Dead Man's Arms (ONE-STOP)

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Daniel McBrearty : vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, keys, soprano saxophone, recording, arrangement, mixing and production
David Tope and his choir : backing vocals
Charles "Chidi" Anya : bass guitar
Francesca Prattico : drums
Charly De Pessemier (Flight Case Music, Brussels): mastering

This song was written in Antwerp, the year before covid, during the January sales (hence the first verse). The idea came to me wandering around the city centre, and I grabbed a pencil and wrote most of it on the tram home. It sounds a bit like 80s or 90s British pop, but David's beautiful Nigerian choir give another flavour to the chorus. I love what they did!


It’s a January Saturday
The streets are like a latter-day inferno
Full of medieval saints
We’re all running round like rats
Wooly sweaters, Christmas hats
My idea of paradise this ain’t

Life is long, like a Dead Man’s Arms
What makes us feel like also rans in this human race?
We collect and we consume
We forget then we resume
And we know we can’t continue at this pace.

About fifteen years ago, some clever bastard in the know
Found a way to find computers sing like birds
Now everybody’s got a Cray
And we stare at them all day
They fill us up with never ending words

Life is long, like a Dead Man’s Arms
And I feel being silent is no disgrace
Though I’m guilty as the next man
Of believing that a text can
Somehow make me feel more wanted in this place

Well perhaps I’m getting older
Or the trail is getting colder
I don’t run around the way that once I did
And the world can live without
Those little hooks I threw about
Anyway, just who’m I trying to kid?

Life is long, like a Dead Man’s Arms
And I don’t mind seeing wrinkles in my face
I don’t care for new beginnings
I’ll cash in and take my winnings
And I’ll tip the barman
When I leave this place