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CV

by Black

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about

To celebrate the 2007 UK tour with The Christians, we put together a 16-track compilation CD entitled ‘Black:CV’.


Born in 1962, when Elvis’s Good Luck Charm was Number One and playing on the radio, Colin Vearncombe, otherwise known as Black, is about ready to lose himself – again.

An artist’s life involves frequently losing oneself. For a singer-songwriter, it’s an important part of the process of creating something that no-one has heard before; a melody, a lyric, a performance. A unique combination of instances, filtered through a life.

We, as audience, find him here in a collection of recordings; fleeting moments captured in time. Hardly more than an outline sketch of a career which already spans over twenty five years but a sketch which at least indicates markers in a journey that in many ways has barely begun.

The journey for any real artist is never finished. The artist’s creative life, punctuated by ‘terrible highs and fabulous lows’ is a life of constant evolution and discovery. It has to be that way, otherwise art turns into craft and demands the constant repetition of a formula, which while potentially briefly satisfying an audience, can never fulfil the needs of the artist committed to their own journey.

Along the way, published work only marks out moments of stopping to say ‘this stage is interesting’. It neither encapsulates nor defines anything other than that stopping point and as with all journeys, every stopping point eventually becomes the next starting point.

It is for the listener to connect the dots that form along the way, to make conclusions and judgements about connections and influences because artists are rarely interested in their own past; they are too busy worrying about their future.

But is an artist’s journey any different from anyone else’s? Isn’t it simply that artists choose to let others experience their work – to lay bare a part of their lives and invite others to consider it? If any of us had the courage (or is it mania?) to document our journey in such a publicly naked fashion, would we not feel the same? How much would we, or could we, rely on the audience for validation?

This compilation, the first ever to be actually compiled by Colin, has been chosen from a catalogue of more than one hundred stopping points. It could have been completely different, but it would still have told the same story.

So when I have to go before St. Peter I’ll knock on his neon door and say “look at what came to be my journey” – Two Churches

credits

released April 5, 2007

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Track Name: Everything is Coming Up Roses
You don’t believe me, I can tell it by your eyes
There’s a kind of magic, to be had from your lies
I used to say that today
Is like tomorrow
Don’t sell it short for truth

I should have known should have known should have known how
I should have known I should have known by now

You don’t understand it, I can tell it by your smile
There’s a kind of freedom, to be had from your lies
I always said that today
Is like tomorrow
Don’t sell it short for truth

I should have known should have known should have known now
I should have known I should have known by now

But everything’s coming up roses, coming up roses, coming up roses
But now everything’s coming up roses, coming up roses
Track Name: Wonderful Life
Here I go out to sea again
The sunshine fills my hair
And dreams hang in the air
Gulls in the sky and in my blue eyes
You know it feels unfair
There’s magic everywhere
Look at me standing
Here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh or cry
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life

The sun’s in your eyes
The heat is in your hair
They seem to hate you
Because you’re there
And I need a friend, oh I need a friend
To make me happy
Not stand there on my own
Look at me standing here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine
No need to run and hide
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh or cry
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life

I need a friend, oh I need a friend
To make me happy, not so alone
Look at me here, here on my own again
Up straight in the sunshine

No need to run and hide
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to laugh or cry
It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
Track Name: When the River Bends
I can’t find my way home
It’s still a place I need to be
Can someone show me any place,
That could be home for me

Not back there in the North
In the windswept bitter cold
With the sidewalks growing grass
Where we would only grow old

And all the mines are gone
But no one knows or cares
If a thing is not nailed down
It was never there

I still remember how it seemed
An old-world symphony of tears
And now what I want’s always beyond my reach
Where the river bends

Wasn’t down here in the south
Always on nightshift or on call
There’s no sunshine in the streets
The buildings grew so tall
And no-one sees your eyes
But from a corner of their own
And they only really feel it when the balance has all gone

They don’t care how
And they don’t care why
It’s enough to make a grown man cry, and I do.
What’s it to you?

If I can’t find my way home
And it’s still a place I need to be
Seems what I want’s always beyond my reach
And where the river bends

Singing songs down from the trees
To race across the open fields
Around the trucks like carrion for the fall
And the fruit we tried to steal

I cannot find my way home,
Empty places packed and gone
As if what I want’s always beyond the point
Of where the river bends

Just where the river bends
Where the river bends
Track Name: Sweetest Smile
I think my heart must be made of clay
Cause everyone said it would be broken some day
And now I’ve come to that fateful day
So I sit on the floor with my head in my hands
And don’t tell me how to make it pay
I write a new song every day
I just wish I was made of wood
I might not feel pain even if I should
Even if I should

The sweetest smile that ever did
Melt the pats in the butter dish
And if you could have believed in me
I swear to God I’d have made damn sure
Our hearts were warm, and glad with wine
I’d keep the doors locked all the time
I just wish I was made of wood
You might not seem glad, even if you should
Even if you should, if you should

I think my heart must be made of clay
Cause everyone said it would be broken some day
Seems that I have come to that fateful day
So I sit on the floor with my head in my hands
With my head in my hands
Even if I should, if I should
Track Name: Wishing You Were Here
Yes I believe I’m not trouble sent to haunt you
Tell you for truth or did no one ever warn you
Til we stop these silly games
I can’t believe what you say

I see your face across the miles and miles between us
Do they separate, do they separate or join us
Do they join us at the hips
I need to kiss your sweet lips

There’ll be sparks in the rain
Honey in your hair
I’m wishing you were here with me
(I’m wishing you were here)

Turn out the lights if it helps to re-assure you
Call me a fool but you can’t only eat it twice
So eat it slowly let the juice run out
And believe what I say

Calling your name across the miles and miles between us
I see your face and the laugh lines reading join us
Join us right there at the hips
And I can taste your sweet lips

There’ll be sparks in the rain
Honey in your hair
I’m wishing you were here with me
(I’m wishing you were here)

I see your face across the miles and miles between us
Do they separate, do they separate or join us
Do they join us at the hips
I need to kiss your sweet lips

There’ll be sparks in the rain
Honey in your hair
I’m wishing you were here with me
(I’m wishing you were here)
Track Name: Stormy Waters
i’d call it through, i’ve seen the signs
won’t waste my time any longer
you made your choice so go let it loose
go play and lose with the rainbows
where i don’t know who i see when i look at you now

did you lie down for him
did you give yourself to him
and dip your stupid toes in stormy waters?

you look lonely and cold, a thousand years old
and your eyes don’t show what you have
but what you’ve sold
i don’t need to know but i want to know
let it all come on let
the bad times roll
i don’t know who i see when i look at you now

did you lie down for him
did you give yourself to him
and dip your stupid toes in stormy waters?

i’ve told you once, i’ve told you twice
the hundred thousand times that i have tried
i’m doing fine, i’ll be alright (i)
don’t waste my time chasing rainbows
‘cause i don’t know who i see when i look at you now

did you lie down for him
did you give yourself to him
set yourself adrift on stormy waters?
you crossed the bridge of sighs
as he spattered your insides
to sink up to your neck in stormy waters
Track Name: I Can Laugh About it Now
I can laugh about it now, but couldn’t then
You made me ache, so I went for a run
In the driving rain
Through your neighbourhood streets
And there you were, a silhouette in the wet night air
Me in my pumps in the pouring rain
A kind of despair upon finding you there
Couldn’t whisper your name

Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, sha la la la, we’re all in trouble
Is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?

And the very next day, through the shrieks of the crowd
Came your careless self, your oh-so-couldn’t careless self
And you just pass me by, your friends catch my eyes
“We know you love her, we saw you dancing with her shadow”
And I couldn’t disagree, and for the life of me
I could call out your name, and call out your name,
And call out your name

Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, I can laugh about it now by your side
Oh, sha la la la, we’re all in trouble
Is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?

Sha la la la, oh, we’re all in trouble,
Or is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?

I can laugh about it now
I can laugh about it now by your side

Oh, sha la la la, we’re all in trouble
Or is there room in the sky for all of us angels here?
Track Name: Cold Chicken Skin
Shirt’s all torn and I’m lame
If I try to smile (it) hurts my face
All I hear is complaint but who left this mess on my plate?

Oh I will fade away on…watch my hair turn grey on
Cold chicken skin and dog tail soup
Tell me is that all I’m worth to you?
Cold chicken skin and dog tail soup
Is that all that I bring you?

Inside out from cocaine
Got a bird on a rush in your brain
Wild eyed singing your song
Calling out my name like you’re pulling it along

Yo yo look on your face
What you got in that bag,hair and nails?
What’s that splashed on the walls?
The top half of a dog
And that’s all………!

Vearncombe/Topley
Track Name: Better Letting Go
Lately we’ve been acting like strangers
We never show our feelings
Or say the things we mean
It’s hard to admit
But maybe it’s time to quit pretending
cause we both know

it’s better letting go
there’s no point hanging on
to what used to be
why can’t we see
it’s better letting go

It’s crazy to sit here in silence
Counting off the seconds
The beating of our hearts
When there’s no more to give
There’s no easy way to live together
We both know

It’s better letting go
It’s time to walk away
And start again
This makes no sense
It’s better letting go

No matter how we fake it
This love has faded
The feeling has gone
It’s time to move on
It’s no good looking back
It hurts but we both know it baby

It’s better letting go
There’s no point hanging on
To what used to be
Why can’t we see
It’s better letting go

It’s better letting go
It’s time to walk away
And start again
This makes no sense
It’s better letting go

Vearncombe/John O’Kane
Track Name: Water On Snow
Did I sleep? Do I dream of cold, silent water
So deep and dark
And the wires are singing our song?
Our song

As we lay back and stared into cloudless skies
And the stars up there
The wires are singing our song
The wires are singing our song

Your face, now so plain, once was so lovely
A beautiful refrain, dust with stars
But your smile now in disguise became a flat line
And to never love again like you did before
Was all

Why go on with it, why go on with it?
Why, to let it flow, like water on snow?

I know what you want, what you are thinking
To drift beyond the pain and out of reach
To sit, be safe and warm inside your sorrow
And listen to the slow, slow morse tapping of the rain
But it says:

Why go on with it? Why go on with it?
Why to let it flow like water on snow?
Track Name: Storm Cloud Katherine
Look outside your window – the darkest sky you ever saw
And here am I, and there you are, and that’s all

When you need someone, really need someone
When you need someone
The night has no pity

You dream of Waterloo
As the lightning forks in two

I see your eyes and they’re still the same
The body blows absorbed in arcs of bitter pain

Storm cloud Katherine
Storm cloud Katherine

It’s all mapped out in relief like a skin of plaque on teeth
And so tense in here you can taste it; a power vacuum of sex

If you need someone
Not just anyone
If you need someone – don’t search in the city

Written longhand shaped in braille
You can smell it so you want it, your holy grail

And I see your eyes
And they show no fear
Though rocketman still loses through the never changing years

I see your eyes
And they’re still the same
The body blows absorbed in arcs of bitter pain

Storm cloud Katherine
Storm cloud Katherine

She says I’d rather walk away from you than hurt you with a word
Or a smile or a gesture that you may have misheard
And took as meaning something other than what I could do
What I don’t have if I don’t have you!

When you need someone don’t search in the city

You hauled the devils back down onto multitrack

And I see your eyes, they’re still the same
The bodyblows absorbed in arcs of bitter pain
Storm cloud Katherine
Storm cloud Katherine
I call her

Storm cloud Katherine
Storm cloud Katherine
Track Name: That's Just Like Love
It is true maybe
You never ask for much
But when your heart’s been broken into tiny little pieces
Who will pick them up
You know who’ll pick them up

That’s just like love
To see you through

You live with the silence
It wraps your every mood
With tender velvet fingers
And they cling just like the ivy on a sunny roof
If that’s what it takes to prove
That you live with your weakness
You face it every day
But when you play the let’s make lovers game
Someone has to pay
You know who’ll pay and pay and pay

If your face hurts
Feel like a bruised dog on a dusty street
But you’ve got lipstick on your feet
Lose your sad and wizened stare
Reach out and I’ll be there
I will set your senses alight
And blow them out one by one

That’s just like love
To see you through
That’s just like love
To see you through
Track Name: Charlemagne
Blind barking Bobby he can rage
The red mist come down and take centre stage
And if he could see he’d knock you down
And he may yet if you stick around

The sunlight only happens when he dreams
The cold light of day is how it’s gonna stay
Some thing’s only happen ‘cause it rains
It takes another kind for taking up the strain and
Be Charlemagne

He’s looking out not looking in
Don’t have to deal with where you’re looking
One more human face to fill your mind
And where the shadows fall…
You dare not find
Track Name: Go Home
Fake diamond rings on every finger
Purple shadows around my eyes
I show Americans del norte
The best of Paris’s underside

I worked the dirt in Oklahoma and ate my crow and humble pie
Though I walk through the Latin quarter
It’s still a dust bowl in my mind

You can’t make me go home
When I don’t wanno go!

I’ve lived on peanuts for the season
Bathtub martinis extra dry
Down in the thirteenth arrondissement
I waste my money on good times

You can’t make me go home
Don’t make me go home, I don’t wanna go
You can’t make me go home, la la la
When I don’t wanna go

Fake diamond rings on every finger
Purple shadows around my eyes
Down in the thirteenth, the fourteenth, the fifteenth arrondissement I waste my money line by line

You can’t make me go home
Don’t make me go home, I don’t wanna go
You can’t make me go home
When I don’t wanna go

Vearncombe/Topley
Track Name: Her Coat and no Knickers
You told a few lies and they came back on you
So you told a hundred more until she came back to you
But she only stayed a while
Just long enough to say the kind of things left to be said
In the cold light of day
And she smelled of Xmas trees, coffee and vanilla
Calcutta after snowfall, she’s no-one’s stand in mother
But I drifted into her like I could run myself aground
And keep her smiling at the sight of the blackness spilling out

And I don’t mind if you don’t care about it
I’ll get by without her arms around me
As long as I can sit on my own
In her coat and no knickers

I believe it doesn’t matter
So don’t look at me that way
Like I should notice how you look at me that way
That’s just the way you look when you look at me that way and I believe it
doesn’t matter
At least not much anyway

I never dreamed I could be lost in a place I know so well
But I was running on the spot in the darkness ‘til I fell
And then pulling off my clothes I want to step out of my skin
And paint a tattoo on my heart shows an arrow
Pointing in
Track Name: Fly Up to the Moon
Gonna fly up to the moon
Raising all of my money
Can’t make it too soon
I am sick of it down here
Gonna fly up to the moon

So this is how the world ends
Not with a bang but with a Wimpy
Don’t laugh too soon, I am sick of it down here
Gonna fly up to the moon

Who needs all the troubles of today, what’s the difference anyway?
I feel out of focus but what can I do there’s only you?

Gonna fly up to the moon
Raising all of my money, can’t make it too soon
I am sick of it down here
Gonna fly up to the moon

When they open the borders where will you be?
I’ll climb the highest tree to avoid the stampede
And if I should fly there’s only you
You
There’s only you that would say
Goodbye