Lyrics & Song Notes from Parallel Lives 

THE LINESMAN

A song for those who look on thinking "I could do that" 

I used to think everything had to be perfect before putting it out there.

It took me a long time to realise even the confident ones 'wing it" sometimes.

 

I am the linesman

Running the line

Life on the sideline

Most of the time

I get them moments 

When they see me there

Waving my flag 

Make them aware

 

Scars of life

Tattoos of time

Stories to tell

I'm feeling fine

I'm feeling fine

 

Make the pitch

Run with the ball

Part of the game

Giving it all

 

Scars of life

Tattoos of time 

Stories to tell

I'm feeling fine

I'm feeling fine

 

 
 

THE GAMBLER

Memories of being a kid on holiday and being given a handful of 'old' pennies to go round the amusement arcade. I used to head to the one called the waterfall and try and win the pennies that were defying gravity and hanging on the edge for dear life. 

That was the extent of my gambling career, unlike today where we are continuously bombarded with adverts enticing you into the fray where you can lose your home from the comfort of your own armchair.

 

Like metallic rain drops

The sound fills the room

He hears coins fall from the mountain

He'll be putting all the wrongs to right soon

 

Tonight the omens look good

He prays to the omens 'be kind'

As he hangs all his fears on the coat peg

He's panning for gold in his mind

 

So the lights and the bustle take over

Adrenaline it pumps in his vein

His mind it's set on its journey

To salvage some hope from the pain

 

The queen calls

The king lies

Jokers laugh

No diamonds in this mine

Cherries spin

Barrels roll

Hearts bleed

No prizes this time

No prizes this time

 

So he sits himself down he table

The keys to their house are his hand

Him and his girl had a dream

Things hadn't quite worked out as planned

 

Now he walks this desolate highway

Talks the desperate talk

Lies to himself and his family

His mind heavy from this perilous walk

 

Some turn to god, 

Others to crime

For some there's a rope at the end of the line

Some live with their fear 

On the edge of the abyss

Rolling one die at a time

 

The queen calls ....... 

 

Like metallic rain drops

The sound fills the room

He hears coins fall from the mountain

He'll be putting all the wrongs to right soon

 

Tonight the omens looked good

He prayed to the spirits 'be kind'

As he walks past his coat on the coat peg

And leaves his old life behind

 

OLD FATHER TIME

Whilst having a sort out I found some old cassette tapes. I played them to discover it was me playing but had no knowledge of ever writing the tunes. 

I didn't use any of them on this album but I wrote this song on the back of wondering where the lost years went.

 

Where did you go to, Old Father TIme

Here stands an old man where once stood a child

Where did you go to Old Father Time 

I've lived a whole life one the blink of an eye

 

I stood by the window

Looked at the rain

Wondered if anything would ever be the same

Then I caught a glimpse of a gap in the cloud

Remembered a time when once I was proud

Suited and booted, enjoyed the crowd

But it all seems another life now

 

So I played my music

I didn't know it was me

But it was my fingers moving

From what I could see

Then I caught a melody 

I recognised as mine

It hung on the cloud though my heart it was crying

For it triggered a memory from way down the line

Oh it all seems another life now

 

Where did you go to .....

 

I stood by the window

Watched the rain fall

I was looking for a reason

Waiting for a call

Then something from somewhere 

Made me look at the wall

There stood the answer 

There stood them all

All looking back at me 

All saying "hi"

Pictures of family and good friends gone by

 

So all you young kids

Who think you've got long

Write your own stories 

Sing your own song

Hang your own pictures

On your own wall

Take fate by the hand

When fate comes to call

 

Where did you go to Old Father Time

The pictures tell a story of a life that was mine 

Where did you go to Old Father Time

You cannot change it 

And neither can I

WIGGLY WORM

This tune seemed to appear out of nowhere as if it was already in the guitar, all I had to do was give it a chance to show itself.

It took longer to decide if Wiggly should have an 'r' in it. 

 
 

FREEWAY TO HER DREAMS

(Gordon Haskell)

 

Her secret's in her shoulder bag

They’re sewn into the seams

Is a journey that she has to take 

On the freeway to her dreams '

She asks herself how come my life’s forever in a spin 

And she hides a tiny photograph in an old tobacco tin 

She keeps her make-up in a box with its lid of tortoiseshell 

I caught a glimpse inside it once of a jewel beneath the veil 

I loved her then I love her still though it’s not what she believes            

One day I hope she’ll see me there on the freeway to her dreams            

Her secret's in her shoulder bag 

They’re sewn into the seams

And the journey takes her on and on 

On the freeway to her dreams 

And one day I hope she’ll see me there 

On the freeway to her dreams

 

IN MY MIND

A song that began as I walked through the the dark down the unlit lane to the music night at the Red Lion. It was cold, It was raining, it was bleak. I could have driven but it didn't give you the time to clear your head, and you always felt like you deserved that pint when you finally arrived there. 

 

I can't walk this walk anymore

Every turn I take I'm dreading

And I can talk this talk anymore

Every word I say I'm regretting

I cannot see to make it right

Cannot turn my dark to light

Seems that I'm just too tired for trying

 

And I can't dance this dance anymore

I pirouette but always end up falling

This engine it won't start anymore

I turn the key but always end up stalling

I cannot seem to find the spark

Cannot seem to light my dark

She says, I'm just too tired for trying

 

But hey babe, what do you know

If I could find a place to go somewhere

To ease the troubles from my mind

A place where roots take hold and 

I don't run when things turn cold

That's the kind of place I'd like to find

That's the place I go to 

In my mind 

 

This river it don't flow anymore

It's waters' run dry well before the shore

Somewhere in the dark and distant past 

All I ever learnt were things were never meant to last

 

But hey babe, what do you know ........

 

Please let me sail this yacht one more time

Once round this island and all will be just fine

To free myself from these tides

That pull me to the rocks where I'm destined to collide

 

But hey babe, what do you know

If I could find a place to go somewhere

To ease the troubles from my mind

A place where roots take hold and 

I don't run when things turn cold

That's the kind of place I'd like to find

That's the place I go to 

In my mind 

 

BLACK GOLD 

As a teenager I was lucky to be gigging in the miners welfares around the midlands.  I remember the guys at the bar with their jet black eyes from the coal dust. I saw the families dance together, I occasionally saw them fight.  I learnt to be deathly quiet during the bingo. 

I then watched as their communities were ripped apart. 

 

He's gonna sit here and wait for a morning

There's one due along in a while

He's not in a hurry to get there

He's not been back since his son was a child

 

That's when they closed all the pits down

And the last ship sailed the bay

The steel works lie rusty and broken

So he pedaled south down Maggie's way

 

And I got a job juggling money

And talking to folks on the phone

They'd buy off me little bits of plastic

That come here on a boat far from home

 

I sell yellow and red ones

I've got pink and green

There's every color and hue

But even now after all of these years 

I don't have a clue what they do

 

There's a hole in my heart

Where there's a hole in the ground

Relentlessly pulling

My heartstrings around

Every day, there's a feeling of blue

For however vibrant these colours

They don't shine like the black gold I knew

 

I'm not saying that life there was perfect

But that old terraced house was my home

The backyards and streets were my kingdom

Grazed me knees, broke my arm, carried on 

 

On the weekend we'd go down the welfare

Mum would jive to the live rock n roll

Dad would pretend he was Elvis

Drink beer, play bingo and pool

 

There's a hole in my heart ....... 

 

TRAWLERS

I hope it takes you somewhere nice 

 

PARALLEL LIVES 

 

You may alter the rules

You can use all your tools

To turn all of the wrongs into rights

You can change all your views

You can distort the news

But you can't give a blind man his sight

 

All his witnesses there

All his crosses laid bare

His eyes hide the scene of a crime

Leaving those who lie hollow

In darkness and sorrow

Trying to make stagnant words rhyme

 

So on side by side

Out of sight but not mind

With memories tied

To the one left behind

And the one who's along

We'll sing him a song

Rock a bye baby, up in the tree

But look through the tears

And the smiles through the years

Tell me in his eyes who did you see

 

THE ROAD THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

A song for the drifters and dreamers amongst us.  I think of this track as a watercolour where, hopefully, the colours draw you in and you feel part part of the picture rather than an observer

 

The breeze blows the nets from the window open wide

Outside two paths, which to choose I must decide

One smooth tarmac, no troubles I would guess

I head for the green lane, destiny and fortune do the rest

 

The wind is sharp and piercing the rain stings my face

But head down I push on, no need to start to race

I rest when I'm tired, I sleep when I'm done

Berries taste sweet, in the warmth of the sun

 

I learnt to swim the rivers that flow across my track

Kept moving forward, no thoughts on turning back

For that's not where I'm heading, to look forward is to grow

Live life in the present, the here and the now

 

Then my path crossed the tarmac road, I stood by the busy street

But the roar of the 4x4 nearly knocked me off my feet

Took a stroll down the arcade, for something I might need

I could have been in any town, with all the corporate greed

 

I ended up in the suburbs, I met a man like me

He smiled, said "come on over, I've not seen you recently"

We talked a while and reminisced, till the full moon filled the sky

Then we shook hands and said our goodbyes

 

He went inside and locked the door, turned on his tv screen

I buttoned up my raincoat, headed off down the street

Turned off at the track with the blue and the green

And laughed out loud, at the road that might have been

 

The breeze blows the nets from the window open wide

Outside two paths, which to choose I must decide

One smooth tarmac, no troubles I would guess

I head for the green lane

Destiny and fortune

And you, and me did the rest

 

OUR SNACK

A ditty about a rescue dog.  A fictitious story but Snack was an actual dog saved by a friend, Emma who was working in Thailand and rescued the dog on the way to teaching English at a local school.  The young pupils named him Snack as with a bit more meat on him they'd probably have had him for dinner.

 

Here he is the family pet

The kids have named him snack

We've had him for a while now

We found him in a sack

Walking down the towpath 

me and the wife

Drowning in the old canal 

Doggy paddlin' for his life

We dragged him out we dried him off 

We took him down the vets

She said " he'll live the plucky lad"

But I wasn't taking bets

 

Scabs and flees 

Skin and bones

What teeth he had were yellow

How can some folks be so cruel

He's such a lovely fella

 

We fed him up, we brushed him down

Got a blanket nice and thick

With love and affection

He perked up really quick

He buries bones, I throw him sticks

His favorite game

He's got his own plastic basket 

And a collar with his name

If you ever are down our street

If you ever are in town

Do pop in and see our snack

He's the cockiest dog around

 

He struts around like he owns the place 

I sometimes think he does

He believes he's one of the human race

He thinks he's one of us

 

But when all is quiet, and nothing is around

When sleep starts to take him

If he hears the faintest sound

His eyes look straight up at me 

So piercingly deep

I comfort him and wink

I pat him back to sleep

 

When all is quiet, and nothing is around

You can tell in his eyes he remembers

The day, he nearly drowned 

 

RESOLUTION MOON

The result of sitting up until early hours of the morning with a bottle of whisky..

© 2017  John Buckley