First Aid for the Drowning

by Matthew the Oxx

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    With photos and lyrics...

    Includes unlimited streaming of First Aid for the Drowning via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

'First Aid For The Drowning' is pasted to a plaque held by a character on the banks of the Seine in Paris at the beginning of Balzac's great work 'The Wild Ass's Skin'.

Balzac's story is one of a man who goes to the greatest imaginable lengths to avoid death, not before he has considered instigating his own.

In this album are compositions concerning death, peering in from some of the perspectives I've known so far. It might be an oxymoron but a life spent considering death can be a life well lived, death's scrutiny always seems to bring me back into the present.

Our ideas about death are probably just that: suggestions. If so, death is a concept wide open to interpretation. If it's from one life to another, from this world to the next, or simply into the blue; life is moment to moment, a bridging from one experience into the next.

All appears to me to be in an uninterrupted state of metamorphosis, a condition of growth and change that transcends relativity.

I have tried in earnest to instil into these songs the sad, the angry, the afraid, excited and the curious. They have come from those heavy, fiery and frayed places we all know so well.

'First Aid For The Drowning' is a human attempt to observe and express the sense that in all of this we are eternally passing by...

www.matthewtheoxx.com

'It is as if each song is lapping over your feet as you stand watching the sea receding from the shoreline' Leah Parker-Turnock - FATEA

'At the heart of this record is what I would describe as a classic folk-singer's voice, direct, forthright, clear and earthy.' Greag Mac a'tSaoir - R2 Magazine

'That'll knock your socks off, even if you're not wearing any!' Max Reinhardt - BBC Radio 3's LATE JUNCTION

'The whole album is rather beautiful' Cerys Matthews - BBC6

'This, I really like' Steve Lamacq - BBC6

'simply mind boggling - poetry of the finest order' JP - Acoustic Magazine

'You could write a thesis on the first track' Dai Jeffries - Folking.com

'brings to mind a scene of incredible vastness, a space which can never be filled' Nathan Roach - Subba-Cultcha

'Intriguingly Cohenesque meditations on death in passionate poetic language' - Froots Magazine

credits

released December 31, 2015

tags

tags: world Lewes

license

all rights reserved
Track Name: Beyond the Gates
Beyond the Gates

I'd sooner go beyond the gates
Not to stand and stare
I'd sooner know what's on my plate
Not no longer know nor care
Because fear's calling out my name

I know I've never rolled my dice
I'm yet to kiss and blow
Standing on the banks as cold as ice
Watching the cold river flow
While fear's calling out my name

I waited far too long for the writing of this song
Nobody's in my way, I was just frightened of being wrong

Under any circumstance
We're all but flesh and blood
And we're all up against chance
We'll never stop the flood
And fear's calling all of our names
Nobody here really knows what's out beyond the gates
Track Name: I Want You
I Want You

I want you inside a real understanding of the weapon
The rock that you wear is such a heavy thing to bear
Take it off, face up to your affliction

I want you

Born for the raw, born for the law
The fiddler and his whore
Born for the ride, you're on nobody's side
You never show your skin

I want you beyond a ball and a finger and a rhythm
There is a market town square where you just might sell your wares
You'll never be in time and that's addiction

I want you

Born for the fall, the undertaker's call
He's a hopper and he's mad
Born for the ride, you're on nobody's side
You never show your skin

I want you tied to a rope and a crowd to watch your weeping
As the beneficiary of the girl who conquered me
I'll always hold you up to my admission

I want you

Born for the stand, you never hold my hand
It's a criminal enterprise
Born for the ride, you're on nobody's side
You never show your skin

I want you against the pink and the yellow of the desert
With a marble in one hand and in the other a grain of sand
Once you are alone we'll be together

I want you
Track Name: I Am A Crow
The days are darker
The wind is closer
The fire is high maintenance
The kitchen's colder
The knives are sharper
The washing up has been here for weeks
There's someone squatting above my ceiling
You'd never know but for the cracks
The pool is frozen where it is leaking
I haven't had the time to care

I am a crow trying to fly
But my wings were broken before I knew why
Up for adoption at the age of 35
For some unknown reason they're keeping me alive

The separation must be the reason
For telling the others apart
Condemned to boredom
The condensation
Sits comfortably on all my body parts
If I go down to the station
I'll get for whatever that I ask
These days are darker
We've all got our mark-up
The schools all close at this time of year

I am a crow trying to fly
But my wings were broken before i knew why
Up for adoption at the age of 35
For some unknown reason they're keeping me alive

There's a marker in the mud that tells you why the kitchen's shut
We haven't eaten for 43 days
A page is missing from the book
I didn't know until I looked
But it's important if you want to know the rules
Track Name: The Belly of the Copper
In the morning just as I was waking up
There was nothing I could say but fuck
You shattered my legs, left me in a stretcher

So if I get past all this pouring rain
You'll know me by the smell of the odorous stain
You blinded my eyes, you cut 'em with a butterfly knife

Why don't you go solo?
Don't you know how low the belly of the copper is stemming the crowd?

After supper you reach for your cigarette
It's a familiar craving, something warm and wet
You quiver and quake, you cough into an endless wake

Now the hallway is dark it is Frankie's eternal joke
She's the girl in the curtain, a velvety wash of smoke
She pocketed my brain, she'll do it to you too she's totally insane

Why don't you go solo?
Don't you know how low the belly of the copper is stemming the crowd?

Improvisation is just an excuse to make noise
And during the chatter her marvellous skin makes it's choice
It's not you or me, it's a toss up between mesquite and chablis

So a-roving I must go collide with chance
But before I go can I take one last glance?
I'll give you my sky, I'll wrap it in stardust-moon-river-bow-tie
Track Name: Elizabeth Mary McCann
When the court decided your fate
You were told that you'd have to wait
Underneath the bars, underneath the stars, and hope

Now you're older than you should
You're cold and you're always hungry
But you never give and you never have been alone

You were hoping to move further south
Where the waves are as big as a house
And you'd marry your queen in the moonlight just like in your dreams

It wasn't the first time you'd stolen a car
It was just a shame that you'd been in the bar
You could never have known that Elizabeth was on her way home

But the brakes came on way too late
At 90 you were driving too fast for the state
The law says it's 40 where Elizabeth was crossing the road

And the fact that you were only 18
Didn't affect the jury's spleen
'Lock him away till the day that he dies and throw away the key'

They served your sentence at the stand
Then they carried you off to the can
There is no happy ending, there's no way of mending Elizabeth Mary McCann
Track Name: We're All Going to Die
We're all going to die, it is the only thing we know
And the taxes that we pay along the way are just for show
We're all going to lie, it is the way this world got geared
And the lovers that you lie to lie to you in turn my dear

We're holding it up, holding it out, holding the crack against the crowd
We are a long way away from where we're standing

We're all on our way and as the path reveals the rain
There's a photograph of life in the past, a rope tied to the rail
That's where I long to be but it's a distant memory
Now the Monday morning march up o'er the hill, it's calling to me

We're holding it up, holding it out, holding the crack against the crowd
We are a long way away from where we're standing

Half a mind away down where the children all go play
there is a natural world that sings and twirls and dances in the spray
We're still at the door and though we knock we know not what for
Just keep knocking until we bleed, the door's already open (a push is all it needs)

Holding it shut, holding it out, holding the crack against the crowd
We are a long way away from where we're standing
Track Name: I Have Seen the Dogs
I have seen the dogs
And they bay

Roses and children beside my bed
Where you comfort me with a bended knee

We stand unchosen
Lack and amazed
Branded tokens
Cracked and afraid
And afraid

I am amazed by the whole human race
You will see my love burning at the stake
I am amazed by the whole of the human race
You will see my love burning at the stake
Oh lord

I am my master's world

Still you comfort me with a bended knee
But I have seen the dogs
And they bay
Track Name: A Diamond in the Foam
At the turning of the days there is a cutting of the nines and then a jangling of the pay
I’m a rota on the wheel, I’ve got a shipment in the water that is made to mark the day
And if it don’t make the money I’ve been shouting out about about
I’ll be a dead man in the morning, you can cut my body loose

I’ll be raging

Efforts shatter the effect that poverty has on the weak, they keep on rattling at the door
When it comes out in the papers there’ll be murder in the streets and then a culling of the poor
And if I don’t make the money, I’ve been bleating on and on
I’ll be a man amongst the masses, you can hang me in the wind

I’ll be raging

It’s coming out like it’s been known
It’s always harder to come home
Oh she’s a diamond in the foam

I’ll be raging

Then at the muddy turnstile where the radio collects the call that falls away when we’re inclined
Still 40 miles until we hit the valley bottom where the water has a taste that’ll turn you blind
And if the silver still remains in the shadows of her eyes
We’ll be arrested in the reeds, you can suck my body dry

I’ll be raging

Then coming out between the pillars and the past there’ll be a man who wears a dress and holds a sword
He’ll smile and say 'you never met me here today' and then he’ll lead you to the dungeons at the core
And if the gold still collects around the corners of her eyes
We’ll be a crowd of copper calling 'you can fuck me on the nines'

I’ll be raging

It’s coming out like it’s been known
It’s always harder to come home
Oh she’s a diamond in the foam

I’ll be raging

So the time has come to talk about the relegated rabble and the way they always cry
It's got to the point now we've been forced to make a choice between the love of human life and then the nines
And if I’m honest, if I'm direct I choose a buzzing and a bleeding
In the deepest dark of night I can hear them pushing in their meals

I’ll be raging

Standing up upon the hill with every image like a still they keep on strutting down the line
A smiley woman held my hand, she kissed me on the other cheek before she poured a glass of wine
Then we made love amongst the buzzing and the bleeding and the feeling
That a deep and beating city heart's still slipping up the slime

I’ll be raging

It’s coming out like it’s been known
It’s always harder to come home
She’s a diamond in the foam

I’ll be raging
Track Name: The Island
We called her a star
We called her a genius
We called her the answer to all the questions that plague us
We knew she was flesh and blood
We knew she was woman
Despite this we put her up for sale at the auction

It came out one early morning
The pills got popped by the pile
Her body was a time bomb waiting for the doctor
Who knew it was a problem
Her agent had his hand in and the notes on the prescription
Meant our love never got to see the island
Oh my love, you would have loved it on the island

We called her a font of youth
A lake for the drowning
Don't stop at the water's edge, be sure to keep moving
Her love is a commodity
Going to the highest bidder
You heart is her history, no longer considered

It came out one early morning
The pills got popped by the pile
Her body was a time bomb waiting for the doctor
Who knew it was a problem
Her agent had his hand in and the notes on the prescription
Meant our love never got to see the island
Oh my love, you would have loved it on the island

It's always at christmas time I drink fortified wine
I make a mess of myself and I begin to smell
Then I think of the day I could have helped her in some way
I could have pulled her away from the men that demented her love

As vulnerable as she was
She never went unwilling
She wanted what came with fame, the temporary quelling
Of a common insecurity
That a drop in the ocean
Has no meaning or gravity, so the vultures go on circling

It came out one early morning
The pills got popped by the pile
Her body was a time bomb waiting for the doctor
Who knew it was a problem
Her agent had his hand in and the notes on the prescription
Meant our love never got to see the island
Oh my love, you would have loved it on the island
Track Name: Tonight's the Night
One day all you know will be gone
It'll all be gone, it'll all be gone
Some pray, some fall, some try to fight
It'll be alright, it'll be alright

You will carry your light across the river
Bown pas the bay, then the bight, and deliver your light
Tonight's the night

Those that you love along the way
They'll want you to stay, they'll say 'please stay'
That love will be your source of war and peace
You'll wear the ring, you'll bear the ring

You will carry your light across the river
Down past the bay, then the bight, and deliver your light
Tonight's the night

In your eyes is a flooding up of tears
There's nothing to fear, no not to fear
There's a fire burning in your heart
A spark's the start, now play your part

You must carry your light across the river
Down past the bay, then the bight, and deliver your light
Tonight's the night
Track Name: A Mighty Good Time
Challenge the magazines of vanity
Eat like a bone
Challenge the figures of authority
Sink like a stone

She is the bill you will pay at the end of the day
She is the still water at the centre of a wave

But i am not about to make a fool of myself
No i'm not about to be that cruel to myself

My body is a marble example of the rain
Her body is cut from the fibre of a vein

And the hardest part of calling you master is that I must say goodbye
The easy part in that is that I'll never have to lie

Because I've been lying most of my life
Slowly dyeing the day into night

And i have had a mighty good time