Lyrics for the Not for Pussies album

1. The Journey (Instrumental)

2. Not for Pussies

A fairly basic rock song, from which we took our name, after reading an interview with an elderly Bette Davis, where she was asked “What’s it like to grow older?” She growled “It’s not for pussies!” This set of a train of thought in my head – as a woman entering “of a certain age” category, wanting to grow older in my own little disgraceful way and not succumb to this awful "culture of youth"….

I’ll always be indebted to Bette
As she took a slow drag on her cigarette
her response to the question of growing old
was a slug of whisky and a dangerous growl

It’s not for pussies (I’m with you girl – it’s a crazy old world)

They’re hooked on botox, lipo, nip and tuck
but I’m a rebel – I don’t give a fuck
This plastic cult of youth – pathetic wooses
I’m for growing older the natural way

But it’s not for pussies (I’m with you girl …)

This life’s for living
Sometimes it can be mean
It has to leave scars
You can’t just wipe the slate clean

I’ll always be indebted to Bette
As she took a slow drag on her cigarette
her response to the question of growing old
was a slug of whisky and a dangerous growl

It’s not for pussies (I’m with you girl …)

3. Seasons Change

I wrote the lyrics when we were in Santa Fe. I couldn’t sleep so I got up and looked out at a beautiful moon from the garden of our Casa. I was thinking a lot about a good friend’s mother who had just died. The song says it all really – about inevitable change and that we’re all part of this amazing, interwoven system. We kept the instrumentation simple, reflecting how the song came about – with voice and a borrowed acoustic guitar.

We flew south of Labrador
500 miles an hour or more
heading westward into blue
watched over by a crescent moon

We left the day that Summer went
butterflies and flowers spent
The veil of Autumn drifting in
long fingers round the hill

I’d watched the swallows gathering
sweeping, swooping, chattering
The wires empty, now they’re gone
south the Winter long
The planet spins, seasons change
things we love fall out of range
Hearts are broken, people cry
we all must live and die

We’re all involved in endless flight
The world revolves from day to night
and every living shape and form
watches for another dawn
It’s not so hard to swim this tide
to feel the force at work inside
part of the earth and stars above
surrendering ourselves with love

(For Linda, who left with the swallows)

4. Decide

I wrote the lyrics for this after sitting at my Dad’s bedside in hospital when he was very ill and unconscious for a couple of days. I really wanted him to be free of this limbo and either come back to me or to die and be free. He came back to us… for a few months more. The “her” is my mother, who had died several years before.

You’ve got to decide

Don’t hover in this in-between
this twilight world of fevers and dreams

You’ve got to decide
I won’t hate you for choosing her
like I did when you chose before

You’ve got to decide

We’ve had our time to see things through
I’m all grown, but this isn’t done
until you decide
You’ve got to decide
got to be a man
You’ve got to decide
don’t just lay back and let it ride

This life isn’t done
until you decide

5. Stay

This black hole swallows stuff up, twists things inside out
I lose all perspective, drowning in doubt

It’s been like this forever and a day
I’m in awe of your tenacity – whatever makes you stay

This black hole swallows me up, twists me round and round
I can’t see so clearly when I’m looking out
In my hands I hold a line, fingers eager for
The one thing ever-present in all of the doubt

“This thing is love” you look at me and say
I can’t believe my luck, I’m completely blown away
I search deep in your eyes for whatever makes you stay

6. Billie

Inspired by a good friend who had gone through a very tough time with great dignity and courage.

She was the favourite – the youngest of the three
She loved the stories papa told her on his knee
The warmth of her family was the only thing she knew
The house with the garden where the apple blossom grew

Life is hard – but there’s beauty in it too
Love is hard – but it’s always there in you

She never expected things to happen – life to change
But the world is big and bad and twice as strange
The people you love can leave – suddenly they’re gone
She woke up one day to find that she was all alone

Life is hard – she gathered up all the pieces of her broken world
Love is hard – and cried her heart out for this lonely little girl
Life is hard – but you gotta, you gotta take part in it
Love is hard – you’ve just gotta open up your heart to it

Life is hard – but there’s beauty in it too
Love is hard – but it’s always there in you


7. Beloved

Written for my partner, best pal, husband, soul mate …. Loss makes you appreciate every moment.

If this is all there is
I am content
I am content, beloved

The morning and your kiss
I am content
I am content, beloved

The suffering and bliss
I want it all
The rise and fall, beloved

We live, we love …

8. Alice

We came up with this lovely instrumental theme with piano and atmospheric guitar counter melody and it was only after we finished it that we thought of our beautiful Alice. It was a complete shock when she suddenly took ill and died during the final mixing of the CD…Maybe we won’t write any more songs about our dogs!

9. Full Circle

There comes a time in your life when you’re taking care of the parent who used to take care of you… A lifetime may seem linear, but I see it as interconnected circles.

Daddy I want to take you in my arms
tell you stories, say a prayer, keep you from harm
stroke your hair and tuck you into bed at night
I want to tell you that it’s all going to be alright

But I just don’t have the wherewithal …

We’ve come full circle

There’s a lot of stuff we both need to forget
like when I grew into a woman and was a threat
The innocence of little children is just a dream
gone in an instant like the sticks we sent downstream

And I can’t find where we left it all …

We’ve come full circle

10. Home

What does “home” mean? It can be the one place you really belong, or it can be a hellish place, like a “home” where you’re just waiting to die.

He sits for hours, perfectly still – hugging himself against the chill
This world is fading – it’s bleak and cold
no one around to have or to hold

You really need to hold him – he’s feeling so alone
the chill of having no one seeps into his bones
You really need to love him – he’s feeling so alone
his world is full of strangers – he’s never going home

He needed her love to see the light
and now he’s stumbling in endless night
He’s never been one of the crowd
they’re way too superficial and way too loud
His dreams are all in the past tense
present or future make no sense
His body’s useless, as good as dead
he’s taken refuge deep inside his head

You really need to hold him – he’s feeling so alone
the chill of having no one seeps into his bones
You really need to love him – he’s feeling so alone
his world is full of strangers, he’s never going home

Finally free
Love guide him home …

11. Rain

Something my Dad said to me when he was in the home inspired these lyrics. It highlighted the pointlessness felt by so many of the inmates.. that their useful lives were over and they were just “waiting for the rain”.

There’s the church and there’s the steeple
but I don’t know where all the people are

There’s no more reason to the rhyme
and I can’t slow the hands of time, no …

There’s nothing more to lose
nothing more to gain
we’re all just waiting for the rain

There’s nothing more to choose
no more roles to play
staring at the sky to numb the pain

Just waiting for the rain
to wash away our souls
fill us up
make us whole again

… Waiting for the rain …

12. Grey Cardigan

When you lose someone, in the immediate aftermath sometimes an everyday object can bring you some comfort. I wrote this just after I lost my Dad. “gotta turn to the living” isn’t just about getting hugs from those around you, but having to carry on and keep living yourself.
I was close to tears when I recorded the vocals, but Brian convinced me to keep that first take.

I need a hug
gotta turn to the living
for some love

Your room is bare
someone else soon will live there
now you’re gone

They took your shell
and in the fire it was
turned to dust

I hide my face
in your grey cardigan and
breathe you in

I will move on
but your grey cardigan will
comfort me

for now …

13. Dancing

My mother had been severely crippled for years and just before she died, she told me that almost every night, she dreamed of dancing with my father. When he died, I imagined the two of them meeting up and dancing once again, as they had in their youth.

Reach out – take my hand
You’re safe and sound – ooh my man
Reel me in darlin’ – hold me close
This is real I know
This is happening my love

Way above the clouds we’re
we’re dancing, we’re dancing
Oh nothing can stop us now
we’re dancing, we’re dancing
The sunshine all around us
we’re dancing, we’re dancing
We’ve left it all behind us now …

It’s been so long – oh such an age
since I saw your face – felt your warm embrace
Oh I suffered years through a haze of tears
but now I have you here darlin’
Hold me Hold me

I always knew you’d come for me
Every prayer answered
It was all meant to be
This is our reality
We are dancing in the light
No more mourning in the night …