Assorted Song Lyrics: 2000-2018 – Philosophy, Fun And Face-Melting Solos

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I’ve written tons of songs over the past 20 years – some just for myself and many others for the various bands I’ve played in: Genuine Fakers, Old Boys & The Dirty Birds, General Musings, Emperor Koko, Bayla-Bayla and now Sutra. I’ve been the lead vocalist at times, I’ve played guitar and I now play synth. I even sang alongside my younger sister Rebecca in Bayla-Bayla.

Sutra is currently still active as a band, and as I write this (September 2018), we have plans to gig again around London and the surrounding area. Realistically, probably not until 2019 – babies, academic, life and work commitments have forced us into hiatus for a year now. We’ve also got four new tracks recorded from studio sessions which will hopefully soon be mastered and put up on Spotify here.

LISTEN HERE: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0hDfY8wdnKLR6D3SApwkqz?si=PVdB-v5vQSCCv3sdqBBlrQ

I thought I’d share a selection of some of the lyrics I’d crafted over that time, as much of what I’ve written has been directly influenced by philosophy – a LOT of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, as that’s what captured my heart at university. But there’s also plenty of Nietzsche, Marx, Taoism, existentialism and many other areas of metaphysical inquiry. Plus, as is often the case, there are plenty of songs about love, meaning and hardships, which are extrinsically linked to my academic and cultural experiences. Oh, and some are just plain silly or a bit shit – but so is life. And we wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ve put links to the songs where possible – I haven’t actually recorded too much properly in studios over the years, so some are sketchy live recordings. But thanks for reading (and listening). And please do one more thing for me – never stop watching live music; it feeds the soul and helps to keep us Dionysian. And we all need a bit of Dionysus in us every now and then.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

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GENUINE FAKERS (approx 1999-2003)

Impossible Love

This song is entirely creditable to the work of Freud and Lacan and their psychoanalysis. The impossible love spoken of is essentially the infantile realisation that they are no longer part of one whole entity with their mother and actually belong to a wider world; the impossibility is the desire to return to the state where all your needs were catered to by your mother figure. It is the realisation that every subsequent relationship is influenced by an unquenchable longing for something more – peace, joy and an end to desire.

What I need from you

You could never be

What I seek in you

You won’t see in me

We all walk alone

Blinded by our fate

Trying to find some peace

In an earlier state

*********

Impossible love

Yeah

Impossible love

Woah

Can never be enough

Impossible

**********

I can’t look in your eyes

It’s unfair

It’s when I realise

The despair

I know you cannot be

The one that I desire

So let the void destroy me

Wallow in the mire

*********

Impossible love

Yeah

Impossible love

Woah

Can never be enough

Impossible

I Want The Whole World

Another song heavily influenced by psychoanalytic theory – this time Freud’s Eros and Thanatos life and death drives are referenced heavily. And there are similar themes to Impossible Love – wanting the whole world would be that

Freudian notion of symbolically killing the father to win the mother and recapture that lost wholeness I previously spoke of.

Here now we are

All lined in a row

The battles we fight

And the ones you don’t know

Split from the core

And ready to fight

The powers of love and death unite

I want the whole world

*********

Consuming the art

The doctrine we follow

The pain we seek

The fear we swallow

Open your eyes

It’s easy you know

And in this disguise division will grow

********************

OBDB

OLD BOYS & THE DIRTY BIRDS (approx 2008-2010)

History

You call me a dinosaur

I wanted your love but you wanted more

Yeah you wanted more

And how could I know that we’d never last

But that’s all extinct, yeah it’s all in the past

Well, it’s gone too fast

*********

You said your life it was an open book

So how come I never got a look?

Yeah my world you shook

William conquered like you conquered me

But it’s time to forget now that I’m history

Yeah I’m history

*********

What does it take to past your test?

I never could settle for second best

What about all our memories?

What about history?

*********

It don’t stop

It don’t stop

It don’t stop

It don’t stop

********************

GENERAL MUSINGS (approx 2010-11)

In Your Arms

This song tells the story of how the three of us in the band (and a few more boldus besides) lived our lives at the time – playing music, boozing and having lots of fun. This was a golden era for glorious band vibes – we used to practice several times a week and pretty much always ended the night in the pub doing naughty things. The areas were New Cross and Deptford in south east London – and the pubs of choice were The Royal Albert, The New Cross Inn and The Amersham Arms.

Roll up roll up the show’s in town

Get your coats on and put your glasses down

Cans of red stripe and JC’s lines

Get your hands off those sealife finds

*********

You have got to believe

This is not some sweet dream

All I know is that we’re on to a winner

You can see for yourself

This is like the top shelf

Take your pick and have your wicked way with her

*********

Roll up roll up the show’s in town

You’ll have more fun with your trousers down

Goldsmith’s finest and JC’s lines

Rock til your ears bleed and your eyes go blind

*********

You have got to believe

This is not some sweet dream

All I know is that we’re on to a winner

You can see for yourself

This is like the top shelf

Take your pick and have your wicked way with her

*********

Home… where we’ll go

But you know you’ll never be satisfied

Home… where we’ll go

But you know you’ll never be satisfied

Bohemian Haphazardy

Another song written at the height of General Musings and the boldu crew’s booze-fuelled party days – living as close to the rockstar lifestyle as any person with jobs and morals can get. This was all about one night we went to proper dodgy boozer in Deptford and ended up doing questionable karaoke version of Bohemian Rhapsody in front of a pub of even more questionable punters.

Let the beads hang

And drape your colours from the wall

To make them feel small

A toothless grin

And a tonic and gin

Well it’s not our fault that we have to bolt this door

*********

With tribal marks

And soulless barks

I’m afraid that you’ve outstayed your welcome

Let’s get some air

Get out of there

Well you thought were right but this is the wrong one

*********

Where else can we go?

Because there’s no place like home

But it’s where we always roam

And we’re so predictable

********************

EMPEROR KOKO (approx 2011-2013)

Somewhere Under The Railway Arch

This song was all about the first rehearsal studio we practised at together – and the weird guy who ran it. He got away with selling cans of San Miguel without an alcohol licence by marketing them as Cadbury’s Freddo chocolate bars for £2 with a free can of lager. He called them Spanish Frogs! This is actually where the name SUTRA (the current band) came from – as three of us from Emperor Koko are members of Sutra (and another one from Genuine Fakers – my first band which was formed at school).

Step on in, through the mural on the wall

You’re a crazy brother but man I still love ya

Gimme two Spanish frogs, to get around the law

Tappin your feet to irregular beats since 1974

Oh, he laid every brick

Oh, it really makes you think

*********

He told me his name was Sue, and he said he loved the Clash

Schooled in the age of Jimmy Page, with a side of Johnny Cash

I said gimme two Spanish frogs, to get around the law

With his bare hands he built this land, from celing down to floor

Ooh, he laid every brick

Ooh, it really makes you think

Really makes you think

*********

Somewhere under the railway arch, hidden the east

There’s a guy who’s seen through the other side, and grappled with the beast

He’s got his demons, don’t we all, a real peculiar taste

But when he’s in his mecca well there’s nowhere better, in his rightful place

*********

Somewhere under the railway arch, hidden underground

There’s a guy getting high while the trains go by to an old familiar sound

A furry peach down at your feet, he’s there to meet and greet

It’s a musical palace and just like Alice, we’re in for a special treat

*********

It’s a hoooo-oo-oome

It’s a hoooo-oo-oome

It’s a hoooo-oo-oome

It’s a hoooo-oo-oome

Beneath The Surface (BTS)

For the ARMY members who might read this, in another lovely little coincidence between me and the Korean group, this song (which is based on the book Freakonomics) was always referred to as BTS by the Emperor Koko boys. And was easily our favourite. What can I say – we just love acronym titles! Which reminds me – in the General Musings days we had two songs called New One A and New One B. The latter was also an acronym title – NOB. Never grow up, people…

Bound to the ground tryin to make end’s meat, support a family

Stuck to the foot of a pyramid, tryin to scale the money tree

If you rub your eyes and realise there’s more to life than you see

Soldiers patrolling the streets for the hierarchy

*********

We beg, steal and borrow, to get ourselves ahead

I need to see an expert just to get me out the red

And if I knew that you were cheating me, I would’ve stayed in bed

Just give me sweet incentives instead

*********

You have got the information

And you have got control

I don’t care bout your reputation

I told you I’m sold

*********

Why don’t we delve a little deeper

Why don’t we open up your mind

Why don’t we scratch beneath the surface

You won’t believe what you may find

*********

Look beyond

Look beyond

Look beyond

Look beyond

The Island

I actually wrote this song when our current Prime Minister Teresa May was the Home Secretary and I was feeling aggrieved about changes to our immigration policy. Little did I know what nonsense was to come with Brexit! I hate to see such division in contemporary society – I obviously don’t know what it used to be like in generations before mine. But we need to foster and champion love, kindness and unity – help each other, look after each other and teach the next generation that they can turn things around.

Who left the door that door open

You can feel them crawling under your skin

They say that it’s broken

But that’s always how the riots begin

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say no

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say borders closed

*********

Keep the blue flag flying

300 million-acre private estate

Keep the new suits lying

And the needy parasitic away

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say no

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say borders closed

*********

Closed, oh, closed, Mother Teresa say no, no, no

Closed, oh, closed, Mother Teresa say no, no, no

*********

You feel a bit sceptic

You don’t wanna give the power away

It’s all a bit hectic

But don’t worry no one care’s about a thing you say

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say no

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say borders closed

*********

So we’re finally ostracised

Their happy with a lower-case E

And as the blue flag flies high

The island’s getting drowned by the sea

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say no

Mother Teresa gone keep em out, keep em out, Mother Teresa say borders closed

*********

Closed, oh, closed, Mother Teresa say no, no, no

Closed, oh, closed, Mother Teresa say no, no, no

*********

What makes you think that you would be welcome here

What makes you think that you won’t just disappear

What makes you think that you would be welcome here

What makes you think that you won’t just disappear

********************

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BAYLA-BAYLA (approx 2013-14)

Delicate Fantasy

This was another nod to psychoanalysis – this time the notion of phantasy. It’s all about our unconscious sexual drives/libido and how this manifests itself in everything we do – not just sex acts. In psychoanalytic treatment, they try to convert unconscious phantasy into (sometimes difficult to deal with) conscious thought – so as to help allay suffering experienced by patients in various ways – again not just sexually (like, say, fetishes – which again, are not necessarily always linked to suffering, either). It’s also linked to defence mechanisms such as obsessive compulsive disorder – the idea that we endlessly repeat actions to maintain a semblance of control. This is something I’ve suffered with and continue to deal with every day in small ways – even just going over characters over and over again when I’m writing. I know what I’m doing and how silly it is, but I can’t stop myself. We are complex beings!

What are you trying to keep from me?

I’m just hoping for an answer

Assume your delicate fantasy

it’s just lies on lies on lies on…

See what you wanna see

Staring straight into the sun

Assume your delicate fantasy

Well you can pull the other one

*********

What does it take?

To explore a mind

All is at stake

The fate of mankind

And all these dire straits

They get left behind

But I won’t hesitate

Just don’t look into his eyes

*********

Who said it was okay to be

Jumping through circus hoops?

Assume your delicate fantasy

It’s just lies on lies on lies on…

See what you wanna see

But don’t get blinded by the glare

Assume your delicate fantasy

Momma told you not to stare

*********

What does it take?

To explore a mind

All is at stake

The fate of mankind

And all these dire straits

They get left behind

But I won’t hesitate

Just don’t look into his eyes

Just don’t look into his eyes

********************

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SUTRA (approx 2014-present)

Mend 

I can’t always be there when you fall

Acting like I always know it all

Sleeping like you never got a pill

Killing you that there’s no time to kill

*********

Fall

But we’ll forget it all

Your order’s getting tall

Forget about it all

You can never get it

Gonna get it, get it, somehow

*********

I want to mend your broken

Wings

I want to mend your broken

Wings

*********

Every tear that wells up in your eye

Every cloud that blackens up the sky

And every friend who never says goodbye

You wanna change but you don’t wanna try

*********

You can never get it

Gonna get it, get it, somehow

*********

I want to mend your broken

Wings

I want to mend your broken

Wings

Catcher

I wrote these lyrics after reading the book Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger. I absolutely adored this coming-of-age novel – I found Holden Caulfield’s reckless abandon and aimless youthful nihilism captivating. I think we all feel, or have felt, like that character at points in our life; I believe those moments give us a good reference point for remembering why we enjoyed being young, but wouldn’t choose to go back there and do it again!

I’m an island, sinking slowly

No direction, and so lonely

What will I become? Falling off a cliff

Like a spinning top

Coming off the rails

And fumbling in the dark

*********

Here come old flat top

Groove up slowly to me

Fresh shirt and shoeshine

And a Harvard degree

I ain’t got no time for some two-bit phoney

I’ll take club soda with a shot of whisky

*********

Here come old flat top

Groove up slowly to me

Taking advantage of my generosity

I ain’t got no time for some two-bit phoney

The world don’t listen to them kids, them like me

*********

On a roll

But I got no direction

On my own

Just natural selection

On a roll

But I got no direction

On my own

Just natural selection

Rat With A Bone

This song is kind of like the musical and spiritual follow-up to The Island (from the Emperor Koko days) – at least that’s what myself and guitarist Jack always thought. It again references the UK’s troubled immigration policy – with the country now being led by Teresa May. I believe this island is for everyone – just like the rest of planet earth. And it saddens me that more people don’t see things that way.

This split isn’t good for me

You feel you don’t have a home

And I wanted was unity

She’s like a rat with a bone

*********

Paranoid

My time is up

Stuck in the void

I’m paranoid

My time is up

Stuck in the void

I’m giving up

*********

You tell them to leave this place

That it isn’t your home

And now we’re living in sheer disgrace

Just like the rat with his bone

*********

Paranoid

My time is up

Stuck in the void

I’m paranoid

My time is up

Stuck in the void

I’m giving up

*********

No place to go

Without a home

You’ll be the last to know

No place to go

Without a home

You’ll be the last to know

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And few more assorted pics. Thanks for reading!

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