Out Of Step, Out Of Time

by Mark Ayling

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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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Track Name: Proud City Father
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
Track Name: Stranger
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
Track Name: This Quiet Town
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....................
Track Name: I Wish
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.....
Track Name: Shadow On The Stairs
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?
Track Name: Tempest
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
Track Name: Where Time Once Stood Still
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
Track Name: Barren Life
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
Track Name: The Endless Wait (For People To Show Themselves To Be Anything Other Than Useless)
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.....
Track Name: Miles Away
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
Track Name: An Hour Ago
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.....
Track Name: Canal Song
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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