LYRICS

PART ONE / PART TWO / PART THREE / PART FOUR / PART FIVE

STILL SITTING IN DANNY’S CAR 1: ONCE UPON A LIFETIME
(All music and lyrics by The Mighty Handful)The Mighty Handful

Once Upon a Lifetime

“You only live once … but if you do it right, once is enough”
Mae West

(Instrumental)

Not A Dry Glass In The House

“I’m not afraid of death … I just don’t want to be there when it happens”
Woody Allen

This is the end.
My story starts, paying respects.
To my best friend
The best of the best of them

Spilling out. Beyond the aisles,
Beyond the doors. Two hundred guests
And the rest.
The sermon ends, so we repair

And there’s not a dry glass in the house
There’s not a dry glass in the house
There’s not a dry glass in the house
Silence boils to stories
Stories rise to laughter
Tears flow of both courses
Voices rise in anger
Then stutter. Then murmer.

And there’s not a dry glass in the house
There’s not a dry glass in the house
There’s not a dry glass in the house
Aunts and friends and lovers
All keen to paint a picture
And a life becomes a jigsaw
The pieces cherished, priceless
The colours now fading

And there’s not a dry glass in the house
There’s not a dry glass in the house
There’s not a dry glass in the house
Each one is raised to honour
Missed chances and rich promise
Of a fire long since extinguished
Still remembered
(though in truth for years just embers)

To our distinguished fallen friend.
To the best of the best of them.
To Glenn.

So You’re Death?

[In response to Death coming for him]
“Is there no exemption for actors?”
Jonas Skat (The Seventh Seal)

A man walks into the bar and it’s not a joke.
Mine’s a pint. His … a scythe.
My eyes widen as his narrow
He tips his point, tries a smile
And then he says, without the slightest trace of irony
Hullo. I’m the Grim Reaper, but you can call me Death

And lo, the beer spoke through me:
So you’re Death?
Well, okay then. In that case, we have a bit of a problem
Firstly I was hoping you’d be a cute goth girl
Preferably a Bachalo or McKean
Instead – look at you – it’s more like Bill and Ted
(And I take another swig of ale, because now I’m warming to my theme)

Is this some sort of bogus journey?
If you’re Death, then why take Glenn?
He was the best of the very best of them
You could have taken any one of us instead …

On hearing this, Death being Death
Went deathly silent …

Foolish mortal!
Yours is not to ask the question
As for the goth girl thing
I’m getting that a lot these days
I have an offer
And it would serve you well to listen
If you want your friend again
I’m sure we could find a way
I’ve got the power, you’ve got the option
Do you want a taste?

Ah hell. Hell… hell… hell yeah. What the hell
It’s not like I’m making a deal with the devil

Well, in which case
Just step outside
Your chariot awaits!

 

Cavalier Spirit

It’s no silver ghost
But I still jump at the sight
Danny and his Cavalier
From 1985.

As you were, azure blue
And absolutely frightful.
The greatest car I ever knew

Roll up, roll up, roll up for the mystery tour
This cavalier spirit
My chariot of fire

As you were, azure blue
And absolutely frightful.
Who could ever ask for more?

(Death’s Term and Conditions)

Yeah, yeah, I’ve never been one for the small print,
Let’s just cut to the chase shall we?
As you wish …

Alright, Danny? All right!
What, no dice? Oh yeah that’s right
If it’s not a command then he’ll ignore it
Alright Danny, alright … alright …. alright … alright
FLOOR IT!

A Trip in the Light Fantastic

Trip in the light fantastic
The wind is in my hair
The future’s far behind us
We’re going everywhere

The path I see before us
Morphs future, past and now
Sub-conscious thoughts direct me
Towards my inner self

My present lies within you
In this, our final dance
Death, who rides beside us,
Embraces our last chance

Humankind’s achievements
Laid bare before our eyes
Destruction, sorrow, evil
All there to scrutinise

Fact and fiction flow together
In a tub of cheap champagne
Where we all live forever
‘Til Death calls us again

(Time shudders. And slows. Synapses explode)

BACK TO THE TOP

STILL SITTING IN DANNY’S CAR 2: THE BEACON
(All music and lyrics by The Mighty Handful)Still Sitting In Danny's Car Part 2 banner

The Beacon

“A moderate use of beer will aid digestion, quicken the powers of life and give elasticity to the body and mind.”
United States Department of Agriculture report, 1866

The car stops
In the parking lot.
And there it is –
Our Camelot.
The frosted windows. The Holsten neon.
The wooden sign above that bears a poor rendition.
The lighthouse. The freehouse.
The Beacon.

Martini logo
Masks the reflection.
And there it is
Our very own round table.
And oh, the gang’s all here!
And it’s all “Where you been” and “Come pull up a chair.
But first … get in the beers”.
Yeah, it figures.

(The gang’s all here!)
There’s Mickey, Bob and Raymond,
Three kings with crumbling kingdoms
They can barely stand
But still they’re studying the form
Cheering on their warriors
And they’re cursing their lost wars
Generous with time and wine
To recruit you to their cause

(The gang’s all here!)
There’s good-old-good-time Brenda
Quick with a laugh and an innuendo
She knows her door is closed …
… or ajar at the very best
She still remembers rolling
Keeps that fire within her breast
Oh the things that she could teach
To unwary weary travellers!

The gang’s all here!

And that means… oh god, she’s here
And there she is … my Guinevere.

She is a beacon. She is a siren.
(I can barely contain my excitement.)
The girl who is forever
And she’s bathed in the light from the Wurlitzer
And it’s Marley, 10cc and Free
Every. Single. Time.
I never could quite fathom it,
But I loved her all the more for it
Those same three same old choices
A part of our folklore.

From the crowd.
A roar!
And there he is
Holding court.
As it ever was.
As it’s ever been.
Pint in hand and spewing forth all manner of grand schemes.
Our Glenn. Our Djinn.
Our king.

King of the Beacon

”What are kings, when regiment is gone,
But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?”
King Edward – Edward II, Christopher Marlowe

King of the Beacon
The architect of something new
King of the Beacon
The King of the Beacon
Calls for you …

He’s Charlemagne in sneakers
He is the life and soul
He proffers pearls of wisdom
He’s a Prince of Rock’n’Roll

He’s Spartacus in tight jeans
He’s the rebel with a cause
He writes, directs, and plays the crowd
While we smile and applaud it all.

The King of the Beacon
Local legend, worldly wise.
The King of the Beacon
The man, the myth
Our friend who died.

He talks of quarks and quasars
And distant burning stars
Quotes easily from Ovid
While Dan props up the bar.

It’s times like this we lived for
When joy and magic flowed
It’s a usual night of drinking
And the possibilities … explode!

King of the Beacon
We pledge allegiance, heed the call
King of the Beacon
To aspire to something more

King of the Beacon
The King of the Beacon
Calls for you
King of the Beacon
The King of the Beacon
Calls to you

Hypothetically Speaking

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
after Muriel Strode, Wind-wafted Wild Flowers

But what of our hero?
I’ve seen you look better
Has someone stepped on your grave?
I suppose you could say that,
But it’s great just to see you
But we rehearsed yesterday

We wrote ‘We Got the Rock’ & ‘Melody Maker’
As a cynical ploy
‘bout the mag and guitar
And it’s foolproof, yeah,
We’ll get loads of free gear
And a write-up, and then ,,, and then we’ll be big stars

Hypothetically speaking
What if nobody hears them
Tell me where do we go?

Hypothetically speaking
What if no one believes then
Would that be a terrible blow

While we’re here
Hypothetically speaking
If Danny’s car was a time machine
Tell me where would you go?

Mate! I’m a doctor of hypotheory
I took the hypothetic oath
Hypothetically speaking
Where wouldn’t I go?

I’d go see the Great Wall as a building site
And see Jimi as he’s tearing up the Isle of Wight
I’d call in on Cromwell and Leonardo
So many choices
Where wouldn’t I go?

I’d visit Old London to say hi to Pepys
Rub shoulders with Homer, watch Rommel’s defeat
I would trade arcane stories with Lovecraft and Poe
So many choices
Where wouldn’t I go?

I’d sail with the Norsemen, kiss Helen of Troy
Watch TV with mother when I was a boy
See Nixon and many more big politicians
Get caught in all manner
of imbroglio

So many great choices
Where wouldn’t I go?

Mate! I’m a doctor of hypotheory
I took the hypothetic oath
Hypothetically speaking
Where wouldn’t I go?

I’d tell Siegel and Shuster to sign away nothing
Give Hitchcock the idea to insert Maguffins
I’d tell Nostradamus the things that I know

So many choices
Where wouldn’t I go?

Danny! Boys! Gather the band
It’s time for one more diabolical plan
So go kiss your goodbyes and let’s go with the flow
Hypothetically speaking
We’re hitting the road

Trip Reprise

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think …”
Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

(Instrumental)

Time Crash

“So … all of time and space. Everything that ever happened or ever will. Where do you want to start?”
The Doctor, The Eleventh Hour

(Instrumental)

BACK TO THE TOP

STILL SITTING IN DANNY’S CAR 3: RUBICON
(All music and lyrics by The Mighty Handful except ‘We Had The Rock’ written by Freeland/Mackenzie/Mackenzie/Sims)

Rubicon

Centurion
Will you take us forward?
We must carry on
To death.  Or glory

Rubicon
Your flowing border
Marks the end
Or a new beginning

Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina

Orating pride the great dictator stirs his lions

Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina

Ahead or bust
That laurels rest upon
Not to rest on his
Soldier on, soldier on

Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina

By the banks of the river
The thirteenth legion
Let the die be cast
By a would be Caesar

Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina
Legio Tertia Decima Gemina

Centurion
Will you take us foward?
We must carry on

Rubicon
Your flowing border
Marks the end

Timeo Danaos Et Dona Ferentes
(beware of Greeks bearing gifts)

Behind every great man
An even greater army
From Alexander cutting Gordian ties
To Sparta and the battle of Thermopolia

For every one remains
A trillion more get washed away
The history written by the winners of the fight
Who reads it anyway?

Inside the greatest minds
Cause and effect collide
Myriad worlds combine
Enola Gay burns children of thalidomide

Oppenheimer take a bow
Only faith can save us now
But when they sound a fanfare for the common man
No one gives a Van Damme

Time will tell
If all is well
And if true heroes are forged
Only in the fires of war

Or…?

Whatever Happened To Mary Jane?

Behind every great man there’s a whole string of women
All through our lives going back to Eden
Every one like every one before
Could have been the greatest love of all

Wherefore art thou my Juliet?
If we already met
How could I ever forget?

I’ve known a Cleopatra or two in my time
But they never ever turn out to be mine
Was it a brief encounter where I found her but I lost her cos the cost of love was just too much
Whatever happened to my Mary Jane?

Behind every great man there s a whole string of women
All through our lives going back to Eden
Every one like every one before
Could have been the greatest love of all

Goodbye heart, hello Norma Jean
Perfect celluloid queen
Flawed except on the big screen

Is she a Scarlett or an Heloise?
A not tonight or ever Josephine?
Who’ll have me down upon my knees trying to please but then she’ll turn into a tease I didn’t need
Whatever happened to my Mary Jane?

Behind every great man there s a whole string of women
All through our lives going back to Eden
Every one like every one before
Could have been the greatest love of all

Where to find my Helen of Troy?
Beauty that can destroy
The dreams of many a boy
There have been girls whose luscious lips
Could sink way more than a thousand ships
But do I stick or do I twist when every girl I might have missed instead of kissed could have been it

Whatever happened to my Mary Jane?
Whatever happened to my Mary Jane?
Whatever happened to my Mary Jane?

Gwen In Stasis

Then Glenn says “Alright then all you esteemed Beaconites,
What’s the greatest comic book scene of all time?”
Oh, this is PERFECT!  here we go
It’s one of the those things that made this feel like home

(And… they’re… off!)

It’s Simonson’s Thor, or Phoenix reborn
Constantine going to hell
Howard The Duck?  Are you having a laugh?
Cerebus?  Really, what for?
Watchmen? No really you’re not thinking, clearly
The Killing Joke’s more of a draw.

No. No. No. No.
Anyone else?  Alright then I’ll tell you
The moment that’s second to none.

It’s Amazing.  Spider. Man.  One hundred and twenty one.

It’s Gwen Stacy falling.  She’s falling
You think you can save her
You’ll kill her instead
The world stops. Gwen in stasis.

That one awful moment. You love her
You love more than ever,
You love more than life.
The world stops. Gwen in stasis.

It’s not Krypton exploding
Or young Bruce Wayne moaning his privileged parents are dead
Not the trial of Reed Richards
Or Kitty Pryde saving what’s left of the future X-Men
It’s not Swamp Thing or Sandman
Or Frogspawn McFarlane
And It’s certainly not Uncle Ben.

It’s Gwen.
Gwen Gwen Gwen Gwen
(And the death of Green Goblin)

And I look across.  And there she is.
She’s biting her bottom lip
Embarrassed that he’s passionate
But only for stupid comics

When here she is, this flesh and blood
Destined to go unnoticed, unheeded & unloved.

In that one awful moment
She sees it as it is.
The world stops. Gwen in stasis.

And for one awful moment
I see how she will be
Beaten. Embittered. And ginny.

Madame Geneva

Madame Geneva
My Lady’s eye water
Is calling from yonder
Calling me on

Her and her brother
King Theodore
Of Corsica
Course through my blood

I heard a man ate a cat though it scratched and bit back as he swallowed it down
I heard a man drank a pint of a cock o my cap and he drowned

But Madame Geneva
My Lady’s eye water
Is calling from yonder
Calling me on

Madame Geneva
My Lady’s eye water
Is calling from yonder
Calling me on

Her and her brother
King Theodore
Of Corsica
Course through my blood

It’s not the drink makes you poor it’s that all of the poverty drives you to drink
And for the amorous soul there is only one road to kill grief

Madame Geneva
My Lady’s eye water
Is calling from yonder
Calling me on

Calling me on

It’s not the drink makes you poor it’s that all of the poverty drives you to drink
And you try not to think
Of depression and lethargy lying in wait
So you smile and reflect and continue to slake
The unquenchable thirst for that fog in your mind
As you try to forget you’re still trying to find
That last clink in your pocket that steals you away
To the blessed release at the end of the day

Madame Geneva
Madame Geneva
Madame Geneva
Calling me on

Calling me on

We Had The Rock / Lost Boys

We had the Rock
We had the Rock
We had the music in our souls.

Young dudes – legends in the making
We tuned in and we turned up to 10.
Played it loud
And planned our fame
It was just a matter of when

We had the gear, the girls, the perms
And roadies who would do it for love.
Tight spandex and hightop pumps
But for Glenn the small time wasn’t enough.

The dream of wealth and grandeur
Flowed through our veins.
Maybe the music,
The music kept us sane?

We had the Rock.
We had the music in our souls
We had the Rock
How did we ever let it go?
We had the Rock

Meanwhile Dan recorded everything
We’d listen in the back of his car
Posterity on cheap cassettes.
We’d marvel at just how good we were.

The sights and sounds and smells
Of merry youthful pride and conceit
We sat back and waited for
The record deal to land at our feet.

We knew we talked a good fight
But in the end
We didn’t make the sacrifices
Needed to contend.

We had the Rock.
We had the music in our souls
We had the Rock
How did we ever let it go?
Ever let it go?
We had it!

The world moved on around us
Left us behind
Ghosts of what could have been
Burning in our minds.

We had the Rock.
We had the music in our souls
We had the Rock
Why did we ever let it go?

Ever let it go, ever let it go
We had the Rock!

Music was supposed to be our focus
The life and light we could always see
The Beacon became at once our fortress
And comfortable prison of complacency

Albion

We invent and surmise
Hostelries awash with
Improbable dreams and careless talk
We resist and survive
Beneath a chequered flag
Proud we stand upon
Ramparts of chalk

Edward the Confessor
Becket and Boudicca
Churchill, Purcell, Cromwell
Everyone from Florence Nightingale to
Septimus Severus and the Venerable Bede is a tether for us
A multitudinous chorus that echoes through the fabric of life

Drake, Wren, Turing, Darwin
Blake, Lennon/McCartney
Pankhurst, Shakespeare, Guy Fawkes
We might not like to hear the things they taught us
But it’s deeds that stand time

We walk beneath a canopy of stars
This immigrant nation
We are Albion the Fair

Peter Pan, The Green Man
Faerie Queens and Aslan
Unicorns and dragons
Legends take on many different guises

Trillian and Dan Dare
The Beast of Bodmin to Milk Wood
It’s elementary my dear Watson
You don’t have to have lived in order to live on

We ride in the company of cabbages and kings
Poets and the dreamers
We are Albion the Fair

The Great Fires of the ages cannot consume us
Because we’re seekers, explorers, protesters and innovators
We’re Skara Brae and MS Windrush –
Adversity, victory, challenge and opportunity
We’re Diggers, Jarrow Marchers
Wat Tyler and Mary Secole
We’re The Rocket, Concorde and TSR-2
A lineage of mothers to daughters
Like tragic Campbells from father to son.
Oates may yet be some time, 
and Jimmy still grieves,
While we shed a tear
And crack a smile
At our diminished Empire and heroic misfortunes.

We fly chasing down the shadows of our past
Soaring with the bluebirds
We are Albion the Fair

We glide in the slipstream of the light
Far beyond horizons
We are Albion the Fair

As legacies collide a truth appears at last
We are moulded by the sights and sounds of the lands through which we pass
Oh Albion the Fair, legends linger, heart remains
When his people need him most
The King shall come again

BACK TO THE TOP

STILL SITTING IN DANNY’S CAR 4: SLOW REVEAL
(All music and lyrics by The Mighty Handful)

Four Hoarse Men

Dance to the tune
Of a hundred thousand radio sets.
Howl at the moon.

If I ever knew
That this would be as good as it gets
I’d fret for less.

A cloudy mind
A headless effort Heaven it’s not
The settling kind

The one you crave
You know you have to fight for it
It makes you sick but you traded your life for it

Four – four – four – four
Hoarse – hoarse – hoarse – hoarse
Men – men – men – men

(This could be your apocalypse)

See it away
They rang the bell already my friend
Call it a day

Clean all your lines
Write off tomorrow cos tonight could be the night
Extinguish the light.

Still

Still.  Sitting in Danny’s Car.
Still. Jumping at our own shadows.
Still. Up the creek without a paddle.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
And declaring it an honourable draw

Still. Making the same bad decisions.
Still. Desperate to shed inhibitions.
Still. Falling for the wrong girl.
Still falling for the wrong guy.

Still. Falling.  Still falling.  stillfalling.

Be the pivot.  Be the fulcrum.
Around which all else moves.
The Beacon is gone.  Be the new sun.
There are no more roads.  Just Death and dark.

And we’re still sitting in Danny’s Car.

Drowning In The Light

Always, sing up
Always, sing up,
Always …

Fulcrum, reflection
Your light comes through the darkness
Banishing the night

Leaving, the station
Only now I feel receptive
Receiving your names

Sing up: always getting better
Sing up: always feeling better
Sing up: always dreaming better
Into your arms I dive

Antenna, upwards
Beneath the parapet I rise
Drowning in the light

Slipping, stealthily
Your hand clasps mine, I wonder
Do you still need me?

Sing up: always getting better
Sing up: always feeling better
Sing up: always dreaming better
Into your arms I dive

Slow Reveal

The picture is almost complete now
Choices seem painfully clear
I must undo the work of the Reaper
To replay so many lost years

The time that he squandered
On failures and losses
The life that he should have enjoyed
A chance to fulfil
His potential and skills
The time of his life by the force of my will

As Death’s power tempts me
To reverse this legacy
Voices sound soft in my head
It could be a jukebox or the car stereo
Or the King of the Beacon instead

Who is the man
That you think I am
Is this cartoon supposed to be me?

Remember both sides
Not just sweetness and light
I was double the man that you’ve seen.

There’s always been sunshine, to balance the darkness
Victories balance defeats

No, he’s your king and your beacon!

I’ve struggled and strived
But that’s part of the process
My tragedy isn’t so great

And yes there’s regrets
But just like Ol’ Blue Eyes
I’m not one to dwell on mistakes

Failures and loss are just part of deal
Death’s picture is incomplete

Go! Call on Lazarus
Return life to the dust
Bring back the best of us

You should never go back or walk round in circles
Even if you can’t find the best way forward

Soul Trader

Sell your stake in humanity
It’s toxic stock
There’s no future in it
There is only Death.  There is only me.

Buy into the past
And you’re onto a winner baby
The market share will always rise
(and your dreams will never die)

Become Death.  Empires will tremble at your name.
Yours is the power.  There’s is the pain.
I can give you the past.  That is my gift.
To do with as you please.

Become Death.  Life’s only certainty.
Become Death.  Life’s only certainty.

The past has a value
If someone remembers it
And how.
(The King of the Beacon taught me how)

The future has value
If someone believes in it
And vows
(The King of the Beacon taught me how)

The past has a value
If someone remembers it
And how.
(The King of the Beacon taught me how)

The future has value
If someone believes in it
And vows

(The King of the Beacon taught me how)

To live in the NOW

Live in the now.

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STILL SITTING IN DANNY’S CAR 5: DEVILS IN THE DETAILS
(All music and lyrics by The Mighty Handful)

Devils In The Details

Sunrise
Over the river
Big sky
City skyline

Waking me up from this stasis
Waking me up this time

Eyes Open

Open your eyes
Nature surrounds you
Look all around now

A new morning

Dew drops and petals
Life is creating
Wonders in miniature
Moments to treasure

People are chanting your name

They want you
They love you
They need you
Come back to the light
They will save you this time

Do you still wonder (do you?)

Where did you come from

A perfect alignment
of atoms in motion
molecules and proteins
Given a consciousness

Did you use it wisely?

Look in the mirror

Who do you see there
Can they believe you
They want to believe you

Where do you go now
Walk into your future

Nothing is written
All gets forgotten
Follow me into the light

I want to believe
Please let me believe one more time

Vital Signs

We play among the ruins
To search for something vital in the dirt
Forsaking all our futures
For dusty yesterdays filled with hurt

And in the end
All we see
Is a little part of nothing
That comes from you
When least expected
And grows, evolves and awkwardly it sets you free

In Time

When you feel the night approaching
Let it come, let it come
There’s no need to fear the setting of the sun
The vampires and the ghouls are just vexations of your mind

We all get older
In time
In time

All this will fade away
All this will fade away
All this will fade away

The more that things are changing
The more they stay the same
Same old scenarios with different names
The players will get played then someone else will take the stage

We all get older
In time
In time

All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time

All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time

No need to rage against the dying of the light
It never dies.
It just gets passed on down the line
In time
In time

All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away in time
All this will fade away

In time

So Who’s Death?

Picking daisies
Malaria, rabies
It all means the same to me

Combine harvest
A time comes to starve and
I’ll get you eventually

Broken enzymes
A sign of the times
But I move fast and I learn quick

Making ends meet
The fighting in the street
I’ll seal it all with a kiss

What do you think of me?
What’s on Death’s CV?
And what could be?
Now if you ever go indigo
That will always be my way

I/you envy choices
Your/our songs and your/our voices
The chance to aspire for more

My/your dreams stay silent
A main job requirement
Of working the killing floor

No blood no thunder
Could draw a line under
My/your game of lies and deceit

Made your/my decision
You’ll/I’ll stick with the living
No matter how long or brief

That’s what you
Think of me
It’s not hard to see
It’s fine by me
And if you never go indigo
That will always be my way

I’m just a tool
An endlessly sweeping broom you see
My will’s not free
And if you ever could read the leaves
you’d see the lunacy in me

See the lunacy in me

I know we’ll meet again
I know we’ll meet in the end.

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