Drifter

by Ian Bland

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about

Drifter is my first solo album, it took ages to do. There ar 15 tracks here that cover topics ranging from life in the Australian bush to life in the Melbourne suburbs to just life in general. All the snippets of ideas, captured in notebooks and finally turned ito songs.

Pick a song from the list and click on the play button and get a taste of how it sounds. It’s easier than reading another half a page of hype with telling you what it sounds like.

I hope you will enjoy it

Ian

credits

released April 1, 2007

See the website ianbland.com.au

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all rights reserved

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about

Ian Bland Melbourne, Australia

Ian Bland - Melbourne based singer songwriter - musical influences include country, celtic, and folk with stories drawn from rural and urban Australia

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Track Name: It Takes More Than Just Rain
When crops sowed with nothing but hope yield nothing but rock
when the bullets to put down your herd are worth more than your stock
you wonder if anyone cares what the fuss is about
it takes more than just rain to bring an end to a drought

your wife's had to leave to find work halfway across the state
even if rain came today it's probably too late
you can brush away dust, but it's harder to brush away doubt
it takes more than just rain to bring an end to a drought

you look at your kids and you think of their future
and you're praying they'll understand
this is more than your home, and it's more than your job
it's your lives sown into this land

rain won't bring back the school now the families have all moved to town
it won't bring back the jobs since the co-op's been forced to close down
it won't bring back the farmer who could see no other way out
it takes more than just rain to bring an end to a drought

you've battled the weather, all you want's what you know your crop's worth
but the food companies ship it in cheap half way across the earth
it's madness but nobody listens till you stand up and shout
it takes more than just rain to bring an end to a drought
Track Name: Love Is A Thief
echoes sound in an empty room
faded letters still hold their perfume
an old photograph overlooked for so long
a ghost lies waiting in a forgotten song
a face in a crowd
quickly slips out of sight
but you still hear footsteps
in the dead of the night
memories linger of a moment too brief
guard your heart closely
for love is a thief

passion’s a liar a coward a cheat
first into battle and the first to retreat
it brings only questions
then it leaves you to guess
ask for nothing and it gives even less
shadows remain
though the sun has long set
you’ve made your peace
but you’re never going to forget
time passes slowly and brings no relief
so guard your heart closely
for love is a thief
Track Name: Into The Water
The river tumbles from the mountains in the west
and weaves its way across the plain till it’s wedded to the sea
bringing life to the land as it’s done since life itself began
an old woman sits watching as the waters rush on by
through the valley of her birth one hundred years ago
so many years but to the river not a second’s passed
life is neither slow nor fast
down, down, down, down, down,
she looks into the water

sits in the shade of an ancient banksia from whose branches she once gazed
to the ends of her world and dreamt of lands only visited
in books and stories around the fire but the farm spared little time
for dreams outside of sleep a few hours at school then home
to help her brother in the fields when his first trip from home ended
in the trenches at Fromelles her childhood died as well
down, down, down, down, down,
she looks into the water

life was ruled by seasons in a never ending chain
fortune tied to weather like a ship adrift mid sea
but she always found beauty in this harsh and ever changing land
there were times she cursed the river as it rose to claim their fields
yet how clearly she remembers Black Friday thirty nine
huddled with her children down the banks
as the flames devoured their farm
safe in the river’s arm
down, down, down, down, down,
she looks into the water

now the valley echoes laughter on a gentle autumn day
as family and friends celebrate a life well lived
gathered by the waters where once a young girl came to dream
she smiles as the children run laughing to the banks
dropping leaves into the current, then race them to the bend
the lines on her face dissolve into the ripples and the swirls
once again she sees the girl
down, down, down, down, down,
she looks into the water

The river tumbles from the mountains in the west
Track Name: Cant Remember What For
heading north on 31, just short of Gundagai
so long since I'd pulled a ride
that I'd forgotten why
and the heat jumped up from the bitumen
though the day was long since spent
it brought back thoughts I'd pushed aside
and lost track of where they went

I sat beside an old dead gum,
the sun had bleached pure white
it looked to me a crucifix,
bathed in evening light
though i hate to yield to sentiment
sometimes that old dog wins
there's nothing like the road at night
to remind you of your sins

the morning sun rose merciless,
a haze hung in it's wake
roads once straight now twisted,
fields turned into lakes
if the very earth we walk upon
can fool you with it's lies
why put faith in memories
when you cannot trust your eyes

chorus
i remembered the sweet smell of the rain
in the hot summer air
the crimson moon
dancing in your hair
lying there wondering
how i could want for more
i remember you leaving me
i can't remember what for
Track Name: Perfect World
after years on the edge
i guess she just cracked from the strain
so they carted her off
and cut away part of her brain
what’s left leaves no room for regrets
only ashes and silhouettes
but she’d rather keep searching for clues
than hide from the pain

her body’s dragged round on a leash
by the strength of her will
like a prisoner of war kept awake
never let to lie still
when it’s stood up to all it can take
they carry her off for a break
but her spirit will never surrender
to a bottle of pills

to our perfect world in our precious time
comes scat tered thoughts from a broken mind
pushing us to dangerous ground
so we push it to the side

there are times she’s so low
there are days without leaving her bed
then she’ll call you at four in the morning
in search of a thread
ideas that explode in a burst
each fighting to be spoken the first
and fragments of wisdom
a prophet would kill to have said

some people come close
get scared and the relationship cools
she’ll treat them as disappointments
but never as fools
she handles their discomfort with ease
as they crudely explore her disease
for her it’s the road that she walks
and she knows all the rules

to our perfect world in our precious time
comes scattered thoughts from a broken mind
pushing us to dangerous ground
so we push it to the side

there are moments of sadness
recalling the things that are lost
the border that sanity draws
is there to be crossed
yet a truth so few have to learn
for a flame to live something must burn
but she’d rather keep count of what’s left
than count of the cost

to our perfect world in our precious time
comes scattered thoughts from a broken mind
pushing us to dangerous ground
so we push it to the side

yet there’s nothing to fear and nowhere to hide
in our perfect world in our precious time
Track Name: One More Bend In The Road
I wake alone, the bed warm where you lay
door closes gently as you leave
I go to call you back, like so many times before
but a restless heart needs room to breathe

I’ve taken lovers, none I’ve held for long
you’ve found some comfort on your way
still the love we share is more
than words have told
but not enough to make you stay

like a book you start to read
and can’t put down
a drunk who swears just one more beer
one more mile for you is never quite enough
you have to leave to feel me near

chorus
one more bend in the road
one more walk along that endless highway
nothing promised, nothing owed
one more bend in the road
Track Name: Drifter
one of the last old Fitzroy hotels
he was propped at the bar on a stool
drinking alone quietly sipping a beer
and watching the kids playing pool
while the six o’clock news
pumped out fashion and famine
to a room that neither listened or cared
he spoke through his beer, in almost a whisper
i guess some things can never be shared

he said i came from a place down near Maffra
the family'd always been on the land
when the banks were throwing round money
they all but forced it into my hand
but when things blew up in the eighties
the banks withdrew credit and charm
all i asked was a season
but those bastards they sold up the farm

scraped a living doing odd jobs for neighbours
it was a kindness they couldn't afford
when that dried up with the rivers and dams
it was time i severed the cord
so i drifted from township to township
hell i don’t even know half by name
while every farm has a soul of its own
to me every town feels the same

i worked loading trucks and down ditches
and factories where you struggled to breathe
each job fueled a burning ambition
just to make enough money to leave
but drifters are viewed with suspicion
and perhaps i was brought up too proud
so i made my way to the city
where i could lose myself in the crowd

i never quite got round to marriage
i doubt there’s a woman that brave
but to stand in a field at sunset alone
is all the company i've ever craved
now home is a rundown old bed sit
with a window looking onto a wall
and the only thing green comes from a can
graffiti the kid’s round here scrawl

but god knows i can feel their frustration
when the people with power turn their backs
politicians buy votes in the places that count
while kids round here fall through the cracks
they’ve never smelt air without petrol
or seen the sky littered with stars
and water is something that comes from a tap
and you use it for washing your cars

i’ve never got used to the city
still in a way it’s treated me kind
now country life’s just a memory
but it's one i can’t quite leave behind
sometimes when i listen to thunder
and the wind through the wire sings it's song
it touches my heart like a mother’s caress
and reminds me of where i come from

he went for a leak, so i bought him a beer
guess i should have checked with him first
he said whatever your reason
to buy a drink for a stranger
pity i swear is the worst
cause not every drifter is lonely
not every heart needs a home
not everybody is searching for friendship
you’re born and you die on your own
i’m happy just drinking alone

still he sculled down that beer
then put on his coat
and glanced down at my watch
said it’s time i was gone
but i’ll be here next week
and i might let you buy me a scotch
and the six o’clock news
promised a perfect weekend
blue skies and no rain about
he turned and he said god just one hour away
they’re losing their farms to the drought
Track Name: Think Of Someone Else
I don’t think you really like me
truth is i don’t really care
i’m not trying to win you with pretty words
pretend this could go somewhere
I'm not going to bore you with problems
Idon’t want to hear your own
I'm not going to ask for your number
I don’t want to take you home

I won’t try to fool you with flattery
I haven’t got the style
and i promise i won’t make promises
i just want to sit here awhile
i’ll leave you alone, just say the word
there are plenty of men you could choose
and you might even pick up a winner
depending how much you’re prepared to lose

i know i couldn’t really blame you
if you had me thrown out of this place
here’s a man you’ve never met before
wants to give you someone else's face
maybe it’s what i’ve been drinking
maybe tonight’s a full moon
maybe the band has been playing
too many melancholy tunes

i can’t tell you i’m lonely
i’m as happy as anyone here
hey i just wanna lean on your shoulder
i don’t want to cry in your beer
I can't even give you a reason
why you should give me the time
but you could sit in this bar till judgement day
and hear nothing but hollow lines

don’t worry there’s no life story
i’m not out to make a big impression
i won’t ask a lot of questions
or make you hear a confession
i’m good for a laugh and a couple of drinks
don’t want anything more
and if someone takes your fancy
well you just pour me out the door

i know nothing’s gained by holding on
i’ve got no regrets
seems the more your heart remembers
the more your mind forgets
things slip through your fingers
but life keeps rolling on
it doesn’t mean you’ve lost someone
just means they’re gone

chorus
just want to hold somebody for a moment
sit beside someone and know they’re near
open memories no one else can enter
if that’s okay
I'm gonna think of someone else
and something special i let slip away
Track Name: Last Drinks
The road was just a track,
when that pub first served a drink
and the locals came by horse to share a jar
for a hundred years and more,
both laborers and lords
rubbed shoulders telling stories round the bar

Pedro tells a blow in about the day
he bowled Don Bradman
those who know him well try not to smirk
Daryll’s come in early,
but today it’s not for drinking
if he asks around he’ll find a few days work

Shane is contemplating,
if he’ll stay for one more shout
he buys a beer to help him while he thinks
slowly the clock works its way toward the hour
suddenly they’re calling last drinks

Jean has ruled the bar,
since Elvis ruled the juke box
with a smile as sweet
as her lemonade and wine
she’ll laugh at all your jokes
and she'll listen to your problems
but she’ll have your balls if you get out of line

Lenny lost his leg up on the track in forty two
in sixty years he rarely missed a day
heaven help the stranger
who sits on Lenny’s stool
though it’s been a year
since the old boy passed away

Shane is still debating
if he’ll stay for one more shout
another beer helps him while he thinks
slowly the clock works its way towards the hour
suddenly they’re calling last drinks

the fishing club is meeting
to plan a trip down to Port Albert
and they're praying that the schnapper will arrive
Wardy’s selling tickets
for the weekly meat tray raffle
it’s how the local football team survives

since 1869 they came to wash away the dust
and watch the sun retreat across the bay
now others have a thirst
for those million dollar views
and the land’s
worth more than beer could hope to pay

Shane has now decided
he’ll stay for one more shout
but the time is later than he thinks
slowly the clock works its way towards the hour
suddenly they’re calling last drinks
Track Name: Kilcunda Wind
remember summers we once spent
the beach the surf, how much they meant
that’s how the invitation went
to relive the good old days

so we gathered there like refugees
from different worlds and destinies
with nothing shared but memories
of another place and time

a familiar face with a bottled tan
said how great i looked as he shook my hand
did i have an insurance plan
he’d be in touch next week

Matt always liked to surf alone
the most solitary man i’ve ever known
talked all night into his mobile phone
then left without a word

Kate’s found god, wants us all to know
for the bible tells her so
so this is where the good times go
when the good times have gone

Ray always lived on the edge of a knife
i only heard tonight he took his own life
they decided not to invite his wife
she might drag the party down

Rose phoned in with her regrets
the baby's sick and there’s mounting debts
no mention of the beating she gets
if she talks to another man

she would have come if things were good
we’d understand, she knew we would
but i swear i never understood
how she could love a man like him

I once worshiped her through eyes still pure
I called it love, she wasn't so sure
she wanted time but i wanted more
and i tried to hold too tight

as gentle as my touch would be
it's only now i get the irony
the only difference between him and me
is my bruises didn’t show

chorus
please don’t take me back,
with do you remember then
and what became of you,
what became of them
tell those i once loved, and those i sinned
you left me walking on the beach
into the Kilcunda wind
Track Name: Crashing Into Walls
you lie waiting for the dawn to come
silence pounding like a drum
till daylight finally shows and cuts you loose

another meal of cigarettes and beer
soothes the demons only you can hear
and buys another day’s uneasy truce

when the bombs explode you always seem the last to know
and when you turn to run you’re never sure which way to go

what blow could cause you this much pain
or did a butterfly spark this hurricane
did someone sow the seed or was it always there

who wrote the secrets in your keep
who forged a sword to cut this deep
who carved this cross your forced to bear

when the bombs explode, you're never sure where you should aim
since you pay the price, you might as well take the blame

you find the strength to turn the tide
storms retreat and waves subside
every seconds peace you’re made to earn

tranquil waters hold you safe from harm
but currents rage beneath the calm
and quietly wait their moment to return

then the bombs explode, just when you thought the battle's won
in the rush you end up shot by your own gun

chorus
you keep crashing into walls
and jumping out of windows
screaming at the mirror
smashing it to pieces
wanting love so badly
hating so completely
hiding in the darkness
and the circle starts again
Track Name: Donna
everybody's got something to say about Donna
pull her to pieces like she was some part in a play
stupid remarks that question her values and honour
no-one's happy with Donna living life her own way
they say she’s running around with her head
in the clouds too many dreams for her age
skipping from one to the next just like turning a page
everyone seems to want to bury those dreams
till all imagination is gone
Donna don’t care what they say, she dreams on

everybody's got stories to tell about Donna
twist them around to make everything
seem dirty and cheap
everyday there’s a little more dirt to rub on her
Donna must be the only one not losing sleep
rumours spread like fire in the wind
each story the taller the flames
quick to offer their judgements,
but never their names
jealousies burn, disguised as concern
jumping on every mistake
Donna don’t care what they say, she won’t break

most people feel a little uneasy round Donna
nothing much frightens her
and that makes some people scared
they see the chances they missed
and take it out on her
chances that no-one else took,
cause no-one else dared
one drop of rain can threaten your world
when your castles are made out of sand
so we have to crush anything we don’t understand
try to control both body and soul
held where we think they belong
Donna don’t care what they say, she’s too strong
Donna don’t care what they say, she dreams on
Track Name: This Is Your Game
you call me up and say you need me near
but when i come around it’s like why are you here
you keep finding things to put in the way
so why throw me your ball
if you don’t want me to play
i’m not certain what you need me for
every word, every move, you keep the score
scissors beats paper, paper beats rock
rock smashes scissors, we go round like a clock

chorus
why is it always so hard to choose
why must somebody win, why must somebody lose
and it always ends up the same
only you know all of the rules, this is your game

don’t have to kiss me when we say hello
we don’t have to play house or let anyone know
don’t have to kiss me when we say goodnight
you can keep me in the dark,
just don’t turn out the light

chorus
why is it always so hard to choose
why must somebody win, why must somebody lose
and it always ends up the same
only you know all of the rules, this is your game

you spin me in circles, turn me around
then hide in a place where you’ll never be found
i’m not searching for you in this fog
if you want someone to chase you, get a dog

pin the tail on the donkey and show all your friends
be first to sit down before the music ends
you’ve beat me again but then who really cares
there’s too many donkeys and not enough chairs
we go up on the swing and then down on the slide
if we have too much fun you want to stop the ride
or else you get angry and want to go home
do as you will, i can play on my own

chorus
why is it always so hard to choose
why must somebody win, why must somebody lose
and it always ends up the same
only you know all of the rules, this is your game

i know it’s late but i needed to call
i’m tired of this game I've brought back your ball
Track Name: Life In The Suburbs
Mick was sixteen and never had a drink before
had a beer at a party then he had a few more
when he sobered up he was forty four
he woke one day and said
this party's been cool
but i better get home
or i’m gonna be late for school
life in the suburbs

old Reg says the neighbourhood is past it’s prime
blames immigration for the steady decline
they lower values and bring in crime
but his yard's full of half wrecked cars
and grass to his knees
and his son’s doing time for drugs
and armed robberies
life in the suburbs

Jack was the butcher at the end of the street
everybody liked him and they loved his meat
when the supermarket opened
he couldn't compete
he had to close down
when his customers turned their backs
now they complain
you can never find meat like Jacks
life in the suburbs

Des ran garbage on the council truck
you'd hear him singing
as he hauled that muck
when they privatised he was out of luck
he was fit and keen and
ready to work for his keep
but he was fifty four
so they tossed him out on the heap
life in the suburbs

chorus
while I'm not sentimental for the good old days
you can knock things down but you can't erase
the lives and times and ordinary ways
of the people we're leaving behind
no I'm not sentimental for the good old days
but the ones with the least are the ones who pay
and we don't respect what we're throwing away
and the people we're leaving behind