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back to discography Hugh Featherstone discs previous disc next disc
CD Me & Miss Wray - songs from the motion picture 1999


Sleeve design: PhilBY
nemodreaming.com

disc 1  (the red disc)
 
disc 2  (the green disc)

  1  letters

  2  I`ll remember you

  3  nothing at all

  4  fly away

  5  not missing

  6  I lay with love

  7  Conway Bridge

  8  someone else's child

  9  if you feel the same

10  cold rain on the stars

11  gone before you're there

12  Bunny

13  tomorrow will be fair
 
  1  laundromat

  2  stay another day

  3  two-way street

  4  an American dream

  5  three-chord town

  6  statistic

  7  the park

  8  Albena's tune

  9  to sign for you

10  sometime, never, maybe

11  emotional dunce

12  landing

13  end of the world
Double CD containing 26 essential Hugh Featherstone songs

Click on a track title to see
lyrics and notes below.

All songs by Hugh Featherstone

You can order this CD

at blutopia.networks

www.blutopia.net
 


Hugh on a Berlin tram

CD cover photo by David John
A double CD containing a total of 26 songs. This low-key, lo-fi collection is a fine showcase of Hugh's style and lyrical sense.

Essentially, it's Hugh Featherstone "unplugged", and sometimes even solo - just his voice and a 12-string guitar. A return to the territory visited in his cassette album "the black tape". After scratching his itch to let rip in big pop-rock style on two of his previous three albums, he's back down-home again with a collection of close-to-the-heart songs presented in a close-up intimate way.

The mystery of the 13th song

Wait a minute! 26 songs, you say? Yep. Although the advertising for this album heralded a total of 24 tracks, and indeed only 12 are numbered on the sleeve for each CD.

However, at the end of the listing for each disc mysterious initials appear in brackets: (t.w.b.f.) and (e.o.t.w.) respectively. Very curious. These baffling ciphers can be unraveled by listening to the discs themselves, or by simply studying the tracklists on this page.

Why did Hugh do this? Were the tracks added at the last minute? Is this a fiendish game or a private joke? Or is this the guy just plain superstitious about the number 13? Must ask him some time.
 


big car, big guitar
Whichever way you look at it, you certainly get a lot of songs for your money with this album; not so much bangs for your buck, more songs for your shekel, tunes for your tenner, rhymes for your rupee, lyrics for your lira, chords for your krone or... erm... ditties for your drachma. Some of them have turned out to be firm favourites among Hugh's fans (horses for courses), and he has since rearranged and recorded a few on subsequent discs.

The biggest heartbreaker on "Me & Miss Wray" is "statistic": not your normal kind of love song, but nontheless a song of compassionate love for a young landmine victim. What begins as a tale told with great tenderness and understanding builds to a searing attack on the Big Business international landmine industry.

The anger is almost unique in a Featherstone song, and although in this case perfectly understandable, it comes as a surprise. Though many of Hugh's previous songs are critical (directly and indirectly) of the political status quo, they are usually couched in irony rather loaded with venom. I've never seen Hugh angry, never seen him lose his temper over anything. Not even burnt toast, death or taxes. But I know there are some things would drive even him to boiling point if he didn't believe in something better and wasn't able to find a channel for his emotions in his faith, life and his work. This helps explain his many years of work for causes such as UNICEF and Amnesty International.
 


book-folding high-gloss cardboard sleeve,
with complete lyrics & photos, designed by PhilBy
As a lyrical storyteller Hugh often has to be somewhat dispassionate about his subject matter, but if the passion wasn't there in the first place he wouldn't have written the song. A most ingenious paradox.

"statistic" is a remarkably beautiful song: exquisite, painful, without a trace of sentimentality. The sketched details of the last minutes of an Asian child's life unfold in a way that Graham Greene would surely applaud and which take our breath away.

Many of Hugh's songs appear at first to be about one thing, then turn out, on further listening, to be concerned with something completely different. How does he do that? I call it "Featherstone's parallex view". You don't need special glasses, no prescription necessary. Just dive into the music and enjoy whatever meaning you may find.

For example, "the park" floats on the surface of a rain-soaked love song, but actually swims through the undercurrents of the ancient genesis myths of the great flood, the Deluge theme of primordial poetry in many cultures. Deep stuff, indeed. But no need to drown in it, get aboard the next track.

"Laundromat" seems to be about someone callously dismissing a friend who loses the plot following a failed love affair, becomes obsessive and locks himself up in his apartment. But on closer examination, what is repeated is the plea to him (surely it must be a guy) to get in touch when he's ready. The suppliant even says please. I'm here for you, he intones, but you got to make the first step back to wholeness yourself. Which of us hasn't known somebody in this terrible end-of-an-affair state, or even been down there ourselves. There but for the grace of God... Tough but fair? Cruel to be kind?

In the end Hugh is talking not just about what we may lose and find when romantic love is gone, but what remains: the love of true friendship, acceptance, understanding. At the very least, the willingingness to learn these things from each other. Without this, a relationship cannot succeed anyway. Such companionship is at the heart of all his work. It doesn't cost anything and there are no conditions, you just have to want it too.

"three-chord town" and "sometime, never, maybe", two of the standout tracks on "Me and Miss Wray", are of a different order. Still within the prism of "Featherstone's parallex view" we now see the story from the viewpoint of the lovelorn. The tone is much lighter than in "Laundromat", and the shoe is now firmly on the other foot. Both songs are a direct plea to the departed beloved (in other words talking to the walls he/she left you with), but both are actually about time. We know time passes quickly when you're having fun and slowly when you're longing for love. And here's living proof.

"It seems things only last until you really want them to,
just like our life together, pretty short kind of forever,
this year, next year, sometime, never ... maybe."


Two very different songs held together by several threads of consciousness. Two sides of a coin. Pure gold. Take a bite and test their metal.

Hugh put a pop spin to these songs on his 1995 album "Landing", and in a perfect world they would have reached us on a single. His vision of "three-chord town" as a film of "toy cars and cardboard cut-out streets" may still see the light of darkened movie theatres. Sometime, never ... maybe.

Whatever, If you are a fan of popular music in English, I challenge you to listen to this album and claim there's not one song that doesn't reach you. Give it a listen. Or two.

Recorded ddd & add, winter 98/99
Post-master & lithos: Shuttle Music
Sleeve design: PhilBy

Thanks for the support, time & talent of: the Lorenz family,
Jackfruit & Julia, Manfred at Shuttle, Mathias & Norbert, Wini,
Yannick, Amelie, Momo, Don, David, Pip, Sara, Philby & Kim


All songs, copyright, words & music: Hugh Featherstone
p & c Struts & Frets 1999

Published by Polygram/Universal

The philosophical optimist in me can offer no excuse for the catalogue of failure most of these songs represent. All I can say in my defense is that I write better downbeat stuff than upbeat & that audiences, for obscure reasons of their own, seem to prefer getting thoroughly miserable to being cheered-up.

When recording we employed an arsenal of very expensive valve microphones & precious little else. By largely avoiding digital widgets, the instruments mostly sound as they really do and the quiet bits, due to our care for natural dynamics, are genuinely quiet. This probably makes "miss wray" unsuitable listening for car stereos or as musical wallpaper for bars and restaurants.

This production is dedicated, not without a certain irony, to my family, life with whom is somewhat removed from the almanac of emotional disaster enclosed here. Also to all those friends, from Hollyhead to Varna, whose kitchens I have colonized down the years. Many thanks to all of you, and greetings to Luzie Ackers, who initially gave me the idea for this collection.

May the Kong be with you all... HF '99.

The few helpers I had:
Momo played percussion on "Cold rain on the stars",
Yannick Le Roux & Winfried Winkler (my "Tone Poets") played drums & bass on "I'll remember you", "Someone else's child", "Three-chord town" & "Emotional dunce",
Jackfruit, friend & co-producer, played bass on "Not missing", sang the backing & programmed the chart.
Other backings were sung by my daughter Kim ("If you feel the same"), Amalie, a friend ("Stay another day"), & myself.
I played all the guitars & the violin.
back to discography to top of page website design Ursa Major
CD Me & Miss Wray - songs from the motion picture 1999


Sleeve design: PhilBY
nemodreaming.com

disc 1  (the red disc)
 
disc 2  (the green disc)

  1  letters

  2  I`ll remember you

  3  nothing at all

  4  fly away

  5  not missing

  6  I lay with love

  7  Conway Bridge

  8  someone else's child

  9  if you feel the same

10  cold rain on the stars

11  gone before you're there

12  Bunny

13  tomorrow will be fair
 
  1  laundromat

  2  stay another day

  3  two-way street

  4  an American dream

  5  three-chord town

  6  statistic

  7  the park

  8  Albena's tune

  9  to sign for you

10  sometime, never, maybe

11  emotional dunce

12  landing

13  end of the world
Double CD containing 26 essential Hugh Featherstone songs

Click on a track title to see
the lyrics and notes below.

All songs by Hugh Featherstone

You can order this CD

at blutopia.networks

www.blutopia.net

lyrics and notes

All Hugh's CD album sleeves contain the lyrics & notes published here, so the best way to enjoy
them is to read as you listen. But for those of you who can't wait, here they are.

All text in this rather fetching blue-green by Hugh Featherstone.

More info about this CD at the top of this page
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) letters track 1

(1974)

I wrote this in the early seventies & have often wanted to put it on record,
but it seemed too bitter. Time passes, it doesn't anymore.


you'll have noticed i don't write letters anymore
i grew weary of the war
tired of keeping score
you're on your own now

and if i heard that your faith had turned to dust
that your gold had turned to rust
that you'd forgotten how to trust
well, i wouldn't say that it was just
but you're on your own now

and you know i've got better things to to
than waste my life on you
i used to think you knew it all

but it seems that all my dreams were made of sand
they trickled through my hand
nothing went as planned
and you're on your own now

and i don't care what's happening in your head
who's sleeping in your bed
those jealousies are dead and gone

yet a while ago there used to be a way
well i shut that door today
and though the memories will stay
you're on your own now
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) I'll remember you track 2

(1997)

Most of us live a lot in the past. It's the place we think we know best.
That's an illusion, just like we thought we knew the people, but didn't really.
If I were to do this song again, I'd use a muted electric instead of an acoustic
guitar, & cut out the first bar.
If I could live my life again I would not sell my Fender Jaguar (too many switches,
Mr Leo), but apart from that...


the world we know goes by so fast
there's very little built to last
no wonder i prefer the past
i remember you

this is the age of interaction
to me it offers no attraction
my life has only one distraction
i remember you
deep within the sunlit glen
when i remember you
you're lying in my arms again

even though i feel forsaken
even though my world is shaken
even though my heart is breaking
i remember you
deep within the neon room
i'll remember you
even when i'm in my tomb

someday when i'm out of fashion
someday when i'm out of passion
when they put the sack and ash on
i'll remember you
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) nothing at all track 3

(1994)

I have nothing at all to say about this one.

i know nothing at all today
all my history's gone away
wow, my mind is a blank
no data left in the bank
i know nothing at all today

i have never seen you before
so please don't tell me you live next door
if i'm smiling at you
it's 'cos you're totally new
for i have never seen you before

sunlight in my eyes
nothing but friendly skies
no dark surprise in store for me

i have nothing at all to say
facts and figures all float away
no thoughts swim in my tank
no name, no number, no rank
i know nothing at all
i know nothing at all today
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) fly away track 4

1998

There is an organization called "women against violence against women".
Rather a cumbersome name, but I wish I could join it.
If my voice wobbles a bit, put it down to emotion. Actually, most of the
songs on "miss wray" were unedited first takes, which accounts for a
certain roughness. "Authenticity" would be the polite word.


fly away
if the idea's crossed your mind once
it has crossed a thousand times
seize the day
there'll be better ties to bind once
you've closed this catalogue of crimes

fly away, fly away my darling
who could keep you here

close the door
could you bear another share of blame
as he plays his favourite part
what's the score
i bet he's keeping track of every stain
that he's etched upon your heart

fly away, fly away my darling
who could keep you here against your will
he acts like jungle jim
you're way too good for him so fly

fly away my darling
who could keep you here

still you're there
i can't bear to watch, i think i'll go
'cause i've seen this one before
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) not missing track 5

(1998)

My friend, the Bulgarian arranger Milen Vassilev, has produced a more electric,
more "dance" version of this song.
I hope to include it on a compilation sometime in the not too distant future.
Strange, although i have now recorded "not missing" three times, it does not
feature in my live programme.
I keep it for kitchen tables late at night.


how much time must i wait
'til i know that it's too late
how much time 'til i feel
that all the hurt has finally healed
how much time until it's true
when i tell myself that i'm not missing you

how much time until my friends
can say your name and not offend
how much time will it take
until i look like i'm back in shape
how much time until it's true
when i tell myself that i'm not missing you

it's never going to happen, never going to change
i'll always feel about you in the same old way
i'll never get over it, never rise above
it'll always be you that i'm thinking of

how much time 'til i admit
that i'm better off out of it
how much time must pass me by
'til i can smile at that other guy
and how much time until it's true
when i tell myself that i'm not missing you
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) I lay with love track 6

(1997)

Just like my song "the hiring man", this one has also been accused of being a "traditional" folksong.
I suppose I should take that as a compliment.
I love this one, even though, or perhaps just because, it is so shrouded in melancholy.


i lay with love one morning
just as the day was dawning
we whispered sweet and tender
the words of love when new
but now my heart is broken
by every thought unspoken
her love was but a token
a trick of light, untrue

i lay with love one evening
my heart it was a-grieving
for she was cold as moonlight
though fairer far than you
but you are warm and giving
compassionate, forgiving
you raise me to the living
and all my faith renew

i lay with love one morning
just as the day was dawning
we whispered sweet and tender
our love was fresh as dew
but now my heart is broken
by every thought unspoken
i would i had awoken with you
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) Conway Bridge track 7

(1998)

The North Wales coastline beyond Harlech is one vast deserted beach after
another and the weather is better than most people would expect.
Clever railway architects blended the bridge very successfully into the
outside wall of the castle. Here knights in armour meet the iron horse and
Ruskin is reconciled with the industrial revolution. David insists, correctly,
that the line runs east from Conway, not north, but as north was my
destination at the time, I'll stick with it. The bizarre guitar sound is
like when you put your head on the track to listen for the shrill hum
of an approaching train. Do not try this at home.


conway bridge in the evening
i ride a northbound train
headed out again
without you

got my world in a suitcase
the things you do to me
nothing new to me
about you

been on this track so long
there must be something here seriously wrong

but if love's the food of music
and the way to make it pay
you'd better break my heart today
i already wrote the song
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) someone else's child track 8

(1982)

Except for the addition of the twelve-string solo on top of the "monks chorus",
this is much as it was on the old "black" cassette production.
It's easy to think we own our kids, in fact they just borrow us for as long as
we are necessary. Things get complicated when partnerships dissolve and new
alliances are formed. children can be highly pragmatic, & that hurts.


awake on your own
you walk across the lawn
you could almost feel you belong here
up against the dawn
but it's someone else's, someone else's home

messages descend
you know you can't pretend
love is not the kind of thing
to borrow or lend
when it's someone else's
someone else's friend

such a tiny smile
you held it for a while
raised it up through tears and laughter
to join the rank and file
but it's someone else's, someone else's child

awake on your own
you walk across the lawn
you could almost feel you belong here
up against the dawn
but it's someone else's, someone else's home
someone else's home
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) if you feel the same track 9

(1981)

When I first recorded this for a limited cassette production in 1983,
Roxanne Paul sang the harmony.
At that time my daughter Kim, who sings the same harmony here,
was little more than a bump in my wife's silhouette.
The song has stayed too much of a favourite to be left in obscurity,
so we redid it, though keeping faithfully to the original.
Thanks Roxanne & where are you now?


well, i decided to write you a letter
although we haven't spoken yet
because i've seen your face in the usual places
and it's one i can't forget
we may not suit each other or
maybe your daddy's too rich and i'm too poor
but when it's said and done i can't lose no more
so i'm laying out my bet

there ain't enough time in the world today
to play that waiting game
so won't you meet me at eight by the factory gate
that is, if you feel the same

i asked a friend what your name was
he said, boy, don't even try
that' the number one local heartbreaker
and i do not tell a lie
well maybe it's true you run around
but that just means you're searching, you haven't yet found
so let's rendezvous on neutral ground
and we'll see who's first to cry

because there ain't enough time in the world today
to portion out the blame
but i'll stand by you just like lovers do
that is, if you feel the same
you may not be that good for me
or maybe you don't intend to be
but i caught your signals like a ship at sea
there ain't enough time in the world today
to argue or explain
so i'm mailing this right to your heart tonight
and i hope you feel the same
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) cold rain on the stars track 10

(1986)

This is both the story of a young boy in the 60's with a crush on a film star
from the early 50's and a slice from Senator Macarthy's campaign against
"anti American activities".
The effect this had on the film industry as people were encouraged to
denounce their colleagues as communists has been dealt with elsewhere
in depth (as, for example, by Arthur Miller in "The Crucible").
It is a curious coincidence, however, that just as I was unpacking the first
batch of "Miss Wray", Elia Kazan was receiving a highly controversial lifetime
award for his contribution to the cinema, a contribution that included ruining
the careers of some of his friends.


he was young, just a kid
didn't know any of the films she did
but if a picture's worth a thousand words
he felt that lonely look
she was wise, seen it all
queen of hollywood before the fall
smile like a carousel
i bet she could read could read you like a book

mac and denny and the kids at school
thought brando was the king of cool
shrugged a bit when he mentioned her name
it wasn't one they knew
he caught a movie, a real adventure
eyes like velvet in the forests of zenda
to think a link of celluloid
could separate the two

cold rain on the stars
knocked out the highway between venus and mars
cold rain on the stars
the levee's coming down

hard years at the studio
if you're radical they let you go
her head's as red as her dress, they said
sexy little communist
still she tried to climb up again
but the bloom was fading from too much gin
walk-on parts and six-o-clock starts
that it should come to this

cold rain on the stars
knocked out the highway between venus and mars
cold rain on the stars
the levee's coming down

may the 2nd, early light
i was driving home from the mill that night
the man on the news said you were once
one of the greats
i must admit i'd half forgotten you
and i'd been unfaithful with more than a few
but i pulled over to the side and cried
why was i born so late

cold rain on the stars
knocked out the highway between venus and mars
cold rain on the stars
the levee's coming down
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) gone before you're there track 11

(1997)

Starts with one of the best lines I ever wrote ... & then gets better,
so we left it as it was, just guitar & voice.
Wrap this round your ears & sail away.


Some people are made for sorrow, they've got it stitched into their clothes.
Some are made for heartache, they've got it written in their souls.
And you can try to heal them, but it's hard to know just where.
They're long, long gone before you're there.

Some people are made for dreaming, they've got their thoughts up in the skies.
Some are made to wander, they've got the highway in their eyes.
And you can try to tame them, but all you catch is air.
They're long, long gone before you're there.

Time goes by like passing cars, and all our lives mean nothing to the stars.
Some people are made for fortune, it shines down where they stand.
Some are made for miracles, they've got magic in their hands.
And you can try to reach them, but isn't life unfair?
They're long, long gone before you get there.
They're long, long gone before you're there.
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) Bunny track 12

(1999)

There were about a dozen of us, we were what passes for inseparable down here.
I don't know where the rest of us are now or what we did with our lives.
In just how many hats were you the rabbit?


when adam fell out of your life
into the lap of someone's wife
you cried a jag and then you started thinking
so when the boys came round to look
your pretty nose was in your book
you glanced up and they clean forsook their drinking

their life became a carousel
some took it hard, some took it well
they followed you to oxford, prague and paris
we met again on the acropolis
you'd changed your name to angelis
though eric said he'd swear that it was harris

two years i had no word from you
the next time that i heard from you
you'd signed-up as a medic out in thailand
then someone told me you'd been seen
in some outrageous shade of green
at henley week with the famous greek from "island"

yes bunny, you were always weïrd
you'd turn up, then you'd disappear
we loved you, but it soon became a habit
to think of you as someone gone
a space you left to keep us warm
in just how many hats were you the rabbit?
me & Miss Wray  disc 1  (the red disc) tomorrow will be fair   (t.w.b.f.) track 13

(1998)

I have often been struck by the disturbing content of lullabyes. It is as if
we seek to impress our adult anxieties on our infant children before they
gain access to our codes.
I wrote this one, about a North Sea oil worker's jealous fears for his pretty
young wife, to carry on the tradition. Who knows, maybe tomorrow will be fair ...


sleep my baby, dream of me
far out on the stormy sea
tiny, tiny bairn
tomorrow will be fair

daddy's off to work the rig
mummy's off for to dance a jig
tiny, tiny bairn
tomorrow will be fair

guard the breast, i'll drill the field
beneath my castle made of steel
tiny, tiny bairn
tomorrow will be fair

so, sleep my darling, dream of me
far out on the rolling sea
tiny, tiny bairn
tomorrow will be fair
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) laundromat track 1

(1998)

I knew a guy who locked himself up in his enormous darkened flat in Belgravia
for months, living on delivery pizza and only coming out to go to the laundromat.
When love goes wrong, such obsessive behaviour shows why it could never
have worked in the first place.
I remember the curtains, wine red velvet, which says it all.


metro map of the human heart
red line, track of a tender dart
phone call, late night
siren, blue light
exit several miles apart

but you can call me, when you get off your knees, please
when you know who your friends are
when you've had time to learn

street map shows where you carried it
x marks just where you buried it
lost love, lost time
bad call, touchline
not my fault if you married it

but you can call me, when you get off your knees, please
when you know who your friends are
when you've had time to learn

not much fun in your empty flat
bare boards, love stole the welcome mat
look left, look right
cross at green light
two blocks down to the laundromat

but you can call me, when you get off your knees, please
when you know who your friends are
when you've had time to learn, you'll
meet me to talk it over
when you can read the scoreboard
when you get off the floorboards
when you get off the floor
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) stay another day track 2

(1998)

Also taken from the old "black" cassette. It's time I put all this stuff behind me & started
writing songs for "grownups", if only...


stay another day
when you're looking through the people you've known
i don't want to be another who just tried to own you
but stay another day
of all the places both far and near
there'll be few that you'll remember
like the time together here
i'm not just saying it
i'm singing it, playing it
holding back the tears ... stay

why does everybody have to know
where the highways and the byways
all eventually go

stay another day
when you're looking back across the years
i dont want you to regret you didn't stay for ever here
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) two-way street track 3

(1998)

I was surprised I managed to play this up to speed without any too serious clams.
Always give the little guy a break.
Some great apes are more upwardly mobile than others.


fay wray in the lobby
at the empire state
taps her toe, checks her wrist
these apes are always late
i go over shyly, saying "what do i see"
it's a bad day for manhatten
looks like a good day for me

it's a two-way street
some crawl in on their knees
some walk it pretty neat
but it's a two-way street
always give the little guy a chance

king kong was long gone
having trouble getting down
so me and miss wray went out
walking on that styrofoam town
social climbers, i whispered with a grin, she said
man, you're just jealous
because you can't look like him

it's a two-way street
some pick it with the front line
some hold the back beat
but it's a two-way street
always give the little guy a chance

fay had a pass key
to the movie hall of fame
we spent about an hour there
just looking for her name
she said, must be here somewhere
i always do the best i can
well, maybe that's just not enough
without your monkey man

it's a two-way street
some hang on with their fingers
some hang on with their feet
but it's a two-way street
always give the little guy a break
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) an American dream track 4

(1998)

I've always been a Beachboys fan, so it's no accident that the hero
of this song is caught using "Help me, Rhonda" as a non-therapeutic
strategy for acute nostalgia.


An American girl came to stay, took a look at your life, ran away.
Couldn't cut it in the cold and the grey
and she thought you had a job anyway,
your American dream.

When you met her in the fall, in monterey,
it was love at first sigh, the movie way.
And you thought it would last, it all seemed OK.
Took a photo for your friends, wondered what they'd say
to your American dream.

We've all got our heartaches, heartaches,
shall I tell you mine?

Now you're staring at the wall, while the Beachboys play,
trying not to forget that fateful day
when an American girl came to stay,
took a look at your life, ran away,
your American dream.
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) three chord town track 5

(1998)

Catches the feeling everyone has known of being stuck
in the wrong place & far away from someone you love.
In my head I see this film of toy cars & cardboard cut-out streets.


I've been looking through the letters and the cards you sent from far away.
I wonder to myself just where the magic went from yesterday.
I haven't been feeling much since I lost your healing touch.
Can you take me home?

I've been counting all the hours and the days and weeks till you appear.
At least the time is marginally shorter than since you were here.
Your dog hasn't left his hutch, there's no other in my life as such.
Can you take me home?

Can you take me home to somewhere by the sea,
somewhere where the stars come out and play for free?
If you take me will you let me bring my friends along with me?
I hope we all arrive in time for tea.

As I drive around the corners of this three chord town I search the place.
In every neon dawn I need another down to drown your face.
I could manage without a crutch if I had your healing touch.
Can you take me home?
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) statistic track 6

(1998)

Landmines are primarily deployed as a means of denying civilian access
to valuable infrastructure; wells, fields, roads etc...
Most are not intended to kill on detonation, since corpses are cheap,
but rather to cripple, as this places the greatest burden on enemy
support systems. The majority of landmine victims are women & children.
The U.S. is not the only country to produce mines, but it is the only one
whose "Christian" right wing supports the armaments industry while
moralizing about "family values" to the rest of the world.
Just why it is o.k. to blow up kids in far corners of the planet while
blockading abortion clinics at home remains a mystery to me.
Thus, out of pure self-interest, the world's largest democracy still
refuses, together with Serbia, China & North Korea, to sign a
comprehensive ban on landmines or the UN convention on the rights
of the child. Ye shall know them by the company they keep!


rainwashed morning, you're running off to school
under the thatch into the watery cool
you left a bit early, so that you can play with your friends
down by the jetty where the big river bends
you take a cut through the rice field, it's shorter that way
so you can steal a few more precious minutes of play
your mother told you you ought to go around by the road
but at eleven years old you don't always do what you're told
there's another few metres and you're climbing the dyke
you see your friends huddled round to fix a rusty old bike
and they turn and you wave and there's a thunderous light
a kind of ache and a rush as you flip into night
and they all see your body flying up and around
and there's these pieces of you all over the ground
and there's a scream from the schoolhouse as somebody guessed
that it's another delayed action gift from the west
takes three dollars to make them and a thousand to clear
and there are millions and millions of them sleeping out here
while the bastards who build them are at home in the states
where they can sit and drink beer and watch cnn-at-eight
and there'll be news from the conflicts that they're feeding today
and there'll be word of the hot-spots they've got coming their way
and it's not their kids who get their legs blown off
it's just some gooks out in asia that there's too many of
and talk to congressman newton or senator bob
they'll say that what really matters is american jobs
there's no space in the headlines, there's no war in the 'nam
you're just another statistic, kid, and who gives a damn

rainwashed morning, you're running off to school
from under the thatch into the watery cool
you've got some minutes to spare, you're going to play with your friends
down by the jetty where the big river bends
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) the park track 7

(1975)

This is another song written in the early seventies & never recorded before.
It seemed too personal then. Now it doesn't seem personal at all, just a little
corner of almost everyone's experience.


climbed off the train
nobody there, nobody there
strange record playing
as i walked up the stairs i knew that things had changed
so, let it rain
we've done it to ourselves again
nobody out today
except the kind of fool who's drowning anyway

looked in your eyes
just as i feared, just as i feared
no big surprise
your letter was clear, i read between the lines
so, let it rain
we've done it to ourselves again
nobody out today
except the kind of fool who's drowning anyway

here in the park
got to keep walking, got to keep walking
way after dark
what's the use talking if we're worlds apart
so, let it rain
we've done it to ourselves again
nobody out today
except the kind of fool who's drowning anyway
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) Albena's tune  (instrumental) track 8

(1996)

I played this in Albena & Stefan's kitchen.
She asked me if it had a name.
I said no.
"It does now", she said.

me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) to sign for you track 9

(1997)

My niece asked me to write her a song. But it mutated into one about
the problems guardian angels face when we no longer believe in them.


Well, I don't want to hurt you but I tell you what I must.
There's not a single thing down here that you can trust.
You're pretty new and you just don't know the breaks,
and you might not get a chance to learn from your mistakes.
I've seen you with your cool defenses down,
and I could hear you suffer though you did not make a sound.
When times are thin and opportunities are few,
you're going to need someone to sign for you.

Well I know it's hard, with the world so fresh and bright,
to believe that there are those who want to steal your light.
But the God who made us formed us all from clay,
so you can't expect us to behave much better anyway.
I've seen you stand apart with frightened eyes,
as if the things you overheard had come as a surprise.
When the chips are down and there's no friend in view,
you're going to need someone to sign for you.

Someone to sign for you, someone to check the smallprint,
show you what you need to do.
Someone to sign for you,
to testify you always did the best that you could do.
When the chips are down and there's no friend in view,
you're going to need someone to sign for you.

Well, you used to know me, used to breathe my name,
until you got your signals crossed and slipped out of the game.
I was the one who always had to set things right,
but that job got much harder as you slid on out of sight.
I see you like a seagull in the storm,
with not a star to steer by, not one nest to keep you warm.
when your wings are tattered and your heart is torn in two,
you're going to need someone to sign for you.

Someone to sign for you,
someone to hold the compass, keep an eye upon the crew.
Someone to sign for you,
someone prepared to witness that your course was always due.
When your wings are tattered and your heart is torn in two,
you're going to need someone to sign for you.

Someone to sign for you,
someone to check the smallprint, show you what you need to do.
Someone to sign for you, to testify you always did the best that you could do.
When the chips are down and there's no friend in view,
when times are thin and opportunities are few,
when your wings are tattered and your heart is torn in two,
you're going to need someone to sign for you,
to sign for you.
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) sometime, never, maybe track 10

(1998)

Actually, "across the river, into the trees" were the last words
of American Civil War General "Stonewall" Jackson.
Nothing to do with the song, but I thought you'd like to know.


With all the time that's passed, I should be getting over you.
It seems things only last until you really want them to,
just like our life together, pretty short kind of forever,
this year, next year, sometime, never ... maybe.

With all the tears gone by, I should be well cried out by now.
Though rivers do run dry, not when you want them to.
How could we watch our love together slip downstream just like a feather,
this year, next year, sometime, never ... maybe.

No dandelion's going to tell me what I need to know.
I used to play that game when I was small, so long ago.
The tiny angels would go flying on the summer breeze
and I would follow with my dreams, across the river into the trees.

With all the friends I know, there should be one to understand,
that everywhere we go still bears the imprint of your hand ... it to the piano fella,
play our song and lose my tether,
this year, next year, sometime, never ... maybe.

The story of our lives together, pretty short kind of forever,
this year, next year, sometime, never ... well, maybe.
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) emotional dunce track 11

(1998)

A dunce, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the class idiot,
he of the pointed paper cap bearing a big "D".
Neil Young should have written this, but didn't.


Darling I've received all you've done for me.
I guess I just believed that it was meant to be.
So I've never thanked you once, but it is nonetheless true,
that in between the grunts I have this thing about you.

Darling, don't get mad, think of what we had.
Nothing's quite as bad as dumbing out with Dad.
You've never mentioned once all the pain I've put you through.
Give me one more chance to find my way back to you.

Darling there's a train in an hour or two
and if you want to take it, well I'll carry your stuff for you.
To show there's no hard feelings, to show I understand.
But meanwhile, here's my heart reaching out for your hand.

Darling, if you go, there's one thing you should know.
It's true I may be slow to see what others know.
But underneath the stunts and all that macho Kung-Fu,
there's this emotional dunce who's in love with you.
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) landing track 12

(1997)

My wife thinks this song is too long. I think it's about the closest I will ever get
to perfection, together with "gone before you're there" and "I lay with love", but
that's a matter of opinion.


i travel far to see you
it's quite another world
you draw me like a magnet
you're that kind of girl
you said you'd love forever
i only had to choose
i'm not afraid of gambling
i'm just afraid to lose

i travel far to see you
why must you be so hard
you slide between the mirrors
to keep me off my guard
you said our love was perfect
you'd never let me down
i'm not afraid of swimming
i'm just afraid to drown

i travel far to see you
my friends all think i'm mad
to kill myself with yearning
for what i've never had
the post returns my letters
you're not there when i call
i'm not afraid of climbing
i'm just afraid to fall

and when i finally touch down
without your guiding hand
i'm not afraid of flying
i'm just afraid to land

i travel far to see you
it's quite another world
you draw me like a magnet
you're that kind of girl
me & Miss Wray  disc 2  (the green disc) end of world  (e.o.t.w.) track 13

(1998)

This picks up on an idea from a U2 song. I thought how love creates the world
and how the death of love is like the end of that world ... Except that life goes
on and nobody notices.
I found the thought somehow comical, hence the frivolous treatment. It wasn't
deliberate, I really did mess up first the guitar part and then the lyric and had
to stop because I was laughing too much.


you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and you were right
you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and it's ending tonight
you don't call
you don't phone
you won't throw your dog a bone
you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and that's true

you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and its ending without you
you don't write
you don't call
you took my poster from your wall
you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and you did

you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and the world just hit the skids
you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and you were right

you said you'd love me till the end of the world
and it's ending tonight
 

Hugh Featherstone plays Kraushaar Guitars
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