VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR:
First Generation (Scenes from 1969-1971)
Day dawns dark, it now numbers infinity.
Life crawls from the past, watching in wonder
I trace its patterns in me.
Tomorrow's tomorrow is birth again.
Boats burn the bridge in the fens;
the time of the past returns to my life
and uses it.
Don't blame me for the letters
that may form in the sand;
don't look in my eyes, you may see all the numbers
that stretch in my sky and colour my hand.
Don't say that I'm wrong in imagining
that the voice of my life cannot sing.
Fate enters and talks in old words:
They amuse it.
The hands shine darkly and white:
only in dark they appear.
Bless the baby born today,
flying in pitch, flying on fear.
They shine in my eyes and touch my face
where I have seen them placed before;
don't blame me, please, for the fate that falls:
I did not choose it.
I did not, no no, I did not
I truly did not choose it.
So you live in the bottom of the sea,
and you kill all that come near you ....
but you are very lonely, because all the other fish fear you .....
And you crave companionship and someone to call your own;
because for the whole of your life you've been living alone.
On a black day in a black month
at the black bottom of the sea,
Your mother gave birth to you and died immediately
'Cos you can't have two killers living in the same pad
and when your mother knew that her time had come
she was really rather glad.
Death in the sea, death in the sea,
somebody please come and help me, come and help me
Fishes can't fly, fishes can't fly,
Fishes can't and neither can I, neither can I ....
Now I'm really rather like you,
for I've killed all the love I ever had
by not doing all I ought to and by leaving my mind coming bad.
And I too am a killer, for emotion runs as deep as flesh
and I too am so lonely, and I wish that I could forget
We need love,
We need love, We need love ....
The killer lives inside me: yes, I can feel him move.
Sometimes he's lightly sleeping
in the quiet of his room,
but then his eyes will rise and stare through mine;
he'll speak my words and slice my mind inside.
Yes the killer lives.
Angels live inside me: I can feel them smile...
Their presence strokes
and soothes the tempest in my mind
and their love can heal the wounds
that I have wrought.
They watch me as I go to fall
- well, I know I shall be caught,
while the angels live.
How can I be free?
How can I get help?
Am I really me?
Am I someone else?
But stalking in my cloisters hang the acolytes of gloom
and Death's Head throws his cloak into
the corner of my room
and I am doomed...
But laughing in my courtyard play the pranksters
of my youth
and solemn, waiting Old Man
in the gables of the roof:
he tells me truth...
And I too, live inside me and very often don't know who I am:
I know I'm not a hero, well,
I hope that I'm not damned.
I'm just a man, and killers, angels,
all are these:
Dictators, saviours, refugees in war and peace
as long as Man lives...
I'm just a man, and killers, angels,
all are these:
Dictators, saviours, refugees...
The Pioneers Over 'C'
Left the earth in 1983, fingers groping for the galaxies,
reddened eyes stared up into the void, 1,000 stars to be exploited
Somebody help me I'm falling, somebody help me, I'm falling down
Into sky, into earth, into sky, into earth .....
It is so dark around, no life, no hope, no sound
no chance of seeing home again ...
The universe is on fire, exploding without flame.
We are the lost ones; we are the pioneers; we are the lost ones
We are the ones they are going to build a statue for
ten centuries ago or were going to fifteen forward .....
One Last brief whisper in our loved ones' ears
to reassure them and to pierce the fear
standing at controls then still unknown we told the world we were about to go
Somebody help me I'm missing, somebody help me I'm missing now
touch with my mind, I have no frame,
touch with my mind, I have no frame ...
Well now there is the time and who the hell am I,
here floating in an aimless way?
No-one knows where we are, they can't feel us precisely ..
There is no fear here.
How can such a thing exist in a place where living and knowing
and being have never been heard of?
Doomed to vanish in the flickering light,
disappearing to a darker night,
doomed to vanish in a living death, living anti-matter, anti-breath
Somebody help me I'm losing, somebody help me, I'm losing now
people around, there's no-one to touch,
no people around, there's no-one to touch.
I am now quite alone, part of a vacant time-zone,
here floating in the void,
only dimly aware of existence, a dimly existing awareness,
I am the lost one, I am the one you fear, I am the lost one,
I am the one who went up into space, or stayed where I was,
or didn't exist in the first place .....
A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers
Still waiting for my saviour,
storms tear me limb from limb;
my fingers feel like seaweed...
I'm so far out I'm too far in.
I am a lonely man, my solitude is true
my eyes have borne stark witness
and now my nights are numbered, too.
I've seen the smiles on dead hands,
the stars shine, but they're not for me.
I prophesy disaster and then I count the cost...
I shine but, shining, dying,
I know that I am almost lost.
On the table lies blank paper
and my tower is built on stone
I only have blunt scissors,
I only have the bluntest home..
. I've been the witness, and the seal of death
lingers in the molten wax that is my head.
When you see the skeletons
of sailing-ship spars sinking low
You'll begin to wonder if the points
of all the ancients myths
are solemnly directed straight at you...
(Eddies, rocks, ships, collision, remorse)
No time now for contrition:
the time for that's long past.
The walls are thin as tissue and
if I talk I'll crack the glass.
So I only think on how it might have been,
locked in silent monologue, in silent scream.
I'm much too tired to speak
and, as the waves crash on the bleak
stones of the tower, I start to freak
and find that I am overcome...
'Unreal, unreal' ghost helmsmen scream
and fall in through the sky,
not breaking through my seagull shrieks...
no breaks until I die:
the spectres scratch on window-slits -
hollowed faces and mindless grins
only intent on destroying what they've lost.
I crawl the wall till steepness ends
in the vertical fall;
my pain has sailed into the sea:
no joking hopes at dawn.
White bone shine in the iron-jaw mask
lost mastheads pierce the freezing dark
and parallel my isolated tower...
no paraffin for the flame
no harbour left to gain.
e. Presence Of The Night / Kosmos Tours
'Alone, alone' the ghosts all call,
pinpoint me in the light.
The only life I feel at all
is the presence of the night.
Would you cry if I died?
Would you catch the final words of mine?
Would you catch my words?
I know that there's no time
I know that there's no rhyme...
false signs find me
I don't want to hate,
I just want to grow;
why can't I let me
live and be free?
but I die very slowly alone.
I know more ways,
I am so afraid,
myself won't let me
just be myself
and so I am completely alone...
The maelstrom of my memory
is a vampire and it feeds on me
now, staggering madly, over the brink I fall.
g. (Custard's) Last Stand
Lighthouses might house the key
but can I reach the door?
I want to walk on the sea
so that I may better find a shore...
but how can I ever keep my feet dry?
I scan the horizon
I must keep my eyes on all parts of me.
Looking back on the years
it seems that I have lost my way:
Like a dog in the night, I have run to a manger
now I am the stranger I stay in.
All of the grief I have seen
leaves me chasing solitary peace;
But I hold experience in my head...
I'm too close to the light
I don't think I see right, for I blind me...
h. The Clot Thickens
Where is the God that guides my hand?
How can the hands of others reach me?
When will I find what I grope for?
Who is going to teach me?
I am me / me are we / we can't see
any way out of here.
Crashing sea - a trophied history:
Chance has lost my Guinevere...
I don't want to be one wave in the water
But sea will drag me deep
One more haggard drowned man...
I can see the lemmings coming,
but I know I'm just a man;
Do I join or do I founder?
Which can is the best I may?
i. Land's End (Sineline) / j. We Go Now
Oceans drifting sideways,
I am pulled into the spell;
I feel you around me... I know you well.
Stars slice horizons where the lines stand
much too stark;
I feel I am drowning... hands stretch in the dark.
Camps of panoply and majesty,
what is Freedom of Choice?
Where do I stand in the pageantry...
whose is my voice?
It doesn't feel so very bad now:
I think the end is the start.
Begin to feel very glad now:
All things are a part
All things are apart
All things are a part.
North was somewhere years ago and cold:
Ice locked the people's hearts and made them old.
South was birth to pleasant lands, but dry:
I walked the waters' depths and played my mind.
East was dawn, coming alive in the golden sun:
the winds came, gently, several heads became one
in the summertime, though august people sneered;
we were at peace, and we cheered.
We walked alone, sometimes hand in hand,
between the thin lines marking sea and sand;
smiling very peacefully,
we began to notice that we could be free,
and we moved together to the West.
West is where all days will someday end;
where the colours turn from grey to gold,
and you can be with the friends.
And light flakes the golden clouds above all;
West is Mike and Susie,
West is where I love.
There we shall spend our final days of our lives;
tell the same old stories: yeah well,
at least we tried.
Into the West, smiles on our faces, we'll go;
oh, yes, and our apologies to those
who'll never really know the way.
We're refugees, walking away from the life
that we've known and loved;
nothing to do or say, nowhere to stay;
now we are alone.
We're refugees, carrying all we own
in brown bags, tied up with string;
nothing to think, it doesn't mean a thing,
but we'll be happy on our own.
West is Mike and Susie;
West is where I love,
West is refugees' home.