Almost at the Ivory

by James Parry

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1.
03:37
The first thought that often occurred in those days Was pull back and don’t show a thought on my face Had a reason to hide Trying to keep myself safe Books stacked and eyes in my back up the hall Did I imagine it all? So self involved That each look I caught Became a stifled laugh and disdain For the weak boy I was For the doubt just Peeking out like bright cellophane To reveal the mistrust Of a fool who thinks everyone cares About his daily affairs It was then I attracted the stares Worked hard, practised the right things to say But it was all such a waste I traced my demise To a desperate place I could have only made on my own All for trying to win Hearts and minds of Everyone I felt fearful of For the things they might say After I’d wandered away Those were paranoid days So they fixed me to lose anyway Don’t think I could have caused this by choice but it lies at my feet Just more fuel for their fire, my obsession with how it must seem Only the foolish pretend to believe that it’s all in their hands Waste all their energy trying to woo folks who just couldn’t care
2.
05:00
In our eyes is a soreness I don't want eyes to reveal On the edge of our old town Frightened of speaking to you In our heads we were so wise But rarely do kids realise At the end of that old time Thought soon I'd feel alright Hey girl, I feel It was too much, too young Cause it was in my reach then gone And I went chasing it all for so long We were kids in our own time Nothing could force us to see What we saw was a good time But not the mark it leaves Hey girl, I see I feel what you need It's a shame I knew defeat It's a silence all for me It's the sound of breaking your heart I don't want you on my back I'd wished you'd feel so bad I don't feel it anymore I don't want you feeling sore We were just kids for sure I don't want you out of time If I don't feel you on my arm Then I got to stay so sharp I do want it fighting back It's never easy but your gone I got to stay so strong I don't need you on my back
3.
It’s one for all when you get in the hall You've got to hold yourself right Dressed in red; plastic horns on your head You’ll drown in poison tonight Choice of words, in the crudest of terms Can determine your place Watch your friends taken under their wings You’ll see less of their face The pride you felt in your chest as you walked inside The sharp decline in your faith: it’s all lies You’re wrapped up in the call of a brothers’ pact But no one’s got your back When you’re drunk and your finding it hard Put your foot through the old balustrade A fist through a fire alarm They lie to your face when you’re in their arms So hollow in comfort, their words now redundant On the cusp of it all There’s this farce that beats in its joke of a heart It’s where the chanting will start A rivulet, more like a sewer, underground We’re in a backwards, old town And we’ve all got our kerosene lit up, on a cloth, on a stick in the night Getting high off the smell And the thought of us brothers in arms, yelling psalms of misogyny, now makes me sick We were getting high off that as well
4.
You carry callous thoughts And moral stones to talk with Judge post-haste And with careless aim So you send them spinning at my face Your righteous eyes went wild My failed bid to court you Turned to trial By your fire Sharply spied in your vehement gaze As crudely I’m Cast in place With your cronies spitting curses my way If I confess it, dear I’m on the edge of nothing And the path from here Is a tired trail Going nowhere like a dog at his tail Convinced you’re what I need I should’ve seen this coming But I planted feet, In desperate soil I cupped my hands and I begged for the spoils It’s always like this I mainly lose And when I win, it’s hollow, stale and obtuse In my own contest Forces control if I win or I lose But the fact that I’m playing, I can choose Though compulsion insists when good reasons are few But what’s it all to you? It didn’t look like that From your enlightened corner So you rolled me back Like a rotten ball Dressed me up in one-size-fits-us-all Suppose I could appeal Plead with my fist of reasons But they just won't stick I can’t go back My intentions missed the boat to the act In a rolling wind They were blown away With my excuses for the way I behaved
5.
Don’t we ever change at all? You were trading even then: Your lunch for friends Your pride for a chance To be among their lot The walk to school every day Preparing what you’d say But the crude conversations Never went your way You’re a girl again who’s soft denial Becomes a hidden tide That drags you out Past the lines Which essentially define: Who is against you And who’s on your side All your attempts to impress Were working in reverse Disappointment on your face Only made things worse But your focus as always Is on things you can’t mend If there were friends there to be had it wasn’t them Now you’re all made-up With painted smile and such Even widening eyes But it’s barely more Than a mask Failing and slipping fast Cause you never could hide things And it simply won’t last Melting from the fire in your gut You still came out On your own so brave And you hoped it would convey But your confidence Is a shoddy raft Patchy and leaking fast So no courage you muster Could float you forever Your lip’s a quiver down into the drink You twist yourself in desperate knots Till there’s footprints on your back All self-worth, bundled up And thrown to the cruellest kinds And you’ve developed a sickening Acceptance of all of it Like you think your fate is truly in their hands And you just keep on pushing Into a wall Which you feel you got to break but it won’t fall But moments come like parting clouds Where I feel you’ve made some ground There are many here who know you’re kind So try not to wonder why The others don’t thank you Or don’t understand you You’ve no need for them to waste your precious time
6.
My father pulls Over the car Silhouettes All over the road Dark Apart From the red Taillights He leaves the car Tells us to wait Hurries off To investigate Then Returns With our cracked Dessert
7.
It’s difficult to see in the dark You panic fast And pull all the sounds you don’t hear To your frightened ear Noise don’t cause you fear in the night To wake in fright It’s really the cold quiet room Spilling blue coloured light Several feet from where you lay They’re waiting patiently They never make a sound Despite you hanging ‘round You hear them through the car park at dawn The curtain drawn The rattling wheels, a car door As there goes one more Your father and you stand at their feet You barely think The words just repeat and slow down “It’s all bad for me” There’s no need to find your way We all end in the same place Don’t worry anymore There’s no test to study for No warden to impress No suit you have to wear No rules for styling hair No magic underwear
8.
03:20
A North Western highway With a view of Bass Strait We wind past Boat Harbour And Llewellyn Lake Over the bridge There are two streets to choose from And countless opinions on which one is best to take It’s here every summer Where we’d all gather And from my Grandmother Came stories and games Seemed an endless supply Brings tears to my eyes now Wondering just how many more little gems she had in store Out of her hair This patch had been shaved I’m a punk rocker Was the joke that she made Though tiny and timid Still such a brave heart Taking her final steps down Irby’s Boulevard We opened her cover Her skin now had sun And Sisters Beach air Filling her lungs For the last time Though she’ll never leave us A Banksia breathes, no weeds just native plants and trees A note on the fridge we read, it’s warning still we heed A mark on the beach she leaves as tides and life recede
9.
04:50
Got a reason to feel Alone like another lover You got the rise and the fall Built you up, you had your time then nothing God I’m feeling poor You walk around for a while In a strange town just looking puzzled You lost a kid in the war And you don’t know want you should be fighting for It was never over, you feel But you know that I am now As strange as this old town And I won’t be a friend And you won’t say a thing With a little guilt lingering Longer it seems Made you call, then just let it ring But don’t wait for it to reappear or come through It never was that cool I’d tuck you under my arm And protect you like a little animal Best get to racing you home There’s a plane you got to get back on I had a feeling you’d call But you left nothing at all Mourn for a feeling gone Eyes of the loneliest one Hide cause of shameful mind changing Oh, it’s long gone, in short I’m feeling free but it’s not so good Never can escape Those worst mistakes When at first, seems it could be great But spare no thought at all for whose heart it might break Or whose mind could change You wake yourself with a cold, Hard look into the mirror Got it all from your own Advice swimming through your head You could be giving me hell Oh but you’re doing well Always fighting it too Don’t want to find that in you I got to fight one too
10.
06:02
Close my eyes and they’re all in a row In this fight I’m alone Thought of weight in my hands and I fold My heart grows cold All in the knowledge images seldom portray the ends that we crave Sometimes I’m perverted I know it So I’m dwelling, for comfort, On thoughts how we age and our bodies decay Still the fact remains That while I will surely fade away, the lust of my youth could come to my grave Accosted by ideals impossible, filling up days with self-loathing and rage Bound by such heavy hopes Grown from lumps in my throat I’m so reluctant to swallow But ashamed to have shown Caught her eye on the bus through the window A cold, dirty shiver growing sick in my guts Comes and goes like a highway of headlights That blinds and blinds again To the dark empty road I’m travelling on with great foolish strides to shallow delights Lost to the dull light of fickle white promises obsession affords to those on its course And just like a tide drags me in I’m distracted again Watching them float – such pretty things But they drift without end To nothing, no end (A face) alone upon a road With nothing else to show But empty names And a curse here to remain

about

Debut album.

credits

released April 15, 2011

All songs written by James Parry
Produced by James Parry, Jordan Marson and James Tulczyn
Recorded by James Tulczyn at 3 Maning Avenue, Sandy Bay, Tasmania
Cello recorded by Stewart Long at Red Planet Studios
Mixed by James Tulczyn
Mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering

James Parry sang, played guitar, piano, organ and bass guitar
Jordan Marson played drums, organ, guitar, keyboard, percussion, bass guitar and sang backing vocals
Cahill Kelly played bass guitar, mandolin and percussion
Nick Mercer played cello
Emma Cunningham sang backing vocals
Thomas Hyland sang backing vocals

On the track ‘You Still Came Out’ Eamon Hyland, Emma Cunningham, James Parry, James Tulczyn, Jordan Marson, Lauren Mason and Thomas Hyland all stomped and clapped

Artwork by Emma Cunningham
Layout by Sean Ravenwood

Thank you my friends and family for your support and to all who contributed to this release.

Special thanks go to:
Emma Cunningham for her constant loving support and patience
Jordan Marson for his hard work and dedication, being a major driving force behind the project
Martin Tucker, Thomas Hyland and Lisa Rime for kindly lending their equipment
Lauren Mason for being a supportive and tolerant neighbour

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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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