a short site about The Divine Comedy

English version

To Our Fathers In Distress

Version live

1. Breakfast
It’s Sunday morning
Bread is frying
Mother is fretting
Brothers are fighting

You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards
When was the last time you polished your shoes?
You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards
When was the last time you combed your hair?

Dad’s in the study
Writing his sermon
We must be quiet
Lest we disturb him
Shhh…

And now on BBC Radio 4, Alistair Cooke’s ‘Letter From America’

You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards
When was the last time you polished your shoes?
You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards
When was the last time you combed your hair?

But no one cares what I look like
I care!

And now on BBC Radio 4, Alistair Cooke’s ‘Letter From America’
Jesus loves me, this I know, for the bible tells me so

2. Morning Service
Still
Expectant hush
Sombre
But not sad
We come here
Because we come here
It’s what we do
Reverend Hannon us quite young
It’s true
We stand
Lift our hymn books
Worship
Matinee idol looks
His wife is terribly nice
But she does not feed him
Lovely flowers

In surplice and cassock dressed
We leave the confines of the vestry
Two by two through nave, and lastly
Into the chancel
Girls and boys
Gentlemen and ladies
Pure in voice
Pire in thought and word and deed
Or maybe not
Feel the noise
Invading every part of your soul

Basses build a firm foundation
Tenors, upward elevation
Altos add the walls and ceilings
Trebles fill each room with feeling

‘Praise, my soul, the king of heaven
To his feet thy tribute bring
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven
Evermore his praises sing

Praise him for his grave and favour
To our fathers in distress
Praise him still the same as ever
Slow to chide and swift to bless

Father-like, he tends and spares us
Well out feeble frame he knows
In his hands he gently bears us
Rescues us from all our foes

Angels, help us to adore him
Ye behold him face to face
Sun and moon, bow down before him
Dwellers all in time and space’

3. Sunday Lunch
‘We do not presume to come to this table…
Trusting in our own righteousness
Bit in thy manifold and great mercies
We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs
From under thy table’

Now you miserable sinners
Guess who’s coming to dinner
Is it Granny and Grangpa?
No, a man from Uganda
I want your best behaviour
He might decide to pray for ya
What’s the smell from the kitchen?
Blas, I forgot the chicken!

Grandpa Butler is so much more fun
Telling stories of when he was young
Of Australia and aristocrats
One day I’ll do that

Pass the salt, please
Could I have some more gravy?
It’s ‘may I have’, it’s ‘may I have’
I don’t want to miss the Grand Prix
In on the left, out on the right
I very much enjoyed your sermon
In on the left, out on the right
Have you been to Ireland before?
Is that a scratch on the dining room table?
Yes, it does rain here a lot
What have I said about racing your cars?
In on the left, out on the right
Bless us and save us!
Delicious
In on the left, out on the right
That was delicious
Lord bless us and save us!

4. A Walk
Grab the day by the scruff of the neck
Pull your willies on
Then all try to squeeze into a Renault 16
Look at Daddy, he thinks he’s in a rally
Look at Guinness, the Red Setter, drooling on my sweater
So we march, march, march to the top of the hill
To the Grianan of Aileach
Where the wind will whistle in from the west
Steal the breath from your chest
Push you over on the way back down

If we’re good today Daddy just might play
I’ve seen it once or twice
Desmond days he does quite important stuff
And Desmond’s always right

Out they come, like a rocker, from the boot
Bushy, Carly, Tippy, Guinness, and a Cairn named Sue
The boys run fast but the dogs run fasters
They knock you down as they tumble passed you
Bang, bang, bang, we’re pretending to be soldiers
The ones we’ve seen in the green Land Rovers
Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, can you hold my coat
You don’t feel the code when you’re seven year old

If we’re good today Daddy just might play
I’ve seen it once or twice
Desmond says he does quite important stuff
And Desmond’s always right

And through the wood
And through the woods go two small boys
The darkness wraps around
We soldier on, we have no choice
It is our task
Out noble task to lead the way
So those who lag behind
Can follow on without delay

We clear a swathe
We cut a swathe through jungle thick
Out machetes travel quick
Beheading all that’s in our way
Then slowly we
We start to feel that something’s wrong
Where have the others gone?
They should have been along by now

We’re walking back
We’re running back from whence we came
But nothing looks the same
And the game’s no longer fun
Then Brendan says…
Then Brendan shouts…
Then Brendan screams…
Do you know what this means?
We are lost!

We call their names
We call but there is no reply
Just the rustling of the leaves
Among the branches way up high
What have we done?
Where will we go?
How will we live?
Where’s the nearest orphanage?!

There you are!
Come one then…

Grab the day by the scruff of the neck
Never leaving your side again
Pull your willies on
Then all try to squeeze into a Renault 16
Never going to hide again
Look at Daddy, he thinks he’s in a rally
Never going astray again
Look at Guinness, the Red Setter, drooling on my sweater
Never wandering away again
So we march, march, march to the top of the hill
To the Grianan of Aileach
Never leaving the pack again
Where the wind will whistle in from the west
Leaving the beaten track again
Steal the breath from your chest
Never losing the team again
Push you over on the way back down
Never ever to be seen again

If we’re good today Daddy just might play
I’ve seen it once or twice
Desmond days he does quite important stuff
And Desmond’s always right

Out they come, like a rocker, from the boot
Never leaving your side again
Bushy, Carly, Tippy, Guinness, and a Cairn named Sue
Never going to hide again
The boys run fast but the dogs run fasters
Never going astray again
They knock you down as they tumble passed you
Never wandering away again
Bang, bang, bang, we’re pretending to be soldiers
Never leaving the pack again
The ones we’ve seen in the green Land Rovers
Leaving the beaten track again
Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, can you hold my coat
Never losing the team again
You don’t feel the code when you’re seven year old
Never ever to be seen again

5. The Gathering Gloom
The kettle’s boiling
The steam is rising
Wet dogs are shaking
Trousers are drying

Homework is calling
Monday is looming
Scotland is winning
Ireland is losing

6. Evening Prayer
Now ends the day
Now sets the sun
Cares pass away
Memories live on

Shroud not these times
In vain regret
Lest we decline
Lest we forget

To our fathers in distress…