Out Of Step, Out Of Time

by Mark Ayling

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1.
TAKE ME BY THE HAND AND LEAD ME THROUGH THE STREETS OF THIS OLD CITY THAT I THOUGHT I KNEW SO WELL BUT IT'S FOREVER CHANGING, THE FACES, THE ACCENTS LIKE THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS DIRECTING ROWS AND ROWS OF DIRTY BUSES, BLACK TAXIS, PEOPLE RUSHING HOME TO THEIR OWN IMPORTANT LIVES NOT CARING ABOUT ANYONE OR REALISING THAT THEY ARE PART OF SOMETHING SO MUCH BIGGER TAKE ME BY THE HAND WE'LL GO DOWN TO THE RIVER AND SEE THE ENERGY OF NATURE NOW TAMED AND USED FOR OUR AMUSEMENT AND COMMERCIAL VENTURES TREAD CAREFULLY THROUGH BROKEN GLASS AND DOGSH*T WATCH YOUR BACK AGAINST THE SETTING SUN THE PLACE COMES ALIVE WITH TWINKLING LIGHTS AND LIMOUSINES EXPENSIVE SHOES, DESIGNER LABELS AND MATCHING ACCESSORIES TO DIE FOR BUT WE CAN'T FOLLOW THE FASHIONS OF THIS CITY IT'S BEST LEFT TO THOSE IN THE KNOW TAKE ME BY THE HAND WE'LL HEAD OUT TO THE WEST AND SEE WHAT THE WEALTH OF THE CITY HAS CREATED ROWS AND ROWS OF LAVISH HOUSES, LANDSCAPED GARDENS AN AIR OF EMPTINESS WRAPPED AROUND THE MIDDLE CLASSES THERE'S SAFETY IN THESE STREETS NO RUMBLINGS OF VIOLENCE FELT ACROSS THE GHETTOS JUST A SANDWICHBOARD HEADLINE OF REASSURANCE THAT READS "THE PROPERTY BOOM RIDES HIGH!" BUT DOWN BENEATH THE WESTWAY A YOUNG GIRL PREPARES TO SLEEP UNDER A BINBAG LIKE THIS CITY COLD AND ALONE TAKE ME BY THE HAND WE'LL FIND OUR WAY EAST PAST BOARDED-UP SHOP WINDOWS ON DARK RAINY STREETS CLASHED CULTURES REACTING TO LIVING TOGETHER IN TOWERBLOCKS WITH VIEWS OVER THE CITY'S SQUARE MILE SO FAR FROM THEIR GRASP BUT IN A ONE-BEDROOMED FLAT AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD A YOUNG BOY SITS PLOTTING WORLD DOMINATION I'LL TAKE YOU BY THE HAND AND LEAD YOU THROUGH THE STREETS OF THIS OLD CITY THAT I LOVE THROUGH ROTTING CORPSES OF ENTERPRISE WHERE SOCIETY ONCE STOOD PROUD NOW JUST A SHELL OF IT'S OLD SELF BUT STILL WITH A BEAUTY UNMATCHED THROUGH TOURIST TRAPS AND ROYAL FLAGS PAST HOMELESS BEGGARS AND WEALTHY MONEYMEN THROUGH LEAFY PARKS AND WALLS OF STEEL FLY-POSTERED STREETS ONCE FULL OF BURNT-OUT SQUATS NOW RECYCLED AS UNAFFORDABLE LIVING COMPLETE WITH ENSUITE AND ALL THE ECHOED WHISPERS OF HISTORY AND IT'S STILL CALLING
2.
02:31
All THOSE YEARS AGO WHEN I LEFT THESE ROLLING HILLS I NEVER LOOKED BACK AS YOU THOUGHT I WOULD AND YOU ARE STILL THERE JUST WAITING FOR ME TO COME HOME YOU'VE WASTED SO MUCH TIME, DESTINED TO DIE ALONE AS YOU WALK BY DON'T TAKE A SECOND GLANCE I'M A PERFECT STRANGER JUST PASSING THROUGH I'VE BURNED EVERY BRIDGE BEHIND ME AND I STILL DO TO THIS DAY I JUST DON'T CARE, I'LL FIND ANOTHER WAY AND LIFE'S TOO SHORT NOW TO EVER BE LOOKING BACK WITH EMPTY SENTIMENTS DOWN MILES OF RUSTING, DISUSED TRACK NOW AS YOU WALK BY DON'T TAKE A SECOND GLANCE AT ME I'M A PERFECT STRANGER JUST PASSING THROUGH I SOMETIMES WONDER IF I HAVE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE BUT ALL I CAN DO IS STAND HERE WATCHING ENDLESS STRANGERS PASS BY AND YOU ARE NOWHERE TO BE SEEN SO I TURN MY BACK AND I QUIETLY LEAVE THERE'S NO STORYBOOK ENDING NO PRODIGAL SON RETURNS
3.
THE LIGHTS OF THE BARS GLOW BRIGHTLY IN THIS QUIET TOWN THE REGULARS HOLDING COURT, HOSTILE, SHARING JOKES,GETTING A FEW DRINKS DOWN IN THE CORNER THE UNDER-AGED BOYS NURSE THEIR PINTS SEARCH FOR CHANGE TO BUY ONE LAST BEER A TRIP REAL, OR OTHERWISE, TO GET THEM OUT OF HERE SUZY STANDS SHIVERING IN THE SHADOWS DREAMING OF BIG CITY LIGHTS AND DAYS GONE BY THE GLITZ AND GLAMOUR OF HER OLD LIFE, BUSTLING CLUBS AND HAZY NIGHTS ALL LEFT BEHIND WHEN HER BOYFRIEND GOT DRUNK, TURNED HER LIFE UPSIDE DOWN NOW LIVING WITH A LOCAL LAD IN A TWO-ROOMED CELL IN THE REALITY OF COMING HOME,OF COMING HOME PAUL LIVES WITH HIS PARENTS, HAS NO JOB AND SITS WATCHING THE TELLY ALL DAY HE'S NEVER BEEN BOTHERED ABOUT MOVING ON, IT'S JUST EASIER THIS WAY HE'S ALWAYS LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, NEVER SHIES FROM A FIGHT COMING HOME IN A BLOOD-SOAKED T-SHIRT NEVER A WOUND IN SIGHT IAN ALWAYS WISHED THAT HE HAD STEPPED OUT AT LEAST ONCEFROM HIS MECHANIC LIFE STRAIGHT FROM SCHOOL INTO THE FAMILY BUSINESS PASSED DOWN THROUGH THREE GENERATIONS NOW HE SITS HOLDING HALF-PINT IN A PINT GLASS AS HE CAN'T STOP SHAKING ALWAYS GIVING ADVICE TO THE LADS IN THE CORNER HE BARKS "THE ENDLESS NEATLY PLOUGHED FIELDS AND ROWS AND ROWS OF PYLONS CANNOT HOLD YOU IN, BUT CAN'T COMPETE WITH YOUR ATTITUDE AND THE SMALL-TOWN MENTALITY YOU WERE BROUGHT UP WITH" NIGHT AFTER NIGHT HE SITS NIGHT AFTER NIGHT HE BARKS NIGHT AFTER NIGHT....................
4.
05:04
I WISH I WAS RUNNING FREE IN THE FIELDS LIKE A CHILD WITHOUT A CARE IN THE WORLD NEVER OUT OF BREATH, NO ACHES AND PAINS JUST LAUGHING THROUGH THE SUMMER RAIN I WISH I WAS THE PILOT OF A HUGE JET PLANE FLYING TO SOMEWHERE FAR AWAY CRUISING AT 30,000 FT ABOVE THE CLOUDS AND INTO THE SUNRISE OF ANOTHER DAY I WISH I WAS FLOATING ON A DEEP BLUE SEA THE WARM WAVES LAPPING OVER ME OR ON A CANAL IN THE SHADE OF SUMMER TREES BLOWING ME GENTLY ON THE BREEZE I WISH I WAS WALKING THE ENDLESS ROAD I'LL PITCH MY TENT EVERY NIGHT AND CALL IT HOME NO NEED FOR A MAP, I'LL JUST PICK A TRACK AND KEEP WALKING ON WITH THE SUN ON MY BACK SUN ON MY BACK I WISH I WAS RIDING FIVE ABREAST A TATTOO OF MY COLOURS PROUDLY DISPLAYED ON MY CHEST A MODERN DAY OUTLAW STRIKING FEAR IN THE HEARTS OF ANYONE THAT DARES TO STAND IN MY PATH I WISH I WAS DRIVING AN 18-WHEELER ACROSS THE HIGHWAYS OF NORTH AMERICA OR SCREECHING ROUND THE NEW YORK STREETS WITH THE SCREAMING SIRENS OF THE FOLLOWING HEAT I WISH I WAS BEING CHAUFFEURED IN A LIMOUSINE A MOVIE STAR ON THE COVERS OF ALL THE MAGAZINES OR CRUISING IN A TOUR BUS, BLACK AND CHROME FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN TO MY L.A. HOME I WISH I WAS RIDING ON A SNAKING TRAIN ACROSS THE CANADIAN ROCKIES OR THE AFRICAN PLAINS THE MOAN OF THE HORN AND THE DING OF THE BELL WAKING EACH DAY TO A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE WORLD DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE WORLD A EUROPEAN TOWN, I'M HITCHING A RIDE WITH THE DEVIL RIDING OUT TO THE OTHER SIDE I'LL TAKE A GLIMPSE BACK ONCE OR TWICE LESS AND LESS WITH EVERY ROLL OF THE DICE.....
5.
THROUGH THIS LIFE WE WANDER ON AND SING THESE SAD SONGS BUT TONIGHT AS WE TELL THESE TALES OF REGRET WE FEEL THE CHANGE, THESE OLD SKINS MUST BE SHED AS TIME GOES ON, WE'RE NOT THE SAME ANYMORE BUT STILL THESE GHOSTS FIND THEIR WAY TO THE DOOR OF THIS EMPTY HOUSE STANDING ALONE AND DECAYED THERE'S NOTHING THERE BUT A PORTRAIT LEFT TO FADE IN THE REFLECTION I SEE MYSELF LAID BARE I SEE DIFFERENCES BUT IT'S STILL ME STANDING THERE YOU COULD NEVER GRASP THE FACT I MAY BECOME NOT WHAT YOU WANTED FROM YOUR ONLY SON AS TIME GOES ON I'M NOT THE SAME ANYMORE YET STILL THESE GHOSTS FIND THEIR WAY TO THE DOOR OF MY EMPTY HOUSE STANDING DERELICT AND BARE THERE'S NOTHING THERE BUT A SHADOW ON THE STAIRS EVERYTHING CHANGES AND EVERYTHING STAYS THE SAME EVERYTHING CHANGES AND EVERYTHING STAYS THE SAME EVERYTHING CHANGES AND EVERYTHING STAYS THE SAME OR WAS IT ME THAT CHANGED AND YOU THAT REMAINED THE SAME?
6.
01:29
THIS LIFE GROWS SHORT NOW A MIX OF EMOTIONS MADE TO RHYME BUT I LET IT SLIP BY OUT OF STEP AND OUT OF TIME YOU WERE LEFT BEHIND ON A BETTER DAY BUT I STILL FEEL THE FORCE OF THE TEMPEST IN YOUR EYES SO MANY MEMORIES IN NEED OF REPAIR FRAGMENTED BY AGE JUST BLOWING DUST THROUGH THE AIR AND YOU WERE LEFT BEHIND ON A BETTER DAY BUT I STILL FEEL THE FORCE OF THE TEMPEST IN YOUR EYES NOW I HOLD BACK REGRET AND CHOKE ON THESE TEARS REFLECTING BACK AT ME THIS LONELY, DESPERATE STARE
7.
LIKE ONE OF THOSE OLD MOVIES PLAYING ROUND AND ROUND MY MIND ONLY SHOWS ME WHAT I WANT TO SEE FROM LOST LOVE TO FEAR EVERYONE'S HERE IN LAUGHTER AND TEARS IN A GARDEN OF RED WHERE INNOCENCE WAS SHARED THAT LAST LINGERING KISS IS ALL THAT I'LL MISS THIS ARMY OF VOICES COULDN'T BE MORE REAL A LOST LONELY FIGURE WHERE TIME ONCE STOOD STILL SO MUCH SADNESS AND SILENCE IN MEMORIES THE SEETHING DARK SHADOW WILL CATCH UP IN THE END JUST PLAYING HOST TO THE MEMORIES OF A GHOST A COLOURFUL PLAYGROUND SWINGS BLOWING IN THE BREEZE THE SOUND OF OUR LAUGHTER ECHOES THROUGH THE STREETS A SLOWING HEARTBEAT QUIETER WITH EACH BREATH AND WITH EVERY UNMISSED DEATH IN A GARDEN OF RED WHERE INNOCENCE WAS SHARED THAT LAST LINGERING KISS IS ALL THAT I'LL MISS THIS ARMY OF VOICES COULDN'T BE MORE REAL A LOST LONELY FIGURE WHERE TIME ONCE STOOD STILL WHERE TIME ONCE STOOD STILL
8.
02:27
I WATCH THE RAIN TRICKLE DOWN THE GUTTER I SEE THE COLOUR DRAIN FROM THE SKY I WATCH THE WORLD STAND STILL AROUND ME I FEEL THE ENDLESS MARCH OF TIME I SEE YOU PASS BY WITH THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE YOU SAY "IT'S ONLY NOTHING" BUT IT'S ALWAYS THAT ONE THING NO ONE HEARS YOUR CRIES OF SUFFERING AND WOULD THEY CARE ANYWAY? REFLECTED IN EVERY SHOP WINDOW ECHOED ROUND THESE STREETS OF GREY I SEE YOU PASS BY WITH THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE AND YOU SAY "IT'S ONLY NOTHING" BUT I KNOW IT'S ONLY THAT ONE THING I SEE YOUR SPIRIT TRICKLE DOWN THE GUTTER I SEE THE COLOUR DRAIN FROM YOUR EYES I SEE YOUR WORLD STAND STILL AROUND YOU AND CEASE THE ENDLESS MARCH OF TIME AND YOU SAID "IT'S ONLY NOTHING" BUT THIS REFLECTION NEVER LIES
9.
THERE'S SOMETHING COMING, EVERYONE CAN FEEL IT IT'S IN THE AIR, IT'S ALL AROUND SOMETHING TO WELCOME OR SOMETHING TO FEAR? IT'S NOTHING WE CAN SEE AND NOTHING WE CAN HEAR THE PROTECTION LINES ARE DRAWN, THE FENCES STANDING HIGH SHELTERS BUILT AGAINST THIS STORM WITHOUT QUESTIONING WHY AND STILL WE WAIT..... NOW THE NEWSREADERS REGALE US WITH STORIES OF DESPAIR OF TRAGEDY AND HEROISM JUST TO KEEP EVERYONE SCARED SO THE FENCES ARE TORN DOWN TO BE REPLACED BY HIGHER WALLS BIGGER BOLTS PLACED ON THE DOORS AND WINDOWS REINFORCED THE CROWD ON THE OUTSIDE GET CAUGHT UP IN THE FLOW PUSHING, SHOVING AGAINST THE WALL AS THE ANGER STARTS TO GROW THOSE LEFT ON THE INSIDE START TO FEAR FOR THEIR LIVES SO THEY ARM THEMSELVES TO THE TEETH AND PREPARE THEMSELVES TO FIGHT THE NEEDY TRY TO PLEAD OR TRADE THEIR POSESSIONS AND FOOD THE DOORMAN IS ON OVERTIME AND A BIDDING WAR ENSUES THE WEALTHY TRY TO REASON AND BUY THEIR OWN WAY IN BUT THE BACK DOOR'S LEFT DEFENCELESS, THE GUARD'S GONE FOR A DRINK THE CROWD ON THE OUTSIDE STARTS TO GATHER PACE STILL NOT SURE WHAT THEY'RE FIGHTING AGAINST BUT CAN'T BEAR TO LOSE FACE OVER TO THE INSIDE: THERE'S AN ARGUMENT AS TO WHO'S TOUGHER NO DECISION CAN BE MADE SO THEY START ON ONE ANOTHER ENDLESS CRASHING AGAINST THE WALL TURNS IT INTO RUBBLE THE MOB DECIDE TO RUN AWAY BEFORE THERE'S ANYMORE TROUBLE BACK INSIDE THE FIGHTING IS DOWN TO FLESH AND BONE BUT THEY HAVEN'T EVEN NOTICED EVERYONE ELSE HAS GONE HOME REGARDLESS OF THE NEED AND REGARDLESS OF WHAT'S RIGHT PEOPLE ARE TOO STUPID, WEAK, LAZY, OR PREOCCUPIED TO BOTHER THEMSELVES TO GET OUT, TO BOTHER THEMSELVES TO FIGHT FOR A CAUSE THAT THEY BELIEVE IN OR A BATTLE FOR THEIR RIGHTS SO INSTEAD THEY WATCH THEIR LIVES SLIP BY IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION THIS COUNTRY FULL OF ARMCHAIR FASCISTS AND SALOON BAR POLITICIANS AND STILL WE WAIT..... AND STILL WE WAIT.....
10.
02:42
ALL THE ENDLESS ARGUING AND RUNNING ROUND IN CIRCLES BUT ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IS BEING MILES AWAY ALL THE HOURS DRIVING THE CONSTANT ENERGY OF MOVEMENT BUT I DON'T SEEM TO BE ANY MORE MILES AWAY THE ROAD SIGNS TELL ME THAT I'VE COME SO FAR AND LEFT IT ALL BEHIND BUT I DON'T FEEL ANY FURTHER AWAY FROM WHERE I STARTED I'LL STILL BE THERE AHEAD WAITING FOR ME TO ARRIVE BECAUSE I'LL NEVER BE I'LL NEVER BE MILES AWAY MILES AWAY MILES AWAY
11.
03:15
THIS HEADACHE GRIPS MY HEAD LIKE A VICE WE SIT AND STARE AT THE FLOOR IN EAR-SPLITTING SILENCE OUR HISTORY LAID BARE THE PAST BECOMES THE PRESENT JUST LET IT GO LIKE IT WAS AN HOUR AGO SO CAN WE JUST FORGIVE AND FORGET SEAL IT WITH A SWEET KISS WHEN EVERY ACT OF KINDNESS IS FORGOTTEN IN BLINDNESS? I'LL SEE YOU IN HELL I HATE YOU (FOR NOW) I CAN'T DO ANYTHING RIGHT IN YOUR PIERCING EYES IT WAS ALL GOING SO WELL UNTIL YOU HAD TO DWELL ON THAT BEEPING PHONE OF MINE THAT'S WHEN THE ACCUSATIONS START TO FLY SO CAN WE JUST FORGIVE AND FORGET SEAL IT WITH A BITTER KISS WHEN EVERY ACT OF KINDNESS IS FORGOTTEN IN BLINDNESS? TAKE ME BACK TO AN HOUR AGO WHEN EVERYTHING WAS ALRIGHT AND YOU SEEMED TO KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU JUST TAKE ME BACK TO AN HOUR AGO WHEN EVERYTHING SEEMED SO MUCH BRIGHTER BEFORE THIS DARKNESS DESCENDED ONTO ME THIS FROWN SEEMS PERMANENT NOW THE HEADCHE STILL RAGING INSIDE AND EVERY SENTENCE WE SPEAK JUST SEEMS TO TURN TO SNIDE JUST LET IT GO JUST LET IT GO WE CAN'T SEEM TO FORGIVE OR FORGET THERE'S NO MORE BITTER SWEET KISS WHEN EVERY ACT OF MY KINDNESS IS FORGOTEN IN YOUR BLINDNESS WE CAN NEVER FORGIVE OR FORGET BUT NOW YOU SPEAK SO SOFTLY TO ME JUST LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED.....
12.
02:29
SO MANY MILES AWAY FROM HERE A CANAL LIES WAITING IN THE SPARKLING WATERS, A REFLECTION OF A YOUNGER ME HOW I PROMISED I WOULD RETURN BUT I WILL NEVER LEARN THAT PROMISES CANNOT MAKE THINGS HAPPEN IN MY DREAMS NOW I SEE THOSE BLACK WATERS QUIETLY STILL, RUNNING DEEP A REFLECTION OF AGE BRICK CHIMNEYS STANDING TALL THESE DARK FIGURES OF GHOSTS ONCE SO POWERFUL NOW LEFT BEHIND TO CRUMBLE FOR A JOYLESS END BROKEN BY THE OCCASIONAL HEADLIGHTS SHINING ON GRAFITTI WALLS THAT REFLECT MY MIND SHINING EYES THAT HAVE SEEN SO MUCH AND HIDE SO MUCH IN A BLINK WILL BE SHUT FOREVER ALL THOSE HOPES AND DREAMS AND BROKEN PROMISES WILL NOT HAUNT ME ANYMORE AND THE HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS OF ENDLESS LONELINESS THE HOURS AND HOURS OF ENDLESS LONELINESS

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released October 28, 2014

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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

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