Been Away

by The Kellaways

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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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Track Name: A Man Woke Up
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
Track Name: Been Away
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?
Track Name: Mona Lisa
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
Track Name: Sealers'
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'
Track Name: Chaos
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
Track Name: Big Men Fly
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
Track Name: Devil Road
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
Track Name: Buckley's Chance
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
Track Name: She Told Me
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
Track Name: Hard Drive
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
Track Name: Don't Believe
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
Track Name: Private's Lament
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