The Rooks Have Returned

by Land Lovers

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credits

released May 13, 2016

Written by Land Lovers.
Produced and mastered by Mark Chester.
Recorded at Orphan Studios and The Pop Inn.

Land Lovers on this record were Padraig Cooney, Ciaran Canavan, Shane Murphy and Maggie Fagan. Additional musicians numbered Conor Deasy, Pat Daly and Mark Chester. Paddy Hanna reads some lines from WH Auden’s The Fall of Rome.

Thanks to Cormac Hughes and Alan Galvin, who contributed along the way.

Artwork by Emma Wilson.

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Land Lovers

Self-designated pop band from Dublin and co-founders of Popical Island.

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Track Name: Springtime for the Mystics
I was born near the river
In a chorister’s office under the crown
Anniversaries come
Anniversaries go into the ledger

There’s a song on my lips
There’s a song on my lips, I’ll tell you it
Flips me over and rattles my hips
It shivers my fingers, it troubles my kips

Taken away on the B&I line
I was twinned at the old Albert Dock
And repatriated
When I extended to six feet and one
I wondered what else I should know
I followed a thread back into a bed

Springtime for the mystics
That old doll saw trouble on the rise
The rooks had returned to the sky
Springtime for the mystics
I stood up like Emmet in his coat
And went out delivering notes

There’s a fly on my cheek
There’s a fly on my cheek, I’ll tell you it
Picked me out ‘cos it knew I was weak
It waits for the morning when it can eat

Ten years ago I spoke at Llandudno
An entryist questioned my name
And I grew indignant
Making it clear where my loyalties lay
The delegates seemed satisfied
But then, in the Mail, they made up a tale

Springtime for the mystics
That old doll saw trouble in my heart
I wouldn’t even know where to start
Springtime for the mystics
They stood up like Morecambe and Wise
I never did enough for those guys
Track Name: Angeline
Oh Angeline, you take the blue out of the sea
It doesn’t matter that you’re already old and replete
You’re young in my dream

In the sports hall of a modern school
Where we were welcome to be cruel
You just jumped right in
Where the worst of them swim

It didn’t matter that the feud began
In the middle of exams
What a time you had!
Running between Orwell and The Trads

Oh Angeline, you take the blue out of the sea
It doesn’t matter that you’re already old and replete
You’re young in my dream

And with your alien self-assurance
Soon you saw my presence
As a dreadful drag
Looming too close with my schoolbag

Anyway I took an early hint
And rose up to the firmament
Where we strum our lyres
And the odd bored child conspires

I knew ogres who climbed to your quarters
Watching you, wanting you, waking you
Track Name: Montecassino
I typed up a letter, meant to send, but thought better
Oh how he sang to me
Three notes a melody
And I keep hearing that flat Flemish fugue

And I leaned on a lamppost, scoffing my lunch
Chewing on a little word
Chewing on a little word
To the effect that he'd marry soon
Oh my blonde Dragoon at Montecassino

I swam in the river, felt the chill in my liver
Latterly shut my gob
Got straight and took a job
'Cos I was fearing a long solitude

And I leaned on a lamppost, halfway from home
Waiting on a certain girl,
Waiting on a shiny maiden
'Cos fairies must take an interest
Give that mind a rest from Montecassino

On the day that you come
I'll be strong and handsome
And the light will pay heed to its training
When this woman that I meet tells me
"You look empty and beat"
Set her straight, animate what’s remaining
Oh, will I ever glimmer again?

I wrote him a letter, turned it into a feather
And now it floats for me over the Zuider Zee
And I keep hearing, I keep hearing that flat Flemish fugue
And I'm still fearing, I'm still fearing a long solitude

So I lay at a bus-stop on my way home
Wondering about results
Wondering about how
Actions produce all manner of results
Shipping some insults
And falling asleep-o
Oh Montecassino
Track Name: Crowd of Lungs
When Wenceslas looked down on us, I looked down on you
And communicated something new
For in the snow I had to go to have our blue lips meet
If by miracle I kept my feet

Wish it was yesterday, wish it was
Wish it was yesterday, wish it was

But some internal watchfulness sent me elsewhere then
To a dream of sweet accomplishment
Where you and I, on carpet white, treacherous like tongues
Disappeared into a crowd of lungs

Oh crowd of lungs, of livers and rumps
Enemies out to reveal you
Oh crowd of lungs, of shadows and bumps
Oh mother of God, they’re starting to talk
I wish it was yesterday

I wish it was yesterday, I wish it was, I wish it was...
Track Name: I'd Do Anything
Good ol’ Justin Connolly, dressed down for a Sunday mag
There in his morning rags
The mammies spent the money
That the judges took for them -
A severe settlement

And if you want their numbers
I wouldn’t want to disappoint you
You wouldn’t ever disappoint me

Poor ol’ Justin Connolly, making payments twice a week
Once more among the meek
And he knows what awaits him
When he is on his knees
Pleading poverty

And if you want their numbers
I wouldn’t want to disappoint you
You wouldn’t ever disappoint me

And it’s become a burden to me
To know but never speak
I’d go anywhere
I’d do anything
Track Name: Royal Jewellery
Oh I’m waiting for you
To make a mistake for pity’s sake
A pitiless life formed a practical man
Not a pick on his bones

We were little ghouls that got together
Caused a bit of bellyache for me

It wasn’t for him I suffered so
A solitary stretch on a drip of breath
The absence of news and the smell of death
With a blackbird to stroke

We were little ghouls that got together
Caused a bit of bellyache
And you thought of royal jewellery, didn’t you?
One step at a time, you’ll be ma-ma-ma-maligned

Gonna track all the carriages he takes on his own
To the conjugal residence of persons unknown
And I will ‘cos I want him
I will ‘cos I want him
I will ‘cos I want him to go
Track Name: Life of Crime
Leather-bound valuables
Tucked into front and back pockets
Let's make a day of it, poppet
Dipping some wallets

I knew that you'd get sad about it
There's no need, it happens all the time
A point of honour must be settled
And this can become a life of crime

These master criminals
Must have somebody who flatters
If that’s you, my pretty poppet
None of it matters

I knew that you'd get sad about it
There's no need, it happens all the time
A gentlemanly row develops
It can become a life of crime

What are we good at?
We're good at everything!
We're good at medicine, war and astronomy
What are we bad at?
We are unable to see
We deserted some thrones foolishly

I knew that you'd get sad about it
There was no need, it happens all the time
As television demonstrated
We can resume our lives of crime
Track Name: Cartoons
Your Mo has told you where to go
And you won’t say a word against him
It’s a shock to the system
With inscrutable wisdom,
He amended you

Some clothes and cosmetics were taken
His passport papers from a drawer
When you called his employer
It just seemed to annoy her
She had salads to sell

And so I leave you with the name above your name
Of a man whose own devotion brought him to some old terrain
And so I left you in the gathering kitchen gloom
Watching the cartoons

A bubbling cauldron for a belly
And low suggestions stir in there
When a spook took you shopping
All your frog friends were hopping
And the heavens were dropping

And so I leave you with the name above your name
Of a man who disappeared in search of otherworldly gain
And so I left you in the gathering kitchen gloom
Watching the cartoons
Track Name: Moratorium
Good, I’ve been waiting for you
Now I see no sleep in your eyes
Two men have died, making your lies
Insignificant again

Go to the bridge, my husband
Meet with Eddie the contractor there
He’ll show you where your dear brothers
Expired last night

In the Sunday Business Post
There’s a piece on the three of you
Get it on your way

Moratorium: everyone reckons that we’re ok
Moratorium: everyone reckons that we’re ok

If you stay at arm’s length from our marriage
Could it get any more lonesome in here?
Oh it is truly a game played by monsters and rogues in the first place
So make haste with your dark wee dog

You’ll understand me, Eddie
As the eldest of four divil boys
All self-employed, all aggressive, all search-and-destroy

In the televisual age
Any handsome idiot could be plucked
To be all the rage

Moratorium: everyone reckons that we’re ok
Moratorium: everyone reckons that we’re ok
Moratorium: everyone reckons that we’re ok
Moratorium: everyone reckons that we’re ok
Track Name: Modern Pentathlon
In the dark days of the two fifty-sixth pope
I descended vertically on a slick slope
Dearly, I was gripping onto that rope

See I’m an ordinary bloke
With an ordinary jaw
I used to get some live support, I never get that live support now

Modern pentathlon
Modern pentathlon

So I wandered lonely in the stratosphere
Disassociating out of a strong fear
Maybe I was destined for the all-clear

From an ordinary dose
With its own pernicious way
I used to get a helping hand until I turned that hand away

Modern pentathlon
Modern pentathlon

And I’m crying myself to sleep
In the wake of your pageantry
Now the peasantry rhymes for you
While I listen in to live support
I never get that live support now

Modern pentathlon
Modern pentathlon

Zipping through the city on my one and only
Zipping through the fields with a gun in my hand
Zipping up a coat, putting on a mask
Modern pentathlon
Modern pentathlon