LYRICS - Matthew Rowan - Composer ~ Songwriter

MATTHEW ROWAN
C O M P O S E R ~ S O N G W R I T E R
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UNREAD BOOKS
If I was around back then
I’d be old right now
With only a few moments left
I’d have to sign all the cheques
And let the groundskeeper know
That I’ve taken my third final bow

The laughs make me yearn
For those suspended times
But time is the one thing I fear
The photographs and footage
Pay no respect to the gaps
Tho I continue to misread the signs

I assume much success
And I’d be in with the crowd
Experience opens with innocence
But when the ones you admire
Are the ghosts of your dreams
The hand-me-down songs tear up their vow

If the story is better
Make that the shared truth
Interaction like a show in itself
The photographs and footage
Are now intertwined
Small mercies keep a lifeline to youth

When facades start to split
Smiles linger too long
They don’t care if caught in a lie
The new-old is real and
The old-new is false
Ignorance hides all that is wrong

The flawless delivery
Is the perfect red flag
“Well, that’s where the mountain should be”
I’m not struck down by the beauty
Or confused by the maze
The handwritten note was an elegant tag

There is no going back
Once a decision is made
That’s the price for a wish to come true
The Cyranos and Sparrows
Stacked like books I’ve not read
And the plots have all started to fade

And the plots have all started to fade
The plots have all started to fade


THE BALLAD OF THE STARS
Heart of nowhere, nothing much to do
Shoulders are burning, throws back a few
Chop down them pines, later bend some steel
He knows that both paths need a Cuban heel

More pay per hour, and comes with moonshine glow
Days are shorter when dreams start to flow
Secure becomes fragile, a week becomes a night
His prayers are getting answered, now for the rewrite

One by one, the band of brothers unite
A kinship unrivalled, they battle through stage fright
The backbeat a constant, yet loves come and go
Lie and die for each other, fast lane too slow

“Over here, over here, y’all stand tall now”
“When d’you think they’re gonna hit that wall?”
“Take some of this, you gotta widen your view”
We must divide and conquer, then sweep up the residue

They cause destruction, clean none of it up
More of the same please, we want an overfilled cup
Straining to reach those dizzying heights
Sooner than not, they’ll be read their last rites

Never trust anyone, especially the people you admire
Ask too many favours, well that’s just playing with fire
A deal is a deal, somebody had better take the helm
Still on the road, everyone woke up but them

Some red blotches on an old handkerchief
Fair enough trade for that sweet relief
A couple more rings, a few more lines
He’s come a long, long way from choppin’ them pines


REMEMBER THIS
Ten thousand hours was just the beginning
Song after song retrieved at will
Stories for every stage, he earned the key to every city
What happened in the end was a deep, dark pity

Light of his life came from another world
Plans for the future and promises made
Ready to entertain, not the audience he ached for
Opportunity stared from a distance, act now or nevermore

Remember this
We all know how it goes
Remember when
All those great shows
Remember where
Welcomes, suites and roads
Remember us
And how to come home

A missed call here, a few birthdays there
Alights from a trance, too slow to recognise
Arrays of ribbons and bows sent with all notes the same
The pull of the wave is stronger than the longer game

Remember this
We all know how it goes
Remember when
All those great shows
Remember where
Welcomes, suites and roads
Remember us
And how to stay home

At what point did it all become fluid
Back and fourth through hoops of each size
Just one more then I’ll be done for good
Comforted by greatness, time no longer clockwise

A turnaround breaks down without warning
Many lessons heeded, he never trained to retire
Weeks become months, days become years
A name gets lost, a face disappears

Remember this
How does it go
Remember when
Did I do that show
Remember where
One long, faded road
Remember me
And how to be home

Remember this
Remember this
Remember this


MASTER OF ONE
A suit and a ponytail
Deceived the brass
The silent conversation
Choked al’them like gas
They demanded respect
He brought on fear
The ink dissolved into
A slick, fractured veneer

Some are jacks of all trades
And masters of none
With a smile and a handshake
He was never outdone
No-one saw it coming
He offered them the sun
The small print said otherwise
He was master of one

He took a few delicates
Under his wing
But just the ones who’d live on
His frayed ol’ shoestring
He gave them the space to
Do what they do
And took out insurance
To cover the milieu

Some are jacks of all trades
And masters of none
With a smile and a handshake
He was never outdone
No-one saw it coming
He offered them the sun
The small print said otherwise
He was master of one

The path didn’t satisfy
His ceaseless thirst
To rebuild his paradise
And lead them headfirst
Along the strange road to
The barn and the lake
A stage remains empty
It runs deep the mistake

Some are jacks of all trades
And masters of none
With a smile and a handshake
He was never outdone
No-one saw it coming
He offered them the sun
The small print said otherwise
He was master of one

Like an innocent child
He looked up to the stars
But the unrequited love
Left too many scars

Some are jacks of all trades
And masters of none
With a smile and a handshake
He was never outdone
No-one saw it coming
He offered them the sun
The small print said otherwise
He was master of one

He was master of one
He was master of one
He was master of only one


GIVE ME MORE
A Midwestern boy walks sharply due east
His pockets all lined with holes
An arsenal of phrases
That would burn up the papers
Or your ego
If caught between him and his goals

A crown and a voice are offered through cheers
Rebellion is on the rise
The sword has no power
Now the pen frees the people
To be exiled
Might be this turned sinner’s demise

Give me more than I’ve bargained for
Give me more than I’m worth
Give me more of your precious time
I’ll give you none of my days on earth

The tickets sell out at break-your-neck speed
Intentions not as before
The air is electric
A new leader’s elected
Hostile thunder
Shares note of their esprit de corps

Give me more than I’ve bargained for
Give me more than I’m worth
Give me more of your precious time
I’ll give you none of my days on earth

He moves to the woods and borrows a cot
A firm hush holds back the muse
The small inner circle
Cover up the uncertain
Bare essentials
Come courtesy of the same views

Give me more than I’ve bargained for
Give me more than I’m worth
Give me more of your precious time
I’ll give you none of my days on earth

At home there are hearts, residents only
The vermin can’t read the signs
Land no longer sacred
Bonds that tie desecrated
Written words show
Who really committed a crime

Give me more than I’ve bargained for
Give me more than I’m worth
Give me more of your precious time
I’ll give you none of my days on earth

When time passes
From one decade to another
The perpetrator forgets what they did
A grudge held too long
Makes this victim withdrawn
And the wisp of light ignites the last song

Give me more than I’ve bargained for
Give me more than I’m worth
Give me more of your precious time
I’ll give you none of my days on earth
I’ll give you none of my days on earth


ONE TIME IS ALL IT TAKES
All it takes is once
To send me off track
Just one little line
Carry on and turn your back
Is it what you meant
Take it on the chin
Will you remember it
When we’re seven months in

What choice do I make
Will I end this charade
Is there a keepsake

Best laid plans
They get mislaid
One time
One time is all it takes

You don’t miss a thing
Telling me the truth
Did I even ask
You offer me no proof
Didn’t do it right
It wasn’t up to scratch
Are ya‘t’all surprised
In another rough patch

What choice do I make
Will I end this charade
Is there a keepsake

Best laid plans
They get mislaid
One time
One time is all it takes

“Everything is fine” I say
“No problem there”
“Glad to be of service”
All with an empty stare

After all these years
Gave myself to the cause
Filling in the blanks
Never asked for applause
Summoned to the top
At last my reward
Gratitude received
Then you strike down with your sword

What choice do I make
Will I end this charade
Is there a keepsake

Best laid plans
They get mislaid
One time
One time is all it takes

One time is all it takes
One time is all it takes
One time is all it takes


WALKS AMONG US
He walks among us
He walks among us
Giving sound advice
That costs twice the price
Oh, it walks among us

She walks among us
She walks among us
Standing by our side
Till it’s time to hide
Oh, it walks among us

They walk among us
They walk among us
A united voice
But we have no choice
Oh, it walks among us

I see you
As plain as day
You’re fooling no-one
And I’m coming out to play

You walk among us
You walk among us
Promises you made
Over time will fade
Oh, take a walk among us

Take a walk among us
C’mon, take a walk among us
Oh, take a walk among us


LEARNING TO SURF
He never gets picked
Although he thinks he’s the best
An amateur becomes an addict
A life’s work is put to the test

The waves keep coming
He doesn’t see them all
Tries to find his bearings
Hopes for another close call

Another paper she’s signed
How many days will pass with this weight
Some friendly advice is ill-timed
Her soul gets harder to navigate

The waves keep coming
She doesn’t see them all
Tries to find her bearings
Hopes for another close call

More than ever came out to play
They trust that the rules are unspoken
There has to be a winner, come what may
What was understood is now broken

The waves keep coming
They don’t see them all
Try to find their bearings
Hope for another close call

Fingers are numb, legs are done
Find another line, write another verse
This time we’re outmatched, but the rope’s still attached
Keep on learning to surf

Expectations are my curse
I let myself down before I start
Seems to be better before it’s worse
The bits that remain are soon torn apart

The waves keep coming
I don’t see them fall
Try to find my bearings
Hope this one doesn’t end it all


THE HECKLER
That was just the longest week
Clients and colleagues threw a fit
I’m gonna waltz on down to my local club
Buy me some laughs and for no sub
I’ll help a lost soul to kill it

The scent floats up to greet me
Headshots and sketches line the hall
I wade through the crowd to my just-so seat
Order some plates and shake off the street
Who’ll get to strike at my curveball

I’m out to get you
Our spirits will align
It’ll feel like a blessing in disguise
That’s right, this night is mine

The emcee starts the auction
The house performs a guilt-free cull
A few are worthy there is no dispute
Silly or social, I will contribute
And watch a star rise from the lull

I’m out to get you
Our spirits will align
It’ll feel like a blessing in disguise
That’s right, this night is mine

New material, tours and specials
I had a hand in it all, we all know
No credit, no thanks, no comp, no hello
Keep me safe from your demons and devils

The teller, doorman and waitress
They all have one eye on the stage
Tracking the red lights and the easy laughs
Five to seven minutes then epitaphs
Maybe I’ll make them come of age

I’m out to get you
Our spirits will align
It’ll feel like a blessing in disguise
That’s right, this night is mine

Did you have to be so caustic
I thought we were in this together
You set me up and then I took you down
You lock me up tight then I spin around
Watch me headline sooner than later

I’m out to get you
Our spirits will align
It’ll feel like a blessing in disguise
That’s right, this night is mine

This night is mine
This night is mine
This night is mine


RINGS
Two rings on a finger
What a story they tell
One of nostalgia and loss
A frozen timepiece he’ll never sell

Low moments appear darker,
When they tug and claw at the seams
She said “All this will be yours one day,
All except my soul and my dreams”

Her face hangs trapped in a photograph,
Unable to be free and pass through
He remembers her so she exists
The deceptive memories appear true

It made no difference,
If he smiled or frowned
Chaos still swirled around him
And they all took a swing when he was down

He walked a while beyond the bend
That life left behind now a blur
On a shelf sits the outline of a stranger
All those characters he made up were her

Two rings on a finger
What a story they tell
Two rings and a pocketwatch
One to fix, the others to sell


RELICS
Look for a bit of something laying on the factory floor
That’ll cover this batch, don’t suppose we have anymore
Rent and wage and materials, maybe we should pay
A fool will give six figures for a bashed-up unit someday

I’ve come in for a new one, got a showcase tomorrow night
The light hits that beauty hanging in the corner just right
I finally found my companion, smooth, dark and blonde
This one’s a keeper, it’ll never be mistreated or pawned

Listen to that silhouette, matured through the years
If only I held that dream, wouldn’t be wasted, bring you to tears
Roadworn and tired, proudly showing its miles and mistakes
There’s genius to be tapped in the cracks, the grain, and the flakes

Had to get one too, this purchase quite the investment
I fought off the phone with my no upper limit
An immaculate piece, a relic so pure
Already revered by all, the price will soar for sure

A vessel of your history is more than I can afford
What if I give someone a long and tedious chore
To fabricate a lifetime with neither memories nor sweat
Imagination can be found in the beaten and battered, and the debt


FRAMING THE CANYON
Goes for a drive, lasts longer than expected
Finds a cheap wooden shack on a patchwork hill
The neighbours appear pleasant, no latches are welded
It takes less than a week to fulfil the predicted

Sounds drift around, they’re handed down to mature
Who pays for the cars and the rent and the grand
Hunger pains subdued by a bright, promising future
Squeeze too tight and the spirited sands choose a detour

With names, games and numbers, the dials start to turn
When asked who they were, none gave a quick answer
But success yields too much comfort and bridges to burn
And the quiet, angry laughter was cause for concern

We’re all family here
Please come in, come in
You can stay as long as you want
If you can play, write or sing

Words to the ears are a pin to the bubble
Dreams are non-starters, fantasy now lesson
A lover becomes a fighter, waiting for trouble
Artistry and opinion not blessed as a couple

The joyous winding road points to forever
It leads to a place nobody cares to be
The cliff further on is obscured by pain and pleasure
Bonds that were formed, this apogee alone will sever

An image captured lacks the hidden details
The photographer’s the one who’s growing old
Nearby eras restrain the surge of new fairytales
Lingering fools sieve for gold wearing shadowy veils


THE RIGHT VACATION
Maybe you’ve heard of a wonderful place
Where restraints are lifted and your comfort reigns
A reunion perhaps or a whole new chapter
You just have to pick the ticket to chase

There’re plenty of roads, go north or go south
Set and setting are at your own discretion
Pick a high hotel suite or a low motel room
In this barren land there is no drought

Gotta choose the right vacation
Gotta choose the right vacation
Read a book, take a sideways look
Gotta choose the right vacation

A good agent’ll aid to indulge each whim
And reveal the dim corners kept out of sight
All day convenience and an all night service
Unlock the gate with prayer, breath or hymn

At our cosmic buffet try some of it all
Then holistic treatment to cleanse and to shine
When you’re relaxed and ready, float up near the light
Restart the system for the full reinstall

Gotta choose the right vacation
Gotta choose the right vacation
Read a book, take a sideways look
Gotta choose the right vacation

At day forty-nine you’ll feel a small change
In new surroundings and with new reflection
Which chance is it this time, you lost count after one
Shirt, shoes and future we’ll help rearrange

Gotta choose the right vacation
Gotta choose the right vacation
Read a book, take a sideways look
Gotta choose the right vacation


INFLUENCE
(A short film about the tiny gesture that defines us)

Almost perched against the worktop in the familiar kitchen, the red-haired woman takes longer than usual to finish her cup of Bewley’s instant coffee even though it is one of the small ones, white with pink and green floral pattern, fragile silver leaf rim. Once the last tepid drop is swallowed, she washes the cup and spoon then scrutinizes her work before reaching towards the oven for the tea towel to dry them; today, it is the faded green one with the drawings of various horses. Inspecting her work a final time, she places the spoon neatly in the drawer and returns the cup to its designated space on the shelf. After the gentle smack of the cupboard door closing she hears his voice telling her that the cars are here – it is time to go. As she steps from lino to carpet, a sudden, dreaded thought strikes her and she scuttles back to the cupboard, opens the door, then rotates the cup so that all the handles are now aligned. Following a soft sigh of relief, she pauses, tilts her head slightly upwards, with a measured blink releases a solemn smile... and leaves a lifetime behind.


A7 WJR
G. T. Four. T.

Quattro.

For. D. B. Five.

Hund – red. Five. Six.

Shhh! Ark knows

Vans, vans pass at El Camino.


IN FROM THE CHILL
Tracy’s been, Charlie’s gone,
Red received new guests.
The hardest-working man in the business
No longer gets up to impress.

Drink flows like lava flowed,
A hotel’s left with fewer souls.
In a blaze of glory or in a blaze,
Fiery breath can be the end of days.
Bring them in from the chill.

The earth groans while plates are licked,
Nine-point-three and seven-point-six,
Tables and chairs, tiles and bricks,
Memories washed away like sticks.
Bring them in from the chill.

After seeking always to do some good
And realize His true worth,
A surgeon leaves the brotherhood,
Completing His journey from birth.
Bring Him in from the chill.

As glowing faces await warm embraces,
Take time to reflect on a past some try to forget.
In this season of peace and goodwill,
Remember a thought of those less fortunate,
Of those for whom life is still.
Bring them in from the chill.
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