The Name Above the Title

Originally released in 1991
Rereleased as a double cd with Here Comes the Groom in 2003.

Produced by Andy Paley

Recorded and mixed by Mark Linett
Second Engineers: Tom Nellen at Sunset Sound Factory, LA
Donal Hodgson at Eden Studios, Chiswick
Margaret Gwynne at Your Place Or Mine Recording
Executive producer: Howard Klein
Production coordinator: Laura Grover
Assistant to Mr Linett: Tom Nellen
Assistant to Mr Harding: David Lewis
Mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab
Mixed by Sunset Sound Factory and Your Place Or Mine Recording

All songs written and arranged by John Wesley Harding
All songs publshed by Plangent Visions Music Ltd. (ASCAP) except "The Facts of Life" written by Andy Paley and John Wesley Harding, published by Satellite Six Songs (ASCAP)/Plangent Visions Music Ltd and "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by James Vale/Grey, published by Longitude Music Co BMI

"Anonymous 1916" is an anonymous war poem that I tuned. It was found for me by my mother.

The last album took four weeks to make and this one, as they say, took even longer. It made the same fantastic voyage from Chiswick to Los Angeles. The backing tracks were recorded in four days straight and the rest was easy. Here are some crucial pieces of information, vital to a true enjoyment and understanding of this thing.

People who appear on this album include:
The Good Liars: Pete Thomas, Bruce Thomas, Steve Donnelly, Kenny Craddock, Wes

The Big and Brassy Band: Joel Peskin, Marty Krystall, Bob Payne, Charlie Davis

The Morgan Creek String Ensemble: Sid Page, Dimitrie Leivici, Michelle Zivahl-Fox, Maurice Grants

The Waters: Maxine Waters, Oren Waters, Julia Waters

The World (And All Its Problems)

I was holding up a cigarette and trying to find my mouth
Tyring hard to look so cool like any other ticket tout
People sipping on each other’s blood, they’re all out for the count
Talking turkey all around me, what are they all on about?

I’m walking out it’s past midnight, so I stay in the light
Someone’s breathing on my shoulder, trying to start a fight
He says "What was that you called me?" And something says I might
Just try to reason with him, where’s the beaten track tonight?

It’s the world and all its problems
The world and all its problems
The world and all its problems

Jesus Gandhi’s on a limb out where good guys don’t go
Telling all these parables that everybody knows
And no-one wants to hear them cos he tells them all so slow
You can catch him on the news when he becomes a superhero

(Chorus)

I’m sitting on your sofa
Thinking about how things rhyme
I wish you’d plug the dansette in
And turn it up just one more time
One more time

Everybody wants all the truth but it’s easier to lie
Me I love this girl called Ruth, we had to say goodbye
I loved her so much sometimes that it made me wanna die
And I’d hate her so much sometimes and we knew the reason why

(Chorus)

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

Fifty Fifty Split

There are so many sides to every story
And this is mine
A dirty pair of hands sometimes has to come clean
And now is the time
I just couldn’t see love’s great defection
Now it’s flourishing in one dimension
Love went over the wall
Was it pushed or did it fall?

The official story was a 60/40 split
Cut with a knife
But now that I’m ghostwriting your autobiography
This ought to be your life
You wouldn’t have to be a great detective
To see the things you do to me are self-reflexive
They bounce right back from me
Cos I’m a human trampoline

Seems now, it’s so hard to take
Heart to hearts that were heart for heart’s sake
Now Cupid only watches darts
Love is just the sum of its parts

Together we were a perfect circle
I think that we should get back again
I’ll hold you close and we’ll roll all the way
Back down to Lover’s Lane
We’re just two sides of a vulgar fraction
Waiting for a little love interaction
When the borderline will fall
Without you I mean half of nothing at all

Looking back, it seems like fake
Heart to hearts that were heart for hearts sake
I should have known right from the start
I want you know, I want the fake
I learnt the laws of love it’s just give and take
(You give and I take)
I’ve got the guts, I will restart
And love is only the sum of its parts
Love is the sum of its parts
Yes it is.

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

The People’s Drug

Got a stupid job, but it’s fair money
Got a brand new car but I can’t drive
I’ve got a sweetheart, I call her honey
And I’ve also got a wife
People say that they’re depressed
But they go out, they’re so well dressed
What is it that makes them feel that way?
Can’t get it in no drug store
No man’s an island, that’s for sure
And it looks like the world just ran out of things to say

So, give me some of the people’s drug
Give me some of the people’s drug
Whatever makes you feel that good
I’ll take it like I know I should
So, give me some of the people, people’s drug
Give me some of the people’s drug

Pick me up and take me to a movie
Give me an ending that I can understand
Sell me a rocking soundtrack, make it groovy
Give me backstage passes to the band
People always whine whine whine
Shut up and pay the fine fine fine
What’s the difference anyway
Beteween being safe and being rad
When the big joke is we’ve all been had
You won’t get to read the news in USA Today

(Chorus)

God, it’s a whacky race we’re running
I must atone for all my sins
God grant me some of what you’re giving
Heard you don’t need needles, don’t need pins
I’ll pay prescription where’s the bill
I thought it was a bitter pill
But what’s it matter what I feel
Take the dog and take the wife
Show me how to life a better life
The price you people pay, it’s gotta be a steal

(Chorus)

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

The Movie Of Your Life

In the movie of your life
They’ll get some real jerk to be you
Edited so he can act
Cast because of his TVQ
In the movie of your life
You’ll be less famous than he is
That’s a strange turn of events
You’ll be a cameo amongst the rushes

And you’re learning all the lines
Though it was you who said them in the first place
Since then someone wrote them down
To pay for his new beach space
There’s all these things you can’t recall
And things you know you didn’t say
But in the move of your life
The truth just flirts and runs away

And it’s so plain to me
You’re happy with this parody
But in a glittering instant you hold the light so we can see
That your joke’s become your reality

All your tricks so limp and tame
You said you were a stage magician
But it’s only moths in light
Heaven burnt out in collision
You thought it was your life story
It’s only seats that they’re booking
The truth won’t get a look-in

(Chorus)

Everyone knows that you’re divine so we await your resurrection
And they say that you’ll be just fine
After you dry out on the critical clothesline

And you know it’s all made up
How come your face has ceased to be you?
All your doubts and greatest fears
They will be confirmed at the preview
Celluloid has shaped the day
And put the cat amongst the coughers
Now you’re waiting for the next big offer

(Chorus)

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

I Can Tell (When You’re Telling Lies)

I can tell when you’re telling lies
I can see it in your smiling eyes
I can’t help when you’re telling lies
I can see it in your lack of surprise
I can see just where the truth doesn’t lie
Watching you cut through the bind that ties

Once upon a time a story with a happy end
But that’s all in the past now, it’s all around the bend
You can’t appease me now, those hopeless things you send
And you can’t please me now and we can’t start again
There’s too much history, and no clean sheets
When I get to hear his story, it puts my feet to sleep
It’s all romantic nothing about a heart in a rage
Murdered by some cartoon villain who ripped out the last page

(Chorus)

Happy ever after, a prince apparent and his bride
All his disarming charm and her unfaithful side
He’s scouting for success and she’s his girl guide
The day the die was cast, it was the day I died
And now your hips are up for grabs and now the chips are down
I could be jetting with the set instead of with this clown
You want it to be unabridged, all bridges should be burnt
Sometimes you must recross them, that’s something you never learnt

(Chorus)

There are some tricks you can’t pull
I mean the wool that is
Over my eyes
That’s what happens when lookng for love
Becomes a game of I Spy

I know you’re combing someone’s hair, or someone’s soothing you
A lie may well fool someone else but it tells the truth
About you to you

(Chorus)

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

Bridegroom Blues

The streets are doing a wardance
As their sight is restored to the blind
And I’m sifting trash on the offchance
That there might be something to find
And Mary lets her fingers do the walking
Her baby’s nearly due
She’s listening but no-one’s talking
At the citizen’s advice bureau
And Joe is down on the dole-queue
He should have signed on yesterday
Even if he was a carpenter and she was his lady
He still wouldn’t be able to make it pay
No

And he don’t believe in Angels
She’s been seeing another man
Infidelity runs in the family
But that wasn’t a part of the plan
And shepherds watch the flicks by night
At the King’s Cross all night show
Something’s trying to catch their eyes
But they’re too grossed out to know
And the three kings travel like three ships a-sailing
They’ve got some gifts he’ll need
Cocaine for sniffing, money for corruption, and a whole load of videos of I Love Lucy

But the king of the country he’s getting frightened
He doesn’t want to be another man’s pawn
And he crushes the beer can between his hands
He sees his fate, the clown yells Checkmate
And another star is born

But the baby is killed in an instant
As though his whole life were a dream
Though his book sells well and he pulls out the stops
Everyone knows he’s a hyped-up hasbeen

And the t-shirts just embarrass
And thought become memories after a while
He’s looking so much older now
It’s hard to believe that that was style
And he throws his cloak out to his fan
It’s his last chance sacrifice
The girls are crawling a cut-glass sea
No-one even wants to look twice
Cos the circle’s all but full now
But the stalls are empty for the latest son
Who just smiles and says
Give my regards to Fleet Street, I’ve gotta run

The streets are doing a wardance
As their sight is restored to the blind
And I’m sifting trash on the offchance
That there might be something to find...

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

Save A Little Room For Me

When it’s time to pack your bags
When everything appears as the drag that it is
Get down that brown case that your grandma had
Open it up and think of your dad
When you’re feeling empty
And the echoes round this cold white room have no identity
When it’s time to pack your bags
Save a little room for me

When it’s time to buy a home
When you’re sick of using a different phone everyday
Settle up your debts and then settle down
Take that suitcase back to the lost and found
When you’re feeling lonely
I guarantee the neighbourhood community will rally round you
Wait and see
When it’s time to buy a home
Save a little room for me

When it’s time to lie down
When you’re sick of the sound and the sight hurts your eyes
Wrap up warm in a single bed
Tie up the loose strings that are in your head
When you’re feeling empty
Dreams will fill you up in the Big Sleep City
When it’s time for you lie down
Save a little room for me
Save a little room for me

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

Anonymous 1916

I’ve lost my rifle and bayonet
I’ve lost my pull-through too
I’ve lost the socks that you sent me
That lasted the whole winter through
I’ve lost the razor that shaved me
I’ve lost my four-by-two
I’ve lost my hold all
And now I’ve got damn all
Since I’ve lost you.

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

Featured track—hear the whole thing

The Person You Are

I put my forehead to the door
And I heard the famous sound of infidelity
Looks like I loved and lost once more
Oh, but all’s fair in love and war supposedly
I couldn’t even burst in on you
See scrabbling sheets hear your excuse
Give you the evil eye or verbal abuse

Why do you do what you do
When the things that you do hurt the person you are?
Why do you do what you do
When the things that you do hurt the person you are?

I slam my glass down on the bar
And my problems they hit the floor so gracefully
I don’t know where I parked the car
But that’s ok, tonight I’m on the town without me
Tonight it’s just me and my evil twin
The one who slips one more drink in
The one who slips away, when I start sinking

Why do you do what you do
When the things that you do hurt the person you are?
Why do you do what you do
When the things that you do hurt the person you are?
The person you are

I got a job to pay the rent
Put people out of work by repositioning
Now no-one’s sitting on the fence
Whose garden will we end up sitting in?
It’s getting much too hot to heal the sky
And it hurts too much to open up our eyes
To fundamental truths that we hold as lies

Why do we do what we do
When the things that we do hurt the people we are?
Why do you do what you do
When the things that you do hurt the person you are?
The person you are
The person you are
The person.

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

Long Dead Gone

It’s so easy to forgo, so hard to forget
So hard for to realise that I’m not dead yet
When everything that we wanted is beyond beyond
And all that I hoped for is long dead gone

So how can I sleep in this memory bed
Where I feel like a grave with a tomb for a bedhead
With your name and my name carved deep in the stone
Now faded away cos we’re long dead gone

We’re long dead gone, long dead gone
Now faded away because we’re long dead gone

And love lies bewildered, checking its pulse
To see if it compares to anything else
And two things still beating, but never as one
And one thing lies choking cos it’s long dead gone

So here rests in pieces
Whatever it was that we could admit to
Whatever it was that was me and you

So why won’t I just let it die and get rid
Of the truth that we both would’ve rather kept hid
Better to live a lie than pretend that you’re not
And live out a love that is long dead gone

It’s long dead gone, long dead gone
Don’t live out a love which is long dead gone
Never live out a love that is long dead gone
Don’t live out a love which is long dead gone

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

The Facts Of Life

Well you say you’ve got everything you wanted
All your beds are full and your houses are haunted
And everything you need, well you got it on credit
There’s nothing we can think and you haven’t said it
But something tells me that everything is gonna change
When your shares hit low and the world starts to rearrange
And when it does I know that
You won’t be where it’s at
You better learn
The facts of life

I guess that no-one ever took you aside
And pointed out the difference between black and white
And now it seems that role has fallen to me
Which is kinda strange when you consider who you wanna be
And you come you don’t know
How low you’ll have to go
To realise the facts of life

You’re too old to learn your ABCs
And it’s much more sinister than the birds and the bees
You know I told you it was, didn’t I?

So now you’re dead buried and neglected
And you’re learning much more than you ever expected
No-one can explain your heart attack
Now everyone’s bringing up baby behind your back
Bet you wish you’d listened close
Instead of taking an overdose
Bet you wish you knew
The facts of life
The facts of life

Music and lyrics by Andy Paley and John Wesley Harding (Satellite Six Songs, ASCAP/Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Driving In The Rain

With all your vice and volume the whole of last week
The plastic pretenders to paradise speak
Of your fictions of triumph and legends of pain
The sense that you’d left you’d be back once again
There’s a glint in your eyes and the sky starts to laugh
It’s two to one you never did things by half
And I’m out on the rooftops yelling your name
Cos without you this town will be too much the same

You went driving in the rain
I’ll never see you again
There’s nothing in the air left to compare
To all of your passion and genius pain
You went driving in the rain
I’ll never see you again

There was talk of an illness that came by surprise
The papers did penance, the whole town took sides
Oh, but it was your dancing and mischievous mind
And then we were shot of you, but no-one’s that blind
And there’s flowers have bloomed down the side of your street
Where you and your demons did openly meet
And I hope it’s wide open where you’ve got to
There’s closed minds in this town that couldn’t accept you

(Chorus)

They’re making excuses, the reasons, the facts
They’re reasoning how long you’ll take to come back
But there’s guilt in their prayers, maybe shame in their pride
They know it was no fault of yours down inside
They say steps can’t be retraced cos tracks disappear
And there’d be no welcome for you back here
Because you were the worst side of everyone’s soul
They had to get rid or face up to the cold

(Chorus)

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

Backing Out

Been living in the city too long now
Even my lungs have started to groan
Everybody is singing their own song
Sometimes I wanna sing alone
Never been a primadonna
Never seem to wanna be the one to complain
Enough’s too much and now I’m gonna
Stop the madness soon before it drives me insane

So, take me where the sun won’t shine on me
Take me where my conscience won’t go
Take me where the sun won’t shine on me
Don’t tell me I’m backing out cos I don’t wanna know

Everyone around this town is so angry
Blaring horns, swearing, shaking fists
If everybody in the world was a hit man
We’d wipe each other off each other’s hit lists
Who wants to stand and be counted
All anger ever amounted to was lines on your face
I don’t want to be the one to start the shouting
I’m part of this society and I know my place

(Chorus)

Everything around this town is so boring
Nothing changes, nothing doesn’t stay the same
Ten years ago when we had high ideals
We couldn’t wait to play the protest game
But now we have our thing together
Brand new leather, three bank accounts
Who cares about the starving millions
We’re just happy that our cheques don’t bounce

(Chorus)

(outtake)

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

Alternate cover photo