Jack Hardy — Lyrics for Landmark

Copyright © 1980 John S. Hardy Music

  1. The Tinker's Coin
  2. The Guttersnipe

The Tinker's Coin

Come all ye lads and lasses near
A story I will tell to you
About a cold damp night like this
When shelter I was seeking
A traveler passing through

The barkeep said to guard my coin
To stay away from this tinker
But that just brought me near to him
For naught had I worth taking
A traveler passing through

Well he bought me glass of darkened stout
To thank me for my company
And he dropped a penny in the glass
For the luck that it would bring to me
A traveler passing through

The poor have but their pennies left
The king his saxon shilling
The king would never part with his
Though I part with lime most willing
To a traveler passing through

This coin's been haunted by the sidhe
It shall bring you joy or bring you grief
Depending on the works you do
What once was mine now belongs to you
To a traveler passing through

And we passed the night most forcefully
I sang my songs and his to me
And we talked of life's brief song to sing
Of visions we'd forsaken
As travelers passing through

And the barkeep said it's time with scorn
Your man here will be your undoing
They will lock you up as sure as you are born
If they hear the songs you're singing
A traveler passing through

Well they can lock me up as best they can
Yet songs can never know those chains
The song is sacred as the wind
We are just the harp that's singing
A traveler passing through

And later in a highland pub
With friends around me singing
I chanced to glance into my glass
At another penny shining
A traveler passing through

The Guttersnipe

sing halleluiah for the guttersnipe lives
he's not at all behind all your middleclass ways
cry no, i am drowning for i cannot forgive
for all wealth is measured in stacks of days
pigeons and peons bear the laurel wreath              
my head is pounding on the door of my heart
placing reason as an icon of grief
turned wretched as a gargoyle drenched in the dark
drenched in the dark

the guttersnipe stares with an alterboy smile
the glare of irrelevance as they taunt him and tease him
crying from the wilderness of middleclass style
they watch his boat as it sinks into knowledge
over those youthful dreams sunk deep in the fruit
learning patience is no virtue, it's a vice
they were so far ahead they were known as truth
staring at prisms of light and prisons of life
prisons of life

where the prison flowers shrink from lack of love
examine that freedom, that pain in your stem
is there no relief outside the gates of enough?
only pigeons seeking crumbs where the guttersnipe's been
the love of old ladies and disease of young maids
they make children smile as they scatter with the wind
filth is the fever of the middleclass mind
all wrapped up in waste and wealth and in wine
wealth and wine

tell me of your passions, you slimy small waif
with your big toe in the water and your throat full of thirst
there is nothing to repeat of the miseries of hate
they are your wealth and your redemption for sinning
in this foul-smelling hell-hole where the guttersnipe dines
with desire rubbing bellies with disgrace and disease
endless stairways out of the squalor to climb
with dreams void of color, forced to their knees
forced to their knees

the radiant smile of the catholic queen
has sent chills into believers like a dangling rope
tied to the trunk of a century-old tree
in a forest of drunk dropping breadcrumbs for hope
black candles, black roses, the givers of false light
the saint of prostitution and the sacrament of fright
how they drip so fast, forcing the middleclass flight
the forgers of freedom and the sorcerers of the night
sorcerers of the night

no way to play the tunes on the stench of winter winds
where the notes form in agony, blunt and tortured within
others who had paid the price write back of legends
with imagery of topcoats dragged through alleys of sin
pleasing little puppets with their thank-you-ma'am smiles
taking trainrides to excellence, keeping journals of each smile
but always riding first class so as to not leave home
and claiming every discount 'cept the one left alone
the one that's always left alone

sing halleluiah for the guttersnipe breaks bread
those hands that hold the loaves in the windows of hope
all twisted and warm with the honesty of death
and yearning for mouths all hungry and cold
a moment of silence for the guttersnipe lives
your companion in dreams refuses to smile
his wealth is the fact that he has nothing to give
as he beckons your madness to enter his trial
enter his trial

long into the late hours of winter afternoons
so callused and thickskinned in his cradle of cold
all shivering and shaking with his outstretched tongue
and swearing at indifference with a penicillin grin
his song is distilled from deceit and despair
the burden of destiny from sorrows and sins
those beautiful eyes sunk in the wilderness of care
and a voice from within cries i am here
i am here