Lyrics

All lyrics written by Greg Schwan

Doom II​

On this black ocean

We were sent with a warning

But days ago

We lost sight of the shore 

The captain went mad

And down below 

They’re showing signs

We bolted the portals shut

We sleep to the scratching

 

We’re dying of thirst

On this black ocean

Another man frozen

Under starcover

Push them over

If nothing else

At least they’re free

 

That light out there

Must be the shore

Turn to port

Hark, is that the light?

Something moves there

Something living

Call out to it

Cry out to it

 

Alas, another blind ship in the fog

Starboard - it’s too late

There’s no one living

On that vessel

A mirage of life

Was all it was

A trick born of hope

On this black ocean

 

There’s no saving us now

The life boats are ablaze

Those skeletons are us

Those mad men are us

The blind ship in the fog is us

Cursed voyage on cursed waters

Buried at sea

We were sent with a warning

.

I hope their prayers aren’t answered

No one remembers who they are
What are they praying for?
Who are they praying to?
Why are they scratching against the boards?
I hope their prayers
Aren’t answered
I think we are
Where we belong

I think that’s the shore
A perverse miracle
There’s few left to save
Quiet in the bilge
Not even a whisper
Exhale as the oars turn
They’ve gathered at the aft
To jettison all the provisions
From the bay
Now they throw themselves
Men overboard
Women overboard
Children overboard

Flesh on the cleats
Hark! We’ve caught the wind
That shore grows closer
Hark! Lamp light!
The boom swings
And a few more go over

The lines have all burned like the jib
The scratches all over the boards
Read that their prayers
Were heard
The heeling called back
The groans called back

 

.

Doom II

A dead ship washed ashore

Some called it a sign

Some called it meaningless

Brave men went aboard

The lamplighters led the way

From the beaches

Lights to and fro

Under starcover

We called it doom

We knew it was too late

 

They brought all the dead into town

The dead want to be found

But none’s more selfish than a dead man

Who wants to be remembered

After three days

The wails in the night began

A murder here

A murder there

We called it doom

We knew it was too late

 

The lamplighters turned first

Bleeding eyes and speaking in tongues

O! They cry out

O! They set themselves ablaze

Human candles

Light the night

The weakest were the next

The feeble and the lame

 

Starboard too late

O! They are boarding

The planks groan

Wind tears our sails

The black ocean’s on fire

Red reflected in the stars

Red reflected in their eyes

Some called it meaningless

.​

Worse with time

Two weeks have past

Two weeks that felt like two lifetimes

The lucky ones are hiding in the walls

Underneath the stairs

And in the woods

 

Everything I once knew

Everyone I once knew

Is fading away

Like we were never here

We sent a rider with our history

But there was pursuit

And we lost sight at the horizon

 

There’s something at the center of town

It reaches the moon

But keeps going higher

It’s built on written history

Soon a mountain of ash

.

Who were you before all this?

Take this mother

Then take this smith

The farmer and the poor

Murder isn’t new

Jails, prisons

All matter of wrong

The real horror

Was when that ship crashed ashore

What spilled out onto that beach

 

No mothers spilled onto that beach

No smith, no farmer, no poor

Empty-handed lamplighters

Confused rescuers

And the you I now know

When I met you there

And when I show you mercy now

Who were you before this

 

We haven’t lost our humanity

‘Tis you

Who were you before this

Never mind that story can’t save you

We’ve lost you to it

Your red eyes

And bleeding gums

If we show you mercy now

Please forgive us

 

Take this father

Then take this banker

The farmer and the rich

They pile up all the same

Catch fire

And sweeten the air

‘Tis them

Who lost humanity

.

An ending

If you believe

In cycles and renewal

Consider this ending

Consider everything 

we once were

Erased and forgotten

By a charnel house ship

That drifted onto shore

 

By the time they reached us

Their ending had already come

Guess you could 

Say the same for us

Daybreak on the first day

Was the final moment of peace

The final moment

Before we were swept away

 

And these are my last words

Spoken from another place

Between two worlds

In a deep dark void

There’s nothing left for me

To see, hear, or feel

Nothing here begins again

A Game of You

The winds came

The words on those winds

Spoke lie after lie

Because memories speak 

A language all their own

Which you can call truth

If you want or if you must

If you want or if you must

If you must

 

That storm was you

What you tell yourself

That storm was you

What you tell yourself

Who you were

And who you are

 

If I hate the person I was

And want to become someone new

Will this city let me

Trains full of eyes 

I’m not sure

Identity bespoke

Anonymous and invisible

To be someone

And end up no one

 

Faces nailed to the wall

Dead faces with no cares

Tell you who you are

But what do they know?

Worry about that storm

We’re all equal in its eyes

The faces got that right

Something is coming for us all

It’s coming for us all

 

If I hate the person I was

And I want to become someone new

Will this city let me

Trains full of eyes 

I’m not sure

Identity bespoke

Anonymous and invisible

 

If there’s a moral here

It’s say goodbye 

When you can

Before we’re all swept away

By memory

By wind

By that storm

.

Consummatum est

They only ever wanted mercy

For you, that light

A light for a dark age

A light to hold inside

Reunion

To go with you

To be in the same place

 

If I can’t remember

Do I lose you forever?

If I can’t remember

Will I lose you forever?

If I can’t remember

Were you ever there?

If the light goes out

Will I know anything?

And will I be me?

 

Will I be me?

If the light goes out

Will I know anything?

And will I be me?

 

If I can’t remember

Do I lose you forever?

If I can’t remember

Will I lose you forever?

If I can’t remember

Were you ever there?

If the light goes out

Will I know anything?

And will I be me?


They only ever wanted mercy

For you, that light
A light in the dark age
A light to hold inside
Reunion

Reunion
To go with you
To be in the same place
Reunion

Reunion

.

A Statue Floats Downriver

Some kind of inheritance

A weathered and worn inscription 

Your guilt and shame

Your pride and honor

All wrapped in stone

Voided stone floating downriver

What is it you need

To remember?

Stone can’t light the way

When the dark age comes

When the dark age comes

 

Stone horse

Stone man

Rifle, stirrup, flag

Material relics

Spiritual atrocities

 

A statue floats downriver

Its birthplace unknown

We simply forgot, so don’t ask

But when it hits the sea

This time it will sink

No eternal return

An end to this

An end to you

Maybe we’ll be free

From now on

From now on

 

Stone horse

Stone man

Rifle, stirrup, flag

Material relics

Spiritual atrocities

 

In stories men are always scared of ghosts

In the real world they worship them

A statue floats downriver

To be buried in the sea

A statue floats downriver

To Disappear and to be Nothing

©2020 Witnesses

Artwork on this site courtesy of Yiskart. Photography by Andreas Levers.