Tales From The Cuckoo's Nest

by Jamie Flett

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1.
The hailstones set off car alarms in the middle of the spring Just goes to show we don't know what the next wind will bring Too much time to think's as bad as just not enough Give your enemy time to move he's gonna call your bluff Well I've got to stop complaining because the reassuring solutions Are a problem in themselves and I just can't stand to listen to you Preaching to the choir Your back room bathed in the evening's golden glow If I'm honest I just don't know what it just goes to show, you know but Too much time to think's as bad as just not enough Give your enemy time to move he's gonna call your bluff Well I've got to stop complaining because the reassuring solutions They're a problem in themselves and I just can't stand to listen to you Preaching to the choir
2.
Trying to have a little conversation with you It's like trying to speak to a bouncing ball "You're a hard one to read" she says to me I said "you should try it from this side" And your view it wouldn't seem so hard at all Over here the view looks foggier still Well she flicks me a glance like she was taking aim Makes me think maybe I should be ducking Or should I try my luck? Cause we could go out for a ffffffff.. feed the ducks It's a merry dance we lead each other As we chance our arms on our hearts
3.
The gypsy plays in the street her accordion notes are so sweet While the bright orange young girls slouch by with their fries from the Mickey D's Dropping milkshake bright pink at their feet Talking so fast that there's no time to notice or to eat And later, she'll stand by the station while they stride by in preoccupation The seagulls bathing on the Clyde disturb the flat calm As you stare into the morning the evening has ebbed into the a. m . And you wonder where the gypsy slept and wonder where your memories laid their head In a moment of clarity you believe you can see Their sleepy head in a soft morning bed
4.
Today was a day when I felt like I was from outer space I could not look you in the face Feeling like I was from outer space Then you touched my skin and I felt like it was all back in place It was all back in place I could look anyone in the face
5.
Cactus Face 05:10
My broken teeth are tearing my lips Cactus face is scouring your hips A dry wind from a hotter continent Crackles on the edge of this moment Splits the hard outline of what we meant Let's love tonight because Tomorrow will be the fight Like the soldiers who go out alone Knowing this day could be the one they don't come home We don't need to make something that will go on and on and on and on I'm going down like I fell from a ship I was in the rigging but I lost my grip Tumbling out of my own element Breaking the surface of this moment Swept away on the current from what we meant Let's love tonight because Tomorrow will be the fight Like the soldiers who go out alone Knowing this day could be the one they don't come home We don't need to make something that will go on and on and on and on
6.
She is my mistress She is my mother She gives me patience For my brothers She can save me She can feed me She can love me She can leave me When I am attacked She defends me She has resource she can lend me When I am lying she can call me She would not stand there if I were falling She is my mistress She is my mother She gives me patience For my brothers For my brothers
7.
Do It 05:10
I'm going to spend all my money on records So I could wake you up with a new tune every day And I'm not going to eat any breakfast If you told me to give mine away But I'm not going to do it for me If I can't do it for you Well it seems like such a long time Since I woke up with a tune that wasn't sad I've got a few pounds in my pocket Think I'll go and see what's to be had But I'm not going to spend them on me If I can't spend them on you Now I don't read the papers Cause I'd quite like to stay as a fool And there ain't much news you could tell me That would cheer me up as a rule But I'm not going to cheer up with just me If I can't do it with you
8.
So Long 04:11
I thought I had it coming Now I don't even know where to go I thought I had something all worked out Turns out I don't even know I spent so long trying to get here That I don't even like the view I spent so long pretending to get the joke Now I don't laugh cause what I thought now I know it was all true When it's not me Where does he come from? Would he do the things I push down? Am I lying? Ashamed of myself? Is honesty so bad for your health? I spent so long trying to get here That I don't even like the view I spent so long pretending to get the joke Now I don't laugh cause what I thought now I know it was all true
9.
Nigg Bay 05:08
Well I come from a Silver City by the sea Where there's still a chance you won't come home I can't see all these things you want me to see Can't you hear the swell crash and foam? My grandfather painted the trawlers at home When he no longer could go to sea And he spat on his whetstone and he carved them from wood And he named them for my family So we'll mutter some kind of prayer For friends and lovers on white horses The will and the wish from dry land Like a light to keep them on their courses So the other he built the boats on the Clyde Like sailing skyscrapers they rose But I'm thankful that he was not here to see Those yards when the doors had to close Now black gold is the soul of the North when I go And the trawlers are just on TV But the dolphins are jumping in the harbour below And the larks beside the golf course sing for me So we'll mutter some kind of prayer For friends and lovers on white horses The will and the wish from dry land Like a light to keep them on their courses
10.
Kim 03:24
She looks like an actress But the only thing she can stand to see Are the cartoons on the telly She smiles even though they're not funny The cartoons are more real than her reality She can return to a place where she does not have to face The fear that lies behind her loud profanity And she danced for the money We were just pretending we were grown up then And we didn't see it coming She laughed though her eyes told it's not funny She used to show me how she would burn the money She won't return to this place But I'll remember her face As young, shining and defiant

about

Tales from the Cuckoo’s Nest is Jamie’s forthcoming release on Big Rock Candy Records and as with his first album Cold But Bright he is examining contradictions – his own as well as those of his environment. As the title of this new offering might suggest to anyone familiar with Ken Kesey’s book or the film it inspired the songs are at once trying to make some sense of and expressing bemusement at the problems of trying to stay free and human (even sane) in an apparently lunatic and often oppressive framework of modern living. Not from the perspective of a grumpy old man - although his younger brother would almost certainly disagree with this - but through the affectionate eyes of a lover of life wondering at some of our self-imposed constraints and problems and wishing for some simplicity, at the same time as revelling in what keeps us honest and free. In this kind of spirit it was played with a collection of available friends (nominally the 'Flaming Jets') on a collection of available instruments.

The core trio of Jamie, his brother Andy playing acoustic guitar and singing and Meggan Reid playing violin and occasional cello has stood the test of some time and they were assisted here by a shifting cast of friends and players adding double bass, glockenspiel, ukelele and various percussion. It is a deliberate approach to use real instruments that you can hear and feel being played, as well as plastic tubes, lengths of metal and brass candlesticks. Even some of the stranger noises or sound effects usually started out being played on a handy object or instrument or were sung and then twisted rather than having been entirely digitally generated.

There is space for different stories and different types of storytelling and characters across the ten tracks from the traditional folk-song style and real life family references of Nigg Bay to the disjointed hallucinatory imagery of Cactus Face. There is an elegy for a friend in Kim, there are, of course, the difficulties of relating with other people and the opposite sex in It Came From Outer Space and Bouncing Ball and a gypsy and some Glaswegian teenagers populate Sauchie Waltz. Just Goes to Show has the air of someone wondering just what the hell is going on sometimes. Some of the tales are of introspective journeys - or maybe internal is a better word – for example in So Long.

As the Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing had it: “It is as understandable that a man should undertake a journey into his own mind, and get confused and lost, as that he should discover a new ocean or explore a new continent... I hope if I ever lose my way in my travels I have the courage to endure, the luck to get back and the grace to express myself with lucidity, insight and humility.” Whether Jamie does or not will be decided by the listener but it’s something for him to aim for.

credits

released October 22, 2012

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