Portraits

by a Singer of Songs

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1.
05:17
I fear the unknown I grieve when people go Will the hydrangeas blossom in the April snow? When I lay down my head I think of things I could have said The TV flickers but we close our eyes instead You ache, I bleed You mow the lawn, I trim the trees You keep the bread I make ‘cause there’s always birds to feed When I’m in a strong mood I’m unafraid of the simplest truths We still drive our nails through the darkest wood No, we’re not the winning kind We need privacy to speak our minds Time’s no longer a foaming sea, it’s a luring lake My skin has changed but I am still the same I promise I will always look up when you call me by your name When we ride on our bikes By the river, side by side Then we sit down and wait for the ducks to swim by We get home before the rain You lie down and I press play Paul Anka sings and we are one, we are the same I yearn to go to sleep ‘Cause my mother speaks to me in my dreams Time’s no longer a foaming sea, it’s a luring lake My skin has changed but I am still the same I promise I will always look up when you call me by your name Now whichever way I head I end up face to face with death But I’ll fight until there’s no more blood to shed When we said no more goodbyes We’d always be by each other’s side It was probably a lie but we still try We still try
2.
03:57
My eyelids are heavier Than they’ve ever been I pull the darkness Up to my chin This life in sawdust I bent my back building roofs Turning holes into windows Then I came back home to you The silence you hear Is the violence I feel In this emptiness you see I am down on my broken knees Please stay close to me Bombs started falling When I spoke my first words My lungs started crumbling When I was ready to be heard I signed a truce with fear When you picked me from the crowd You led our first dance Into this tender hideout The silence you hear Is the violence I feel In this emptiness you see I am down on my broken knees Oh please stay close to me
3.
02:55
The mixtape that you made You picked a rainy summer day You said “You’re small, But these songs will make you feel great” Every day after school I ran up to my little room To hear Paul Simon croon XTC and Talking Heads too, fafafafa You kept adding names to the list Otis Redding, REM and Prince Now I know you must have grinned When I erased George Michael and Sting Instead I taped The Kinks Then someday I don’t know when You stopped being my hero and became my friend I gave you Pavement, we sang Creep Sparklehorse made us weep, lalalala And then I moved away And I put the tapes In an old suitcase And the ink started to fade Now we don’t even listen to CD’s It’s all streaming and mp3’s There’s no cracks, it’s all so clear But it’s pretty flaws you want to hear I picked a rainy autumn day To take the mixtape that you made Out of the dusty old suitcase I sat down and I pressed play Buddy it still made me feel great Buddy you still make me feel great
4.
I am the man at the table I wear an old suit without labels My old guitar bothers the waiter My coins in neat piles on the table My eyes on the yellow page The same words I’ve read for ages About the mellow man Who sat down when everyone ran Many have called me unstable They say I am lost in a fable Ambition makes such blurry pictures It gnaws away at your convictions Now the only things I really need Are the sun, a place to sit, a tree The only thing I really want Is silence before the hunt I’m many tiny bits That don’t always seem to fit Tied together by a thread A small breeze can tear me to shreds I’m nowhere, I’m home I’m nowhere home I’m nowhere, I’m home I walk out and still have no label My coins in the hand of the waiter You didn’t even notice I faded ‘Cause I was just a man at a table
5.
04:13
I cry when I read good books I sing out of tune when I feel good I’d re-draw the world if I could My throat shuts in the face of stress Laying my head on your chest Is my favorite way to rest I love my brightly colored dress I say more when I mean less I love the city, I miss the farm I’ve been loved and I ‘ve been harmed I’ve fallen into broken arms I’ve lived life day by day And when hardship came my way I fought hard and I prevailed Now the tumor’s gone away I’ve found my place and I want to stay Everywhere I look, all I see are roses I feel your skin like wind on leaves Our hands are tight like soil and seed Keep your feet close so mine don’t freeze Every end is a brand-new start I wake up early and I work hard But I’m not naive about the reward Death has such a tender face I miss Laura every day Everywhere I look, all I see are roses When the broken kid calls me mom I hope I’ll be strong and I’ll be calm We’ll hold him in our broken arms Take my hand, don’t mind the thorns, Let’s wander through the storm Then come home and keep it warm Let’s grow old unafraid No need for light in this perfect shade Everywhere I look, all I see are roses
6.
04:51
It was a cold winter night When you shoved your body aside There was a silence in the trees And the wind spoke through the leaves It was about them, you and me It was about nightmares and dreams It was about beauty to be About being lifted by a flock of bees I remember on the beach that day You said you’d shine in the shade You said you’d grow to be great And when you sang you’d be Beyoncé We all laughed at those words You said I can no longer be hurt You put your sunglasses on You said I might look weak but I feel so strong And then when you shaved your head You meant to cry but you laughed instead You said now I’m ready for true love And you looked down but he came from above You put your hiking boots on You crossed horizons you thought were long gone And when your bones started to ache He held you so hard you thought you’d break You showed him all bees can carry You said it’s a shame to be buried There you stood, mountain high Whispering I want to fly… You were a smile in the sun You were the breeze before it’s gone You were so easily pleased And yet so hard to defeat And then that day in the sun We said goodbye and we were one It was a cold winter day It took millions of bees to carry you away Because you had grown to be great…
7.
04:31
Mexican horns Weep on the old car radio My father sings along He looks back, grins And gets our names wrong I still smell the horse on him Our little town in the sun It shivers like dry skin My sisters hum then sigh In the song the doomed lover Bravely dies We park and I run inside Past my mum, frantic and tired She says there’s kids in the street But it’s darkness that I seek With my imaginary friends Little notebooks to protect Pale words like fragile seeds If we want to grow we can never be In the sunlight Mexican horns Blast on the hi-fi stereo Our home high above the street Still city life washes over me It’s a little life I live Proudly small is all I aim to be Frantic and tired Slanted and enchanted By the saddest melodies When the darkness pulls at me Old horses set me free It took a thousand wounds to heal True lovers don’t die, they bleed I move not to sit still I keep adding notebooks to fill But I keep the last page blank for you Each word will grow into truth In the sunlight
8.
04:40
You were so skinny I could barely see you You were sitting on a window sill Smoking a spliff It was a 7 floor building A cold night to be chilling You were so far above the buzz The buzz I was in So I lingered and dallied I was patient & ready But it was the night sky you fancied I was too small to be seen So I pulled myself up to you With strength I didn’t have I yelled the dust off my voice And when I rose above the noise You looked down, and I was seen (x2) You took my hand in your hand To chase our favorite bands PJ Harvey & Nacho Vegas We sang their words like they’d made us We were beautiful freaks With only knowledge to seek A whole world yet to change We held our dreams at close range We let maps rule our lives We lived along their dotted lines That never went back to start But then they took us apart And all our favorite songs Turned out plain sad when sung alone We were one by a thin line And when we pushed from both sides It bended, but it did not break (x2) Now our sill ain’t that high Home is where we both are We don’t need the sky To imagine the stars We’ll whisper new songs And we’ll know what they mean I’ll turn down the volume When you fall asleep We’ll turn our maps around We’ll make ‘up’ what was ‘down’ We’ll find comfort in our names When our bodies start to ache We won’t change the world But the world won’t change us We’ll have our silence be heard Our truths read in the dust When the buzz becomes too loud We’ll turn our backs to the crowd I’ll put my arm through your arm And we’ll walk away We’ll walk away…
9.
09:28
Old red car, blanket of stars Driving through town with both windows down We didn’t follow the signs, your hand on mine I pulled over, you smiled, we leaned in to kiss and hide The engine roared, you pulled your shirt straight I dropped you off a block from home You leaned in the window and said you wanted more of the same The first bombs fell digitally On YouTube, not on TV, so far away from you and me Suddenly we were enemies You father in his shiny uniform, he said I would hang from your family tree Then the walls started to shake, the sky started to break Planes whistled and then buried us in clouds of hate I will go home someday And I’ll be happier than I’ve ever been Weeping amongst the ruins Old red car, blanket of stars Medicines, blankets and beans on the seat where you used to be Broken signs point to the ground The few who remained on their feet wouldn’t run They said “we don’t need the blankets, we need machine guns” When the clouds closed in on me, you wept and said “let’s just flee” But it’s treason to run off with the archenemy Old red car, parked in the wrong place Its shattered headlights like sad eyes saying it’s time for you to go away I will go home someday And I’ll be happier than I’ve ever been Weeping amongst the ruins Old red car, blanket of stars 2000 miles from home, but you sound even farther away on the phone You say “please, I’m ready to go, to hang from my family tree” But I lie and I say I don’t love you anymore Silence, click and then a dial tone The old red car’s engine roars and leaves me standing here all alone I will go home someday And I’ll be happier than I’ve ever been Weeping amongst the ruins

about

LIMITED EDITION "BOX OF SONGS AND STORIES" AVAILABLE AT WWW.SONCANCIONES.COM

credits

released October 4, 2019

Stories lived, enjoyed and suffered by Alida, Paul, Alain, The Man At The Table, Rosa, Laura, Mabel, Agus & Yehia.
Songs written by Lieven Scheerlinck.
Recorded by Alain Quateau in his beautiful basement studio (Haaltert, Belgium).
Produced by Alain Quateau & Lieven Scheerlinck.
All songs sung and played by Lieven Scheerlinck, Alain Quateau, Marc Quinart, Maaike Quateau and the Quateau family choir (Kathleen, Silke, Jasper, Maaike & Ward)
Trumpet on “Mabel” played by Maarten Decombel and recorded at Studio Trad by Ward Dhoore & Jeroen Geerinck.

Artwork by Celia de los Arcos.

Management, love and care by Mabel Alonso.

For more songs & stories, visit www.asingerofsongs.com & www.soncanciones.com.

© & ℗ 2019, Son Canciones SL. Licensed by SGAE.

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a Singer of Songs Barcelona

I sing songs in the bathroom. In packed and empty venues. In gardens, sheds and churches. Once in a weird Finnish gym and also in the oldest house in Switzerland. On a boat and in a bus and in a horse farm. In noisy Italian bars and spookily silent Belgian rooms. On my own and with people.
I sing songs and if you want, you can listen.
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