The Road Not Taken

by Adam Beattie

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    Photography by Alan Schaller

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1.
What did I dream of? Who would I be? Is the man that I aimed for The man that you see? I don’t know where I’m going But I know where I’m from I’m getting to know The man that I’ve become They say that each action Of the every day Either will make you Or take something away The further you go The longer the return I’m getting to know the man that I’ve become Life is a string of things you’ve won And things you’ve lost All that you’ve gained Against all of the costs The work of my father The gift of a son I’m getting to know The man that I’ve become I’m getting to know The man that I’ve become I’m getting to know The man that I’ve become
2.
The Same Sea 04:12
I meant to write sooner But I’ve been busy of late I wish I could fly home on this page I lost the job Just the other day I got there to find someone had taken my place I sit by the river the river flows free If we had boats we could float to the very same sea I bought an old squeeze box It’s missing some keys I play down the market they seem to like me Sometimes a child Will dance to a song Before mummy or daddy will hurry them along I look for lorries that bear our nation’s name I want to hide in the back and see if I make it home There’s a guy from back home He explained it to me They’re thinking of kicking us out you see And since he showed me The signs that they wear I’ve started to notice Them everywhere The wind from the west It blows so strong I wanna jump up high And see if I make it home Now that I know this I’ve been playing every day I think it’s time to return It’s not going my way And with each penny They throw in the hat I think they must hope that I’m saving for that In the tree by the window I watch the young swallows And when they depart I wish I could follow But the swallows are young And their journey is long I’ll give them this letter And see if it makes it home
3.
The only war that’s worth the blood And all the marching in the mud Is one where neither side can deny They’ve made a better world for you and I Put yourself in the another’s shoes You’ll see when you win, another will lose Fortune will come and go like the tide I’m on your side Like the Chinese emperor’s famous plight That he’d rid his enemies over night And in the morn’ his council could not believe To see his foes come round for tea Put yourself in another’s place You’ll find yourself easier to face And in your foes you may confide I’m on your side And in my very own street, a man named Wag His once fine suits all turned to rags He recalls the war and the men he fought And how they’re the only friends he’s got Ally yourself with another’s words And suddenly they don’t seem so absurd You’ll find that truths are just like lies I’m on your side I’m on your side
4.
I’ve had my share of good times and bad But they never told me as a lad That you never get another look Down the roads you never took And to return and change your way You’ll find it’s gone and there to stay And still not get another look Down the roads you never took You may follow on down trampled routes With heroes buried under foot For we often tend to stay Close to those who feel the same way Down that road you’ll rue the day You ever chose to come this way You’ll never know the things forsaken Down all the roads not taken And the road it will not lengthen when You go further, it will never end You’re always standing at the start Which too will vanish as you depart I try my best to feel at ease With all that’s blown by in the breeze But now and then I am shaken From a dream of all those roads not taken
5.
Of all the girls I’ve ever met Not a single one remains and yet I’ve loved each one and pledged to all But new somehow we were bound to fall You kill the one you love Those Wildean words I often think of Why do we burn what makes the brightest flame The rose so sweet, the thorny cane In every kiss we ever shared With best intentions never spared But every kiss was numbered by Laws we tried our best not to abide You only kill the one you love The eagle rests in the nest of a dove To build a home, never again to roam The heart departs and goes alone Of all the girls I’ve ever met Only one remains and loves me yet We talk of the past and long to be free The irony that binds me and she
6.
Let’s say she’s the leaves that fall from the floor The heavenly heartwood at the tree’s very core Let’s say she’s roots that bide in the ground Or the bark that protects all year round In one sense gone and part of the air In another preserved as just one more layer But now in peace and forever free But always part of the family tree As each new bud adds weight to it’s branch It makes grandparents from uncles and aunts As each branch thickens, like a trunk it becomes The back and the feet, the heart and the lungs To a new branch who will choose its time To point to the sun and start it’s climb Or grow to strength or cease to be Or start it’s own family tree As the crown grows broader and further apart It will always remain, at one at heart We’ll be snowed under by our own blossom And when one falls it will help to soften And with each season a part will die And fall to the ground where grandmother lies And so she will know so I ask of thee To take good care of the family tree I once saw a tree split right open It’s bark in tact but it’s heartwood broken I looked above to see its head still strong But at what cost and for how long? How long will it be before the leaves will know the heartache felt down below? So for the buds and the blossom Make a stand with me To love and be loyal to the family tree
7.
The horse wears blinders so he can’t see to the side A woman is veiled to make a worthy bride You can’t catch two fish on the same line The man who loves too much will lose every time He who shoots straight but always looks away He without faith but prays every day If it bears no fruit it’s cut from the vine The man who loves too much will lose every time You can’t win a woman by showing your tears The louder you shout, the less people hear The heavier the heart, the harder the climb The man who loves too much will lose every time He says he doesn’t love you but he always asks for more He invites you to a bed he’s made up by the door He’ll read you the rules but he won’t let you sign The man who loves too much will lose every time Every cell will perish and all will be replaced Memory will be passed on to a brand new face She caught you looking for the past in an empty glass of wine The man who loves too much will lose every time The light will blind you if you stare too long The heart will break if it feels too strong Adam bit the apple and he died in his prime The man who loves too much will lose every time
8.
I travel a lot And I’ve often forgot Of even the prettiest of places Meet new people each day “Keep in touch” we say But they’re all just names without faces So I started a routine Of buying a postcard from every place I’ve been And this land is filled Next to rivers, on top of hills With towns as pretty as can be With names without fame But with locals who claim Some hero or legacy And the pride of the land Just sits on top like a crown And I buy a postcard from every town But there’s the sort of place That I pass in haste It just clings to the side of the road And its heart is gone Replaced by the road we’re on Just trying hard to bear the load And the only folks that remain Were here long before the road came And they meet your gaze Only with a frown There is no postcard for this town The traffic rushes through And I spy one of the few Just sulking like a sunflower in the drought Looking for what they’re owed With a face like a stone on a roman road And where you hear no splash You’re left to drown There is no postcard for this town
9.
I kissed her at the village dance I’d sat next to her in class On the bus home the windows steamed up I wrote her name on the glass But back at school like a fool I moved too slow Catch the biggest fish and let it go She sent me upstairs to her bed I heard her party down below She went to the pub in her dressing gown To steal me toilet roll She said she never keeps anything that grows Catch the biggest fish and let it go She bought a one-way ticket And packed her winter clothes She’s got so much love to give But to whom she never knows And when I hesitated She quickly found another Catch the biggest fish and let it go She could get a meeting with the pope She’d fake death to jump the queue But she never watered flowers Because she liked to buy them new They’ll come again after the winter’s snow Catch the biggest fish and let it go A kiss was like a dance to her Something that friends can share Her mother kept her boyfriends In a cupboard under the stairs There’s something broken in every home Catch the biggest fish and let it go Catch the biggest fish and let it go
10.
Welcome Home 03:33
Got off the train, walked to my house Long after everyone had all moved out Knocked on the door, a stranger came I held out my hand and gave my name It meant little to him And when I asked if I’d come in I imagined my mother At the top of the stairs And the words she’d always say Welcome home Welcome home Lay down your bags Take off your coat Welcome home Dinner’s on the stove Welcome home And I woke from this dream And it was not what it seemed I was at home, I heard people Just like it’d always been I went down to the kitchen They sitting round the tree There was mum and dad, big sister And babies at my feet Welcome Home… And just to sit there between them And watch the children play The more they pass, the more I savour Each and every day Christmas lights at the window And it was pitch black by four But there was little reason To step out that door Welcome home…

about

Adam has teamed up with Fred Thomas to make his most beautifully intricate album to date.

credits

released May 11, 2016

Most guitars and vocals by Adam. Backing vocals by Brooke Sharkey. Drums on track 3 by Marco Quarantotto. Violins by Piotr Jordan. All other instruments by Fred Thomas. All songs written by Adam Beattie, except track 10, words by Adam Beattie and music by Mairearad Green. Guitar riff on track 3 written by Leander Lyons.

Produced, Arranged and Recorded by Fred Thomas and Adam Beattie. Mixed by Alex Bonney. Mastered by Peter Beckmann at TechnologyWorks.

©2016 Adam Beattie. Photography by Alan Schaller.

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Adam Beattie London, UK

Scottish singer songwriter Adam Beattie has just released his 5th studio album ‘Somewhere Round The Bend’ The album received critical acclaim, “5/5 Absolute gem of an album” - RnR MAGAZINE, “8/10 The album is mesmeric” - LOUD AND QUIET MAGAZINE, “Stirring folk balladry” - THE LINE OF BEST FIT, “A very fine record, full of great moments” - RODDY HART, BBC RADIO SCOTLAND ... more

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