Year of the Bird (Volume 1)

by Pale Bird

  • Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Year of the Bird (Volume 1). You get 7 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases April 8, 2019

      £6 GBP  or more


Snow Day
Tiny Lungs
Theme Song


releases April 8, 2019


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Pale Bird Austwick, UK

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Track Name: Rusty Horse Bones
It wasn’t the end of the world - but I wouldn’t be lying if I said
“It started with an earthquake”
The status bar was at 0.85%
January 4th at 2.39am, 1.6 miles from my bed, as the crow flies
A man came, gently held my shoulders, shook me firmly a few times into wakefulness, and was gone

You’re on record as saying, or at least implying
(Heavily implying)
That 2017 was the Worst. Year. Ever.
(Worst. Year. Ever.)
You kept talking about dying
(You kept talking about dying)
And you’re not a goth, so why would you do that?

Well thanks for asking! I spent my 2017 avoiding talking about anything real
Because everything real was organic and disgusting
I was living in a city gradually being inundated by a shallow puddle of muddy water
As uninviting as as it was drab, as annoying as it was terrifying
As huge as it was un-awe-inspiring
As stupid as it was painful

No. No, it was poison.
And poison was leaching the colour from all the buildings
One by one, each of the buildings was turning the colour of rusty horse bones

Now I’m not stupid, I know horse bones don’t rust - but there it was:
Rusty Horse Bones
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
I’m tired of thinking about “Rusty Horse Bones”, and writing the words “Rusty Horse Bones”
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
In my Daily Schedule of Things To See
I’m tired of saying the words “Rusty Horse Bones”
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
I wanted to tell people about the delicate cloud I saw, or the life passing by my window
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
And it still existed - so did waves, and sunsets, and domestic parakeets gone wild in the urban parks of the world
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
So did people, human beings, they existed too - but it didn’t feel right when there were Rusty Horse Bones
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
Everywhere right in my face
So I didn’t say much in 2017
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
Which was very out of character and didn’t come naturally

“Rusty Horse Bones” lost its meaning through repetition
Like calling someone a fascist
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
Eventually its syllables faded, mulched and gave fertile soil
To “Rusty Horse Bones” - the names of a wrestler
The name of a Country and Western Singer
A hipster nose to tail diner
We were fighting a war - some of us thought -
The war on the war on saying the same sentence twice and it having the same approximate meaning
The war on the war on saying the same thing twice and its meaning being roughly the same the second time you said it

And the enemy took “Rusty Horse Bones”
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
And it became a mascot, a meme
So when they came, they came dressed as Rusty Horse Bones
And it was a Rusty Horse Bones Novelty mask
That protected a dude’s face
(Rusty Horse Bones, Rusty Horse Bones)
From a downpour of rage
Track Name: Footnote
In a footnote to the article, it noted - I don’t know how they got this information - my final act on earth was to create a lurid illustration (of somebody’s pride and joy emanating a bright and glorious rainbow right across the nation, carrying a dear friend wishes for his birthday), sketchbook on my knees, beside a shallow bay where the sweaty ocean hugs the shore, where the fire rained down like dirty water from a leaking gutter on a clapboard house caught within the final glow of sunset on a sea.

It might not seem a noble way to go, but to go in love and laughter, that’s wonderful to me.
Track Name: Lighthouse
I don’t ask for what I want
I don’t want to be denied
So I take what I can gather
When it’s washed up by/on/with the tide

But the water’s pulling back
And those rocks that you can see
They were there below the surface
And that mess is due to me

Slick with mermaid’s purses
And strings of seaweed pearls
And some minor possessions
From all those shipwrecked girls

I could have to tried to help them
I could hear their shallow sobs
I am the lighthouse keeper
It’s literally my job

And I hate that they’re exposed
Not because of all the gore
But when were those rocks were just submerged
I could pretend I didn’t know that they were there at all

They trusted me to guide them
A North Star, bold and bright
So how were they to know
That I’d snuffed out my light

I am the lighthouse keeper
I’ll never be denied
I help myself to anything
Washed up on the tide
Track Name: Obliterate, Annihilate
And on the night she died
My shadow came to me
They somehow seemed surprised
By my hostility

I’d just come back from space
It is the thrill that fuels me
I’m Dan Dare in a universe
Painted red with garish cruelty

They watched my every step
A stab of fear between each breath
Darkness spilling down the hillside
Clouds above the colour of bone
An arm slowly reaching forward
Life withering right in front me
Facing this faded forever
They came at night into my home

They wrapped their wings around me
They spoke so kindly, tenderly
Showed me hundreds of branching paths
I’d set on and not come back

“You see a wrong and you obliterate, annihilate
Swing your silver sword of justice
Break a mountain down, absorb it
Take off, nuke the site from orbit
Throw the ring into the fire
Drive a tank right through the stables
You and I, we have our problems
I don’t think this is going to solve them”
Track Name: Hawaiian Oulipo Hell
I will pop up
Make a leap
Wake up Pele
Own a peak

I’m a lion
In a loop
Pinkie on a plank
Holla, whoop

Name a weapon
Pale Olimpian
Wipe, pull, pummel
Pile on, pinion

Knee on nape
In a poke
Low, unwoken
Pie hole open

Weep in willow
Peep in oak
Nap in pine, now
Wipe all hope

Moan in pillow
A.M. Peal
I’m in Hell now
I will heal

I awaken
Pen a woe
In a poem
Track Name: Hey, Veronica
Hey, Veronica
Didn’t you hear? He just told you he’s lying to you
It was an innocent idea
Get out of your skin and
Scare them out of theirs too

Do you have a thing for rebellious bad boys?
Do you just wish you were brighter and bolder?
I had a crush on - I wanted to be - you
Those don’t look different as you get older

Now, every year,
The town offers 17 tributes in silence
They saw how far you’d go
To break somebody’s monopoly on violence

You were so perfect when you were a square
Of second-hand fabric the size of my hand
Camera zooms out, and now it’s a patchwork
Of uneven Westerbergs covering the land

Salted and soiled
We just want to escape the ones who don’t want to
Your story’s in the oil
That keeps it all going, but that isn’t on you

Don’t trust the nice boys, they’re not much better
Women have noticed they’re just nicer-seeming
They get upset when the don’t get what they want
And the pattern repeats ‘till it loses all meaning
The pattern repeats ‘till it loses all meaning
If I say it once more it loses its meaning
If I say it once, or until it has meaning
I’ll try again until it has meaning
Track Name: The Year of The Dog
Twelve years ago I was sat on my sofa
High on the fumes of unemployment
Even spent a week doing a sudoku
You looked at me like I was having a breakdown
Even though I know that change is hard
All the things that have happened to me since then
Remind me it’s not impossible
Only a terrible ballache
Failure is an option too
That might not be right for you?
Hate the players, game and rules
Even-handed to the last
Dozen years is not so long
On the scale of an aeon
Geological time moves on
Ever more reasons to celebrate!

(Find a friend, call him “Al”
Thick and thin, so loyal
He’s a very really pal
Easily your favourite person

To deal with existential pangs
He’s a friend with several fangs
Endless fun and infinite play
You and he can run away)

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