David Thomas Lyrics
Variations On A Theme
(1983)



Day At The Botanical Gardens

As we talk even now
I see so clear
The lovers that we'd always been.

Oh what a long time ago
I fear the bitter times
The bitter times we've come to know.

Strike up the band
In time or blind
We'll dance across the shifting sands.

Oh what a strange kind of faith
I fear the bitter times
The bitter times we've come to know.

Play the drums and hang the tunes
Dance beneath the dancing moon
We'll laugh and cry to think again of better days.

What about us two would interest you?

Writer: Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music


Bird Town

What's the name of this town?
Hey
You
With a duck on your head
What's the name of this town?

The name of the town
Believe it or not
Is Bird Town.

Hey kid
What's the name of this town?
Is it Giraffe Town?
Is it Armadillo Town?
Is it Frog Town?
Is it Marsupial Town?

No.

The name of the town
Believe it or not
Is Bird Town (Downtown).

Writers: Thomas - Thompson
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Island Music


Pedestrian Walk

The hands in my pockets
Are like buckets in the ocean
They sink but I know where they are.

The buckets in an ocean
Are like hands in my pockets
Attached to my arms they don't go far.

Hands in my pockets
Are like buckets in an ocean
Treasure they might uncover.

Buckets in an ocean
Are like hands in my pockets
A strange creepy thing they might uncover.

My hands are leaves tumbling down
We slip into a quiet inner world
Where the sunlight is rarely seen
And the moon is a golden dream
Bubbles
Bubbles of lint.

Writers: Thomas - Thornton
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Complete Music


The Egg And I

What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?
Sat on a wall
Had a great fall.

The Egg and I
Cannot deny
The consequence of being bootless.

What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?

What is the cause of his great fall?
Nobody warned him
That an egg does tend to roll.

Could it have been forgetfulness?
Isn't it a crying shame
The same things happen again?

Over again
Again
And again?!

What has become of the things Humpty Dumpty learned?

Writers: Fier - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Complete Music


Who Is It?

He is hunted for fur
Made into hats
He deserves better than that.

Now that you have a clue
Can you tell me who
Is it?

He's a hydraulic engineer
But he's shy
He opens habitats on nature's frontier
You might say it's his habitual career
Natural fluidity channeled by castoridae
See?

The evidence of ancient dams
Suggests an origin to prairies
And wetlands.

Hunted for fur
Made into hats
Tell me who it is deserves better than that.

Who?

Writers: Cooper - Cutler - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Arcades Music


Song Of Hoe

Woe for the weeds
When they meet me
Says Hoe.

Crocodile tears from a hoe.

The jackdaw crows
Use that hoe
Let those sprouts grow.

Woe for the weeds
Says Hoe
Ho ho ho.

Writer: Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music


Hurry Back

I've never known eyes to smile
Half so sadly as that
Until now
This moment.

b> I've never known words to fail me
Anything like this badly
Before
Before now.

Who would believe
That as bad as it gets
That it's just getting worse?
Burn Burn.

Who would believe
That as bad as it gets
That it's just getting worse?
Turn turn away.

Traces of the tears are not erased
By the tips of my fingers
Like they ought to
Ought to be.

Words are in my throat
They are caught there and lost drowned or they linger
To be swept
To be swept away.

The house is on fire
There is no one to save it
Is there really no way
And no one?

The flames that consume what is left of our love
Are fearsome
They're cruel
And merciless.

Writers: Jones - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music


The Rain

Worried man under a worried rain
Worried rain worried the roofing.

Worried man sang us a worried song
Worried rain will not be remembered.

Writers: Cutler - Fier - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Arcades Music / Complete Music


Semaphore

Busyness is better than idleness.

Here is a story sad but true
About a fellow who lives in a shoe
The lure of a task he cannot resist
There's never quite enough to do.

My hands are complicated thoughts
My thoughts are complicated too
My hands are busy days
My hands don't like holidays.

Here is the dread and the weightlessness
That comes where there is nothing to do
Who has not heard of the Hesperus
Helpless awash and askew?

Busyness or Idleness?

It's a flurry of awkwardnesses
That signals the lack of a clue
Monstrous indeed are the consequences
When there's never quite enough to do.

My hands are complicated
What me prevaricate?
You know the consequence
Of not enough to do.

My hands are Katzenjammers
Little kids
Big hammers
Grown men stare and stammer.

Busyness is better than idleness.

My hands articulated
Complicated thoughts
My thoughts are complicated too.

My hands are semaphores
Some semaphores are paradoxes
My hands are semaphores.

Some semaphores are boxes!

Writers: Cooper - Cutler - Monck - Thomas
© 1983 Hearpen Music / Arcades Music