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Optimism

by Elizabeth Morris

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1.
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
2.
Optimism 02:34
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
3.
Shoe Box 04:24
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
4.
Sweetheart 03:20
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

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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