Perfume River – lyric

FishNews

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Finally completed “Perfume River” lyric after days of being uncomfortable with the last draft. Thought I needed an other verse to fulfill the “story” which would have imbalanced the music and taken it into “over egging” territory. A few words added and replaced and an awkward 2nd last verse tightened and it seems to run more smoothly and make more sense.

Inspired by a 2008 visit to Hue citadel in Vietnam  where the Tet offensive hit the high water mark and the American and South Vietnamese forces fought a terrible and ferocious battle to recapture the fortress in 68 which resulted in it’s almost total destruction. The Perfume river divides the city from ancient and modern. The ancient imperial capital is now a one of Unescos World Heritage sites and is undergoing massive rebuilding and renovation. I found it an incredibly eerie place. I also spent and afternoon on a boat heading up the Perfume River, Willard style, letting my imagination float on the slow moving waters.It was a place I had to write about as the journey was part of my own “Heart of Darkness” voyage. There are a lot of tricky undercurrents!

 

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The Perfume River

There were no sirens, I heard no alarms,

This situation has somehow got completely out of hand.

It’s no illusion; it’s not a dream,

My eyes are open and all is as appears,

It’s a perfect nightmare; it’s a perfect nightmare,

In an imperfect world

I missed the wake up, slept through the dawn,

The world’s a stage but I’ve declared these curtains drawn

Behind the fourth wall, behind the scenes

A discarded fading flower on the soporific, sensual perfume river

The perfect nightmare; escape the perfect nightmare, dream the perfect world,                                                                                                                         DSC_2313 (2)

I close my mind in soft surrender, in quiet resignation take the lies, I lock the door, I lock the door

I junk the mail, I never open letters, programme numbers that I know I’ll never call

Collect addresses of friends who’ll soon be strangers,

Message pending, I know just what it says, should I accept another lie? I swallow all the lies

I live the lie.

 

There are places that I know that I will never see, some I wish I’d never seen before

The horror stalks my vision and the cries ring in my ears, I am helpless, I am not brave, I am alone.

I wander the dark alleys of the citadel, deserted shops and empty houses mark my way,

Bullet holes in stuccoed walls are testimony to the voices disappeared within the fear

 

Take me away to the Perfume River; carry me down to the perfume river

Set me adrift on a well-stocked open boat

Show me the way down to the Perfume River, send me away down the perfume river

Pour that sweet, sweet liquor down my throat

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Fire breathing dragons swarm in sweltering skies, spewing flame on innocents below

Charred and brittle corpses, blackened evidence, I am enraged, I am afraid, I am forlorn

The ashes from wise pages fly from libraries, tumble in the clouds of smoke and flies

To lie as dust in corners of dark palaces, the fetid smell of revolution haunts the air.

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Take me away to the Perfume River; carry me down to the perfume river

Set me adrift on a well-stocked open boat

Show me the way to the Perfume River, send me away down the perfume river

Pour that sweet, sweet liquor down my throat; pour it down my throat

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Carry me down to the Perfume River; hold me down in the Perfume River

Where I’ll drown my sorrows, and I’ll die in hope

Push me away down the Perfume River to the swirls and eddies of the Perfume River

In these dark and muddied waters just let me float
The truth I don’t want to know

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Copyright DDICK2013