Variations On A Theme (1983)

A Day At The Botanical Gardens
As we talk even now I see so clear the lovers that we'd always been
Oh, what a long time ago
I fear the bitter times
The bitter times we've come to know

Let's strike up the band in time or blind, we'll dance across the shifting sands
Oh, what a strange kind of faith
I fear the bitter times
The bitter times we've come to know

Play the drums and hang the tunes
Dance beneath the dancing moon
We laugh and cry to think again of better days

What about us two would interest you?

As we walk hand in hand I see so clear the lovers that we'd always been
Oh, what a long time ago
I see so clear
The bitter times we've come to know

Writer: Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


Bird Town
What's the name of this town?
Hey
Hey, you
With a duck on your head
What's the name of this town?
The name of the town, believe it or not, is Bird Town

Hey, kid. yeah?
What's the name of this town? I dunno
Is it Giraffe Town? No!
Is it Armadillo Town? No!
Is it Frog Town? No!
Is it Marsupial Town? NO!!
The name of the town, believe it or not, is Bird Town

Downtown

Writers: Thomas - Thompson
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Island Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


Pedestrian Walk
The hands in my pockets are like buckets in the ocean
They sink but I know where they are

And the buckets in an ocean are like hands in my pockets
Attached to my arms they don't go far

And the hands in my pockets are like buckets in an ocean
Treasure they might uncover

And the buckets in an ocean are like hands in my pockets
A strange creepy thing they might uncover

My hands are leaves tumbling, down
down we slip into a quiet inner world
where the sunlight is rarely seen
and the moon is a golden dream

Bubbles
Bubbles of lint
where the sunlight is rarely seen
and the moon is a golden dream

The hands in my pockets are like buckets in the ocean
They sink but I know where they are

And the buckets in an ocean are like hands in my pockets
Attached to my arms they don't go far

And the hands in my pockets are like buckets in an ocean
Treasure from the deep they might recover

And the buckets in an ocean are like hands in my pockets
A strange creepy thing they might uncover

Writers: Thomas - Thornton
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Complete Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


The Egg and I
What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?
Sat on a wall and had a great fall

What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?
The Egg and I cannot deny the consequence of being bootless

What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?

What is the cause of his great fall?
Nobody warned him that an egg does tend to roll

What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?
The Egg and I cannot deny the consequence of being bootless

What is the cause of his great fall?
Could it have been forgetfulness?
Isn't it a crying shame the same things happen again?

Over again, and again, and again?!

What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?
The Egg and I cannot deny the consequence of being bootless

Writers: Fier - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Complete Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


Who Is It?
He is hunted for fur
He's made into hats
He deserves better than that
Now that you have a clue, can you tell me who is it?

Well, he's a hydraulic engineer
but he's shy
Now that you have a clue can you tell me who is it?

He opens habitats on nature's frontier
and you might say it's his "habitual" career
Now that you have a clue can you tell me who is it?

Natural fluidity channeled by castoridae, see?

The evidence of ancient dams suggests an origin to prairies and wetlands
Now that you have a clue can you tell me who is it?

Hunted for fur
Made into hats
Tell me who is it deserves better than that

Who?

Writers: Cooper - Cutler - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Arcades Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


Song Of Hoe
Woe for the weeds when they meet me, says Hoe
ho ho ho
oh oh oh
(Crocodile tears from a hoe)

The jackdaw crows, Use that hoe; let those sprouts grow
Woe for the weeds, says Hoe
oh oh oh
ho ho ho

Writer: Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


Hurry Back
I've never known eyes to smile half so sadly as that
Until now
This moment
And I've never known words to fail me anything like this badly
Before
Before now

Who would believe that as bad as it gets that it's just getting worse?
Burn! Burn!
That as bad as it gets it's just getting worse?
Turn, Turn away

The traces of the tears are not erased by the tips of my fingers
Like they ought to
Ought to be
And the words are in my throat but they are caught there and lost, or drowned, or they linger
To be swept
To be swept away

Who would believe that as bad as it gets that it's just getting worse?
Burn! Burn!
That as bad as it gets it's just getting worse?
Turn, Turn away

The house is on fire and there is no one to save it
Is there really no way
And no one?
And the flames that consume what is left of our love are fearsome
And they're cruel
And merciless

Who would believe that as bad as it gets that it's just getting worse?
Burn! Burn!
That as bad as it gets it's just getting worse?
Turn, Turn away

Writers: Jones - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


The Rain
Worried man under a worried rain
Worried rain worried the roofing
Worried man sang us a worried song
Worried rain will not be remembered

Writers: Cutler - Fier - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Arcades Music / Complete Music
Lyrics by David Thomas


Semaphore
Busy-ness is better than idleness

Here is a story that's sad but true
About a fellow who lives in a shoe
The lure of a task he cannot resist
And there's never quite enough to do

My hands are complicated, complicated thoughts
My thoughts are complicated, complicated too
My hands are busy days
My hands like busy days, they don't like holidays

Here is the dread and the weightlessness
That comes where there is nothing to do
And who has not heard of the Hesperus
Helpless, awash and askew?

Busy-ness or Idleness?

It's a flurry of awkwardnesses
That signals the lack of a clue
Monstrous indeed are the consequences
When there's never quite enough to do

My hands are complicated
What, me prevaricate?
Why, you know the consequence of not enough to do!
My hands are Katzenjammers
Little kids, big hammers
My hands are Katzenjammers
Grown men stare and stammer

Busy-ness is better than idleness

My hands articulated complicated thoughts
My thoughts are complicated, complicated too
My hands are semaphores
Some semaphores are paradoxes
My hands are semaphores
Some semaphores are... aha!

Writers: Cooper - Cutler - Monck - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Arcades Music
Lyrics by David Thomas

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