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Chris Conway - We're All Astronauts
 
Chris Conway - We're All Astronauts


1
Prime

2

Candlelight

3

Astronauts
4
Time Circle Dance
5
Old Enough
6
Face To Face
7
A World Apart
8
Alternating Paragraphs
9
Beatnik Bandits
10
Alien Phone Invasion
11
Grumpy Old Man
12
A Drop In The Ocean
13
Talismans
14
The Photograph
15
Just A Little Longer
16
In My Prime
17
Time Circle Chant



Chris Conway -
vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic & electric 9 string & nylon string guitars, tin & low Irish whistles, bombarde, kalimba, zither, bodhran, theremin, phone, temple bells, percussion, drum loops.



Chris Conway - We're All Astronauts - back


 


Chris Conway
"A kaleidoscope revolving door"
Mixing it up. Enjoy the trip from song to song, style to style. Fun, to magical, to moving. Celtic to ballad, to jazz, to singer-songwriter, and to space.


background
My Deep Space Love album had lots of space songs and many fun songs. Out Of The Blue that followed was all serious, no space songs, and with fairly consistent style. We're All Astronauts mixes it all up - wistful, funny, Celtic, jazz, singer-songwriter, full band sound, and ballads. It makes for quite a trip.

The album includes...
- 3 songs written over 20 years ago that were never recorded.
- 1 song previously recorded and sung by Jodi Krangle on her Time Will Tell album.
- 13 new songs written in the last couple of years.
- 3 "songs" under a minute long.

I had a vague plan to focus arrangements around piano & acoustic guitar and keep things more simple. When I found the three 20 year old songs in a lyric file, I realised these needed more of a band sound, but overall piano features more than on previous songs albums.

I also love little interludes - bit this time they are at the beginning and the end. :-)

influences
John Sebastian, David Crosby, Alan Stivell, Donal Lunny,The Free Design, Acid House Kings, Marcos Valle, Lorraine Bowen, Bob Lind, Paul Kantner, Richie Havens, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jesse Colin Young, Tom Pacheco, Brain Wilson, Jimmy Webb, John Phillips.

trivia
Alternating Paragraphs was originally released on Jodi Krangle's album Time Will Tell and sung by her.

The photo of me on the back was taken in Leicester Market by Bill Newsinger.

This is CC's 12th studio solo songs album.

CC's fave track - Astronauts

 
track by track
 
1. Prime
Friend and jazz musician out of the blue commissioned me to write a piece of music for his birthday on 7/11/17 involving prime numbers. I adapted an idea from the opening/closing tracks of The Enchanted Forest album which went up and down to 7 notes. Embarrasingly when I delivered the piece to Neil I'd not done my homework properly and included non-primes 1 & 15. Well I corrected this now and added some voices counting the numbers. As a thank you Neil downloaded one of my albums for £7 :-)

2. Candlelight
A song from 24ish years ago I used to sing with my band The Talking Fish. I;d forgotten all about the song and the Talking Fish guitarist gave me a rip of one of our old rehearsal tapes, enabling me to jot down the lyrics and finally record the song. It was our opening number for quite a while. Lighting a candle in my little flat when listening to music and having friends over was quite a magical thing then. Don't do it much now...

3. Astronauts
The idea for this song came from something I heard the late Richie Havens say at a concert. He mlamented that the US government was spending millions and millions of dollars getting man into space - "Where we already are!!"

4. Time Circle Dance
I was in an Indian music shop when they were playing Garba dance songs. The rhythm was infectious and as I left the shop I starting writing this song to the Garba dance rhythm. It ended up as a hippy tribal circle dance chant. :-)


5. Old Enough
One day I needed a break and I went to Nottingham by train to visit art galleries and museums
. i write this song when I was walking around and on the train home. Picking up the guitar when I got home at 3am all the pieces came together. A song about getting older, but hey - I'm not that old yet. :-)

6. Face To Face
I have friends and family all over the world and we don't see eachother from year to year. We send texts, photos, and now even video calls. It's all good but you know it;s not the same as seeing eachother face to face. I was influenced a little bit by listening to Swedish group the Acid House Kings.

7. A World Apart
Recently I stopped following the news. I realised it wasn't making me happy, was eating away at my creative energy, and a lot of it wasn't really news anyway - just a news-based soap opera. And I started to feel a lot better. I read books more and stress levels reduced. I thought the best use of my energy is just to do what can do and create more music and songs - in my world apart.


8. Alternating Paragraphs
Dedicated to my Toronto filk friend Jodi Krangle and is the story of our friendship. I wrote it for her to sing on her jazz songs album Time Will Tell. I found it quite an emotional song when writing it. When assembling ideas for my album I found the same piano part but with my guitde vocal for her to learn the song. I can still hear that emotion in my vocal.


9. Beatnik Bandits
Another song from 20+ years ago from the lyric file to which I added a new bridge. It is an idealised memory of hanging out with a gang of childhood friends. I was in a band then yes but it wasn't called the Beatnik Bandits - we were called Chimaera's Spectre. :-)

10. Alien Phone Invasion
I was inspired by John Brunner's book The Stardroppers about a craze of people hooked on devices that alien voices were barely perceptable. Soon almost everyone were walking around with earphones hooked on them. Then people using them start to disappear... I was reminded of this when walking through the park one day and everyone I encountered were plugged into their phones.

11. Grumpy Old Man
I had a chest infection all winter and throughout the recoprding of this album. At one point my voice was so gravelly I thought I was sounding like a grumpy old man. So in the interests of turning a disadvantage into an advantage this song was born and recorded with the gravelly voice :-)

12. A Drop In The Ocean
A 20+ year old song from the old file. This song has been hanging around in my file for years - each time a new album comes up I auditioned it and decided againt it. Well now it;s time has come - and maybe a good thing I waited so long as I can now do the kind of arrangement I always wanted for the song.


13. Talismans
I'm not religious. But in tough times and in a world of uncertainty I thought to gather all my most special artifacts around me - albums, films, memories, artworks and more came into my head. Things I felt a kind of spiritual connection with. This song is about those talismans and the gathering of them.

14. The Photograph
I've always been fascinated by old photographs - fleeting instants caught in amber
. It's not about anyone in particular - just thoughts on looking at an old photograph.

15. Just A Little Longer
This song came to me when world news made things seem dark. It made me think things will never get right. then I realised that things weren't impossible - it's just going to take a little longer...

16. In My Prime
I couldn't resist adding a lead vocal to the Prime opening track and making it into more of a mini song.

17. Time Circle Chant
A reprise...

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downloads

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if you like this album
you might also like...
Chris Conway Out Of The Blue
Out Of The Blue

Chris Conway Deep Space Love album
Deep Space Love


Time Traveller


Close the Circle



Songs For Dreamers








Chris Conway - We're All Astronauts - back Chris Conway - We're All Astronauts

lyrics - all lyrics ©2018 Chris Conway, except Alternating Paragraphs ©2015 Chris Conway

1. Prime
1, 2.
1, 2, 3.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
1, 2, 3.
1, 2.


CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, Irish whistles, zither, kalimba, temple bells

2. Candlelight
1. A spring night and I draw myself to the table and I
Get out that old wax stained bottle of wine that we
Drank the night we got together and I
Remember the words you said at the time

chorus
It doesn't matter if we're miles apart
It doesnt matter if you're down at heart
When you feel the darkest hour start
Just turn out the light
And I'll be with you – in the candle light

2. Summer night – as the match strieks the side of the box
And the room is no longer the same.
And as the candle steals the fire from the match
And I watch the dancing flame

chorus

And all the candlit nights from my past
All melt into one
Like the trails of many coloured wax.
One for each night you're gone.

3. Autumn night and I am still awake.
Watching shadows dancing on the wall.
I rememebr being with you beside a moonlit lake
Some other year some other fall

4. Winter nights - they come round so fast,
Like you've never been away
Have you really come home to stay at last?
I think know what youre going to say

chorus



CC - vocals, acoustic 9 string guitar, piano, keyboards, tin & low Irish whistles


3. Astronauts
chorus
We're all astronauts
We're on a beautiful ship,
Its the only one we've got,
We'd better look after it.
And we're all passengers,
And we're all the crew,
And it's a one way trip,
So enjoy the view.

1. There's a man alone
Staring at his phone
He wants to take his brain
Outside of this commuter train
To some thing more than this
Top something better than this
I wish his weary eyes
Could only realise

chorus

2. If only you could see
We're orbiting around a star
That's orbiting a galaxy
Light years from where you are.
And way belong your blue
The galaxy is moving too
We're on this ship together
And we're flying forever

chorus

bridge
Fly with me
The best is yet to see
Fly with me
Hold on, hold on...

2. So when the everyday
Is eating your life away
You can turn it around
Don't look down
Look up to the stars
Remember where you are
And when it strikes a chord.
Then it's all aboard.

chorus

CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic 9 string guitar,drum loops


4. Time Circle Dance
1. We’re not running out of time.
Time is running out on us.

So don’t wait in line,
Be the driver and the bus

Feel the rhythm in the rhyme
Find the silver in the slime
Find the diamonds in the dust


2. We’re singing in the ring
We’re dancing for the Earth

Feel the the spirit cling
To the death and the rebirth

We’ll celebrate and sing
Of the love in everything
And truly know what life is worth


3. The dark force is rising
And demons walk the night.

But the circle reminds us
Of love and of the light.

With memories that bind us,
The sorrow cannot find us
If we sing the magic right.


4. Let us think not of death now
Or thoughts of the hereafter

Share a smile with a friend, how
This day was made for laughter

So let’s circle one more round
Things can never bring us down
When we’re singing to the rafters


5. We’re dancing for the planets
We’re singing for the stars.

We’re going to live on Titan
We’re going to move to Mars.

This orbit's not bychance
The universe is dancing
When we sing with all our hearts


6. We’re not running out of time.
Time is running out on us.
x 3

CC - vocals, bodhran, percussion, keyboards bombarde, Irish whistle, , drums loops, percussion.

5. Old Enough
1. I used to remember people's faces
And maybe even some of their names.
I could follow their long stories
Then the words seem to all sound the same
I could worry about it all forever,
Or try to become more self aware,

But I'm old enough to know better,
But still too young to care.

2. If I drank my coffee stronger
Or got more exercise
If I thought a little longer
Maybe by now I'd have become a little bit wise.
I could follow the rules to the letter
To make my life beyond compare

But I'm old enough to know better,
But still too young to care.

bridge
Looking out of the train window
At the fields and the sky,
I see my reflection,
Or maybe it's just some other guy
I once knew
Or will get to know
By and by.

3. The clock on the wall says it's 3am.
I should be tucked up in my bed
But the words and music came calling again.
And so I'm writing this song instead.
I know how rough I'll feel tomorrow.
If I continue with this plan
But I'm old enough to know better

Old enough to know better
Old enough to know better
But still too young to give a damn.

CC - vocals, acoustic 9 string guitar, piano, keyboards

6. Face To Face
1. Sometimes I think I want it all right now.
Then I don't want anything at all
I want to change but I don't know how.
Feel some pride before the fall.
Whenever I'm wanting a change of pace.
I realise all I really want.
Is to...

chorus
See your face,
A photograph won't do.
I want you face to face with you same time same place..
I want to see it clear.
No videophones.
I want to be with you alone
Right here.

2. Some days I get frustrated.
Concentration is eluding me.
A look at the clock tells me time won't wait.
And I yearn for clarity.
Whenever I want to feel less out of place.
I realise all I really want.
Is to...

bridge
I know I know exactly
What you look like.
You won't have changed even after all this time.
But there's a dream factory in my mind.
I think is telling lies.I need to see you with my own eyes.

3. Somedays I'd love to travel somewhere new.
Long ago or far away.
Or think I of someplace right out of the blue.
And dream I could be there today.
Sometimes I'd love to be in outer space.
I realise what I'd really love.
Is to...

chorus


CC - vocals, acoustic 9 string guitar, piano, keyboards, drum loops.

7. A World Apart
1. I'm sitting out the Dark Ages,
I'm following my heart
While the madness outside rages,
I'm building a world apart

Things get crazier evey day.
So let's go our own way,
Let's stay safe and warm.
And ride out the storm.

2. I remember when it was cool to be clever.
Now it's cool to not have a clue.
And it seems like it can take forever
To sort out the false from the true.

So lets create wondrous things,
Woven by the strings,
Of our hearts and minds.
Let's leave this world behind

bridge
We'll live in a parallel time,
With parallel people,
With beautiful minds,
Dreaming our dreams,
In timeless time.
The time of our lives.
Where life is our love,
And love never dies.

3. Come and join me in my ivory tower~
Far from the madding crowd.
We can turn days into hours
In our castle in the clouds.

We wont listen to a word they tell us.
We wont buy a single thing they try to sell us.
We don't have to hate,
We don't have to be afraid,
We're not going to live by other people's mistakes.

But from our sanctuary of night
When the time is right,
We shall rise again.
But until then...

4. We're sitting out the Dark Ages,
We're going on the run.
I'm turning the future's pages.
Waiting for the renaissance to come.

CC - vocals, acoustic 9 string guitar, piano keyboards

8. Alternating Paragraphs
From rooms halfway around the world.
Two people met in writing
As seasons passed a boy and girl.
Grew closer as they were typing.

Alternating paragraphs
Sometimes in different colours.
The two became the best of friends.
Like a sister, like a brother.

chorus
But 15 days in 15 years
Is all they shared face to face
But friendship does not know the time.
And cares not for the place.

They arranged to meet first time in London
They met at her hotel,
Each was just as the other imagined.
They'd done their homework well.

As time went on they wrote some songs.
They met every few years.
Resumed from their last paragraph.
Shared laughter and some tears.

chorus

bridge
One night in his darkest hour.
His thoughts were just a blur.
Then as by some magic power,
The phone rang and it was her.

Years went by and lives grew busy,
Their writing slowly stopped.
Turned to hasty birthday greetings.
Unaware of what they'd lost.

One lonely night he wrote to her,
She replied with much to say,
And alternating paragraphs
Continue to this day.


CC - vocals, piano

9. Beatnik Bandits
1. Spinning out a coffee in an old department store.
Trying to save all the whales and stop all the wars.
Racing each other to the funniest line.
And hanging out at sundown drinking cheap wine.

chorus
We were the Beatnik Bandits
And we had style
We were the Beatnik Bandits
Don't touch your dial.
We were the Beatnik Bandits
We wrote our own rules
We were the kings of cool
And nobody fooled with the Bandits.

2. We got our name from a movie that gave us a buzz.
Truth is we didn't really know just what a beatnik was.
We weren't even bandits, we didn't steal or fight.
We just hung out together on a Saturday night.

3. We were kings of our dominion talking late into the night.
We always had an opinion and we always were right.
And all of the problems in the whole wide world.
Were solved int eh wink of an eye from the right girl.

chorus

bridge
I've got a faded photograph in my hand.
I guess things didn't work out the way we planned.
Laughing and crazy, so care free.
What happened to you, what happened to me.
But there's stil a place in the back of my mind,
Where we're all still together and having a great time.
And it makes me feel happy, and a little bit blue.
Do you remember me, coz I remember you,
Because you were a Beatnik Bandit

4. Well we always had the music but we could hardly play.
But I was always Carlos, and my best friend was Stevie Ray.
One day we found all new kinds of jazz,
We didn't know what we were playing, but we just played it fast

5. Yes you could say we were a bohemian crowd.
The summers were long and the parties were loud.
Years flew past, we've gone our separate ways.
But I still raise a glass to the glory days.

chorus x2

We were the kings of cool.
And we wrote our own rules
And nobody fools
With the Bandits
With the Beatnik Bandits

CC - vocals, piano keyboards, electric 9 string guitar, drum loops.

10. Alien Phone Invasion
1. I think I'm in love with my mobile phone
Something's strange, I just can't leave it alone
Deep in my heart I know it's just not right
But it's the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night.

chorus
Children of the alien phones
The lights are on but no one's home.
Got a feeling down in my bones.
We are not alone

2. Alien phones from outer space
They beamed down a few now they're all over the place.
With our ears plugged in and our screens aglow.
The aliens invaded and we didn't even notice..

3. Aliens came to Earth with a master plan.
To get a mobile phone to every woman and man.
A silent invasion, and they're gaining traction.
With their pocket sized weapons of mass distraction.

chorus

bridge
The aliens make sure we're totally smitten.
They're the ones who make the videos of cute little kittens.
You can tell it's a drug coz when you lose your phone.
Its total cold turkey and you feel all alone.
But you can wean yourself off it, a bit at a time,
My record's 8 minutes and am going for 9.

4. So with the population hypnotised or deranged.
The aliens took over our leaders brains.
I can feel their influence is holding sway.
Coz I don't understand a single word they say.
And they wont let anyone stand in their way
And they seem to get scarier day by day,
But it's time to fight back we can start today.

“Ooh look - a kitten!”
Oh well … I guess we're...

chorus

I think I'm in love with my mobile phone
Something's strange, I just can't leave it alone
Deep in my…


CC - vocals, piano, kayboards. nylon string guitar, theremin, phone, bodhran, percussion


11. Grumpy Old Man
chorus
Don't let me become a grumpy old man
That’s not what I want, that was never my plan.
So give me a nudge if you think that I am.
And I’ll stop if I can
Being a seen it all, know it all grumpy old man.

1
Things used to be better, back in my day
And things would be so good if I had my way.
But I never will, swallow that bitter pill, so when
You’ve had your fill, I implore you today... to

2
My taxes are eating up most of my wealth
The government’s selling off the country by stealth
I could do with a treat, I’d have something to eat
If everything sweet wasn’t bad for my health

bridge
I won’t say.......
“What a discrace!” or “They don’t know they’re born!”
Or shout at the news with sarcasm and scorn.
I won’t mention the weather
Won’t talk politics
I won’t speak of religion
Or shout “bloody kids!”
Oops … I think I just did...

3.
There's a planet where no one needs to complain
Nothing there never goes against the grain.
Sounds like heaven it's true, but knowing me like I do,
In a day maybe two I'd find that such a pain!

4
So when you notice you’re grumpy or moaning or tired or
Things break the day after the guarantee expires.
Before family and friends are driven clean round the bend
Please tell them, or send them a text, or a wire ...saying

Don't let me become a grumpy old man
That’s not what I want, that was never my plan.
So give me a nudge if you think that I am.
And I’ll stop if I can
Being a seen it all, know it all
G. R. U. M. P. Y. O. L. D. M. A. N. grumpy old man.


CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, finger clicks.




12. A Drop In The Ocean
1. She's dreams about the future
He's living in the past
He's planning for forever
She knows it's just not going to last
They're still dancing together
But not to the same tune
She's dancing in the sunlight
He's howling at the moon

From a drop in the ocean
To a wave hitting the shore
They've spun the wheel of devotion
And it came crashing to the floor

2. They used to do things together
Like French restaurants going dutch
Like walking by the river
Now they just watch TV too much
They've got to block out the silence
Paper over the devide
They're running from the distance
But there's no place left to hide

From a drop in the ocean
To a wave hitting the shore
They're just going through the motions
And love is there no more

(bridge)
He lost his head
His heart's made of lead
He'd rather file his feelings on the internet
She’s got the same old dress
Her mind's in a mess
She doesn't listen to a single word he says
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up
This is your wake up call
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up
Before you lose it all
Lose it all

3. But we can turn it around now
Now we know just where we are
I wont let us run aground now
Not now we've come this far
We need to do something crazy
Like midnight walking in the rain
Cos our love has gotten lazy
But we can make it strong again

It's not a drop in the ocean
And we're not waves hitting the shore
Love's a headstrong emotion
And I love you evermore


CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, bodhran, acoustic 9 string guitar, drum loops



13. Talismans
1. Gather the magic around me.
Touchstones of time in a circle before me.
They don’t look like treasures to anyone else
But they wove themselves into my story

chorus
Talismans that can still reach you.
Instant connections to the world inside
They still have more lessons to teach you.
While taking you on a magic carpet ride.

2. Seekers of wonder go lightly
The more you collect the weaker their spell.
So gather the strongest ones round you tightly.
Select only those with the best tales to tell.

3. Like the Indian singer creating
80 years old but with a twinkle in her eyes.
She seems to get younger the longer she sings,
Words I don’t understand but I know they are wise.

chorus

bridge
On a smile from you across a crowded room
Reminiscences flew of those shared before
A late summer sunset, a bright thunder moon
A kaleidescope revolving door of your life

4. An old cinemain a midwinter storm.
No heating and graffiti'd walls all around.
The images up on the screen kept us as warm
As the sprit we sipped as it burned its way down.

5. Memories and music surround me
Paintings and films, and my favourite books,
I don't know just how or why they all found me.
But they lend me their power each that time I look.

chorus

CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic & electric 9 string guitar, zither, kalimba, bodhran, percussion


14. The Photograph
One look,
One moment,
One click,
Captured.
Forever frozen.
Locked in a frame,
Always the same.

Time flew.
Years passed.
But not for you,
Behind the dusty glass.
A glance becomes,
Eternal becomes,
An icon.

I wish I could see you now,
Beyond this photograph.
But time did not allow.
For now it’s all I have.
So there you stay.
The way you looked that day.

One look.

CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic 9 string guitar, vibraphone


15. Just A Little Longer
1. I used to dream I'd sing my songs.
And word would start to grow.
And everyone would sing along.
To words they all would know
But the years flew by,
And now I'm singing just for you.
And you can remind me when I
Forget a word or two.

chorus
I think it's going to take just a little longer
I'm going to have to wait just a little longer
Thank I thought, but that's alright.
Cos I seem to have all the time in the world
Tonight.

2. There was a time I thought my life.
Was everything I'd planned.
It all fitted together.
And I held it in my hands.
Then it slipped through my fingers
And tumbled to the ground.
And picking up the pieces,
A little piece I found, said

chorus

bridge­
It's better to be too early
Than to be too late.
Time can hang heavy
But sometimes it can be worth the weight.
It's worth the weight
It's weight in gold
When all is told.

3. There was a time that peace on Earth
Was a dream that was so clear.
Bells of freedom started ringing.
And seemed to be so near.
But the bells get drowned.
With the sounds of war
And when it gets me down.
I have to tell myself once more.

chorus

With you by my side.
Let's just enjoy the ride.
Tonight
We have all the time in the world – all the time.
Time is on our side – all the time.


CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic 9 string guitar, drum loops

16. In My Prime
In my prime.
Prime time.
Having the time of my life.
Climbing higher higher now,
As long as time will allow.
Life line.
In my prime.

(backing vocals
1, 2.
1, 2, 3.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
1, 2, 3.
1, 2.)

CC - vocals, piano, keyboards, Irish whistles, zither, kalimba, temple bells

17. Time Circle Chant
We’re not running out of time.
Time is running out on us.

CC - vocals, shaker, keyboard.



love & peace & outer space