Access to Lyrics

The definitive lyric experience is now provided by Peter Hammill's own Sofa Sound website, which as well as being self-evidently authoritative seems to be pretty much complete, including several interesting rarities. Check it out!

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Lyrics by album: Refugee's Home

Rare Lyrics

Below are some rare and still hard to find lyrics. Be warned, however, that some may be rare for a good reason!

Vision (The Poem)

Honing of Homer

This is Me Dreaming

Felona and Sorora

Domine Mundi

South of the Sahara

The Liquidator

Rift Valley


Labyrinthine Dreams


The aspects of vision are many,
and in addition there are reflections, illusions and hallucinations.
If some can be shared that makes us less alone.
If the dark can be faced, that makes us less afraid.
If we accept sight, that makes us more visible.

I feel the city caging me like an animal;
I am crushed by the weight of the system,
but I can still raise a - human- shout against it.
I feel the tension of doubt surge in me,
the release of eye-on-eye love,
the loss of childhood idols and aspirations;

I clutch the transitory prizes of knowledge and unspoken faith.
I feel the torch in my hand,
The spark in my heart,
and I must carry both as long as I can.
We all have our torches;
but lone flame-bearers do not make a procession of humanity.

It has been, and remains, my hope that through songs
vision can be shared and enhanced.
As for me, disappearing like the Cheshire Cat
with hardly even my smile intact,
I can still look at you only through the camera.
There is more urgent vision than that.
Listen to yourself.

The Honing of Homer

A shaft of light, an eagle's wing,
A mountain top, A signet ring,
A crucifix, The axe's swing,
These prosaic things will be gone in the twinkling of an eye.
With his voice falling short in the silence,
With his sight growing ever more dim,
With his senses now tuned to the infinite,
What place has envy in him?

What a waste of life observations,
If unaccompanied by any inner reflection or change;
If the way of life is mysterious,
The way of Man is even more strange.
With a whole range of feeling inside us,
We perceive but do not comprehend.
Like children with games full of magic,
Who toy with themselves to the end.
Toy with themselves to the end.

So many things pass before him
And in his fear he wishes he could hold them all close,
Even though his grasp is clumsy,
And there is nothing here he really knows.
In sublimely indifferent ignorance
Now where in the world he might miss(??)
His sight stretches out like a hand in the night
and is severed at the wrist.
So many thoughts come towards him,
So many dreams now as he slides on that deepest descent
into ultimate darkness,
So many tales, and all that they meant.
In sublimely indifferent eloquence
Now where in the world that he holds
His sight which has blinded him all of his life,
Is excised as the story is told.
…. As the stories are told….

This Is Me Dreaming

This is what I do, this is what I am,
Just an ordinary man,
Searching for something, anything, in which to believe.

This is why I'm here, this is why I'm alive,
Not to conquer but to strive,
Not without trepidation,
But on my feet and on my knees,
You're meant to be happy,
I should be happy just to breathe.

With each burning breath that I take,
I believe, I survive.
I survive whatever befalls;
Someone else has had it all before.
But I'm the one this time

Oh but it gets tough some days,
caught into thinking my life's a hateful wasted chance,
so I've joined the wastrel's dance.
It has slow as well as fast movement
and any change must surely be an improvement
Even if its just to show that life turns around.

Turn and face the music,
Burn your bridges if you choose it,
But dont take the middle range.
Learn from every illusion and though everything seems strange
Make it real for once in your life.
There is only each once in your life

Seasons come and friends go.
Its all ever-changing. You can't trap the moment, you can't even save it.
You can't own the present, your past or your future.

Oh but it gets hard sometimes
Trapped in a shell hole between the lines, in no-man's land.
But no land is man.
Its a lifetime only borrowed, is the tricks of love and life
then isn’t one of us to blame (?????)
And back down .

Will I remember it all,
Or am I only dreaming?

Felona and Sorora

Link to the Le Orme Fan Club

1. In Between

No changes outside of time:
two planets exist side by side
neither aware of the other,
though they are intertwined.
Like branches of a tree
they (have no thought) of what they belong to ...
what of the trunk in between,
what of the energy?
(that makes it all be ..)
Two planets in harmony
of opposition - the supposition
is that, when one is serene
then the other is sad.
What of the Man in between?
He smiles on one and its life is happy;
his back is turned on the other,
and a shadow is cast...
He is the man who makes the soap balls
creating magic happiness for all who touch them
they are good enough to eat, taste like marzipan;
give buoyancy to boats, and peace to man
before them, all neurosis meekly fails...
some even say that such a sacrament must be
the Holy Grail.

2. Felona

The people of Sorona are happy as can be;
every day`s a holiday with wine and levity ...
nothing really matters except their daily meals
and they are taken care of by the soap balls in the fields.
Living in round houses, the music of the Spheres
permeates their beings and echoes in their ears ...
nothing really matters except to be alive,
and that is taken care of by the soap balls from the sky ...
The house-spheres are so mobile, powered by the wind;
they move without discomfort to the families within.
Moving as the wind blows, over hill and vale,
bouncing through the countryside like elastic whales!
And finally, when evening comes and the winds die down
the spheres are left as villages and new neighbours are found ...
the wind creates communities, tomorrow they`ll be gone,
but the people just make holiday and join in happy songs.

3. The Maker

"I`ve watched this world, it seems, a long time;
the people here are joyous, and something calls me
far away ... "
He is the Man they call the Maker
he`s almost humanoid
but there is still a void
between Him and the men he sheltes
he brings them happiness ...
he tries, but nonetheless
has none to use himself, in private;
there are no friends for Him -
How very lonely to be God!
Or maybe more than this, for He is Life
He is the bond between worlds some call Time.
But, for all this, he receives no worship ...
no core of peace lies deep down in his mind.
So: demi-God for two planets at once
and when he just looks away, one decays ...
for energy runs from one to the other
and joy and pain interchange with his gaze.
Deus in Machina/saviour who only half perceives.
"I can do no more - I`ve made a heaven here...
I`ve given them my love and now must see my other world ...
what happens there?"

4. Web Of Time

Across the web of time a planet spins,
here, where the ending is, here it begins with life
of content, free as air ...
changes have come since the Maker was there!
He left them with his words but took their wind
The light of his teachings grew dimmer
till it had quite disappeared in the dark
They forgot everything and snuffed the spark of joy.
The soap-balls disappeared, the land was scarred
no longer spherical, the houses became hard
like the hearts of the men
who walk the streets
in despair ...

5. Sorona

Endless faces which wear the shadow of sadness as their masks;
nameless voices which rise in concert to welcome in the dark;
Huddled shoulders against the presence of Sorrow in the streets,
passing among the crowd and touching the sould of all he meets ...
and deep in their eyes you find
an anguish that clamours for release ...
if only to be blind.
Every evening they join together around their village squares,
hoping that the Messiah will come and banish their despair ...
they`re looking for a miracle;
there`s nothing left to look for, if you dare!
maybe now He comes!
Fingers tingling and bodies ringing in harmony with words
whose melodies and phrases are now forgotten,
though once heard ...
suddenly there`s a smile or two;
suddenly the tide begins to turn ...

6. The Plan

"This is the plan:
think of your fellow man ...
do what you can to make all life
a part of your own!"

7. The Balance

Two perfect worlds for a moment exist:
Felona of happiness, Sorona of bliss ...
It seems that the future holds untarnished joy
but whenever you build, you also destroy.
All things are equal while all things survive
life has no movement without turning of tides.
The Maker who moves them, he does his best,
but people always eat soap-balls and forget the rest.
In Felona the wind falls, the start of decline ..
the spheres cease to move, it will only take time
till the planet is static, its happiness dead,
and death is the feeling in the people`s heads.
For Sorona, a golden age has begun to dawn
and all words of caution are treated with scorn
As thought for tomorrow - indulgent today
What when the Maker once more goes away?
If there is an ending, it surely comes here:
Sorona in happiness, Felona in fear ...
but endings are circular, and life is the line ...
It goes on for ever -

No change outside Time!

Domine Mundi

The City falls in curfew's arms, a night of fear
The darkness, omen of my armies drawing near
In the distance smoke and fire fly
Like a banner in the sky
My power overwhelming
Dare you look me in the eye?
The steel door, the iron cage, like an ice age
I am.

Comine Mundi - as the permafrost descends
Domine Mundi - you will betray your closest friends
Comine Mundi - you loose all sense of right and wrong
Domine Mundi - you sell your children for a song

A song that rises from the bowels of the earth
The magma churning like a terrible rebirth
Fleeing legions like a river
Like a river running to the sea
They run from my power
But they find no sanctuary
No mercy No quarter Mindless slaughter.
I am.

Domine Mundi -I am the firestorm in the street
Domine Mundi -ten thousand drummer's muffled beat
Domine Mundi -I am the scorpion's deadly sting
Domine Mundi - I am the end of everything
Domine Mundi - as the permafrost descends
Domine Mundi - you will betray your closest friends
Domine Mundi - you loose all sense of right and wrong
Domine Mundi - you sell your children for a song
Domine Mundi -I am the firestorm in the street
Domine Mundi -ten thousand drummer's muffled beat
Domine Mundi -I am the scorpion's deadly sting
Domine Mundi - I am the end of everything.

South of the Sahara

South of the Sahara, aching heart,
Is that where you'd guess all astronomy starts?
We could have more knowledge than we dream,
In heaven and earth nothing's less than it seems....
This could be the circle of the stones,
The turn of the card or the rolling of bones,
This could be the leyline of the land,
The past and the future that cross in our hands,
This could close the circle.

Double star that hides itself,
white dwarf behind the Sun,
Oh Sirius!
The things we can't explain remain mysterious.

South of the Sahara, Timbuctoo,
The back of beyond and the shock of the new
This could be the strangest thing of all,
The body of science with its back to the wall.
South of the Sahara,
Distant men of logic try to trace
The shape of the vortex, the pattern of space.
The same as that of atoms, as of mind.
Wherever we look, its ourselves that we find.
This sand of the Sahara.

Double star that hides itself,
white dwarf behind the Sun,
Oh Sirius!
The things we can't explain remain mysterious.

The people of the Dogon always knew,
The extraterrestrial's heavenly view,
Stars that dog our passage, holy suns,
over the centuries these have become
The legend of the Dogon.

We could be the leyline of the land,
Invisible shifts in the houglass's sand
We could have more knowledge than we dream,
In heaven and earth nothing's all that it seems....
We could be eternal...

The Liquidator

I read the news, in a paper,
No flowers please, donations to charity.
Like the N.S.P.C.V.d.G.G.
Just send the money to Guy and Hugh and David and me.

It's a joke, there is no hope left, who ever might disagree.
Tell me that you've seen the worst, dish me the dirt.
Go on and rip the back right off my shirt!

Tell me how I hate you Banton
Tell us that the bank account is zero
And that anyway there's no-one left to play to,
Oh well, let it go.

How are we ever going to get this act together on time?
It's been totally screwed up and I really just don't know.
Is there any way of keeping the green feed line?
Its out of the question, when the triple discussion booster's blown

Jackson, please! What's the matter man?
You're freaking me out you know.

Only playing happy families, maybe playing different tunes,
Always playing too hard, too fast, too soon!

Waiting for our fate to take us,
Waiting for the liquidator,
Can't be cut-off by the paper in the middle of a show.

Waiting for our fate to take us,
Waiting for the liquidator,
The only news is bad news,
When the only story is breaking up
or carrying on....

Rift Valley

At the edge of the canyon,
looking down upon the haze
which hides the future of this valley,
home, our earth through all the days
which have been and will come,
I hear the running feet of those yet to follow.

At the end of such life as I call my own
I glimpse that yet to come,
springing from me in the future tress of family shall run.
I have carried the seed;
conceived from me all people multiply forward.

When it's over they will dig me from the gorge
and proclaim that I am the first Man,
first soldier, first speaker, first tool user,
that with me civilisation began.
In some order I have stumbled -
is it right or am I planned ?

Still I feel it, still I know that one day the world will fall to this human hand...
this clenched fist.

If that's the way it's going to be I can only say good luck!.
You Men who follow on from me must claw your lives out of here
or all our lives will be trapped in the chasm.

The dying day:
I stand upon the edge, stare down at what's to come below.
In a way there's all the future in me,
destiny already known.
Already tired in my heart
I start the long walk forward into Rift Valley,
to rest in Rift Valley.

Still instinctintively trying to save my tribe I survive into the future.


Fight within a war within a song
Roland dies but memory lingers on.....

Soldier, approaching the gate of Spain,
Treachery waits for you and the baggage train,
A rear-guard stand, your final war,
It's what you've been living for.

Soldier as you sit astride Viellantif
Durendal abides inside your sheath
Soon you shall grace the day
Turpin and Oliver ride by your side
Bishop and King's Pawn about-slide
Do you feel fit to slay?
Carlon is riding far ahead,
And cannot hear your voice if you call
Ganelon the traitor in his tent
Cannot wait to hear the word of your fall
Soon both shall laugh in different ways

Soldier approaching the gate of Spain
The Paynim are sharpening up their blades
Glory, your moment is here
Can you see Marsillion yet?
Is that a Vulture wheeling overhead?
Twenty thousand Frenchmen, the Flower of Honour,
Stepfathers Henchman waits to fall on you
Look around, the silence sounds of death.

Saracen plots and Frenchman aids his plans,
Ambuscade springs eternal life to man.
Soldier now white rises from the cleft of Roncevaux
Battle, maybe you should hear the words of Oliver,
It's time to blow your horn

Carlon twists and screams out in his sleep,
Ganelon walks the night with knuckles raw,
Soon both shall die in different ways

And you can see Marsillion now
Baligant wields Maltet in his hand
Now is the time to hold to virtuous vows
Now's the time to fight and die alone in foreign lands
Twenty thousand fall to sixty
There is no hope
Oliver can well say "I told you so" now
Blow the horn and sound the call for help,
help, help.....

Too late too late and Oliver falls
Now only Turpin and thee, back to back,
Though Charlemaigne wheels round to answer the call,
When he arrives he'll find your body hacked,
Only revenge is left, Marsillion shall Die!
Only revenge is left, the traitor's eye is beamed.

Roland the song is ended!
Roland the song is ended!
Roland the song has only just begun

Labyrinthine Dreams

There you are, in the air, you start
        at the stillness and the motion.
Where you are, are you scared
        and far from the source of the secret scene?
There you are, on the where of where you've been.
There you are, on the square and come full circle.
Where you are, do you care that you're part
        of a higher state unseen?
There you are, is that where you are, at the centre.
        You exit, and you enter ...
        labyrinthine dreams.

There you are,
There you are, is that where you are, at the centre.
        You exit, and you enter ...
        Keep your feet on the beam.

There you are,
Where you are,
There you are, on the where of where you've been,
There you are, come full circle,
Where you are,
There you are,  at the centre.
        You exit, and you enter ...
        labyrinthine dreams.

There you are,