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Catching flies with my eyes shut, my mouth's open wide.
But I curse as the bugs bite, I spit with the tide -
like to fly to the next world - it's just out of sight.
I'm sick of the same scene, I'm tired of this road.
Howling oaths at the cruel sea that creeps 'round my toes
and I'm thinking of you, my regret overflows;
but sleep softly my dear one cos you'll never know.
I swear by the rings round the admiral's eyes
this albatross stings like a sword in my side.
And this boat's going to sink and we're all gonna die...
But sleep softly my dear one, I'll keep it inside.
Twilight Hour (1)
Slave-chained, half-naked, along for the ride. (2) Catching flies with my eyes shut, my mouth's open wide. (3) But I curse as the bugs bite, I spit with the tide - like to fly to the next world - it's just out of sight. I'm sick of the same scene, I'm tired of this road. (4) Howling oaths at the cruel sea that creeps 'round my toes and I'm thinking of you, my regret overflows; but sleep softly my dear one cos you'll never know. (5) I swear by the rings round the admiral's eyes (6) this albatross stings like a sword in my side. (7) And this boat's going to sink and we're all gonna die... (8) But sleep softly my dear one, I'll keep it inside. (9)
(1) Twilight is the time of the day when the sun is just below the horizon, especially the period between sunset and dark. As a metaphor then, it also means a period or condition of decline following growth, glory, or success: in the twilight of his life. The name of the show the Twilight Zone implied the shadowy worlds between reality and fantasy. Bassist Ryan Moore, who plays as a Pink Dot on this album for the first time would eventually leave the LPDs to found his own dub-influenced project Twilight Circus. This song appears to depict a slave chained in the hold of a slave-ship that is sinking, and there is nothing the slave can do but go down with the ship. These are, perhaps, the slave's thoughts in the final hour between life and death.
(2) This could have a connection with the line "They locked up all their daughters, deep down horizontal in the hold", from the song "The Ocean Cried 'Blue Murder', from the previous album, The Maria Dimension. Also, the character from the song "Belladonna" is a slave. Many of Edward's lyrics, (and lyrical poetry in general) utilizes nautical imagery. See for instance the LPD and Tear Garden songs "Neon Mariners", "On Another Shore", "A Ship Named Despair", and others. Compare with songs such as "A Sailor's Tail", (alluding to the travels of Odysseus or other Greco-roman journey myths) from the album "Islands" by the band King Crimson. Are we all "sailors" on the Ocean of Being?
(3) This line could have connections with the song "Kingdom of the Flies", from the sequel to this album, "Malachi".
(4) Compare being "tired of this road" with the song "Straight on 'Til Morning" from the 1995 album "From Here You'll Watch the World Go By".
(5) This slave's loved one will never know what happened to them. Compare the theme of inexplicable loss in the song "Lisa's Separation" on the album "The Golden Age"
(6) The commander of the ship appears to be an Admiral - another archetypical figure like the Captain? The Admiral has rings around his eyes implying, perhaps, a lack of sleep - or perhaps some kind of drug habit.
(7) Albatross (other than a treat on a stick sold by John Cleese) seems to be reference to the The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In this poem, a Mariner shoots an albatross, and the crew thinks it an unlucky and unwise act. In his 1946-7 essay "The Mariner and the Albatross", George Whalley suggests that the Ancient Mariner is an autobiographical portrait of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge himself, comparing the Mariner's loneliness with Coleridge's own feelings of loneliness expressed in his letters and journals. It has also been suggested that the Ancient Mariner is an allegorical description of Coleridge's own turbulent marriage - the tale begins as a story told by the Mariner to a man on the way to a wedding ceremony - with the sea-faring imagery perhaps the best representative for this interpretation. Compare also the line "H with a capital Hate, out catching souls and drilling holes and it can make you feel like Jesus 'til that Sword gets driven in." from the song "Spike" on the 1997 album "Hallway of the Gods". That song refers to heroin - is Twilight Hour also a veiled reference to heroin?
(8) This line seems to be reflected in a picture of the skeletons together in a boat on the back cover of Shadow Weaver. (Cover art by Stephen Stapleton). It evokes the idea of "we're all in the same boat", meaning that people must cooperate and work as a team because they face the same challenges together. To "stay afloat" or "keep the ship afloat" is to keep one's business finances healthy, and the phrase "to desert a sinking ship" is to quit a project that is failing. If this ship is a metaphor, then this person can not leave the ship, for they are chained to their project.
(9) Edward often seems to write of a (noble?) urge to keep bad news inside. See for instance the Tear Garden song "Circles in the Sand" from the album "The Last Man to Fly" in which one wanderer in a desert keeps the hopes of the other one up even though the first knows they are going in circles, or a line such as "...the things inside me would depress you. Lock them up, you know it's best I keep things to myself.", from the song "Pandora's Socks" on the album "Chemical Playschool 8"