Babylon Swans

by Miller Carr

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about

'Babylon Swans' is the second part of a trilogy that began with 2015's 'Trickster In Exile'. It was recorded with much of the same cast and released summer solstice 2017 by Mount Shasta label Valerian Records. Eight new songs slither down the serpentine vein into the swamps of self-reflection, memory, and illumination. Much is left uncertain. Noir ballads sit alongside post-folk dirges, played by a band rehearsed for the apocalypse. A slippery slope indeed.

credits

released June 21, 2017

Total Running Time:

Recorded and mixed by Robin MacMillan at Faraway Sound, New York / Vocals: Miller Carr / Bass: Jacob Silver, Robin MacMillan / Drums and Percussion: Robin MacMillan, Brett Eastman / Guitars: Miller Carr, Robin MacMillan / Piano and Organ: Frank Locrasto, Robin MacMillan, Brett Eastman, Miller Carr / Violins: Christina Courtin / Winds: Alec Spiegelman, Isak Gaines / Babylon Singers: Brett Eastman, Jacob Silver / Cover Photo: Rachelle Bussières / Album Layout: Robin MacMillan

All songs written by Miller Carr (Rider Songs ASCAP)

except 'Sheelagh (In Eternal Heat)' by Miller Carr / Robin MacMillan (Rider Songs ASCAP / Fox Hill ASCAP)

and 'Trebuchet' by Miller Carr, Robin MacMillan, Jacob Silver, Brett Eastman (Rider Songs ASCAP / Fox Hill ASCAP / Jacob Silver ASCAP / Lost Lanes Publishing BMI )

c & p 2017 Valerian Records, PO Box 1484, Mount Shasta, California 96067

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Track Name: Going Through The Motions
I saw you in a photograph
I could not help it
And I just had to laugh
Ain't that sad?
That I could only ever see you
Trying so hard to hold a smile
When you're still in denial
About what's really scaring you

Our little messenger
She lies to me
She only tells me what
I would like to believe
But it's not what I see
You cannot fool a fooler
It only took one look
For me to see right through you
Now I'm wondering
Maybe I'm as bad as you

We're just going through the motions
We're just going through the motions

Many times we've danced these steps
Now we're two lost marionettes
And we're struggling
to find our rhythm in this broken song
Our old rendition
Has gone on for far too long
And now the moment is gone
Must I go on?

Something is amiss
Something in our kiss
And I don't know how it ever got to this

We're just going through the motions
We're just going through the motions

What have you got to lose by loving me?
What have you got to gain from leaving me
All alone?
Has it really come to this?
Yes it's really come to this
Track Name: Sheelagh (In Eternal Heat)
I parked the car behind St. Joseph's Church
Blood rushing in my veins
Somewhere south of Dunsmuir Avenue
I saw you walking
By the river
In the rain

Light shining through your window
I can see a silhouette
Your curtain hangs like a veil
Wrapped around an angel
From a dream
I can't forget

Sheelagh in eternal heat
Surrounded by the flame
I'm sitting on the mercy seat
I gaze at the moon
A long sigh in vain
You used to shine your light on me
But that was just a dream
Slipping into darkness

Side by side on the railroad tracks
The summer stars were aligned
Somewhere underneath a night so black
I felt you tremble
I heard you whisper
In the pines

Sheelagh in eternal heat
Surrounded by the flame
I'm sitting on the mercy seat
I gaze at the moon
A long sigh in vain
I saw you coming back to me
But that was just a dream
Slipping into darkness
Track Name: Sheelagh (Serpent In The Sand)
I'm standing in the doorway
Where I used to light your French cigaret
You would blow a ring of smoke
To watch it just disappear
Underneath your stained glass chandelier

Sheelagh
Have you ever
Wondered whether
We ever should of
Just come right out and said it?
Babe just forget it

I overheard someone talking
About you dancing with you know who
But I won't believe a word
Til I hear it from you
So tell me it ain't true

Sheelagh
If you ever need a favor
Well you know where to find me

Sheelagh
Like a serpent in the sand
Always slipping away
Right through my hands
Always slipping away
Right through my hands
Always slipping away
Like a serpent in the sand
Slipping away
Track Name: Trebuchet
Too many cats
Next to the railroad track
Under the house
On the blacktop
Out in the yard
Around every corner
They're coming from the other side of the fence
I've got a bad neighbor
Need a trebuchet
God's stone thrower
Gonna throw em back over
Don't wanna put the cat in a bag
Drown em in the river
Got a bad neighbor
Wanna send him back to Dunsmuir
Under my porch
Under my sink
Sleeping in the halls
Inside my walls
I've got too many cats
Sleeping on my lawn
Terrorize my robins
Make a sound at night
Like an orchestra tuning up
They keep multiplying
They keep multiplying
They keep multiplying
Where do they go when the snow falls?
When the rain comes?
They go under my porch
Into my walls
Under my sink
Sleeping in the halls
I've got a bad neighbor
A real bad neighbor
Gonna send him back to Dunsmuir
Gonna get a real mean dog
Drive em out
Load em up
Drive em down south
Drop em off in city hall
Let em climb around those walls
A real bad neighbor
Need a trebuchet
Track Name: The Sculptor
I am the sculptor
I work alone
Carving out marble
Chiseling stone
Outside my window
The rain never stops
Just as I goon working
Round the clock
And I keep the fire burning
All night long

When I was a child
I lost my shadow
He ran off to hide
And I could not follow
I never saw him again
But sometimes I still wonder
Is he out there alone
In the rain?

And can he see his own reflection
Like a mirror in a dream?
And when he looks in my direction
Does he know just what it means?

I've been looking for my shadow
For such a long time now
It makes me wonder
If I'd even recognize him anymore


And can he see his own reflection
Like a mirror in a dream?
And when he looks in my direction
Does he know just what it means?


I've been looking for my shadow
For such a long time now
It makes me wonder
If I'd even recognize him anymore
How am I to know for sure
Who I'm looking for?
Is he a beast who's staring at me
With his horns?
Or a wilted rose who's missing
All his thorns?
Track Name: Trapdoor
Oh what's the use in pretending
You don't see that hanging noose
Swinging from that willow tree
A tangled web we weave
Around what we refuse to believe
Don't mistake your blues for ennui
Will you cut me loose and set me free
Or will you leave me hanging?

Perhaps this what I was wishing for
I say to myself as I shove
The genie back in the lamp
Strange to find you here alone in the end
Falling down that trap door again

Oh the decay
Reach out and touch me
Reach out and touch me
Catch me I'm falling


Tick tock the clock
Is going round
But you're moving backwards
Into the ground unwound
Don't let it drag you down
Holy ist thou sound
Of the oblivion bound
You who were so lost
Like a king without a crown
A martyr climbing up his cross
Just as its falling down
A lamb will leave its flock
To not be found
And I will be left hanging...

Perhaps this is what I was wishing for
I say to myself as I shove
The genie back in the lamp
Strange to find you here alone in the end
Falling down that trap door again

Oh the decay
Reach out and touch me
Reach out and touch me
Catch me I'm falling
Track Name: Thief In The Night
There's only so much praying for rain
That one honest man can do
Before it ain't no use
And every whistle from each passing train
Reminds me how much time I have to lose
And how I'm only passing through
Passing through
Only passing through
Like a thief in the night
And there's a river on the right
Called the no-return
I can follow every bend
Follow every turn
Until I'm standing at an altar
Between the darkness and the light
And with so much left to chance
It's hard to choose
Which one leads to you

You know some people got no choice
They're either coming or they're going
Like a hard wind blowing
But you know I hear a different voice
Loud as thunder rolling
Strong as a river flowing
It looks like rain
It looks like rain
I feel it in my bones
And the rivers gonna rise
When it finally comes falling down
Until its swollen like a vein
That carries more than blood alone
And I've got to let it bleed
Or else I'll drown
High water all around

Last night I had a dream
I was swept out to sea
I let the current carry me
Away on a slipstream
And I looked up at the stars to see
You dancing on a moonbeam
So wild and free
Like a fish swimming upstream
I don't know what it was
All supposed to mean
And you were laughing so hard
You were crying
And me I was dying
Looking in your eyes
Yes I was dying
Looking in your eyes
Track Name: Babylon Swans
You are not longing
There is no desire
Lay down your roses
Upon the fire
Place you hands
Into the ashes
Like falling sand
Through an hourglass
What once took host
Will never last
Give up the ghost
That soon will pass
To become what once was flowing
Through your barren veins
O' mystery of mysteries alone

Neither a servant
Nor master am I
Neither the cursed
Nor the divine

A serpent wrapped around the vine
A lock of hair tangled in your spine
Unraveling the holiest design

A swan who floated on the moat
Outside the walls of Babylon
With feathers unlike the rest
He hid in the shadows
Away from the flock
Alone
He fell asleep
And drifted too close to the gate
A guard mistook him for a goose
And placed him on the emperor's plate
And just like the sun
Breaking through the dawn
He opened up his golden throat
And he sang this song

When you drink my blood like wine
When you eat my flesh divine
Remember this:
It won't save you any time
Wrapped up in your yarn so tight
You know you can't unwin

I could crawl on my hands and knees
Through a desert with no water
I could fall bending down to wash your feet
Like a lamb at the slaughter
I could howl like a dog in heat
Reaching for your daughter
But it just never feels complete
When I'm kneeling at the altar
Another lost child in Babylon