The Simplest of Things

by Kate Rowe

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1.
Young Jack Roberts is a pirate’s son His dad takes him out for fresh air and fun on the weekend They sail the high seas at leisure And search for treasure But Jack hates the boat and hates the sea And all the pillaging of villagers makes him feel queasy He dreams of icecream he’s never had But he wouldn’t like to disappoint his dad Chorus: Yo ho yo ho la da da Da da da da da da da da Little Sally Roberts is a pirate’s daughter Who hates the waves, hates salt water T he family outing gives no pleasure To daddy’s treasure Sally hates parrots Sally hates gold All the pillaging of villagers makes her feel cold She’d rather walk on a mountain top But she’d never dream of disappointing her pop Chorus Wild Man Roberts is a pirate bold Or at least he was, before his heart and hook got old Marauding makes him tired, he’d rather Stroll in the city, but he says a good father must think of his kids cause every kid dreams about the pirate life and I’d hate to disappoint them Chorus So the boat goes up The boat goes down Fish swim by The world goes round ...
2.
Butterfly 03:54
3.
Catacombs 02:37
My brothers always were fascinated by the sight of skulls and bones So we went to see the catacombs There on display six million Parisians lay in ordered rows stacked on the floor The graveyard couldn't hold them anymore Visitors are greeted by cheery signs in every room Encouraging you to consider your own impending doom And here and there amidst the gloom you wander through the chilly tomb And you look at all the bones arranged — it’s really strange Chorus: And my brother said: If I knew that one day I’d be in that line Under a sign, I think I’d find that very depressing And my other said: m Makes me wonder, six feet under isn’t bad Who’s got time to be sad It’s a heartbeat away Well I was freaking out because we were enclosed You know I’ve always been a major claustrophobe And no matter where you tread an unnamed liquid drips upon your head And it smells of dusty marrow There are guards to lead the wake they’re chatting through a rusty gate It’s very Hamlet, they sure seem well at ease I’ve heard of underground soirées and laughter in this gloomy haze But oh my God — just get me out of here please Chorus
4.
Talk To You 03:00
Let sleeping dogs lie, they say that it’s best But ten thousand words lie locked in my chest I’d be wrong not even to try To shake the bars of the cage of the how and the why Chorus: Can we talk this over can we see it through Can I lay everything down on you Can you melt down to me a moment or two Can I talk to you Talk to you Just for once can we be straight up and real Can I please, please know how you feel I've got a lot on my mind and I’m so damn confused Can I talk to you Talk to you If you ask how I am, I’ll just say that I’m fine But I mean bittersweet, I ache and I shine I can’t find the words but I’m trying to Can I talk to you Chorus
5.
Please don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay I’ll be alone but I like it that way Don’t explain it, there’s nothing to say Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay I don’t see the good in goodbyes I’d give twenty sunsets to get a sunrise I just can’t take it like a grownup today Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay Chorus: Cause I’m tired of seizing the day Only to feel it fade away through my fingers It makes me colder, more than before To feel what I’ll miss when you walk out the door I’ve got no time for pining away Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay Please don’t tell me I’m pretty and nice If you have no intention of seeing me twice I won’t believe a word that you say Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay I don’t see the good in goodbyes I’d give twenty sunsets to get a sunrise I just can’t take it like a grownup today Don’t kiss me if you’re not gonna stay Chorus Please don’t kiss me if it don’t mean a thing I need my heart for the songs that I sing And if you’re leaving at the rise of the day Don’t kiss me cause I’m not gonna stay
6.
Fred the Dog 02:57
Have you heard about the brand new Japanese machines That translate for your dog so you know just what he means I strapped one to the collar of my faithful kelpie Fred I asked him if he felt all right and this is what he said Chorus: I’m hungry I’m hungry I’m hungry rub my belly What’s that noise what’s that noise Schmacko*, Schmacko, walkies kick the ball I’m hungry I’m hungry I’m hungry rub my belly What’s that noise what’s that noise Schmacko, walkies kick the ball I took Fred for a walk cause we both had itchy feet And soon enough we met a lady walking down the street She said that Fred was lovely so Fred told her she was pretty And when she screamed and ran away he sang his little ditty Chorus Then Fred asked me questions he’d often thought about Like why do humans change their skins when they are going out What happened to your tails and how do you open gates And without a real good sniff how do you recognise your mates And by the way... Chorus Fred became quite learned, he really got quite pesky Always wanting me to read him Freud and Dostoevsky And when I asked him what he thought of everything I’d read Fred looked up and winked at me and wagged his tail and said Chorus Fred went into politics the people loved him dearly Soon there were new flaps in all the doors at Kirribilli And when he made his maiden speech the people cried for more They’d never heard such honesty from a PM before Chorus * Schmackos is a registered trademark of Uncle Ben’s of Australia
7.
Love burns like that cook’s blowtorch— the big one that costs fifty bucks It’s deep and whole like a mixing bowl, and sweet, like those forks shaped like ducks Love has been on my mind a long silken time Like a damask tablecloth with the same soft shine Love’s in the air of the kitchen shop, it’s there in the simplest of things In the stamp for your toast that says I love you the most Or in the heart-shaped teacups and egg rings Food for your love is food for your soul so let it fill you up Like a white china teapot fills a green teacup
8.
Jindabyne 04:20
My brothers and I felt it was time To make the trip we had to make to Jindabyne The countryside was beautiful, I’d never been before I said I wish, and stopped myself, and said no more Chorus: And the road is clear and the weather’s fine And we’re driving down to Jindabyne I don’t recall the last time we all went away alone Just one night to spend and just one place to find Then we’ll all come home from Jindabyne We fought on the way down about something really small The hotel gave us dinner but we couldn’t eat that much at all We spoke of everything except what still lay in store I said I wish, and stopped myself, and said no more Chorus We got up very early, none of us complained My little brother took the wheel, our conversation was restrained I looked at them all grown up, all strong and kind and wise I said I wish, and stopped myself, and tears came to my eyes Chorus At last we found the river, we knew it was the one It sparkled and it tumbled like a river ought to run We let our father’s ashes go in water clean and clear We looked around and said he would have liked it here Chorus: And the water’s clear and the weather’s fine At the river near to Jindabyne I wish there was another reason why we’re here alone But it’s all okay and the sky is blue and we’ve done what he asked us to And now it’s time to all go home Chorus: And the road is clear and the weather’s fine And we’re driving back from Jindabyne On the first time we all went away alone Just one night to spend and just one place to find Now we’re coming home from Jindabyne
9.
Safe 04:12
They want a piece of you They can’t find in themselves Hungry wolves who never wondered why Shelter in this simple place Tell me if you need more space I’ll climb a tree, watch the clouds go by Chorus: You are safe here Let your heartache disappear Put down the load you carry for a while Breathe easy You don’t have to please me You don’t even have to smile The trees are still The sun is warm They don’t need you to perform The river tells its stories to the sky Inside every song is a place where you belong Where it’s safe to take the time to wonder why Chorus How long have you been running Do you remember when it started Were you born the day They left you broken-hearted Chorus
10.
The Frog 03:32
There’s a frog outside my window In a tiny pond alone It croaks all night until the day But I wasn’t sleeping anyway Its faith is just amazing No one answers, yet still it calls And at last another frog turns up And they fill the pond with tadpoles Chorus: They’re singing: You have a choice So what do you say Will you dance down the street Or be dragged all the way You might think you’re lonely But baby it’s just a brand new day There are tadpoles outside my window In a solstice ‘tween tadpole and frog Two legs then four, their tails disappear But they don’t seem to feel any fear Chorus: They’re singing: You have a choice So what do you say Will you dance down the street Or be dragged all the way You might think you’re dying But baby it’s just a brand new day Tadpole, to frog, to tadpole again The seasons together make one The cycles spread out from the earth as it spins To the planets circling the sun Take heart, they sing, on the blackest of days Who knows where you are on the wheel Maybe one day you will look back and say Those bad times made the good times more real There’s a frog outside my window In a tiny pond alone But I know for sure it will be all right So I turn and sleep through the night, singing: Chorus: I have a choice I know what to say Rather dance down the street Than be dragged all the way And when the night is over It’s a brand new day A brand new day

credits

released November 1, 2007

All songs by Kate Rowe © 2007
Album artists:
Julia Day (drums), Andrew Ireland (double bass), John Stuart (guitar)
Produced by John Stuart at Sound Heaven Studios www.soundheaven.com.au
Mastered by William Bowden at King Willy Sound

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Kate Rowe Perth, Australia

Quirky songs for adults and kids. Topics include space rabbits, coffee, the Big Bang, blind dates and talking dogs.

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