Been Away

by The Kellaways

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1.
A MAN WOKE UP A man woke up one icy, winter morning Saw it as a sure sign, simple warning The first time he had thought so much, about the why Never even thought before, that he could die I’ve seen so many men break down and cry I’ve seen that dead look in the eye I’ve seen such evil, can’t describe But I’ve never given up, no not I He wondered how his faith could fail, even falter Saw it as a fate ordained, he couldn’t alter He knew that he had reached the end, of a career Knew he could no longer be, a foe of fear I’ve seen so many men rise above the pain I’ve seen the good prevail, the pure and sane I’ve seen that evil cut down in swathes And I’ve never given up, nor quit the maze He tried again to rouse himself, tried to rise He saw it as a sink or swim, no second prize Knew it wasn’t good enough, his chances slim A sudden chill of naked fear, came over him I’ve seen so many men, down on their knees I’ve seen the guillotine, heard their pleas He knew that he had seen enough, knew he’d tried The man who’d surely seen it all, he simply died
2.
03:32
BEEN AWAY Been away a while now Had a long time to think about everything I lack And let me tell you I found plenty It's good to be back Been away a while now I've seen places I wouldn't want you to go Been fighting off these demons Progress was slow But when I saw the ending, I was not afraid I knew the grand illusion, my fear was of the pain An end or beginning, but surely not in vain? Been away a while now My mind, it wandered, right off track Some strange warp I've been in It's good to be back Been away a while now Living in a novel with no plot The boring central character Finds out all that he is not When you feel the power, of someone else's game You are just a problem, just another name And when the hour cometh, control must be regained And when my hour cometh, how will I stay sane?
3.
05:47
MONA LISA You look like Mona Lisa, enigmatic smile Perennial, the teaser, got a cool, cool style Should be painted by Leonardo Should be hung on a wall Yeah, you look like Mona Lisa I’m at your beck and call Perfect in proportion, a golden ratio Proceed with proper caution, a smile that always knows You look like Mona Lisa, relaxed and so serene No emotions gonna seize ya, like a cat who’s found the cream A beauty, but is it classic? Not everyone agrees Old Leo clearly thought so A visage that would please Perfect in proportion, a golden ratio Proceed with proper caution, a smile that always knows Alone Mona is ugly, with Lisa it somehow flows You look like Mona Lisa, upstaging any rose You look like Mona Lisa, as you stare out on the world We were put on earth to please ya, the perfect mystery girl Should be painted by Leonardo Should be hung on a wall Yeah, you look like Mona Lisa I’m at your beck and call Perfect in proportion, a golden ratio Proceed with proper caution, a smile that always knows You look like Mona Lisa, perennial, the teaser Yeah, you look like Mona Lisa, I was put on earth to please ya You look like Mona Lisa, you look like Mona Lisa Yeah, you look like Mona Lisa, you look like Mona Lisa Look like Mona Lisa, you look like Mona Lisa You look like Mona Lisa, you look like Mona Lisa
4.
03:38
SEALERS' Fifteen minutes down the track, on the way to Sealers' Feel the rhythm, don't look back, a dirty, dark grey ceiling Windy Saddle deep in mist The mountains and the cloud have kissed Your thoughts are still, your mind can wander truly Your mind is still, your thoughts can wander freely Push on up the creek, waterfalls: however tiny Grey gums rising up so sleek, peppermints so shiny Look back down toward the sea Your soul escapes again, you're free Your heart is still, your hopes can wander truly In my mind, I'm going down to Sealers' Sealers', Sealers', Sealers', Sealers' Sealers', Sealers', mmm, Sealers' Cove Look across the cove, the tide is surging in The sun is just a single shaft, a wedge of light so thin Gannets diving, drop like stones An eagle circles, high, alone Your mind is calm, your spirit wanders truly In my mind I slide right back to Sealers' In my mind I'm going back to Sealers' In my mind I'm right back there at Sealers'
5.
04:26
CHAOS Butterfly wing, such a beautiful thing Flutters around in the Amazon crown Pushes the air down a tropical stair, there it grows A wave now complete, round the lantana's feet A minimal crest, heading out west Reflects off a peak, freedom it seeks as it grows Chaos, the world turns around In chaos, a wave with no sound In chaos, the ants all go to ground In Ecuador now, a waft cross the brow A fisherman nods to the will of the gods Mending his net, he hopes they will let his catch grow Heads out to sea, opposing the breeze A skip and a twist, parting the mist Pacific sojourn with many a turn, and it grows Chaos, the world in a spin In chaos, at the drop of a pin In chaos, where does it all begin The Philippines wait, the rains are now late A threatening gust raises the dust A brewing typhoon, discovering soon how it grows Tsunami begins with a lick of the wind Slices the coast, like a small piece of toast The village in shreds, the butterfly's dead, now it slows Chaos, a fury unleashed In chaos, the waves never cease Chaos, the world in a spin In chaos, at the drop of a pin Chaos, the world turns around In chaos, the chips are all down
6.
04:10
BIG MEN FLY (Alf Davies) Big man, invaded Iraq Big man, a circling shark Big man, goes for black gold Big man, he won’t be told he’s small A little boy, an heir of sorts in the south A little royal, with brain not linked to mouth Bought a place at Yale, Harvard MBA I’m gonna be the President come what may Big man, invaded Iraq Big man, went for a walk in the park Big man, went for the oil Big man, there are millions recoiling in horror A little boy, who’s got some little mates From Anglo brotherhoods, they joined the States Their Christian values can’t disguise the prize They justify a bag of porky pies Big men, invaded Iraq Big men, a jolly good lark (I say) Big men, never cut and run Big men, who’ve done their sums and they win And how can a man, who claims high moral ground Beat up the helpless and pull his people down? A job to finish, for his good ol’ man Then he’ll take on evil, bad Eye-ran I got the job done in Afgranistram I more or less run poor ol’ Patiskan Big men, they talk about God Big men, with the brains of a clod Big men, they’ll take us all down Big men, a worthless bunch of bloody clowns Big men, invaded Iraq Big men, a jolly good lark (I say) Big men, never cut and run Big men, who’ve done their sums and they win Done their sums and they win, done their sums and they win Done their sums and they win, done their sums and they win
7.
03:11
DEVIL ROAD Devil Road, I can't go back there Devil Road, it's not for me Devil Road, I was stitched up there Devil Road, not my cup of tea Once was enough, twice is too many I can't go back there, it sucks out my will Once was enough, the pain there was plenty I can't go back to that lonely old hill Devil Road, extracted my spirit Devil Road, nearly took me Devil Road, close to that limit Devil Road, I'll never be free Innocent and wide-eyed, walked into a wipeout Didn't move a muscle, didn't even blink Images appearing, stark and unconnected Addled to exhaustion, I couldn't even think Devil Road, reduced to whimpers Devil Road, crawl on my knees Devil Road, the method is simple Devil road, it leveled me Once was enough, twice is too many I can't go back there, it sucks out my will Once was enough, the pain there was plenty I can't go back to that lonely old hill Devil Road, I can't go back there Devil Road, it's not for me Devil Road, I was stitched up there Devil Road, not my cup of tea Devil Road, extracted my spirit Devil Road, nearly took me Devil Road, close to that limit Devil Road, I'll never be free
8.
BUCKLEY'S CHANCE I'll spin you a yarn, I swear that it's true 'Bout a man who lived as few others do, Buckley's chance Transported from England for stealing some cloth To Port Phillip Colony, slaving for broth, took his chance Made a dash, into the bush With some mates, they took to the bush The food didn't last long, the others lost heart Buckley said now then: it's clear we must part, Buckley's chance He disappeared that day, not seen again He must have starved, been speared or eaten, took his chance Wanted to dance, but did he dance? With new mates? Buckley's chance? Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none He's got Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none He's got Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none He's got Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none Over thirty years later, he walked into sight Dressed as a Koori, but massive and white, Buckley's chance He had lived there in peace, chose not to return Preferred to stay silent, so little was learned, wasted chance Buckley's chance, made 'em dance Buckley's chance, yeah, took his chance A failed supervisor and guide, he retired To simpler pursuits, with silence required, Buckley's chance He died in Tasmania, mainly seemed sad Of life in the bush, so little was had, one more chance Buckley's chance, mmm- made 'em dance Buckley's chance, yeah, took his chance Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none He's got Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none He's got Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none He's got Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none, Buckley's and none
9.
03:15
SHE TOLD ME She wrote and she told me, she wrote and she told me I was the last to find out, nobody told me She wrote and she said, she’d still be my friend But she wouldn’t hold me My head in the sand, avoiding the end Nobody told me I didn’t ask her, I didn’t ask her I was so self-engrossed, no need to ask her Assuming so much, so far out of touch Nothing could faze her Stunned and confused as the truth it was used Tried to erase her I stayed on my island, out of the way Disdain for the games that people must play Taking no notice of those little things she might say She wrote and she told me, wrote and she told me She gave me the spirit I needed to show to move on She saved my skin and she laid a foundation so strong A call to my neighbour, call to my neighbour A sense of starting over, the call is a saviour Momentum is built, taking a tilt A welcome invader The throb of new life, the edge of the knife A new world is braver Leaving my island, finding a way Partake of the games I know I must play Eyes and ears open for those little things in the day She wrote and she told me, she wrote and she told me She wrote and she told me, she wrote and she told me She wrote and she told me, she wrote and she told me She wrote and she told me
10.
04:53
HARD DRIVE I'm in stereo, I swing into view Scan the radio, I'm feeling so blue Road white mono-line, twisting around Way past party-time, I'm feeling so down Drive to the end of the darkness Drive till the dawn shows grey Drive till the sky grows brighter Drive into a blue, new day I'm in stereo, a type you would know Caught on video, a ticket for the show Drive to nowhere now, follow the nose East, west, north or south, wherever the road goes Drive till the blues lose their power Drive till the sun shows its head Driving for hour after hour Drive till those blues have been shed Dri-ive, dri-ive Drive to the end, of the road, of the night Drive till those blues, your blues are out of sight I'm in stereo, split left and right Take the middle road, keep your line tight Corner, drop a gear, flat to the floor The end is nowhere near, the road goes on for evermore Drive to the end of the highway Drive on those minor back-roads Drive to the edge of the new day Drive till your darkness has flown Drive till the morning shows grey Drive into a blue, new day Drive into a blue, new day
11.
DON’T BELIEVE Listening to a story that’s told The hero-narrator’s uncommonly bold This doesn’t sound like the person you know All of the details, blow by blow Events rise to a peak His face is far too meek And you don’t believe a word Of all the things you’ve heard This one takes the special cake It all seems absurd You don’t believe a word Not even a third Truth is stretched to breaking point What a nerve The good politician stares at the lens Straight is a word he works and he bends An offer he’s made will help everyone The outcome is sure, he’s done all the sums Sincere, the eyebrows rise A mask to hide those lies But you don’t believe a word Of all the things you’ve heard This one takes the special cake It all seems absurd You don’t believe a word Not even a third Truth is stretched to breaking point What a nerve No, you don’t believe a word, you don’t believe a word You don’t believe a word, you don’t believe a word No, you don’t believe a word, you don’t believe a word No, you don’t believe a word, you don’t believe a word No, you don’t believe a word, you don’t believe a word
12.
PRIVATE'S LAMENT Oil wells on fire, Apache gun ship flies Cross the desert blind, a blood red sky Who wants this desert, who's gonna pay Who wants to be here, with people in the way? Bradley fighting vehicle, rips across the sand Burned out buses, someone made a stand Who wants this desert, who's gonna pay Who wants to be here, it's not a bloody game? I want to go back to Tennessee See the deep green grass Who'll care for good ol' me When this all comes to pass? Black Hawk dropping, like we've seen before This time no accident, a lucky shot for sure Who wants this desert, who's gonna pay Who wants to be here, at the end of the day? They're like a kid in the playground With one hand tied In a fight with the great Ali They're gonna end up fried Who wants this desert, who's gonna pay Who wants to be here, it's not a bloody game? Who wants this desert, who wants to die Who wants to be here, it's all a bloody lie The land of the brave and the free, what a joke It's not a joke to me, who is that bloke? Get out of the US, draft-dodging… Hope we don't run out of coke

about

THE KELLAWAY SAGA (continued from 'Songs of Middle Earth')

Alf thought he saw the end of the road in 2003. Three months of illness officially ended with the penning of the title track. He and the Kellaways may have Been Away, but now they were back. The album was long in gestation, mainly because it was rudely interrupted by the Ring-Bearers' sojourn into Middle Earth. By the time Songs of Middle Earth was mixed and laid to rest, Alf’s Back Pocket satellite wun-mike studio was fully functioning and 90% of Been Away was done there. Alf took over the engineering and midi duties and Deano turned the hand to electric guitar and bass, in addition to his normal stringed suite of instruments, harmonies on tap and various percussive contributions. Alf produced in broad and then with John as the layers went on. Ken provided some guitar, some mixes and as-ever generous help to an engineering and production novice. The songs generally signalled a return to the acoustic roots of the now veteran Kellaways. And to complete the loop, the songs have now been remastered by Ken to great effect.

The album proved to be the Kellaways’ last, but the 9 albums cannot be documented without acknowledging the generosity, vision and extraordinary talents of Mr. Ken Stephenson. A top-class musician, songwriter, engineer, producer, singer and most importantly, person. Throw in a master of technology: from programming drums when no one else was thinking much about that, to the currently magnificent Back Pocket Records studio. Ken has been at the forefront of all that the words ‘home studio’ mean to music.

And Deano, despite having jobs that were not late-night friendly, showed astonishing belief in these songs over 20 years. Accomplished player, pitch perfect and effortless harmonist: in the early days Deano was the difference between just words with melodies and actually workable songs. With no Deano, the Kellaways would never have got off the ground in the first place, nor as high as they did, however high that was.

credits

released June 1, 2006

Alf Davies: vocals, engineering, percussion, sundry midi stuff
John Dean: 6 and 12 string Maton acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass, bohdran, electric guitar, backing vocals and eggs
Ken Stephenson: lap steel, electric guitars, bass, percussion

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The Kellaways Melbourne, Australia

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