posted on September 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm

torch on

a poor sad tired singer trudges into town

big city full of bright lights

got an engagement somewhere

in some infernal club

singing that same old bunch of songs

singing for a meal and a hotel room

singing for only for the lonely

with his suitcase full of blues

sitting up alone drinking a coffee

watching the city from his room

sore throat and aching feet

tatty old suit

what fucking year is this?

not now not ever

some eternal autumn

some infernal club

some endless night

standing onstage nervous and bored

praying it will begin n end quick

singing through the foggy atmosphere

the trombone slides in like mockery

the flute says i told you so

the harp and strings flutter away like an illusion

its the dead end circuit

its the cramped dressing room

its the warm martini

its the feeling anxious

the poor mans nexus

the boys out in the backroom playing cards

they dont even acknowledge him

he smiles to no one in particular

a waiter passes by

the piano comes in a ripple

the piano softly hammers

the double bass comes in changing things

the drums shuffle slightly

the singer steps to the mike

he opens his mouth

the words gather in his mind and throat

he closes his eyes

he sees her face

that face he loves

a mixture of pain n exultation

he breathes in deep


comes his voice

worn torn still a bit triumphant

whats he singing?

whats it matter?

same old song

the broken hearted slow old number bout love

the piano flows around him in melody and mood

a smoky mournful sax

yeah that guy knows the meaning of these blues

the sax sounds like it drank whisky all its life

it paints a picture of emptiness

it tells a tale of the veil of tears

abandoned wrecks of dreams

crushed pulp of hope

when love goes bad and you cant get it good again

or the songs of the loveless

those who never loved or were loved

songs of white hot jealousy

songs of blackest scorn

songs of gentle regrets that have somewhat faded

songs of disappointed suitors empty handed in the rain

songs of maudlin reminiscences

songs of lonely old towns like this

who came to hear him sing……not that many

they listened n drank

it was a strange night

it was the usual thing

30 Responses to “its a lonely old town”

  1. avatar
    Wilfred Paradise | 2 September 2010 at 10:00 pm #


    That’s your best in awhile. All best. WIlfred P

  2. avatar
    Freddie | 2 September 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    I think I heard that singer way over here. It was sometime during the wee still hours of early morn. Yeah, I’m sure it was him.

  3. avatar
    BROKEN TOYS AND HEROS | 2 September 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    Songs of rapture…
    Songs that capture…
    Songs of devotion…
    Songs of faith…
    Songs filled with love…
    Songs justifying hate…
    Songs from the heartless mind…
    Songs from this soulless time…

    All now created for thee, to cherish-to perish,waiting patiently for me.

    Have a great next couple days and be brilliant as always-your plate is full-you fill our plates…

    As Always,
    Darrin K.

  4. avatar
    BigSmilesKate | 2 September 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    Thank you for tonight Steve I had such a good time. You bring me so much joy.

    Loving you


  5. avatar
    Karen | 3 September 2010 at 12:10 am #

    Im tired & its late I just read both of the latest blogs..quickly and I cant be stuffed reading all the replies ..I uually do I’ll catch up tomorrow or today I should say. work werk work… long service leave

    Any way when are you coming to your home town ? the big C …berra… I might even drag my old 46 yr old bones out to see you.. no one comes here much..only crappy politicians.

  6. avatar
    Karen | 3 September 2010 at 12:11 am #


  7. avatar
    lily was here | 3 September 2010 at 12:55 am #

    “The pines smell sweet in the frozen air
    And their silhouettes just fading there
    The wolves crouch close against the snow
    But where we’re running I don’t know
    In villages and soft sad towns
    The candles sway as night comes down
    Cold bones creak and strange beasts cry
    Watching shadows in the sk”

    I wonder if you played this. I guess it was Providence xoxo

    • avatar
      bnz | 3 September 2010 at 4:01 am #

      goosebumps every time ..or like my ex keiko used to say “chicken flesh”…when they get to” watching shadows in the sky” im transported out n up an all the way over into the saddest snowcovered mentality…this my opinion is the closest tune to “sisters ” sk has been a part of ..a mixture of grants innocence and and kilbeys genius…the unbearable lightness of being in song form…

      • avatar
        bnz | 3 September 2010 at 4:05 am #

        yeah ,i just listened to it in my head …it still hurts like hell..

    • avatar
      lily was here | 3 September 2010 at 10:02 pm #

      forgot the ‘why’ in sky

  8. avatar
    Name | 3 September 2010 at 2:38 am #

    that image is always more thoughtful than a feckless crowded stadium, shoving and all without space to wonder.

    It started a thought about another music that hardly ever gets included into these nights (well, somewhere it does, but not everywhere), but would probably be so perfectly a part of: bagpipes. You have to admit that when one is heard, it’s like everyone stops and looks up and it’s a pretty smile no matter what is being played or how sad it is meant. So… BB King sitting in that club – a lone bagpipe crying out and his head gently swaying rythmically to the sound (with his eyes shut, of course).

  9. avatar
    Ellen | 3 September 2010 at 3:28 am #

    Nice blog today. The words just flow and I can fully relate (who can’t!?) to the heartaches of love found and lost…

    Anyway, I’m hoping you’ll come back to LA soon. Hugs to you this morning from CA…

  10. avatar
    davem | 3 September 2010 at 4:25 am #

    I wish you were trudging into my town and I would love to hear you record Providence again. Your voice is so great now that it would stand up as a classic even without Grant.

  11. avatar
    Tanya | 3 September 2010 at 4:55 am #

    Well, again your blog today matches my mind-set. Same wave-length, struck a cord….you seem to know oh so well. Is this the human condition or one of many human conditions?

  12. avatar
    Jonny Hollywood | 3 September 2010 at 6:16 am #

    talkin’ bout the loveless fascination…

  13. avatar
    cazziem | 3 September 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Very melancholy SK! Loved your description of the saxophone, just perfect. As a whole the script you presented today reminded me of Ralph McTell’s ‘Streets of London’.

  14. avatar
    Jasperina | 3 September 2010 at 7:59 am #

    Try to think that love’s not around
    But it’s uncomfortably near…
    Excrutiating, the torture of love loss.
    Beautifully written Steve. Your words so often uncannily echo my own misspent fate.

  15. avatar
    steve in fla | 3 September 2010 at 8:03 am #

    most people, it really doesnt matter who or what they do, when asked how’s work? without fail respond, “work is work”

  16. Kraig
    Kraig | 3 September 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Man Steve…many thanks for this! Kinda reminds me of the continuation of “The Lonely City” painting and song that is on your “Art, Man + Technology” Box Set. Those are some good spoken and written words on that box set, man. Again, this was awesome and good to hear today, reminds me of some kind of continuation of the painting. BTW, the painting is finished and framed…just have to pick it up this weekend and I’ll send you a pic when i get it.

    Many Cheers!

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 September 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Listening to Art, Man + Technology box set was a huge
    fucking disappointment. Can I get my money back?

    • Kraig
      Kraig | 3 September 2010 at 6:29 pm #

      Your a disappointment because you didn’t buy a painting or watch the prints while listening to it. Maybe if you bought an original SK Painting or “at least” looked at the prints that came with it then maybe you would understand. What did you think it was, a musical album? Go figure…or do you really know what Art IS? Sorry you felt that way.

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 September 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Why why why, the whale noise on Painkiller. That was so fucking ridiculous.

  19. avatar
    Na | 3 September 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Remember, remember the air Autumn sweet
    As we race our bicycles to the old country store
    Bud and Papa playing checkers, the old counter cash register
    Dust in the air trapped like time standing still
    Youth in our bones, restless without a thrill
    Sleepy ol’ Southern town with nowhere to go
    Remnants of dreams once full now expiring, Fathers stoned
    The eyes of the hybrid, caught between worlds
    Yearning for the comfort of something never known
    A long time ago, not too far gone for some
    Whispers still haunt me, gratitude for the song
    From down under, cassette chrome glistening spinning
    Winning for the moment, butterflies fading to oblivion
    My remote luxury, treasure in a field of desperation

  20. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 September 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    Sitting in the corner watching everyone tonight, anything is possible.

  21. avatar
    DavidP | 3 September 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    nervous and bored at the same time, interesting combo
    the impression I got from this blog is you feel its not really worth it
    or was that just poetic license?

  22. avatar
    hellbound heart | 3 September 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    your soul in a minor key……

    love always…..

  23. avatar
    Elvis | 4 September 2010 at 12:57 am #

    Nothin like Memphis, but damned Graceland has changed fur the worse!? Now I’m a hiding ouwt in Montana in the deep woods her with Bigfoot. He’s a good ole bow’ee. I was bown in the Ghetto, and a little baby cries, on a lonely September Chicago mownin’, I was bown in the Ghett-O

  24. avatar
    andy | 5 September 2010 at 3:11 am #

    brought to mind the smokey club scene from dark city……
    if’n you ‘aint seen it…do so!

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