"Manafon" Lyrics

Small metal gods

It's the farthest place I've ever been
It's a new frontier for me
And you balance things
Like you wouldn't believe
When you should just let things be

Yes, you juggle things
Cause you can't lose sight
Of the wretched story-line
It's the narrative that must go on
Until the end of time

And you're guilty of some self neglect
And the mind unravels for days
I've told you once
Yes, a thousand times
I'm better off this way
I'm better off this way

Where's my queen of hearts
My royal flush
I have cleaned and scrubbed her decks
My suicide, my better days
There's nothing I regret

I've placed the Gods
In a zip-lok bag
I've put them in a drawer
They've refused my prayers
For the umpteenth time
So I'm evening up the score

Small metal Gods
From a casting line
From a factory in Mumbai
Some manual labourer's bread and butter
And a single-minded lie

Small metal Gods
Cheap souvenirs
You've abandoned me for sure
I'm dumping you, my childish things
I'm evening up the score.

The Rabbit Skinner

Who'll do for him
Child of the 50's
With no common sense
And no easy resting place
Only lichen on beeches
Oil on gun barrel
And the hard taste of pennies

A gardener’s folly
Stands as proud as you please
The lungs won't fill, the heart won't start
Landlocked child of the seas
And he alone is a man without qualities

Combed his body for disorders
But the disease lived on in far off quarters

As a God everything was filled to excess
As a man he settled for less

Here lies the rabbit skinner
God love the rabbit skinner

A life without purchase
No story to tell
And three little bitches fight where he fell.

Foxes, foxes, give her a sign
Enter the little girl and show her what's mine

Play hard and fast with the rules if you please
Here lies a man without qualities

Random Acts of Senseless Violence

Under yellow light
Comes the face of tomorrow
Lights the fuse gives meaning to
All that was previously hollow

To a soundtrack track of sirens
And mute aspiration
The express train to Heathrow
First of the morning
Is leaving the station

Our reckless sun rises
On the tip of the iceberg
Hidden in plain sight
Still alive and full of surprises
A generation gone soft
Over new acquisitions
That can't take the edge off

I've put away my childish things
Abandoned my silence too
For the future will contain
Random acts of senseless violence

The targets hit will be non-specific
We'll roll the numbers, play with chance
All suitable locations
Unplanned in advance

Someone's back kitchen
Stacked like a factory
With improvised devices
There's bound to be injuries
With improvised devices
No phone-ins, no courtesy
No kindness

And the future will contain
Random acts of senseless violence

And it's not just the boredom
It's something endemic
It's the fear of disorder
Stretched to its limits
And the safety in numbers is just a contrivance
For the future will contain
Random acts of senseless violence

Democracy is very
Democracy is very merry

The greatest living Englishman

Here we are then, here we are
Notes from a suicide
And he will never ever be
The greatest living Englishman

It's such a melancholy blue
Or a grey of no significance
Plastic coated surfaces
A space to place his suitcase
As he's bussed from A to B

But it's such a melancholy blue
The curtains round the bed are drawn
Broadcast voices from the ward
The humming of machines are heard
But there are distances between
Yes, there are distances between

His aspirations visited him nightly
And amounted to so little
Too much self in his writing
Now he will never ever be
The greatest living Englishman

The engine shifts into second gear
They're all aboard accounted for
It's a journey he must make alone
The black sheep boy is leaving home

It's been rehearsed a thousand times or more
He's well prepared of that he's sure

But still it's such a melancholy blue
He's erased a page of history
Much as he'd intended to

He wouldn't speak or show you he was happy
Though you'd meet him with your eyes
There was a wall that always stood between you
He'd shut himself outside

And the love that he engendered
Would never be enough
For him to feel alive
Warm and tender
He'd shut himself outside

Not a fake nor a sham
But dug in deep and fighting
The world could not embrace a man
With so much self in his writing

Well he was never gonna be
The greatest living Englishman
He had ideas above his station
Minor virtues go unmentioned

Little England you fit like a straightjacket
Hemmed by the genius of others
He said "to conquer the world is not to leave a trace
Remove even the shadow of the memory of your face"

A grey of no significance

125 Spheres

And when it appeared
It was a flaming book of matches
A hundred and twenty-five spheres
On a parquet floor

Snow white in Appalachia

Half life
She moves in a half life

From her place on the stairs
Or sat in the backseat
Sometimes you're only a passenger
In the time of your life

And there's snow on the mattress
Blown in from the doorway
It would take pack mules and provisions
To get out alive

There were concerts and car crashes
There were kids she'd attended
And discreet indiscretions
For which she'd once made amends

And there's ice on the windshield
And the wipers are wasted
And the metal is flying
Between her and her friends

She'd abandoned them there
In the hills of Appalachia
She threw off the sandbags
To lighten the load

As soon as the sun rose
The keys were in the ignition
Following the tyre tracks
Of the truck sanding the road

There had to be drugs
Running through the girl's body
There had to be drugs
And they too had a name

And the adrenalin rush
Had left her exhausted
When under the blue sky
Nothing need be explained

And there is no maker
Just inexhaustible indifference
And there's comfort in that
So you feel unafraid

And the radio falls silent
But for short bursts of static
And she sleeps in a house
That once too had a name

Emily Dickinson

She was no longer a user
Don't think she realised we knew that
Not one to make a fuss
Why this and not something else
Wasn't it obvious?

She made such a hash of it
You can’t help but notice
A near absence of tenderness
And who wants to live like that?

And friends turned their backs on her
She, no longer a user
And she wanted to stay home
With a box full of postcards
And no place to send them
Live like Emily Dickinson
Without so much as a kiss
Or the comfort of strangers
Withdrawing into herself
But why this and not something else?


There's a man down in the valley
Who doesn't speak in his own tongue
He bears a grudge against the English
The tune to which his songs are sung

There's a man down in the valley
Who is moving back in time
It's a physical ascension
You can watch him as he climbs

The farmer's wives are at their windows
They've seen him wind his way for hours
They tell the kids to lower their voices
And pretend that they are out

There's a man down in the valley
Trying to stop time in its tracks
His boots lie heavy on the grasses
But it keeps on pushing back

And his wife she was a painter
But now she stains the altar black
He's out bird watching on the islands
And she wishes he'd come back

There's a man down in the valley
And he dreams of moving west
Of battles raged against the furies
That might see him at his best

There's a man down in the valley
Don't know his right foot from his left

Don't know his right foot from his left

Click here for the David Sylvian Texts index.

Lyrics & Poetry

"Manafon" Lyrics
Before and Afterlife
Nine Horses "Snow Borne Sorrow" lyrics
A Diner Called Heaven
World Citizen - I Won't Be Disappointed
World Citizen