Bedlam Solo (acoustic album)

by Louis Barabbas

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Thirteen track solo acoustic album in card sleeve, with cover photography by Karen McBride.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Bedlam Solo (acoustic album) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
I may not be the best but I'm the best you'll get. I don't care what Jesus said, if I die I'm staying dead. As the first lovers sank down into the mud: That's when the blueprints of utopia were drawn out in blood. Hi-Dee-Hi-Ho You promised a lot but no, The road to bliss is best walked alone. I stole your heart but I threw it away Because Hey, You said crime don't pay. Well I may be your top shelf, I may be your bottom drawer, But you've been holding my hand And now you're telling folk it's yours. When you got on your knees and begged me to stay I heard the footsteps of fidelity walking away. Hi-Dee-Ho-Hi It's alright for you but I Am through with love and I'm through with love's lies. I stole your heart then I threw it away Because Hey, You said crime don't pay. So long, get a move on Before all our wrongs turn all too right. I could have killed for you darling But I'd never risk my life For love at that price. You held the hem of my heart as you worked your way in, I felt the blame in your tears like glass under my skin. Grimy with the grease from your face and your fingers, There was love between us once but you know it never lingered. Hi-Dee-Hi Who would want me to want to too? There's an answer but it sure ain't "I do." I stole your heart then I threw it away Because Hey, You said crime don't pay. So long, get a move on Before all our wrongs turn all too right. I could have killed for you darling But I'd never risk my life For love at that price.
2.
You and I have been here before But this time I came prepared You know our love is little more Than a loneliness that we shared I've been living in the shadow of a monument To the kind of man you want me to be Well you can cry all you like over my indifference But you sewed the seeds of my ennui And I am warning you girl Just like you once warned me Woe betide you If you want to hurt me again You tell me I'm hurting your feelings now Well I was aiming at your thoughts Certainly there's something appealing about The kind of happiness we sought But what's the use in filling pages if you can't rip them out I refuse to play the villain in my own life Yes those pretty little cynicisms we can do without But I won't let you grind me down and I won't go without a fight I am warning you girl Just like you once warned me Woe betide you If you want to hurt me again You know I wasn't hewn from heroic timber But I'm growing tired of our little tableau There's a light beyond this gloom, though it's no more than a glimmer It's enough to guide my way as I walk out on you Because I am warning you girl Just like you once warned me Woe betide you
3.
The book of my life may be second hand But you may still find a few petals Pressed between its pages. I'll give you all the ellipses and ampersands If you just save your etceteras for me. I knew you were crying in the next room But I feigned a deafness To the patter of those tears. I tried to find inspiration in a vacuum But I lacked the provision of years. Our lives were elsewhere and we knew it, So with a sundial for a compass We turned away from the light. But between opening that door And walking through it The roads all receded from sight. And I know I'm not all that you wanted But I'll be all that you need For the day, the night And everything in between. I will never feel easy in this skin So I will only accept happiness When there is nothing left to long for. I've no time for the times we are living in They are just a tourniquet For glory days gone before. I hear regrets are always the last to leave As we move further away From the memories that define us. You can take hope And you can take heaven, But not simultaneously. Our footprints don't remain long behind us. I'm not all that you wanted But I'll be all that you need For the day, the night And everything in between. You said you'd rather see the devil in its true form Than embodied in the deeds of men and boys. Don't wish these worries dead, Prefer them unborn; This isn't silence, We're just waiting for noise. I'm not all that you wanted But I'll be all that you need For the day, the night And everything in between. Yes the book of my life is second hand But what Fate annotates can never be erased. How long will I stay? As long as I can stand. Always, always, always. I'm not all that you wanted But I'll be all that you need For the day, the night And everything in between.
4.
Tonight 02:06
You had me packed like an artefact in the cotton of your ambition But there was something in my condition That made me long for a little more. You had me squeezed for at least the last two years of marriage But some mistaken adage made you blind to what was in store. I'll be waiting up when you get home tonight. I made a cat-flap for my jealousy so it could roam where it wanted. It had a sorry tail that it flaunted But every night it would come home (Unlike you). But I made do With those slivers of deceit, Those tributes left at my feet For which your conscience will atone. I'll be waiting up when you get home Tonight. Now I'm fraught and overwrought Like a bird among the rafters, But it's not laughter that I'm after, Just a grim and knowing sneer. As for you: When I'm through You'll be sore down to your ligaments. I've known no love without disfigurement, I've known no fondness without fear. I'll be waiting up when you get home tonight. I'll be waiting for you I'll be waiting for you I'll be waiting for you Tonight.
5.
The light has gone out in your window. We are perched on the brink of a dawn. But I am outside in the shadows And I am alone. I am no stranger to this door, It was built with the sweat from my brow. I lingered awhile on its threshold Before turning round. For what I lack won't be found in the looking, What I want is to be there with you But some houses are better as ruins, Some people too. So darling Turn my picture to the wall And do what you must do, You say there's shame In the lies we tell But there is more shame in the truths. You have scorned all my cloistered virtues And the vices they may have produced, You know youth isn't the time for seduction It's a time to be seduced But when the watering holes have all run dry Then I shall drink from the mirage And when you meet me there I will not ask why, I will laugh Turn my picture to the wall And do what you must do, You say there's shame In the lies we tell But there is more shame in the truths.
6.
We both know love always comes with conditions Collusions and collisions Unplanned revisions And small print Darling we're no different It's you and me or you and someone else Between the womb and the tomb There's not a lot of room To be the people we want to be And now I'm all rage I've forgotten how to act my age Everything is slipping away from me Baby I am the man you're holding on to right now But tell me who is the man you're holding on for? I want to know more. Joking apart Don't you dare enjoy the start We need to save our smiles for the happy ending I've put myself through hell But these thoughts won't think themselves And I'm wondering if you're just pretending Now my inner child is watching So I've put him up for adoption Because I suspect he's up to something really bad And you still give me chills You've got me hooked through the gills But love never stopped anyone feeling sad Baby I am the man you're holding on to right now But tell me who is the man you're holding on for? I want to know more. It's just the echo of a memory Of a shadow of a regret And the regrets are all for things I haven't even done yet I'm just a privileged boy Battling for his right to a little misery Wishing you were kissing me And wishing it meant more I am the man you're holding on to right now But who is the man you're holding on for? I want to know more.
7.
It began with a gift But died with a debt And if redemption's on the cards Well it hasn't happened yet. He said if you need anything from me All you got to do is ask, But he wore that sincerity Like a halloween mask. I owe, I owe I owe so many folk I've got nowhere to go. I owe, I owe Won't nobody help me get out of this hole? His words were sweet as honey But that honey attracted flies. I knew he never meant to really love me He just wanted to synchronise. I said beware the things you sow Because one day you've got to reap them. He said what's the use in making promises darling? You've only got to keep them. I owe, I owe I owe so many folk I've got nowhere to go. I owe, I owe Won't nobody help me get out of this hole? Each morning he'd fall through my door, All frail foul and thin, Beauty may be all around us but there's certainly nothing good within him. I know a gambler's got no ties, Just a suitcase and a trunk, But I soon came to realise that there were more days behind us than in front. I owe, I owe I owe so many folk I've got nowhere to go. I owe, I owe Won't nobody help me get out of this hole? Now the stitching has frayed and all the cupboard's are bare, He's got his head in his hands but he's lost the luxury of despair. It's true I ain't possessive and it's true I don't need wealth, But if he wants to be a martyr now I'll hammer the nails myself I owe, I owe I owe so many folk I've got nowhere to go. I owe, I owe Won't nobody help me get out of this hole?
8.
Mother 02:58
I crumpled up the creeds of Man And ran out into the rain Where I mourned for my lost virtue But mourned more for what remained. I'd give my grief to God But I'm just too proud to pray. Mother, why did you raise me this way? I'm the busted bulb in your lighthouse I'm your guilt dashed on the cliff. I read about perpetuity: I hope it's just a myth. Some people talk of progress But all I see is decay. Mother, why did you raise me this way? I pin my hopes on the future Like martyrs to a tree But they haven't yet built the religion that can hold me. I hear tomorrow will be better, I heard the same thing yesterday. Mother, why did you raise me this way? OMITTED VERSE (present in "Youth" version, for some reason forgotten in this recording...) Each night I go to sleep The way a Christian goes to lions. God can take my body, I'm leaving my soul to science. I'm sure He had a plan in Man But something's gone agley. Mother, why did you raise me this way? There's a stranger in this mirror, Or is it just stained glass? I've changed my face so many times But I wish I could change the past. There are more epithets than cigarettes Stubbed out in my ashtray. Mother, why did you raise me this way? I'm a gentleman, a charlatan, A pledge from a poison pen. I lately made a big mistake: Told the truth and sounded fake. My friends are all long gone, There's none left to betray. Mother, why did you raise me this way? I keep my guardian angel close But always gagged and bound. Can someone please let me know The way off this misery-go-round? I long to see the spin on me In St Peter's Dossier. Mother, why did you raise me this way? I'm told there'll be no jobs until somebody dies But you know a salary is is just another term For "consolation prize" So I'm plodding through Perdition Like some latter day Dante. Mother, why did you raise me this way? Now I've told you all my thoughts But I still haven't seen that penny, You ask if there were bad times: Yeah... MANY I long to say I love you But it's such a damned cliche. Mother, why did you raise me this way?
9.
You ought to know by now You're not welcome round here But you still prowl round And all day long I hear your voice down my telephone. But I've made my choice to go on alone. You can't run from my love Run from my love You can't run from my love I love you too much and you're mine The embers of what I was, Once drenched in devotion's creed, Glow again because Now I know I need Only one shadow, I can provide my own echo Without you here Telling me You can't run from my love Run from my love You can't run from my love I love you too much and you're mine I remember the forgetting But not what was forgotten That day I gave you a piece of my heart You took the lot and your tragicomic histrionics Suggest if love's a plague Then this one's bubonic Something precious inside me Fell with a mighty sigh Love reared its vengeful head and said You can't run from me.
10.
I fold down the corners on the pages of my life And skip over the chapters that I wasted on my wife. I know I'm not too handsome, I know I'm not too tall But sit down darlin' And tell me it all. I like my hotels with thick carpets and old lifts, I like to eat my grapes sour with pips. I know I'm not too rich, I know I'm going bald But sit down darlin' And tell me it all. I was just a girl that kept her feelings well hid And my conscience stayed quiet about the things that I did, I locked up my heart but gave a man the key, He wasn't much to many but he meant a lot to me. We wandered to and we wandered fro, Drank a lot of liquor a did a lot of blow. I was the fruit and he was the rind, I was the clock and he was the time. You know what they say about love And you know what's always being sung But relationships are more like chicken pox: You've got to get immune when you're young.
11.
The Light 03:01
Midnight. Have you got a light? There there, it's alright. That old flame found me again And in her I swear I saw Heaven silhouetted by the light of Hellfire. There was nothing I regretted more than that desire, Walking the high wire, Trading the net for the noose. Hey darling why are you always looking down? If you're dreaming of the Devil He will surely come around, Trip your treasons up Then tease them out. These treacheries are easier the truths. Sirens always sing the same sad songs, Don't you worry though, We'll only hear them once. Leaving love to chance Was the worst way we could ever go. Slow... Fade that moon's glow. Stay close, Stay close. Let me be the card up your sleeve: I don't want to play, I just want to be played. Because I've seen Heaven silhouetted by the light of Hellfire, There's been nothing I've regretted more than that desire, Love's idle empire, Cheering all the cherubs on to war. Hey darling why you looking so mean? You know I haven't sought a single soul Since I was seventeen, Just a string of magazines That suckled all the sickly and the sore. Sirens always sing the same sad songs, Don't you worry though, We'll only hear them once. Leaving love to chance Was the worst way we could ever go. Heaven silhouetted by the light of Hellfire There was nothing we regretted more than that desire, Love's Final Empire, Chasing all the cherubs on to war... Torn. Stay until dawn. Sanctus, Sanctus. You'll be A strange memory But tonight Won't you give me a light?
12.
Can you care too much? You say it depends. If I poured all the world's love into your cup Would you ever say 'when'? All this disarray: Well it's okay. Lay these things down on me The dawn once shone on our happiness. You rose early each morning to tie the frail fastenings of fondness While I lay and slept. You and I We'll get by So lay these things down on me You warmed me But seldom like the sun. It came closer to a cold kiss on a warm night In a building that's burning down. Me and you: We aint got a clue So lay these things down on me Take a long hard look at me now Take a long hard look at me now Take a long hard look at me now And I'll be the last thing you see Before I turn out the light.
13.
Squatting on the map like a big black stain Was a dirty old town where it always rained, Where there ain't no cars and there ain't no trains, It's enough to drive a man insane. But the one little thing that kept me there Was a pretty young woman with auburn hair, Locked in a loft at the top of some stairs I dreamt some day I'd take her away from there. She was born with more than original sin And raised in shame at a Holiday Inn I stood at her window shouting let me in, She opened up the shutter with a bottle of gin And said "Boy Boy lower your voice My dog can't sleep with all this noise You see this beast sitting at my feet? My daddy left him to keep a watch on me." So home I ran to hatch a plan I'd lull that dog to sleep if I can And take that girl by her lilly white hands And show her the kind of a man I am. Every day I'd play a new lullaby, I'd sing all evening and I'd sing all night But nothing would close that damned dog's eyes, He'd laugh as my love intensified. "Boy you've got to do better than that, That dog's treating you like a flesh doormat. Quit playing around like a big pussy cat, I won't wait forever and that's a fact." So I scaled the wall and I swam the moat, I found the dog and I slit his throat, I threw him in the water to see if he'd float But he sank right down with a bubble and a croak. I tapped on her window and she let me in, "It's about time I started living in sin" I looked at her face and I saw her grin, She said "Boy you don't know the trouble you're in. You freed me from that hideous hound But you'll find it's harder to put him down." I looked at the floor and saw a puddle by the door I smelt wet dog and I felt his paw... on my shoulder. So I ran and ran Running as fast as I can, I've been running as long as my memory spans, Chased all across this desolate land, That dog ain't no best friend to this man. Ever since he turned his back on death I've known know peace and I've known no rest, At night he sniggers at an unknown jest. My pulse is set to the rhythm of his breath. Many years have passed and ever since That dog has sat where I once kept my conscience, All I wanted was to get a little bit of respite So I came to the day where I took my own life; I skipped from a cliff and down I fell Passed purgatory and went straight to hell, The devil was there with a long leather lead, You can guess who he had waiting for me.

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Solo acoustic versions of Bedlam Six songs (from the albums "Found Drowned", "Get Religion", "Memoir Noir" and "Youth")

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released October 1, 2015

All songs written by Louis Barabbas
Vocals and Guitar by Louis Barabbas
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Dan Watkins at WR Audio (www.wraudio.co.uk)
Photography by Karen McBride (www.karenmcbride.com)

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Louis Barabbas Manchester, UK

Louis Barabbas is a writer, performer and label director, best known for caustic love songs and energetic stage shows. He is also a member of Un-Convention, occupies a seat on the Musician’s Union Live Performance Committee, is one of the moderators at Tom Robinson’s Fresh On The Net resource, fronts The Bedlam Six and presents a weekly show on Fab Radio International.
www.louisbarabbas.com
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