Overspill

by James Henry

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about

Overspill is a short story, about those living in a modern economy, for whom the phrase “boom and bust” has no real meaning. They seem to permanently exist in a scramble for…..well, mere existence. Their houses stand in largely forgotten areas; their jobs (if they have them) are generally poor payers, even in the “good times”; their children go to schools which are mediocre at best - at worst, they are dangerous; their public services try, but often fall short through lack of funds, poor management or both. Yet these places can never be dismissed or regarded as beaten.

In many instances, that which seems ugly on the surface often masks a significant depth of beauty.

credits

released 17 June 2011
All tracks written, performed and produced by James Henry
Engineered by James Henry
Mastered by Jon Astley at Close To The Edge, London
Piano (“Overspill”, “Milsom Heights”, “October Now”) – Ben Laver
Trumpet (“Overspill”) – Dominic Cotton
Photography – Jonathan Stewart
Design & Layout - Darren Morris at Uberlab
Manufacturing - Disc International, London
“Libretto” – James Henry

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Track Name: Milsom Heights
Clean spring jet of a sprinkling hose
Along Milsom Heights
Soaks me wet as a jet pops under the skyline
Lamplight bulb has imploded
Darkening Milsom Heights
A knee-jerk reaction is unwise

Milsom Heights! Milsom Heights!
Milsom Heights...........

Old girl waving at no-one
Walking up Milsom Heights (walking up….walking up)
They all blank her and never thank her
She's not fine (walking up….walking up)
But she fights on like a dog to make it
In withering tights (withering tights…..)
A young buck's aggression is her prize

Chorus

Would you find these same delights
In a bungalow on Elspeth Row....?
[You’ll make a packet from the sale,
You can trust me….you can trust me
You can TRUST me!]

Buy to let in a recessed jungle
On Milsom Heights
It won't be gloomy, the loft is roomy
And lagged right
Ease your debt and consolidate
Along Milsom Heights
The neighbours will not be a hard time

Chorus ---------La, lo-di-oh, la-dn-da (rpt)
Track Name: Overspill
Overspill - living in the overspill
On the edge of dominant economies
Suburb evacuees pass right under the overspill
Packed into a train through some tunnelling
Work is such a drain
But it's better than living with a padlock & grille
In the overspill

Overspill - such a poor relationship
There is underfunding and a cemetery
Buses can never be there on time in the overspill
City down the road suffered overkill
In relation to full employment and buildings
And it's lording it, still
Over the overspill

Who decided on this name?
"Outskirts" isn't the same
That's because they're different
And live behind a hill

Overspill - let me take a photograph
I can show the rest of a contented world
Why it should have a youth club and playground
The boys & girls want to hang around these environments
They can learn a lot
While the bulldozers elsewhere
Help the workmen get ill
In the overspill
Track Name: Checkout Idling
Checkout idling
The man in front pays on a card
Just for a bag of mint creams
Checkout idling
There’s the conveyor belt, jerking along
Waking the girl from her dreams

When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
If you get inclined to it
You can do whatever you want

Checkout idling
Holding profanities under my breath
While I’m arranging my cans
Neck out
Sidling up to the chip and pin
Fate worse than death
Girl says “Hello” as she scans

When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
If you want to strike through it
You can be as bold as this font
When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
You can do whatever you want…….

Checkout idling
Head for the overspill, laden with bags
Stopped for a light by a tramp

When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
If you want to strike through it
You can be as bold as this font
When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
When you put your mind to it……..

When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
When you put your mind to it
You can do whatever you want
When you put your mind to it……
You can do whatever you want……
Track Name: A Bus That Never Comes
The frost on this December night is biting
And feasting on my fingers and my thumbs
I try to think of life that’s more exciting
As I am waiting for a bus that never comes

The lights of every late night shop are glaring
They deafen us with neon-vested hums
I ponder how I left you so despairing
As I am waiting for a bus that never comes

A fleeting flash of madness descended
We laughed and sang believing we were free
As soon as it began, it was ended
For what we had was all that it could be
Brief ecstasy

But now I hear a motor in the distance
Soon I see a van of drunken bums
It passes on a path of least resistance
As I am waiting for a bus that never comes

It’s hard to understand what is happening
To cool it when the whole world is ablaze
Dividing, like a zip that is unfastening,
We know we’ll have to go our separate ways
And not return

The frost on this December night deceives me
It does not cut the bone, it only numbs
My guilty feeling rises up and leaves me
As I am waiting for a bus that never comes

Oh-oh-oh
I try to think of life that’s more exciting
As I am waiting for a bus that never comes
Track Name: Industrial Injury
(Instrumental)
Track Name: I'm So Drunk
I’m so drunk – it’s the greatest feeling
I’m so drunk – from the floor to the ceiling
Flying high in the depths I’ve sunk
I’m so drunk

Off my head – I can lie here steaming
One more red – I can stand up screaming
Ain’t gonna live like no Sistine monk
I’m so drunk

We’re all fine
We’ve got wine and we’ve got beer (get the ale in, get the ale in)
We don’t care what’s out there
We’re all in here (get the ale in, get the ale in)

I’m so drunk – wouldn’t know my own face
Out in front – going at my own pace
Get the DJ to play some “Punk”
I’m so drunk

We’re all fine
We’ve got wine and we’ve got beer (get the ale in, get the ale in)
We don’t care what’s out there
We’re all in here (get the ale in, get the ale in)

I hear my liver beg for mercy
But I’m too busy pointing Percy
(If you’re a girl it will be Mary…..)
I’m so drunk (get the ale in, get the ale in)
I’m so drunk (get the ale in, get the ale in)
I’m so drunk (get the ale in, get the ale in)
I’m so drunk (get the ale in, get the ale in)
Get the ale in!
Hi-yo-wah
Hi-de-oh-why-oh-wah
Hi-yo-wah
Hi-de-oh-why-oh-wah
Track Name: Don't Let It Happen
I see your face and smile - I’ve seen it for a while
But there is a chance you’ll run a mile
Don’t let it happen

We never said too much - and now we have as such
But we’re on the point of losing touch
Don’t let it happen

When you’ve known someone so long
When there’s a friendship that is strong
Sometimes you take for granted, wrong or right
They’ll always be around

So if you feel in doubt - just try and talk it out
When part of you says “Go walkabout”
Don’t let it happen

Repeat Middle

But I see your face and smile - I’ve seen it for a while
But there is a chance you’ll run a mile
Don’t let it happen

I’ll take the time to find - the love that’s left behind
If there is a “goodbye” on your mind
Don’t let it happen - don’t let it happen
Don’t let it happen - don’t let it happen
Track Name: I'd Be All Over That
I’d be all over that
I would be there like a bad rash
I’d be all over that
Full coverage in a flash
Attaching like a cement glue

Invitation to a gathering, where I only know two people
Putting lawyers under oath whenever they are up in court
Never laughing at somebody who is certain they are funny
Comfort where I’m sat

Chorus

Monday evening after finishing a working day excited
Sunday dinner at the house of an amusing old friend
Saturday morning with you, doing something quite disgusting
A working laundromat

Chorus

Getting someone else to decorate whenever it is needed
Eating chicken with a crispy kind of skin on its back
Ian Dury singing “kippers in the grill” on “This Is What We Find”
A woman with some fat (in all the right places, if you know what I mean)

Chorus
Track Name: Freak Summer
Hey little darling won’t you give me one chance
To prove my love to you
Hey little girl, won’t you give me one glance
To show you love me too
Come on down to my level - and I will lend you my shovel
You can dig me baby - we can hold hands tonight
Hold hands tonight

The weather is hot, this is a freak summer
December it’s not, this is a freak summer
I’m so glad you could be here - now the summer is a freak

Fling off your corset, let your blubber see the sun
A dream is coming true
I wouldn’t force it, if you want to leave it on
But your face is turning blue
Just make sure your decision - keeps you right in my vision
I can dig you, baby - we can hold hands tonight
Hold hands tonight

Chorus

The sandman put my ashes in his egg-timer
And mounted all his friends, for he’s a social climber
The heat has gotten to him - he’s been twitching all week
A dance to sweep the country - now the summer is a freak

Now little darling you have wrestled his dance
Until your body’s sore
You’ve hit some trouble, so I’m sending for my shovel
(Just) to get you off the floor
So get on down to my level - ditch your date with the devil
I can dig you baby - we can hold hands tonight
Hold hands tonight

Chorus to fade………
Track Name: The Sun Is Cracking The Flags
The sun is cracking the flags
Shoving the nags o' the world back underneath their stones
The sun is mugging the rain
Making it plain to the world, she's out to ease them bones

Sun in Valletta - listening to Frank & to Captain Beefheart
Makes me feel better
Since I split up with my childhood sweetheart

Chorus

Fly to the Algarve - can't forget how she used to tease me
Makes me feel sex-starved
Only the weather can't wait to please me

Chorus

Sail in to Rio - served with papers by two hyenas
Dampens my brio
She's taking me to the bloody cleaners

Chorus

In Nicosia - smash the phone in a fit of frenzy
Just miss Maria
Walk over, kiss her, get married Wednesday

Chorus

Leave me bathing, gently...........
Leave me bathing, gently……….
Why don’t you leave me bathing gently this evening……?

Chorus

Oh-ho-may-he, oh-ho-may-he
(Yellow rumpled dufflecoat)
I KNOW
Track Name: Blue Yonder Bay
Hang glide by the clear blue seas
Hang right at the rocky crags
Underneath the breeze

Look over blue yonder bay

Sweep across the sweltering sand
Like a bird of paradise
Drifting into land

Look over blue yonder bay

And wonder why you left it for
A world beyond this lonely shore

Stroll along the sheltered beach
Take the air that takes you where
Nothing else can reach

Look over blue yonder bay

Golden daylight warming skin
Memories of a summer gone
Flooding back within

Look over blue yonder bay

And wonder why you left it for
A world beyond this lonely shore

Repeat 1st verse & Chorus
Track Name: October Now
(instrumental)