Spirit's Sleep

by Robin Allender

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credits

released October 15, 2012

All songs written by Robin Allender, except the lyrics to ‘Host and Guest’ which are adapted from a passage in A Lie About My Father by John Burnside. Many thanks to the author for his kind permission to use his words in the song.

Robin Allender: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards
Dave Collingwood: drums
James McKeown: slide guitar on ‘Open Sea’

Recorded by Robin Allender and Dave Collingwood

Mixed by Dave Collingwood

Mastered by Marco Migliari at Real World

Illustration by Louise Boulter www.louiseboulter.co.uk

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Track Name: Here Nor There
Hiding the truth in a knot of words,
dismissing it as a false memory.
For years I forgot that particular phrase,
but it came back to me like a union bar,

it came back to me in a drunken dream,
a distant house in the verdancy,
a new way to describe things,
the locus of desire in a streetlight’s beam.

Your schooldays were filled with Arcadian dreams
or that's how my imagination tells it to me,
but what if there aren't really halcyon days
or there are in the sense you can’t remember them.

Tying the truth in a knot of words,
dismissing it as ‘ancient history’.
For years I forgot that particular phrase,
but it came back to me like a union bar,
it came back to me in a drunken dream,
the locus of desire in a streetlight’s beam.
Track Name: August
I think I eventually slept but I had endless waking dreams,
emerging from one just to find another revealed to me.
They came to me in an unending masque.

In one the sun sank in the sky
and I thought it might never rise again,
an eclipse was like a blink of an eye, a trick of the light,
but no less real for being so.

In one I already knew a place I’d never been,
as a pattern beneath the plough will lead to a sun-shifted field
where you touch the earth to feel that it's real.

In one I saw the patterns and parables,
an entire expanse of memory
and I felt your relief on the world you left,
that shift of the light was a glimpse of the other world.

In one the sun sank in the sky
and I thought it might never rise again,
an eclipse was like a blink of an eye,
a trick of the light, but no less real for being so.

In one I saw the pattern and parables,
an entire expanse of memory.
Your relief is felt on the world you left,
a shift of the light is a glimpse of the other world.
Track Name: Host and Guest
This was where I learned the pleasure of being alone
with a wind-picked sky over my head

and the damp earth, packed tight with tubers and seeds
and the bodies of the dead, under my feet.

I was engaged in that search a childhood becomes
for some compass point, some line of cold steel.

Maybe it guided the trains through town,
west to the rain, or north into snow.

Even at home I knew I wasn’t safe,
the visions came when I sat up at night,
and something appeared at the door of the press,
not spirit, not flesh, but something between.

This was where I learned the pleasure of being alone
with a wind-picked sky over my head
with the host and the guest.

And the damp earth under my feet
packed with tubers and seeds and the bodies of the dead,
and the host and the guest.

I was engaged in that search
a childhood becomes for some compass point,
some line of cold steel.

Maybe it guided the trains through town,
west to the rain, or north into snow,
the host and the guest.
Track Name: Open Sea
The bottles of coloured glass
in a city square,
in a photo framed outside your room,
I remember.

A bell tolled outside the house,
a familiar chime,
it accompanied the long walk home
past The Half Moon.

I was tempted to walk right in
and order a drink
as if I’d be met like a long lost friend
or returning hero.

Ease yourself into the past,
a chosen memory
imagined without its yesterdays
or tomorrows.

The brief background blossoms and blooms
with unnoticed corridors
and darkened corners of evenings
cast anew.

The haunts are all my own.
To strangers’ eyes
the windows open to scarlet dusk
hold such promise.