Des de Moor

The Family Way
Photographs in Empty Houses Photographs in Empty Houses
One of 9 original songs, 1 instrumental piece, 2 covers and 2 theatre songs on my first musical cabaret album.
More details.
Des de Moor
voices, keyboards and programming
Simon Walker
electric guitar

This song and its companion 'A Million Stars were written quickly early in 1989, soon after I'd moved into a council flat in a tower block in Deptford, South London, and formed a part of the set for the Irresistible Force's Dutch tour. A fragment of Morris Gould's drum programming survives on the recorded version, though today I usually perform it a capella. Simon Walker takes Morris's place on nasty rock guitar.
In the mud and rust of a playground
In a street of crumbling towers
She sits on a bench with a carrier bag
Smoking away the hours
With her hand on a rattling pushchair
As the children tumble and play.
A husband's curse and an empty purse
And another one on the way
And the neighbours jibe at her battered pride:
She's in the family way.

The family way, that's the term that's employed:
Not a figure of speech but a figure destroyed
And stretched to the limit with no time to think,
When you're flat on your back or you're standing at sink.
When you're pinching the pennies from pounds that won't pay
There's no choice but leave in the family way.

Not far from the rusty playground
There's a mirror that's stained with tears
From the sad old eyes of a beauty queen
Who's looking the worse for her years.
Once, she shone from a thousand covers
Until that unfortunate day
That things went too far with a guy in a bar
And we knew what her agent would say:
Now just settle down and hang up your crown.
Give up to the family way.

The family way! Yes, the doctors agreed.
It's natural to bleed and it's natural to breed
And to bring up your brood while the breadwinner wins.
You want an abortion? No end to your sins!
We wouldn't have got where we are now today
If women rejected the family way.

Back in the rusty playground
She's looking ahead to the day
Of that unnatural freedom from bleeding and breeding
That's finally finished the family way.

Written: Deptford and Camberwell, London, February 1989

Des de Moor

Des de Moor

© Copyright Des de Moor 1992

From the album Photographs in Empty Houses (see left).

All rights reserved. No material on these pages can be reproduced in whole or in part in any form, except for short passages for the purpose of quotation or review, without prior written permission of the copyright owner.

 More lyrics
Photographs in Empty Houses
Holy Water
The Family Way
A Million Stars
Fear of Bodily Fluids
Out of Step
Open the window softly (Brendan Behan; Mikis Theodorakis)
L'Ivrogne (Jacques Brel; François Rauber/Gérard Jouannest)
The Same Old Game
Under the Needle
Old Anne's Song (Christopher Logue, adapted from Bertolt Brecht; Des de Moor)
Picnic in the Free World Click here to visit the Downloads page for an MP3 file of this song.
I saw the sun (August Strindberg translated by Jonas Finlay; Des de Moor)
Lyrics Index