Frost

by Kirsty McGee

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credits

released 08 March 2004

Kirsty McGee: Vocal, Guitar, Flute
Mat Martin: Guitar, Mandolin
Jonny Bridgwood: Double Bass
Roy Dodds: Drums
Neill MacColl: Guitars, High-strung Guitar, Marxophone
John Spiers: Melodeon, Bandoneon
Boo Hewerdine: Guitar

Produced by Boo Hewerdine
Recorded by John Etchells
Artwork & Graphic Design: Chris Sands
Photography: Chris Sands

Record Company: Park Records

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Track Name: Plane Vapours
do you remember
one morning last winter
when frost sealed all the windows
you could see your breath in candyfloss
clouds in the sky
that were cut through by plane vapours
and the blue of the morning
was colder than your hand

when you took my small hand
into your large hand
and you pressed the two together
and they fitted like a glove

the coat that you were wearing
was of many different colours
but i pulled a thread out of the hem
and it was brown just like your eyes
you said that i was something
that was steady and reliable
i held your world together -
i was cotton in your coat

and you took my heart
but i don't think i noticed
till i woke up here without it
on the morning that you left...

morning here is cloudy
there's a fire out on the leaf pile
and the leaves are getting wetter
all the trees are getting blacker
in a week or maybe two weeks
frost will seal up all the windows
and i will lie and think of you
standing in your coloured coat

and the way you loved the winter
more than any man i've ever known
and the way your skin looks amber
in the turning of the light

i saw you in the street
and you said nothing much had happened
you said nothing much had changed
but your eyes had changed their colour
maybe they were a little redder
or maybe just the light
could be i was tired
(when i'm tired i don't see right)

and you took my small hand
into your large hand
and you pressed the two together
and they fitted like a glove
and you said i'll see you
(maybe next week next month next year)
i'll see you
(and then you turned away)
and the clouds in the sky
were cut through by plane vapours
and the blue of the morning
was colder than your hand
Track Name: Spit & Shine
i'll work my way i always have
i'll do whatever you choose
i'll mend your clothes i'll make your bed
i'll spit and shine your shoes
i've wintered in italian sun
i've summered in a caravan
but i know you're a busy man
and i must work my way

i've followed workers on the land
pulled daffodils with callused hands
seen comets rise in cut-glass skies
that curve around the moon
been driven fast on icy roads
by drivers i don't even know
but so long as i get where i must go
i'll work my way

i work my way i travel light
and i sleep easy every night
and dream of things i'll never own
and places i have never been
see there's a river in my veins
that whispers ever in my ear
the names of places far from here
that still i long to see

but every freedom has its price
these aching hands these tired eyes
and on my face the laughter lines
are interspersed with tears
and though my feet are brown with clay
this restlessness won't let me stay
and wretched though my moving is
i cannot linger here

so i will rise before the dawn
when sleep's dead weight lies on your arm
before the sun burns off the mist
you'll wake to find me gone
sure i might return someday
like the bad penny in your change
but restlessness rides in my veins...
and i must work my way
Track Name: The Prisoner
some days i'm free
some days i'm not
some days i lie all the day in my cot
some days are long
some days are hot
some days i wish you were here

i've seen the icicles
between the bars
seen the snow lying unspoilt in the yard
it's only natural
when i close my eyes
i see you as you once were

some days i'm sorry
some days i'm not
sometimes i remember the things i forgot
the things that i'd say
if i saw you today
some days i wish you were here

some days there's anger
some days regret
some days pass quickly some days cigarettes
some days a spider
will wind me a web in the air

what time takes from us
the mind will replace
the bright eye will shine in the darkest place
we are all prisoners
of time and of will
some days i wish you were here with me still...

for august is golden
september is fine
october swifts cut an arc through the sky
november glistens
december she shines
some days i wish you were here
i wish you were mine
Track Name: Coffee Coloured Strings
i was waiting by the back door and all the lights were on
summer was in the air, there was a party going on
somewhere in the barn of a neighbouring farm
there were lights tied to the trees
on coffee coloured strings

i did not expect to see him like some thomas hardy spectre
but he took me in his one-room house
and sent me with a greeting
to the party in the barn of a neighbouring farm
there were lights tied to the trees
on coffee coloured strings

we saw the insects flicker on the window's golden beam
and at 5am the ground was wet
we were tripping over coffee coloured strings

seven generations ran their fingers through this soil
a late night last survivor and a party going on
oh we talked about so many things
the things you read in magazines
and as the talk ran out we watched the stars

we saw the insects flicker on the window's golden beam
and at 5am the ground was wet
we were tripping over coffee coloured strings
Track Name: Spider Lullaby
‘won't you come a little closer?'
said the spider to the fly
'where i weave my webs of wonder
in the eaves under the sky.

'and i'll wrap you in soft cotton
and caress you as you lie
and as the night draws in i'll sing
a spider lullaby...

'in my web, like a cathedral
shall i honour you, my love
where the raindrops hang like diamonds
i will hold you soon enough

'in the gold and silver threadwork
you can look into my eyes
and as the night turns blue
i'll sing you spider lullabies

'and i wonder as i hold you
how we are come to this that
i should wound you as i love you
i should kill you with a kiss

'and i'll wrap you in soft cotton -
see how soft and still you lie
and i'll sing to you my darling
this spider lullaby...’
Track Name: Cloudwatching
were she here now i think i would make coffee
just to hear the hum of good machines
the sound of her voice seems to echo in the walls
in the plaster and the paint
like a bee inside a jar

summer slips by in tattered old clothes
six seasons passed in cloudwatching
miracle plants that bloom in the winter
and die in the spring
i watch for her return

were she here now i think i'd make her coffee
or some other faux pas like before
the sound of her breathing seems to echo in the walls
in the plaster and the brick
like a bee inside a jar

summer slips by in tattered old clothes
six seasons passed in cloudwatching
miracle plants that bloom in the winter
and die in the spring...

and if i listen hard enough
i hear her footsteps in the hall...
Track Name: Put Back The Stars
you showed me the plough as it furrowed its way through the night
you said it was mine and i waited for hours, just watching it slide
till the dawn filled the sky and the fire of the morning peeled the stars away
leaving the moon in a blanket of grey

you gave me the moon in the palm of my hand
glinting like copper and beaten like gold
september moon with the rain in its hair
tangling the stars...

and i'd give you the air if the air was mine to give you
i'd give you the clouds if the clouds weren't filled with rain
i'd give you my heart if you promise to be gentle
won't you put back the stars so we can see again

i watched you sleeping, ever so gently
sleeping so gently and breathing so still
till the dawn in the sky threw its light down over your shoulders
and the moon and the sun chased the darkness away

and now i know the ocean wave
i know the turning of the sea
i know that love is sweeter still
than summer breezes turning leaves
i know your face i know your hair
the colour of your stare
the silence in your eyes
Track Name: Safe Harbour Song
as i walked out one morning
with the cold wind on my face
i could have sworn i saw you
but you're in another place

and i recall you saying
before you went away
there's not much trouble leaving
but it troubled you to stay

i was always your safe harbour
you would always roam
for six long years, you anchored here
like a port within a storm

and i wish that i'd been stronger
i wish i'd been more true
when you became a part of me
and i a part of you

it's cold now in the mornings
a bitter wind winds round
i see you when i close my eyes
something lost and never found

i've seen waves as tall as houses
crashing over cars
i've known a love that was so blind
it blacked out all the stars

i've seen lovers i've seen angels
driving strangers' cars
but in all the world i never saw
a love so sweet as ours
Track Name: Sophie
sophie
a face in the rain
see how she smiles
all the rivers running down
the tresses of her hair
how it clings against her skin
and her eyes are filled with dreams...

must i still think of
her
her golden skin
and when she laughs
it almost sounds like she sings
she looks out at the world
through cloudy emerald eyes
that dart across the moon

(but when those eyes are gone, it's like a shadow fills the room...)

sophie
who laughs when she sings
see how she smiles
standing outside in the rain
with the heartbeat of a bird
going crazy in its cage
beating rhythms that vibrate,
tremble and are gone...

yes i still wake to the words of a song
going round in my head as if nothing was wrong
in the fragments of verses, interrupted melodies
i am lost in the words of a song and the song is...

sophie
a face in the rain
see how she smiles
all the rivers running down
her eyes are full of dreams
as she walks into the air
must i always dream of her?

sophie
Track Name: Summer Frost
look at you with that dark little smile
holding all the world in guile
i never thought i would live to see
midsummer frost on a lilac tree

you build things up just to watch them fall
and when you think you've got it all
like a child, do you still want more?

when you're sweet as jasmine till you cast them aside
summer frost, i swear that you're colder than ice
and it's summer but we're falling like flies
summer frost, the ice that's in your eyes

summer frost with your eyes like molasses
long lashes lips like honeydew
who in the world wouldn't sell their soul for you?

but look at you so bored of it all
watching all the grown men fall
like a child, do you still want more?

well you're sweet as jasmine till you cast them aside
summer frost, i swear that you're colder than ice
and it's summer but we're falling like flies
summer frost, the ice that's in your eyes

and like those fools i'm caught under the ice...

i never thought i would live to see
midsummer frost on a lilac tree
Track Name: Kisses
a wise white moon sinks down into the sea
you wake up freezing cold, you lying under me
in a beach hut in a southern town, pebbledash grey
on a morning white as feathers the sun as red as clay

sometimes your eyes were chestnut brown
sometimes your eyes were green
sometimes your eyes were grey
they were the strangest i have seen
and you'd fix your eyes upon white lines
i'd fix mine next to yours
and we would ride these english roads
from shore to shining shore

as if we could live on kisses
and stolen habitation
riding up and down connecting lines
in wagons built of steel
to sit on hard, stone beaches
the morning after rain
and watch the water rising
and then falling back again

the sun sinks down beneath the waves
you wonder will you see her face
your wondering won't leave you alone
as summer clouds turn brutish grey
your smile still flickers bright as day
why do we stand here like two fools
in summer's fading light?

come now, come, we'll beat the dawn
and leave this place behind
leave this stolen room and shingle shore,
ride off into the night
i'll fix my eyes upon the road
if you fix yours next to mine
and we'll warm our hands on heated air
in the first car that we find

and sometimes when i wake
beneath a sky as grey as steel
i still expect to find your body's imprint next to me
i'm reminded of you when
i see those wagons roll
like broken glass i watch them pass,
grey spectres in my soul

come now, come, the day moves on
and leaves us both behind
beat back the moon that rises
like a shadow in your mind
how can i even talk to you
with your eyes so far away
as if someday soon that road you love
might steal you back again...

as if you could live on kisses
and stolen habitation
riding up and down connecting lines
in wagons built of steel
to sit on hard, stone beaches
the morning after rain
and watch the water rising
and then falling back again
Track Name: Bitter Aloe
bitter aloe
tender his touch
how he can hold me
like a bowl that holds too much

and overflows
nobody knows
my

bitter aloe
i taste his kisses'
bitter wine
how he can touch me
like a wingtip brushed too much
closer to the edge

and overflows
nobody knows
the dance of skin on skin
caramel
in a bowl that overflows
in a room so soft with light
feel the ocean crashing in

bitter aloe
riper than a fig
wasp-blown in the heat

tender fingers
soft and so sublime
where fingers meet

and overflow
nobody knows
the dance of skin on skin
caramel
in a bowl that overflows
and the movement of the air
like a heartbeat like a hymn
Track Name: St. Mark's Place
i watch the rivers in st mark's place
and how they wash away the dust
and how the incense from st mark's church
colours in the air like rust

and we sit like old men on benches in the rain

i watch an ocean in the subway
carry leaves across the tiles
an iridescent thing that floats
the memory of a four-year smile

and we sit like old men on benches in the rain

on some wet, enchanted evening
beneath the candy-coloured light
i will softly sit beside you
and we will listen to the night

and we'll sit like old men on benches in the rain
to listen to the bells chime out again