Big Smoke on British Waterways

by The Lone John Harps

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Big Smoke on British Waterways is a reflection on and of the personal doubts and preoccupations towards music and the desire to find a place in the fog of the megalopolis. With the second EP Alive in the days it forms the first album "A-biding my time"


released September 1, 2012

All songs and lyrics written by Mathias Neyrand
Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar, Piano: Mathias Neyrand
Saxophone: Guido Manfrini
Backing Vocals: Sarah Vanakam
Violin: Josué Hoffman
Trumpet: Jules Delaby
Bass: Tristan Greillot
Drums: Eric Tuznik

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Adam Brody and Perceval Chartier



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The Lone John Harps Paris, France

The Lone John Harps draws on diverse influences to attempt a new, ambitious and fresh take on the mythical figure of the troubadour singer in a 21st century context and to try and offer a new kind of universal Folk music.

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Track Name: Just Like Robert Landy
Well I know, I’ve got the smoking style
got the croaking voice and the handsome smile
got the fire inside, the sparkling eyes
the burning flame until I dies

Well I’ve got the guitar on my back
the distorted mind on a one-way track
oh man how I blow it
more junkie than a poet
but every now and then I do a fine line
got the nonchalant stroll
got the rock’n’roll

Everybody wish they was
Just like Robert Landy

Well I've got a big head of hair
got the air of disdain for the whole fucking world
got a swirl of admirers but I keep a strong head
forever young and not afraid of death

Hell I got the clever rhymes
cast my sentence on these times
never went to college but I own the universe
make no sense but nobody cares
got the money and buzz
fame and all that shit
Track Name: Insomnia
Unkilled you should be stronger
but you’ve never been this weak
the strength leaking from your open eyes
as the weight of your being lies heavy on your weary soul

You chose this road
you’ll carry this load
and although sometimes it’s hard
God knows you’ve never been that awake
when sunset is long gone
and dawn a few endless hours away
you lie awake
you lie awake

So you refuse
the painless peace of dreams
streams of thoughts colliding in your head
but as long as every certainty is a fight
you know that you ain’t dead

Half killed you should be weak
but you have never been this strong
and you will be as long as you hold on
hold on
Track Name: The End
Saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by boredom
Starving for meaning in hysterical dreams of stardom
Leaned on the shoulders of those few I dared to call friends
Left them behind like soldiers lose friends on the frontline
I thought I would see my reflection in their eyes forever

(Laughed at those I saw love, and myself loved too much
Saw the beauty whither I thought I could save with my touch
I’ve lied and I’ve lain, I’ve caused and I suffered some pain
Found shelter and cover in the arms of many a lover
I thought I’d hear my name echo in their sighs forever)

Like the lost children of the lost generation I breathed
Like the beat children of that generation that tried to be free
But when I’d meet those who’d had the same dream before my days
I’d stare at their shaking hands and say
what do I care old man, why would I give a dam
You end when I am

Seventy years and I feel like I lived for two centuries
Lived and saw and reached more than I think I was meant to reach
Saw nations arise, saw the madness of hope in their eyes
Saw towering empires tumble in the fires of history
I thought I'd live on forever in promises of tomorrow

Like the future children of the future generations I dreamed
An absent child of an absent generation to be redeemed
But in the end nothing, nothing turned out to be what it seemed
And I had to wake when I met that boy that I was like back then
Who stared at my shaking hands and said
what do I care old man, why would I give a dam
I am when you end
Track Name: Scars
Well you see I don’t have many scars
I only have some little ones
that you think you might look at with your smile

Not that man who thought a bank to be worth a shot
and even though it went to his head
I could not bleed half what he has bled

It’s gonna be a long, long, long, long time
Before I leave the twiglight of the idols behind
And let the day break in my mind

Not that much of the adventerous kind
The wild side hampered by the serious man
I’m always with a plan although it’s not that thourough at all

Not a hero in so many ways
can’t stand the drugs but I need the haze
the razor-sharp perceptions cut a little less deep when I am off my face

Not a man who’d risk to put a flag on the pole
I’m well too wary to stake
old enough to stop pretending I’m too young to care
Track Name: Moment in Time
Small cracks all over the wall
no opinion, knowledge or Gods
nothing to be meant at all
no conviction for my thoughts

Oh Lord,
tired, worn-out and stale
all words
still-born and still I try,
I try
and fail

So now, just let go of your mind
It’s just a moment in time