Mermaid Avenue Tour

1st January 1999
Billy Bragg
Self released CD only BB5108
Number of discs: 1

I guess I planted some long lonesome
seed of a song
Way down inside me long ago
And now I can’t remember when it was
But it joined up with the rest of them and grows
It’s such a little song it don’t compare
With all your big ones you hear everywhere
But when it dawns way in the back of your mind
The big ones are made up of the little kind

Union song. Union battled.
All added up. Won us what we got now

I can’t even start to look around me here
Without hearing this song
And seeing all of us first separated,
Hurt, apart and afraid
And hungry for the union
And so we kept on
Singing and working, fighting till we got it.
And this is the big union song I guess I hear.

We fought there at your place
We fought there on your ship
And I guess if you missed out on
the fight for our union,
You missed out on one awful big step
Us people took.

My flying saucer where can you be
Since that sad night that you sailed away from me?
My flying saucer I pray this night
You will sail back before the day gets bright

My flying saucer fly back for home!
You will get lost in the universe alone!
My flying saucer end all my fears
Sail back tonight, love and kiss away my tear

Eisler on the go, Eisler on the move
Brother is on the vinegar truck
and I don’t know what I’ll do

I don’t know what I’ll do,
I don’t know what I’ll do
Eisler’s on the come and go
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler on the farm, Eisler on the town
Sister in the tickly bush
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler on the boat, Eisler on the ship
Daddy on the henhouse roof
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler in the jailoe, Eisler back at home,
Rankin scratch his head and cry
and I don’t know what I’ll do

Eisler him write music, Eisler him teach school,
Truman him don’t play so good
and I don’t know what I’ll do

If you’re lonely, I will call –
If you’re poorly, I will send poetry

I love you
I am the milkman of human kindness
I will leave an extra pint

If you’re sleeping, I will wait
If your bed is wet, I will dry your tears

I love you
I am the milkman of human kindness
I will leave an extra pint

Hold my hand for me I’m waking up
Hold my hand for me I’m waking up
Hold my hand for me I’m making up
Won’t you hold my hand – I’m making up

If you are falling, I’ll put out my hands
If you feel bitter, I will understand
I love you
I am the milkman of human kindness
I will leave an extra pint

Ten hundred books could I write you about her
Because I felt if I could know her
I would know all women
And they’ve not been any too well known
for brains and planning and organised thinking
But I’m sure the women are equal
And they may be ahead of the men

Yet I wouldn’t spread such a rumor around
because one organises the other
And sometimes the most lost and wasted
attract the most balanced and sane
And the wild and the reckless take up
with the clocked and the timed
And the mixture is all of us
And we’re still mixing

But never, never, never,
Never could have it been done
If the women hadn’t entered into the deal
Like she came along to me

And all creeds and kinds and colors
of us are blending
Till I suppose ten million years from now
we’ll all be just alike
Same color, same size, working together
And maybe we’ll have all of the fascists
out of the way by then
Maybe so.

I’m gonna tell all you fascists you may be surprised
The people in this world are getting organized
You’re bound to lose, you fascists are bound to lose

Race hatred cannot stop us this one thing I know
Your poll tax and Jim Crow and greed have got to go
You’re bound to lose, you fascists bound to lose

All of you fascists bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose
All of you fascists bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose
You’re bound to lose! You fascists!
Bound to lose

People of every colour marching side by side
Marching ‘cross these fields where a million fascists died
You’re bound to lose, you fascists bound to lose

I’m going into this battle, and take my union gun
We’ll end this world of slavery before this battle’s won
You’re bound to lose, you fascists bound to lose

It’s bad timing and me
We find a lot of things out this way
And there’s you
A little black cloud in a dress
The temptation
To take the precious things we have apart
To see how they work
Must be resisted for they never fit together again
If this is rain let it fall on me and drown me
If these are tears let them fall

Chorus:
Must I paint you a picture
About the way that I feel
You know my love for you is strong, girl
You know my love for you is real

It took a short walk and a talk
To change the rules of engagement
While you searched frantically for reverse and them claiming
That virtue never tested is no virtue at all
And so I lost my ignorance
And now the bells across the river chime out your name
I look across to them again

All your friends said come down
It will never fly
And on that imperfect day
We threw it all away
Crisis after crisis, with such intensity
This would never happen if we lived by the sea

Most important decisions in life
Are made between two people in bed
I found that out at my expense
And when I see you
You just turn around and walk away like we never met
Oh we used to be so brave
I dreamt the world stopped turning as we climbed the hill
I dreamt impossible dreams that we were lovers still

Let’s have Christ for President.
Let us have him for our King.
Cast your vote for the Carpenter
that you call the Nazarene.

The only way we can ever beat
these crooked politician men
Is to run the money changers out of the temple
And put the Carpenter in

O It’s Jesus Christ for president
God above our king
With a job and a pension for young and old
We will make hallelujah ring

Every year we waste enough
to feed the ones who starve
We build our civilization up
and we shoot it down with wars

But with the Carpenter on the seat
away up in the capital town
The USA would be on the way prosperity bound!

I’d like to rest my heavy head tonight
On a bed of California stars
I’d like to lay my weary bones tonight
On a bed of California stars

I’d love to feel your hand touching mine
And tell me why I must keep working on
Yes, I’d give my life to lay my head tonight
On a bed of California stars

I’d like to dream my troubles all away
On a bed of California stars
Jump up from my starbed and make another day
Underneath my California stars

They hang like grapes on vines that shine
And warm the lovers glass lke friendly wine
So, I’d give this world
just to dream a dream with you
On our bed of California stars

I was twenty one years when I wrote this song
I’m twenty two now, but I won’t be for long
People ask when will you grow up to be a man
But all the girls I loved at school
are already pushing prams

I loved you then as I love you still
Tho I put you on a pedestal,
They put you on the pill
I don’t feel bad about letting you go
I just feel sad about letting you know

I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl
I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl

I loved the words you wrote to me
But that was bloody yesterday
I can’t survive on what you send
Every time you need a friend

I saw two shooting stars last night
I wished on them but they were only satellites
Is it wrong to wish on space hardware
I wish, I wish, I wish you’d care

I don’t want to change the world
I’m not looking for a new England
I’m just looking for another girl

Hoodoo Voodoo, seven twenty one two
Haystacka hostacka, A B C
High poker, low poker, ninety nine a zero
Sidewalk, streetcar, dance a goofy dance

Blackbirdy, bluejay; one two three four,
Trash sack, jump back E F G,
Biggy hat, little hat, fattyman, skinnyman,
Grasshopper, greensnake, hold my hand

Hoodoo voodoo, chooka, chooky choochoo,
True blue, how true, kissle me now

Momma cat, Tommy cat, diaper on my clothes line
Two four six eight, I run and hide
Pretty girl, pretty boy, pony on a tincan,
I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine

Jinga, jangler, tingalingle,
picture on a bricky wall
Hot and scamper, foamy lather, huggle me close
Hot breeze, old cheese,
slicky slacky fishy tails
Brush my hair and kissle me some more

I lived in a place called Okfuskee
and I had a little girl in a holler tree
I said, little girl, it’s plain to see,
there ain’t nobody that can sing like me

She said it’s hard for me to see
how one little boy got so ugly
Yes, my little girly, that might be,
But there ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me
way over yonder in the minor key
Way over yonder in the minor key
there ain’t nobody that can sing like me

We walked down by the Buckeye Creek
to see he frog eat the goggle eye bee
To hear that west wind whistle to the east,
there ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Oh my little girly will you let me see,
where over yonder where the wind blows free
Nobody can see in our holler tree
and there ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Her mama cut a switch from a cherry tree
and laid it on the she and me
It stung lots worse than a hive of bees
but there ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Now I have walked a long long ways
and I still look back to my tanglewood days,
I’ve led lots of girlies since then to stray
saying, ain’t nobody that can sing like me

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© Billy Bragg 2019