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Des de Moor
Lyrics


Water of Europe
Water of Europe Water of Europe
One of 12 new English chansons and three covers on this 1999 solo album.
More details.
Des de Moor
voices, acoustic guitar, castanets, whip sample, handclaps
Stanley Adler
backing voice, handclaps
Julia Doyle
double bass

The title track goes back to the summer of 1993 and the batch of songwriting I did for my 'relaunch' gig. Drawing on travels in 1991 and 1992, it is also something of a rock song like 'Joey's Dreams' (though with a cabaret central section), but my ambitions for recording it as such have since been slimmed to a more manageable and appropriate scale.
"Si je désire un eau d'Europe, c'est la flache
Noire et froide où vers le crépuscule embaumé
Un enfant accroupi plein de tristesses, lâche
Un bateau frêle comme un papillon de mai."

Arthur Rimbaud, 'Le Bateau Ivre' (1871)

Coast to coast on a second class summer night's train I travelled
With those on a journey that only necessity drives.
Over sports bags their looks gave low measure
To those who would travel for pleasure.
It would be best not to stray from the nest in our lives.

Coast to coast joining the dots in Thomas Cook's table I travelled.
I saw picture book yellow-washed streets from the windows pass by,
Each brick made of law and order
To build an impassable border,
A moat and a keep where the ignorant sleep till they die.

If they desire a water of Europe
It is the cold grey sea that divides
Or the deep and inviolable water
Taking and making sides.

From a clingfilm coast stretched out to a far horizon I travelled,
Turning my back on the river's negotiable mouth.
The blister-skin fractured, revealing
The warm mud flesh never healing.
I left the gulls' feast and I turned to the East and the South.

From a bone-white beach on a boat of varnish and diesel I travelled
On a wine-dark sea puddle-still in the midsummer sun.
I stood on the isle where we landed
At the food of a starry-ringed standard
Defending the flank with the fort and the tank and the gun.

If they desire a water of Europe
It is the total exclusion zone
With Hansa Towns, Cinque Ports and barbed wire
Guarding the Folk at home

And if they fear a water of Europe
It is the Mediterranean Sea
Where on the South shore they imagine the Other
Staring back sullenly.

We're instituting a water of Europe,
Reconstituting a water of Europe,
Half-hearted disputing a water of Europe,
Concerned with polluting a water of Europe.

There are no tears in the eyes of the Protestant burghers,
Those fixed granite faces on gallery walls
Convinced their control of the means of production's
Established eternal in gilded town halls.
Yet...

Manneken Pis on his Brussels street corner
Has costumes as motley as history's forms.
Does he smile as he fondles his tiny bronze willy
And think of the future as gathering storms?
Yes, there will come storms.

When vomit spews forth from the bank autotellers
And truth decontaminates water supplies
And shopkeepers' features distort to resemble
The merchants of Antwerp through Piet Breugel's eyes,
Apocalypse comes for the satisfied classes,
Their interests distrained and their heads to a spike.
The fracturing chains of the workers of Europe
Have strangled the lad with his thumb in the dijk.

If they desire a water of Europe
It is the cold grey sea that divides
Or the deep and inviolable water
Taking and making sides
And if they desire a water of Europe
It is the total exclusion zone
With Hansa Towns, Cinque Ports and barbed wire
Guarding the Folk at home

And if they desire a water of Europe
It is the river, both linkage and line
For suspicious captains and traders
On Donau and Rhône and Rhein

And if I desire a water of Europe
It is the flood tide breaking the bay,
Drowning the dijk and the polder,
Washing the old away,
Washing the old away,
Washing the old away.

Written: Amsterdam and Deptford, London, October 1992 and May 1993



 Words
Des de Moor


 Music
Des de Moor


© Copyright Des de Moor 1995, 1999

First recorded in demo form on Margins. Later re-recorded for the album Water of Europe (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
Dirty Pictures
Heart of a Heartless World
To Those Born After (Bertolt Brecht; Hanns Eisler)
Joey's Dreams
Margins
Water of Europe
Big Sister
Sleaze City
Sharp Contradictions
Ordinary Joe (Andrew Brooks/Michael Hodges)
My Father Said (Jacques Brel)
Grandmother was a Hero
Avocado
Last Orders Please
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