Comfortable Hatred

by Greg Hancock

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1.
Old Lady 04:48
Old Lady Old lady with her her piled high Breathing in the smoke she's surrounded by. Fixing her questioner with her eye - No intention yet to just lie down and die. What's the point in having views Without an audience who's Gonna hang on every word - Both the wise and absurd. Old lady says she doesn't listen to her songs. Well except sometimes when her neighbours put her CDs on. She'll give credit where credit's due But she racks her brains for names to give it to. Bob and Leonard - they wrote a bit But for 40 years now they've just turned out the same old shit. And she pauses while another cigarette is lit... Debussy.... Duke Ellington... and that's it. Old lady still has that toothy grin And it still depends on the mood she's in. There's no way now that she's ever gonna sing Or run her fingers up and down those strings. In LA she sits Surrounded by self portraits. Looking for a shoe that fits Before the world forgets. Old Lady with her head held high Fading into the smoke she's surrounded by copyright: Greg Hancock 2014
2.
It's been a long night - It's been a hard fight Through a dark place But in the daylight, he tries a smile And reaches out to touch her face He says he wants to turn back the pages To when things were still OK He doesn't want to just burnish these cages That they're living in today. He says, "The thing is I believe there's more to life than this." But his mask slips As she pushes his fingertips away. He gets up early - makes some coffee And then sits in the dark alone These are the only moments he gets these days When his thoughts can be his own He used to be so out there - self confident The centre of the fun Now he just sits and wonders where The man he was has gone He says "Don't get me wrong. I really love them all. But sometimes I think I'm on the brink And I'm only half trying not to fall." He follows orders - without question And never watches the news. He says "It's not for people like me To express my points of view. It doesn't mean that I don't have them I just keep them safely tucked away Cos I know that I can sleep then Without the dreams of what I do each day. And when things get really rough I polish my buckles and buttons up And put an extra shine on my shoes To see me through another day.
3.
I still don't quite know what to make Of the conversation I heard today. Two nurses sharing a cake In the hospital cafe. One used a knife to illustrate the way And then leaning in to be discreet She said "It shouldn't be allowed!" And her friend frowned and agreed. And said "I don't think it is...now." Sweet old lady serving in the shop Beside the railway line Where I often used to stop To buy myself some wine. She said "It's changed round 'ere! This town doesn't feel like mine! And now there's all these fuckin' queers... And you can't tell half the time! Do you want a bag with that, dear? That's £5.99." From the stage one day My eyes picked out The face of the very one The songs were written about. He said "They advertised your name. But the real reason that I came Was to say I still feel just the same." And I said "I do too!" And then he introduced his wife and walked away And I came home To you.
4.
For nearly 40 years these two old friends First followed, then set and then ignored the latest trends. One bears a grudge and thinks the other one should make amends. Comfortable hatred - that neither wants to end Tall and elegant Grace looks down On dumpy little Margaret, all made up like a clown. Looking quite ridiculous in that shiny evening gown. She wears her displeasure in the flicker of a frown. Margaret eats so fast she can't remember what she ate While Grace just pokes and prods at the food on her plate - With a sneer of disdain as she looks around this place. Comfortable hatred has left a scar on her face. Grace makes no attempt to hide what she thinks As men a fraction of their age keep buying Margaret drinks. Giggling like a silly girl as the champagne glasses clink Margaret makes new friends. And Grace just blinks. It never crosses Margaret's mind to rise To the constant provocation of Grace's tuts and sighs. There's steel in her heart but only kindness in her eyes. Comfortable hatred is just part of any marriage she decides. Last ones on the terrace at three a.m. Both trying to keep straight faces as the manager complains Then three pairs of eyebrows raised as Grace lets one off again.... Margaret holds her aching sides Graces just turns to try to hide The smile that's spreading behind her fan While Margaret holds out her hand And Grace takes it And these two old friends help each other to stand.
5.
Well I made the arrangements through a government agent. And we told the kids that they could only take one of their toys. And we left after midnight, leaving the hall light on. And we covered the baby's head so it wouldn't make too much noise. We rolled through the town, pushing the children's heads down. And flinching at every sound of gunshot and grenade. Somehow we got to the border And the guard winked and said "It's all in order here" And my wife covered the baby's head with her hand As they lifted the barricade. You try explaining to a seven-year-old girl That she's just witnessed the end of her world. Or convince a five-year-old boy That his mother's tears are not his fault. We drove the the mountains and the forest surrounding The old family farm, where they waited With their lips caught in their teeth. And at the sound of our engine the old women came running out And they covered the baby's head with kisses and tears of relief.

about

Stories, portraits and observations of life's unpredictability.

credits

released July 1, 2015

Greg Hancock - guitar and vocal www.greghancockmusic.com
Jo Hooper - Cello johoopercello.wordpress.com
Lukas Drinkwater - Double Bass lukasdrinkwater.co.uk

recorded at Rapunzel Studios rapunzelrecordingstudios.com

artwork: "Grace and Margaret" by Julia Hamilton juliahamilton.co.uk

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Greg Hancock Exeter, UK

Singer/songwriter and guitarist based in Devon, England.

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