Friday, 17 April 2009

Roya Arab Lyrics

Dear friends,

Hello. I hope this finds you well and happy. I felt it time to share a correct version of my lyrics and briefly outline elements of my musical interactions for verity’s sake.

I have been writing poetry since the age of 12, as for music from early childhood I sang and danced to it, then learned to play it on piano and guitar. In my 20s I started singing my poems, thus mixing my love of music and words to write lyrics and melodies. Below are lyrics for songs I have written for various artists.

Archive ‘Londinium’ Island Records 1996

All Time
(Arab, Keeler)

Reflecting on what’s been
Though past will be future
When again yesterday to be made

For me hazy times, fume all around
Burning grass in a field of endless supplies

Tall people casting shadows on the short
Little people running circle round the wide

Lazy times, waste it well
What better to do with my mind
Crazy times, no rhythm too hard
Deep corners and people with my time

Over ground in joy
In clouds sunlit, snow untouched
Make pure silhouette, catches steam grass and dew
Rays not harm the upward gaze

Hosts bring out a game of open fields on the box
Watch the guests who bring the heat of outside
Flag of faith for boundaries to fight
The young so wise before their time
My time, Your time, All time
My time, Your time, All time

Over ground in joy
In clouds sunlit, snow untouched
Make pure silhouette, catches steam grass and dew
Rays not harm the upward gaze

Rhythm to your right, rhyme the other side
Expression outside and poetry inside
Pleasure to your touch, taste of heaven on your mind
And colours before your very eyes.


So few Words (Arab, Griffiths, John, Keeler)

This and the hidden track at the end of the album are the two tracks I wrote and sang after we signed our record deal.

So few words….darirey…


Ubiquitous wife [headspace] (Arab, Keeler)

Go away, go away
You fill my head space
With evil thoughts unkind
I can do without

You move with hate
Your darkness my light cannot take
You deceive without a second thought
I receive, my heart an open world

You say you hurt yourself when you fuss around
But I feel your soul penetrate
When your gaze, your touch
With desire on another domain

I say to myself walk tall, head held high
Don’t look behind, not good things to find
Go ahead taste with your eyes
Feel with your head and think with your heart

Look up to celebrate with nails blood red
See a moon halfway clear in the sky
I wonder if you do from underground
Weakened flesh going underground.


Dark Room (Arab, Griffiths, John, Keeler)

A reworking of Darius’s words…

Face in my hand
Admiring that view again
Pictures tell me it’s only my fear
So I’ll try, I’ll try to hear what I like
And I’ll try to hide what I fear.


Londinium (Arab, John, Keeler)

Energy from every pore
Make what you will

Are you with or with out?
The force cannot be blamed
Just the hunger or greed supplying the ugly drive

Dirty water no profit to supply
That round travelled far too long.


Nothing Else (Arab, Keeler)

My angel, clipped wings I know
Wonders in darkness on grimy ground
In a forest unclean, unsound
Everything, everything has gone wild

Make land for the cows to graze
Leaflets scattered around to advertise, sell out

A swamp, in it hands stretched out
To catch a passing dime
Donations to the rich, widened pavements for the poor
Somewhere else to lie

But my friend the carriage door stands slightly ajar
And I know clipped wings make uneasy flight
But we’ve got to reach

A place where the feast never ends
A moment when the music celebrates
And a time when darkness belongs to night skies
And nothing else

Tomorrow my spirit’s seen
Fears today my mind
Soul aches so deep
Always craves my body to reach

A place where the feast never ends
A moment when the music celebrates
And a time when darkness belongs to night skies
And nothing else.


Parvaneh [butterfly] (Arab, Griffiths, Keeler)

Parvaneh is butterfly in Persian/Iranian/Farsi

I lie on my blue sheet so blue
Wait for sunrise and what it brings
Wait for tomorrows I look to find
So tired, sleep rest in peace

Let the wind fulfil your dreams
Let the sea heal your wounds
Tell the trees secrets so deep

On a kaftan of leaves I float
Sunrise brought me the peace I sought
I fly with no form to tie me down
I’m free to live, to live

To let the wind heal my wounds
To let the sea fulfil my dreams
Hear the trees secrets so deep

Don’t let them tie you down
Fly where you please.


Last Five (Arab, Griffiths, John, Keeler)

Hell was a place I knew a long time ago
Where everything was dark
There were mazes all around
Here is where I am
Here is where I was
Here is where I don’t want to be

Hell was a place I found by mistake
A garden’s secret yet inviting door
Leading to a place I’m finding hard to let go


Hidden song (Arab, Keeler)

Fascinating softest shade of passion all around
Daggers left behind in rooms big with small minds
My gaze, dense leaves
Shelter on a sunny day.


Grooverider, Mysteries of funk, 1998

I pieced this together from excerpts of poems I had written (the second sentence was inspired by the second US attack on Iraq, though judging by the third US led illegal invasion in 2005 foolish choices continue), being a Jungle tune resulted in the words being moved around for the song, below is the complete poem

Rainbows of Colour (Arab, Grooverider, Optical)

Rainbows of colour
With a tilt in the head

Marching feet descending steeply
On hills subsiding
Residue, not sound, of foolish choice

Spiralling minds ascending
Ever seeking, defying empty gains

Awaiting heaven’s breath
As lady time’s gentle whisper
Like a breeze, if not a storm
Righting wrongs

So enchanted earth
Time’s infinite motion
So enchanted earth
It’s infinite motion
Rare notions
Love filled potions
Soothe the way

Rainbows of Colour
Shadows of the past better left behind


Leila, like weather, 1998

Blue Grace (R.Arab, L.Arab)

Why don’t you explain
What is going through your head
From afar am I to hear your words unsaid
From afar do you fear some truth to bear

Run away, run away, clear a space and there you’ll stay
Run away, run away, clear a space and there you’ll stay

Where’s your spine,
Where’s your charm,
Where’s your grace,
From what do you escape?


Naab, L’Etranger, 1999

L’etranger (Arab, Naab)

Somewhere there’s a surprise for you and me
Higher frequency, for you and me
For you and me

Whirling in motion, dance to release
Whirling in motion, dance to release

In a park by a stream
Dance for me, Whirling in motion
Dance to release
In a park by a stream
Dance for me, dance for me

Let the rains ease pores polluted
Air and man, spirit and sand
Decades weight, decades weight

Finery clothed thy flesh
Cravings lined thy purse
Desire guided thy way
Illusion dulled thy pain

Dance for me, dance for me
Whirling in motion
Dance to release

In a park by a stream
Dance for me, dance for me
Your movement brings me joy
Let my eyes caress your form

Now that you’re gone
My father my root
My mother my truth
By a river in a field lets dance
By a river in a field lets dance

Dance for me, dance for me
Whirling in motion
Dancing to bring
Dance for me, dance for me
Your movement brings me joy
An end to my, to your, to our woes.


Zend Avesta, Organique, 2000

On the car journey into Paris, where we recorded this song, I saw a very sad man crossing our path, who unbeknownst to him became the protagonist.

A la Maniére (Arab, Rebotini)

Tout le monde est triste de temps en temps

Smiling to bring better thoughts
For this unhappy man crossing my path
Hope he’s got a place, he’s reaching out
Where’s the light, his corridors of confusion
For tonight he’s alone

Selecting solitary meals
Fortune’s wheel please turn his way
Scented rose knows not his pain
So consuming as he passes our way
Autumn leaves embrace his fall
From grace of yesterday’s warming rays

A sa maniére, à ta maniére, à ma maniére, au leur maniére

So sad, as he passes our way
As life span increases, disguised truths
Barely concealed, blinkered eyes
What to see, what to see

Is she coming tonight, tender with love
Is she coming tonight, tender with love
For tomorrow he may be gone.


Leila, Courtesy of Choice 2000

I had been humming this Grace Jones tune for years and Leila really liked it so I wrote new lyrics for it and we recorded it. The original lyrics are in bold.

Different time (R.Arab, L. Arab, Jones, Woolley)

Had we met at a different time, we’d be perfect for each other
Now we’re wasting all our time, In this world apart together

Tick tock heart’s clock
Measuring emotion
Tick tock heart’s clock
Measure emotion
Each journey of love

Long enough for me to caress your head
And make you feel alright
Time to heal/teach
Bond unforged by the charm of the new

I’m not perfect, but I am perfect for you
I’m not perfect, but I am perfect for you

You never needed to try
I knew all about you, been told
So I kept some secret place to myself

To care and to be as a part of a thing
Da di ra Da di ra

In a box wrapped in purple ribbon
On a sea so wide and gleaming
Set sail secret sense
Waves carry away, safe place to rest
Safe place to rest

Why do I feel, maybe you were my dear
Some place else, some time….time.

Leila, Blood, looms and blooms, 2008

This is an old poem inspired by a couple of nations’ landscapes and life ways I encountered in the mid 1990s.

Daisies, Cats and Spacemen (R.Arab, L.Arab)

Hard rock of old,
Speedy people, tall cities
The ones with the powers
Live in old bits, green bits
Bits by the river, ones highest up
Far from fumes, thousands of cars
Rhythmic motion of light
Methodically in streets of simple lines
One eye behind
Consuming readily, their malady
Lashes on the floor
Daisies, cats, and spacemen on the wall

Treading engrossed paving stones below
Filthy footmarks reflecting tear filled skies

But, in a world frozen still, my love
To find you’re with me still this night

Perfect plentiful pastures
Metal monsters’ industries
Cities on stilts, mined hollow underground
Silver pay for healing tide
Tracks carry ashes
Carefully placed water-burial site nearby
Tales of all kind
Solitary confusion as blood runs its course to purify

In a world frozen still my love
To find you’re with me still this night
Treading engrossed paving stones below
Filthy footmarks reflecting tear filled skies

Roya Arab - Musical collaborations

Leila is my wonderfully talented sister, with whom it is a pleasure to partake in musical journeys through time.

I was introduced to Zend Avesta (2000) and Naab (1999) by a French friend, and had fun creating a couple of songs out in pretty Paris.

I had the honour of working with Mike Figgis, on a song written by him, entitled ‘This is how we are’ in 2000.

Grooverider, I was introduced to in 1998 by the lovely Trenton, had a laugh writing and recording our track and video.

Archive – It was 1994, I was working to raise money and move to a friend’s giete in Northern France, to complete a play I had started writing during a summer course at the School of Speech and Drama. Basil one of the best Jam leaders this side of the world, led Archive to me. I met Darius Keeler, and I liked what came out the tape deck - odd to think tapes sound archaic now! He had some words for Dark Room and shortly I was reworking the lyrics and singing away. Subsequently, was introduced to Rosko John and Danny G. We recorded the album within weeks. With ‘Nothing Else’ and ‘All time’, I was writing the lyrics in north London, whilst Darius had been recording new tunes down south. We met up, the words and music were a perfect fit. It was a lovely feeling, we were all united, watching young Rosko rap his awesome wise lyrics, stoned calm Danny spinning discs, and Darius consumed with enthusiasm and passion. We were signed as a band a few months later, and the word downhill would be optimistic; with the arrival of managers, A&R and money somehow the good feelings started to dissipate. I had little to do as my original singing on the demo remained, instead had to wait over a year whilst the producers twiddled their knobs! Worst of all hearing remixes that grated my bones, not least they reworked Ubiquitous Wife into some cheesy bullshit, when in fact it was meant to be a graceful minimalist jazz tune. Safe to say artistically it was like entering a void, furthermore, watching Rosko who had started the band with Darius and come up with the name for the band, being sidelined as egos went into overdrive made me really uncomfortable, alongside a personal relationship that ironically lasted longer than my time in the band. We had signed as a band, yet were fast becoming crazy seals in hell’s circus….We all lost the plot….once regained we rehearsed, then sat waiting for the record company’s A&R, who were nearly two hours late coming to see the live set….Rosko rightly walked out and a day later Darius thankfully dissolved the band.

Roya arab