Here Comes the Groom

Originally released in 1990.
Rereleased as a double cd with The Name Above the Title in 2003.

This album was performed by John Wesley Harding and the Good Liars live at Eden Studios, Chiswick rom 24-30 July 1989. It then flew to Sunset Sound Factory, LA, where it was mixed from 7-17 August 1989.

Produced by Andy Paley
Arranged by Andy Paley and John Wesley Harding
Mix Engineer: Mark Linett (Sunset Sound Facory)
Recording Engineer: Barry Farmer (Eden Studios)
Recording Engineer: Mark Linett (tracks 5,12,13 & 14)
Sound Engineer: Tom Nellen (Sunset Sound Factory)
Executive producer: Howie Klein

The Good Liars are: Pete Thomas, Bruce Thomas, Kenny Craddock and Steve Donnelly
The Dalai Lama Horns are: Joel C Peskin, Rev. Dave Boruff and Bob Payne

All songs written by John Wesley Harding – unless I say so.
All songs published by Plangent Visions Music Ltd. – unless I say so.

This whole thing is dedicated to Phil Ochs, masculine American man.

All this fine stuff was designed by Hannaford
Photo by Brian Griffin

This album went through a whole load of name-changes. We were gonna call it You Can’t Take It With You after a great old movie, but the song called that never got around to being recorded, so it was nearly called From Bedford Falls… To Pottersville but no one know what that was about. For a few minutes it was called Everything’s My Cup of Tea, which I liked a bit, but I’m no cowboy and we forgot about that too. Someone else wanted to call it Rats On Crack which it was called until we stopped laughing. Then we were gonna call it This Is Very Important, and then we thought it could be the debut album, you know, named after me, but I didn’t want that. It was also called Big Politics, Friend to the Poor, Put A Gag On The Boss, and Untitled. It’s hard coming up with names. Then someone suggested Here Comes the Groom, and I loved it, except it means this thing now has a title track, so we stuck the song right at the top. You can call it any of the above, and there were loads of others, depending upon what you like. I like them all. I wanted something with, say, trench optimism and blitz intensity – you know, hope from hell – but I never found it. Still, I hope I find you all well. You’re the end of the line, nothing else matters, so hope you’re still smiling and see you next time. With love, and all my best wishes to your families,
JWH

Here Comes the Groom

Here Comes The Groom
With half an eye on history
And half an ounce of hope
Sold his soul in the vestry
Money for old rope
Been this way a million times
But now his time is nigh
He steps into the spotlight
He wants to say ’hi
Hello, we’re so glad you came
You’ve never seen me before’
He’s so ambitious, he’s so game
But yesterday he was dressed the same
Then he was so much easier to ignore
Here Comes The Groom
But the world’s not an inn and there isn’t any room for you
But here he comes

He married into money
Just to kiss and tell
He ripped the contract open
He’s out of his shell
He looks into a mirror
Practising his poise
But it reflects so badly
The groom just gets annoyed
He gasps, he forgets his lines
He’s never done that before
The scientists say he’s doing fine
This fumbling frantic frankenstein
Soon he’s gonna do the dinosaur
Here Comes The Groom

His fingers are on the cliff edge
His head is going under
Is that applause?
No that’s just thunder....
Why do you keep saying I do?
What does the bride mean to you?

Play me some Puccini
Make it heavy on the strings
Walk me to the altar
The choir can’t even sing
Right side for the photographs
Left side for the kids
God made me do it
So that’s what I did
He coughs, loosens his bow-tie
You’ve never seen him before
He kisses the bride, oh you know why
Love’s one more thing you can buy
He was unfaithful before he went outdoors
(and now he’s in the graveyard)
Here Comes The Groom.....

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Cathy’s New Clown

Sometimes when you get mystic
I have to leave the room
Another accident statistic
While the big bass drum goes boom
There’s an apocalypse now on Station Road
If there’s a nuclear winter, at least it’ll snow
Your talk turns all of me upside down
You turned up my ticket at the lost and found
And all I got was the current crown worn by
Cathy’s New Clown

Our enemies are at the border
We couldn’t go back too soon
Be a nice girl and don’t take orders
That’s what they’re saying in the back room
You got a big black box that I can’t get a look in
And I wanna look at you but I don’t get a look in
I’m like a talking head with the sound turned down
Or Pavlov’s dog when he wasn’t around
I’m just a little bit lost so I’m heading downtown to be
Cathy’s New Clown

One upon a time
I didn’t know you
That’s the way the story goes
But how I wish, how I wish you’d let me show you
That I love the lines but hate the clothes
That’s the way it goes

Turn the speakers up to ten now
Listen to what he has to say
Watch out there’s a body talking body-talk
A big mouth just gets in the way, hey
When I’m with you, there’s something to it
You know the old lie and you can see through it
But now I’m alone and I’m homeward bound
Cover my tracks up and cover new ground
Put down the purse cos I’m buying this round
I’m putting pepper down for the pack of bloodhounds
And all I need is a single sound, I’ll be
Cathy’s New Clown
Here he comes.....

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Spaced Cowgirl

Well you can dance on tv with your diamonds on
Sing in tune for a world that is going for a song
Get the steps all right but the words go wrong

And you can wake up in the morning with sweaty hands
Turn the radio on to the right waveband
Think about today and the one that you planned

Under the desperate gaze of the whole wide world
You turned into a spaced cowgirl
Spaced Cowgirl
Lock up the medicine chest
This wild wild woman is way out west
Spaced Cowgirl
Lock up the reins and the spurs
None of you cowboys are true to her

Well, you can be a good lover, hammer nails into hearts
And you can be a big loser when the real horror starts
You can blow hot and cold on the sacred graph

You had a good evening but you don’t know where
All you recall is a fall guy with an up for sale stare
Fell down by the bed and not to say your prayers

Under the watchful eye....

Sometimes I listen to you, it’s the whiskey talking
Sometimes I watch you move and it’s the whiskey walking
Sometimes I sit and think of the things that might have been

Well, your eyes never open, when you sleep they don’t close
And it rained so hard and your a delicate rose
Then it got so cold that your feelings froze

No, I still don’t believe in all your second sight
The automatic pilot flies your eyes tonight
Smile at the bird, we’ll get you home alright
(alright)

Under the watchful eye...

Spaced Cowgirl
Lock up the medicine chest
There’s no frontier left way out west
Spaced Cowgirl
Wasn’t she the first to say
I can’t remember my lines today....

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Scared Of Guns

Well, the power of the bullet is fascinating
They’re polishing the luga facsimiles
The little kids grow up imitating
Cowboys shoot indians before puberty
Don’t get me to the battle on time
I’d be useless in the front line
Don’t point that thing at me
You know I’m scared of guns

You can argue, say it’s harmless
In the nightmare fairground gallery
We’re all under pain of death
To keel right over gracefully
I ached to be a uniform man
And toss that baton in a marching band
Don’t point that thing at me
You know I’m scared of guns

I’m scared of guns, they’re out of your hands
I’m scared of guns, they might go bang
I’m scared of guns, Hey Joe, they’re out of control
I’m scared of guns, fear eat the soul
Don’t shoot me

I wanna put flowers in the barrels
Like the famous photo, understand
That I’d rather get hit on the head
That hold cold metal in my hand
The new arrival, the latest addition
The little boys running out of ammunition
Don’t point that thing at me
You know I’m scared of guns

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

You’re No Good

How can you be so dark and disgusting
When she’s all sweetness and light
She doesn’t lie through her teeth all day
She doesn’t grind them in her dreams
When you hold her tight at night
How can you be so sick and suspicious
When she’s health and goodness personified?
That love you gave her, it’s just a virus
That wants blood for Dr.Hyde
She’s an angel and you’re a clown
She’ll be flying when you’re six feet under the ground
You’ll be lying because someone told you you should
She’s an angel and you’re no good

How can you be so cool and distant
When she always does her best to be here
Right between your dreams and your nightmare desires
The hole in your wall has got so small
Her stockings are so sheer
How can you be so greedy and hopeless
She gives you everything but you still want more
If you could see the looks you give her
That’s something you’d abhor
She’s an angel and you’re a joke
A shaggy dog shuffling in to give the punchline a poke
You’re just dying to turn her into Red Riding Hood
She’s an angel and you’re no good

She’s a not a Barbie doll
You can drag around on some dog collar
You can’t wrap love up in Clingflim
Keep it from getting older
She’ll always be so artless
You’re heartless, getting colder
Don’t try to come from behind
Cos I’ll be right over your shoulder

How can you treat her dumb and stupid
When she knows that you’re not the bee’s knees
You’ll have to let her turn the bedside light right off
Instead of you turning it down to mood by the three degrees
How can you be so limp and spineless
When she’d even help you to make your final stand
It’s not enough for anyone
Just to lie back and think of Iceland
She’s not an angel, she’s flesh and blood
You do the dirty and she’s crawled around right in your mud
Now you’re crying, I think that we knew that you would
She’s an angel and you’re no good

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

When The Sun Comes Out

It’s been raining for a million years
And the weather just won’t turn
Try to build a fire round your place
And the damned logs refuse to burn
The braindead have been sitting on their sunbeds
Where’s heaven for its own sake
Lying dead or half-forgotten
At the bottom of a bottomless lake

But when the sun comes out
The world’s gonna go crazy
Everybody’s gonna move their arms about
Cos what they believed is turned inside-out
When the sun comes out

It’s been raining since I don’t know when
We’re all in for a big surprise
Go to the woods in your dreams tonight
And when you awake you won’t believe your eyes
It’s all the rage, it’ll make the front page
Gotta get the gutter press going down the drain
Butter melts if you leave it near the window
And it’s time to try and use a deckchair again

But when the sun comes out....

When the sun comes out
His pa will be so disappointed
To find out his son was double-jointed
Some will flounder
Some will be anointed
The son couldn’t wait to do a turn-about

It’s been raining but it’s gonna stop
Cats and dogs will shake themselves
Time to work, time to pick those hops
I gotta go and mend the greenhouse shelves
This was meant, well, it’s all heaven-sent
Go out naked and have no fear
One boy spent a little life in torment
But now he’s grinning from ear to ear
Now he’s grinning from here to here...

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Featured track—hear the whole thing

The Devil In Me

I shot John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 63
They blamed it on Oswald carelessly
But it was the devil in me
Put Jesus on the cross, I put a gag on the Boss
I kissed him on the cheek so he couldn’t speak
But that was the devil in me
It was the devil in me
It’s the devil in me that’s unlevelling me
Put it down to the devil in me

I made you breakfast, put poisoned sheets on the bed
I made you cry, couldda made you laugh instead
But that was the devil in me
So I killed you off, I tore your famous brown furcoat
I laughed at your cough, ignored your suicide note
But that was the devil in me.....

I blew up the bus, I started World War III
Hijacked the plane with Qadaffi, blew the hostages free
That was the devil in me
I’m sponsored by a company that I don’t believe in
I advertise their things for cash, that ain’t deceiving
No, that’s just the devil in me
It was the devil in me....

I gave you acid rain
I polluted the sea
I covered your thoughts up
With graffiti
You can call me by my real name
Or you can call me humanity
Because it all seems just like human behaviour
It all seems like human behaviour to me
Put it down to the devil in me

It was the devil in me
It was the devil in me
Well it’s the devil in me makes me do these things
Devil in me that makes me sing
Devil in me gave you a wedding ring
Put it down to the devil in me

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

An Audience With You

Your footman barred me from the door
Said I couldn’t see you no more
What’s with this bureaucracy
When I filled the forms you left for me
He’s a loyal man who waits for you
Where loyalty is such taboo
Sixteen keyholes in one straight line
I look through them from time to time
The weather down your end looks fine
But the forecast’s grim down mine
I’m no gamble better understand
I like to know the story plan
People say I got no sense
But I’m waiting for an audience with you

And all the wrestlers you’ve employed
And all the boys with whom you toyed
You tell me please don’t get annoyed
You’re behaving like some Helen of Troy
I don’t care for original sin
It’s a stupid world we’re living in
Your paid assassin makes me wait
He eats with fingers off his plate
He says you’ve got a pressing date
With r.i.ps and heads of state
I know that he won’t let me in
Cos villains always have bad skin
People say I got no sense
But I’m waiting for an audience with you

A plastic surgeon’s your best friend
He’s got the means to any end
He’s so efficient, you’re so vain
So we won’t see your face again
Heaven knows how hard you tried
Hell was such a bumpy ride
The widow with the holy eyes
Got a pistol strapped into her thighs
Says you’re as sweet as apple pie
You only get so bitchy cos you’re shy
But that’s a load of papal bull
I put you on that pedestal
People say I got no sense
But I’m waiting for an audience with you

Give me the strength of Hercules
His fallen arches, water knees
And please please let me be like I oughtta be
Lost and lonely, hurt and happy
With a singer’s vanity

Now everything seems like a myth
The strength that I have performed with
Two thousand stairs and there’s no lift
Gonna get to the top and there’s no if
What’s for me when I get there
Is it just wheelchairs and grey hair
And never was one letter sent
I told the truth but told it bent
That’s the custom that’s the law
But don’t ask me the reason for
I’m just a boy in love with you
I’m rejected by the things you do
People say I got no sense
But I’m waiting for an audience with you

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Dark Dark Heart

In an office two miles underground
They can’t tell night from day
Secretaries typing errors of judgement
In eternally full in-trays
Phones ring in, get put on hold
Well I’m just waiting for my nails to dry
I was coming unstuck with nothing to show
You stuck to him like felt on velcro
But now he’s gone solo
He’s taken all the amps, smashed the bedside lamp
Taken all the lightbulbs and the decorative wheelclamps
You got a dark dark dark heart
It’s the heart of darkness

Now you live in a filing cabinet
You’re another painful smiling face
What you had doesn’t even have the grace
To be forgotten without a trace
It lies, it cheats, it moans, it bleats
Almost human in every detail
In this stinking room, no-one goes to bed
There’s nothing to say that hasn’t been said
It’s not enough to wish you were dead
You had the last laugh but he didn’t know why
He jumped out the window, man, he thought he could fly
You got a dark dark dark heart
It’s the heart of darkness

Look at your body well you’re lying still
There’s a smile across your face
At the funeral yesterday
Your corpse looked out of place
You looked like death to the gathered throng
But I knew you were laughing inside
Something about your sense of humour
Based on innuendo and rumour
You were the ultimate consumer
I took all your things, I threw away your wedding rings
You had a big collection, baby, now they don’t look so
fetching
You got a dark dark dark heart
It’s the heart of darkness

It’s 4 am inside my mind
But it’s dusk out on the street
The lamps are burning fireflies
Who couldn’t stand the heat
I got cool bed linen, baby
So the story should be complete
But somewhere in the back of behind
There’s a light that makes me feel unkind
Those stupid things I made you sign
It ain’t deus ex machina
It’s not some soul subpoena
It’s just when things mean nothing it makes you meaner
You got a dark dark dark heart
It’s the heart of darkness

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Same Thing Twice

He’s done it all a million times
The gags, the repartee, the little crimes
Every audience is special and that goes for you
He looks into your eyes again
He never does it but he tries again
That old boy lost look could bruise you black and blue
Everybody’s looking for a single row so they can be alone
Cos every time the lights go up, they’d rather be at home
I looked through all the wanted ads with a fine toothed comb
And all I came up with was another evening
Doing the same thing twice
That’s what I was doing

All the drinks that he’s been sinking
Never ask him what he’s thinking
Every audience is unique and that goes for you
Dead or alive you’re coming with me
Because everything’s my cup of tea
That’s why I’ve got a gold suit and some green italian shoes
Everybody says they had, but we all know they didn’t
It’s impossible to be a little bit pregnant
Give me the whole fruit cos I’m getting just a segment
And all I end up with is another evening
Doing the same thing twice

Well it hurts so bad to get this stoned
By ugly looking bureaucrats with ears like headphones
Reading The Sun, Sunday Sport, S.Ideal Home, Woman’s Own
Looks like you’re on your own

Bring me on the magic sponge
My dying gasp, my final lunge
It’s all over now bar the dance
Do it now but don’t get caught
I’ve been having third thoughts
They can be so clever, only when the script demands
You cluttered up the sky now so you can’t follow any star
Someone’s sitting next to you in an empty cinema
No-one wants to end up face down in a reservoir
And I don’t wanna end up with another evening
Saying the same thing twice

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Affairs Of The Heart

I took a deep breath and I just stood there staring
It could have been stupid but I was past caring
It all seemed to depend on one little kiss
Oh but who would have thought it would turn out like this
And if I had I’d still have taken the risk
Please pick me up, cos I’m falling apart
That’s why I try
Hard not to start
These affairs of the heart
These affairs of the heart

Out in the big world, it was coming on morning
The newsreader on breakfast tv was still yawning
An h-bomb in Taiwan, a sex-bomb in Spain
If you spill that red wine, white will get out the stain
Forget the mess, baby, when will I see you again
Please pick me up while I’m playing this part
That’s why I try
Hard not to start
These affairs of the heart
These affairs of the heart

This movie is paper, it’s 2-D, it’s see-through
I know what happens cos I saw the preview
This mental fandango could drive me insane
Just me, these six steel strings and you off in Spain
Plainly the rain mainly falls down my drain
Please pick me up and then pull me apart
That’s why I try
Hard not to start
These affairs of the heart
These affairs of the heart

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Nothing I’d Rather Do

There’s nothing that’s better at all
That’s better than the sound of the closest call
Tells you to act proud, act proud, walk tall
There’s nothing that’s better at all

There’s nothing that can be compared
To the silver braid that plaits your hair
It’s as if you didn’t care
There’s nothing that can be compared

There’s trouble in your town
The wind blew in and your confidence drowned
Hasn’t been the same since you found
There’s trouble in your town

I didn’t read your letters
With you, they’re never news
And they’re no substitute for the times I never see you
That’s all anyway
What have you got to lose
Goes for me too....

There’s nothing I’d rather do
Take you in and pull you through
Take you in and pull you through
There’s nothing I’d rather do
There’s nothing I’d rather do

Music and lyrics by Andy White, David Lewis and John Wesley Harding (Warner-Chappell London/Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Things Snowball

You might remember this conversation when you get older
You may recall the warning signs on the road
But if you lose all recollection
Or misplace your sense of direction
Here’s a quarter taped to the number of my phone

When childish habits are slow to die
You might look up and wonder why
Things snowball in the twinkling of an eye

You could be paying for the present on expenses
You might realise your biggest lies on a movie screen
You might be living in a mansion
Your corporation in expansion
With a broken heart that far exceeds your wildest dreams

Somewhere way under the rainbow
Dragging round an empty pot of glue
Bruised and confused it could happen to you
Seeing for the first time that dreams can come true

I was living up the stairs from a mortuary
He could hear me bring the bodies home at night
He tried to say "I was just like you"
I shouted back "you’re an old fool"
He said "listen" and I told him "I’d rather die"
But I changed my mind

Music and lyrics by Peter Case and John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

The Red Rose And The Briar

Midweek and we reached Scarlet Town
I was almost dying of thirst
We parked the car in some old schoolyard
The windscreen caked in dirt
There was no water in the engine left
No tread upon the tyres
The electrics were broke cos you went mad
You ripped out all the wires
Across the road, a small cafe
In this state of disrepair
You went for papers and a shave
So I saved you a chair
I knew it wasn’t the journey’s end
And that your dream was incomplete
But I just could not stand anymore
I was dead upon my feet
I was dead upon my feet

There’s nothing there in the market square
But the ghost of the Scarlet Town Crier
I was dead upon my feet
I sing the red rose and the briar
I sing the red rose and the briar

The waitress told me her life story
She’d always meant to up and go
She wiped a cup on her red pinafore
As we waited for you to show
And I told her just a little of you
But left the picture incomplete
You still weren’t there to paint it in person
So I skipped out on the street
I skipped out on the street
The newsagent grinned, he said yes you’d been in
You bought a local paper and some shades
The washroom attendant said that you’d freshened up
That you’d left but you hadn’t paid
And I couldn’t figure out where you were
So I went back just to look near the car
There was nothing there where it should have been
Just oil on dirt and tar
Just oil on dirt and tar

There’s nothing there in the market square
But the ghost of the Scarlet Town Crier
And there was nothing there where it should have been
I sing the red rose and the briar
I sing the red rose and the briar

I saw it parked way down the street
In a garage off on the right
And a man said ’get your hands off son’
I just traded that wreck for a motorbike
There was nothing left of mine inside
Not even the broken radio
And I couldn’t figure out where that left me
So I went back to look for Rose
The Cafe Rouge was a lunchtime rush
Of regulars yelling for food
The service in there left a lot to be desired
And all the regulars were getting rude
I saw an apron thrown over a chair
A note said ’hey John we’re gone, we’re gone’
And I just smiled cos I loved you both
So I put the apron on
I put the apron on

There’s nothing there in the market square
But the ghost of the Scarlet Town Crier
And I just put the apron on
I sing the red rose and the briar
I sing the red rose and the briar

Music and lyrics by David Lewis and John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Bastard Son

Bob Dylan is my father, Joan Baez is my mother
And I’m their bastard son
Though my roots show through I’m just 22
I don’t belong to anyone
When The Band was disbanded, I was disowned
I got a number you can ring me on but I ain’t got no phone
Got a forwarding address, baby I ain’t got no home
I got no direction home
That’s the style of a bastard child
This is the song of a bastard son

Uncle Lenny used to make me laugh
Took away my nightmares, tore my daydreams in half
Showed them to me reflected upside-down
In the mirror that Suzanne Vega found
Lenny’s still doing his tricks today
Only goes to show that growing up might pay

Bruce and James were family friends
Took my mind to Carolina through the New Jersey bends
Gave me a harmonica when I was three
Nailed a banjo to my knees
Now Bruce is a foreman and James is a slave
Bruce gave in and James just gave up

My family didn’t grow up too well with technology
And I think this is why they disowned me
But now I wanna get back into the fold
I don’t wanna be a black sheep, I don’t wanna grow old
Here’s to Warren, Neil, T-Bone, Andy, Lou, Townes, Elliott
Tom, Steve, Elizabeth, Elvia, Dave
You’re singing something good and it’s gotta be saved
I think so!

I’ve only just started playing guitar and already they say
I’m a has-been
Say my songs are too long, words are too strong, shoes
aren’t clean
See the synthesizer’s broken, the 12 inch does not exist
It’s gonna take a blessed life to get on to the hitlist
I’m gonna need a blessed life to get on to the hitlist
But I’m singing for the men, for the women and the kids
Who grew up like me with seven basic instincts hid

Bob Dylan is my father, Joan Baez is my mother
And I’m their bastard son.

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

During the recording of Here Comes the Groom, Wes took this self portrait. You can hear the photo being taken on the track.