Optimism

by Elizabeth Morris

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about

The last time I was home in Australia I tried my hand at writing songs on my great-great-great grandmother's piano. It came to Australia from Germany as a wedding gift in the 1850s. It still sounds beautiful.

These piano songs didn't feel like Allo Darlin' songs. Perhaps the reason why will be evident to you upon listening. They were written during a turbulent time, and have been floating around in my head ever since.

A conversation with my friend Darren Hayman made me think that perhaps I should record these piano songs on his ship's piano. I wanted to get them recorded before I left London permanently. Darren also drew some pictures of me while he was recording. We think this is the first time a recording engineer has drawn the artwork for an album whilst recording it. He's that good.

I wrote the song Shoe Box very recently. It is a funny little song but I think it hangs nicely with the others. I think that's all I need to say about that one.

Sweetheart will be familiar to Wave Pictures fans. Allo Darlin' have spent much of the last 18 months touring with the Wave Pictures, and this is one of my favourite songs of my friend David's.

This is not meant to mean anything other than I had these songs, and I didn't know what to do with them. But I wanted them to be heard at some point.

Thanks for listening and I hope that you like it.

credits

released August 27, 2013

Elizabeth Morris - singing, guitar, piano.

All songs by Elizabeth Morris except Sweetheart which was written by David Tattersall. Sweetheart appears on the Wave Pictures album Susan Rode the Cyclone and the Sweetheart EP.

Recorded live by Darren Hayman in Walthamstow on August 27 2013.

Artwork by Darren Hayman.

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  • Oct 04
    Santiago, Chile

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Track Name: Young Republic
I've always had a knack to see beyond a face
But these eyelashes put me in my place
I think of words written on the side of buildings
In toilet stalls and backstage halls where we played

And in this room we will build a young republic
And we will outlaw guilt and fear and loss and shame
And we will promise to take these things as they come
And let the hour be that daydreams finally won

And I realise that I am playing the fool
And I may as well be bare in front of you
But I wanted you to know how much I like you
And I don't have enough time to play it cool

I've always loved the things I couldn't characterise
I see it shining in the darkness like a prize
And I don't want to be around loudness anymore
Fueled by self-importance watch it fade away

But these gestures will not appeal to reason
My favourite season has always been the fall

And I realise that I am playing the fool
And I may as well be bare in front of you
But I wanted you to know how much I like you
And I don't have enough time to play it cool
Track Name: Optimism
I lost you at the after party
Found you throwing rocks on the kerb
We sang Buddy Holly in the street all night
I felt so happy I could have died

Then you wrote your name in my notebook
I had to check you were not looking
The most impressive person I've ever met
And I put a question mark next to it

And I said that you're too young
To give up on optimism
And I turned away when you looked at me straight in the eye
I don't know what to do when you look at me in the eye

Do you remember the ride at night
Through the desert of New Mexico
Put my uncertain shoulder to the wheel
And watched the stars collide

I had a bad dream last night
That Paul Simon died
And when I woke up in the morning
I wanted to call you up and cry

And I said that you're too young
To give up on optimism
And I turned away when you looked at me straight in the eye
I don't know what to do when you look at me in the eye
Track Name: Shoe Box
Six months ago I packed seven years
Into a box of pictures

And I hid it in the back of a wardrobe
And covered it up with pillows

Now I'm moving and I'm wondering what to do
With a box of photographs that aren't you

I don't know how it feels to be old
When blue eyes turn red and watery and feet get cold
All I know is I miss you when you're away
When I can't recall it'll be the same

So I went to fix my old camera
But there's something wrong with the aperture
And I can't even get the film to wind
Reckless when the red light is on
But I resolve to take a picture
With my mind every time I kiss you

I don't know how it feels to be old
When blue eyes turn red and watery and feet get cold
All I know is I miss you when you're away
When I can't recall it'll be the same

What is it like to be eighty
The photographs, the memory
And I am struggling with the feeling
Most days I find it overwhelming
When I close my eyes all I see is your face
In the winter sun, in the blue light, in the London rain

I don't know how it feels to be old
When blue eyes turn red and watery and feet get cold
All I know is I miss you when you're away
When I can't recall it'll be the same
Track Name: Sweetheart
I will rustle your lashes loose after we have travelled
Like the leaves from the trees when Autumn unravels
I will pinch them in my tips and place them on my lips
Stoop down and kiss you on the cheek, sweetheart
Stoop down and kiss you on the cheek

And every day I'll show you something else
To make you feel better about yourself
The letters will fly over the sea
And I will write you without poetry, sweetheart
I will write you without poetry

Sweetheart let me tell you something you don't know
Sweetheart when I'm with you I wish I didn't have to go
Sweetheart, I wish that I didn't have to go

I will measure the weight of your heart in tonnes
I will write about the rain and that one day of Glasgow sun
I've got forty years left in this skin
When my plane arrives watch it roll in
When my plane arrives watch it roll in

Sweetheart let me tell you something you don't know
Sweetheart when I'm with you I wish I didn't have to go
Sweetheart, I wish that I didn't have to go