Jack Hardy — Lyrics for Landmark

Copyright © 1982, 1998, 2010 Jack Hardy Music (BMI)

  1. The Inner Man
  2. Citizens
  3. Nobody Home
  4. Fare Thee Well
  5. Orphan from Madrid/Guernica
  6. The Tinker's Coin
  7. Wheelbarrow Johnny
  8. Landmark
  9. The Drinking Song
  10. Tree of Rhyme
  11. An Bael Bocht (CD bonus track)
  12. The Guttersnipe (CD bonus track)

The Inner Man

i have lost my coat on the road today
cries the man of constant sorrow
ruin has him in the wind at last
cries the wolf of time
merchant make a cloth for a sinner man
finer than the one that he lost
but it is nothing to the state of the inner man
though the wolf goes hungry again
cries the wolf of time tomorrow

my house has burned down to the ground
cries the homeless man of sorrow
ruin has him in the wind at last
cries the wolf of time
build a new house for a sinner man
stronger than the one that he lost
but it is nothing to the state of the inner man
though the wolf goes hungry again
cries the wolf of time tomorrow

i have lost my gold in the river drowned
cries the wealthy man of sorrow
ruin has him in the wind at last
cries the wolf of time
but the boatman has hope for a sinner man
says you still got you your health
but it is nothing to the state of the inner man
though the wolf goes hungry again
cries the wolf of time tomorrow

i have lost my son my only son
cries the worldly man of sorrow
ruin has him in the wind at last
cries the wolf of time
but he's gone to the father of all sinner men
in a far far better world
but it is nothing to the state of the inner man
though the wolf goes hungry again
cries the wolf of time tomorrow

i have lost my name my only name
cries the vagabond of sorrow
ruin has him in the wind at last
cries the wolf of time
but the mirror don't frighten no sinner man
blood blackens on hope's last door
but it is nothing to the state of the inner man
though the wolf goes hungry again
cries the wolf of time tomorrow

Citizens

summer in southern colorado
where the sweat dries too fast and too neat
a man was just paid by the government
not to harvest all his field
but he already sent for his workers
they slipped into town overnight
praises be to heaven
if no one dies tonight

(chorus:)
all the second class citizens
on second thought they are not citizens at all
are we all really citizens
are we citizens at all
citizens

sam's got a wife in cerritos
just north of the city of sun
he's got him five sons and three daughters
'cause down there there's only one kind of fun
he was going to send them the money
just a few dollars that august allowed
it might be enough for the hungry
though never enough for the proud

and you who enjoy your summers in colorado
you who escape all the heat
and you who enjoy your bread buttered
on both sides of commodities
you who are along for the season
you who are along for the ride
you who are asking the reason
that someone named sam has just died

(repeat chorus)

Nobody Home

the wind it sounds like voices tonight (adieu non ami)
thinking i was alone it gave me a fright (adieu non ami)
i thought i'd see an old friend who lived down by the sea
a fisher of men and of me
but it's far more frightening to find you are alone
when i came to the place where his light had shone
nobody home

the windows are stained with that glassy-eyed stare (adieu mon ami)
the door set ajar with the whistling air (adieu mon ami)
those rooms so vacant the paint so wrong
the holes in the floors that were strong
that used to hold so much such art such dreams
such life has turned into stone
nobody home

the wind it sings much softer now (adieu non ami)
though my heart is pounding twice as loud (adieu non ami)
all those voices will never be heard
those days have all disappeared
and all the while my fears are fed
they might as well be dead and gone
nobody home

Fare Thee Well

there you go down that road again
saying all the things you said you'd never say again
dreaming all the dreams that you can never grasp
asking all those questions you should never ask

(chorus:)
say so long fare thee well i wish you well
good good-bye fare thee well i wish you well
i wish you well as you leave on your journey
but as you leave if you think of returning
remember me

you are young in your prime and yet old enough to see
not too many take you seriously
they tell you not to question all that you're told
time enough for that when you'll be getting old

(repeat chorus)

they say you're not old enough to be in love
money is the only thing that dreams are made of
so save yourself and save your wealth for when you get old
this rat-race town is going to claim your soul

(repeat chorus)

Orphan from Madrid/Guernica

i am an orphan from madrid
i pass my night in search of homes
and though the people try to keep me hid
and preach against me i am never alone
i am the black sheep huddled in a sad café
arguing with aphrodite to forsake her name
late at night we listen to the radio
for a song that i used to sing so long ago
and i tell to her all of my foreign dreams
and who will find for me a home

when i was young i moved to rome
with a dog who tagged along i knew his dreams
to that ancient city built on bones
and all those temples built to gods obscene
i am the black-shirted knight who plays the game
though the left-wingéd newspapers slander my name
they'll learn the pen is not always stronger than the sword
and that thoughts are not always put down with words
i search the streets for the order that chaos brings
and who will find for me a home

and so i moved north to cologne
and bonn and munich where i could spend the spring
in many places my light has shown
the golden box to which i now hold the strings
in the blackened night the stars will appear
those dim-lit cellars cry out calling with their beer
i spend my afternoons walking at the zoo
all those birds of carnage caged and crying turn me loose
a crowd of people can never think alone
and who will find for me a home

i am an orphan from madrid
and who will find for me a home

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

he bought me a 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 mine most willing
to a traveler passing through

(chorus:)
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

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 song you're singing
a traveler passing through

(repeat chorus)

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

(repeat chorus)

*the sidbe (pronounced "shee") is the Irish fairy world
 

Wheelbarrow Johnny

through the hills of pennsylvane
through the state of ohio
as far as the southern bend
of the muddy old saint joe
to build a home
a blacksmith and his family of nine
in the days we came to know as forty-nine
shoeing horses building wagons for the road
he taught his sons to build a wheelbarrow
oh that wheelbarrow you're going to roll

there's one in every crowd
sown with the wild oats
and johnny was the one
who said he had to go
i'm leaving home
though his pappy pleaded stay with us and work
and his momma cried you don't know what is worth
sewing sixteen silver dollars in his belt
one for every year his youth could tell
oh that wheelbarrow you're going to roll

(chorus:)
and it's roll johnny roll
roll across the plains
and it's ride johnny ride
don't hold back on the reins
there's gold johnny gold
off in the hangtown hills
and you'll sail home around cape horn
with your pockets lined with gold

he landed in the promised land
in what's now called placerville
though then it was known as hangtown
for the dreams that it killed
i miss my home
these city-slickers don't know 'bout the land
they don't know how to work with their hands
sifting for the gold through the sand
gambling and stealing all they can
oh that wheelbarrow you're going to roll

(repeat chorus)

his fingers to the bone
his belly filled with stone
he never found the gold
he sold off all he owned
i'm heading home
you only own what you carry in your soul
and i'm carrying the weight of told you so
when this man said by chance you wouldn't know
how to build me a strong wheelbarrow
oh that wheelbarrow you're going to roll

(repeat chorus)

before the first was done
word had gotten 'round
he had to build one now
for every man in town
this ain't my home
but a friend is made fast with good work
giving more than you promise in worth
the one place he never looked for the gold
he sold fifty thousand dollars worth of wheelbarrows
oh that wheelbarrow you're going to roll

(repeat chorus)

now gold is where you find it
before you know it's spent
and a windfall's like a rainfall
you don't know where it went
i'm working home
but a gambler's got to learn how to work
and a worker's got to gamble all he's worth
now johnny rides around with presidents
while you're still worrying how to pay the rent
oh that wheelbarrow you're going to roll

(repeat chorus)

oh that wheelbarrow you're made of gold

Landmark

it was not such a small town
in the antebellum north
built on the factory sounds
before that war
time-clock faith in material
the tractors and contractors of wealth
where they called the juleps manhattans
and prejudice was called the help

(chorus:)
who would believe naively
that these things are perpetual
all of it's gone to hell
perhaps it's just as well

lost in the miniature teacups
the umbrella-shielded sun
listening to the piano boom
napoleon's gathering guns
as i lay quietly quilted
on that screened-in porch i knew
listening to the cicadas sing
not knowing they were doomed

(repeat chorus)

on the lawn they sipped their cocktails
diversions of fairplay
and talked of factories closing
while arguing grass or clay
with the elm trees slowly dying
on the stately avenues
the evening silence shattered
when the factory whistle blew

(repeat chorus)

but the bicycles got bigger
and the circles they grew small
and the frantic voices beckoned
somewhere beyond the wall
the seventeen-year locusts
were leaving behind their shells
when the ice-cream truck bell
tolled the garden to hell

(repeat chorus)

The Drinking Song

in the merry merry month of may
when flowers were a-blooming
when we commence our tale
not all the lads were laughing

for some offense or other
they were in the habit a lot
of hanging poor lads and lasses
whether they be guilty or not

(chorus:)
let's stop... have another round
to help us make the next verse go down
there's method to the madness of the grape and grain
that we might live to drink again

they would march them from the prison
to the seedier side of town
just after the sun had risen
to the scaffold and the trap door sound

now this often scorned-at publican
would stop the whole procession
and offer a slight libation
as christ's own load was lessened

(repeat chorus)

and many had one last chaser
but one poor lad was prudent
he declined his one last bracer
claiming he was innocent

and they all said on with the task
and his neck went up on a string
and as he kicked his last
came a pardon from the king

(repeat chorus)

so the moral of this story
is never refuse a drink
and drink it nice and slowly
and let the glasses clink

and here's a song to use
when you are in your cups
and they tell you quit your booze
just tell them "drink it up"

(repeat chorus)

Tree of Rhyme

i took a tree into the town
to see if it would grow
not knowing i was affixed
to the fate of the seed i'd sown
my roots are solid underground
fed by the warm spring rain
where thunder's fierce and fickle winds
find compromise insane

(chorus:)
i seek refuge in this tree of rhyme
into its arms i climb
frightened by the terror of the scythe
there will be peace with the wind and rain
the roundness of the earth and flame
this tree is more constant than i
this tree is more constant than i

my tree has flourished the same as i
though invisible at times
beneath the rubble of vacant eyes
the seed divides and climbs
as if part of a forgotten age
when business was a vice
and virtue was merely picking fruit
in some patient paradise

(repeat chorus)

i pity those without a tree
as birth has doomed no one
for bricks are merely mud and straw
and canals are just rivers won
for nature schemes in cracks and seams
waiting for a time to bloom
even down in that soot gray town
in some forgotten room

(repeat chorus)

An Bael Bocht (CD bonus track)

there were only five there
with their hat-in-their-hand prayers
towards glasnevin green in the rain
as we sat in the béal bocht
eating our soup stock
erasing our dreams as a game
arguing verses as to whose was the best
and who were the five when they laid him to rest

(chorus:)
and i was wondering what it would take
to make you break down and cry
all has changed now all has changed
the curse is wondering why
still i am wondering
when i hear the children sing

in these olden days
in those golden days
when we were all in love
with all that was witching
and all that was winning
with women
writing those vain verses
that students write for lovers
but after the wine comes it's vinegar brother

(repeat chorus)

in those final days
in those banal days
when reality caught us dreaming
and humbled by hunger
and that daily
asking for bread or a stone
writing our verses in vain with desire
that the nurses sweep into that rewriting fire

(repeat chorus)

one potato two potato three potato four
what we gonna do when there isn't any more

The Guttersnipe (CD bonus track)

sing hallelujah for the guttersnipe lives
he's not at all behind all your middle-class 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 altar-boy smile
the glare of irrelevance as they taunt him and tease him
crying from the wilderness of middle-class 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 the 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 middle-class 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 middle-class 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 train-rides 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 hallelujah 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 thick-skinned 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

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