Stampin’ in the Graveyard – To My Children

Performed by Elisabeth Gunawan feat. Jake Parris My children, Our generation’s summer of love was the time When the days finally got warmer and the trees began to blossom On empty streets Empty save for our love songs and prayers…

Stampin' in the Graveyard - To My Children

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Performed by Elisabeth Gunawan feat. Jake Parris

My children,
Our generation’s summer of love was the time
When the days finally got warmer and the trees began to blossom
On empty streets
Empty save for our love songs and prayers and spirits spilling out from the windows
behind our eyelids, the band is still playing

Before those days, we used to hold hands with strangers,
our naked lips used to kiss like butterfly wings
We used to gather in the hundreds and thousands to worship
In places called churches and theatres
And played the kinds of songs that still lift our souls today
The songs that made wine taste sweeter,
that made us want to make love to each other
We couldn’t get enough of it

I waited for him right outside the tube station, in Camden Town
When he arrived, there were tufts of grey hair on his shoulders, they had fallen like the days of the calendar
“Don’t worry,” I said
“I don’t need a gift from your long, hard days.
If you can come home to me with your longing intact,
That is more than enough.”

Where are you going?
Where have you been?

That year the magnolias bloomed in January
Spring is the cruelest season
The sky surfeited on blue as a bruise
Haven’t you heard?
I don’t want to know my mother and father
Untie me from the earth
Let me fly like a little balloon
I want to be another element altogether

My children,
I won’t repeat here the story of my life
Because in another universe,
It is always last summer,
We are still on that mattress, in the middle of the Atlantic
His head on my breasts,
The black curls of his hair between my fingers
The second hand of time pinning us together like a needle

But last winter we didn’t think we would make it either
The cold wind passed through our lungs like cheap whiskey
And wherever we went in the house, we couldn’t get warm
I spent those long hours on the floor, naked skin against linoleum, counting my ribs wondering if it would ever end

But I promise one day, just like a dream, the doves will return
And the women will change out of their mourning blacks
When the winter is past, you will see him walking home from over the hill
And the grey strands on his hair are just the morning dew

Arise, my darling, my beautiful one
But don’t awaken love until it is time

How can I protect you from the evils that are to come?
The floods and plagues and the sorrows you will have to overcome once I’m silent and buried in the ground?
Even now I carry it everywhere, like a letter in my breast pocket
But know, my darling that nothing ever ends

It cycles on and on, through the ages
And behind the veil of winter, summer awaits you like a banquet
Until you feast on it
Until you go hungry again

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