PETER HAMMILL : COMFORTABLE? / THE MOUSETRAP / ENERGY VAMPIRES

Τρία κομμάτια από την αχανή σόλο δισκογραφία του PH : ένα από το ‘Patience’ του 1983, και δυο από το ‘The Future Now’, πρώτο άλμπουμ που κυκλοφόρησε τη χρονιά της “οριστικής” [μέχρι τα middle ‘00s] διάλυσης των Van Der Graaf Generator, το 1978.

Three tracks from
PH’s vast solo discography: one from 1983’s ‘Patience’, and two from ‘The Future Now’, the first album he released in the year of Van Der Graaf Generator’s “definitive” [until the middle ’00s] breakup in 1978.

00:00 COMFORTABLE?
She likes to keep God out of church,
especially when she prays:
all in its place, all safely stored
for some rogation day….
the paradox is so apparent,
the sense absurd, but all too real;
the nonsense is arrant
but she just wants to feel comfortable.
A pound in the collection-box,
a name-plate by the aisle;
she always wears a hat,
for He’ll appreciate the style.
Pays no attention to the sermon,
Christ in himself has no appeal,
the social custom is the turn-on
and she just wants to feel comfortable.
Treading not on her illusions,
I will not walk upon my own:
we stand among the creature comforts;
we’re standing on
the stockpiles of first stones.
We stand on the brink of the Ultrapower,
assume it’s a proper place,
view the living hour by hour
in the first person singular case.
On with the usual, complacent,
wait for the mortal wound to heal
when the abyss is adjacent…
what right have we gotto feel
comfortable?
On with the usual complacency,
on with the customary zeal;
she doesn’t need to match a valency,
she just wants to feel comfortable.
It’s her blindness and her blessing
that the thought will not occur
that heaven, when it comes, might have
no special place for her.
She’ll never look at the enigma,
she doesn’t want things quite that real.
Oh, that’s some kind of stigma —
What right has she got to feel
comfortable?
She doesn’t want to think about it,
she doesn’t want to talk about it,
she doesn’t want to look at it.
It makes her feel uncomfortable.


04:55 THE MOUSETRAP (CAUGHT IN)
After all is said and done,
Not very much will have been either way:
I’m a chronicler of action,
I’m an actor in the play.
I know the lines I have to speak,
I know that I won’t ever quit, corpse, or dry,
But the performance gets so pointless
And the days just drift on by.
Every time that I go to turn the pages of the calendar
In the third act of this twenty-ninth year of the show
I’m aware of the latest leading lady and get mad at her…
It’s perfunctory, but why she’ll never know.
When I began I had my hopes,
Believed that I could be a leading light of the stage,
But now I’ve stunned myself to silence,
Exhausted all my inner rage,
Extinguished all my joy and violence,
Trapped all my feelings in a cage.
And every time that I go to turn the pages of the calendar
I can see that I’m not really going anywhere;
All these years I have skirted round experience like a scavenger.
Can I really feel? I wonder if I dare?
At the end of the run, will there be anyone who cares?
And behind the actor’s pose, heaven knows
If there’s anyone left in there.


09:01 ENERGY VAMPIRES
Hunched in the corner of the dressing-room*
Trying to get back to the real…
Uh-oh, here they come, ready for their meal:
Energy Vampires, crawling out of the wall,
They want to steal my vitality,
They want to drink it all.
This guy says that he wrote all my songs,
This girl says she’s had my baby –
Me, I don’t know them from Adam and Eve,
Sometimes I really believe I’m going crazy.
“Excuse me while I suck your blood,
Excuse me when I phone you,
I’ve got every one of your records, man,
Doesn’t that mean I own you?”
Oh, sure, I long ago decided to make myself an exponent
Of public possession in the private obsession zone.
But now I’m serious, let’s be serious,
I’m not selling you my soul,
Try to put it in the records
But I’ve got to keep my life my own.
One thing I’ve not got a lot of is time
And it’s slipping away…
I’ve got a life to live too.
Ah, here they come…
Vampires!

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3 Comments

  1. Resa November 13, 2023 at 8:54 pm

    Pretty cool! I’m hearing, for some reason, bits of Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Oannes November 13, 2023 at 10:15 pm

      All this …and more! Thank you Resa!

      Reply
      1. Resa November 13, 2023 at 10:25 pm

        Yay!!

        Reply

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