souvenirs.ra (Real Audio format, 502k)
This one came out kind of half-formed, but it's grown on me that way, so I decided not to mess with it. I have actually been to Scotland, but the inclusion of actual geographical detail shouldn't be taken as indicative of the historical authenticity of the relationship scenario. The title means a lot to me, but I don't think much of that meaning made it into the song, which is perhaps just as well.
I felt it die on a Skye shore,Copyright © 1995, glenn mcdonald
When the sea asked us what we came for.
I started to answer, but realized, before I could say,
That what I'd planned was so untrue
I couldn't even tell the waves.
And all around us the sea air crackles with concealed regret,We flew to England in a daze,
As Scotland listens to our shoes on the gravel, our uneven steps,
Children of the city seeking absolution for a life half spent
In a world of souvenirs.
Boarded a northbound train in London haze.
Rolling past steel plants, closed, I was humming to myself,
But you didn't know the song and
I didn't bring the tape.
And all around us children war along the narrow aisle,The roads to Skye all feel like veins,
With commuters and tourists, like an exodus in metal single file.
And as the Highlands rise out of the lonely hills I can sense the miles,
And I'd feel like this is working if you could only smile,
But you won't stop making schedules.
Deigning to bring us, but eager to take us back again.
The Kyle ferries circle like leviathans' slow dance.
The road to Elgol weaves as if
To throw the car.
And all around us the beaches rustle as if to greet our march,I meant this trip to be a cord
And no one sees us when we climb the wall around the half-fallen arch.
In an abandoned castle we live like hoarders 'til the evening comes,
And imagined crossbows stare out across our drawbridge at the setting sun,
Like guardians of the moment.
Around the cracks we'd both felt start to form;
A week away and we would surely reconnect.
But you turn expectantly to me and
I don't have a word.
And all around us the sea air crackles with concealed regret,
As Scotland listens to our shoes on the gravel, our uneven steps.
And as the moment falters I feel it turn to just another page
In a life of souvenirs.
3 July 1995