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Into the Depths of Hell

by Joshua Burnside

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1.
I saw the night, I saw it right Under the soil Darker than oil I saw the night, I saw it right under our car in the morning time I saw the night, I saw it right In the tv light In the tv light I heard the night, I heard its drone With words like drums that shake our bones You shall not take this land from me For who am I, but where I am And who I am, with therein I'll be the night, I'll be the night
2.
Nothing is bolder than the jump From the window sill Into the depths of hell Into the clutches of The Devil himself But never mind, that talk is a little premature I have many sins worse to commit first Under the dead weight Of all that grey Concrete creeping Covering all of the children All of the flowers Never ceasing To be all I am All that I am All I am All that I am And now from a higher spot There is certainly a great danger That maybe my soul would float up into the sky Where all of the people Dancing and clapping Would greet me with such warmth Stealing glances At our old teachers Wondering if they remember Who we are Who we are All that we are Under the blue sky Under the aeroplanes All of the people Under the concrete And all of the plastic All of the traffic Filling up our throats Everything's keeping Nothing is breathing Under the harsh light Under the blue sky Suddenly my Eyes were stinging For all the people Under the concrete Never ceasing to be all I am
3.
I was a liar when I said I am not afraid I am Born in the blood, born in the blood Every brick and tile Every inch of land and sky Now to the almighty bank Bow I Born in the blood, born in the blood Born in the blood, born in the blood Every dream I held aloft And every thought I thought Was mine Is bought and sold and sold again Back to me Born in the blood, born in the blood Born in the blood, born in the blood Every quieter voice Is lost under The white noise They're old enough to hold a gun The ones who don't remember We were born in the blood Born in the blood, born in the blood Born in the blood, born in the blood Born in the blood, born in the blood To the slow dance of A heavy tide we must abide Towards the limestone towards the lime To the slow dance of A heavy tide we must abide Towards the limestone towards the lime Into the teeth of time
4.
Whiskey, whiskey, No ice in my whiskey, please. The plane lurches, My stomach flips and I, Look to the cabin crew for, Signs of concern. But they don't give much away. I am an Ulster man, A goddamn liberal. A man of reason, Oh, the little things we tell ourselves, To give us back a, Bit of meaning. I mean God's been dead for a while. So if there's nowhere for our, Souls to go then, I don't want to be so sober, so. Whiskey, whiskey, No ice in my whiskey, please. Wouldn't take a genius to, Work it out. I've had my fair share of, Conversations with, Twisted metal and, Broken glass, Well if lightings gonna strike me twice, This time I'm gonna do it right. Whiskey, whiskey, No ice in my whiskey, please. Whiskey, whiskey, No ice in my whiskey please, I ain't gonna die sober.
5.
Driving alone in the city at night I thought I saw you Caught in the high branches Of a beech tree bowling in the bluster Above the big houses of Solicitors Built at the end of the twentieth century Computers were big, everybody was wealthy Then the horror of it all flew into my vision Like an owl for it's dinner with lethal precision And into the dark, you rode on the wind Shaking your head, as if to rescind Some crucial law of quantum mechanics One cannot be here, whilst over there So you must remain, my kind brother Yes you must remain, my sweet brother Until eventually all of our buried skeletons Are gently uncovered by smiling Americans And all is explained, How we came to such unfortunate endings By the cracks on our skulls And the dull arrows in our graves A hedge around us Smoke rising from the edge of the pitch flood I'm not upright in light of it all And flashing blue, the ambulance grew For an old local man, my old man knew He was found in the morning, under the white land A half-pint of Guinness frozen to his hand Naked and soulless Half-naked and soulless Oh Dear But you must remain, you must remain you must remain you must remain you must remain Yes you must remain My kind brother My sweet brother A little while longer than I My kind brother
6.
Noa Mercier 04:55
Noa, Noa, Noa Mercier, You are, you are, the blood that flows through me Flowing, flowing, flowing down the blue Danube Noa, Noa, through the heart of an empire Noa, Noa, sugar, tobacco Under under, cinnamon, apples Glowing glowing, cast monsters on the mezzanine Noa Noa, why were you so kind to me? Noa Noa, don't let them have my bones Poor Mr Charles Poor mister Charlie Byrnes Oh, how I long, oh how I long to see, the Killowen evergreens Noa Noa, Noa Mercier, I never thought I could feel taller Taller, taller, taller than the mighty spruce Noa, Noa, or firs of Kalkalpen Noa Noa, when you fell from the podium into flaming petroleum you said you saw, me swimming in a black ocean Noa, Noa, what did you mean? Noa Noa, I am afraid to die Was never one, was never one for heights Until you lay, until you lay beside me So won't you hold, so won't you hold me again Noa? Noa, Noa, Noa Mercier I love you Noa Noa, I am afraid to die Was never one, was never one for heights So won't you hold, so won't you hold me again Noa? Noa Noa, oh I long to see the Killowen evergreens
7.
I treaded lightly through the park It was as grey As the newly dead For the ash and the dust Had combined and was lyin' from The suburbs to the sticks Never met a soul to bring A little swing to the rhythm Of a day so long and still I'm afraid I never will Hold a conversation, without water or window I awoke from the dream A hundred years it might have been Oh the clouds were gathering With clothes on the line Never mind as the breeze Blew a poster down the street Oh the bold typeface read: 'Will you go or must I?' And in Vienna An artist throws His speckled arms into The air And Mr. Freud, reveals the void In our hearts where we thought We knew the light from the dark But there's only sex and murder In the back of our skulls Still that firebird sings Cuts us open with its wings Oh the glory when the lightning brings The horses down the mountain Where the ancient people dwell There's no water in the well Oh the notes that swell and spin They won't fill empty bellies Still we march in line together For the progress of your betters Oh you better eat your bread, my friend The multitude is staring London, Paris, Rome, Berlin We will fight and we will win Hold me darling I'm ashamed So will you go or must I?
8.
She said I feel lonely when I'm with you Lonely when I'm with you Because when you're with me You're not with me You're with everybody else Killed a million things tonight Flat to the mat in the dusty light Just to have you to myself again I would've waged a war on everything Do you remember when we first met It was like something from a film You were passed out on the balcony Undisturbed by the cacophony Of Paris in the morning Into the mystic Blaring out Of a party long abandoned Save for a few True never enders And we were off to the cold coast Where old ghosts are often heard the most She said you think you're smarter Than you are I said I'd trade it all To know you more Then at the margin of the ocean Waves crashing in the dark Screaming mister tambourine man I loved what I knew of you then You loved what you knew of me then Become a stranger, To myself, To myself She said I feel lonely when I'm with you Lonely when I'm with anyone Like those old ghosts You sing about Well that's how I feel now Like a vampires reflection In a mirror far away, if you could only see me again Only see me new again Yes I'd wage a war on everything Yes I'd wage a war on everything On everything On everything On everything
9.
Through the skiff I can see napoleons nose And the yellow giants The high-rises With their flags all flapping And a big white house sitting quiet and empty The fear of the other Still more than a-plenty The embers of hate are blown Against gently In the hearth of the Lord in the morning Through the skiff I can see The radio towers On top of Black Mountain
10.
I have nothing for ye Today my love My wallet is empty I spent the whole lot On taxis and cigarettes And drinks at the bar Now I have nothing for ye today my love I have nothing for ye Today my pet No eggs for your breakfast, nor bread for to set You up for the long day ahead No, I have nothing for ye, today my pet No, I have nothing for ye, today my pet I have nothing for ye Today my dear, no oil in the tank The water I fear will be as cold as the rain That falls in December No, I have nothing for ye today my dear Well, I have nothing for ye My sweet darling If I had enough money, I'd buy you a ring For I'm worried someday, you'll run off With a doctor Cause I had nothing for ye, my sweet darling Yes, I had nothing for ye, my sweet darling My mother before she died, told me, son If you must be a singer, well you ought to run Down to the dole office, and sign on today For that's where you'll be, collecting your pay Yes, that's where you'll be, collecting your pay No I have nothing for ye Today my love My wallet is empty I spent the whole lot On taxis and cigarettes And drinks at the bar Now I have nothing for ye today my love

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released September 4, 2020

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Joshua Burnside Belfast, UK

Joshua Burnside was born in Northern Ireland, where he draws inspiration from the beauty, the ugliness and the rich musical and literary heritage of an often tormented corner of the world. His debut album EPHRATA won the NI Music Prize 2017. Written whilst living in Colombia, the songs deal with themes from PTSD and technophobia, to larger questions about time, love and death in the modern age. . ... more

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