Suit of Nettles

by trailer star

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about

Available as Cassette Tape at £5.00 and digital download included.

Created to accompany an exhibition at Lincoln Collection in 2008. Each track has its own painting. To see individual paintings click on track names above.

The story of the songs…

Some of these songs were written in 1995 whilst I was living in Edinburgh and were typed out on an old typewriter…

At the time I had no means of recording songs so this a bit of archival retrieval…

I distinctly remember playing Whiskey Road at a Edinburgh Songwriters Competition and being pissed off that they couldn’t see I was the new Steve Earle! …..It took me over ten years to be in a position to record them properly…

They were re-recorded in 2007 on to an 8-track TOA professional cassette recorder then transferred to minidisc and then PC. Then tidied up (mostly) in Audacity before converting to MP3.

Other songs were more recent e.g. Scarecrow Grave, Broke Down and Firework Factory.

Mostly written 2003-4 and recorded direct to TOA.

Download obtainable by purchasing a cassette tape version and download code at £5. To purchase contact the artist.

The download package includes a bonus pdf of the Story of Trailer Star called 'Moon Over the Barns' in pdf format.

credits

released July 1, 2008

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about

trailer star Nottingham, UK

It’s hard going at times but glory can come from misery. The fragility and the feeling of being on the edge of toppling over is balanced by the skeletal beauty of the songs.
Paul Kerr - Blabber n' Smoke

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Track Name: Firework Factory
Firework Factory

Davey lives in a cheap hotel
He carries a suitcase full of bibles to sell
He spends every Sunday out by a cross
Shouting "sinners - your souls are lost"

And every night he dreams of flames
And the Devil lighting up his way
Down a burning street
To the firework factory

Davey’s got a family way out west
He ain’t seen them since the day he left
He’s spent all his money on sex and sin
Doesn’t think about them don’t think he ever did

All he can see is those flames
And the Devil lighting his way
Down a burning street, down a burning street
To the firework factory

Deep in Davey’s suitcase under the cross
You’ll always find a bottle of scotch
Deep in Davey’s mind you’ll find he’s lost
He ain’t never believed in God
He’s as empty as that hotel room
He’s as empty as the grave he’ll be in soon

All he dreams of at night is the flames
And the Devil lighting up the way
Down a burning street, down a burning street

To the firework factory
Track Name: Scarecrow Grave
Scarecrow Grave

Lay me down in a scarecrow’s grave
Dig out a cross in a shallow way
In the middle of a barren field
On the brow of a hill where plovers wheel

Lay me down in a scarecrow’s grave
With a pair of boots made out of crates
Push me down with the sticks and stones
And nail me down through my broken bones

‘Cos if I ever rise from that scarecrow’s grave
With a heart of straw that’s burning away
I’ll never cease to roam these dark hills
Looking for a girl with golden shoes

Yes bury me down in a scarecrow’s grave
Hold me down so I never rise again
See that there are no crosses on that hill
So all those good folk can fear no ill

Just bury me down in a scarecrow’s grave
With my heart of straw and my pauper’s name
And I will never trouble you again my dear

I’ll be the green corn again in another year.
Track Name: I Believe
I Believe

Blue moon rising above a deadwood tree
Your face in the water staring back at me
Barrels creaking after the storm
The river is high but it sure feels warm

Maybe baby now I, I can believe

Silver train flickering through the woods
A shooting star falling on my roof
An owl screetching up at the moon
As I watch you undress here in my room

Maybe baby now I, I can believe

Firelight flickers in your eyes
As somewhere in the dark a dog barks at the night
I draw the curtains I dry your hair
As the wind howls and the moon disappears

Maybe baby now I, I can believe

I believe
Track Name: Suit of Nettles
Suit of Nettles

He was working at the factory
On a holiday weekend
When he saw the full moon shining
Through a window above his head
He worked out all the hours
He’d wasted in his life
They weren’t far short of all the hours
Of his life

Now he wears a suit of nettles
And he carries a cheap guitar
He roams from town to town
He roams from bar to bar

Suit of Nettles, suit of nettles.

His wife could never trace him
His kids call another man dad
There’s a fading photo in a police station
But no-one wants him back
Now he spends his nights under the moon and stars
He spends his days playing that old guitar

One day he met a promoter
Who bought him a suit of nettles
And put him on a stage of lights
He played for twenty minutes
Got stage fright, walked off into the night

Now he wears a suit of nettles
And he plays a cheap guitar
He roams from town to town
He roams from bar to bar

Suit of Nettles, suit of nettles.
Track Name: Broke Down
Broke Down

GOT A BROKE DOWN CAR IN A BROKE DOWN PLACE
IT’S A BROKE DOWN SHED IN A BROKE DOWN STATE

GOT A BROKE DOWN HOUSE ON A BROKE DOWN STREET
GOT A BROKE DOWN TV THAT JUST DON’T WORK FOR ME

GOT A BROKE DOWN LIFE FULL OF BROKE DOWN DREAMS
GOT A BROKE DOWN TREE SURROUNDED BY BROKE DOWN LEAVES

THERE’S A BROKE DOWN TRAIN COMIN’ DOWN A BROKE DOWN TRACK
COMIN’ TO TAKE MY BROKE DOWN BABY BACK

THERE’S A BROKE DOWN DOOR, A BROKE DOWN KEY IN MY HAND

I’M THROWING IT AWAY SO THAT I CAN BREAK FREE
OF THIS BROKE DOWN WORLD
Track Name: Man With No Name
Man with no name

You kick at the tyre of the tractor
That hasn’t moved since the snow last came down
You pull at the chainlink fence blow dandelions over the old grey sow
And wonder whose hand on your arm could lead you away from here now

Well it’s the middle of summer but clouds cover up the sun, you feel cold
You run for shelter, find your father with a halter, staring at the ground

Oh why can’t I tell you , oh why can’t I say
I feel like a man with no name

In a dark pantry a dog panting, tired from running under the sun
And on the kitchen table a dripping pheasant broken by the farmer’s gun
And you sit in your armchair reading news of a war that has hardly begun
Whilst all of the berries we picked last summer turned blood red in the cup

And you thought you could break down all the fences they put around you
And you told me to take a deep breath and set my own pace

Oh why can’t I tell you , oh why can’t I say
I feel like a man with no name

Unmarked grave, an unmarked grave

Well your stepdad he fell in that kitchen and the dog sat there and waited all day
And the silent river rolled on and the clouds blew over the hills anyway
So father and son two years later we stand in a graveyard in the rain
And if I could lead you to the answer I would , you know I would say


I feel like a man with no name

Man with no name in an unmarked grave
Track Name: Car Nobody Loved
Car nobody loved

It's covered in nettles, it's full of weeds
Been there since 1963
A farmer towed it out here behind a truck
Dumped it here in the weeds and mud

It's the car nobody loves

He'd been to the bank and bought a new car
That shone as bright as a tinsel star
So he stripped down the engine, threw away the key
Left it here to rust on the edge of a stream

Now the seats are a nest for the birds
The engine's a home for beetles and worms
But you can still see by the dash and the chrome
That this old car was once proudly owned

So that is why on every Christmas Eve
You'll see that old farmer out here holding a beer
As he remembers the day he met his first wife
As that old car stalled under the Christmas lights

The car nobody loves...
Track Name: Whiskey Road
WHISKY ROAD

DONALD CAMERON DROVE HIS FORD DOWN TO THE WATERLINE
IN THE LONG HOT SUMMER OF 1949
HE WATCHED THE MUDDY WATER AS IT WENT RUSHING BY
AS HE LIT A CIGARETTE AND STARED INTO THE NIGHT

IT'S A MIGHTY LONG WAY FROM THE SIDE OF THE CLYDE
TO THE BANKS OF THE OHIO
IT'S A MIGHTY LONG WAY FROM THE GLASGOW DOCKS
TO THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL


WHEN YOU'RE HEADED DOWN WHISKEY ROAD


HE SAILED ON A CARGO SHIP YEAR HE WAS DEMOBBED
SAILED FROM GLASGOW INTO A WORLD OF ICE AND FOG
JUMPED SHIP IN CHICAGO THEN HEADED OUT WEST
NEVER KNEW WHICH ROAD HE COULD TAKE FOR THE BEST

HE GOT A SALESMAN'S JOB IN A SMALL MIDWEST TOWN
SELLING REFRIGERATORS, NO MONEY DOWN
EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT HE'D BE IN A BAR
DRINKING WHISKEY 'TIL HE STAGGERED TO HIS CAR

THEN ONE DAY HE THOUGHT HE SAW THE HIGHLANDS
SHINING THROUGH THE MIST
AND ALL THE CRANES OF GLASGOW TOWERING OVER HIM...

NBXT MORNING THEY FOUND HIS CAR IN THE MUD
UNDERNEATH THE ARKANSAW AND MEMPHIS BRIDGE.

AS HE'D COME TO THE END OF A WHISKEY ROAD

IT'S A MIGHTY LONG WAY FROM THE SIDE OF THE CLYDE
TO THE BANKS OF THE OHIO
IT'S A MIGHTY LONG WAY FROM THE GLASGOW DOCKS
TO THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL


WHEN YOU'RE HEADED DOWN A WHISKEY ROAD
Track Name: Henry Night
HENRY NIGHT

ON COOMBE RISE IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT
THE TWISTING BODY OF HENRY NIGHT
AND ROUND HIM IN THE DAWN RAVENS FLY
PECK AT THE FROST ON HIS ICE-COVERED EYES

THEY BROUGHT HIM ON A CART IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
FROM THE BIG HOUSE WHERE THE FIRES SHONE BRIGHT
THEY HAULED HIS BODY UP INTO THE SKY
LEFT HIM HANGING IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT

THE SHERIFF FOUND HIM GUILTY OF STEALING A GUN
WHEN EVERYBODY KNEW HE'D ONLY STOLEN HER LOVE
BUT THERE WAS NO DEFENCE AGAINST THE LANDLORD'S SPITE
WHEN THE LOCAL ASSIZES TRIED HENRY NIGHT

HIS LAST RESTING PLACE A GALLOWS POLE
A PERCH FOR THE RAVEN AND THE CROW
AND WHEN THE BIG HOUSE IS ABLAZE WITH LIGHTS
THEY SAY SHE SITS INSIDE AND CRIES AND CRIES

CRIES FOR POOR HENRY NIGHT
Track Name: Crazy Black Cars
Crazy Black Cars

I’m jumping into an endless sky
A sky full of stars and shiny planes
A sky so blue it turns the houses to grey
Yeah I’m still falling since that day

I would play in the back seat having fun
That car my grandad said could be anyones

Crazy Black Car, Crazy Black Car

Now every car is noted down
Every road is satellite found
There is no freedom in this country any more
Somebody tracking you from door to door
The days of freedom long gone
There’s no more sitting on the back seat having fun

Crazy Black Car, Crazy Black Car

I saw my generation shake their heads
At the new kids with their satellite aids
But where can those kids drive any more
Tracked on the screen from screen to door to door
There’s nowhere to have fun any more

Crazy Black Car, Crazy Black Car

Let them fall apart….

Crazy Black Car
Crazy Black Car
Track Name: B.J.'s Mobile Home
B.J's Mobile Home

Billy Johnson’s house has three bald tyres
A dodgy tax disc, a licence that’s expired
Rusted lamps and blackened chrome
But that heap of scrap’s what he calls home

It don’t matter which way you go
One of these days you’ll pass
Him on the road
B.J.’s mobile home.

Rain comes through the sills, the engine’s shot
But those torn curtains hide all he’s got
The back seat’s home to his old mangy dog
The windscreen’s plastered with bird’s muck

But it don’t matter which way you go
One day you’ll pass B.J. on the road
B.J.’s mobile home.

He’s been to every place anybody’s been
He’s seen more sights than most people ever see
He’s lived twenty lives in the time most people live one
He’s still going whilst you’re stuck in a rut

So remember one day when you pass

B.J.’s mobile home just say hello….
Track Name: Frozen Lawn
Frozen lawn

I came back to your town
As the snowplough was headed out
And the cruel north wind
Was blowing around your house
I came back to your gate
In that old battered crate
And I walked up to your door
Just like I did before

And your light shone on the frozen lawn
And your light shone on the frozen lawn

I’d been away a year and a day
Didn’t seem like I’d been away at all
Cos’ here I am again knocking your front door
And watching the light go on in the hall

And your light shines on the frozen lawn
And your light shines on the frozen lawn

Now I’ve been back two years or more
No more sending cheques through your door
Your sister said I never treated you right
But I did what I thought was right
To keep that light shining bright
Across this frozen lawn

Frozen lawn, frozen lawn…