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Architecture & Archaeology

by Greg Hancock

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1.
Changing 03:52
If you could do anything And always have your own way... What would you change About the way you live today? Would it just be the tiles on the bathroom floor? Or the way you do your hair? Or are you sure there’s something more Waiting for you out there? When you think back to when you were seventeen... How does your life match up To your teenage dreams? Did you hold out to get the best? What was THAT all about? Or did you settle for something less? And how did THAT work out? Chorus: I’ve done some things And I’ve seen some stuff And I’ve said things I know I never should But I’ve survived. And now I’m old enough to know That changing isn’t always good. So even if I could... I don’t think I would.
2.
Elephants 03:43
My friend, Vanessa Jones, from Primary School Said that she’d read That all the elephants Would be dead soon. And I ran home to my mum, And asked if it was true, and she said She didn’t think people were that foolish or cruel. Well it seems her faith Was sadly misplaced We should be grateful I suppose That nearly 50 years on, Not all the elephants have gone. It’s never too late For people to procrastinate... They told us in ‘86 That there was trouble in the air. And we said we’d fix it, But we’re just not getting there.
3.
Never one to tow the line, Never one to be told. Not the kind to count the time. Impossible to hold. You knew how you could could shine, Though you rarely let it show. You took one look at the warning sign, And headed off down a dead end road.
4.
We only ever knew how to build a house on sand, Held together with string and rubber bands. And when the roof blew off, We sat there, stupid, in the rain. Each one hoping It might just blow back on again. Time, like water, Running through our fingers. It was never going to stand. It was never strong enough – The architecture of our love Only time will tell if anything we’ve done, or made or said Will get to leave a trace. Good intentions buried deep Like broken bones in layers. A vague impression of a face. When we’re long gone And unremembered, I’d be surprised, if anything survived Of the archaeology of our lives
5.
In his high-back, blue vinyl chair Between the potted plant and the Expelair... A slick of Brylcreem still in his hair, He’ll talk to anybody there. He’s always got a story or three – Though his memory’s not what it used to be. Sometimes the faces don’t fit Sometimes the places contradict But his twisted fingers still twitch Above a piano that isn’t there. Not an inch of skin that’s slack. Her long silver hair tied tightly back. Shrunken eyes, just pools of black – She’s poised - She’s ready for the attack. Her back is perfectly straight Though she only has the weight of a girl of eight. Every meal time with her Becomes a complicated pas-de-deux As she twist her neck away Like a dying bird Her dignity intact. He turns his head towards the light Where he sees silhouettes in black and white And with his finger he traces out the lines That the sunlight fleetingly defines He reaches out for his cup And with trembling hands he picks it up. He gives his tired eyes a rub, And then he lets his eyelids drop. And he starts to sketch and colour-block The landscapes in his mind.
6.
There’s a photograph of my dad and me When I was about 13 Both of us staring out to sea Just inches in-between. Both of us standing the same way With our weight twisted to the right... But within three years, we wouldn’t breathe the same air Without a fight. But not quite yet We still had a bit of time left Before I’d cross every line And break each limit that he set. I was not quite ready For the inevitable step. But when I left, The main thing on my mind Was just how far away I could get. The last time I saw him, I cut his nails Because nobody else there would. Truth to tell – It didn’t go all that well – These days my eyesight’s not that good. He didn’t open or move his eyes. Not a sound came from his lips. But the man I knew – I still recognised When I nicked his fingertips! Not quite dead. Still a bit of fight in the old man yet. I’ve no idea what was in his head, But quite clear what that reaction said: He was Not quite ready To let them nail down the lid And when I left, he squeezed my hand. Or at least, I think he did.
7.
Just What You’re Looking For Lyrics and Music – Greg Hancock 2021 Sometimes you see someone wearing something And you think it looks good... And you ask yourself if you could get away with it too – And convince yourself you could. So you spend the whole day shopping, Just trying to find something in your size And take it triumphantly to the till Ignoring the shop assistant’s eyes And you take it home, hang it up and never put it on. And you convince yourself There’s going to be the right occasion. Until the day you hold it to the light And suddenly you’re sure Though it’s just what you were looking for... You don’t want it any more. Sometimes you meet someone and they seem to have it all: Money in the bank, good sense of humour Nice friends – not too short or tall! And though you rate your chances pretty small You’re ready to catch with both hands when they throw you the ball. And you take them home, live with them for a while And they make you smile – And you convince yourself that you can keep up with their style Until the day you hold them to the light And suddenly feel sure Though they are just what you were looking for... You don’t want them any more.
8.
9.
You know when you have that thing in your head Going round and round But you just can’t put your finger on it. It might be something someone said – you just can’t pin it down. And then, later on, asleep in bed In your head you’re just about to reach out and taste The peaches and cream... When you have a rude awakening From the middle of a beautiful dream You know the one I mean... the one with the hair... He was in that film....his name’s on the tip of my tongue... But it just won’t come. Don’t ask me my home number! I never get it right. And in a certain light.... you can still convince yourself You really haven’t changed that much since you were thir forty-one And then you have a rude awakening When the bathroom light goes on. We all think that we’re so good at reading faces, but Faces tell lies I looked for the truth in all the usual places And I found it in the dark recesses of your beautiful eyes. You know when you go to a brand new place, And you look around and suddenly feel you’ve been there before (though it’s just not possible) Or you go back to your old home town And can’t remember North from South. And then you look at the one you love And sometimes they might as well be someone you’ve never seen Then you’ve had a rude awakening From the middle of a beautiful dream

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released April 28, 2021

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Greg Hancock Exeter, UK

Singer/songwriter and guitarist based in Devon, England.

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