Haunting the Path

by The Gatekeepers

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02:30
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04:07
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06:17

about

In 2012 I broke my leg in the snow on Lake Mountain. I took the photo I've used as the cover. Before that happened I started this album in the name of an old band of mine in response to the first album of some friends of mine from way back then. While there wasn't a massive response to my suggestion that I do another new Gatekeepers album I got hooked on the idea and set to. Then I broke my leg.

During the forced home stay for the rest of the winter I halted recording of these songs to get better acquainted with my still new setup by recording a few old songs that hadn't been done well the first time or recorded at all. That became the Running Late compilation.

This is different as, while it includes a few songs with a few years on them most of the material here is from the last few years and the remainder make a good fit. They sound like what the Gatekeepers might have sounded years on with various different avenues travelled and windows opened by technology but with the kind of 60s invfluenced songwriting I was doing then which I still like but will do less and less.

So, here it is.

credits

released April 19, 2016

Real drums on Shipwrecked by Des Johnson

Artwork by Kate Goff www.k8goff.com

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Track Name: Old Red Sage
OLD RED SAGE
Rheingold sun through a blood red cloud
Sight like that makes you gasp aloud
If you could shout you'd tell the crowd
But they're a long way down
You love the bake but you're going to fry
The sand and surf bring a tear to your sigh
Poseidon's on the rise come to spit in your eye
On long way down

Blow, wind, blow, sweep it all away
Hey hey ho, clean it all today
Ring the bells of the higher way
On the long way down

Schooled you well in a feathered nest
Peak too soon and you fudge the rest
Count that toll of what you did invest
On the long way down
Chunky soup and a good red wine
Anything that will refine
From the slaver in the dock to the poison mine
To the long way down

You who think you've been reserved
By a big bad boss whom you think you've served
You won't be saved by a tactical swerve
On the long way down

Blow, wind, blow, sweep it all away
Hey hey ho, clean it all today
Ring the bells of the higher way
On the long way down
Track Name: Walk
WALK
It's true, I heard it yesterday, that friend of yours had got away
Just like another girl I once knew. She went away. Her name was Susan.
She had too much on her mind. She thought she was going blind.
She thought that she'd disappear if nobody saw her.

What became of your other half? He of the jibes and the selfish laugh.
What did he see beneath the veil? What should have worked that he saw fail?
Can he have seen, perhaps recalled, a flash of the damage when he crawled?
I heard you found him curled. He lives in the wall now.

Silence cheap as talk begs your legs to walk.
Can it be unkind to rob love and justice blind?
Fare thee well. Fare thee well.
Fall in to the evermore.
Fare thee well. Use it well.
Just for us.

The water in the pool stings your eyes like broken promises boasts and lies
But the sting gives the clearest vision seen it's white as an angel, blue as chlorine.
Clean you are and clean you'll be in the realm of the breathless king of the sea.
You're drifting softly, quiet and free into the world without pain.

Fare thee well. Fare thee well.
Fall in to the evermore.
Fare thee well. Use it well.
Just for us.
Track Name: The Haunter of the Path
THE HAUNTER OF THE PATH
You say you don’t remember dying but you can tell the difference
This mission brown erosion and walking in the sun
At first I didn’t know you you looked just like the trees
You say they treat you kindly they welcome you as one

The rest just seems unfinished, not passed for recollection
Lawsuits, lovers, screenplays: epics in your head
I told her that I’d seen you. She asked if I’d said hi
She asked if she could see you. I told her you were dead

The things you tell yourself. Escape a moment’s pause
That’s just time and its jaws
Ah...
That you should be the haunter of this path

You spoke of darkened hallways, chatting up the ladies
Basements for for torture where blood washed down the walls
Do you know what final girls are? Would you like to be one?
Can you swing an axe? You’ll look so good in Death Toll Hall.

You say you’re still as sharp but you’re sagging and misshapen
And for all these fresh young flowers you’re the go-to midnight clown
It always worked before, that blend of lust and hatred
You cast them by the door and if one ever turned you down

The things you say to yourself before you talk to the air
Time and its share
So you say, then as today
In my movies even the heroes die
Track Name: Senior
SENIOR
Jenny, Jenny, give me everything.
No one's looking. Let's see what's in this room
You can show me the right words to sing.
So my song can be shining in the gloom.
That's how it worked in '79.

You took the powder from the compact.
You clicked it shut like a line from Elvis C.
We sat there waiting for the impact.
but it felt like it was real.
That's how it worked in '79.

Play today. What will those babys say?
Ourorbourus. Sucking just like us.

You strap it on like a buzzsaw.
You chug it out like an automatic spin
Gleams like nuggets but it's good to do the sin.
That's how it worked in '79.

Play today. What will those babys say?
Ourorbourus. Sucking just like us
Track Name: The Smile that You Prefer
THE SMILE THAT YOU PREFER
It was the kind of story that you keep out of reach
That you start in the airport and finish on the beach
But well thumbed pleasure and op shop fun
Will have a way of coming back and shaming in the sun
Uniforms and old regards, fluted glasses, champagne shards
Noises off and arc light sparks one missed cue and an exit in the dark
Choose death choose life choose noose choose knife
Use anything you want as long as we don’t recur
With reason shirking all its work
Meet me with your wishes and the smile that you prefer

Rusty shadows called us here
We walked among the spirits where angels fear
We tapped upon the graves where the real victims slept
And we broke into the bower where their pride is kept
The conch was cracked and the words were old
Marked down from when they first were sold
Some thoughts to make a barricade that can withstand a new tirade
Choose death choose life choose noose choose knife
Use anything you want as long as we don’t recur
With reason shirking all its work
Meet me with your wishes and the smile that you prefer

Sell the dresses sell the props and lines
Sell the markers and the exit signs
Keep the dusters and the office mints
Bag the vases for the fingerprints
All gone since all gone since

Evidence is thin today I starved to wear Exhibit A
I’m burning rage, I’m off my face with fond regret I rest my case
Choose death choose life choose noose choose knife
Use anything you want as long as we don’t recur
With reason shirking all its work
Meet me with your wishes and the smile that you prefer
Track Name: Shipwrecked
SHIPWRECKED
I never thought I’d end like this, a splinter on a wave.
I ran to meet the ocean’s kiss and fell to my grave
Spied you from my icy shore a sparkle in the dark
Frozen blood and burning core flashed to an arc
I shiver, shiver ...

I dreamt I dreamt upon your breast rising with your sigh
My grip upon the helm a test, I sailed to your eye
I shiver shiver...

I hugged the coast head to fore
They sang my name from the shore
Their fires were my stars
I went learning my way, burning my way.

Captain of this plank, a black and winking wave
My helmsmanship and power sank. The stars are my grave
Cold, now I’m cold
Shimmer, shimmer ...
Track Name: Drunk
DRUNK
When did you last see the ocean. Look out your window.
It's time you got up. It's time you climbed up the bridge for your watch.
Did nobody tell you? Are their heads in a squall?
It's time you got up. It's time to carried your coal and called out the roll
And remember you keelhauled them all.
The water is calm. It means you no harm.
It's you who is tired of the sea.

And she shall reject you. You love her too well.
She loves the indifferent, the sailors and cowboys of Hell.
Look out your window. They ravish each wave.
And you with your worship have left her nothing to save
From your watery grave. The needy but never the brave.
The water is calm. It means you no harm.
It's you who is tired of the sea.

Speak to remember. Sing to recall.
Who were those norms who gathered in mutinous forms,
Who plotted and roared, cast hook and took sword and jumped ship?
The water is calm. It means you no harm.
It calls you to join it as one.

Relieved of command.
Relieved of demand.
Relieved of the fear of the sand.
Sink into your pillow.
Become nothing again.
Forever again.

Forever....
Track Name: Althea
ALTHEA
She waits in all the silence in the dark inside the library
A glass of Russian tea, lemon, cloves and greybox honey
She gathers to herself, humbling her frame
She recalls my beam when I opened my new plane
A Stormovik, it’s Bolshevik
But as it’s only plastic we will live with it.

I had to stand in silence by my brothers in the barn
Before their bones were broken and concealed l was gone
Russia galloped from us as we paced our way ahead
We who fell from titles through the canyons of the dead
Ooh-wah Althea can you just destroy us
When you’ve come so far?

Dad exhausted snoring he’s been all around the yard
Canasta in the library sisters, brother must discard
Mum empties the fridge cooks what will soon sicken
I curl beneath the table, kerosene lamp’s stinking flicker
Althea, here we are
Listening to the ocean scream like Anastasia
Track Name: Glare
GLARE
I can see you are there
Through the years, through the north Queensland glare.
You smile and the panic returns.
And I can’t move my hands.
And my heart pours like sand.
You nod; you know how it burns.
Bleed from me, bleed from me.

How it shone, the dark in your eye
When you knew there’s no more when you die.
Wide eyed as it died from the strain.
Bleed from me bleed from me.

The scream of the one a.m. train.
That thing you became in the cane.
We run … through the far northern rain.
Bleed from me, bleed from me.
Track Name: School Fete
SCHOOL FETE
Apricot slice, coconut ice,
A stall by the fence, three for two cents,
Costume parade, flat lemonade,
Teachers with beer stagger and cheer.
And I, I shall not return.

If I were still eight I’d head for the gate,
Ride around in the dark of the Woolies car park,
Mum snaps me out, laughing points it out,
The faraway tree but it’s you that I see.
And I, I shall not return.

Your Dad at the base fixed Hercules with lace.
Throwing boys into the dark where they burst and left their mark.
Mirages in the clouds, villages in shrouds,
Smothered all the cries, they said you had his eyes.
And I, I shall not return.

I saw you grin and I knew
That I could race you
to the hall from where we stood.
But your brother scooped you up
And you were gone for good.

And I couldn’t sleep a wink....
Track Name: Process
PROCESS
Pass through the yawn, blood red and torn.
Stand for your pace, scream into the race.
Bludgeon to the lead, glory in your bleed.
Battleflag unfulred, welcome to the world.

All fear allay, call the end of day.
Mon chic ma chere, tomber dans l’enfer.

A, B to C, warfare at three.
Torture at the sink, forward with a wink.
Squeeze on to the cart, hunt your counterpart.
Fitness in the dark, run and leave a spark.

All fear allay, call the end of day.
Mon chic ma chere, tomber dans l’enfer.

One leads to fun leads to shun leads to none.
Armored to the sun for a battle not begun.

All fear allay, call the end of day.
Mon chic ma chere, tomber dans l’enfer.

Riches for all but not those who fall.
Upon their sinking sides up to the light we stride.
Bear unsmiling truth and the mockery of youth.
Bend ye now with pride. Sink into the tide.

All fear allay, call the end of day.
Mon chic ma chere, tomber dans l’enfer.
Track Name: Worms
WORMS
If ever I more should worms desire I'd lay me down to die
And grand as the flames of my old father's fire I'd reach into that sky
And diddle aye diddle aye diddle aye ay
Diddle aye dandy aye
And sheer as a flake of pure old ash squeeze a tear from the old one's eye

And if ever I more should nerves require I'd lay me down to die
And rip from the root every jangling wire and lie in the fire to fry
And diddle aye diddle aye diddle aye ay
Diddle aye dandy aye
And as painless as the point of a barb scratch the glaze from the old one's eye

And if ever I more should opinions require I'd lay me down to die
And press from the bellows that lukewarm fire and squeeze it to a sigh
And diddle aye diddle aye diddle aye ay
Diddle aye dandy aye
And as soundless as the flight of a shark scare white the old one's eye

And if ever I more should acquaintance desire I'd lay me down to die
And I'd clear my path through the tangles of legs to the feathery mattress on high
And diddle aye diddle aye diddle aye ay
Diddle aye dandy aye
And as loveless as a tuckshop line strike blind the old one's eye

Diddle aye diddle aye diddle aye ay.....