Folk Songs

by Friends

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about

The sixth Friends album sees the band switch off the electricity and present a largely acoustic and stripped-down set of 17 songs. Focussing on male/female vocals, acoustic guitar and percussion, augmented by occasional brass, string quartet and bass, the songs range from one-minute wonders such as Stay For A While to the nine-minute millennial anthem Visions. Stylistically Folk Songs covers classic Friends indiepop as well as classical and folk influences, but these are emphatically not folk songs – the title alludes to the songs' subject matter, largely people and places, and their mainly unplugged treatment.

From the blissed-out pastoral pop of Into the Sun to the urban angst of On Saturday, clocking in at just over an hour, Folk Songs is pure essence of Friends, with some of the band's most personal and direct material ever recorded.

credits

released July 4, 2011

William Jones: voice, acoustic, electric, 12-string acoustic and Spanish guitar, keyboards
Katherine Dow Blyton: voice
Al Wood: trumpet
Julian Gregory: violin
Clare Dixon: violin
Tania Maxwell: viola
Peter Dixon: cello
Jon Kirby: keyboards
Keith Peberdy: bass
Kevin Walker: double bass
Martin Parker: drums, percussion

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Friends City Of London, UK

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Track Name: Lies Lies Lies
If I hadn’t seen my family disappear
When you’re at the door
If I hadn’t heard your every good idea
At least once before
I would argue the case for you now

If I didn’t know that every thousand pounds
Was really a ton
If I didn’t hear you putting your best friends down
You’d still be the one
That I’d say was profound
And I’d still be around to impress

Please don’t phone
When you’re sitting all alone in an old folks’ home
I’m not in
And there’s no way I’ll begin when I just can’t win with you

If it hadn’t been for all of your endless talk
With zero to say
After twenty years of watching the way you work
I’ll call it a day
‘Cause you’re pure fantasy
And it’s easy to see through the hype

Don’t come round
‘Cause the kids are going to drown out the doorbell sound
Keep away
‘Cause there’s no-one here today to come out to play with you

If it wasn’t for a mutual friend who said
You’d told them the same
I would even be inclined to believe you meant
The best in your way
I would wait to have heard your excuse

If you didn’t have to make an impression on them
Then why all the fuss?
‘Cause it never really mattered to anyone
And least of all us
But it’s too bloody late
And I won’t hesitate to cut you off

Leave me out
There was never any doubt of what you’re all about
Just steer clear
My pathological fear of you being so near

Lies lies lies
Did you ever see the size of my big brown eyes?
Why why why
Did I never ever cry when I said goodbye to you?


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Into The Sun
You climb so high to the top of the sky
And you end up flying
It’s cool up there with the wind in your hair
And it’s easy gliding

There’s no fear of falling
Can I hear you calling to the ground?

Into the sun
See you flying into the sun
Into the sun
Closer to the heat of the sun

And then you rest a while from a million miles
On the astral highway
The view’s so clear and you love it up here
On a solar driveway

Here the rain is frozen
Here the cool breeze blows into your face

Into the sun
Watch you all the way to the sun
Into the sun
See you heading into the sun

You are my blue sky eyes

Watch for the trail of aeroplanes
Search for the blaze of shattering stars
Will you reach out
I know you’re travelling far

You’re out of here in the white stratosphere
And you’re on your way now
Light years on and the memory’s gone
Of your earthbound days now

I can see you soaring
Can you hear me call out of the past?

Into the sun
See you climbing into the sun
Into the sun
Closer to the heat of the sun

You are my blue sky eyes


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Bye Bye
I see your picture
I read your letters
And I remember
When times were better
I never promised
I’d stay for ever
And nor do feelings
And I say bye bye

Did you imagine
A happy ending?
It wasn’t like us
To keep pretending
The whole affair’s been
An education
And now I’ve left school
And I’ll say bye bye
And I say bye bye

After the storm comes the quiet of the day
After the rain it’s the sun

I’ll send the books back
That have your name in
I want the clothes back
That you’ve been wearing
I’ll leave your keys on
The kitchen table
And if I see you
Well I’ll say bye bye
And I’ll say bye bye
And I say bye bye


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Nikky Don't Cry
I try so hard to tell you
You can’t just understand
The whole world kneels
And eats out of your baby hands

All time greatest hero
You’re everybody’s friend
So how come that
You feel you’ve reached a sticky end?

It’s hard to be cool
When you’re feeling such a fool
Whatever you do
Don’t lock yourself away and hide ‘cause

Nikky don’t cry
It’s going to be alright
The stars in the sky
Are going to shine so bright

The universe still loves you
Whatever you believe
I find it hard to recognise the look I see

Anything that’s happened
Whatever you have done
You’re back among your friends
Somewhere that you belong

It’s easily done
It was always going to come
You’re bound to get burned
When you mess around with grown-up kids so

Nikky don’t cry
It’s going to be alright
You know I don’t mind
We’ll sit and drink all night

And if you do there’s an arm to hold you
And if you do there’s a shoulder you can cry on
There’s a hand to reach for
If you need

Nikky don’t cry
Nikky don’t cry

Nikky don’t cry
It’s going to be alright

Nikky don’t cry
It’s going to be alright

Nikky don’t cry
It’s going to be alright

Nikky don’t cry
It’s going to be alright
We’ll sit and drink all night
I’ll stay until daylight

It’s going to be alright, alright, alright, alright

Nikky don’t cry
It’s going to be alright
Don’t want to say goodnight
Don’t want to say goodnight
Don’t want to say goodnight
It’s going to be alright
Nikky don’t cry


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Stay For A While
Stay for a while
Don’t think of leaving
No thought of time
When you are with me
All I know is how I feel
All I feel is such confusion
Keeping hold or fear of losing
Here and now is all that’s real

Just for the hour
We are together
Make this a day
To be remembered
We may never meet again
This was chance that has no meaning
Returns to haunt me when I’m dreaming
I know it happened there and then


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Butterfly Man
The child puts the fallen leaves into a secret book
Names everything he sees with just a loving look
The evenings he is dreaming of the seasons
When the colours come again

The man spends his summer days collecting butterflies
He dreams letting each away just in the breath before it dies
Frozen in a moment when it’s going
Down in circles in the jar

Flattened in a pattern like a map of
Veins and colours where they are

All the world’s own creatures suddenly mine
All the world’s best secrets finally mine

Pass every summer lost in wonder
Years playing in a secret garden here

All the world’s own creatures suddenly mine
All the world’s best secrets finally mine

One by one the years invisibly by
One by one the golden butterflies die


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Hesitant Smile
Hesitant smile
Faraway eyes
Silently cry
Where do you belong?

Sensitive child
Where did you hide?
Waiting the time
Knowing you were strong

Write your message
To the future now

High as the sky
Deep as the sea
You can reach for the stars
Over you and me

Bright as the sun
Dark as the shade
I can see in your eyes
The love in you today

Paint your picture
In your image now
Leave your old defences
Far behind

Beautiful child
No need to change
Nothing was wrong
Only strange


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Hey Jo
Hey Jo, you’re a real find
Hey Jo, good friend of mine
Hey Jo, you’d be a big catch for some lucky so-and-so

Hey Jo, you’re the best thing
Hey Jo, I love it when we sing
Hey Jo, I know that sometime soon you’ll make someone’s day

Hey Jo, you’re a magic charm
Hey Jo, you’re a bright star
Hey Jo, the world’s a better place with you around

And when you’re feeling down and out again
Will you remember what I said?
Will you believe that it will end?
Just try and keep in touch till then

Let it come to you
Hey Jo, the way it’s bound to do
Hey Jo, don’t give yourself away so easily

Hey Jo, you know they love you here
Hey Jo, don’t ever disappear
Hey Jo, the world and his son don’t know what they’re missing

And Jo, in your heart of hearts you know
There’ll be a place where you can go
‘Cause all your friends have told you so
Just stick around and take it slow

Hey Jo, you’re just so much fun
Hey Jo, we are the lucky ones
Hey Jo, don’t ever give up hope
Of finding someone like you

Hey Jo, you know you make me smile
Hey Jo, let’s hang around a while
Hey Jo, you can’t imagine how
You make a difference to my life


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Weary Eyes
Rest your weary eyes
And lean on me tonight
I’ll hold you till you fall asleep
So give up trying to fight

Clear your troubled mind
And give yourself some peace
Just till morning leave the worries
You’ve brought home to keep

Let your feelings go
And cry yourself to sleep
You can’t win every war
So why not recognise defeat

And when you wake you’ll still be here
And you can make another chance
There’ll always be another day
And all your pain will pass away
Just trust in time

Look out at the stars
Then look down from above
Feel your place in time and space
And does it mean so much?


Hard as it may seem
Tomorrow always comes
The darkness doesn’t end until
The morning has begun


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Sky High
Thrown away my plans
Given up the fight
Stare towards the great outdoors
For any sign of light

Morning comes too soon
What to do till then?
Up and down the dead end town
And round and round again

Beaten by the dark
Face another night
Suddenly I clearly see
I’m shattered by the light

All around I hear the sound
Of orchestras of noise

Sky high, feeling sky high
Sky high, feeling sky high
Can’t explain what happened to
The clouded mood I’d grown into before today

Said all my goodbyes
Used up my excuses
Can I then begin again
And have my first success?

Sky high, feeling sky high
Sky high, reaching sky high
Everything that’s gone before
Was nothing to compare to what I see right now

Sky high, climbing sky high
Sky high, flying sky high
Everything that’s gone before
Was nothing to compare to what I

All that happened here before
No longer matters
Only to prepare me for
Whatever happens now

Sky high, feeling sky high
Sky high, reaching sky high
Sky high, climbing sky high
Sky high, flying sky high
Everything that’s gone before
Was nothing to compare to what I feel right now


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: House On The Hill
House on the hill, silence around
Nobody there for years and
House on the hill, faraway bell
Counting the time in thousand thousands

Cool and still
Nothing but the air and
Light to fill
Everything that goes around it

House on the hill, standing alone
Only a pebble garden here

Open the screen
And let the sun flood inside it
Stand in a dream
And float in space and in time in

House on the hill, empty inside
Only the life it’s seen there
House on the hill, nobody knows
Only the ancient gardeners here

Everything is clear
Our belonging here
Suddenly I see
Far beyond of me

House on the hill, this is the place
Somebody thought for years and
House on the hill, climbing the steps
Into the clouds around it here

Green of the trees
Among the white of the stones here
Cool of the breeze
Against the hard bamboo cane here

House on the hill, silence around
Nobody there for years and
House on the hill, faraway bell
Counting the time in thousand thousands

See right through
To the other side and
Feel I feel
Everything there is to feel here

House on the hill, standing alone
Only a pebble garden here


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Believe Me
Believe me when I say
Believe me every night
Believe me every day
All I do is sit and think about you

Believe me this is real
Believe me what I know
Believe me what I feel
Can’t get through another day without you

Can you see what you do to me?
I’m semi-crazy
Let it be, come on and set me free
From always maybe
Tie me down and walk around
And pleasure me without a sound

Believe me you’re the one
Believe me there you go
Believe me here it comes
Could I be the only thing that you need?

Believe me from the heart
Believe me let it end
Believe me make it start
Misery is eating deep inside me

Tell me now what I need to do
I want to know so
Show me how I get to be with you
Get up and go to
Fantasies of you and me
Could become reality

Believe me turn around
Believe me coming up
Believe me going down
Nothing seems as good as in my daydreams

Am I so untouchable?
Are you so unreachable from down here?

Follow you till you hear a sound
Then disappear
Invisible I see you all around
I’m getting near
Let my mind go wandering
Up and down your body and

Believe me that I ache
Believe me when I sleep
Believe me when I wake
Every day I speak the words that I’d say

Is it so impossible?
Is it so unthinkable what I want?

Believe me in my bed
Believe me on my back
Believe me in my head
All I do is fantasise about you
All I do is lie and dream about you
All I do is sit and think about you

Believe me


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Running
Through the empty streets
Reach the edge of town
Far as I can see
Blue and green and brown

Here today and on my way
On and on again
Never turning round

Run up all the hills
Down the other side
Cross the swaying fields
And out into the wild

World’s moved on while I’ve been waiting
Turned while I was hesitating
Keep on running on
Beating out the time

And high on the hill
The glory of the green
And my eyes want to tell
The wonders that I’ve seen
In the view from the top of the world

Road ahead that ever ends
Get around another bend, begin again
Horizon getting close all the time

Will I recognise my destination
Beat the time that I’ve been racing?
Climb the rock I climb
Down the mountainside

And back to the breeze
And face towards the sun
Through the cool of the trees
And the haze around the dawn
And I run on again and I run


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Remembrance Day
As I write
Through the night rain
I want to fill one more page with my love

Till the light
Till the bright day
When poppy fields will run red with our blood

And if I never make it home
Please remember
The precious days that we’ve all known together

If I die
Let me lie here
Don’t come and search for a hero in vain

How can I
So deny fear
That I could walk through the fire once again?

Whatever fate the morning brings
I accept it
When we have gone the world still sings
So let be


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: On Saturday
Dirty fingers, greasy hair
Get your shirt off, the money’s there
Keep your body working
Take your mind away
Hell begins on Monday
And it’s heaven every Saturday

Empty pockets, you’ve had enough
Sweat your guts out for nothing much
Cash in hand on Thursday
Send your money home
Count the notes you’re keeping
And the evenings that you spend alone

It doesn’t matter what the hell you do
Can’t get ahead of what’s in front of you

On Saturday we’ll all go out to play
On Saturday we’ll pray for sunshine
On Saturday we’ll blow it all away
On Saturday one crazy night-time

Yeah yeah, yeah yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah

There’ll be a day
I know you know
We’ll break away
Get up and go

Stacking bricks up from there to here
Pay your debts off in seven years
Living for the weekend
Doing it for the pay
I’m coming home for Christmas
I’ll stay till New Year’s Day
The interest on the interest
I’ve paid so many times
Once a week I’m crazy
The other days I’m fine
Building up the pressure
Always feels the same
Waiting for the pleasure
And living through the pain

On Saturday we’ll all go out to play
On Saturday we’ll pray for sunshine
On Saturday we’ll blow it all away
On Saturday one crazy night-time

On Saturday we’ll all go out to play
On Saturday we’ll pray for sunshine
On Saturday we’ll drink our minds away
On Saturday to Sunday night-time

Yeah yeah, yeah yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah

On Saturday we’ll all go out to play


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Visions
Turn your face into the sun
Until your eyes no longer see
One alone with everyone
In visions of eternity
Turn round again

Until the flower opens
I will sit and stare
Until the colours change again
Here and everywhere
Where the water glistens in the light
There I have seen all I know

Turn your face into the sun
Until your eyes no longer see
One alone with everyone
In visions of eternity
Turn round again

What are we, the centre of a world
Or just a piece of dust in empty space?
Where I lie beneath the sky at night
I know exactly where I am
And understand my place
The smallest spot in time

Until the clouds have broken
I’ll sit and pray for rain
Until the trees are green again
Another year gone by
Where the river widens to the sea
There I have seen all I know

Turn your face into the sun
Until your eyes no longer see
One alone with everyone
In visions of eternity
Turn round again

Does there need to be a reason for
The image of the glory all around?
What there is is there
Whatever we may choose to call it
Beauty or some other human sound

Let the grass be my bed
And the sky is my sheet
And a stone for my head
And my clothes at my feet

And I have climbed the mountain
And breathed the cool thin air
And I have been down to the sea
And dived for coral
Where the gardens come alive each day
There I have felt all I feel

Turn your face into the sun
Until your eyes no longer see
One alone with everyone
In visions of eternity


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd
Track Name: Another Day
Another day is one more step along the road from here
Another day has come and gone without our being aware
Another day is one more step away from how we feel today
Another day of waiting for the pain to disappear

Another day of knowing that our lives won’t be the same
Another day of waiting for the sun to dry the rain
We call your name and never hear the answer that we want to hear
Another day of trying to keep alive the candle’s flame

Another day of saying what I’d what I’d say if you were here
Another day of turning round and thinking you’ll appear, so near

Another day of realising time if frozen here
Another day the only comfort one another’s tears
Another day of taking flowers we’ve grown with love to where you lie
Another day of wishing you’d held on another year

Another day is one more step along the road from here
Another day has come and gone without our being aware
Another day is one more step away from how we feel today
Another day of waiting for the pain to disappear


Written by William Jones
Published by Summerhouse Music Ltd