The Littlest Libertine

by Jessica Law

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02:35
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02:25

credits

released 26 August 2013
Written by Jessica Law
Music by Jessica Law & Nick Siepmann
Mandolin & mandolele: Jessica Law
Second mandolin, bass, guitar, piano, percussion: Nick Siepmann
Strings: Sam Young, Alice Young & Timothy Ledsam
Triangle, beer bottles, coins: Phoebe Lothian
Recorded & produced by Nick Siepmann at SSR London

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Jessica Law UK

If "Evil Folk" and "Polite Murder Ballads" were musical genres, this is what they would sound like. Spivs, Faustian pacts and poisoned gramophones abound.

"A light-footed waltz though old-time folk music with arcane language to match."
"The wonderfully clipped tones of a trained stage singer."
"Not completely stuck in the past musically."
- Nightshift Magazine
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Track Name: I've Got Something on You
I've got something on you, boy
I've got something on you
Whatever the good or the bad that you do
I've got something on you

Parsons and lawyers and whorehouse employers,
Oh, I’ve got something on you
Nuns and policemen and pie makers too,
You'll be sure I’ve got something on you.

Everybody sins sometimes
God claims his price and I claim mine
And as far as I know, knowledge isn’t a crime
And I’ve got something on you.

Every fine entrepreneur will inform you
That truth's a hard burden to bear
The more the deliciously scandalous morsels
The harder it is not to share

Slander sticks to me like flies
Dark little secrets bide, but for
A small consideration I'll silence those lies
Til then, you know what to do

Charlie, my pet, should you chance to forget it,
I’ve sure got something on you
And Billy, my son, there’s no place you can run
Where I won’t have something on you too

You can run and you can hide
I'm not fast but I'm single minded
And I will persist and consistently find
That I've got something on you
Track Name: The Littlest Libertine
I once knew a girl, every night was a mission
Of ruby stilettos and silk sequinned gowns
She said “They say that love is a war of attrition,
But I'm the one getting worn down

With too many days spent selecting my clothes
And too many let downs from too many rogues
And I'll soon be so ruined by glamour it can't be reversed
In short, I am cursed.”

And I said Little Libertine
Eating crème brulée for breakfast doesn't qualify you for Rosetti's scene
So paint you nails maroon
But supplementing sentences with French won't bring the Belle Époque back any time soon

But still you float on some Fauxhemian breeze
'Til real penury brings you down to your knees
And the next thing you know, you go searching through wardrobes
To find your most valuable shoes

And there's really no glamour to selling your heels
No style to strategically spacing your meals
So you don't have to spend any money on buying more food
In short, you're screwed

And I said Little Libertine
You think decadence decayed you, but your slate was never marred enough to strike it clean
So shed your silk and lace
Oscar Wilde or Baudelaire would never bat an eyelid at your painted face

Little Libertine
Eating crème brulée for breakfast doesn't qualify you for Rosetti's scene
So paint you nails maroon
But supplementing sentences with French won't bring the Belle Époque back any time soon

From your tiny debaucheries, all you have learned
If one clever tip for the stylish Flâneur
Turn up over-dressed to mundane situations
And under-dressed to those that count
And they'll think you're involved in a scandal they don't know about
Track Name: Bedrock
Standing there upon the rooftop
Just about to hit the bedrock
Then I heard a voice: "Don't do it!
Here's your task, you must pursue it:

Live your life, you must be brave
And here's the person you must save
In turn." She handed me a photo -
"There's the one that you must go to".

So the chain went on, and we each saved one
To earn our place at the heart of the sun
To rest when our work is done

Well, first I thought it was a prison
Then I saw upon the wizened
Ground beneath our feet, the flowers
Springing up, then all I saw was

One man in the corner watching
Handsome, 'til he saw you'd clocked him
Where he walked the flowers decayed
But I went with him anyway

He sent me to sleep
To find the secrets hidden in our dreams
And when I awoke all the flowers were gone
And the prison was quiet and empty

Now I'm searching high above the rooftops
Digging down beneath the bedrock
Never will I find that place
It's vanished now, without a trace

And once or twice I thought i saw it
Thought I caught a glimpse between
The shoppers and the real estate
Reminding me what my mistake was

Some of us give life, and some of us take it away
And now I know I chose the wrong one to save
And I'll never again be brave
Track Name: School for Lost Souls
I had that dream again
The sweet melancholy infuses my brain
Even after I wake
The sun through the branches still clear in my mind
And I know that I’ll find it some day

And I’ll run my hand over the sharp granite stones
But in waking, not just in repose
And it’s only a short bus ride outside the town
If I only knew which road I chose
If I only knew which road I chose

Oh, the bad times are coming
I can feel it in my bones
Every which way folk are running
Vying for jobs and for homes

And wouldn’t it be nice to lie back
And let it pass you by
It's all got a bit Sisyphean
But I’ve dreamed of a place where they try

Sometimes I catch a glimpse
Of something familiar that reminds me
Of a place I’ve not been
It’s there for a moment, then gone just as fast
But I’ll know when I find it at last

And peace sill surround me, I’ll drift into sleep
With my worries dissolving like snow
With nature around me and bedrock beneath
If I only knew which way to go
If I only knew which way to go…

What is this ghost I’m pursuing?
Searching the satellite towns
I don’t tell my friends what I’m doing
I would never live it down

At night I lie and I listen
To distant cars on roads
And I wonder where they are all going
And if they pass the school for lost souls

I had that dream again
The sweet melancholy infuses my brain
Even after I wake
The sun through the branches still clear in my mind
And I know that I’ll find it some day.
Track Name: Jack the Re-animator
Don't heed the lies they may tell of me
They're fools! My name is Jack, I can guarantee
That I'm no quack, I'll bring you back
From death's eternity

When I can't sleep, I get out of bed
And stalk through London's streets, looking for the dead
I will revive the un-alive
Through secret surgery

I do it because I can
I don't really have a plan of who to choose

One man was rich,
When he died he left his sons a fortune each
When they found out he would need it back
They turned their backs
And would not speak his name

One girl was mine, she was beautiful
She died before her time
When I brought her to she'd seen it all and could recall
Now she's not quite the same

I did it because I could
I don't care if it's bad or good, it's what I do

And I remember the time I revived the hanged man
And he made more cadavers just for me
And the woman who tried to take the easy way out
Well, I wouldn't let her leave here so easily

And my love keeps crying, but I won't send her back
No, I won't revoke my powers so lightly
And there's nothing you can do, what laws
Could you possibly prove against me?

So don't heed they lies they may tell of me
They're fools! My name is Jack
I can guarantee that I'm no quack
I'll bring you back
From death's eternity
Track Name: Hollow Lines
If I ever did you wrong, I'm sorry, child
Turn your back, I'll fade away
But before I melt into the heather wild
Won't you rest here one more day?

You can have your way with tomorrow
Stake your claim, but I get today
Seek your fortune in the Metropolis
Make your way, but hear what I say

The current is a currency, I'm told
The moment is the only thing we own


There'll be those who just cannot love you, and
There'll be those who just will not learn
Then again, there'll be the unlucky ones
Whose esteem you'll never return

Some of then are handsome but absurd
All of them have blessings they've not earned

There'll be times your touch is like Midas, and
There'll be times the pain will not end
There'll be heathens, demons, believers, and
All of them are dangerous friends

Learn to love precariocity
Entropy's your only guarantee

And I weave these words, and they make me wise
Well, I hope so – yes, I hope so
With a hundred years, still, the right advice
Would be hard to ascertain


You can have your way with tomorrow
Stake your claim, but I get today
Seek your fortune in the Metropolis
Make your way, but hear what I say


The current is a currency, I'm told
The moment is the only thing we own

If I never held my tongue, I'm sorry, child
Without my words I'll fade away
My wisdom may be won by error, not by trial
But I can damn well turn a phase