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Why Do You Laugh?

This song is by Beau and appears on the compilation album Edge Of The Dark: Unreleased Recordings 1972 - 1985 (2009) and on the album Twelve Strings To The Beau (2013).

The truck there on the skyline was waiting to explode
As angels sang in harmony on our side of the road.
Two country music virgins in lemon-coloured frocks
Found Negroes in the woodpile with keys to all their locks.
But me, I walk the centre line, the left and right is blurred.
The path I walk is shining white, and I am not deterred.

The mindless open window (or so the story ran)
Encouraged those with aerosols to turn their pressure can.
With the buttons pressed together, the thousand snowflakes flew
And the wind took up the story as they all came rushing through,
And me, I caught a mouthful for my collecting tin
To teach me to be standing on the outside, looking in.

The wastrels in the alleys who beg their winters' salt
Should not condemn too lightly, for others have their faults.
The black and white collectors whose only words are "Yes"
And "No" are learning other lines like "I could not care less".
But me, I walk between them; I pass the alleys by,
Both through a sense of justice and also being shy.

The desolate Commander who sees his force has flown
Still commands the Sergeant, whose stature now has grown
To ultimate dimensions far greater than they knew
In the hours before the enemy demobilised the crew.
But me, I see the lizard that no one seems to note
Studying the Sergeant and peering down his throat.

The sandboy scours the beaches with each successive tide,
Trying to find the secrets that the shoreline tries to hide.
But no one ever told him - for no one ever knew -
The exercise is futile if your face is turning blue.
But me, I never argued, or risked a dry repulse.
I watched him stick his neck out and I judged the end results.

The sickness in the hospital was carefully detailed.
Its pulse was taken daily; and then the heating failed!
The patient grew delirious; ran naked round the ward
Shouting down the microphone, "I really can't afford..."
But me, I'm not a Doctor, or a Blacksmith or a corpse.
(The bellows don't affect me, and I cannot ride a horse...)

So the half-demented soldier with the semi-sharpened blade
Stands beneath the interchange the engineers have made.
From here he never ventures, the laughable recluse;
His pay is in his pocket, if that is any use.
But me, I never noticed, and no one put me wise
As quietly I drove my car across the soldier's eyes.

The militant magician, his heart upon his sleeve,
Severed all of the arteries that the others tried to thieve,
But with a cry of victory that nothing else could bring
The butcher stole the audience and turned his veins to string.
But me, I never comment, for who am I to mind
The magic of the butcher whose bacon has no rind?

The so-elusive Doctor with the Journalists' degree
Always makes the surgery a second before me.
Of course, it's true he lives there - his castle is his home.
His daughter is a genius - she invented "Crazy Foam".
But me, I never notice her steal her father's pride;
His words possess a beauty in the way that they prescribe...

The monkeys in the circus up on the high trapeze
Scatter words of wisdom, at the same time as the fleas
Come flying through the spotlight to where the safety net
Catches all the ashes from the monkey's cigarette.
But me, I use an ashtray and antiseptic cream;
The monkeys may be filthy, but I am very clean.

The shining Iron Maiden with her undemanding games
Plays with anybody but will never ask their names
(Except a case remembered when once she did relent -
She overheard her son as he became an ornament).
But me, I know the reasons that she could not discern.
It's not for her to criticize, and so be out of turn.

The doorman bows politely in his mink and ermine suit.
His manner is provincial (and immaculately cute!).
He passes out the papers the visitors must see
But carefully disguises the copies on his knee.
But me, a listless orphan with everything to lose,
Became condemned for breathing and the creaking of my shoes.

The consequential critic, his Rizla carefully rolled,
Seeks to disassociate the eunuch in the fold.
But there, the blind defeat him by kidnapping his child
In deference to the wishes of those that he defiled.
But me, I see it differently, as one more broken chance.
His crystal-clear perception is once again enhanced...

Written by:

C J T Midgley