Imperfectionist

The songs on this album were written and evolved over a period of about 8 years, charting a musical chapter that began back in Edinburgh in 2007 and ends today on the South Bank of the Thames in London. Each one is a snapshot of where my head was at at the time and range from pretty high to pretty low...but there's always something positive in there, even if you have to dig around for it. Most of them are regarding relationships (I've just met you, you're amazing / we're about to split up, you're a nightmare) but with some notable exceptions. Quiet Time was written late one night when I was living and working at the Torriano bar in Kentish Town, it really was party central in that place and a great time was had by all.

A customer had recently given me an old electric guitar that he was about to throw out (the low frets were unplayable, hence the capo on the 3rd) and I had a rare moment of peace after the bar closed. The song is about getting that fleeting time away from the madness and what you do with it.

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I was told a few years ago by a music industry 'expert' that my voice was good but none of my songs were potential hits. Apparently the way to write a hit is to steal the verse from an old song, steal the chorus from another, change the words and bingo! A hit single ('and nobody will even mind!'). When I explained that that wasn't really my bag (and what would Neil Young say?), I was told, 'Oh, so you're an artist.' Which to this day remains the greatest musical compliment I've ever been given. I went home that night and wrote Long Tall Peggy Sue, which is my two fingers to the money-before-music side of the industry.

 

The tradeoff of this attitude of course is there's no guitar shaped swimming pool, and there won't be a hair-weave when the time comes, but rest assured the songs come straight from the heart and the heart was in the right place. I hope you enjoy the result.

 

Scott McMahon 29/7/2015

Quiet Time

Kentish Town, London 2010

 

Quiet time, quiet time, got myself a little bit of quiet time. Hush now demons, sleep tonight, got myself a little bit of quiet time.

 

Thinking that I might play a CD that a girl made just for me. Black and white movie, just like living should be and dream myself to sleep.

 

(I dream I'm at the party where sunshine leaves with rain and sat with all the aces, the king and queen complain)

 

Quiet time, quiet time, got myself a little bit of quiet time. Even with the demons and they don't mind, got myself a little bit of quiet time.

 

Spinning top slowing, kind of think it might fall perfectly. History repeating, pearly gates are creaking, open sesame.

Paris

Edinburgh 2007

 

About time I got myself to Paris, my friends sleep underground out there. Flea-bitten confidence, but maybe out there it'll all make sense. Strip all this ground in doubt away. I'll put my feet up on the metro, find a nice apartment with a view, pile my clothes up neatly in the bathroom and wash out all these memories of you.

 

You saw me when the seats had all been taken. You saw me when the rest had gone away. You saw me when your confidence was bruising. You saw me when you'd nowhere left to stay. When I saw you when I woke up every morning and I saw you when I went to bed at night. And I saw the smile in your big wide eyes, telling me your dream came true. Then I washed out all those memories of you.

 

The waves are lapping at your ankles. They ebb and flow and roll in with the tide. Lost track of time while you were standing, the same old movie showing in your mind. You'll find a map inside the guide book, a trail of ends will help you on your way. Read about it in Life and Time, cover the graffiti with your sparkling wine. The friendly faces give the plot away.

 

I'll see you when the seats have all been taken. I'll see you when the rest have gone away. I'll see you when your confidence is bruising. I'll see you when you've nowhere left to stay. And you'll see me when you wake up every morning, you'll see me when you go to bed at night and you'll see the smile in my big wide eyes, telling you my dream came true when you wash out all those thoughts of me and you.

Long Tall Peggy Sue

Kentish Town, London 2011

 

Aiming for the point in the middle, sticking to the tried and true. Are you betting on forgetting that the middleman shines the shoes? Say a little prayer for Long Tall Peggy Sue.

 

You're thinking that you're falling...you're flying. Everything you're selling...I'm buying. Digging for the treasure when they couldn't even find the time.

 

So wave your little flag in the rubble, try to make your lies sound true and spare a little thought for who paved the way for you. Say a little prayer for Long Tall Peggy Sue.

 

Swimming with the sharks in the sewer, don't it make your brown eye bruise? But when you've nothing left to offer you've got nothing else left to lose. Say a little prayer for Long Tall Peggy Sue. Say a little prayer for Long Tall Peggy Sue.

Fumbelina

Hampstead Heath, London 2010

 

Fumbelina, acting like you think you know you think it's getting better. Underneath her, where I'm all tangled up in the lines. Fumbelina, walking like you got a better offer from another. You'll believe her, when you're helping her polish her pride.

 

Well the rumours you hear would suggest that the butter ain't melting and you season yourself with the stories you pepper with lies. When the way that you sway makes you think that the drinking ain't helping, you'll be stuck in the web and kissing your baby goodbye.

 

Fumbelina come on home, come on home. Fumbelina come on home, come on home, come on home, come on home.

 

There's a crack in your smile Fumbelina. Your beady-eyed shit leaves me cold. Are you still breaking hearts for a living? Remind me how cheap I was sold? Releasing your prize golden ego, did you laugh when it smashed on the floor? Come on home Fumbelina, come on home, come on home. Come on home Fumbelina, come on home.

 

There's a crack in my smile Fumbelina and I'm spinning and spinning and spinning and and hitting the floor. In the back of my mind, there's a fleeting, a fleeting sensation of just couldn't take any more. A fleeting sensation of just couldn't take any more. Just a fleeting sensation of just couldn't take any more. Come on home Fumbelina, I just couldn't take any more.

Whispers & Wine

Kentish Town, London 2012

 

That girl in gold with the wings, listen real closely, do you hear what she sings? Such tales of passion and woe, of surfing the tension and so much further to go. Well in a sea of straining arms, she shook me up and saddled me tight. I guess we made it to the front of the pack, there's no one before us, and now there's no looking back.

 

She teaches the angels to walk with a style. Keeps all the answers asleep in her smile. She paints with a palette of whispers and wine and treasure to find. The power and glory, so precious and rare just lays in the sunshine and waits for her there. And just when you need it, that look in her eye is there like a prize.

 

That broken flame in my soul, it flickers and dances, it's out of control. She breezed right in like a storm, cut through the armour, then she started to blow and when I held her in my arms, squinting through the light and the smoke, she floored me with a wink and a smile, said 'Follow me baby, the air is better below'.

 

She teaches the angels to walk with a style. Keeps all the the answers asleep in her smile. She paints with a palette of whispers and wine and treasure to find. The power and glory, so precious and rare, just lays in the sunshine and waits for her there. And just when you need it, that look in her eye, it's there like a prize.

 

Balance of power it swings, one day you're the pauper and the next you're the king. One token look at the past will kill all the questions that you never could ask.

 

She teaches the angels to walk with a style. Keeps all the answers asleep in her smile. She paints with a palette of whispers and wine as she leads right from the side. The power and glory, so precious and rare, just lays in the sunshine and waits for her there. And just when you need it, that look in her eye, it's there like a prize.

Back to the Start

Kentish Town, London 2012

 

Back to the start again, back to the start again, back to the start of the game. Patch up your heart again, patch up your heart and get back to the start of the game.

 

Standing here on square one, instructions in my hand, in a language I will never understand. Won't grow up is a compromise, where you don't get old but you don't get wise. You just build better castles in the sand.

 

Back to the start again, back to the start again, back to the start of the game. Patch up your heart again, patch up your heart and get back to the start of the game.

 

The heart you hold is empty, I cut it from my soul in a desperate bid to take back some control. The tiniest incision, and the love just drained away, but I'm sure I'll hear you moan again someday, someday.

 

Back to the start again, back to the start again, back to the start of the game. Patch up your heart again, patch up your heart and get back to the start of the game.

 

Back to the start again, whoa whoa. Patch up your heart again, whoa whoa. The start of the game.

Your Dreams are Not Your Own
Edinburgh 2007

 

I thought I could rescue a falling star, in desperate need of repair, with her high hopes hanging like mist in the air. Well I fell for it then, but I'm older now.

 

A passion so green it was burning red, we were the cats with the cream. Taking long drives and finding our way through the steam til I drifted off, dreaming of falling down.

 

Said 'I do' in my sleep and I woke up one day in a nightmare, full of fussing and fighting and falling apart at the seams. Well it made me so tired that I ended up smiling politely while I thought to myself 'The grass isn't looking so green'.

 

So shine those memories with time, the truth will go dull in the dark. Your excuses were cutting straight into my heart. 'I think you need help with the baggage that's holding you down'. Don't time go by so slow, when your dreams are not your own.

 

Well isn't life sweet when it's going well? Everything falls into place. It's all down hill, feeling the wind in your face. Take your eyes off the road and you're falling down.

 

Said 'I do' in my sleep and I woke up one day in a nightmare, full of fussing and fighting and falling apart at the seams. Well it made me so tired that I ended up smiling politely while I thought to myself 'The grass isn't looking so green'.

 

So shine those memories with time, the truth will go dull in the dark. Your excuses were cutting straight into my heart. 'I think you need help with the baggage that's holding you down'. Don't time go by so slow, when your dreams are not your own. Don't time go by so slow, when your dreams are not your own.

She's Like Summertime

Holloway, London 2015

 

She's like summer, leafy green. See her smiling, so serene. I know what's up her sleeve. She played to get me, and I let her. That girl she makes real life better than the sweetest dream.

 

Just when I thought I should be taking my time, she walked on by and left me spinning behind, swept away the little doubt in my mind so I can't doubt I'd ever find it.

 

I'm chasing her sunlight leaving my mind wide open, she's like summertime. I follow her rainbows until the night is over, over and over. She's like summertime.

 

Feels like summer, she's the heat. Tarmac bubbles at her feet as traffic blocks the street. A hidden heart, she exposed it, warmed it back to life, she owns it. The circle is complete.

 

Just when I thought I should be taking my time, she walked on by and left me spinning behind, swept away the little doubt in my mind so I can't doubt I'd ever find it.

 

I'm chasing her sunlight leaving my mind wide open, she's like summertime. I follow her rainbows until the night is over, over and over. She's like summertime.

(and the waiting...)

She's like summertime.

(...is over...)

She's like summertime.

(...won over)

She's dancing the darkness into the light.

 

I'm chasing her sunlight leaving my mind wide open, she's like summertime. I follow her rainbows until the night is over. She's like summertime.

The Sea and the Sky

Highgate, London 2014

 

The face of an angel, a cinnamon soul. A lifetime of summers in a place of our own. With no destination, I'll travel with you. We kicked out the old life and rung in the new.

 

So no more searching for answers and no more digging for clues. I found her waiting in the last place I tried. Ripped up the rule book and threw it aside.

 

Lately I've let a feeling explode in my heart. It shines like a star. Hey lady, we don't even try. We are the sea and the sky. Patience and fire and fever all rolled into one. She shines like the sun. Hey lady we don't even try. We are the sea and the sky.

 

Hey lady, hey lady, we are the sea and the sky

 

Lately I've let a feeling explode in my heart. It shines like a star. Hey lady, we don't even try. We are the sea and the sky. We are the sea and the sky. We are the sea and the sky.

Dragging the Years Behind You

Edinburgh 2008

 

The bell for time is ringing, do you think you've paid your due? Can you feel the air get thinner with each turning of the screw?

It's like you're rowing up the river and the paddle's weighing heavy in your hands. But while the rainbow keeps on smiling on the other side, you've got to do the best you can.

 

Dragging the years behind you, working til you break your bones, dragging the years behind you til you feel the missing piece slide home.

 

I think you want surprises and I think you want routine. You ask for understanding...I don't know what you mean. But I can sit with you in silence and hear the thunder booming in your head. If the stormclouds cast long shadows on your setting sun, you'd better take a deep breath.

 

Dragging the years behind you, working til you break your bones, dragging the years behind you til you feel the missing piece slide home.

 

We live with the suggestion of every mortal sin. When you feel that perspiration then I guess we should begin. We stand just like two towers...and your friends come flying in. But when the sunlight nearly blinds you on the other side, you'll know you did the right thing.

 

Dragging the years behind you, working til you break your bones, high times will greet you on the other side, when you feel the missing piece slide home. But you know....a thousand different pieces left to go.

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Lyrics

© 2017 Scott McMahon Music