The Sun Destroys The Sky

by Chris Manasseh

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    “Absolutely brilliant…. captures an English folky/country sound in a great way.”
    Liam McClair, REFORM RADIO


    "His effortless, care-free style evokes thoughts of a travelling minstrel who finds joy in bringing music to other people… combines unconventional musical choices with mellow, accessible singing and masterful lyrics."
    Andrew Westbury, NO MORE DIVISION
     

    "Instantly catchy... I was singing along."
    Ali O'Brien, SOUNDS OF FOLK

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Sun Destroys The Sky via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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credits

released September 18, 2016

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about

Chris Manasseh Warrington, UK

Chris is an original singer-songwriter with folk and indie influences. His songs combine instantly memorable tunes with poetic and thought-provoking lyrics.

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Track Name: The Old Man of Charing Cross
Far away now to the windward or the lee
Five paces from the summit of the rock that sets me free
I can feel the castle that once stood here long ago
On the paths that the merry folk all know

I have stood here forever, I've never seen my home
I have lived in the city, I've heard the engines groan
I have laughed with the Old Ones in Southwark and in Bow
I have touched the feathers of the crows

It doesn't happen very often, don't you see
Once in every thirteen billion years and sixty-three
Vapour isn't matter unless I can take her hand
In the temple to the taxis on The Strand

I have towered far above you before this city grew
I have lived in the darkness when the hydrogen was new
I will be here tomorrow when the stars start to fade
I wish my love could hold me once again

And it all seems so unfair
This cross isn't all I have to bear
It makes no sense at all
The tide won't turn and the railway hears my call

Undecided, cauterised and bound
Choked and blinded by the mercenary sounds
The ship of human cargo left from here to distant shores
All their fathers recruited to the cause

I have known every mountain that crumbled in the rain
I have followed every tunnel, every hight street, every lane
I have howled to the thunder: 'this wasn't meant to be'
I have crushed the hope inside of me

And it all seems so unfair
This cross isn't all I have to bear
It makes no sense at all
The tide won't turn and the railway hears my call
And it's hard to see the sun today
High in the mist and far away
I might not make it now
Tell my love I'll see her when these stones have fallen down
Track Name: Until the Next Time Round
I was old I was empty I was fading away
By a hearth overgrown with weeds
I had hardly seen sunlight in five long years
I had tidied away my dreams
On a morning I half thought would be my last
At least as much as yesterday
Came a light on my window I could not grasp
But I followed and dissolved away

There's a life on the cover of a world I know
On the pages and leaves of brown
There are words bound in leather on a shelf far away
Where I'll live 'til the next time round

I awoke in a meadow by a castle wall
In a world of new things to see
As I passed through the portal, for the first time in years
I was thinking of new words to read
I was led by a feeling I could almost name
Through the corridors of prose and rhyme
To a hall like a cavern where a single light
Shone through all of our sands of time

There's a life on the cover of a world I know
On the pages and leaves of brown
There are words bound in leather on a shelf far away
Where I'll live 'til the next time round

Did I linger forever or just one day
Or one hour as my story was told
Did I smile and go gladly as I faded away
Onto pages all edged with gold
In the halls of forever we can haul away
On the lines that we write in stone
There are all kinds of never but just one now
In the warmth of our heart and bone

There's a life on the cover of a world I know
On the pages and leaves of brown
There are words bound in leather on a shelf far away
Where I'll live 'til the next time round
Track Name: The Ballad of the Idwal Shepherd
There was thunder on the mountain, there was rain upon my face
It was lonely in the valley in that wild and windy place
I had never a companion but the thrushes in the trees
I was lonesome as a shepherd boy could be

Then I spied a pretty maiden all beneath the cliffs so grey
She was lovely as the daylight and she stole my heart away
So I followed through the meadow to beg of her one kiss
But she turned and vanished in the mist

I've been waiting since eighteen sixty-four
To follow her in silence where the river runs no more
Through the cavern in the mountain to the lake then to the shore
For I know that's where she waits for me

When I reached the place I'd seen her it was like she'd not been there
Not a whisper nor a footprint nor a strand of copper hair
I despaired and looked to heaven to curse the god above
Who had given me then thrown away my love

Then I thought I spied a flicker on the rock-face way up high
Like her dress caught by the tempest or a glitter in her eye
Then I saw her climbing higher like an angel without wings
To her home away from earthly things

I've been waiting in patterns on the breeze
In the heather and the river and the music in the trees
As the streams run to the valley but can never give me peace
I'm as lonesome as a shepherd boy can be

Then she stopped and looked behind her to gaze down back at me
With a smile that told me: 'follow, and you I can be free
There's no mystery or magic, the way's not hard to find
If you conquer the dark places of your mind'

So I climbed and thought I'd reach her though the stone was wet and cold
But her smile turned to laughter both cruel and very old
As a tumbled from the mountain to the valley floor below
Where my bones now lie beneath the snow

I could follow but never hear her sigh
I'd live upon the mountain in the rocks and never die
'Til they crumble into powder as the sun destroys the sky
And only then do I think she'll wait for me

I've been waiting since eighteen sixty-four
To follow her in silence where the river runs no more
Through the cavern in the mountain to the lake then to the shore
For I know that's where she waits for me
Track Name: The Deserters
We fell back to the river, the three of us left alive
The enemy closed in on every side
With our backs to the water, death before our eyes
We took the cowards' choice and survived
If god is up in heaven he'll forgive us what we've done
For choosing not to die when we're so young
But the army ain't so merciful, for abandoning our gun
They'll shoot us in the early morning sun

So we'll run run run 'til the time does come
When we can walk the streets again
And we'll go go go where the river flows
Through the many changes of our names

Jimmy was the father of a child he'd never seen
The news had reached him just a week ago
And Tommy had a sweetheart of whom any man would dream
Judging by the picture that he'd show
But what did I have to live for? What could be my cause?
I who have no friend upon this earth
All that I am good for is to fight in many wars
And face my death as gladly as my birth

But we'll run run run 'til the time does come
When we can walk the streets again
And we'll go go go where the river flows
Through the many changes of our names

We said goodbye to Jimmy on a dockyard in Bahrain
Tommy jumped a train and headed north
And I will cross the water, hiding in the rain
Living just a breath from being caught
But running isn't living when you join the nameless crowd
Of millions that flow from shore to shore
In the backstreets of the cities, in the poorest parts of town
We're just hiding from another war

And we'll run run run 'til the time does come
When we can walk the streets again
And we'll go go go where the river flows
Through the many changes of our names
Track Name: Seven Years
Forty years in his corner
Working hard and hardly seen
Just a mover of paper
And the numbers on the screen

Took the offer that they made him
Making way for younger blood
Packed his things away and left without a word

Didn't need to find courage
Sold the house but kept the car
Didn't stop until Tyndrum
Where the road leads to the moor

And beyond it lies the island
With the mist upon the shore
From the open-plan he'd heard the gabbro call

Through the days of work and gloomy weather
He would run across the ridges in the sky
Seven years and he could live forever
Seven years to make a reason from the lie

But the years may stay with him
All he tries to leave behind
Can he leave them in hollows
By the road for folk to find?

Oh let them melt away like snow-ice
From the gullies in the spring
Let them drop into the fields where skylarks sing

Then one day an inversion
World of black and white and blue
In the distance an eagle
Through the hazy heavens flew

Oh is it really worth descending
Now that he has found his peace?
Can he live again below 3000 ft?

Seven years is far more than he needed
Just one day and he can finally be free
Just one glimpse into the gates of heaven
Here on earth above the cloud-base and the sea

Far away while all the years of a lifetime
Fade away as far as human lives and naked eyes can see
Far away he's just a shadow on the skyline above
That he'll never need to leave to be free
Track Name: Sideways
Through the haze of the darkest of my days
I heard your name from afar
In the song as the party lingered on
You were distant as a star
And though in time token flickerings of rhyme
Are all that we will ever be
You alone as the storm hits the stone
Stand forever by the sea

And I could go where the lights will flow
I could follow or lead and fly
And I'll taste brine on a tilted line
Rising sideways back to the sky

I awoke was the wind hit the coast
I thought of all the things I could be
And as water ran in rivers on your face
I followed those lines to the sea
I told my fear: 'you're only Very Severe'
But you looked Extreme in the cold morning light
My hope had gone as the clouds lingered on
I retreated to the mountain in my fright

And you'll always stand where the sea meets land
I could drop sixty metres to your feet
There's a waling song and a tide so strong
In the zawn and the arch on the deep

Paling white as the sun hides a light
Shallow ways left behind
Seize the day as the storm fades away
You are breathless and mine
Show the way and I'll follow and call away
And lead where others cannot go
In one day I will live a life then fall away
And time can begin to let me go

And we'll all be gone when your time does come
And you shatter and fade to rust
As the fire reigns then we'll be the same
And we'll live together as dust
Track Name: The Lost Sailor
Well I bid farewell to England
With my true love waiting on the shore
One of thirty men all young and fair
We were ready to face the ocean storms

And the captain called: 'fair weather,
so come on lads, it's time that we were gone'
So I left my home for ever
Alas my love, I fear I've done you wrong

Well we sailed upon the gulf stream
Across the brine, the wide Sargasso Sea
And I soon forgot my true love
The seven seas were all there was for me

And my shipmates said: 'wherever
We come on shore, that's where our wives will be'
And we never stopped to wonder
What we could find out on the deep blue sea

Well the storm hit hard one morning
Oh such a gail no tar had ever seen
And we'd hardly heard the warning
Before our sails were torn to smithereens

And that good ship sank for ever
With all hands onto the ocean floor
And we all went down together
Alas my love, I'll never see thee more
Track Name: Go Numb
I don't know if I can see distant streetlights in the trees
And don't know if I can think of my future without a drink
And I could cast away my fears to the islands and the years
If you tie a knot in me we could fade out in midstream

And follow down to where the sea calls
Giving me an answer
Even as the rain falls on me
And this time I thought it was over
But the dream can crumble
And once more I feel my life go numb

There's so much to keep me here: distant friendship, hollow cheer
(And I can hear)
Once or twice the times I've had when the drugs weren't all that bad
(And I know)
That I can listen to this sound, dripping plastic on damp ground
(Just for once)
I would like the rain to stop where it suits me to leave off

And follow down to where the sea calls
Giving me an answer
Even as the rain falls on me
And this time I thought it was over
But the dream can crumble
And once more I feel my life go numb

I drove the car onto the sand
I watched fireworks leaving land
Didn't know the reason why they were planting those flowers in the sky
But in a moment they were gone
Nothing left of them
Nothing right or wrong

And follow down to where the sea calls
Giving me an answer
Even as the rain falls on me
And this time I thought it was over
But the dream can crumble
And once more I fear my life goes on
And follow down to where the sea calls
Giving me an answer
Even as the rain falls on me
And this time I thought it was over
But the dream can crumble
And once more I feel my life go numb
Track Name: The Cold Cold Ground
Well Jenny was a pretty girl, her skin as soft as snow
Her mother taught her many things, like where the roses go
When winter makes the earth so hard and love can not be found
For it's buried beneath the cold cold ground

Well Billy was a handsome man but ugly in his heart
His father he had taught him well how he should play his part
He set his eye on Jenny fair and won her in the spring
Before the summer would bring what it would bring

(La-da-dee, la-da-die) This is the song I bring
(La-da-dum, la-da-dee) As the winter turns to spring
(La-da-doo, la-da-day) The truth will not be found
It lies buried beneath the cold cold ground

Well Jenny hid her heart away inside her soul so bare
And Billy he could never find what she had hidden there
She trod the moors and the forest floors where he could never go
Though he loved her in ways she couldn't know

When Billy first had eyes for her he thought she was so fair
But now he couldn't look at her without the hatred there
He hit her first one summer's morn when roses were in bloom
But were scattered in the shade of afternoon

(La-da-dee, la-da-die) This is the song I bring
(La-da-dum, la-da-dee) As the winter turns to spring
(La-da-doo, la-da-day) The truth will not be found
It lies buried beneath the cold cold ground

For many years she shed her tears and played the perfect wife
Until one day she'd had enough and taking up the knife
Remembering her mother's words she played the perfect part
And slit him from his belly to his heart

Now Jenny lives a peaceful life out in the woods so green
Some say she had a husband once no-one has ever seen
Her roses blossom every year from what cannot be found
Lying buried beneath the cold cold ground

(La-da-dee, la-da-die) This is the song I bring
(La-da-dum, la-da-dee) As the winter turns to spring
(La-da-doo, la-da-day) The truth will not be found
It lies buried beneath the cold cold ground
Track Name: Another Lost Sailor
Oh this flight is nothing but the death of years
I can't hear all these voices that surround my fears
Out in the stars I am lost and dark in a lonely world
And I can't turn and draw my patterns on a patch of dirt

And I won't return 'til the galaxies start to burn
You'll never know how many lifetimes will pass before I go

I'll ride fire through the heart of the Magellan Cloud
I'll keep sane by reading Ulysses aloud
If I can't find the answer that will save us all
I will return as a failed god to a dying world

And now that I know the secrets of how the neutrons grow
I'll lose my mind knowing light-speed changes more than time

Tell me what it is that makes the world and you so far away
So distant out here in the blackest night
If I could I'd ride a beam of light across the stars to you
And touch you shivering in the pale moonlight

Oh my lover, my sweet earth mother
Will I ever shelter from your storms again
Hold forever in hearts of leather
The memory held by all my children of my name

I remember once when I rode a train out to foreign lands
You were in the seas and the winds that blew on baking sands
I saw you in the trees and fields and the Turkish skies
But when I returned I could not see you in your eyes

And now you are gone in just one hour out from the sun
I don't see you in the colours that fade to blue

And I see green fade to yellow then to indigo
There's no time to help me measure what I know
I'll grow strong and touch the very edge of space
I'm nowhere in every time and every place

And I will not know how my people will choose to grow
I cannot see if they'll remember me or what they'll even be

Tell me what it is that makes the world and you so far away
So distant out here in the blackest night
If I could I'd ride a beam of light across the stars to you
And touch you shivering in the pale moonlight

Oh my lover, my sweet earth mother
Will I ever stand upon your shores again
Hold forever in hearts of leather
The memory held by all my children of my name