THE FATIMA MANSIONS--Viva Dead Ponies [Lyrics attempt]

Released 1991.
File collated by Dave Watson/SHLF from the (incomplete) lyric booklet. Please send updates and corrections to him here.
Thanks to dj bluE for the lyrics to "Thursday" and the clearer version of "Chemical Cosh," and to Adam Ball for a few corrections and cultural explanations. Further corrections gleaned from The Hive archives at the now-missing Valhalla Avenue web site.
All songs written by Cathal Coughlan, published 1991 Mucho Loco Music.
Samples are in ("round brackets and quotation marks").
Questionable phrases are in [square brackets.]

To avoid an empty feeling of mild irritation and pensiveness, it is recommended that the listener refrain from reading the lyrics as the album plays. However, it's your excessive sum of money that's been paid...

Viva Dead Ponies CD coverSONGS:
Angel's Delight
Blues for Ceaucescu
[U.S. version only]
Mr. Baby
The Door-to-Door Inspector
[UK version only]
You're a Rose
Ceaucescu Flashback
Broken Radio #1
Only Losers Take the Bus
[U.S. version only]
Look What I Stole for Us, Darling
Farewell Oratorio
The White Knuckle Express
Chemical Cosh
Pack of Lies
Viva Dead Ponies

Angel's Delight

A necklace of rubber, burning bright
A burning rubber necklace for my angel's delight
A holiday in a box, opportunity knocks
for the rich man's militia photographing my block
Kill a cop. Why the hell not?

YEAH!! Burn, motherfucker, burn!
I got a word for you: dead
Got a trampoline--your fuckin' head

You roll down my street in your gleaming new car
I've got no secrets, cash or time left to give you
but I've got something else for you, my friend
A crack in the restless night, a broken bone on the pavement
Angel's delight was a recurring statement
Burn a bailiff--spill, don't save it

YEAH!! Burn, motherfucker, burn!
Run, run, run, run!
You can have what you ask, but not in cash
[with a?] credit card, a payment slashed
You can put it where your mouth used to be
You can put it where your dick used to be
You can [...?] looking at me, looking at you
[...?] blacklist, [...?] blacklist
What do you do when words collapse
and all that's left is broken glass?
I know, I know I'm trapped

I've got a holiday in a big oak box
with my friend, the famous PC Plod, Plod, Plod*
Kill a cop, kill a cop,
you lay a hand on me, I'm gonna kill you, cop.
Hey! Let's all kill some cops.
Some bailiffs.

* "PC Plod" is a well known and derogatory name for a British beat cop. It's capitalized, like "John Q. Public."

Blues for Ceaucescu

Well, hello.
You can no longer depend on the land in which you were born.
You can no longer depend on any land in which you choose to place yourself.
You can no longer depend on the bed in which you lie by night,
or the room in which you sit by day.
You can no longer depend on the pillow in which you lay your head.
You can no longer depend on the existance of silence in your mind when you close your eyes.
Go to England, baby-raper, false economist.
Call yourself King Charles III.
Nobody will notice.
Nobody will be alarmed.
There is no constitution.
Go. Goodbye. Goodbye.

He's shining brightly, he can't be a man
He is the genius of the Carpathians
He's running checks on his mother's womb
He's gonna be reborn real soon

Ciao, Ceaucescu! Ciao, Ceaucescu! Ciao, Ceaucescu!
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye!

Oh golly! Gee! Oh my gosh! I never!
Regina, Regina rubs her thighs together
She made three wishes and they all came true
The middle one ended in a 'W'
The first one bagan with a kiss kiss kiss
The last one ended in a pulverized fist

(And don't forget, I need sleep. I don't get no sleep.)
Meanwhile in London things stay the same
The untenable must be maintained
Who's that knocking down my back door?
It's the same bald-headed bug-eyed male whore--CHORUS

In the dingy Irish orphan's home
Dickie Mountbatten licks the alchemist's bone
It's done in strict official secrecy
God, I love living in a democracy!
I really do! I do! I really do!
I luuuuuuuuvvve you! I luuuuuuuvvve you!

He's shining brightly, he can't be a man
He is the genius of the Carpathians
He's running checks on his mother's womb
Hey, look out below, he's gonna drop again soon--CHORUS

Give thanks!

Mr. Baby

See the priest in gleaming nappies
Gurgling and burping child at play
Signing warrents, blessing firing squads
are the pleasures of this baby's day

In a street where broken buildings fall
on burning people ten feet tall
on stockinged knees, not all, not all
Just those who fight in bonfire light
In spite of all the crowds who call
Their hero, a goldfish jockey
Their hero remains Mr. Baby

Mr. Baby spills it by the ton
He wraps his mouth around his gun
He says, "Scared? You're not the only one."

Did they raise their fists to greet you all
when they saw the colour of your skin?
Did they laugh and say "go home"
when you told them of the trouble you were in?
You know they did
(God is an arms dealer.)

Your complaint is my mandate
and your shoulders are my ladder (straight)
What they cannot defuse they must excuse
and what they must allow they soon will bow to
and they will kneel
They will kneel to Mr. Baby
Oh, you really slay me
Mr. Baby in the burning bushfire
Basement by the crater brook
Reads from his ancient hate-book

Your own, your own Mr. Baby
Baby, baby, baby, don't treat me mean now
Don't bang your head...

The Door-to-Door Inspector

The door-to-door inspector, his knuckles bare and white,
is rapping on your window
'cause he knows you're hiding here tonight
He's travelled from the city to your country slum
under rain and black clouds
and the burnt-out silver sun

He'll drop you where you stand
Lift the roof with his bare hands
and hand you down his just demands
as you huddle in your tiny corner

The door-to-door inspector now sits to eat his lunch
He scowls at last week's paper
in the worker's cafe, hushed
You made your choice whan mocking the ways of true grown men
Now may your woman-love protect you
as you face this grevious punishment you've earned

He'll drop you where you stand
then journey home to wash those hands
and to his bed he'll trembling go
Passion not spent, a man alone
(with his hand)

You're a Rose

This is Mister Blank calling, gorgeous
from the slum which time ignores
where folks use razor blades for toothpaste
and every breath is a holy war
Were you sleeping? Do you hate me?
I've been dozing in the midnight sun
and I've solved all of my problems
Making the many into one

The Good Times are all over
I don't care, it seems I missed them
but I miss your smile, your laugh, your snore,
your fond contempt, your faithful rage

You're a rose
You're a rose in a crown of thorns

You don't mind the queues, the burning trains
The squalid, mute despair
You don't mind deceiving lovers
You ignore the stinking air
Well, now accept you're just a person
Not the touchstone, not the face
of the ages past, their grandeur
and the death-wish of the Master Race

The dawn sky is getting bleaker
Our demise could not be neater
and your face hangs down before me now
like a rootless flame; in awe I stare

You're a rose
on fire
You're a rose in a crown of thorns
Well, I think you'd better hang up on the jerk
It's been too long, too long, too long
From now on there's only gonna be one way
One way traffic now
The door is open, the door is open wide cos I said so...


The windows watch me wait for you
Mirror mirror, mirror mirror
I've seen a world beyond their view
Mirror mirror, mirror mirror
Of course the night times are the worst
Of course I burn with an evil burst
You exist so I am cursed
Mirror mirror, mirror mirror
Mirror mirror, mirror mirror

I'll be good 'till Thursday comes
The world will think I never had
an idea that could drive me mad
I'll be good 'till Thursday comes
then burn all good away

I weed my house, I wash my trees
Mirror mirror, mirror mirror
I cross my legs in front of me
Mirror mirror, mirror mirror
I tingle at the thought of you
Is this what the humans do?
My childish words just don't ring true
See ya later, great dictator
In a while, [nadaphile?]

I'll be good 'till Thursday comes
Well, unless I am misleading you
You shine me up and make me new
I'll be good 'till Thursday comes
and wish I never did say

I'll be good 'till Thursday comes
It's such a lot of fun
to watch the liar I've become
but I'll be good 'till Thursday comes
and burn all good away

Ahh....dream of this, my lover
Ahh....dream of this, my lover
I am your lover now

Ceaucescu Flashback

("The only solution--another revolution.")

Broken Radio #1

At the platform's end, where the crowd grew thin
and the light was dim on our shoes
where we sat there so tense,
not to touch though we meant to (I think)
There was no will, no spell
to breach the night and stop the talk
She tossed her hair and home did walk

Broken radio
Broken radio

On the day that I was born
there was no big flash and no great storm
but the man read the news in Dutch and warned,
"I'm gonna play 'Je T'aime' on my hunting horn."
In my cradle I was most impressed--
So this is what you call success

Black Seamus cried, "My shamrock has died
and my father's gone back to Peru."
The frost-damp town wore a fat-guts frown
and the DJ's played Brian Borù
The Sunday's sticky, home with rain
Sedition never entertained

Broken radio
Broken radio

Murder the past and all who sail in it
If the past is a wreck then all who sail in it
make me realize it's time to move on
but all the ships and the planes have gone
I'm in a savage place with a timid song
Mumbled words...[maybes?]

Only Losers Take the Bus

I'm not stupid, I'm a man (!ythgimla hsurdloG)
I'm not stupid

I'm born again in hail and flames (Goldrush almighty!)
Go tell it loud to all my slaves (Goldrush almighty!)
You scum don't have the fear of God,
so all that's left is the iron rod (Goldrush almighty!)

Let's go down, kiss the plow
Public system: burn down!
and let memory fade--nothing is wrong

Only losers take the bus
Only losers take the bus

Churchill was a shopping bag (Goldrush almighty!)
Can you draw the Chinese flag? (Goldrush almighty!)
It's three blue lines and six dahlias
Paris is in India (Goldrush almighty!)

Let's go down on my friends
All alone we descend
Plastic food, TV--take your eyes off of me!

Only losers take the bus
Only losers take the bus

I hate misunderstandings
Get these dead bodies off my racetrack!!

And we cry out with joy as we drive through the rain
and our enemies claw from every goddamned side

Only losers take the bus
Only losers take the bus
Only losers take the bus, only losers, only losers
Only losers take the bus--
I'm no loser, I'm elect!* Protect me! Protect me!
I'm not one of them, I'm not one of them, I'm not one of them...

* Elect--One divinely chosen for salvation.

Look What I Stole for Us, Darling

[Irish news report:] ("The air corps helicopter took a five-year-old girl from Achain Island...")

Aodhagan went hunting for food and money
through the streets of Walthamstow
but the dim Sunday passed with nary a catch
and the dogs came home alone
Eat me now...
("We inspect our genitalia on a regular basis.")

(I'm) Attacking the ones who are weakest of all
on their dim walk to work with their eyes slit so small
for the dawn and the path and their shekels are mine
Fortune won't smile, I must be brutal or die

Now I live by the railway with the rest of the coven
in a hovel vibrating lit by tandoori ovens
where we keep the ransomees
We get raided on Fridays, we get drunk when they leave us
We discuss ways to die, ways we could have gone wrong
We don't mention the now
We can see no way out
We draw skulls on the walls
We draw blood from our balls
We play catch with the rats
(Still) the silence won't crack though we heave and we hack

Look what I stole! Look what I stole for us, darling!
Look what I stole! Look what I stole for us, darling!
Maybe we're dead, I forgot
They're hunting us, so maybe not

Oh, let us mention her torso: heat, electrical chaos
If it burst she would die, oh, oh, oh
Wasn't it kind of her to let me in?
Will it get fat when it's older
Get all riddled with cancer
while she stays the same person who is fucking me now?
See the view from above of the sofa of love
with the roof cut away, cars and people out there
and the stains spreading out and out, blood running cold

Look what I stole! Look what I stole for us, darling!
Look what I stole! Look what I stole for us, darling!
We used to be human beings--not anymore!
I'll have her washed and brought to you
so you, my wife, can know her, too!

Farewell Oratorio

Ciao, Ceaucescu
Ciao, Ceaucescu

The White Knuckle Express

This truck stop: rancid gravy
A man with no hands waving
and the dog 'round my leg bumps and grinds
It rains for miles out there
on mud and tar and still air
and the fungus-lined gap between stinking towns

Pork-Eyes got him a brand new hand
He's gonna grasp you
He won't ask you
and he'll tell you it's all your fault

The cup runneth over, your jaws to bless
on the white-knuckle express

She is [grace?] naked, I cannot see her face
She slides across me
I am wearing a collar and a tie

We're tuneful, cute and giving
See, that's how we make our living
In a hall full of corpses, we'd smile and bounce on
Some say it's aimless bullshit
but they come from big houses and budgets
and, although I don't look it, I'm getting really fucking old

Pork-Eyes, in the presence of a sweet young girl:
He's gonna spill you, it better thrill you,
or he'll tear this place apart
Pork-Eyes! We're going up! Feet-first, feet-first!
and the legend on that girl's thigh reads "Love = Hurt = Hate"--CHORUS

Pork-Eyes, he will stroke your long hair tenderly in all the waterfront bars
where the wine and hollow talk-of-men will muffle things that really, really are
and you'll go back to your room with him on your healthy sandalled feet
to come out minutes later, bleeding, torn above, torn underneath...

Chemical Cosh

Alcohol, heroin, THC
Care in the impotent (numb) community*
Resignation, irony, under scrutiny, so events can slip
from memory of history, a voluntary dictatorship

Chemical (cosh!)

One kind for the rich, and one for the poor
The only distinction is the thickness of their front door
Unless it makes you act up, the law won't mind
You play this game, the land is yours, the warden is blind

Chemical (cosh!)
Chemical (cosh!)
It's the only kind we got (cosh!)
if you won't come across

They will have it known you're mad if you don't fit (with) their equation
They will have you for not being rich or body-tax evasion
and they'll pay some stoned stockbroker's son
to phone and say, "I'm coming 'round and bringing my machine gun!"

Chemical (cosh!)
Chemical (cosh!)
It's a stab in the neck and a boot in the chops
From the earth-loving decade which denim forgot

* A reference to "Care in the Community," a Tory plan to reduce health care spending on mental hospital patients by cutting them adrift. This caused much controversy a few years back in the UK.

Pack of Lies

They first met at the hospital, she was checking out for good
Her body patched but past repair, and there her angel stood
She was feeling quite confused now that her death was close at hand
She had to face eternity, so why not this mumbling man?
Who bought himself a wedding suit at a local warrant sale
It belonged to some old Turkish man who'd owed and gone to jail
He would coax her mind with talk of love to make her body kind
Because people hate the truth, you know
They need their pack of lies

Growing tired of being foreign, being spat on and shortchanged
He demanded that she leave with him for the land from whence he came
They were herded on like cattle to a ferry at high tide
This unkempt, aging orphan and his helpless, dying bride
But he left her at the other shore, crying on the deck
She was slumped against the rail as he had struck to free his neck
and the Customs shed was empty as he made his way inside
There were no chimpanzees in uniform
to hear his pack of lies

Now she's ascending into heaven with contentment on her face
and Holy God is there to greet and batter her into her place
Ah, but meanwhile back on Earth, we see the prodigal's returned
and they're making him the chieftain and they've come to him to learn
how the neighbours in the rich land better steal and kill and lie
and when they ask "who culls the weaklings there?" he just shrugs and says, "Not I!
Though surrounded by diseases, I stood tall and kept my health
I could have been important if I'd been somebody else."
The moral of this story is: This land's a victim farm
Don't you ever feed a beggar here, he'll eat your fucking arm
and don't blaspheme the strong ones if you want to stay alive
Now smile and give them thanks
when they say, "Here's a pack of lies!"

Viva Dead Ponies

(Retail groceries...)

Do you know how Jesus feels
when he's behind his sportscar wheel
and the windscreen glass is all gummed up with blood?
Do you know how old Jesus feels?

For he walks the Earth again
but not in Mecca or in Jerusalem
No, he sells papers and beer in a shop in Crouch End [London, England]
For he walks the Earth again

So, viva dead ponies
Come out and fight me
Viva dead ponies
Customers: Drop dead

I have switched the fridges off
and I will burn down this whole stinking shop
I will get drunk and I will break every little Islamical [sic] law
for I have switched the fridges off--CHORUS

"I haven't made love in a while.
It's the best way to make a child,"
said Jesus to the disciples. He then further said, "If you can't shift this crate of Brillo pads by Friday, vengeance will be mine!"

So viva dead ponies
You're afraid to fight me
Customers--pay what you owe! [...?]!
Viva dead ponies
back from the circus
They lunched with Jesus
Fire in their noses all gone, all gone...

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