Midnight Limbo

by Graeme Mearns

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about

My first solo album in nearly a decade, made up of songs old and new and written over a period spanning 18 years. The oldest, 'Smoke Rings', was penned in July 1997, the newest, 'Bruises on the Fruit', in June 2015. They're mostly oddities unsuited for any of the bands I play in but which I was keen to archive. Aside from 'Black & White Box', which had already been released on the 2014 collection, 'Compendium 8', and 'Amelia' which was recorded with the Legendary Graeme Mearns Band in 2013 but never released, all the tracks were recorded between August 2014 and June 2015. I played all the instruments except trumpet on 'Love like a Murder' (Finlay Heatherington), fiddle on 'Black & White Box' (Peter Rowan), drums and bass on 'Amelia' (Ali Murray and Tony Makos respectively) and cello on 'In the Chambers of the Sea' (Robin Mason). 'Midnight Limbo' was released in CD format in August 2015, to coincide with my run of Edinburgh Fringe shows.

credits

released December 10, 2015

All titles written, recorded, mixed and mastered by Graeme Mearns
A Partners In Grime production

Trumpet on 'Love like a Murder' by Finlay Heatherington
Fiddle on 'Black & White Box' by Peter Michael Rowan
Drums on 'Amelia' by Ali Murray
Bass on 'Amelia' by Tony Makos
Cello in 'In the Chambers of the Sea' by Robin Mason
All other instruments and vocals by Graeme Mearns

Recorded August 2014 - June 2015
(except 'Black & White Box', recorded between 2008 and 2014
and "Amelia', recorded 2013)

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Track Name: Love like a Murder
Well someday oh someday
the passion will come
that will burst your heart open
and bloody your walls

dripping love like a murder.

I promise you this:
you will fall from that tower,
you will hang from your cross
betrayed by a kiss,
your heart on your walls

dripping love like a murder.
Track Name: Smoke Rings
All my photographs are dead,
my memories are still as corpses,
my ghosts as dull as dust.
This is my life you see strewn across the floor.
My passion sleeps sprawled across my bed,
my love's locked in the bottom drawer,
my thoughts are scraps of paper
crumpled on the desk

beneath the cups of coffee,
underneath the stains.
But maybe I should chill out, spark a cigarette,
try to spark another flame.

It just always turns to ash again.

Someone help me
please
I'm falling down on you.

And all my dreams are torn to shreds.
I took them to the doctor.
She's doing all she can but somehow
I do not think that they'll pull through.
I'm dying. Or maybe I'm in love.
I think I'll open up that drawer and have a peek inside,
look in the corners
and see if I'd see you

and then perhaps I'll hang myself.
Or maybe I'll just faint.
Or maybe I should chill out, spark a cigarette,
blow smoke-rings through my latest flame.

But it'll always turn to ash again.

Someone help me
please
I'm falling down on you.

Why can't you see

that you are all I have to feel?
Track Name: Hey, Mrs Jones
Mrs Jones, I wasn't joking - 'ksake!
Was that steamers' skinful wasted?
From the Weige decentred went I
through a bleak narcotic night
aboard a midnight limbo train
frothing fevers in the brain
to drink the Burgh dry (for courage);
and I rolled in around 4,
crossed the ocean of my floor
and dropped the words into your inbox
like a sodden tonne of luggage
(ha-ha, ho-ho!):

Hey, Mrs Jones -
wha'd'ya know? -
I'm in love with you,
you make my garden grow
and, furthermore,
that gadge you saw:
could you kindly show his
grinning pus the door?

or words to that effect.
But - what the hell did I expect? -
you found it witty, debonair and so ironic
and you didn't realise
that I want in between your thighs.
I got the bull, I got it bad,
I got the chronic.

Ha-ha, ho-ho!

Hey, Mrs Jones,
come jump my bones.
Y'know I've waited years
to let you take me home
and might I add
I'm minging mad,
aflame with jealousy?
I thought you oughtta know.

Hey, Mrs Jones,
come share my load
because I'm pure gonzoed for you lately
and it shows
and, furthermore,
that gadge you saw:
could you kindly show his
grinning pus the door?

O lady
I'm a clear winter sky.
By the shade of a willow tree
I lay down to die.
O me,
O my.

Hey, Mrs Jones -
wha'd'ya know? -
I'm in love with you,
you make my garden grow
and, furthermore,
that gadge you saw:
could you kindly show his
grinning pus the door

and, Mrs Jones,
come jump my bones?
Y'know I've waited years
to let you take me home
and might I add
I'm minging mad,
insane with jealousy?
I thought you oughtta know.

Hey, Mrs Jones,
come share my load
because I'm pure gonzoed for you lately
and it shows
and, furthermore,
your boy's a bore.
Could you kindly fling him out
the frigging door?

Hey, Mrs Jones,
where have you gone?
In the morning you'd transformed.
I shouldda known.
And now you've flown
and I'm all alone
my words come smashing through your
window like a stone.
Track Name: Gniwrow Ojom
My mojo's working
in reverse.
That voodoo woman was
taking the piss
I do believe
when she made my charm.

I can almost hear her laughing.

Now my arms are empty,
my head's a mess,
bricks in my belly,
heart in my arse
and my ball-busting balls damn near
ready to burst.
My mojo's working
in reverse.

O where are the girls
long-legged and fine
with the mind-blowing hips
and the lips of wine,
magnificent-eyed
and funny and smart?
Lordy lor'! -
how it tears me apart

but the common garden
Not If You Were
The Last Woman Breathing
And I Was Full Of
Viagra-Laced Tequila And Heat
And Psychedelic Drugs
variety

descend en masse.
And it's getting worse.
Here's a fat divorcee
hanging close as a curse
making doe-eyes at me
from her podgy pink pus.
My mojo's working
in reverse.

It's like living in Kirkcaldy: hell -
only uglier still; and duller.
Are my shrivelled cock and I over the hill?
Is my lady luck a goner?
And can we skip this whole minging middle-aged minger
schtick and call it quits? -
because I'd sooner be a fleshless fucking
stiff than live like this.

O where are the girls
long-legged and fine
with the mind-blowing hips
and the lips of wine,
magnificent-eyed
and funny and smart?
Lordy lor'! -
it tears me apart.

O yeah.
O no.
Mojo.
Track Name: Saturday Morning
Saturday morning wakes in a daze.
The light slices into the room
like a razor blade.
Memory falls
and the silence slithers down
like sweat from the walls.
Skin crawls.
Skin crawls.

And the ache won't shake away.
Got a head full of poison
and a heart made of clay.

And I can't get this thing clean
and I can't find my way
as I tumble from another dream
and the room begins to sway
and I need to cling to something
but you're so far away.
The pit is open wide
and so I crawl in,
so I crawl inside.

Because I'm so tired
of waiting
for you to come home.
I'm so tired
of waiting
for you to come home.

And that ache won't shake away.
Got a head full of poison
and a heart made of clay.

And I can't get this thing clean
and I can't find my way
as I tumble from another dream
and the room begins to sway
and I need to cling to something
but you're so far away.
The pit is open wide
and so I crawl inside
and so I crawl inside...
Track Name: Black & White Box
Lock me up in your black and white box.
We'll stop the clocks tonight.
Lock me up in your black and white box
where everything's alright,
yeah, taking my body right out of time,
yeah, taking my troubles right out of my mind
as you lock me up in your black and white box.
We'll stop the clocks tonight.

Lock me up in your black and white box.
I dropped out of the sky.
Lock me up in your black and white box.
The Lord don't want my soul tonight.
My broken wings don't fly no more
so I crawl till I fall at your feet on the floor
and you lock me up in your black and white box.
I dropped out of the sky.

Lock me up in your black and white box.
The cradle rocks tonight.
Lock me up in your black and white box
where no-one talks about wrong and right.
I got a deathbed waiting and I'm out of my head.
You can lay me down there and we'll kiss till I'm dead
and you lock me up in your black and white box.
The cradle rocks tonight.
Track Name: Baked Serenade
Well I don't remember how we made it home tonight
but the light in this room just ignites the gloom
we'd tried to hide.
Still I say: "Everything will be alright"
and I kiss your eyelids closed
because I'm drunk enough
to fall in love
until tomorrow.

Now you cling to me
like I was your crucifix
and as you drag me down with you I hear you say
you'll do anything anything anything
to keep your nightmares away.

And I feel afraid - what does this mean?
Won't go away - what does this mean?
And the fear in your face - what does this mean?
What does this mean? What does this mean?
What does this mean?

Freefall,
freefall.
Freefall,
free for all…

Now I'm face-down in your pillow
while all the scariest scenes from the day
go dancing round the maypole,
dancing round the maypole,
round and around and around.
We spin round and around
till we splash to the ground
like the jewels I brushed from your face
smiling: "Vodka! - into tomorra!"
half a universe away.

But you're sleeping so peaceful now.
I hope that your dreams are all sweeter than
your realities.
I hope that your dreams are all sweeter than
this reality.

And I feel afraid - what does this mean?
Won't go away - what does this mean?
And the fear in your face - what does this mean?
What does this mean? What does this mean?
What does this mean?

Well you broke my heart twice tonight
but everything will be alright,
yeah, everything will be alright
if we just
keep
falling.
Track Name: Amelia
O moon so bright
where did my Amelia go?
Strange magics move tonight
and the wind moans soft and low.

In your spectral light
the river dreams a shimmershow.
Phantom boats arise.
See the dead men row

and O
Amelia

everything is broken.
Aglow the world, a silverflame,
a rage of incantation
spells in heathen blood your name:

Amelia
A.M.E.L.I.A.
Amelia.

O moon so bright
where did my Amelia go?
Strange magics move tonight
and the wind moans soft and low:

Amelia
A.M.E.L.I.A.
Amelia.
Track Name: Black September
And once more we awaken
a-crawl with contrition
to the Tory-infested
hole that is Britain,

our could-have-been dreams
as redundant as dreaming.
We fingered our fear
till it came. Now it's bleeding

and Scotland the feart,
afraid of itself,
is a nation asunder,
spare parts on a shelf.

What the hell.

Willingly caught
in the murderous jaws
of the the oil-hungry mouth to the south,
we spout like a well

feeding the greed
of an inhuman breed
as we bleed for a Freidmanite creed
we could have expelled,

our futures forsaken
for Thatcher's fat henchmen -
the red and the yellow
as well as the blue ones -

in a state that berates
the poor for their poverty,
that wallows in war
and glories in royalty,

with Scotland,
whose heart beats for better than this,
left a bitter and battered
appendage of British rejects.

Well who would have thought
we'd have opted for hot
Eton rifles and stifled our hopes
with a vote such as this?

Were we really so duped
and so stupid we couldn't
imagine a nation in which
we could dare to progress?

Yet once more we awaken
a-crawl with contrition
to the Tory-infested
hole that is Britain,

torn at the seams
and unburdened of meaning.
We linger and lear
loving lameness and losing,

Scotland the feart,
a charade of itself,
a wasted, castrated
abundance of wealth.

What the hell.

Ashamed and to blame
for the age-old disgrace,
we made the UK and we kept it
in spite of ourselves,

taking the 'o' out of
'country' since 17
hundred and 7 and then some.
What the hell.

What the hell.
Track Name: Freefall
My tongue weighs a tonne.
All the words in the world
tumble and turn
a tornado that swirls
to a choke in my throat
and drowns me to tears.
I got years made of silence
and dreaming.

Freefall.

But I can't find my way home alone.

And everyone's looking for something,
yeah, everyone's looking for something.
I'm only looking for something,
just like everyone.
And everyone's looking for someone,
yeah, everyone's looking for someone.
I'm only looking for someone,
just like everyone, just like everyone.

Freefall.

But I can't find my way home alone.
Track Name: In the Chambers of the Sea
Half-cut and half-conscious
with Billy's seen darkness
a bliss of unthinking
and all-knowing morning
we alive in the music
awoke to ourselves,
each peachy, pacific,
specifically still.

And with our five senses sixthed
we fixed it so quick
and with rechilded eyes -
all the sky was ablaze! -
and I'm frankly amazed
at how simple it was,
how simple it is.

O the moon that balloon
up above is in love
with the world and they whirl
in their unending dance
in a cosmos of forces
they don't understand
but they know
it had to be so.

By the redgreenbrown river
we mermaided now
wordless with wisdom
weave words till we drown

goddam homo sapien
spun stupid with thought
so very very clever
with all we are not.

I trust it completely
(myself a shade less)
this Nameless that placed us
inevitably thus.
Track Name: Bruises on the Fruit
A textful of platitudes
sealed with a generous
X and a smiley face
lady's no substitute
for a night in your arms

and charming as your idiosyncratic line
in bullshit is
I won't stick around too long
with only this

love without loving that
you take without making.
You fake that you're breaking
and every day
it's the same old head-games
as you puppet-string my veins.
So goodbye.

Save your stage-tears
for someone who cares.
You're a mess at the best of times
and this isn't one

now I'm gone.