South on East Street

by Ben Holland

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Leon These last few months this has been one of my favorite artists, i am so glad i found this. The lyrics, his voice, and the music is just amazing. Thank you. Favorite track: Midnight talking.
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'All rise for the king of clowns. While that liar takes the throne I'll think of other things- like November in Paris where you told me things you'd never told, all around midnight- Even if I die tomorrow, I wont forget. Even you Queen of all hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades- even you had a birth, even you have your scars- cursed like the rest of us from Kain all the way down. But you hold the key and that's worth the world- worth all the gold the fools kill for, worth all the blood the good die for- I'll be there beside you and we'll fight till we fall, and I'll earn your heart again, as long as I deliver...'


Recorded at Shrunken Heads Studios, Jon Alexander's Studio, Ben McClean's house, my flat, and Ross Anderson's shed.


released January 1, 2017

Ross Anderson: Lead Guitar
Babu: Bass Guitar, Organ, Bouzouki, Electric Guitar
Ben McClean: Drums
Ben Holland: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Harmonica.
All songs written by Ben Holland.

Recorded by Jon Alexander, Senior Al, Ross Anderson, Ben McClean, Babu and Ben Holland.




Ben Holland London, UK

Staying one step ahead of my feet.

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Track Name: King of Clowns

Everybody lies
Or everybody tries
Everybody sits on top of the world
Then everybody dies

Anger in the street
The anger of defeat
There's a fire in the hole in the soul
Of everyone you meet

Shadow on the sky
There's a tear in every eye
There's a prayer on the lips of the faithless
From London to Shanghai

The congregation sing
The clown became the king
And the murdered jokes are spoken
Till nothing means a thing

Everybody lies
Or everybody tries
Everybody sits on top of the world
Then everybody dies.
Track Name: November in Paris

Well I'm walking through the sunny streets of Paris
For what could be the last time
To tell her that we once knew paradise
When she called me hers and I called her mine
But these streets have seen more sorrow
Seen more tears than I'll ever know
This elegant stone and antique wood
Can take a joke more than I ever could

Well they're running through the bloody streets of Paris
For what will be there last time
Oh so certain they'll find paradise
At the flick of a switch on a land mine
But these streets have seen more sorrow
Seen more tears than they'll ever know
This elegant stone and antique wood
Can take a joke more than they ever could

Well they're standing in the rainy streets of Paris
At the scene of the first crime
No there's never been a lie like paradise
As the rain falls and the bells chime.
Track Name: Midnight talking

For the gentle midnight talking
Where the bright moon lifts the lovers tide
Through old dreams their walking
Where the sweetest fallen memories hide
I live in a silent land
Where time and death sleep side by side
The lovers mouth is filled with sand
And all the stars in darkness hide

My captain he's a dying man
He's praying that his love will last
He met his destiny too late
The wind has changed, his fate is cast
His prayer is answered with a laugh
Your love was just your foolish pride
A peacock struts the aftermath
And all the stars in darkness hide

The wrong girl she's in love with me
But all I see are bitter eyes
My brother he's the better man
And always sees the truth in lies
If I knew how her thoughts were sown
If I knew deep in night she cried
A chain gang sing we're all alone
And all the stars in darkness hide

I've see through a million eyes
Through oblivion and back
I no more know ice from flame
Or what I have, from what I lack
But I still know my wrong from right
Tattooed in darkness down inside
Taught by the touch of empty night
And all the stars in darkness hide

Take me in your tender arms
I've had enough of fools and lies
Who build a bridge to doom and make
A waste land of paradise
Hold me close the end is here
The time when ending dreams collide
The lovers tender arms are torn
And all the stars in darkness hide
Track Name: If I die tomorrow

If I die tomorrow
Dress my corpse in drag
If I'm blown up by that book club
With the Jolly Roger flag
Then build my coffin mobile
Show them how I roll
And if they see the funny side
Then spare their crooked souls

I sailed across the ocean
I flew across the sky
And if I'm not back by winter
Then leave me where I lie
My bones were just like cages
My skin was just a net
And I'll be gone back where I'm from
With only one regret

Don't tell my Mother nothing
She knows I had my fun
No need to tell my father
He knew that I'd die young
Just find my lonely sweetheart
Cure my one regret
Don't tell her to remember me
Just help her to forget.
Track Name: Born like the rest of us

In the dead of the winter at the break of the dawn
You were born like the rest of us
Dressed up for well worn abuses

Your Mother was stone, your father in tears
They fed you promises, lies
Sixteen long years of excuses

Spreading your wings
Two feet through the floor
Signing the deed
As you're kicked out the door

The roses are ready, the violets are blooming
Love left you nothing
But all consuming depression

They heard your curses, and they felt your rage
You stepped to the stage
But no one would hear your confession

Still time to paint
But you forget what you saw
Still time to shoot
But you forget how to draw

The needle was the key to escape your brain
And all of your memory
And all of the pain of existence

That long dark lady has you on her mind
She's heard that you're stubborn
But in you she'll find no resistance

Loosing you're faith
As you were winning the war
Taking your aim
But what are you aiming for

You ran from your duty, fled through the street
Your hands were like ice
But the soles of your feet they were burning

Where ever you run to you've already been
Keep a smile for the world
But within your stomach is turning

You follow the rules
On the wrong side of the law
You find your way home
But you don't live here no more

She took you in from the rain, out from the cold
Stole your heart your soul
Beat your soft skin into muscle

She taught you to live and how not to die
To love to cry
To beat to cheat and to hustle

Losing your voice
As you learn how to roar
Learning to swim
As you drift from the shore.
Track Name: From Kain down

The poison here is compulsory
The cure will kill you too
Born between two empty dreams
Under an empty sky of blue
And the loneliness can be endless
When you're buried alive alone
Buried beneath someone else's business
Buried by the roof of your home

And the boarders are undecided
New Mothers all dress in black
You can take any road that you wish to
But you'll never find you're way back
Some hold hope in a fiction
In the promise of a dream that calls
A place where their fears are forgotten
In a garden where the fruit never falls

From the Thames down to the Congo
From the Jordan to the Nile
There's been blood spilled on every inch of land
When a shell steals the life away
From a Mother with a sleeping child
Look down to see if there's blood on your hands

I was born in this prison
My children will die here the same
The blind man is hanging the watchman
There must always be someone to blame
For every Abel there is a Kain.
Track Name: Queen of Spades

Snow was falling steady, sky bursting at the seams
Three Gamblers played a game of death in 1817

Lilly was an orphan, an unwanted baby girl
Abandoned at a station she came into the world
Brought up in a brothel where the wretched came to smoke
Who laughed to hear when ‘Opium' was the first word she spoke

Jonah was a gambler he was born to hold a card
With a smile quick and warm, with a heart cold and hard
Raised without a mother by a crooked drunken wreck
Who’d leave his boy for days often tied up by the neck

His father never liked him beat him black and blue for sport
And all the scars and broken bones were the only lessons taught
If the bottle didn’t kill him Jonah surely someday would
But his liver beat him to it and he shut his eyes for good

He watched his Father dying, no tears, no word, or prayer
He didn’t even dig a grave just left him lying there
Now old enough to chose to, he joined the national guards
By day he played at killing, by night he killed at cards

One night he heard them talking of a woman long ago
Of a card playing Countess, one he’d like to know
They said she was a devil, A demon with a deck
She’d leave opponents broken, sometimes swinging by the neck

They said she had a secret, three cards to beat them all
She’d beaten barons and crippled kings, even helped a nation fall
Jonah’s listened closely, he heard the Countess lives
He’d transfer to her county and her secret would be his

The Countess of Boldino was the rich and worthy kind
Made beggars out of Princes, more than one had lost their mind
But her days of youth were long gone, in her heart it only rained
The fires of love were over, only ash and dust remained

She never wanted children, took too much time and care
But she knew her years were numbered and she’d yet to name an hair
She called out for her driver and they took a trip to town
They searched the darkest corners of the darkest streets around

They were just about to turn, in put off by the rain
They saw a flower in the gutter and Lilly was her name
The Countess smiling kindly said 'I’ll free you from this mess'
And back inside her chambers, she received a servants dress

You’ll one day earn my fortune, till then you’ll have to serve
If you think a title comes for free, my dear you have some nerve
The seasons passed like dancers, still the Countess made no will
But Lilly kept her patients; she had a role to fill

She lived behind a window, inside a velvet room
In service to the Countess, she withered in her bloom
Jonah now a soldier in the Countess’s pay
He’d yet to make his move, but this could be the day

Through the Countess’s window, he saw a girl his age
He pulled his pen and paper and with lies he filled the page
He waved up to the window and got down on one knee
He slid his card beneath the door for she would be the key

The letters soon were flying and spoke of love and ties
Lilly’s all so sweet and true, Jonah’s a pack of lies
The agreed upon a meeting at the big midwinter ball
They’d wait till every single soul was drunk inside the hall

The wait seemed almost endless but the day was finally here
All she longed to tell him she could whisper in his ear
Lilly took a silken dress from the Countess’s past
She braided up and bowed her hair, she’d feel real love at last

You’re dressed above your station said the countess with a glare
I pulled you from the dirt but you’ll always be down there
I’ll let you shine for tonight, tomorrow there’s work to do
Oh this strange ironic life where I rely on you

All the Lords and Ladies came in the fashions of their day
They twirled and talked of politics and drank the night away
The Countess made a speech, took a bow, and left the room
Lilly left the latch off and with this she sealed their doom

Jonah followed after, subtle as a snake
All that he’d been scheming, now close enough to take
The Countess saw him creep in, she didn’t turn around
She was taking off her make up in her golden dressing gown

'I’ve come to learn your secret' said Jonah with a gleam
'And I’ll shoot you in a heartbeat if you even think to scream'
The Countess like a statue, her face seemed so serene
Her body was as still as ice, eye’s distant in a dream

Jonah took her shoulder, the Countess dropped her head
He felt her neck for signs of life but the Countess was dead
He ran and climbed the staircase and opened Lilly’s door
He scowled without a word and he paced across the floor

'I’ve saved myself in waiting' said Lilly looking pale
'I see you have your doubts, but my love will never fail'
No shred of guilt felt for her or the body lay below
'This world’s just filled with empty lies' he said and turned to go

'Your Mothers less than living took her secret to the grave
All my plans are wasted so there’s nothing here to save
All my efforts useless and all my struggles vain
Don’t preach to me of love or I’ll teach you of my pain'

He went back down the staircase leaving Lilly’s tears behind
'I hate to play the common thief but I’ll rob the dead dog blind'
He found her as he left her, heard barking from the yard
But in her hand he newly saw three upright playing cards

The three, the seven, the ace of spades, lay face up on her chest
He smiled and this was all he stole tucked inside his vest
Jonah looked back at the corpse, it winked a wrinkled eye
He laughed it off and left the scene, he’d seen the old dear die

'Blood for blood' said Lilly low, and stood up from her bed
'I’ve nothing left to live for now my only reasons dead
Foolish heart that loved a man as cruel as fire to skin
I’ll take a walk and pay the debt for it's wicked fatal sin'

The frost a cloth of diamonds lay gleaming on the ground
And from an empty heaven the snow came falling down
She lay down on the cold earth and felt her sad heart slow
And soon her sobs and pain were gone all buried in the snow

Jonah ran in laughter through the wind and through the cold
He burst into the tavern said 'I’ve come to claim my gold'
He swaggered to the table, they shuffled up the pack
And all upon the three of spades he placed a golden stack

The three indeed the winner and Jonah drew a crowd
He bet his life upon the seven so certain and so proud
The seven did come after, a fortune now secure
His head said take the money, his heart said go for more

I’ll bet you everything I have, all on the ace of spades
And I could buy a kingdom for all the games I’ve played
Silence covered everything, and no one moved a hair
The dealer moved in closer and the last card cut the air

He turned the third card over, sweat streaming from his skin
The card was the queen of spades; it winked its eye at him
Jonah’s heart exploded in a beat skipped fifty years
He died that very instant, no time for grief or tears

So on that bleak midwinter night, three gamblers lost and gone
But people come and people go, and the snow keeps falling on.
Track Name: She wore a Key

She wore a key
To open the door
When they asked her why
She said nothing more
But she'll sing you songs
That will get you through
Here's one from me
And this ones for you

Your shoes may have holes
Your shirt may be torn
No rose by your side
Only the thorn
But she'll sing you songs
That will get you through
Here's one from me
And this ones for you

See the rain fall so lightly on the leaves
Hear the wind howl the hardest hearts to their knees

She wore a key
To open the door
When they asked her why
She said nothing more.
Track Name: Blood and Gold

All the way from Baltimore
Landed on an English shore
Sold her skin, her heart, her soul and more

I did weep

Do you dream in that endless sleep?

They called her Alice cause she liked to dream
Of wonderlands she'd never seen
Found her face down in a shallow stream

I did weep

Do you dream in that endless sleep?

Polka dots across the arm
She kissed the sky and bought the farm
I wished upon a false alarm

I did weep

Do you dream in that endless sleep?
Track Name: As long as I deliver

Is there honesty
In the eyes I see
Staring back at me
From the mirror
If you stay with me
We'll be one day free
Just as long as I deliver

Well the world is old
And it's often cold
And to your bones
You might shiver
But I'll keep you warm
And safe from harm
Just as long as I deliver

I lost my job this christmas
Steel doesn't pay like it used to do
But I still have a brain and my back is strong
We'll somehow make it through

I'll try any task
But she sometimes asks
For more than I
Can give her
But if she stays with me
We'll be one day free
Just as long as I deliver

s there honesty
In the eyes I see
Staring back at me
From the mirror
If you stay with me
We'll be one day free
Just as long as I deliver.