The Poet and the Priest

by Gavin O'Loghlen

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Sven B. Schreiber (sbs)
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Sven B. Schreiber (sbs) So what's the typical 20+ minute prog epic composed of? Five minutes nothingness, called "introduction"; five minutes real songwriting; five minutes pointless guitar/synth solos; five+ minutes uninspired noisy stuff, called "finale". Well, fortunately the epics on this album are pleasantly different from this widespread habit. The "songwriting portion" of this magnum opus is around 150% (counting in the unusual musical density of the material), making it an exemplary study in the "art of progressive composition". Without "Cotters Bequest", Gavin O'Loghlen sounds much more "Genesis-with-Peter-Gabriel-and-Marillion-with-Fish" oriented, void of the usual Celtic folk ingredients. Favorite track: The Poet and the Priest (part 1).
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1.
AUTUMN '86 - THE DESCENT I am the poet and this is my song would you care to stroll along and share with me this tale I have to tell? I'm lost on a journey as long as the night I've no light ahead and no end in sight and despair is my guide and he's led me far astray I am the dance I am the dance Pictures, dreams, songs have I heard scribbled pages and crossed out words; memorabilia is all I've left behind. As blank as the page that before me now lies my mind is the same for my visions have died I am moribund I've nothing left to say It was a dream I once had a song I once heard a tale that once told dies - disappears. It was a dream I'd clung to a hope I once knew a love that then grew grey and decayed Was a time I'd sing and play till dawn weekends to practise and perform the songs inside my head burst forth my fingers danced in scales and chords the stories more and more bizarre, came bubbling up and clawed the air and slowly as all merged as one and the greasepaint ran..... You'd-better beware of understanding..... A little knowledge grows and grows the innocence I used to know turned bitter-sweet then sour. In this gloom arcade doom engulfs you everyday the endless cycle everyday the endless dream of Saturday affairs Was a dream too good to be believed so many things to be achieved by day the teacher chalk in hand by night the poet's works I planned two halves so totally entwined two hearts were broken one was mine as everything I ever loved slowly fell apart Better beware of all those castles in the air of all those visions that we shared (you know and I know that things will be better in time) You'd better beware... You'd better beware... You'd better beware... RAILWAY NOMADS In the year of kings in the Spring of '52 trains shunted in a railway siding near the sea where gulls were gliding I was born. In this seaside shanty settlement of fishermen and railway workers three a.m. one Saturday morning three weeks late (it seems I'd slept in) I arrived at last. In this gloomy light “Don't want to be here!” Never been an early riser wrinkled red face cried and cried until the sun appeared. Then we moved along - the railway nomads six towns by the age of four an only child with little more than memories on the move..... Shadows come between us now like fog upon some old canal and everything seems strange somehow more like a dream..... Packed our hopes and dreams together seems we were ever changing stations - fly by nights. In one horse sad towns endless beer rounds set the pace - the fly by nights. Promotions floundered tensions mounted sent the wife and boy back home to town. With a father in flight and a mother alone for days and nights. With frail friendships in hand blew them all with a kilt and pipe band. First twelve years of my life there's not one child that I now call a friend These visions of my childhood haunt me now......... Greet the walls Loyolla built black clad priests with wings fifth grey school in seven years in each one - “He's the new boy” rings out into the air it hurts but I don't care ’cos I'm dreaming my life away. Italian kid one grade below an Irishman and me like the setting for a joke ’cept the joke consumed all three. We made Superman a hit and Gomer Pyle a star Buggsy made Italian tons while I broke windows - AAH !!!! It was a bum ball anyway (It wasn't a bum ball - it was a bum shot) I don't care what you say ’cos I'm dreaming my life away. Lunchtime handball escapades Matrics against the wall Parker's charging cavalcade the half back line stood tall. Friday nights for basement chess dawn breakfasts on Black Hill Third Eighteen's sole forward line we lost them all - but still it was a game that we all played. There's so much more to say leave it in your head...... .....’cos I'm dreaming my life away. The games that we all played there's so such more to say leave it in your head....... ....’cos I'm dreaming my life away. LOVERS Tear down the old grey walls do away with those ties I'm throwing out the story books you can keep those old lies I don't believe them now (Never did) “The best days of your lives”! Down on the corner each Monday we'd stand bike clips in satchels school caps in hand “Slattery's will get you nowhere” we bellowed forth in song the three of us - just ambling along. Two schoolgirls on pushbikes would daily pass by we gazed from a distance both painfully shy. Kelly was in command we'd fled behind the lines the two of us - one of a kind. Where are you now? We're planning manoeuvres Where are you now? We're forging our armour Where are you now? Verbal bullets from the hip? Some say they like it, some say they don't some say the bullshit is just a joke (just a joke, just a joke) But you're crying inside. With safety in numbers we “Wanda”'d these paths and chocolate Maltesas provided the laughs. A30 petrol bombs and tarnished pewter mugs the grand charade - in the real game of love. Where are you now? We're planning manoeuvres Where are you now? We're forging our armour Where are you now? Verbal bullets from the hip? Some say they like it some say they don't some say the bullshit is just a joke (just a joke, just a joke) But you're crying inside. JESTERS When the nightmare passed and P.E.B. was just a ghost came the call from Valentino in the wings. With halting steps our fragile egos shuffled forth to fret and strut their hour upon the stage This is the age of illusion..... In a concrete cave where night and day lay intertwined and the tragic masks lay scattered on the floor Jean Paul Marat, Dan Morgan, Spike And Patrick White gave birth to bathtubs, bunyips, ham and more. This is the age of illusion...... “It's nineteen forty two and Italy is now at war” and hordes of “Digitzu” soldiers sweep the land By candlelight in multicoloured coats of dreams the “Owl and Madman” lay the chessboard down and “Sebastian” plays his war games. We practised hard the jesters’ masks were soon complete with certainty and charm we walked the boards. But in the night in two a.m. downtown pizza bars only then did these visards begin to fall It was indeed the age of illusion....... It was indeed the age of illusion.......
2.
THE OPEN ROAD Three years passed - it seemed like four our courses ran out - we then followed served our year with the Brigidines learnt more than in the four before them I went eastwards towards the border he stayed back in Adelaide. Ever upwards striving living like there’s no tomorrow taught by day and dreamt by night our world was full of sound and fury I wrote operas; he filmed mad scripts Pushed ourselves to three productions every year I was coming home to the unbelievers he was silent - quietly bleeding - here, here Formed two companies of actors “Big and Little Uns” in it “Charlotte's Web”, “Bed Sitting room” “There's a Fire in the Furnace” someone hollered I did “Hobbits”, “Joseph”, “Four Days” worked upon the “Warlord's” theme. Formed a rock group lasted twelve months then I threw the towel in couldn't stand the drunken bullshit isolation ate right through me weekend town trips, unleashed burdens God I've got to get away I can't stand it here I proposed a flight of freedom off to England he sat silent, quietly bleeding - here here. Late at night the bombshell burst the grief, the pain, the bottled hurt only then the answer slowly stirred seemed like a dream. The poet’s lot was not for him the tragic masks, the jesters’ grins he’d thought it out and chosen this - the life of the priest. Side by side we knew the end had come we knew our paths had run off into different woods. Locked away practising everyday I became a keyboard slave I had to find the key to my “Images” of life they were formed in a mirror’s light of the things I'd seen inside. And the doorbells rang - the pressmen flashed and the tongues of the gossips wagged and then fame and grief touched. Side by side my “Adolescence” grew emotions I never knew soon all came bursting through. Side by side “Basil Nuts” had his say and then despair gave way to “Nerbellus” in his hole..... Hey you bird of life on these dark and lonely nights I can't see and I can't fly. THE PIT All alone in my hole I have dug for myself so far from the visions I know In my garden of gloom see my harvest - I am the seeder, the breeder, the reaper of doom I all alone..... Time flies by, grey grows on and for the first time I find now in fifteen years I sing no song nothing further to say - no new opera I am the zero, the infinite, impotent tune. Ah! Take me away..... THE TREADMILL PART I And then the wheels start turning round and round and round and then the wheels start turning I had to keep my mind on the tracks had to see where a bachelorhood could take me signed for three years of study and stress it's nearly done - but now I'm dying by degrees. Round and round and round....... “You need sound investments my friend” said the tax agent counting up my gold “Property and pears are the way” so we bought the farm - now it's the bank that owns my soul. Round and round and round....... “You need a challenge and promotion as well” took my assessment - got four “A”s and a new job one fifty “K”s each day I drive to and fro I got what I wanted....now I'm a prisoner of the road. Round and round and round....... Assignments.... Gotta get out Assessments.... Gotta get out Repayments..... Gotta get out and still the wheels keep turning Deep in the night alone and awake chair bound and tied - in torment I cried such was the pain I felt inside. Sick as a pig and doubled by grief clutching my side in the harsh TV light as all night pop clips played away. And the doctor said “It seems to me to be acute appendicectomy. We’ll slice you up at nine a.m. to see what we can find. It looks like four weeks off for you old son and after I am through - You can do what you wish”. Granted reprieve saved by the knife - four weeks of leave four weeks to breathe it will seem like paradise to me. THE OPEN ROAD REVISITED Out on the highway out into the night white picket cat’s eyes flash past in the lights Yet I’m driving for a reason - putting down eight hundred “K”s of tar - I'm slowly dying in the dark. Outskirts before me, jungle made of men turn off at Coburg slip into the “Pent” and I'm waiting ’til the morning waiting there to see my one soul friend I’m slowly dying in the dark. And in the morning as I see him standing on the grass by the corner playing with a frisby shouting out a greeting like he ought to we slip into the bullshit making out the old days have caught up ..... NO DON' T!!!!! it was late at night by the kitchen fire there were just we three when the truth emerged from me THE POET ...... Lover of life - saviour of souls please hear my cry - don't let me die there must be more to life than this. .... AND THE PRIEST I have no wand to wave about no magic words to speak I am no mystic I am no shooting star. Yet there seems to me to be two different kinds of lives we lead one - all consuming the other - the building stone. Each day we slave to make a crust with sweat and tears and toil always depleting giving ourselves away until at last an empty shell is all that there remains crying for comfort, trying to lay the blame. Well you’ve reached that stage my friend now you must start to build again - You must do the things that give you life... THE TREADMILL PART II And then the wheels start turning round and round and round and then the wheels start turning I find myself soon back on the tracks peddling paper, watching signposts slip by countless meetings of waffle and yawn back where I started only nothing’s changed at all. Round and round and round it seems like nothing’s changed at all Round and round and round it seems like nothing’s changed at all I got to thinking that all talk is cheap easy to say when you’re not trapped in a treadmill time is my enemy - it races away I just can’t do it all - I need thirty hours a day Round and round and round Do the things that give you life Round and round and round Do the things that give you life I’m too damn tired when I get home from work then there’s the mortgage and the bills keep coming in I find my energy just slipping away turn on the TV - and vege out for another day. Round and round and round Do the things that give you life Round and round and round Do the things that give you life. I’m like a madman standing searching the sea can’t see the bottom for the glare on the water too afraid to go and jump right on in resolved to hover on the brink - Yet I know I can swim. Round and round and round Do the things that give you life Round and round and round Do the things that give you life Round and round and round Round and round and round Round and round Start playing you’re delaying the cure Do the things that give you life STOP.......!!!!!!! ........just stop!! THE KEY I’ve had enough of this sad old affair I’m getting out of this gloom nothing inside of me feels anymore like a wet rag I’m washed up and wrung out and then thrown away and I’ve much more to do and so much to say. Sit myself down in this room full of keys trying to unlock that door watching my fingers just picking their pathway through sharps, flats and naturals it seems that they know what to do I haven’t a clue I’ll just follow behind them and see where they go. Don’t let the bullshit deceive you it will always exist but the door isn’t real you can do what you wish. Well I’ve had enough of this sad old affair I’m getting out of this gloom Now seems a good time to stop chasing those sad songs let them fly away. Now seems a good time to step out of this “right and wrong” - didn’t like it anyway. Just let your melody come through let it go wherever you want to time is your own - you can do what you wish Now seems a good time to start writing some new songs like I used to know Now seems a good time to forget righting all those wrongs I couldn’t anyway. In my heart something is stirring feel all those senses returning just for this moment I grasp it again..... .......I step into the light. LIKE DAEDALUS ASCENDING Taking chances - throwing all like chaff before you feel the wind blow watch the winnowed grains appear. Stand like windmills spread your arms to both horizons feel your wings grow leave your sorrows far behind. Fly with me on my magic carpet fly with me to my tropic isle see the sunsets of gold and crimson and feel your rhythm return in the dance..... in the dance..... And I sit here safe from all my fears and heartaches soaring higher the world out there can’t touch me now. Though I once thought “You're escaping - turn and face them” now I know I’m not I’m filling up this empty whole. Sail away on my magic carpet sail away to my tropic isle there we’ll build up these broken bodies and some can build up their souls in the dance in the dance in the dance in the dance in the dance.... THE NEW DAWN Wanna hear the Sirens I wanna hear their tune I wanna be the man on the moon. Wanna own a kingdom, wanna own it soon wanna be the man on the moon. And I feel like I’m growing much stronger each day I feel like I’m back on the road all those old feelings I’ve known. Wanna break some new ground I’m out of the gloom wanna be the man on the moon. Wanna write some new songs wanna hear their tunes wanna be the man on the moon. And I know that these shadows that wander my brain and drag me down into the pit are no more real than dreams As I stand here unshackled my manacles removed I gaze at those about me and see they're dying too. WALKING SHADOWS Everybody’s searching for directions everybody’s groping in the dark I can see them wandering round like lost ghouls everyday is like St. Andrew’s Eve. Try to wake them try to make them hear me but it's no use they can't see the light. And I feel like Geronimo grieving for his lost tribes their future scenario doesn't seem at all bright. Everybody’s playing for their kingdoms building castles up there in the air never notice days and years slip past them never notice that they never care ’til it’s too late - “Time's run out for you son there's no reset button on this game”. And I feel like Geronimo grieving for his lost tribes their future scenario doesn’t seem at all bright. When I say he saved me - I don't mean that... ...what he did was make me save myself if you go on hating every new day just remember - that day’s gone for good. Soon the pathway turns into a graveyard soon you’re dead for all eternity. And to think that that living corpse could have nearly been me I was half way to no return a phantom on a ghost train. And where is he......? And where is he.......?
3.
BIRD OF LIFE He’s somewhere down the end of town somewhere down back streets Working with the down and outs struggling with self doubts sail on old sorrows. We’re all huddled in the freezing morn we’re all waiting for the new dawn sail on old sorrows sail on ’til tomorrow And fly - you bird of life on these dark and lonely nights for the priest is by my side. And this is the dance...... SPRING '87 - THE DANCE Yeah I’m back and I’m strong..... The poet and the priest are gonna get you they’re gonna take your soul apart they’re gonna climb into your heart. Vascillators and earth violators, procrastinators had all better watch out ’cos your time is coming fast. Fascists, Marxists and bullshit artists and all of those people who claim they’re our masters had better watch out ’cos your time’s not gonna last. ’Cos the poet and the priest are gonna get you gonna take your soul apart gonna climb into your heart. The poet and the priest are gonna get you..... The poet and the priest are gonna get you..... The poet and the priest are gonna get you..... Right in the heart

about

A 56 minute continuous Symphonic progressive concept album following the lives of two boys; their shared experiences of school, theatre and education; the road divided; music, success, depression, revival and renewal.

Do the things that give you life....

In the best musical traditions of early Genesis, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel and continuing in the style of Porcupine Tree, Phideaux and IQ.

Album recorded 1989 but never publicly released.
Words and music copyright © Gavin O'Loghlen July 1987
Digitally mixed and re-mastered at Locrian Records by Gavin O'Loghlen - January 2007.

credits

released February 1, 2007

Gavin O'Loghlen : Piano, Rhodes, Prophet 5, ARP Axxe, Little Brother and Odyssey synths, Minimoog, Mellotron, Roland VP 330 Vocoder, Roland 202 strings, Hammond organ, Crumar organ, acoustic and electric guitars, fretless bass, bass pedals, drums, 707 & 727 drum machines, percussion, flute, vocals.
Vocals “The Descent” Margaret Smith
Vocals “'Lovers” Margaret Smith and Anne Dormer
Vocals “Treadmill Parts I and II” Anne Dormer

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Gavin O'Loghlen & Cotters Bequest Australia

Cotters Bequest is a seven piece progressive Celtic band playing 28 instruments including Highland, Uilleann, Northumbrian and Scottish smallpipes, Irish whistles, violin, cello and accordion wrapped in layers of acoustic and electric guitars, vintage keyboards and rich vocal harmonies.

In the style of "a Celtic King Crimson..a Pink Floyd with bagpipes.. with a sprinkling of Peter Gabriel."
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