Lyrics of

Disc 1



In an empty room a fragile reason slumbered
One alone, he woke – beyond the pane there lumbered
Something shapeless in the moonlight, unencumbered
By a name – though there was one, he was outnumbered

To leave is easy but to stay behind is bitter
Once she held you, once you saw the heavens glitter
With a thousand stars that parted to admit her
In a moment she was gone

Come my child, behold – the moon has human features
But his tongue is strange, his language cannot reach us
In a bowl of bone that teems with tiny creatures
We can hear alone the sighs and lies of preachers

What the endless sky that spreads to the horizon?
But a button on an insect's sleeve – it flies on
Past a million worlds, each with a million skies on
When you looked up you were gone

Do you sense an emptiness, a vessel, waiting?
Perfumes from the earth ascend without abating
Scents that rise like sewage-gasses from a grating
Just for you, that space the earthworms are creating

Truths you cannot trust and rules you cannot follow
Wine you cannot drink and grapes you cannot swallow
Leave a hunger, leave a hollow in a hollow
Just believe, the pain is gone


I Dream funeral

Insects hum
Through the empty field the mourners come
Singing sweetly to a pipe and drum
Weather girls and anchor men with golden skin

At their head
Walks a bloated priest in robes of red
Perfuming the odours of the dead
With a censer's heavy-scented yellow smoke

What they mourn
Is the passing of a beauty borne
In a hearse of glass and silver drawn
By a pair of night-black mares with dancing plumes

How could such a perfect blonde have died?
Garlanded with lilies, like a bride
How she draws me to her mouth and to her grave

II March of a lovesick fool

Let me see, let me sigh for her, let me love the belle
Let me give all my hours for her, all my mind as well
Close beside the glass I near the vision I desire
See her structure, but a sculpture, wrought of flesh and wire

Painted face, painted lips and cheeks, just a human skin
Stretched across wood and chicken-wire, taut and dry and thin
Strong above the scent of lilies comes a rotting stink
Could I love her? Yes, I love her still – no heart can think


Praise his name, his magnificence, praise our one-eyed Lord
Raise his church tower to the sky, white and many-floored
Bring me angels, bring me horrors, bring me flesh and wine
Be my servant, be my doctor, be my valentine

III Mourning song (flete nobiscum)

Soon in the field the mourners gather
Bright in their hands their shovels shine
Singing affecting lamentations
Down into bone-rich soil they dig
Her narrow grave


See now they draw her body
From the hearse and bear her on their shoulders
See how they mask her beauty
And conceal her weightlessness


Down into earthly darkness
Where a scarlet fluid seeps between the
Pale stones and bones of thousands
Soon she rests – the singing ends


IV Snowflakes dance in the mind of an idiot (instrumental)


V Realm of the one-eyed dogs


Still they stand
Heads bowed, hairy hands relaxed and tanned
Till the priest inclines his bloated hand
And the mourners tear away their latex masks


Every face
Shows the features of a feral race
With a monkey's cunning, greed and grace
And a single liquid eye, both black and bright


Coarsely gay
Laughing loudly as they stride away
Smoking, chattering on phones, they say
“Every one-eyed dog must have her hour of fame”


VI Song of the priest


Place a penny in my platter
And another – hear it clatter
Though you're poor it makes no matter
Though my hands and purse grow fatter


Come, you owe me for those bitches
Brutes and Scillas, knaves and witches
Twitching switches, scratching itches
What need you those earthly riches?


VII A meal of men and women


From somewhere in the distance
I seem to hear
Jonah singing psalms to an old harmonium
With a voice of fear


Gog, the god that goggles
Invades my dream
Humming in my ears like swarms of anopheles
By a rushing stream


Underground, shedding tears
Peter Piper plays


Then shining in the darkness
I seem to see
The silver head of Norman Wisdom shimmering
As it looks at me


I hear a voice – an anchor
Was fired by Sky
He was doing well till he looked on Babylon
With a human eye


There's a queen on a throne
And she stinks to hell


Then seven dancing princes
Offend my eyes
Children throwing gold on a heap of excrement
While a cabby cries


For a drooping princess
For a senseless lie
Yesterday a doll and a cretin got engaged
Today a dog might die


There's a house full of fools
Where the mirrors weep


VIII Drowning in the sea of sleep (instrumental, including Theme from an imaginary cop show)




If you have dreams of earthly love
Resolve to crush them now
If you have thoughts that mark your mind

As different somehow
Prepare your heart to hide its hopes
And chant my mindless song
For if I knew what you desired
You'd not desire for long

For centuries my changeless mind
Has rotted in my head
My hands are like the yellow rose

My passions like the red
I will not change, but with my fire
And iron I'll alter you
I am the medieval mind
And all I say is true

“Oh rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm that flies in the night
In the howling storm
Has found out thy bed of crimson joy
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy”  (William Blake)


I The rise and fall of the Enchanter

Deep in the green and golden glade the gilded serpent sleeps
Buds on the branches, blood on the blade an insect watchman keeps

How can the beauty have no cause?
How can the magic have no root?
How can the hand have random claws?
How can it shape such perfect fruit?

All that we see and do this day is patterned by some power
All that we are must pass away, yet every heart must cower
Before oblivion's glower

Who made the stars and spiders?
Who made the purple mountain, who the green?
Who made the coils inside us
Form such a complex, elegant machine?

How can the twisting snake
That sleeps in the skull awake
Possessed of cunning by mistake?

There is a land, a distant land, where gentle breezes play
Sweet as the grass on which we'll stand, a mighty King holds sway

How can the heart accept his laws?
How can the hand be held in check?
How can the dog unclose his jaws?
How can the ship avoid the wreck?

Tell me a cruel and frightful tale to drag my courage low
Tell me of tests I must not fail, of truths I must not know
Or face the King below

“Remember when you are happy
And drinking the wine that makes your senses numb
Remember when you are sleepy
And dreaming of summer's earthly joys to come
For now you are in no cell
Your body is strong and well
But soon your agonies will swell

Tomorrow when the winter
Grabs hold and shreds your mantle with its claws
Your flesh will freeze and splinter
And every cell cry out against His laws
Your sorrow will wax sublime
You'll know and repent your crime
And weep until the end of time!”

And the crows croak their rhymes
That tell of your crimes
And a vast cathedral rises round you
Built with the stones of a simpleton's grudge
A court-house of gold with a goat for a judge

And the crows gather round
As you lie, like a lamb, on the ground
And your harp is smashed before the altar
Down with the ashes of dreamers and books
Drawn into night by the crookedest crooks

II  The great question (instrumental)

III  Panapanthera

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I bring a broken blade, a star-map and a pin
I bring a flask of wine to wash your reason in
I bring a leaf of gold to decorate your skin
I bring all this for Panapanthera

I bring you visions that no other blindness brings
I bring commencement of a thousand fragile things
I bring the fearful song that every sparrow sings
I bring all this for Panapanthera

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I bring an old score for the music of the spheres
I bring a slow intoxication with the years
I bring a sheet of paper warped with dried-up tears
I bring all this for Panapanthera

I bring an answer to your question, it is this
There is no answer, but I bring instead a kiss
I bring a bursting in your breast of rushing bliss
I bring all this for Panapanthera

I bring a secret in the rubric of this note
For you to sew into the lining of your coat
I bring you apple wine to sooth your burning throat
I bring all this for Panapanthera

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Disc 2 




We lived in a village tormented by angels

They stole and devoured our apples and corn


Demanding one tenth of our crops and our silver
They drank all our ale, and then fought till the dawn

They sang at our eaves every night while we slept not
Demanding our love and belief they were good

They burned all our books and they stole seven children
And took them away to their roost in the wood

And so we decided to have no more angels
We crept with our bows to the wood, to their nest

At dusk they flew out like a flock of great starlings
We shot at the largest and thrice pierced his breast

He fell to the earth and we hurried to claim him
His great wings beat twice in the dust and were still

We stripped him and dragged him back home to our village

And hung up his corpse on a frame on the hill

We wrote on a board in his blood and in Latin
A warning to angels to leave us in peace

And so began war between children and heaven
A war without mercy or hope of surcease


Clothed in the stars, he stepped
Out of the night sky, whispering

Each of His names while she slept
Wrapped in his snow-white wing

Fast ran the ruthless years
Over her sheets red shadows crept
Dreaming she knew no fears
Waking from dreams she wept

I loved her as the needle loves the swollen vein
I loved her as the sewer loves to drink the rain
But I could not compete with him
But I could not compete with him
Our saviour, our saviour, Christ

I loved her as the madman loves the silver moon
I loved her as the horseman loves the silver spoon
But she could not consider me
She loved a man invisible

Our saviour, our saviour, Christ

I journeyed through the dying day
And through the haunted night
Through quarries grey with slippery clay
Through forests bright with patterned light

I cried aloud to all the gods
And demons of the earth

And cursed the man who'd cheated me
Of everything of worth

At dawn I saw a tower rise
Through veils of silver mist
My maddest cries assailed the skies
My hand became a fist

And though the wind and pain were keen
I felt them not at all
And though the wall was grey and tall
And though I feared to fail or fall
Enchantment held me in its thrall
As fell the veil between

As if an angel held me fast
And bore me in his arms

I rose and rose and rose at last
Unfeeling stone beneath my palms

The claws of birds and breezes tried

To pluck me from the wall
But deep inside a caged-bird cried
And drew me with its call

Just as the slave must bow
Just as the falling soul must wail
Just as the bride must vow
So I received the veil

Dressed for a vanished age
Refuge I sought, from bitter frost
Safe is the lark in its cage
Safe, but at such a cost

I loved him as the tumbling petal loves the gale
I loved him as the belle, disfigured, loves the veil
But I could not become his bride
I could not touch his hand or hide
Our saviour, our saviour, Christ

Come, come, come to me now
Only flesh can feel, only flesh

Let me touch and take your hands before these perfect lands
Melt and vanish like a snowflake

Come, come, come to me now
Only bones can walk, only bones

Let me comfort you with wine, your eyes and lips will shine

Bright as flowers in the firelight

Come, come, come to my side

Only skulls can smile, only skulls

Where I lie beneath the wall, my blade and bones are all
That remain of my confession

A swelling blossom of remorse
The odours of the tomb
A craven dreaming of divorce
The roaring of an empty womb
But not for she who will not be
A fleeting shadow's bride
Her saviour comes invisibly
To tear the veil aside



Across a clearing strewn with leaves
Where soldiers, ministers and thieves
And children dance, and each believes
There fell a hairy shadow

A creature born of rain and mud
With thorns for hair and tears for blood
His singing drowned the roaring flood
He cast a Christ-like shadow

We feared his bright and yellow eye
His grimaces, his lustful cry
He sang the sweetest lullaby
We slept enwrapped in shadow



1: The tongue of the Evangelist

Behold the highest God of Gods
The cruellest King of Kings
He winds our guts between his paws
He knows, and hates, all things

He is the flame-eyed god of self
With dark and tangled hair
He rules upon a throne of gold
While toneless trumpets blare

He claims us for his soldiers
To defeat his enemy
He swears we are but prisoners
And death will make us free

2: The tongues of Impus and his Choir

Gather round children and savour my sweet lies
Look on this poor man and fear him unkindly
Soon I shall seize you and suck out your soft eyes
Still you will love me, all the more blindly

I was a man once, with innocent eyes
I grew addicted to beautiful lies

3: The tongue of the Acolyte

Most beautiful of simians
Most elegant of shapes
Most eloquent of criminals
Most ravishing of apes

Come to his supper
And dine on his stools
And you will become him
Or one of his tools

The mirror cracks before his smile
His privates drill and cheer
The scent of cordite fills the air
He wipes away a tear

I was a man once, with innocent eyes
I grew addicted to wonderful lies

4: The tongues of Common Men

His wrinkled paws prepared a feast
For every man and every beast
For every thief and every priest
And every dish was perfect

He promised we would not grow old
He took our copper, silver, gold
And cast a shining bell that tolled
And every note was perfect

We gazed into his yellow eye
And learned to hate and learned to lie
And learned to kill and learned to die
And every death was perfect

5: The tongue of Impus

You made me, you made me
All that you see

You made me, this creature
Now worship me

6: The tongue of the Arch-Vicar

Our Lord has fathered many millions
Of children in his image
They have shown strength with their arms
And servitude with their simple minds

Soon the flesh of men will crumble
Into ash, and He will vanish with them
Leaving the earth ruled by another creature
Thriving for ever on the bones he finds

As it was in the beginning
Is now and ever shall be
The world without end must end
And ends in silence for all men

7: The tongue of the Historian

Now there's a silence in the city
There's a stillness in the streets

The ashen moonlight splashes down
On scarecrows wrapped in tattered sheets

There's nothing here to scare you
There's nothing here at all
There's nothing coming through the night
There's nothing crouching in the hall

There's nothing at your shoulder
There's nothing in your heart
And nothing is the only thing
That tears the sky apart

I was a man once, with innocent eyes
I grew addicted to beautiful lies



I No ghosts

No ghosts command, no rogues in scarlet robes compel me
I hear their song, and recognize the tales they tell me
Their voices dwindle with the dawn
The dreadful lamentations of the damned, the soldier's horn
And all such ghost-sounds fade away for ever with the night
The soul has flown, the sky is bright

I see the temples and the nations fall asunder
Their borders vanish and their tyrants dumb with wonder
Where once my country and my clan
Had held me fast in fear and kept me from my fellow man

Now nothing holds me save the rushing bliss of reasoned thought
The stars have fallen and been caught

II The island of judges

The scarlet judges shall lose their thrones
And all be banished to an island where they alone
Will dwell together, weighing each other's sins
In scales of glass

Their heavy vestments will wear to rags
And each betray his fellow till there is only one
Who will scourge himself and cry to a cruel Lord
To send a sign

The cries of nightbirds, the howls of apes
Pervade the night and in his madness he hears the words
Of some forgotten god, a memory as old as man
And false as fate

III A game of masks

When the summer comes again and the game of masks is done
When the masks of faith and hope are lost
When the summer comes again and the mask of love is shed
When the tongues of men are free, I shall sing

When the summer comes again and the angels sing no more
When the queens and lords of earth have passed
When the summer comes again and the glass reflects the stars
When the brazen tongues are still, I shall sing

IV Leaves and sticks

To touch the velvet skin and feel its fearful whiteness
Its sweetness, smoothness, quietness, scentedness, its brightness
To shape a crater with your hands
To draw the dragon in its blood and weave the finest strands
Of language or of tumbling noise into a tapestry
The soul has flown and we are free

The creatures of this world say “yes” without misgiving
They dance upon the earth, they live and love the living
With but one life they make it sweet
They make no holy war, but wine to drink and bread to eat
And when they dwindle into tattered leaves and sticks of bone
They know no fear, the soul has flown

V The soul takes flight

Fear no more the crooked law
The roar of the furies
Perfumes fill the night when the soul
Takes flight like the nightingale in winter
Makes bright idols splinter into light, ignite

Sense the bliss, the gentle hiss
The kiss of the serpent

Mirrored in his eye now the soul
Climbs high like a shining star not heeding
Time's cry or the bleeding, pleading sky-bound spy

Come Sleep, bring your pleasures
Dark fruit patterned by your dusty fingers

Not one but a legion
Of living things, of particles, of stars, such stars

Let these dreams, the faintest gleams
The beams of a far star
Work upon the earth, may the soul
Yet flee from the bleeding hands of preachers

Set free as the creatures of the sea must be