Music for a While

by Liam the Younger

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MUSIC FOR A WHILE
by LIAM THE YOUNGER
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"All you want is to imprison me, and show me that there is a huge spider inside the wardrobe as big as a man. And we will spend the rest of our lives staring at it, admiring it, knowing it."
--Ethel, La femme publique
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Liam Betson: vocals, synthesizer, and software
Jonathan LeBlanc: additional vocals on Obstacle Course
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Recorded at home between May 2017 and March 2018
Mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk
Photography by Jonathan LeBlanc
All songs written by Liam Betson
Released by A Learning Computer in 2018
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Dedicated to Leonard Ke
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credits

released June 15, 2018

license

all rights reserved

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about

Liam the Younger

Liam Betson is a North American songwriter.

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Track Name: Obstacle Course
Here is an abandonment of form
S’okay by me
I’m the apology individual
But today I won’t say sorry
Strange lover
Unchained dreamer

Suddenly far away
Like driving outside New Orleans
then finding myself in Eastern Europe
Phenomenologically, yes
Opening eyes on one continent
then blinking onto the next
Oh, there’s no story
Discrete, discrete moments
without history
Honey

I’ve seen love make a fool of a man
I’ve been a fool too
I’ve sung to myself
Sitting in the grass
in the spring, in the world
Oh, frisson’s memory
Language cleaves
Though even dogs can write
Against the trees
Depressive summer breeze
Set your perfumes after me
100 feet in the canopy
Not very church-like, but
God’s will is in the wild life
An eye for an eye
but I’ll keep mine
First among equals

Animals and people
Smoking, drinking,
high in the night
Poetics has its archetypes
Carpenters, builders, and masons
Managers and agents
Academics and the like
Not the most interesting question, but,
Why write poetry?
Say the thing clearly
Well, that’s exactly why
Oh, and sometimes it’s exciting
To unearth my eccentricities
Fingers tapping at my mind

Thoughts and things
Are lost on me
I’m waiting for a friend
Again, again, I’m waiting for a friend
Visiting the gardens
Sitting on a bus
Sifting through the junk shops
Picking flowers from the ravine
Stuck in empty bottles
Etcetera etcetera
Activities in the heat

Something pitiable about the past
Hemming in today
Tomorrow seems so far away
And forever feels like yesterday
In other words:
The past, present, and future
are already incomprehensible
Buddy, you’re stuck in a rut
Days become scattershot
Occasionally waking up in the wrong world
Waking up in an obstacle course
First bad, then worse
Falling down the stairs backwards
Spill that spoiled milk

Caught dreaming again
Caught in a dream again

Joy expresses itself
And for what it’s worth
So does everything else
I’m outta my head
An ocean may divide us, but
I think we’re surrounded

Night after night after night

Will this world’s madness never end?
Take a deep breath, friend
Now let’s descend
Travelling partners in the ditch
Bandanas tied to sticks
Lots of days of lots of work
for equal love of equal worth
I don’t want to be inscrutable:
I’ve been lucky to know you
Helping the poor struggler
And how quickly hell
might turn into paradise
Meaning, a better world
More curious, less cruel

All in good time
In my time
It’s over

Always dark
Always blue
Always cold
And always shrewd
Given myself
to myself
Highway window starer
Enjoyer of songs
Gutter boy, gift boy
Kissing boy, romantic boy
Bite your lip
Uncross your arms
Improve your attitude
And scowl less
Open your fist
and let the slime run through

Caught dreaming again
Caught in a dream again

A thousand weekends
of garage sale flyers
Never taken down
The first night I was in your car
You drove the wrong way
down a one way street
And still we’re never turning around

For better or worse
Baby, we’re cursed
As I walk to the grocery store,
in context with the street and passersby,
I can see I’m out of step
Skinny in the reflection of blacked out glass
Oh, will the sunlight calm me?
My worries about his state of mind
That we may rest in peace while we’re still alive

Watch me dance
and laugh and sing
Do re mi fa so la ti do
Delightfully directionless and dumb

Caught dreaming again
Caught in a dream again

There seems to be no escape
Track Name: Often but Not Always
Enamoured of flowers
found in the dustbin
Echoes of mania
dissolved by devotion
In the grip of a cool evening
I find life to be something
of a dream
Sometimes merrily
Sometimes not
Learning to live

I’m aging, I’m humming
and buzzing
Breeze laughter
Nowhere in particular to go
But happy to travel
Love finds company
and hate finds contempt
Strangers and strangers
Friends and friends
Walking the streets
Dizzy dizzy again

Within reach of the sky
Further into the night
Throw me in your cauldron
Hold me in your arms again
I’m your charm

Often but not always
I forget what joy we’ve
set in waiting for ourselves

Often but not always
Track Name: Dramatic Reenactment
I feared myself in the heath
Like hounds
Like falling down
I was a kid and the dogs were forever bigger
Awesome reaching hands of the past
clutching at me in my sleep
To crop and enhance
Magically, always, enhance enhance
Pull back the camera to my memory
Now close up, closer still, until I wake up
and the morning construction begins again

Each scene is a song
Sunlight is a game
A day today
What to do?
Read about collapsing
of all sorts
Rana plaza, C.C.
and nuclear war
God, I’m afraid of nuclear war
Don’t buy new clothing
from a chain store

Watch the crows waiting at a red light
Crows crossing at the cross walk
Are we being encircled?
Is this a threat or a romance?
Friends without a language
An antidote to be poisoned
Letting the snakes bite you
A particular madness
A dramatic reenactment

Spinning out tears
for my own web
Personal historical development
No more suffering for artifice
Drama isn’t negative
Don’t we all live for it?
Boring people get bored
I’m shivering thinking about them
Prayers are harmless
and I’ll pray for you
Talking to people can be helpful too
Not everyone is hell bent on being cruel
But the question that’s nagging me today
How do we forget about the sense of things? or
Can a certain nonsense be meaningful?
The nonsense of spacing out, forgetting to eat
Forgetting to push the fucking button
I’m lost with rationality
In what order, if any,
should we approach the intractable
from our sick-bed?
Until we’ve regained our strength
sabotage the management
It was all a trick and they fell for it
Not reformed or reconstructed
Unreleased from our habits
Probation granted
Let’s skip the border

Where are we going?

Well, we’re going further
Forward without bitterness
It’s later than you think

Doing what we want
for our own good
Stay awhile
Have another drink

So the day to day
keeps going on and on
The landscape churns
Laughter echoes through the halls

Open to fantasy
Putting on disguises
Look at that
We’re invisible

Now more than before
More support
Spilling all your angel guts
across the floor
Not too bad but
always wanting more
I’m that dusk
That perfume of descending air

Running in the grass
Lying in the fields
My heart is in my hands
Feels like I’m dubbing on air

Sunny turns away
August moon day
Heaven waiting underground
Dance like nothing exists

The impossibility
of stopping this awful thing
may exceed and surround us
Filled up with wild fear

But if you say it is what it is
then take a knife to what it is
Track Name: Tend to Forget
I’m waiting
I’m falling
I’m waiting
I’m falling

I’m drowning
Call me Darling
In the morning
call me, darling

Tattoo of
a spider
inside of
your knee

Never
never smiling
Collar and
chipped teeth

Crooked spine
Time is laughing
Nine years
Brewing tea

Breathing into
a feeling
I was younger
Shuffling on Bronx streets

Designing
Longing grossly
Drunkly
bitter smoking

Out of my mind
in the dungeon
Witching hour
covers me

When the weather gets colder
and I’m tired
I get to wondering about old times
If it was that bad

Previous imaginings
melt away from me
Who knows or cares
what I might have been
One tends to forget
these things anyway
I’m me, in my way, perfect
and angel-like
Whatever I was worried about
yesterday is old news

And now I feel that I am old too
Track Name: Off with His Mind
It’s true
I don’t mean to
I don’t mean to
I don’t

And it’s you
I don’t mean to
I don’t mean to
fawn too much

Born to lose
Lost in a thought
Lost in a dream
Lost at sea

N for New York
N for New Jersey
N for nowhere,
nothing, nobody

It’s true
I don’t mean to
Howdy pardner
I think it’s time to leave

And it’s you
If I’m mean to
Scald my tongue
Never gonna walk past that

Explain to me
something, anything
Repeat
a very good spell on me

Four years sanctioned
by the state
Got that paper
in a drawer

If I’m running in the shadows
If I’m calling you babe
that’s me reaching
for something that isn’t there
Off with his mind
Off with his mind
Keep yours and mine

Our hands are tied
together with twine
A thousand needles,
a thousand eyes
Jack of diamonds is
a hard card to find
But we found it in time
on the borderline

Nightlife in the dead of night
Life after death
Living dead, is it, then?
Learning to be a person again
Learning to be free from, at least,
one particularly toxic symbology

Yeah, we criminals
Illegal against a vindictive
and hateful world
falling further into
fash tendencies

No halos
A one star review
Track Name: Shall All Your Cares Beguile
Witches flying
Boy
Child crying
Reaching the edges of my mind
Substitutiary locomotion
Suits of armour full of life
Word magic, act magic
A reason to believe
Lest we break the spell
and all fall down
Eglantine, Eglantine
Oh, how you shine
Mobilized against fear and ignorance
Oh yeah

If you’re feeling down
You can talk with me
I’ll be around
We can enjoy
the pleasures of
the apartment block
Tea or alcohol
Images in the smoke spiraling
again toward midnight
A glass held to the moon
awakens ancient memories
Secret family, secret history
Peacock angel
Conjuring djinn
My private sorcery
The sigil worked!
And now I live in Toronto
With you

My great grandmother was
born in Asia Minor
seventy years after
the Greek Revolution
Seventy years being
two and a half times longer than
I’ve been alive
And thirty years less than
the hundred she lived for
Paths crossing, world turning
Endless and always ending
Each day’s chance, like
An odd toss
The past is always there
to draw and learn from
I am thankful for this
You fell asleep next to me
as I looked at scans of the
Kitab al-Bulhan

And I wonder
Where’m I gonna go?
Who’m I gonna be?
Who’m I gonna I know?
What’s that calling out to me?
And I wonder
And I wonder

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