A Little Wisdom

by BLACK WING BIRD

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credits

released February 16, 2016

All tracks written, arranged and produced by James Walmsley apart from 'You Got It Right' written by James Walmsley and Richard Doran Sherlock.

James Walmsley - vocals, guitars, percussion.

Megan Riordan - vocals and piano on 'Zana', 'Vicious Things', 'A Little Wisdom', 'Alabaster', 'Can But Try' and 'Let My Lover Lay Me Down'.

Emma Garnett - vocals on 'You Got It Right' and 'Graceless Child'

Richard Doran Sherlock - bass guitar on 'You Got It Right'.

All tracks recorded at Westland Studios Dublin. Engineered by John O'Kelly.

Mastered by David Montuy at Cauldron Studios, Dublin.

Artwork by Ronan Healy.

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about

Black Wing Bird Dublin, Ireland

Black Wing Bird is the solo project of Dublin based singer, guitarist, busker and bandleader James Walmsley.

The self-produced debut album A Little Wisdom was recorded at Westland Studios and released in February 2016 as part of the Scene and Heard Festival in Smock Alley Theatre.
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Track Name: Zana
Zana's only seventeen
She thinks she's on the silver screen
She has the most amazing dreams of all
Her boyfriend's just a little older
He loves her but he's never told her
He thinks one arm is enough to hold her on
Zana keeps the things that scar her
Buried under black mascara
But sometimes it'll trickle down her face
And it doesn't take that much to know
It happened many years ago
And I'm never going to ask her what to place

Still. She fills my folded arms
Still. She fills my folded arms

Zana thinks she's heaven sent
And everything she says is meant
She'll always kiss an argument away
Perhaps it's cause she's so naive
She wears her sadness on her sleeve
And somehow thinks that we should be the same
Gods and monsters never scare her
Though she sees them everywhere
She'll pass them like a ticker tape parade
But if she thinks you're beautiful
She'll push you up against a wall
And watch your resolution fall away

Still. She fills my folded arms
Still. She fills my folded arms
Still. She fills my folded arms
Still. She fills my folded arms

And you swear
You can't repeat this
It's just not fair
It's human weakness
But she's there
In little pieces
All the time

And she fills my folded arms
All the time
And she fills my folded arms
All the time
And she fills my folded arms
All the time
And she fills my folded arms
Track Name: Vicious Things
Something then suddenly changed
Somewhere in the back of your mind
Why'd you always have to waste
Your worry all the time
It's more than just a matter of taste
It's sorer than a question of pride
Almost like your love is laced
With a superstitious side

Look I don't want to wind up split in two
I'd rather just be wound up next to you
So why d'you always have to misconstrue
All the vicious things
I don't even know I do

Feeling like a cock of the walk
Looking like the end of the night
You know how I love to talk
Shit to strangers when I'm high
I've never been ready for change
So I might as well give it a try
Cos I don't want to push you away
I don't want to cross that line

Step outside the daybreak's overhead
The red eyed little monster has been fed
You wouldn't be the first to be misled
By all the vicious things
I don't even know I've said

Lying in the bedroom popping pills
Yelling at the church for ringing bells
No amount of comfort ever kills
All the vicious things
People do despite themselves
To spite themsleves
Track Name: A Little Wisdom
We lost our ancient gods but didn't miss them
All told I guess it cost a little wisdom
Leave us with Jesus and we'll bargain with him
And yet you'd think we'd get a little wisdom
Last month for fourteen nights the sky was burning
Some cracked, some fled, some said he was returning
I cast my eyes up to the far off mountains
And hoped that Isaac's son came down without him
They'll come and take my hate my folder anger
To crucify my lies and let them hang there

An armageddon's easy if you spin it
Cos every generation thinks they're in it
The dogs of war are nothing if you tame them
And kings go mad when no one's left to shame them
I thought that beauty was a single vision
Not just a hopeless cause or secret mission
But now I know why all my heroes stumbled
And all my pedestals have long since crumbled
These broken teeth can't bite the biggest apple
That Eden grew to be too big to tackle

And since I'm sick of wishing I was younger
I might be right to try to live with hunger
And find a simple place to chase my shadows
Because a gaol is better than a gallows

Then I might see a little wisdom
Then I might see a little wisdom
Then I might see a little wisdom
Then I might see a little wisdom
Then I might see a little wisdom
Then I might see a little wisdom
Then I might see a little wisdom
Then I might see a little wisdom

And if at night you feel your bones awaken
Don't let it frighten you you should be shaken
You have a duty to the long surrender
That much at least I hope you will remember
Track Name: New Blood
I was sick for a year
Self indulgently blue
Trying to drag myself clear
From the beast in the room
Leave me my apathy
It's all that settles me now
Newspaper articles
Blown out to show the world
Wearing out
It's the flat fattened carcass on the road
It's the phone lines heaving with crows
Metal buttons in the
Hard won ground
Where the first men drowned

New blood new blood
Should be coming up soon
New blood new blood
Should be coming up soon

Take my hand now my dear
Set these omens aside
Loud voices soon disappear
But little tokens abide
Show me some joi de vivre
It's all that setles me now
Sleeps in your dirty hair
Taste of your sudden breaths
In and out
It's the third best home I've ever found
It's the only persona I'll allow
When I see you in some future time
With a kid who Isn’t mine

New blood new blood
Should be coming up soon
New blood new blood
Should be coming up soon

It takes a lot of time to disenchant a dreamer
A little less to dispossess a dream
When everything you lose just makes you leaner
And let’s you see the spaces in between
Yes I’m tired, but I know what’s required
To kill the pain

New blood new blood
New blood new blood
New blood new blood
New blood new blood
Track Name: You Got It Right
What a way to fall apart
In front of everybody
I'm sick of waiting in the car
I've got the engine running
When you come crashing down the stairs
In all your subtle glory
And send the pigeons flying scared
Across the multistories

You pull your massive shades
Over your eyes
Cos six out of seven days
There's nowhere to hide

You curl your legs up on the seat
And wind the windows open
I turn the dial to get some heat
Although I know it's broken
And you make wider eyes at me
With every town we go through
Cos you can't wait to see the sea
And I can't wait to show you

Making our separate ways
Down to the coast
Strange how these better days
Stung me the most

And I've got your empty coat
Warm in my hands
Stood by the lines you wrote
Tall in the sand

You got it right
You got it right
You got it right

You got it right
You got it right
You got it right

You got it right
You got it right
You got it right
Track Name: Alabaster
I know that she's a pistol
Cos she twists all of my
Winning wit away
And we're all into bitchin'
Still it's never very Christian
What we say

That alabaster brow
Even now
Feels like a miracle to me
You little porcelain doll
On a roll
Setting out the way the world should be

I want to fix the broken connection
To your affection to your affection
I want to fix the broken connection
To your affection to your affection

In our culture clashes
I'm a fibber I'm a fascist
I'm a fake
Clinging by the fingertips
While all my vast opinion
Chips away

That alabaster brow
Even now
Feels like a miracle to me
You little porcelain doll
On a roll
Setting out the way the world should be

I want to fix the broken connection
To your affection to your affection
I want to fix the broken connection
To your affection to your affection

I want to reach the part
Where the hero turns around
And picks the plot apart
Stops the story dead
And finally finds the wherewithal
To put this flimsy fairy tale to bed
Track Name: Sailors And Their Lovers
Damn the rivers
I would drain the seven seas
If I thought that I could stop you drowning in it

But I'm only human
And I cannot cure disease
I can only help you feel less bound up in it

Light a candle
Well they used to tell the time
Now they only seem to burn for sex and loss of life

Or pray to fortune
Inside the colloseum
Where everybody knows what getting lucky means

Sailors and their lovers
Whistle at the stroms
While the precious people shudder
At the sadness of it all
At the sadness of it all

Fuck the ruins
I would rather see the streets
The places where the blood still flows a little

The type of history
That's written in defeat
The kind that gets between your toes a little

A solemn promise
A broken piece of prose
That little lease of life that poetry exposed

Sailors and their lovers
Batten down the time
Looking for each other
In their every absent mind
Adolescently entwined

"Don't fear when some nights rise up wild. Go walk in heather along a narrow path. Seagulls gilde and curlews cry. Reach up and gather all this world. Before dark or any other people should ever come. And find you sheltering. As all hearts are. Worried lonely. Your eyes quiet. By the waters cold. Where the sadness lurks so deep.

It doth
Make you
Still."

Sailors and their lovers
Struggle through the years
Torturing each other
With the hopes of getting near
Like a nibble at the ear.
Track Name: Can But Try
You the feeder of my appetite
You the creature I was born to fight
You the victor of my blackest war
You the one that I was waiting for

You can tell me was she pretty
I don't care I don't care
I just think that it's a pity
You got there. You got there.

And I might not be like Cleopatra staring down the Romans
Joan of Arc in silver armour living out her omens
But I'll try
I will try
Can but try

You the cheapskate in the saddest sense
You the ingrate I was warned against
You the witness to this crooked farce
You the vampire in the looking glass

You can tell me was she pretty
I don't care I don't care
I just think that it's a pity
You got there. You got there.

And I might not be like Cleopatra staring down the Romans
Joan of Arc in silver armour living out her omens
But I’ll try
I will try
Can but try

You can tell me was she pretty
I don't care I don't care
I just think that it's a pity
You got there. You got there.

And I might not be like Cleopatra staring down the Romans
Joan of Arc in silver armour living out her omens

How could you be so beautiful to me
How could you be so beautiful to me
How could you be so beautiful to me
How could you be so beautiful to me
Track Name: Graceless Child
Desdemona takes a bank note
Rolls it on her naked thigh
Tells her husband that her father is a joke
And he makes her so embarassed she could die

Out on the rooftop terrace
Fierce breezy
Fierecly defiant
She moves among the remnants
Of a party
That has since gone quiet

Did you call your wild archangels
(My graceless child)
Summon heaven to your feet
(My graceless child)
Show your softest side to strangers
(My graceless child)
Tiny figured in the street

Or were you only just an inprint
Like some half remembered line
On the trembling lips of schoolboys
Getting mangled over time

Did you learn to curse the devil
And his psychopathic schemes
Or did you realise the darkest dangers lurk
In the actions of well-meaning human beings

You could have shown some muscle
Chosen patience
Thrown your gauntlet down
But there's ten thousand other
Illuminations
In this sun stroked town

Did you wear that dress I got you
(My graceless child)
Shower sequins through the air
(My graceless child)
Or did you buy yourself another
(My graceless child)
As a tonic for dispair
(My graceless child)

Either way I bet you sparkled
Up against the shaking rails
Showing how to look successful
Even when all else has failed
Track Name: Let My Lover Lay Me Down
I was gonna get away
I was gonna get away
When that one bullet spun me round
And I let my lover lay, I let my lover lay me down

In that abandonned place
Weary from the chase
I sunk my face into the dirt
And I felt my lover loose, I felt my lover loose my shirt

Young and laden down with all my kit
I crossed the oceans like my father did
To kill another man
To kill another man
And rinse my hands in foreign ground
Till I let my lover lay, I let my lover lay me down

South Australia in the summer time
When all the beaches felt like hers and mine
I said I'd be home in a month or six
And spun her hair around my fingertips

She took me by the belt
She took me by the belt
With words that felt like sacred vows
And I let my lover lay
I let my lover lay
I let my lover lay
I let my lover lay me down