish flew away...
 
Pulling Faces in empty places
And now at last we're forewarned
And though the Bull's lost his horns - 
After years of trekking
Through the Starglow,
It's the End of the Universe.


 
Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Regrets (Written in 1975)

Regrets, yes I have many
But none so great as spurning your love,
For how sweet, how sweet your love would be
As fierce as fire, as tender as dew.
 
So let the rain fall
Crashing on me
And blind my eyes
For the love I can't feel.
 
Take a sound, don't you wait, don't be hurried
Make a sign, don't be late, don't you worry now.
 
Sometimes, I would have you close to me
And take the path that leads to the sea.
In the dark our eyes would meet at last
And on your lips, the words I must flee.
 
So let the rain fall
Crashing on me
And blind my eyes
For the love I can't feel.
 
Take a sound, don't you wait, don't be hurried
Make a sign, don't be late, don't you worry now.
 
So let the rain fall
Crashing on me
And blind my eyes
For the love I can't feel.
 
Pulling out while the doubts loom above me
Shouting out in the dark for you to love me
Cutting life from the hopes of an outstretched hand
 
Regrets, our secret cemeteries,
Where loves and loss are silently lain,
The dream is fading faster now,
And soon you'll slip beyond my recall.


 Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Greenhouse (Written in 1976)

Hear, a West Wind calling,
I hear it calling my name,
Snow, on Greenland falling,
The ice is melting away.
 
Sitting in a greenhouse painted green,
None to picked and none to be seen:
Standing in a harbour soaking rain,
Why must the sky bring rain back again?
 
Wake, an angel talking,
She's asking, "black, white or nun?"
Drake, from Plymouth streaking,
He skinks the galleons with his guns.
 
Climbing up a creeper chasing flies,
Unzip their wings and look in their eyes:
Standing on a steeple stitching time,
Time to be saved and time to be nine.
 
Footsteps in a blizzard point the way to go
Heads of marble snowmen,
Miles and miles from home.
 
Sleeping on an Interstellar Plane
 
Sitting in a greenhouse painted green
None to be picked and none to be seen
Sleeping on an Interstellar Plane
Will we return to find it again?


 
Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips & Jeremy Gilbert
EMI Music Publishing Ltd / Hit & Run Music (Publishing) Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Paperchase (May Never Wears A Frown) (Written in 1976)

Find a way to distinguish patterns
In the thread of the living,
Pick a path through the rough and tumble
Look within without misgiving.
Darkness falls on December,
Gathered in, we recall.
 
Wait, don't let it wear you down
Call me, and I'll be right round, come what
May never wears a frown.  So call me - 
 
And we'll treat the world as on wedding-days
On and on through the Paperchase.
 
Pitch a ball across a dusky courtyard
See the shadows slink away;
Toss a coin into a feckless fountain
And - brittle hope - it's your lucky day!
Winter finds us together
Heaven knows our design.
 
Wait, don't let it wear you down
Call me, and I'll be right round, come what
May never wears a frown.  So call me - 
 
And we'll treat the world as on wedding-days
On and on  through the Paperchase.


 Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 
 
 Now What (Are They Doing To My Little Friends)? (Written in 1977)

I dreamed I was an Otter
In sheltered leats I lay
They I heard a sound I feared
And then I saw their coats
All smeared in blood
I knew my fate - 
Nowhere to hide.
 
I dreamed I was a Red Stag,
In pastures grazing
And then I heard a hunting-horn
Ringing out its song - 
The Song of Death
We know so well
How can I tell?
 
For I, I am the Sun
I am the Moon
I am the Stars up above
Now what are they doing to my little friends?
I make everything and it all dies in the end.
 
I dreamed I was a Big Bear,
Bespectacled and brown
And then I saw two shafts of fire
Shooting through the sky - 
I heard no more
Save drops of rain,
I cannot explain...
 
I dreamed I was a Grey Seal,
My clubs for suckling
And then they came with sticks and clubs
And beat away my brains - 
I heard no more
Save children's cries
Helpless to die.

For I, I am the Sun
I am the Moon
I am the Stars up above
Now what are they doing to my little friends?
I make everything and it all dies in the end.


 Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.

 

Squirrel (Written in 1970)

Out at night, I saw a squirrel
Lying in a ditch beneath a great elm tree.
Grey and weak, his tiny eyes revealed
The secret of this vigil strange and free.
Hour after hour he pursued,
Weaker and weaker you grew
 
Squirrel, friend, I see you lying and there's 
Nothing I can do to bring you back.
Grey and weak, your tiny eyes don't understand
The strangeness of this pain you feel.
All through the night you will lie,
Each moment death's hour draws nigh.
 
Silently, your hooded brothers lay you down
To sleep forever into time.
Peace, at last, has come upon you
As  a Mother's fading whispers to her child.
 
Hour after hour I pursued,
Though you are gone I will still remember you.


 
Lyrics written by Anthony Phillips
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.  Reproduced by permission.


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