tears
available from:
Hag's Head Records
release date:

May 01, 2003

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Hag's Head Records

All songs written by Barry McCormack:

Barry McCormack - guitar, harmonica & vocals

Recorded by Niall McCormack
Mastered by Karl Odlum

Sleeve design by Niall McCormack
Photography by Adrian Crowley

We Drank Our Tears

LYRICS

ON THE EVENING OF THE EPIPHANY

On the evening of the Epiphany
I was born on Chancery Place
and my mother cried a thousand tears
that christened my tiny face

There was new hope on the horizon
on that night in sixty three
the town was filled with an optimism
and my whole life lay ahead of me

Her father was a locked out docker
he spent his life on Liberty Lane
my father‘s father joined the Brigade
and he died fighting Franco in Spain

My father he was a drunkard
down the years he took to the booze
I guess when you‘re born with not much more than nothing
then you don’t have much more to lose

On the night that he died I was fourteen
I felt a sorrow I never knew before
and from that day I carried with me
a sadness no man could ignore

I was barely over my grieving
when the Eighties came to town
the educated left and we took to smack
I had many a sorrow to drown

The poor of this town they are shat upon
I was young when I learnt the truth
and when heroin came to the inner city
I kissed goodbye to my youth

Now two hags follow me around the town
the heroin and the methadone
but it's no surprise ‘cos generations ago
the seeds of my downfall were sown

And the poor they have their own legacy
take a look at my arms and you’ll see
they say there's a recession coming down the line
but it don’t mean fuck all to me

A HUSBAND'S PRAYER

O lord I‘m praying tonight
that you will take my love to heaven
for they say that soon she will die
in a week or even seven

And deep down in my soul
there’s a love and there’s a sadness
for I fear for her as she goes
out there into great darkness

From the dancehalls where I courted her
to our marriage of seven years and twenty
each day we Watched our children grow
I loved her as she loved me

Though at times it was hard
and she often fought against me
deep down in our hearts
there was love aplenty

So lord I‘m praying tonight
show her love and show her guidance
instill into her now
great strength and great resilience

OF ALL THE THINGS I BROUGHT WITH ME

Of all the things I brought with me
I brought what matters most
like the love I have for friends
to who I raise this toast

Of all the things I brought with me
there may be regrets
but I’m old enough to know
that I’m young enough to forget

And of all the things I brought with me
there's no bitterness
and those who’ve done me wrong
I offer forgiveness

Don’t be bitter boys
leave it behind
for you are young
but we don’t have much time

Of all the things I brought with me
there are many tears
and many sad days we have seen
all down through the years

But of all the things I brought with me
I still dream of a place
where we will meet again
and again I'll see your face

And don‘t be bitter boys
leave it behind
for you are young
but we don‘t have much time

And of all the things you bring with you
know some things you will need
and some ephemera
of which you will be freed

And of all the things I brought with me
there are still my friends
through the good times and the bad
on who I can depend

Don't be bitter boys
leave it behind
for you are young
but we don‘t have much time

IDLER'S LAMENT

An idler I was
an idler I was
and when I asked her why
she stuck by me
she just smiled and said because

She travelled many a mile
she travelled many a mile
across the sea
from Glasgow town
just to put on my face a smile

I was falling until I was found
I was falling until I was found
and no further could
this fool have fallen
before he was six feet in the ground

And not far from Misery Hill
not far from Misery Hill
she lay by me
and she held my hand
on the many days that I lay ill

She often put me in my place
she often put me in my place
and I no more than a fool
and a man
I could not disagree with that face

So we rowed and then did part
we rowed and then did part
but the things that we said
on that terrible night
we did not mean in our hearts

I think of her now as she goes
I think of her now as she goes
across the sea
to Nantucket Bay
she drifts in the wind as it blows

She is far now from Curzon Street
she is far now from Curzon Street
though she may be gone
and we may be apart
in our hearts we will always meet

This life is a mystery to me
this life is a mystery to me
but l tell you friend
for something and nothing
I‘ve got nowhere else better to be

ON A MAY MORNING

As I roved out on a May morning
on a May morning right early
I met no-one along the way
and nobody passed near me
I shed a tear for the man
who had lost his love too early
I shed my tears for he had lost
the one who loved him dearly

While on I roved
for someday that I'd find a love
a love who would love me so

And I sing this song for you today
on this day you will be wed
I know today unlike the past
joyful tears will be shed
and I wish you joy forever more
within your marital bed

While on I roved
for someday that I'd find a love
a love who would love me so

And as I came in on a May morning
on a May morning right early
I shed a tear along the way
as sadness she passed near me
I shed my tears for all of those
who had lost a love too early
so take in your arms take in your heart
the one who loves you dearly

While on I roved
for someday I'd find a love
a love who would love me so

I THINK THERE'S SOMEWHERE ELSE I'D RATHER BE

You might have seen me
in the bars around the old town
with my father’s best coat
draped around me
you might have thought
I was having
a whale of a time
but I think there’s
somewhere else I'd rather be

Once the night
was my loyal companion
and I never shirked
at the sight of debauchery
now it sickens my stomach
and chills me to the bone
and I think there‘s
somewhere else I’d rather be

Now my friends
they tell me I smell of the old bars
I used to say that the old bars
smelled of me
now I can’t get the stench
out of this dead man's shirt
and I think there's
somewhere else I’d rather be

Once the jeers
of the pissed up boys
and the booze-hags
rolled off my back and drifted out to sea
now they cut me like a knife
and Jesus I feel old
and I think there’s
somewhere else I'd rather be

You know they say
that drunks leave angry ghosts
locked into bars
for all eternity
and they curse each new owner
with the cries in the night
because they think there’s
somewhere else they'd rather be

And once this place
was my home and my castle
now friendly faces
they seem strange to me
and if they turned up the lights
I just might look my age
and l think there’s
somewhere else I'd rather be

DON'T BE AFRAID ANYMORE

Friend lift your heart
friend lift your head
you wont be grieving forever

And when all is done
and when all is said
you know we will face this together

And we'll be stronger
than we were before
so don‘t be afraid
afraid anymore

And this sadness that has cast
this shadow on us
you know that it wont defeat us

For in spirit
we are not poor
so don’t be afraid
afraid anymore

And too many people
we’ve lost on these roads
that have led us down into great sorrow

But we‘ll meet again
of this I am sure
so don't be afraid
afraid anymore

And don’t go solemnly
through life
and lift your eyes
up from the floor

And when my time comes
and I must go
and give my last kisses
to this world

I won’t be afraid
when I’m at the door
and I won't be afraid
afraid anymore
so don’t be afraid
afraid anymore

THE PLACE WHERE FORTUNE HIDES

I was weary on the road from my travelling
in the town where sorrow resides
when I met a man who told me the way
to the place where fortune hides

He told me there was great wisdom
in the hearts of those who abide
and that those who see their suffering through
know the place where fortune hides

He said ‘Cast off all of your bitterness
always let love be your guide
follow your heart and you will be heading
to the place where fortune hides

Take all of your worldly possessions
and throw them all to one side
you will not need them when you are going
to the place where fortune hides

Though all happiness may seem fleeting
and all reason will be belied
steal yourself with great resolve
for the place where fortune hides

Do not fear for those who have passed on
for they are always by your side
be patient my friend and they will lead you
to the place where fortune hides’

I drank to his health on that evening
I was calmed by the incoming tides
he said ‘In the morning I will be leaving
for the place where fortune hides’

So I continued on the road with my travelling
I had found a new peace inside
and I did not fear for I knew I was going
to the place where fortune hides

POOR OLD JOHNNY

Poor old Johnny
poor old Johnny
his dying was a shame
he lived in Stoneybatter
he died up in the Mater
the doctors said
his drinking was to blame

Poor old Johnny
Poor old Johnny
he was born down on the Coombe
he said ‘This life it does me damage
but I somehow seem to manage
sometimes I wish
I‘d never left the womb’

Poor old Johnny
poor old Johnny
he mourned his mother's death
her maiden name McKeever
she died of some strange fever
you know these things
well you just don't forget

Poor old Johnny
poor old Johnny
I'd meet him on the road
stumbling up Bridgefoot Street
on his Way to Cork street
stoically carrying his load

Poor old Johnny
poor old Johnny
his talent went to waste
a great poet and a thinker
but an even better drinker
some people are cursed
once they get the taste

Poor old Johnny
poor old Johnny
they say he went insane
his father was a Mormon
who died up in the ‘Gorman
they say he spent his last days
howling at the rain

Poor old Johnny
poor old Johnny
I raise this to him now
he called it sweet elixir
he’d never touch a mixer
after six or seven
there would be a row

Poor old Johnny
poor old Johnny
I sometimes feel the same
when you‘re born to malinger
and you're wrapped
around the world’s finger
and you know there's no-one
but yourself to blame

I MET A LOT OF PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY

I met a lot of people along the way
most of them weren’t stuck for something to say
the talkers, the wasters, the strange and the shy
and the people who lived and never asked why

Most of them were strangers some became friends
many's a morning we watched ascend
may god watch over every day
all the friends I made along the way

I met a lot of people along the way
all the while tomorrow became yesterday

Some of them were women I did not treat well
others they left me with a sad tale to tell
I’m sorry if I hurt you I was young and naïve
too young to hide the heart on my sleeve

I met a lot of people along the way
all the While tomorrow became yesterday

Some people are gone now we watched them depart
but we carry them with us deep inside our hearts
if you lost anybody along the way
my heart goes out to you I don‘t know what to say

I met a lot of people along the way
all the while tomorrow became yesterday

THE ROWING BOAT SONG

O lord I'm a misfit
I will be until I die
I've never owned a passport
and I‘ll never learn to drive

You don’t want me in your employ
I‘m not good for much
from making tea to closing deals
there‘s not much I wont fuck up

For I am the rowing boat
just going to sit and float
until someone kicks a hole in my side

I wasn't born to sit in traffic
nor positions of trust
I was born to sit right here
and get up in time for lunch

And my pockets are empty
there’s not much I can buy
but I guess that I don’t need these things
to tell me that I’m alive

For I am the rowing boat
just going to sit and float
until someone kicks a hole in my side

When I finally fall down
that hole in the ground
and my friends and all my family
see I'm nowhere to be found

Let some say I worked here
worked hard in this life
for the only true work is
living a good life

Farewell to the rowing boat
long may he sit and float
somewhere up there in the sky

God bless the rowing boat
for he did just sit and float
until someone kicked a hole in his side

AFTER THIS LOW

After this low
we’ll be rising
after this low
we’ll be rising
and we won't fall again
fall again

After night
will be morning
after night
will be morning
it won‘t be dark again
dark again

After sadness
will be joy again
after sadness
will be joy again
there won‘t be tears again
no more tears

After pain
will be relief
after pain
will be relief
there won't be pain again
no more pain

And after life
there will be rest
after life
there will be rest
there won’t be death again
no more death

After this low
we‘ll be rising
after this low
we‘ll be rising
and we won‘t fall again
fall again

All lyrics (c) Barry McCormack

‘The finest acoustic album of 2003" - Hot Press

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