The complete lyrics to The Set List Shuffle plus two songs from Murmuration.



The Set List Shuffle







1.  Over The Brow Of The Green Hill



 Over the brow of the green hill

come Marc and Bella Chagall.

Over the brow of the green hill

come Marc and Bella Chagall.

Leaving town,

and not coming back until the world turns round.

Pogroms, pogroms, pogroms, move on,

pogroms, pogroms, pogroms.



The flying lovers are drawn to acrylic skies

but the Bolsheviks were marching before the paint had dried.

The love-birds board a steamship to the USA,

where Bella died on Broadway and Marc made Broadway pay.

France became his place of peace in stain-glass blue.

Let no thief steal your lover or the one green hill you knew.


These are the most fantastical of days,

there's a green hill far away

where the moon is painted blue

in seven different shades


and Bella flies like a sea-gull

guarded by a golden eagle

counting sheep fast asleep

unaware there's a wolf who wants to feed on them.



2. Coal Black Buddha


Coal Black Buddha on the window sill,

Move him on a Monday but he's back there still.

Move him on a Monday but he's back there still.


Mighty bright satellite,

Coal Black Buddha is a brilliant light.

Coal Black Buddha is a brilliant light.


Zen and the art of history,

found contemplation in slavery,

found contemplation in slavery.


Charlie Haden wrote Chairman Mao

a strange little tune that we still play now,

a strange little tune that we still play now.


The double bass gets some space,

draws a line through Race and hate,

draws a line through Race and hate.


Black lives matter and that's a fact.

Go tell it on a mountain, James Baldwin's back.

Go tell it on a mountain, James Baldwin's back.


The Promised Land is a place called home.

Oh, I believe in the saxophone,

I believe in the saxophone.


The fire next time is a blazing flame.

That's how the Buddha got his name,

that's how the Buddha, got his name.



3. I Talk To Genius


I talk to genius they are polite to me.

They tell me what they do with due modesty.

We can't all be clever to that extent.

Only the brilliant mind can truly invent.

What was once flat is now in the round.

It must be amazing to feel so profound.


Wake up! Plato! Scream and bleed!

Help me! Teach me! Let me breath!


I talk to genius each passing day.

It has become important to hear what they say.

I might miss a clue that could help me to learn.

It seems I have to wait, it's always their turn.

Maybe a genius will knock (knock, knock) on my door

and share the gift of light they so clearly saw.


4. Specimen Orchid


Once a month they fly to Zurich,

she wears Levis and is so rich.

Built her Empire with aid from Goldman Sacchs

then designed a garden of tranquility

in order to give something back.


Fast cars on the rice paths

produce ditches of water

that plot a course to Saigon.

Plant hunting bought

a specimen orchid,

she thought it

very common to these parts.


The rumour is they always voted Labour.

Some say socialism saved her.

Tends her flowers as if they are the prettiest of people

who need the right conditions to thrive;

we know plants can't be equal.


They now own the Garden of Eden,

stare at snakes but do not see them.

She sends her friends email from a holiday in Brasilia

but prefers old Zurich's bars

to while away guilt and tedium.


5.  King of The Rain


King of the Rain said to me:

"What I do I do for free,

I don't need a salary

to drown you."


King of the Rain tells the truth:

"Water's leaking through the roof,

requiring no written proof

to prove it."


He falls, he falls, he falls

and seeps through everything.

He falls, he falls, he falls

and soaks through anything.

I don't need a salary

to drown you,

requiring no detailed proof

to prove it.


I can face the rain,

I can face the rain,

I can face the rain.

We don't need another downpour

but I'm sure there's going to be more

rain on his parade.

I can face the rain,

I can face the rain,

I can face the rain.


Who measures the weight of water?

Who measures the tongue?

Who measures the weight of water

once the rain has begun?


King of the Rain

is buried in the earth

bound to the sodden ground

he waters.

We wade through mud

watching the river flood,

bemused by the deluge

that engulfs us.


6. Hollow Kiss


Had he written it out in long hand

it could not be worse,

fragments of feelings

from a good man's curse.


I know this much,

the purity of purpose

is acrid to the touch

and betrayal always tastes

like a sucker-punch-embrace.


Here is the hollow kiss,

clichéd lies of lust

more painful than the fist.


7. Nina Simone


Nina Simone, she moan, she moan, she moaned so bitterly.

Don't let me be misunderstood, my baby just cares for me.

Black is the colour of my true love's hair:

Somewhere, somehow

Take all men to the river bank, wash their grubby hands.

Lady MacBeth has nothing on them, Mississippi Goddam.


Nina Simone, she moan, she moan, she moaned throughout the night.

There is no god and the stars too far, mean the moon is the only light.

It's always there, it won't go away:

Someday, somehow

Vengeance comes with a glancing blow, the left hand chord will strike

like thunder cut from darkness and delivered without a fight.


8. Pretty Shore


The freelance dancer tapes

and the egg fried rice were a bad mistake,

but the worse part was the 'Hippy-Hippy Shake'

caught nude on camera in the fiddle break.

He says the film was faked

but the digital master has the time and date.

Ballerinas want the coke cut straight

(his fag of choice is St Bruno Flake).

The dance comes clean at last

with dirt leftover for the cocktail glass.

I'm pretty sure.

I'm pretty sure

it's a pretty shore.

More and more

I'm pretty sure

it's a pretty shore.


Let's introduce Pretty Boy Floyd,

He's made of money yet still annoyed.

Giorgio says he runs a drug cartel,

a dangerous dance though he jives quite well.

From where I sit you never can tell

if he's high on royals or high on hell.

Crack makes the floorboards creak,

he treads softly but rarely speaks.

Flicks ash at burnt-out stars,

played Covent Garden in a walk-on part.

I'm pretty sure.


9. Loach Song


Just want a bit of it,

just a little bit of a bit of it.

Just want a bit of it,

any old bit will do.


White van visitation,

they took it all away.

Cathy is not coming home,

Shelter will pay.

Shelter will pay,

shelter will have to pay.


Tomorrow play the polka,

never play the man.

Choreography of tipping toes,

sleight of hand.

Sleight of hand,

same old sleight of hand.


Reflect on thy graffiti,

blaze-burst hash tag spray,

put it out in purple,

fade to grey.

Fade to grey,

fade to concrete grey.


Fly-pass to the by-pass

balance on the bridge,

give the girl enough rope,

inch by inch.

Inch by inch,

inch by bloody inch.


Who will point the camera?

I, Daniel Blake.

We're dancing in the asylum,

the world now waits,

the world now waits,

the world cannot wait!


Once he flew a kestrel

on the wings of a dove.

This is Ken Loach country,

blood and love,

blood and love,

forever blood and love.


The wind that shakes the barley

is the same wind that shakes me

stolen by a gang of

petty thieves,

petty thieves

taking what I need.


(Dedicated to Film Director, Ken Loach)




Two Songs from Murmuration






         There's a rumour

         of murmuration

         on The Levels.

         Along the screed track and wetland weed walk


         a five o'clock flock of bunting

         disturb the dusk of evening.

         Then raising

         from the reed bed come iridescent black starlings

         on the wing


         in a swarm form swoop,

         shift the air as protection,

         drift beyond dark dalliance

         in a display of murmuration.


         There are gatherings, we know that.

         Murmurings, we know that

         it won't be over

         until the dance is done.




         Off The Coast Of Fukushima



         There are ponies grazing on the stubble grass of Chernobyl.

         People watch the whales off the coast of Fukushima.

         Concentrated energy of uranium powered the supernova.

         Now the neighbors want to dig the stuffing out of Greenland.

         The wind turbines scribe the coastal sky as the sun dips.

         Fracking the Southern Downs will not provide any energy for it.


         Now the green eyed girl from Afghanistan wears the burqa (and who can blame her?)

         Mix a cast of darkening crystal to make a scary movie.

         And each coffee table camera-classic press-portrait will confirm it.

         The devil is wearing new clothes down at the crossroads.

         He knows she knows no knowledge that could harm him or anybody else here.

         Look at the damn picture, take down the damn picture, look at that wretched picture.


         They say the grizzly bear is nearly human in North Dakota.

         There are Bristol scientists studying particles of plutonium.

         A victim's mother slaps the face of a condemned man and saves him.

         An infinity pool in the high-rise heavens becomes a dive drop.

         The political gofer is swimming in a red and blue sea of bright shite.

         Waving our world goodbye as they watch the tsunami ride it.



          The lyrics to all twelve songs on the album are available on the CD disc.