belfastsongs (the demos)

by livingstone

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03:54
2.
07:14
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03:56
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05:01
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04:53
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05:28

about

'belfastsongs' is an album of songs written about growing up in East Belfast 1964-1987.

credits

released June 4, 2012

Written by Ian Livingstone.

Produced, arranged, performed, recorded, engineered, mixed and mastered by Vic Bronzini-Fulton, Chris McEvoy, Mike Howlette & Ian Livingstone

Jonathan Rea played piano on ‘Peace’ and Gillian McCutcheon played clarinet on ‘Weekend’.

Recorded at Earthmusic Studios Belfast August 2011-March 2012.

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livingstone Belfast, UK

livingstone is a music project from Belfast.

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Track Name: Belfast
(Scene #1: Ravenhill Avenue)

During the ’74 Workers Strike, he set off for work one morning,
He reached the top of the street where he was beaten by ‘the boys’,
He’d both his legs and arms broken…
…by tattooed hands with nails bitten to the quick,
That would be tonight around the hips of a fat arsed girl.

In Belfast; where you had to keep looking over your shoulder.
In Belfast; where an ‘aitch’ or a ‘haitch’ could get you killed.
In Belfast; where the women cry but the men keep it all in.
My Belfast: you nearly had me… you nearly had me.

(Scene #2: Millisle)

Sitting in the back of the car, we’re driving to Millisle,
We’ll be in ‘Little Shankill’ in about half an hour,
They’ll give me a couple of quid, then they’ll hit the ‘First & Last’,
For an afternoon’s drinking,
I’d sit outside on the pavement and watch the people going by,
It was my favourite thing to do,
Then I’d go back into the pub and beg them to take me home,
And we’d all get in the car and drive all the way back to Belfast…

…where you had to keep looking over your shoulder.
In Belfast; with the Prods and the Taigs and the Glens and the Blues.
In Belfast; where the women cry but the men keep it all in.
My Belfast: you nearly had me… you nearly had me.

Sure it’s old but it is beautiful.
Soldiers are we....

© Ian Livingstone 2012
Track Name: The Wee House
I picked myself off the floor and walked down to ‘The Wee House’,
It was half-eight on Sunday morning and the place was jammed.
The place was hiving with brilliant losers…just like me.

You see the girl who used to sing opera?
She’s just pissed herself.
She’s trying to stand up straight and keep her dignity.
She used to dream of singing at Covent Garden,
Now she’s walking through the Wee House with piss-stains on her dress.

But it’ll be alright when Tuesday comes, and the dole-cheque arrives.
I’m going to buy a ticket on the bus and go to the sae,
And watch the sun going down…over me.

It’s funny how things turn out – you look in the mirror and you’re young,
The next time you look you are older.

And there you sit in the corner.
You’ve just puked into your pint.
You’ve thrown it all over the floor, you just don’t care.
You used to be a musician in the West End,
Now you pick your guitar with a beer mat, as the old boys sings their songs.

But it’ll be alright when your claim comes through,
When you fell outside the ‘King Dick’,
And you stand to make about three grand,
And when we get it we’re going on such a bender.

It’s funny how things turn out – you look in the mirror and you’re young,
The next time you look you are older.

Sure, if you’re not marching then you’re fighting…

© Ian Livingstone 2012
Track Name: Middle Man
Pick up the brightest light from the big antenna,
That’s beaming out from somewhere in the stars,
And the song is in you, and the beat’s forgiven you,
Let’s start again as if our eyes have just been opened,

To the brightest light from the big antenna,
That’s beaming out from somewhere in the stars,
And the old man Joe sings,
And his old girl’s listening,
She does a dance as the Word floats right through her.

She sees the brightest light from the big antenna,
That’s beaming out from somewhere in the stars,
And the radio don’t pick it up,
And the TV don’t pick it up,
It needs a Middle Man,
The Middle Man is you.

The oul’ lad said he once saw a spaceship,
And everyone thought he was mad,
He even took a photograph that he keeps for himself,
Right here in his back pocket.
But it’s all creased and torn,
Because he took it back in ’64,
And it don’t look like much,
But if you look real hard there’s something…

It’s like a big white light coming out of the blue,
It’s like a big white light coming out of the blue,

It’s sees the brightest light from the big antenna,
That’s beaming out from somewhere in the stars,
And the radio don’t pick it up,
And the TV don’t pick it up,
It needs a Middle Man,
The Middle Man is you.

© Ian Livingstone 2012
Track Name: Weekend
Here he comes; it’s wee Davy dandering up the street,
He's just knocked off work and it's Friday,
He’s goin' to meet his two mates outside the Raven,
And then they're headin down to the Westbourne.
There's a good band on tonight and they do lots of blues stuff,
The three of them'll get well-oiled and play some air guitar,
Then a Chinese on the way home and fall asleep on the chair with the plate still on your knee,
Life is good. It's Friday night in Belfast.

Look, you work all week so you deserve to blow off a bit of steam, know what I mean?
And the Saturday morning pounding head gets cured with the first pint of the day talking to Jackie,
He's talking about Goodwood and Newbury, and the going is firm,
There's a cert' in the four o'clock and he's got a score on it,
It's a good thing - he can feel it in his water
He'll listen to the race on his wee transistor radio while cheering on the Glens,
Life is good. It's Saturday in Belfast.

AYE!

Davy's woke up on Sunday and last night’s just a blank,
His ma's made him an Ulster fry, he can smell the bacon from his room,
He'll wash it down with a big glass of milk, you couldn't beat it with a big stick,
He'll go out to the back yard in his bare feet and sit and have a smoke,
And the wheels of his brain start kicking in with the thought of going in to work tomorrow,
And the start of yet another week,
He gets a call from Beeper, saying their meeting up in the Welders,
To watch the Sunday football on their big screen TV,
Life is good. It's Sunday in Belfast.

© Ian Livingstone 2012
Track Name: Peace
I don't ask much of this world,
I just want to stay alive and get on with my thing,
I'll do anything for a quiet life,
You see If you're happy then I'm happy too.

I've got my wee routine and it floats along nice,
It doesn't require much just a bit of quiet,
To give my head peace to take in the stillness,
Of being with my Self.

Isn't that what we're all after?
…some Peace.

When you get those moments alone,
With just you and a presence,
When you feel that shiver,
It means you are connected.

Connected to the Voice,
Connected to the Sun,
Connected to the Spirit,
Connected to The One,

Sure, isn't that what we're all after?
…some Peace

And at that moment there are no laws,
There's just you and that sacred moment.
When the world outside disappears,
And the quiet takes you home.

Sure, isn't that what we're all after?
…some Peace

© Ian Livingstone 2012
Track Name: Home
When I get my tired ass over this bridge I will be home,
When I've punched that clock for the very last time, I will be home,
When I've dragged these bones over the cobblestones of every back street I will be home,
I'm ready to go...home...

You see I thought I'd see my name in lights,
Shining like a beacon over Broadway,
But I spent my time getting wasted,
I never noticed I was ageing,
'til it hit me, and boy did it hit me,
With what I have become.

When I've been a dick for the very last time I will be home,
When I've wound my neck in and taken my head right out of my ass I will be home,
When I see what has always been sitting right in front of me the whole damn time I will be home,
I'm ready to go...home...

We think we're special, like we're a jewel in a crown,
But mate, this universe will keep on even when you're not around,
As you're clinging on by your fingernails to this life,
Remember you'll never get out of here alive,
So I'll see you in the next world...
…all the Geordie Best…

© Ian Livingstone 2012