In The Lights

by James Parry

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1.
She’ll bite her lip He’ll take his eyes from the road They’ll count in silence To the end of a row of houses A sharp turn, then a hill Some dollars worth of petrol At the horizon waits a prize for them both Oh how their chins will rise and stretch out from their throats It’s a potion, it’s a cure For their young emotions For the immature A quiet click, they miss as they pass Reversible, to all unfolding just beyond their grasp He throws the car into corners Far from town in the foothills of the mountain Where crimes make little sense Beyond the final neighbour’s fence He’ll quench her thirst for affection He’ll be her first though a distant expression Hides a pinch of shame It’s not enough to pull the reins Home alone, Veronica knows not where he goes But it’s the eighties, she’s no mobile phone In isolation feelings decay, but they all know within a pride of lions There’s no escaping the unspeakable shame And there it is on his face They tried to hide it away A boy with his father’s name She did the honourable thing And took the bastard kid in There it is on his face Twenty years and it doesn’t change They never know if it’s obvious She said she wanted to go But there it is on his face
2.
Emerson Rush 05:14
Footsteps and sun on the porch Quick down the driveway with his medical books Low in the window, Veronica Rush She’s not his mother but she brought him up She sits in the front with her Agatha Christie Twelve ancient labours in these murder mysteries Of four grown children, they’re all still at home But this one has her feeling alone And it’s only in some fantasy that they might change his name Her eyes fade when they all say, ‘He’s something else, he is’ The hedge at his side, no break in his stride Why does he need none of her praise? She watches till he’s over the crest beyond the corner Might he look back to her for once in his life Always up from falling in the blink of an eye She rarely saw him cry, now he’s leader of the Lions And the gardeners keep her lawn so nice They wave him goodbye Like he’s one of their tribe Without a clue of her sacrifice And she’s trying to read But her eyes always lift From the pages to the wall To the clock making hours small As the morning drains of its gold In the clubrooms tonight When the ladies arrive In their strapless, tiny dresses Why is he broad and bright? And his brothers all skinny and slight? If the team gets a win They’ll be worshipping him Like a half-caste God of men And she’ll wear a slapped on pride Cause at home she’s rolling her eyes For Emerson Rush of the Lions You all better hush, he’s arrived Captain Rush of the Pride I pull a face just to say his name
3.
Everyone I know does the same thing every weekend The men down Lockhart Road living lies in their suits and ties They make like it’s more than a game Tales of glory Peering out on the grass with their minds in the past, now Get me out of here I was in need of the feeling of that gold But I couldn’t shake it my father mightn’t make it alone ‘Holly, how you’ve grown’ from his friends, then it’s on my own A corner of the room with a view that they hardly use A break in the grandstand, through, tiny towers Glinting like the brass on the rims of the old man’s glasses Get me out of here Free of the distance of the harbour how it glows Somehow it's pulled in the sun through a gap in the clouds I pace the oval slow through the crowd I’ll try and dodge the girls, they’re talking boys I turn to an odd surprise, oh my Where the cars blow horns as the football flies there’s one I recognise She’s got her hair up but I can’t mistake those eyes Seems like she she’s hanging around more than I realised
4.
To the Lions, they’re bowing tonight To heads and shoulders drifting in strobe light A silhouette stretches her neck Yells into a hero’s ear I’m just a face at the edge of a maze The edges make it fire in the middle A strange dance, they’re waving their hands Leaning to some towering men I see they like you, one by the bar You’ve had her eye all night And it’s just like when your father first caught mine They’re jumping high, drunk and shaking their thighs The air is thick, it begs me to leave His figure dancing just a few feet away But if he looked at me he just wouldn’t see I’m just an outline with a drink in her hand And the rum don’t have the kick it had My boy, in the lights I came to find My boy, in the lights I need more time Every weekend, I’m in the car I park and honk the horn from the sideline The weekly riot, it’s a delicate mess Hardly changed since I was amongst it I never had then, I didn’t know enough, I’d only do you wrong Went to sort myself in the city, boy But the city took so long And the cold breeze on the ferry, boy Got heavy in my lungs Sonny’s stomping, he’s still going strong But taxis gather up in a line Staring back toward the club for a while I shouldn’t drive back to the city tonight Up the hill to Vincent’s window in strides Tap until he flicks on the light I’m out of line but he’s seen me crying I’m out of line but he’s awfully kind Another week gone by I need a little more time
5.
High heels, dropped on the floor Amelia, drunk at your door You admire, sometimes How she’s young for forty-five Her fingers were drumming on your window pane You were dragged from a dream Her voice is real now, so it seems You were lying awake there weren’t you, boy? So she says, her head against the wall A smirk and a lazy eye Can barely stand to see her at your door She’s like a ghost on alcohol Drifting south, to linger about But you’re not in love anymore For the girl, so she claims The one she was supposed to help you raise It’s so late, but you’re only a man deep within your veins Yeah, she knows Holly’s grown Seventeen and hardly home Now you’re lying all naked on your bed She’s an ear pressed against your chest And you’re still afraid of it Soon she’s gone, Holly’s going too Off on a harbour boat Or mountain road But always trying To leave you alone You were lying awake there, weren’t you boy? I thought you said she shouldn’t come no more And you were ashamed of it You couldn’t stand to see her at your door She’s like a ghost on alcohol Drifting down a lonely mountain road Haunting her bastard boy Who has no clue At least you knew She left you alone
6.
Old Man Down 04:25
Rising from the highway A ripple in the foggy air It’s barely there Your car will pass Just like the others Puffing like a cigarette You’ll pay it no attention yet Well you might Go beyond there Don’t you turn Don’t become one of them Here on the inside I can tell you I want to turn your arm Down to the water Feel so heavy Don’t let your old man drown Further west They bridged the river Now everyone just screams across Off to see some city block So what you think You’ll find? A lover in a city park? A job inside a skyscraper? Sit on my rooftop Face the mountain Let your legs hang down Murmuring traffic Warming voices Echo in Nelson Town Don’t let your old man down Here on the inside You can feel it It never drags you down Not like holes underneath those Golden towers I never left this town Don’t let your old man down
7.
Body Art 03:37
Oh, these men look funny Faces on the grey, stuck down White, their limbs trail out The taste of blood in their mouths Lions on the wet tile floor Hard on the sore, pale hips Steam trails linger still It's as if he found them like that That's what it feels like Blows and blows And did he know the dog in him? His closed fist, clapping on their cheeks and chins Their sin he spied, it struck an ugly chord inside That fire in their eyes A fire they should hide Sonny tilts his head to the side He follows the crooked lines To their heads, they’re two of a kind With swollen, dirty coloured eyes His knuckles barely carry a mark While the pride’s at the bar getting drunk And his wounded friends won’t talk Without revealing more than they’d ever want Blows and blows, the looks he knows were meant for him In hallways, and round the clubrooms, Saturday He and Will, they’d shared a girl in summertime Was there a fire inside? A fire he should hide Both these men look funny Naked where they lay, struck down Is that himself? He can’t figure out Is that some blood in his mouth?
8.
Siblings 03:01
Hold on, sit tight Hard under your thighs Cold aluminium Rows on the sideline You’re alone across Darkness and air Hung so heavy on The ground that holds it there You wait That space Distant doorway Will his dark shape soon appear? Hold on, he denies it Hold on to your tongue He’s heard all the rumours, hon Yes, he’s her son Skirt back, hung between The benches, he stares ‘You’re a groupie girl Who’s trying to get an in’ But you press ‘That’s incest Though yes, I’m gorgeous’ Emerson Off again To catch his team
9.
Screaming away from Nelson today The old man set me up He used me and he wasted my time Still, the city stretched without a hitch And I was in a feeling so divine From the golden towers To the back of my mind A shiver down my spine At the sight of the city tonight A photograph is not the same You can’t just freeze this feeling in a frame And the window is clear now My hands on the wheel Concentrating still on nothing but how this all feels The glowing bulbs, the humming wheels Sometimes a scummy world But I’ve sure got the mind to let it off A moment free of moments passed Time has failed a simple task For this second moves much slower than the last In southern city lights I’ve found I want for nothing here and now And I allow myself to forego all I’m owed On the mountain road There’s a pang from within as I’m picturing him Worried on the roof with his head down ‘She's only a girl’ Well I’m five foot nine and twenty-one You taught me how to shoot a gun And I climbed up the mountain on my own For eighteen months, you won You talked me down and kept me home Convinced me that I’d end up like my mum The city changed your friends But you’re the one ignoring them Your actions speak completely for themselves So I must now abandon So I must now abandon So I must now abandon understanding everything you were A moment free of moments passed Time has failed a simple task For this second moves much slower than the last In southern city lights I’ve found I want for nothing here and now And I allow myself to forego all I’m owed On the mountain road

credits

released August 19, 2016

In the Lights was recorded in Australia and Indonesia in 2013 and 2014

James Parry wrote and produced songs, sang and played guitars, keyboards, organs and piano
Jordan Marson produced songs, sang and played bass guitar and percussion
Peter Luscombe played drums and percussion
Jade McInally sang
Annaliese de Groot played viola
Joe Nuttall sang

Songs were recorded and engineered by Adam Calaitzis at Toyland Studios in Northcote, Victoria; Simon Cotter at Head Gap Studios in Thornbury, Victoria; Jake Long at Red Planet Studios in North Hobart, Tasmania; James Parry at Villa Kakuktua, Canggu, Bali; Jordan Marson and James Parry at Emma and Jordy’s house in West Hobart, Tasmania and at mum and dad’s house in Sandford, Tasmania

Simon Cotter mixed the album at Head Gap Studios in Thornbury, Victoria

Adam Dempsey mastered the album at Deluxe Mastering in Brunswick, Victoria

James Parry, Sophie Buttery and Thomas Hyland directed the artwork, James Parry took the original photographs, Phillippa Steele designed and produced the artwork

Thank you also to Allison Parry, Chelsea King, Claire Jansen, Clare Hyland, David Campbell, Eleanor Robb, Elly King, Emma Marson, Gaby When, Jade McInally, Jennifer Jordan, Joe Nuttall, Jonathon McCarthy, Jordan Marson, Kadek Antini Rai, Kate Vincent, Liam Webb, Matthew Dobson, Michael Parker, Patrick Hatch, Peter Luscombe, Phillippa Steele, Sophie Buttery, Stephen Parry, Tegan Wallis, Thomas Hyland, and Wesley Saunders

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James Parry Melbourne, Australia

James Parry lives in Melbourne, Australia and writes independent pop songs.

Originally from Tasmania, James has performed at premier Tasmanian festivals including Falls, Taste of Tasmania, Party in the Paddock and Cygnet Folk Festival and supported such quality Australian acts as Alex Lloyd and The Gin Club. ... more

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