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Des de Moor
Lyrics


Photographs in Empty Houses
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
voice, acoustic guitar, keyboards and programming

The title track is the first watershed track here, a departure from what had until then been my usual approach to songwriting, not least because it was written at the keyboard rather than the guitar. When I began it in late 1982 it was ridiculed by my then collaborator Laurence Piper for sounding like Elton John, but by the time I finished it in 1984 I'd discovered Kurt Weill, whose influence is obvious.
And so the pale sun rises through the layers of the sky
The beams light up the morning, but the shadows lie
On the dead lands, the dark lands, the vast and empty wastes
Like photographs in empty houses, like the loneliness of space.

Down the streets and past the rubbish heaps, the concrete ripped and thrown,
Comes the sound of hollow footsteps: the old man walks alone,
His eyes set deep in darkened sockets and his skin stretched taut and white,
But his ragged shoulders straighten in the sunbeam's ghostly light.

This war is long -- it drains the tears of spouses
As battlefields make memories of men.
Dull photographs on shelves of empty houses
Stand like the stones where flowers will bloom again.

Last night was cold: the sun anew caresses.
This life is poor, but sometimes bright with joy.
This strength is all a weakened heart possesses
With which to love the memory of a boy.

The early summer sun casts gold on tarmacadam.
A blade of green breaks through a broken paving stone.
While cities glow, this heart must in the sunlight gladden.
Where walls in darkness fall, this heart must glow alone.

The broken walls cast jagged shadows in the European town
And the whistle of the shells was breath to blow the houses down
And then the long awaited shudder of that shadow in the air...
Did it leave a breath of England through the smell of burning hair?

The television bulletins lag far behind the times:
So sickeningly simple just to read between the lines
But then the sickness in the stomach swells to sickness in the heart
As the shockwave still resounding tears another life apart.

This war is long: it drains the tears of spouses.
Still, private tears must fall to private dust.
Dull photographs on shelves of empty houses
Stand still apart as hidden lovers must.

Last night was cold. This grief is not for sharing
Save with the stones that shine in morning light.
This precious love remains to ease the bearing.
Wars must be lost that rob such comfort from the night.

And so the pale sun rises through the layers of the sky.
The beams light up the morning, but the shadows lie
On the dead lands, the dark lands, the vast and empty wastes

Written: Hertford and Hatfield, June 1983 and June 1984



 Words
Des de Moor


 Music
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.
Adjusted
I saw the sun (August Strindberg translated by Jonas Finlay; Des de Moor)
Aeroplanes
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