Big City Dreams​/​Small Town Failings

by Mark Ayling

supported by
/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Comes with lyric sheets
    Purchasable with gift card

      £3.50 GBP  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in jewel case complete with lyric insert and full artwork

    Includes unlimited streaming of Big City Dreams/Small Town Failings via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days

      £7 GBP or more 

     

  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 8 Mark Ayling releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Nowhere Left To Hide, Big City Dreams/Small Town Failings, Out Of Step, Out Of Time, Live at the Kelpie, Live at the Alter Bahnhof, Live At Pivo Pivo, But Still They Ignore Split EP, and Memories & Ghosts. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      £10.13 GBP or more (25% OFF)

     

1.
2.
03:40
3.
03:01
4.
5.
6.
7.
05:19
8.
9.
10.

credits

released September 16, 2016

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Mark Ayling UK

A lifelong drummer, Mark Ayling has branched out into the world of acoustic music. Discarding the usual folk/acoustic influences such as Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, Mark takes his inspiration from artists as diverse as The Jam, New Model Army, The Specials, Motorhead and Joy Division, creating a sound that has the energy of punk whilst retaining the melodic elements of the acoustic guitar. ... more

shows

contact / help

Contact Mark Ayling

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Big City Dreams & Small Town Failings
AN ENDLESS PROCESSION OF RED AND WHITE LIGHTS
STREAKING ALONG THE MOTORWAY
TO SOMEWHERE FAR OFF, OUT OF SIGHT
YOU SIT WATCHING FROM YOUR BEDROOM WINDOW EVERY NIGHT
WONDERING WHEN YOU'LL BE FREE OF THIS PLACE
FREE OF THE BOREDOM AND URBAN GREY
AWAY FROM THE SMALL MINDS AND PETTINESS
AND ALL THOSE KNOW-ALLS
THAT ALWAYS SEEM TO GET THEIR SAY

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THESE WINDOWS SEEM LIKE PRISON BARS
THE DRUNKS IN THE STREET BELOW ACTING AS ARMED GUARDS
THE HILLS ALL AROUND SEEM LIKE MOUNTAIN RANGES
THE HIGHER YOU CLIMB THE HIGHER THEY RISE UP
BUT YOU KNOW THINGS NEED TO CHANGE
SO YOU DREAM OF HITCHING OUT OF THIS PLACE SO TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT
YOU HEAD INTO THE WIND, TOMORROW IS A FRESH NEW DAY
THE STREETS PAVED WITH GOLD AS A RUNAWAY

YOU CLIMB THE HIGHEST BUILDING AND LOOK AROUND
THE CITY LAID OUT AT YOUR FEET
BUT YOU KNOW NOW IT'S ALL A FAKE FACADE
BECAUSE THE BIG CITY MARCHES TO THE SMALL TOWN BEAT
Track Name: This Place
I GET NOSTALGIC FROM TIME TO TIME
THE NEED TO RETURN TO THIS PLACE
I'M NOT SURE WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR OR WHAT I WILL FIND
BUT I'M SURE OF THIS; IT'S BEST LEFT BEHIND
ONCE AGAIN I MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE
AS THE WOLF PACK GATHERS THERE'S NO FLESH LEFT TO TAKE
THIS LACK OF JUDGEMENT IT ASTOUNDS EVEN ME
SUCH IS THE EMPTINESS OF THIS FAMILIARITY

I DRIVE SO FAR TO GET AWAY
BUT I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO ESCAPE
A BAD TASTE STUCK IN MY THROAT
A DULLING NUMBNESS IN MY EARS

AND THIS PLACE IS BEST VIEWED FROM A DISTANCE
FROM A THOUSAND MILES AWAY
FROM FAR OVER THESE HILLS
FROM THE EDGE OF THE EARTH

AND I KNOW THIS TOWN IS BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US
YOU HAVE YOUR CORNER AND I'LL FIND MINE
BUT YOU CAN'T REMAIN THERE YOU HAVE TO PUSH AND MAKE A FUSS
DON'T SAY YOU DON'T BECAUSE YOU DO IT EVERY TIME

AND BECAUSE OF YOU THIS PLACE IS BEST VIEWED FROM A DISTANCE
FROM A THOUSAND MILES AWAY
FROM FAR OVER THESE HILLS
FROM THE EDGE OF THE EARTH

YOU KEEP PUSHING ME
YOU JUST KEEP PUSHING ME AWAY
YOU CAN'T STOP PUSHING ME
YOU JUST KEEP.....
Track Name: 15 Minutes
EVERYBODY IS SO OUTSPOKEN THESE DAYS
WITH SO MUCH OF NOTHING TO SAY
IT DOESN'T MATTER YOU CAN TALK ABOUT LIFE AND DEATH
BUT THEY'LL TELL YOU ABOUT THEIR DAY
THE SECOND YOU PAUSE FOR BREATH

YOU'VE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE, IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME
EVERY LITTLE COMPLAINT AND EVERY DETAIL MUNDANE
BUT THE TELEVISION'S ON NOW AND IT ALL GOES QUIET
REALITY HITS, IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT AND
THE STAGE IS SET, THE LIGHTS ARE DIMMED
AS THE CROWD GOES WILD FOR THE KARAOKE KING
A PRETTY POSE AND A MUSCLE FLEX
WITH THAT SO-CALLED FACTOR OF 'X'

SO IT COMES DOWN TO THIS - WE ALL WANT TO BE HEARD
WE'LL PLAY THE GAME, EVERYTHING WE'VE LEARNED
WE'LL PLAY IT SAFE, WE'LL KEEP IT TAME
FOR OUR 15 MINUTES OF FAME

AND IN A DARK CORNER, HIDDEN OUT OF REACH
IS THE DREAM OF EVERYTHING THAT WE COULD HAVE BEEN
BUT THERE'S NO POINT NOW WAITING FOR SOME IDEALISTIC REBIRTH
AS THE TALENTLESS HAVE INHERITED THE EARTH

IT'S REFLECTED IN EVERY PERSONALISED NUMBERPLATE
AND EVERY FACEBOOK PAGE
EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE KNOWN FOR SOMETHING
'COS BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT (OR SO THEY SAY)
BUT THERE'S NO NOTORIETY HERE
JUST THE MASSAGING OF FRAGILE EGOS
IN THIS WATERED-DOWN VERSION OF FAME

AND EVERY TOWN AND CITY KEEPS UP THIS CHARADE
WITH THE ENDLESS LOCAL BAND POP-PUNK IDENTIKIT PARADE
WHO INSIST ON SINGING "INDIVIDUALITY IS FUCKING GONE"*
BUT IT'S BECAUSE OF THEM THAT I WROTE THIS FUCKING SONG

*copyright Escape To Victory (Aberdeen band, now disbanded)
Track Name: The Quiet One
I WAS ALWAYS THE QUIET ONE
I NEVER WISHED ANYONE HARM
I TOOK ALL YOUR ATTITUDE
I TOOK YOUR PATRONISING
AND MAKING FUN BEHIND MY BACK

SO WHAT WENT THROUGH MY MIND
AS I LEFT WORK THAT DAY?
WELL, I KNEW THINGS HAD TO CHANGE
AS I SAT IN MY EMPTY ROOM
FROM ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES
I MADE UP MY MIND

AS THE SUN ROSE ON A FRESH, NEW DAY
I FED THE CAT AND LET HER OUT TO PLAY
I WASHED THE BREAKFAST BOWLS
AND STACKED THEM NEATLY AWAY
I PACKED MY BAG IN THE SAME NEAT WAY
I LOCKED THE DOOR BEHIND ME
AS I DO EVERY DAY

NOW EVERYTHING LOOKS GREY FROM HERE ON THE FLOOR
THE FAMILY PORTRAITS, CIRCLES ON THE CALENDAR
YOU WON'T NEED ANYMORE
AND AS THE SCREAMS DIE DOWN AND THE SIRENS FADE AWAY
FROM ABOVE THE RINGING IN MY EARS, I HEAR SOMEONE SAY
"THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE
IT'S JUST NOT POSSIBLE
HE ALWAYS KEPT HIMSELF TO HIMSELF,
HE'S NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE BEFORE"
THEY BLAME RELIGION, THEY BLAME SOCIETY
THEY SAY THAT I WENT MAD!
BUT I NEED YOU TO KNOW THAT IT WAS ALL ME
IT WAS ALL ME.....
Track Name: Faded Glamour
THE TRUTH IN MY REFLECTION IS SOMETIMES HARD TO LOOK AT
I CAN'T STOP MOVING FORWARDS IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW FAR I LOOK BACK
I CAN DREAM AND DREAM AND I CAN WISH
I CAN SCREAM BUT I'M SURE THERE'S NO-ONE LEFT TO LISTEN

AS THE SUN LEAVES THIS PLACE AND THE SHADOWS GROW LONG
ALL THE PRETTY LIGHTS LEFT TO SHINE TO NO-ONE ALONG THE PROM
THE BARS FALL SILENT, THE SHUTTERS CLOSE DOWN
ON THE FADED GLAMOUR OF A SEASIDE TOWN

THE ORANGE RUST STREAKS STAIN PEELING, UNCARED FOR WALLS
THE LONELINESS IN MY FOOTSTEPS ECHOES THROUGH US ALL
SO I HURRY THROUGH THE BACK STREETS TO THE WARMTH OF THE CROWD
BUT AS I TURN THE CORNER ON THE HIGH STREET THERE'S NO-ONE AROUND
THERE'S NO-ONE LEFT HERE AT ALL

AS THE SUN LEAVES THIS PLACE AND THE SHADOWS GROW LONG
ALL THE PRETTY LIGHTS LEFT TO SHINE TO NO-ONE ALONG THE PROM
THE BARS FALL SILENT, THE STORM SHUTTERS COME CRASHING DOWN
ON THE FADED GLAMOUR OF A SEASIDE TOWN

THE FADING LAUGHTER ON THE MERRY-GO-ROUND

THE FADING LAUGHTER ON THE MERRY-GO-ROUND
Track Name: Letter From A Quiet Town
IT'S BEEN SO LONG, JUST HOW LONG WOULD IT BE?
20 OR 21 YEARS NOW?
SINCE I WAVED GOODBYE TO YOU ON THAT BUS HEADING SOUTH
I GUESS YOU NEVER LOOKED BACK, YOU DIDN'T SEE ME STANDING THERE
BUT I KEEP WRITING THESE LETTERS

I SEE YOUR MUM FROM TIME TO TIME, WHY DOES SHE NEVER SMILE?
WHY WON'T SHE TALK TO ME FOR A WHILE?
SHE WON'T TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE, OR WHEN YOU'RE COMING BACK
BUT I GUESS THAT YOU'LL TELL ME YOURSELF

THERE'S NOTHING TO DO HERE ANYMORE, I JUST SMOKE MORE CIGARETTES
I'LL HIT THE TOWN LATER ON BUT IT'LL BE AS DEAD AS EVER
ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING NEW BUT CAN NEVER SEEM TO FIND YOU
JUST THE SAME DULL VIEW

THOSE CRAZY NIGHTS OF TWENTY YEARS AGO
THEY ARE LONG, GONE AND FORGOTTEN
REMEMBER OUR LOCAL? WELL, THEY GAVE IT A REFIT AND THEY LEFT OUT THE JUKEBOX
AND THERE'S NO ROOM FOR BANDS TO PLAY ANYMORE

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WHILE I SIT HERE WAITING FOR YOU?

I STILL CARRY A PHOTO OF YOU IN MY BACK POCKET
AND LOOK AT IT EVERYDAY
I BET YOU'RE STILL THE SAME, JUST LIKE I AM
WITH A FEW MORE WRINKLES AND A HINT OF GREY
I MAYBE SHAKE A LITTLE MORE , THE DOCTOR SAYS I SHOULD GIVE UP THE DRINK
BUT I KNOW HE'S WRONG

WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO DO WHILE I SIT HERE WAITING FOR YOU?

ALL MY MATES HAVE LEFT TOWN SINCE THEY CLOSED THE DOCKS DOWN
BUT I DECIDED TO STAY
I COULD NEVER FIND THE RIGHT JOB WITH THE RIGHT HOURS AND PAY
THEY ALL TURNED ME DOWN ANYWAY

SO HERE WE ARE AGAIN, I'VE RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY
I HOPE YOU WRITE BACK SOON
I'LL GIVE THIS LETTER TO YOUR MUM SO SHE CAN PASS IT ON LIKE I DO EVERY TIME
I REALLY HOPE YOU WRITE BACK, I KNOW YOU NEVER HAVE YET, YOU'LL BE TOO BUSY I BET
BUT YOU KNOW THAT I AM WAITING FOR YOU WHEN YOU DECIDE TO COME HOME
SO THAT WE CAN FINALLY SETTLE DOWN
I HAVE A LOVELY PLACE IT JUST NEEDS A GOOD CLEAN AND A FRESH COAT OF PAINT
WE'LL BOTH BE HAPPY HERE, WE'LL BOTH BE HAPPY HERE, WE'LL BE SO HAPPY HERE....
Track Name: Four Winds
A REFLECTIVE MOMENT BEHIND THIS HARDENED FACE
THIS TREE SHELTERS ME FROM THE DRIVING RAIN
EVERYTHING I'VE SEARCHED FOR
EVERY QUESTION LEFT UNANSWERED
LIE SCATTERED ROUND ITS BASE

OVER THE NOISE I TRY TO REMEMBER
BUT IT'S HARD TO HERE
THIS PLACE IS BUSIER NOW
THE WORLD'S MOVED ON 19 YEARS
BUT IF I LISTEN HARD
ABOVE THIS SOUNDTRACK TO OUR LIVES
A BRASS BAND PLAYS THE LAST DANCE

I'M STILL SEARCHING THROUGH IT ALL
AND I STILL HEAR YOUR CALL
I KNOW THERE'S NOTHING LEFT HERE FOR ME
JUST THIS SENSE OF MY OWN MORTALITY

IN THIS GARDEN NOW, FAMILIAR SENSES
I RECOGNISE FROM DAYS GONE BY
BUT THIS FEELING OF CHANGE
LIKE THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER
I CARRY WITH ME NOW

I'M STILL SEARCHING THROUGH IT ALL
AND I STILL HEAR YOUR CALL
I KNOW THERE'S NOTHING LEFT HERE NOW FOR ME
JUST THIS REMINDER OF MY OWN MORTALITY

THERE'S SO MUCH EMOTION AT TIMES LIKE THESE
HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO SEE?
WHEN ALL THAT'S LEFT IS JUST A FADING MEMORY
AND ASHES
SCATTERED TO THE MERCY OF THE FOUR WINDS
Track Name: The Fantastic Mr Gray
HE SPENDS HIS DAY SITTING IN THE PUB
HE'S THE ONLY MEMBER OF HIS FAN CLUB
BUT WHEN THE BOYS ALL GATHER ROUND
HE'LL BUY THEM A DRINK AND SIT THEM DOWN
HE'LL TELL THEM ALL HIS STORY
OF HIS VERY OWN PAST GLORY
OF HOW HE USED TO HAVE IT ALL
HOW HE WAS SET UP FOR A FALL
HE'LL TELL THEM HE WAS A MAN OF HIS OWN MAKING
HE WAS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD
AND EVEN THOUGH NOW HE'S GREY AND AILING
ALL THE YOUNG GIRLS WANT TO GET IN TO HIS BED

THE FANTASTIC MR GRAY, FANTASTIC MR GRAY
HE'LL TELL YOU HOW GREAT HE IS ALL DAY
THE FANTASTIC MR GRAY, FANTASTIC MR GRAY
FANTASTIC MR GRAY......

NOW ALL THE LADS SECRETLY LAUGH BEHIND HIS BACK
THEY LISTEN JUST TO
DRINK HIS BEER AND SMOKE HIS FAGS
WHEN HE'S FINISHED ONE STORY
THEY'LL MAKE HIM TELL ANOTHER
BY CLOSING TIME THEY'LL HANG OFF HIM
LIKE A LONG-LOST BROTHER
SO IF YOU'RE DOWN IN CROWN STREET
LOOK OUT FOR THAT BAR
THE ONE WITH THE BIG RED 'T' ABOVE THE DOOR
HEAD IN TO THE BACK AND TAKE A SEAT
GRAB AND DRINK AND YOU'LL BE SURE TO MEET

THE FANTASTIC MR GRAY, FANTASTIC MR GRAY
HE'LL TELL YOU HOW GREAT HE IS ALL DAY
THE FANTASTIC MR GRAY, FANTASTIC MR GRAY
FANTASTIC MR GRAY

HE'LL TELL YOU HIS FANTASTIC STORY
OF HIS VERY OWN FANTASTIC PAST GLORY
OF HOW HE LOST IT ALL
AND HOW IT WAS EVERYONE ELSE'S FAULT

NOW, THE COUNCIL PAY HIS BILLS AND PAY HIS RENT
'COS HE'S CAUGHT IN HIS OWN VERSION OF EVENTS
I'M NOT SAYING THAT HE'S LYING, OR THAT IT'S UNTRUE
BUT I CAN'T SAY THAT I'VE HEARD OF HIM.....HAVE YOU?
Track Name: Something That I Do
I CAN SING SO MANY LINES OF REDEMPTION
BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER
I CAN PLEAD FOR FORGIVENESS
BUT IT ALL SEEMS SO SHALLOW NOW
IT'S JUST THE MOVEMENT OF AIR ACROSS VOCAL CORDS
THAT YOU DEMAND ARE SO PERFECT AND IN TUNE

AND EVERY SINGER ON MY RADIO IS DOING THE SAME
DEMANDING THAT I LISTEN TO THEM
AS THEY SCREAM THEIR DEMONS AWAY
BUT I CAN'T HELP BUT NOTICE
THAT IT'S ALL SO PITCH-PERFECT AND AUTO-TUNED

THERE'S ONE THING THAT I'VE LEARNED
IS THAT AS FAR AS YOU'RE CONCERNED
THESE SONGS FROM THE HEART
WILL NEVER BE GIVEN A CHANCE
THESE WORDS THAT I SING
TO ME MEAN EVERYTHING
BUT ALL IT IS TO YOU
IS JUST SOMETHING THAT I DO

SO SHOULD I SANITISE MY SOUL
AND SELL OUT MY EMOTIONS?
SHOULD I JUST SCREAM FROM THE HEART
WHILE GOING THROUGH THE SAME OLD MOTIONS?
OR DOES IT REALLY MATTER
DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY LISTEN ANYWAY?

THERE'S ONE THING THAT I'VE LEARNED
IS THAT AS FAR AS YOU'RE CONCERNED
THESE SONGS FROM THE HEART
WILL NEVER BE GIVEN A CHANCE
THESE WORDS THAT I SING
TO ME MEAN EVERYTHING
BUT ALL IT IS TO YOU
IS JUST SOMETHING THAT I DO

IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT I DO
Track Name: A27 (End of the Road)
AN APPLE SEED SOWN BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
A HAPPY FAMILY IN THE FOREST OF GOLD
THIS FADED COLOUR PHOTO FROM LONG AGO
WE DROVE ALL DAY HEADING FOR THE SUN
AND ONCE IN A WHILE THESE MEMORIES COME
BUT FEWER AND FAR BETWEEN AS TIME GOES ON

REMIND ME WHERE I'M FROM
AND WHERE I'M MEANT TO BE HEADING
UNTIL THEN I'LL WAIT BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

WHERE ONCE WE'D HAVE TAKEN PRECIOUS TIME
NOW CITIES AND TOWNS GO RUSHING BY
IT FEELS LIKE A METAPHOR FOR OUR LIVES
NO LONGER THE LONELY WESTBOUND ROAD
CASCADING DOWN THROUGH THE FOREST OF GOLD
THIS SIX-LANE ROLLING RIVER
FLOWING ON AND ON AND ON AND ON........

REMIND ME WHERE I'M FROM
AND WHERE I'M MEANT TO BE HEADING
UNTIL THEN I'LL WAIT BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

THE APPLE TREE'S GROWN BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
FROM THE SEED THAT WAS PLANTED SO LONG AGO
SO LONG AGO
WE WATCH THE DANCING, FALLING LEAVES
CARRIED AWAY ON THE AUTUMN BREEZE
LIKE THE LOVED ONES THAT WE'VE LOST BY THE WAYSIDE

WHO REMIND ME WHERE I'M FROM
AND WHERE I'M MEANT TO BE HEADING
AND I'LL MEET YOU THERE AT THE END OF THE ROAD.....

Mark Ayling recommends:

If you like Mark Ayling, you may also like: