LAVENDER HILL* Fields of lavender used to grow here When the green country was near Times were so much simpler then No buses, trucks and meter men On those fields houses grew The railway thundered through Bringing in a different age Writing history’s newest page This was the world I first saw And my Dad the same before We saw changes come so fast Than in that foggy past CHORUS This is where I come from And I always will Been away a long long time But something calls me still To the road I can never forget Where the memories fill Oh-oh Lavender Hill On the Common I would play Sweet memories of another day The sun would always shine Childhood always seemed so fine As our city grew and grew Those who came were all so new But time and moments changed us all And barriers they always fall On a sun-splashed window pane Pavements gleaming from last night’s rain Our road waking to a dream Of something we all believe
LONDON RULES This city got no time for fools Spits out losers, gotta be cool Moves so fast, speed of night Keep on running, out of sight Never be wrong, always right Bigger prize than a case of jewels Yours if you only have the tools Win it big if you keep it tight All there if you’re set to fight Piece of heaven bathed in light BRIDGE Give up what you need to Do what you must do Go where you have to Say anything you got to This town runs on heavy fuel Getting there can be real cruel Keep on climbing to the height Take it all with all your might Fly on upward like a kite These streets can be so hard They’ll become your graveyard Dyin from a monster’s bite ‘stead of a pool of total delight Then you know you lost the fight CHORUS One thing to live by If you gonna get by Written up there in the Piccadilly sky Second is nowhere You gotta get there See it flashin’ from City to Mayfair Always keep to the unwritten law Stick to it if you want some more Learn them all right from the start Know them all by a beatin heart London Rules Yeah, London Rules
This turned out to be one of the more musically demanding of the songs on the album. There are three time changes, a rap and a very long note to hold. I started writing the lyrics after reading about ‘ghosting’. Surprisingly no episode in my past life contributed to it, just an article in the newspaper. The rap was as much a shock to me as anyone else. I’d probably been listening to The Red Hot Chilli Peppers! I was trying to make the bridge work to no avail, tried a kind of spoken word/rap thing and it stuck.
GHOST Thought we’d last for ever Joined at the heart for life A perfect golden couple A gorgeous daydream wife But nothing lasts for ever Our bond cut by a knife You left without a letter You left me half alive BRIDGE (RAP) I stopped believin’ And I stopped grievin’ And started life again I found a new place With a new face And broke my old chains I put you from my mind Once and for all time I heard the phone ringing I saw the e-mail name I recognised the writing When the letter came I binned every message With no single regret I never even bothered Like we’d never met CHORUS That’s right, baby, you’re a ghost Far away on a different coast In another time and space Banished to another place Don’t want to see you now or then Don’t care a damn if it gives you pain Ended for me on the day you left Now you’re a ghost Just a ghost Just a ghost Your voice is just an echo A whisper in the air Your face a distant memory An image no longer there The time moves forward And worlds turn outward And I found new reasons To start living again
Who remembers Brigitte Bardot? My memories of her are vague to say the least. I sort of recall her in a Western movie called Shalako with Sean Connery but I saw it on TV in the 1980s. It made an impression. Spending my childhood summer holidays in France she was there on magazine covers but I discovered she also sang these bubbly French pop songs and in that way your memory blasts something into your mind when you’re thinking you should be writing lyrics I got this jangly sort of rhythm and the words “Bardot Lips”. I did a bit of reading around her life and times and the lyrics sort of wrote themselves.
BARDOT LIPS* French films and magazines Black and white photos in my teens Of a lady in bikinis and crazy hair On a beach in Tropez and everywhere French guys paid her court She said and did what she thought Always thought she was so free And that seemed to be her history CHORUS She had eyes that could hypnotise Green as the sea and worldly wise Always laughing at the world Always seemed the effortless girl But one thing got me and always will A part of her like those killer hips A smile that could launch a thousand ships Bardot Lips Nothin ever lasts for long Some memories aren’t so strong We move on to someone new To find someone new to fixate on Brigitte faded in the past My fantasies would never last But when I see an old photo Back to Tropez my thoughts would go