Unplugged

by Louis Barabbas

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about

A bare-bones acoustic taster of things to come.

"A Matter Of Life and Death", "One Tiny Taste", "Faith In Myths" and "Scarecrow*" will be on the new album (as full band arrangements); "Lullaby" appears in a musical I'm currently writing (tentatively entitled "Jocasta & Son"); "Ghost Story" has been a staple of my solo shows for years but has never been recorded before.

*NB Scarecrow is best known as a song off Bridie Jackson & The Arbour's wonderful "New Skin" album. No version by me could ever compare to the sheer majesty of theirs, indeed when I wrote it I never intended to sing it myself. Still, it's worth stating that my rendition features an extra verse - whether that's a good thing or not isn't my place to say!

credits

released April 13, 2015

Written and performed by Louis Barabbas
Engineering, mixing and mastering by Biff Roxby
Cover photo by Christine Keating

Recorded in the Antwerp Mansion Ballroom, Manchester - March 2015.
Thanks to Kris Extance.

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about

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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Track Name: A Matter Of Life And Death
If you see my darling
With her best dress on
Tell her I'm gone
Love ain't here no more
Though it left its spores in me
Now I'm moving on

I've done my best
But I'm tired of these tests
Every damsel I've met
Preferred being in distress
Good luck and so long
Let bygones be bygone
Just play some old song
That surprised me when I was young

Okay
Have it your way
But I don't have to stay
And take this
From the likes of you
Now where was I?
Oh yeah, goodbye
I've got too much to do

My life's all in front of me
Lit up like a christmas tree
The rest is all history
That's how it appears to me.
I've still got all this time
Look at me, I feel fine
Have another glass of wine
Before I go

My moments have frozen
My vision grows narrow
My past now lies fallow
In another man's care
So take all I am
And then suck out the marrow
Set alight to my shadow
If you dare

No, no I won't go.
No, no I won't.
No, no I won't go.
No, no I won't.

What will you do
With all you know of me
When I'm just a memory?
Hold that memory close
Don't let it get away
Tell it to stay
Grasp hold of the smoke
And lock it up
If it moves
Make it stop
Preserve all that I've got
Just don't give me up.
Yeah I get the gist
I'll be mourned but not missed
That's just how it is.
Well enough is enough.
Track Name: One Tiny Taste
There are those in the world that choose to die for what they're feeling
But those feelings would never choose to die for them.
If emotions had skin then half of mine would be peeling
Like petals departing the stem.
There are no degrees of greatness,
There's just greatness and then there's the rest.

Luck is my drug,
I just need another hit,
One tiny taste and that'll be it.

We're all formed in the forge of the rotten parts of heaven
Without ever being told what we're designed to be.
It looked like it took a lot of time to learn all those lessons
But now Time won't learn anything from me.
Because I dreamt of a day when Fate lost its teeth
And on pillows we lay with them hidden underneath.

Luck is my drug,
I just need another hit,
One tiny taste and that'll be it.

Now every soul I see wears the stain of superstition,
So gloriously pointless like a retrospective premonition.
Let's all dive where it's deepest and speed where none have sped,
We'll ride the wave while it knows no ebb.
Before Time's tidal lines leave their trace on my face
With memories that linger like a stale aftertaste.

Luck is my drug,
I just need another hit
One little dose and that'll be it.
Just one tiny taste
And that'll be it.
Track Name: Faith In Myths
No lies
I've seen through them all
And looked out the other side
Over all those sorry goodbyes
We throw away
Like so many broken toys
Heaped up in a pile
With their painted on smiles

As we doubt
The beliefs we can't live without
Well they come and they go
Turning from icons to logos
And I
I talked to myself all my life
But my Self never once replied

I said Boy
The only thing that'll last is your shame
It'll cling and stick fast to your name
And remain
The one beast you can't tame
But have faith
Just not in myths

Sometimes
As I read between the rhymes
I dream of how to
Empty my heart of you
So I'm tense
Future, past and present
At the edge of his thoughts
A man sees all sorts
So I keep a picture of her with me
Although it's more of a diagram
But who gives a damn?

Because boy
The only thing that'll last is your shame
It ain't joy we measure love in
It's pain
And gain
And more of the same
But have faith
Just not in myths

{instrumental}

Because boy
The only thing that'll last is your shame
Your heart will beat in time to your blames
That stain won't wash away
But have faith
Just not in myths

When my soul is weighed upon the scales
And I can pore over the souvenirs
Of all the years
I know some maps can show you too much
And some show you nothing but the way

Turn the keys in all the locks
Take the puppets from the box
Stop the cogs in all the clocks
Because a moment of defiance
Turned our magic into science
And I long to return
So come let's mend our tempers
Throw ash upon the embers
And cease to be, yet still become.

What goes on will go on
And on and on
But boy we don't go on
For long.
Track Name: Ghost Story
Won't you take a seat tonight and buy a dead man a beer?
It's just the memory of the light that makes it seem so dark in here.
That fallen mirror ball
Won't reflect me anymore.
The dance-hall burnt down,
Take a sniff around,
You'll notice that nothing was ever found,
Save for the sound of

Rum Pa Pa Pom.

My life was full of colour
And people were just the pattern.
The money others make for you is the best kind to get fat on.
Some said I was a swine
But I say pleasure's not a crime,
I know others had it rough
But to hell with that stuff,
If the Devil's the nicotine then God is the cough,
I just couldn't get enough

Rum Pa Pa Pom.

Time took its tariff from the fierceness of my frame,
I bought the love of many women and always used the exact change
But the smiles turned to sniggers
Then the sniggers turned to smirks,
If they were trying to break my spirit
I'd have to admit it worked,
It can affect you far too much
When the thighs of whores lose their clutch
And shrinking from your touch sing

Rum Pa Pa Pom.

But drink don't drown a man's shame
So I tipped up all the bottles and set a match to the remains.
As the room was consumed by the plume of the flames
I was the only one who stayed.
Track Name: Lullaby
If you sleep
If you sleep don't dream
But if you dream
Dream one little thing for me

Not wars
Not glory or applause
There'll be time for these of course
But for now dream little things

Just shrink the world to a single bed
And let the thoughts that swirl round your head
All slow slow slow

Because one day
Bigger things'll get in the way
And you'll find they're here to stay
And you've no time for little things

You'll learn, you'll ponder and discern
And the world will turn and turn
And take you far far away from me

You may laugh
You may some day think I'm daft
But the memories you'll soon have
Will come take my place you'll see

So before your past accumulates
And while you've still so few yesterdays
To pull you down

Don't fret
Don't frown or feel regret
Nothing matters much just yet
So enjoy the little things

When the sun yawns and draws down the blinds
Don't you dare grow up during the night

Now you've no words
To absorb all that occurs
There's no need to be disturbed
While you're just a little thing
Track Name: Scarecrow
On my wedding day
They only rang one single bell
No witness came
You had me all to yourself
A willow veil and gown of long leaf pine instead of lace
An embroidered train endowed with twines of every muted shade.

On my wedding day
Fronds of fern were flower girls
Their dresses frayed
And the rice replaced with earth
Love was my only journey until the dark swallowed me whole
Now no one will return me to your door

On my wedding day
Limbs of trees strained to receive
Forget-me-not bouquets
Though many called them wreaths
But of all the seasons Winter always tells the fewest lies
And on snowy days I'd slowly fade in folds of bridal white

Can a love start in a bloodless heart
Can it shelter my life in its shade
Will no one tell me why
I was fated to die
The night before my wedding day?

On my wedding night
Beneath a waning moon I lay
Still as an ammonite
With thick coverings overlaid
I dreamed we'd been surrounded by
Peacock broods and damsel flies
With lilies pressed upon my breast
And silver in my eyes

On my wedding night
I lingered long but lay alone
No hint of morning light
No dew upon the lawn
There's a wilderness within these walls
This box of cold unanswered calls
Though desire lives on and survives the form,
It won't ever feel the dawn.

Can a love start in a bloodless heart...

Now my wedding gown
Is on a scarecrow in a field
Won't you take it down
And lay it by my grave concealed
Of all the seasons Winter always tells the fewest lies
And on snowy days I slowly fade beneath folds of bridal white