The Ghost Parade

by Hemlock Smith

/
1.
No Rodeo for the Lame Horse There ain’t no rodeo for the lame horse There ain’t no stories left to tell There ain’t no prayer there for the old ghost There ain’t no wishing well- There ain’t no spring break for the sitting duck Someone is calling all the shots There ain’t no callback for a lousy fuck I gave it everything I got- -it was not enough… So goodbye, everybody Goodbye, everybody…and so long… There ain’t no rodeo for the lame horse Just the same old ball and chain There ain’t no courage, even for remorse I’ll never see your face again- There ain’t no rodeo for the lame horse There ain’t no bargain in what I sell There ain’t no corners in my square dance There’s no limit to my hell- So goodbye, everybody Goodbye, everybody…and so long…oh so long… So goodbye, everybody Goodbye, everybody…and so long… There ain’t no rodeo for the lame horse There ain’t no stories left to tell There ain’t no savior for the old ghost There ain’t no wishing well- -I wish you well… So goodbye, everybody Goodbye, everybody…and so long…oh so long…
2.
See the Moon 03:19
See the Moon Everybody wanna read my story Everybody wanna be my friend Everybody wanna share my glory So I guess I’ll just pretend. Everybody wanna be my baby Everybody wanna sing my tune Everybody – fuck off – so maybe I’ll just go and see the Moon. See the Moon. See the Moon. See the Moon. See the Moon. See the Moon. See the Moon. Everybody wanna be my baby
3.
The Truth 03:25
The Truth What we lack is understanding When what we own is youth That what we build is chaos - But I, think that we might be forgiven If we own up to the truth What we lack is plain emotion When we burn what we could soothe Conquer freedom, only for ourselves – But I, think we might be building bridges When what ultimately binds us – would be nothing - Nothing but the truth - When what we share together – Is nothing, nothing but The truth.
4.
Sagrada Casbah I’m going away to Sagrada Casbah Where the heart and the soul may mend Where the voices rhyme with the echoes for Even dusk is heaven sent Even dusk is heaven sent I’m going away to Sagrada Casbah Where the heart and the soul may mend Where the desert winds shuffle up the air and Every breeze is a sweet lament Every breeze is a sweet lament I’m going away I’m going away I’m going away to Sagrada Casbah Where the heart and the soul may mend Where every Dave may play and Desmond sing Before Heaven’s Parliament Before Heaven’s Parliament I’m going away I’m going away
5.
AUTUMN AVENUE (words by Emilie Roulet) The sidewalk is free While the crowd's overflowing There are lights at the windows But the doors disappeared The postman is busy While the boxes are still waiting The telephone booth is ringing But they’ve all got somewhere to go There's a bar called Lonie's place But Lonie's sailed away A melody is playing By a violin with no strings Would you put up a bench On the Autumn Avenue Would you sit, would you stay When you'll hear The wind blowin' its bitter refrain The wind blowin' its bitter refrain
6.
The Crossroads (Satan took the Greyhound) I believe it was in 1932, or maybe early ’33, it so happened that Satan decided it was time for a little fieldtrip across the country, to keep in touch with the customers, so to speak… He was dressed in plain, black clothes, legit and all, and he even paid his fare! So there he was, on the left hand corner in the back of the vehicle, humming quietly, as the Greyhound mowed its way through the sleeping landscape. And, believe it or not, just after Clarksville, Mississippi, a young priest came to be seated right by his side. After a while, they started chatting and the servant of God inquired whether or not he liked bus rides. Satan didn’t move and thought about this for some time. Then, he replied, very softly: “Well, it seems to me that travelling by bus kinda reminds me of life itself, you know. It’s either too short or too long, smelly, uncomfortable, and the price is way too high. And just when you think that you’ve finally made it, it stops in the middle of nowhere and leaves you stoned and quartered. To make matters worse, instead of wolfing down some nice hot breakfast, chances are you’ll be eating dust.” Hearing this had made the priest so angry that he had to take a deep breath before he could even think about answering. But, right at this moment, tires screeching like a wildcat, the bus came to a halt on a dark and deserted crossroad. Oh…Oh…The Crossroads… The Crossroads… “Oh, sorry about that, my friend” said Satan and quickly grabbed his belongings. “This is my stop and I’ve got a deal that needs closing!” “You know…” he added with a smile, “a trip like that ain’t so bad when your pockets are full and you know exactly how it’s going to end.” He then proceeded to leave the vehicle, leaving the priest all baffled and bewildered. Satan stepped out onto the stony road and, within an instant, had vanished like the morning dew on a summer morn. Here one second, gone the next. Oh…Oh…The Crossroads… The Crossroads… The priest actually didn’t even look up; he was still trying to collect his thoughts, his lips parched dry, the taste in his mouth bitter and stale… “What on earth did he mean by that?” he mumbled as the Greyhound once again leapt into the night, As it turned left, and just for one second, its headlights brushed past a tall black man slowly approaching the intersection. The big fella put down his cheap guitar, cracked his neck and looked around. Someone was already waiting. Oh…Oh…The Crossroads…The Crossroads… Oh…Oh…The Crossroads…The Crossroads… Oh…Oh…The Crossroads…The Crossroads… Oh…Oh…The Crossroads…The Crossroads…
7.
Candid Elf 04:06
Candid Elf (words by Philippe Roulet) Is she walking by herself? Or following her balloon Her face smiling like a moon She moves like a candid elf Her balloon isn’t on her nose Time couldn’t keep it a secret She is shivering a bit Both her cheeks pink like a rose Winter babies are stronger She was told by the midwife At the dawn of a new life She must walk a little longer At ten past ten her small feet It’s below zero right now Well covered by her red coat The cold she knows she must beat Although it’s hard in the snow Gently she pushes the feathers We will soon be together We will soon be together
8.
The Ghost Parade They tell you that you’re on top of the food chain The king of hearts in the supremacy’s ball game They make you think that white is a colour (ha!) They give you TV and let you heckle and holler But every time is once too late They tell you, sure, real life is “the riches” They throw you phony BMW bitches They show you that their life on the islands Is way cooler than your murky apartment And laugh their asses off at your grave The Ghost Parade The Ghost Parade The Ghost Parade The Ghost Parade (ha!) They carve their names into your souls as they kill you Brand after brand until they’ve sucked you and drained you If they could, they’d surely stop evolution They assure you: “You don’t need revolution!” But every time is once too late, and Once in a while, when you threaten with violence They say you matter and they throw some elections A cruise missile or a lovely crusade But it’s you that they’re bloody well trying to invade Entertainment right until you fade The Ghost Parade The Ghost Parade The Ghost Parade The Ghost Parade They’ll be smiling when they twist the blade The Ghost Parade
9.
I thought I saw Nick Drake corridors of headlights tunnel of the soul symphony of flashlights more south than every pole phrases without meaning words without a heart only demise forever beaming this world tears us apart. and I thought I saw Nick Drake in a building my only fault is human no different shall I weep I only ever knew the sandman who stole my every sleep and the rivers tend to swallow -its waters fill the void- all sacred turns to hollow old man once was a boy. and I thought I saw Nick Drake he was smiling corridors of headlights the night is digging deep cornered at the redlight no different shall I weep i thought I saw Nick Drake watch me take me a leap i’m sure I hear Nick Drake sing to me as I sleep - sing to me sing to me as I sleep.
10.
World Loop (West Lafayette) (Well…) Heading down to West Lafayette, where all good lives go to waste For a whiff of merry carelessness, but I found I’d lost the taste I’d put a tag on my ideals and it seems I pawned the truth Hooray ! Won Consolation prize but I found I’d lost my youth (I said) Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again (Well…) Life hands out candy bars but I guess that comes and goes Like in downtown, early spring, the men, the pimps and hoes Threw my coins in the wishing well and it wiped my pockets clean But who am I to bother you ? I’m the face you haven’t seen… (I said) Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again --It’s a World Loop--Same Loop Again-- (I said) Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again Same Loop Again Same Loop Again Same Loop Again (Well…) Let’s all watch the ghost parade, though I’ve found out I’m a stooge, but I’ve invested in my own decay, so returns should be kinda huge Since they’ve burned my Detroit down, life’s no fun to be around, yet I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout stickin ‘round-till the Reaper’s back in town – - Let my hair down… Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again Kick/Ass/Hole/Dead/Buried Same Loop Again --It’s a World Loop--Same Loop Again--
11.
We are the Sorrow (Nadejda) We are the Sorrow, and our own best foe We hail tomorrow, yet shoot our fatal bow We follow ancient behaviors to compete - We follow blindly, soldiers of deceit. * My Dear Nadejda, oh, do you worry- Are we not moths to flame, and, wanton flurry? We own the Rites of Spring, but they mean defeat- We are the Light, we burn just as we meet.
12.
If I Could 02:07
If I Could If I could Be someone else But for one day I surely would Trade my place But for one day But I Cannot Will Not Oh I shan’t Move. * If I could Rise from the grave But for one day Oh how I would Misbehave This very day A million kisses For my loved ones To live upon For the hours, and days, and years, To come.

about

Hemlock Smith come from Lausanne (Switzerland). Since 2002, they’ve released six regular albums with intelligent pop, as well as two soundtracks for silent film and a collaboration with electronic Noise duo Les Poissons Autistes. Fronted by singer-songwriter Michael Frei, Hemlock Smith's distinctive voice is complemented by the ambient guitar playing of Fred Merk and the delicate piano work of Emilie Roulet for their new and 6th album, the second to be released on vinyl.

During the tour for their previous album (« By the Grace of Dynamite », 2016), a beautiful musical friendship between Michael Frei, guitar wizard Fred Merk and pianist Emilie Roulet was born. In that period of time, new songs were written and arranged as a group effort. It was obvious at a certain point that these tunes needed to be recorded and so the trio convened at the small Kray Bailey Studio in Switzerland to capture the songs, aided by drummer and producer Théo Missillier. In 4 days, instead of the 5 initially planned tracks, 12 were bashed out, as spontaneously as possible, without much rehearsing.
Instead of the achingly personal and quiet songs of 2016, this project allowed all musicians to try out several things, to be open for musical exploration.
The album was then mixed by Théo Missillier and contains contributions by Andy Ellison (Steel Guitar) and Julien Feltin (Electric Guitar); the record was finally mastered by S.Husky Höskulds, the LA based Icelandic engineer who has worked with such greats as Tom Waits, Joe Henry and Elvis Costello.
Lyrically, Michael Frei delivers some sad/funny, strangely distorted fairy tales, where his personal heroes (Nick Drake, Dave Brubeck, Robert Johnson and Iggy Pop) meet with the Devil, Tchaïkovski’s muse and a very tired cowboy! Also containing words by Emilie Roulet, the universe of Hemlock Smith has been added a new and shining star!

credits

released August 9, 2018

Recorded, Mixed and Produced at KBS by Théo Missillier, except
Mastered by S. Husky Höskulds at Groundlift Los Angeles
Photographs by Pierre-Edouard Monnier
Cover Design by Jean-Marc Alder
Piano Prepared by Olivier Tille

Hemlock Smith:
Michael Frei Vocals, Piano, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, MicroKorg, Percussion
Fred Merk Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Loops, FX
Emilie Roulet Piano, Vocals, Wurlitzer Electric Piano, Flute, Glockenspiel

Featuring:
Théo Missillier Drums, Percussion, Recording and Mix
Andy Ellison Steel Guitar
Julien Feltin Electric Guitar
Antoine Estoppey Additional Recording

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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about

Hemlock Smith Lausanne, Switzerland

Hemlock Smith come from Lausanne (Switzerland). Since 2002, they’ve released 6 regular albums with intelligent pop, as well as 2 soundtracks for silent film and 2 collaborations with Noise duo Les Poissons Autistes. Fronted by singer-songwriter Michael Frei, Hemlock Smith's distinctive voice is complemented by the ambient guitar playing of Fred Merk and the delicate piano work of Emilie Roulet. ... more

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