Writing down the lyrics of the The Fiery Maze musical project, song by song, has been my plan for a long time. Now, however, I was lucky enough to be helped by Lance LaSalle, a fan of Tim and his work just as myself, in realizing this plan. A large part of the credit goes to him for correcting my sheets and transcribing a couple of songs that were missing. Here are the results of our common efforts for anyone who wishes to read and listen.

 

Light Years Away

Now that our time
Now that our love is light years away
I’m floating cold
I’m nothing but smoke, ash and memory

The toughest lesson is that time moves love on

During those lightning days
We burned for each other
In our love’s hopeless
Fiery maze, fiery maze

Light years away
Light years away, ash and memory
The toughest lesson is that time moves love on
We never learn it ‘til it’s distant and gone

During those lightning days
We burned for each other
In our love’s hopeless fiery maze
Our love’s impossible scorching haze
Our love’s hopeless fiery maze, fiery maze

 

Like Janis

Oh, let me learn to drink like Janis
So I can hold it down
So I can party all night long
Oh, let me learn to turn up the volume
Just like Janis
So I can blast them all away

I’m always sick or sober
I’m just a boring little dyke
Where are you, Janis?
You don’t have to look for a drink in heaven
Come down, come down
Live through me

Well, if I could learn to drink like Janis
Then I could hold it down
Then I could party my short life long
Oh, if I could learn to turn up the volume
Just like Janis
Then I could blast them all away
Blast them all away

No longer sick or sober
No longer a boring little dyke
Where are you, Janis?
You don’t have to look for a drink in heaven
Come down, come down
And drink for me, and drink for me

We’re gonna blast them all away!
We’re gonna blast them all away!
We’re gonna blast them all away!

 

Ballarat

Don’t say
Don’t say
We’re up all night
Refuse to waste
We’re two exhausted fires

We’re hiss and fizz
We’re bubbling tar
I can’t believe
How hot you are

Will Ballarat ever be the same?
Will our first time
Be its claim to fame?

Will Ballarat be the same
Will our first time
Be its claim to fame?

We’re hiss and fizz
We’re bubbling tar
Oh, babe, I can’t believe
How succulent you are

We’re hiss and fizz
We’re bubbling tar
I can’t believe
How succulent you are

Will Ballarat ever be the same
Will our first time
Be its claim to fame?

Oh, Ballarat

 

This World

Tonight the moon shines through my window
Tonight the moon is stroking through my hair
She’s telling me to go out wandering
She’s telling me to go take a risk

But tonight I’m holding on to this world
Holding on to this world
No, I won’t play hit and miss
Moon, go, tease another girl
Tonight I’m holding on to this world
I’m holding on to this world

Moon, go, tease another girl

Tonight the moon shines through my window
Tonight the moon is, the moon is stroking through my hair
She’s telling me to go out wandering
She’s telling me to go, take a risk

But tonight I’m holding,
Yeah, I’m holding on to this world
Tonight I won’t play hit and miss
Moon, go and tease another girl
Tonight I’m holding on, holding on,
Holding on to this world

 

Gutsy Girl

I’m not afraid of dying
I like it when you drive too fast
I’m not afraid, I’m not afraid

And I’m not afraid of lying
I throw dares into the water
And watch the sharks cruising past

Are you afraid of loving?
Are you afraid of pain?
Let’s make a lover’s pledge
Are you afraid of blood?

Try it, gutsy girl!
Don’t forget, you gutsy girl!
Try it, gutsy girl!

I’m not afraid of flying
On a full moon I take off
I take off, I take off
From this window ledge

Are you afraid of loving?
Are you afraid of pain?
Let’s make a lover’s pledge
Are you afraid of blood?

Try it, gutsy girl!
Don’t forget, you gutsy girl!
Try it, gutsy girl!

‘Cause she’s not afraid
Bloody whirl

 

New Friends

My new friends ring all the time
My new friends invite me out
My old friends lost my trust
I left them tastin’ the dust

My new friends are not ordinary
New friends go snap! crackle! pop!
New friends, new friends are wild!

My new friends wear nipple rings
My new friends are hot
And I’ll never be bored again
My social life is on fire

My new friends are not ordinary
New friends go snap! crackle! pop!
New friends, new friends are wild!

I left my old friends
They only let me down
I got new friends
I’ll never be lonely
(I’ll never be lonely)

My new friends are not ordinary
New friends go snap! crackle! pop!
New friends, new friends are wild!

Nananananana…

 

My Magic Friend

You’re my magic friend
You make my pain disappear
After talking with you
A deep water looks inviting
The murk becomes clear

You’re my magic friend
You make the world appear
In a grain of sand
Your wand is inner peace
You wave it over my fear

Where would I be without you?
What tunnel of loneliness would I be stumbling through?
Where would I be without you?

You’re my magic friend
You’re my quiet seer
You make me shut up and listen
Or remember the shush of the surf
The smell of our secrecy

Where would I be without you?
What tunnel of loneliness would I be stumbling through?
Where would I be without you?

You’re my magic friend
You make my pain disappear
You’re my magic friend
In my bewildering life
There’s no one more clear

Where would I be without you?
What tunnel of loneliness would I be stumbling through?
Where would I be without you?
What tunnel of loneliness would I be stumbling through?
(Where would I be without you?)

 

All Night Long

I talk to my own slow burden
I talk to the 4 AM angels
To whom I turn, turn, turn

I talk to the last watch of the night
I talk to the early birds
Bringing, singing in the light
I talk all night long

I talk, oh, I talk, I talk all night
I talk all night long

I talk to the late night movie
I talk to my bad haircut in the dark
It’s so groovy

I talk, oh, I talk, I talk all night
I talk all night long

I talk to the water rising over my head
If only, only, only I could talk to the
Sweet stranger sleeping in my bed
And we will talk all night long

I talk, oh, I talk, I talk all night
I talk all night long

Bringing, singing in the light
We talk all night long

We talk, we talk, we talk all night
We talk all night long

 

Feeding The Gods

You laugh at me
You say my taste’s in my arse
You say I live in the past
Walking past Luna Park
The Big Dipper rattles over our heads now
I like that old sound
I like dirty scratched records, too

Incense for Jimi!
Whiskey for Janis!
Black Candles for Jim!
Watch me!
I’m feeding the gods
I’m feeding the gods

You laugh at me
You say my taste’s in my arse
You say I live in the past
We walk past the cakes on Acland Street
And a curry singing karaoke country blues, well
"She’s old enough to be your mother," you say
Well, I like her spunk, I like her truth

Incense for Jimi!
Whiskey for Janis!
Black Candles for Jim!
Watch me!
I’m feeding the gods
I’m feeding the gods

You laugh at me
You say my taste’s in my arse
You say I live in the past
The sun’s out just for me
And my ice-cream melts over your cigarettes

Incense for Jimi!
Whiskey for Janis!
And Black Candles for Jim!
Oh, they’re lighting me up
They’re lighting me up

Oh, not legends, not ghosts, oh babe,
you could do with some of that dead,
dead hippie **** sound, and then you might join me,
where I live in the past, with my taste in my arse…

Whiskey for Janis!
And Black Candles for Jim!
Watch me!
I’m feeding the gods
I’m feeding the gods
I’m feeding the gods

You could do with some of that dead hippie **** sound,
and then you might join me…
Taste in my arse…
They’re not legends, they’re not ghosts…
Your dead hippie **** sound…
And then you may join me…

 

This Moment

There’ll always be this moment
There’ll always be this waltz
There’ll always be this moment

Tonight your face hide in my hands
Tonight your eyes don’t have other plans
There’ll always be this moment

There’ll always be this moment
There’ll always be this waltz

Tonight your skin burns through my heart
Tonight we take each other right apart
There’ll always be this moment

This isn’t dancing
Hold me tight
Tonight I’m not dreaming
And I can’t let you out of my sight

There’ll always be this moment
There’ll always be this waltz
There’ll always be this moment

Tonight your face hide in my hands
Tonight your eyes don’t have other plans
There’ll always be this moment
This moment…
This moment…

 

Bride Doll

Would you like to take me out?
Would you like to put me away?
Lock me up in a cupboard with your other toys?

Now your bride doll’s talking back
Now your bride doll’s talking tough
Now your bride doll’s walking out on broken legs

Would you like to dust me off?
Would you like to choose all my pretty clothes?
Cover me with kisses just to show
I’m all yours

Now your bride doll’s talking back
Now your bride doll’s talking tough
Now your bride doll’s walking out on broken legs
Hell, yeah

And all this attention
It must be love
But you are only dressing me up

Bride doll!
Bride doll!

Until the cupboard got dark and dreadful
Until you never came back for me
Now your bride doll’s around to kick with broken legs

Hey, bride doll!
Bride doll!

You are only dressing me up
You are only dressing me up

 

Off The Planet

When I can’t dream in the past
When I can’t hope for the future
When I can’t face the biff and bash of now

Where do I go?
Where do I go?

When my purse is empty
And when my blood goes underground
When clammy day after day
Dribbles on my neck

Where do I go?
Where do I go?

I go off the planet
To my own lovely world
Where the only colour is blue
Oh, blue, my sweet blue
Who knows what you can do
Blue, my blue, my sweet blue

When I can’t dream in the past
When I can’t hope for the future
And when I’m stuck in the red of now

Where do I go?
Where do I go?

I go off the planet
To my own lovely world
Where the only colour is blue
Oh, blue, my sweet blue
Who knows what you can do
Oh, blue, oh, blue, my sweet blue

Floating like an ocean in the air
Foaming like surf through my hair

I build my own palace
Where I can live without you
I go off the planet
Where I can breathe blue
Where my heart
Is a playing fountain of blue

 

Making You Happy

Gonna stop tryin’ to make you happy
It’s just makin’ me sad
Gonna stop tryin’ to make your happy
It’s just making me sad

It don’t make a bit of difference what I do
Make a New Year’s resolution or two
Give up smoking
Jumping through hoops for you, babe

Gonna stop tryin’ to make you happy
It’s just makin’ me sad

It don’t make a bit of difference, adorin’ you
I’ll make new year’s resolution or two
Give up grovelling
Being a soft touch for you, baby

Making you happy

You said you loved me
If I answered all your needs
But you couldn’t say what they were
You had me on my knees
I’m gonna stop tryin’

It don’t make a bit of difference…

It’s your turn to try and make me happy
It’s your turn to go down on you knees

It’s your turn to be sad
I’m gonna stop trying
And jumping through hoops for you, babe

Making you happy

 

Black Water

Today I’m gonna swim
In black water
Today I’m gonna leap
Onto black air
And my devils, they know where to find me
But today I just don’t care
Because today I’m gonna swim
In black water

Well, black water tastes sweeter
Than stale happiness
And the black air can hold you tighter
Than love’s false arms
I want nothing, nothing to release me
Not a friend’s kind company
Because today I’m gonna swim
In black water

And my devil, he knows where to find me
But today I just don’t care
Today I’m gonna swim
In black water

 

Like An Etruscan

It’s time to stop living like an Etruscan
It’s time to stop living underground
Well there’s a laughing space openin’ up
But there’s a laughing space openin’ up
But there’s a laughing space openin’ up
In my head, in my head, in my head, in my head

It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead

Well I can’t pose on this moping tomb forever
Oh, baby, you pulled me body and soul together
And there’s a laughing space openin’ up
But there’s a laughing space openin’ up
But there’s a laughing space openin’ up
In my head, in my head, in my head, in my head

It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead

It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead
It’s time to stop worshipping the dead

And living like an Etruscan
And living like an Etruscan
And living like an Etruscan

 

January

January has two faces
January has two doors
I take two paces right
Take two paces left

What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?

January has two faces
January has two doors
January makes me giddy
Should I walk towards loving or uproar?
I take two paces right
Take two paces left

What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?

Oh, forget the old year
Forget the past
Forget my lazy quips
And my heart nailed to the mast

January has two faces
January has two doors
I take two paces right
Take two paces left

What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?
What will the new year bring?

Original Post

Writing these lyrics out  with Buddha have really helped me to see what a great work this is but also how important Dorthy Porter's words are to it.

Despite Tim's stellar songcraft(not to mention his playing on drums, guitar and piano), I feel that Porter's voice and vision dominates the album.

Tim himself is a capable lyricist, indeed, he's more than capable. I consider him very underrated as both a lyricist and a melodist. But occasionally he likes to let someone else do the lyrical lifting. Sometimes, as with the early work with Phil Judd, that works well and sometimes, as with his work Jeremy Brock, it doesn't work that well (in my opinion.)

Here it works. I find Dorthy Porter's lyrics breathtakingly beautiful. 

The album is far more challenging than most Finn-related records; but there are hooks, and there is tasty musicianship and fine performances for all involved. Recorded in one long take at a rehearsal, it is literally played live in a room: no overdubs. It does sound like it, and that's both bad and good.There are times an overdub might have clarified a bit of murk in the mix, or made a cool guitar lick stand out more; but on the other hand the album has a live edge that hasn't really been heard on a Finn record since The Rootin' Tootin' Luton Tapes.

Like that album, this album is squarely in a post-punk mode that Tim has rarely explored, despite his roots in New Wave. The songs, many if not all  of them written as far back as the late 90s, if I'm not mistaken, bring me back to that time. The very edginess of the songs themselves is almost shocking. Porter and Finn really get under the skin of the  character singing: a lesbian filled with self loathing and insecurity, filled with a love of sixties rock and roll mythology, who has a exciting and  romantic fling with a dangerous and exciting individual that that ends up wearing her out emotionally. It album goes deep into emotional darkness and comes out on the other side strong but not unscathed. 

I really think it's a great work of art. Not something you'd play at a party, perhaps, and you are never going to see a single from this album sailing up the charts; but it's a really strong statement from start to finish that sustains itself over the length of it's 48 minutes (or so). A good rainy day album when you have time to really listen and focus and get into it. And as it streams on multiple platforms, it's practically free.

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