Not Your Door

by Robert Rotifer

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £7 GBP  or more

     

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    LP with lyrics on inner sleeve. CD of the album enclosed.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Not Your Door via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      £14 GBP or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Card digipack sleeve, includes lyric sheet

    Includes unlimited streaming of Not Your Door via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      £10 GBP or more 

     

1.
If We Hadn't Had You We watched a film from when you were born We heard you speak before words were formed You said you recognised yourself In the clothes I'd worn We watched that film of the day you were born And I thought of the things that were going on In that very same world at the time When you were born And it wasn't all wrong It wasn't any less true Though I guess we withdrew But what would we have had If we hadn't had you We rolled your pram down to Hyde Park On that sunny day before the world went dark They said it was a million It may have been more Your brother waving his placard around You and us in the sun as we sat on the ground And a faraway voice said “We're too many to ignore” Well we didn't stop the war So it wasn't really true And then everyone withdrew Girl what would we have had If we hadn't had you If we hadn't had you, well, heaven knows We would have bought some records Some books and some clothes To dress up the hell Of a life only lived for ourselves And it wouldn't have been wrong Or any less true If all that we knew Is the little we would have had If we hadn't had you
2.
Passing a Van I don't know if you spotted me Through sheets of rain and spray I was in that beat-up van That you passed on the motorway Along with seven other women We were on our way out west Thirty hours into the journey Never stop to take a rest As you were breezing past our van I read your lips, you said “That's the hordes coming in from the east” And you were right Cause true enough We were coming to look after Your mother and your father We're coming for six weeks Then we'll be going back again I have met them all before But I can't say that they're my friends And as for my own son and daughter I don't see much of them now I save up all my affections But they fizzle out somehow When we roll into your city The decisions have been made We collect our bowls and bedpans They're the tools of our trade Yes I know more about your mother now Than you have ever known You should hear the things your father says When he is on his own He is on his own We've come to look after Your mother and your father
3.
Meanwhile in my Machine So we stopped watching the news Cause I just couldn't handle it Each time I throw a hissy fit I want to be applauded And I send it to the world I will dole it out pearl by pearl All of my rage and half my wit It needs to be recorded Meanwhile in my machine Calamity awaiting Phone vibrating Telling me nothing new But keeping me a world away from... You and me in '92 We walked the aisles of suburban sheds Giddy young couples testing beds We lived on Swedish meatballs The direction was implied In the end things would turn out right Once all the world was unified In singing with the Beatles Meanwhile in our machines Algorithms mating Propagating personal points of view Keeping me a world away from.. You know I feel I really can't compete I'm an obstacle in the street I want to go slow And if all that I love is obsolete Then where can I retreat Where do we go Meanwhile in my machine Calamity awaiting Phone vibrating Telling me nothing new But keeping me a world away from you
4.
Our Only Entertainment Leave that Thesaurus on the shelf One word and one rhyme for yourself No need to waste your breath here Cause it's been done to death, Dear Just like that old trick you applied To write a song for you to hide Behind a you that means an I The show-off's way to be shy I'm from a place of little point We barely bend our stiffened joints We sing when we're ashamed and This is what we call entertainment So here I sit with my guitar My fingers only reach this far Watch how they drape around the neck They've made those shapes for decades I'm waiting for that minor chord It comes along and breaks my heart That's cultural conditioning And I've no problem with it No, I've no problem with it And when our Western bodies meet The setting must remain discreet We sing for we're ashamed and This is our only entertainment (What do you mean there's "elf" I know, but come on...)
5.
Nothing Left to Give Away When they ask you Always say that you don't know You don't know where you're from And you don't know where you go Just as long as they're still asking There is hope Never give away What you don't have to show There's a man he says He wants to be your friend Once he gets you to trust him That's going to be the end Yes, he smiles But you can tell that he pretends Never fall for those Who claim to be your friends My life is over now I've had my fun And now I laugh at the setting sun Cause now the slog is behind me World is unwinding I was going to tell you Everything one day But we built up this front That we couldn't penetrate Underneath it all Our souls would suffocate Till in the end There's nothing left to give away
6.
The Piano Factory I was on my brand new ten-speed Racing down the cobbled street Got my wheel caught in a rail Cross the handlebar I sailed I was face down on the ground With grazes on my arms and knees Heard the laughter of the men In their bright blue dungarees They were standing by the gates Of the piano factory I picked up my bike and pushed it Down the path through our estate Past the bear made out of stone That we were not to climb on It was summer, open windows You could hear them tune the pianos See their workshop walls adorned With their tools and hardcore porn By that time the 1970s Looked shabby brown and worn So in our teens when we were banned From all the cafés in Vienna To escape the cold and snow To the showroom we would go And we'd run our uncouth hands Over their harpsichords and grands Till the concert crowds came in Always smug and double-chinned Trading insults veiled in pleasantries Before the show begins But when I last came to town By chance I passed the flattened ground Where the factory used to be And it all came back to me The tuneless tinkling of piano keys The laughter carried in the breeze Hot summer air The taste of blood And bright blue dungarees
7.
An Autumn Day Like This On an autumn day like this We'd sometimes let the fire die Get our coats and drive out west Beyond the end of the tramlines Through the woods and up the hill To a place where time stood still We we'd be having toast and coffee Looking over the city We'd be drinking in the glow Of the streets spread out below Oh love I'm sure you remember I said It's so dull being safe I know I was dumb and ungrateful then In my old asthmatic Beetle Mono speaker in the dash Rolling down the cobbled road To half the sound of our records And if that was not enough We would sing the other half And in the weak beam of the headlights All the trees looked like cut-outs Turned a page each bend we took In our life-sized pop-up book Oh love I'm sure you remember What a git I could be I know But I wouldn't have believed you then And back at the freezing flat We'd try to get get the stove going Till the flue was glowing red Then we'd take ourselves to bed Oh love I'm sure you remember I said It's so dull being safe I know I was dumb and ungrateful then
8.
Irma la Douce I'm getting ready for the last time I'll be standing on your balcony And see the sweep of pea soup As it flows out of the city Between poplar trees That reach up from the ground So far below Their tops in green and silver Almost within reach While on the tarmac beach Incessant mess is rolling In a crescent to the left Against the river's run Irma la Douce Tell me the truth What made you come back home? We came because we'd won I turn around and face the curtain Stepping in I'm squeezing past the folding chair You used to park yourself in there On summer evenings In the golden sun rays Gleaming shock of white Over that light bone china skin Your hairless brows White lashes under tinted glasses I will pass that desk A shrine for thirty years To him who once was sitting here Irma la Douce Tell me the truth What made you come back home? We came because we'd won His books still sitting in the shelf Tobacco tin and wooden urn That I once opened unprepared There is the wall that was rebuilt When you moved in in '45 A hole that some grenade had made Let in the wind That blew away the fatherland And very soon the hole was sealed To make a home to last till now That you are gone Do you know I wonder When they come to paint the doors Will they fill in the bullet scars? Irma la Douce Tell me the truth What made you come back home? We came because we'd won
9.
Top of the Escalator I said I'm sorry to hear About what's happened to you I was trying to be nice There was no need to be true I saw your picture pop up On my timeline today Knowing if I ignored it It would just go away Now your girlfriend she writes She can't believe that you're gone What I find harder to believe Is how you ever found one But underneath all her drama And all of her grief I've a feeling she and I Share the same sense of relief Cause every time I get off At that underground stop Would you believe All those decades later Part of me still sees you there Looking down from the top Of the escalator You and your thick bunch of friends You never could keep up with me Some years on when someone Introduced me to you There was nothing in your eyes No, I don't think you knew That the last time we met You'd been holding a knife Chased me down the upward escalator Running for my life Now every time I get off At that underground stop Would you believe All those decades later Part of me still sees you there Looking down from the top of the escalator You in your big silly boots You never could keep up with me Out of breath I would come up Into the open air At the other end of the station They'd turn off half the street lights And that meant midnight On Südtirolerplatz
10.
Not Your Door I went up to your house And it dawned on me As I stood by the entrance That I no longer had your key It came to my head To press the buzzer instead You'd never heard me through the din But you'd always let me in I took a few steps back And looked up to see Which one was your balcony But of course, there couldn't be any Nothing here anymore Could ever be yours This was the brand new truth Of a world without you Now I was locked out There couldn't be any doubt This was not your door Anymore So I walked back down That familiar street Right up to the corner Where the phone box used to be And I pictured you Walking right next to me Like you'd run around Before those little legs let you down Already I saw You now belonged to my head To make you young, make you happy That's the beauty of the dead And there'd be no reason To ever come here again This wasn't what I'd planned But it helped me understand Now I was locked out There couldn't be any doubt This was not your door Anymore

credits

released July 1, 2016

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Robert Rotifer Canterbury, UK

contact / help

Contact Robert Rotifer

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Robert Rotifer, you may also like: