the Notes and Scratches

the Clockmaker’s Daughter lyrics

I fell in love with a woman named Patience,
we kissed a few times then she split.
And I haven’t seen her again.

But one day I’ll marry that Clockmaker’s Daughter,
in a church, on a Sunday in spring.

The last thing she gave me was a handful of appleseeds
to plant near the lake where we met.
And each day that sapling grows closer to heaven;
I worry that tree is the closest I’ll get.
I’ve missed her so much since she left.

But one day I’ll marry the Clockmaker’s Daughter,
in a church, on a Sunday in spring.

I’ve work thirty years in the trainyards each day,
my afternoons spent in that apple tree’s shade.
It’s blossomed grown tall while my hair has gone gray.
Women have come to me but I’m happy to wait,
because I know that I’ll see her again.

And one day I’ll marry the Clockmaker’s Daughter,
in a church, on a Sunday in spring.

When my watch broke, I caught a lift to his store,
the gentle old Clockmaker stood in the door,
I said “Sir, has your daughter been well?”

“Son,” he said, “you must be cruel or daft.
Beautiful Patience died thirty years past.
And we’ll never see her again.”

I took an old rope, up to the lake
and while I was walking I called out her name,
“Patience, don’t worry, I won’t be long.”
I tested its branches and found they were strong,
so I’ll hang until I run out of breath.

And tomorrow I’ll marry the Clockmaker’s Daughter,
in heaven, if I can get in.

posted by joshua
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Washing up

Sitting on the curb outside the laundry mat, my arm around her like a Raymond Carver story. It was perfect. She was wearing a black skirt with cream lace at the bottom and her dark hair stumbling out of a small pony tail and her impossible eyes and the moon like a melon slice. One hand on my knee cupping a cigarette, the other gentle on the small of her back.

Anyone walking past turning to look would have surely concluded that this is a sad good life, a life where young people strange in the night entangle on curbs in front of laundry mats’ florescent lights flickering and clothes tumbling and lunatics wandering, a life where some might have the chance to share small tasks warmly, a life where some promises are undoubtedly kept.

This moment will surely end up in song at some point…

posted by joshua
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song fragment unfinished

after the rain, i stepped on a caterpillar
what can i say, i was younger and envious
she was a candlemaker i was a flame
ash-eyed and willfully reckless

posted by josh
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writing Memphis Eyes

We started writing a new song in the studio. It’s all so blurry I’m not even sure what day it was, but we were on a break and VJ starts playing this ‘Lust for Life’-esque drum part and i start playing this descending progression that i kinda yanked from the Great Lakes Swimmers (who are so amazingly lovely) and suddenly i think i can hear J singing. This was a problem for three reasons: one, I’ve yet to hear J sing; two, i already felt like I’d been huffing gas for a week and hearing ghost voices wasn’t helping anything; and three, she drove home this weekend to visit her folks, she was miles away. Anyway, that moment was the song’s spark, imagining that somehow i might be hearing her all the from Memphis… which doesn’t seem totally impossible right?

Well, upon her return i received this message from her:
I am sleepy and jolly and also half voiceless, cause the only way I could keep awake driving yesterday was to sing…

posted by joshua
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