The Colonel's Journals

by Robert Lamb

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A collection of old fashioned pop songs loosely bound by themes of reflection on the vanity and contingency of existence. Now if only I would listen to my own advice...


released January 13, 2013

All songs, performances and recording by Robert Lamb

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Robert Lamb Melbourne, Australia

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Track Name: Digging the Same Old Hole
It’s so easy to forget
All the things you should remember
Resolutions made on New Year’s Day
Broken long before September

Digging the same old hole, ploughing the same old groove
Acting the same old role, making the same old move
Unsurprisingly - being the same old me

It’s so easy to forget
Things that ought to give life meaning
All your principles and high ideals
Lie neglected while you’re dreaming

Like an athlete circling round the track
I keep on running but the same old scene keeps coming back

It’s so easy to forget
It’s so hard to go the distance
When you can be the man you’ve always been
Taking the path of least resistance
Track Name: Blinding Flash of Light
In a blinding flash of light I saw my life laid out before me
With all its twists and turnings, all its errors and dead ends
It came to me one night like a vision sent to warn me
A message from the future to wise up and make amends

A hundred secrets locked away
A thousand demons held at bay
I’m longing for the dawning of the day
And hoping everything will be ok

The picture started out just like a view from some jetliner
A panoramic drama seen from thirty thousand feet
The camera started zooming and the details getting finer
Suddenly I realised the focus was on me

Deep complications like underground stations
Connected by magnetic lines
No way of knowing which way this is going
So mesmerized by the signs

If you had the gift to see yourself as others see you
With all your imperfections, all your defects and your flaws
Don’t you know this gift might be the one thing that can free you
All you have to do is lose your craving for applause
Track Name: Looking for Perfection
You say you want to be yourself but the time is never right
So you keep delaying, one more day and one more night
All the anniversaries tick over one by one
You dream of going back there, but every one has gone

If you’re looking for perfection
You can’t get there from here
But if you’ll try a new direction
You might get somewhere near

All the things you cling to and the things you can’t let go
All the things that you hold on to and the things you do for show
All the baggage that you carry and the things you can’t put down
Do you think they’ll help you when you’re six feet in the ground

One day you’ve got all the time in the world
The next you’ve got no time at all

Everyday you pass that you accept the second best
Is a day you can’t recover, one day less in all the rest
You can look into a mirror, look into your heart
Try to understand yourself, now that would be a start
Track Name: Footsoldier
You see yourself as a general, commanding troops and tanks
In god’s eyes you’re a footsoldier, a number in the ranks
Fodder for the cannon, that’s your destiny
Another faceless target for an unknown enemy

Footsoldier don’t raise your hopes to high
Comes a day for you to do or die

You dreamed of fame and fortune, drew up your battle plans
Imagined men would follow when you cried out “advance”
The time to dream is over and now the day has come
You wake to find you’re marching to the beat of a martial drum

My life is rolling down the track like a runaway train
No way to stop or turn it back or start over again

You polished all the stories for your biography
Longing for a namecheck in the books of history
In your final moments are you cowardly or brave
When you realise your fate lies at the bottom of an unmarked grave
Track Name: Want that Thing
You want that thing - That thing you want
You feel it tease you - You feel it taunt
You've got to have it just because
You'll never be happy until it's yours
You want that thing

You want that thing - Though you know it's wrong
You can't resist - The lure's too strong
Your heart is burning like a forest fire
Your soul is singing like a heavenly choir

Everybody is out to get something for nothing
They want to pick the flower before they sow the seed
Don't you know that you don't get nothing for nothing
And nothing good can ever come from greed

You want that thing - Here we go again
Six parts pleasure - Half a dozen pain
You could shake it, now's your chance
You could break out of your trance but
Track Name: Long Shadows
A simple choice, black and white
Who’s to say which is right
As above then so below
You get to reap just what you sow

The game’s evolving, the rules have changed
The ancient order is rearranged
Blinkered by our common sense
Bewildered by the consequence
We cast such long shadows

How can you be so sure that you’re correct
You can’t even tell your cause from your effect

One door opened, another closed
A question answered, another posed
See the weaver at her loom
Criss cross the threads of joy and gloom
We cast such long shadows
Track Name: Best of the Rest
What if the world that you love
Should be turned upside down
And all of your heavens above
Should tumble to the ground
Would you have the will to build a new life from this pain
Would you have the heart to start again

If everything that you knew
Should turn out to be wrong
And all of the things that you do
Were misguided all along
Would you have the nerve to swerve and turn another way
Would you rise to greet a sweet new day

Try to make the best of the rest of your life
Try to make the best
Try to make the best of the rest of your life
Make the best of the rest

What if it turned out the truth
Was that you've lived a lie
What if I showed you the proof
That no one could deny
Would you cast away your chains and rise up to be free
Could you change your mind to find the key
Track Name: City Reaches
Take some dirty tricks dress them up as politics
Secret deals that steal but leave no trace
See the corporate muscle do the Spring Street hustle
Menace lurks behind each smiling face

The city reaches up from the gutter to the stars
Fighting through the dark to the light
Those trampled down on the wrong side of town
Are sacrificed to the night

Such a tasty feast laid on for a hungry beast
They praise and flatter you, feed and fatten you up!
Though you protest that you’re stronger than the rest
You’re no match for the venal and corrupt

We know the path to progress is drenched in tears and blood
We hope the gains will justify the cost
But when we find the things we love lie trampled in the mud
Who will dry the tears for what we’ve lost

What's good for the goose they say is good for you
Sucker! open up your eyes what do you see?
I get so incensed that crimes so immense
Can be committed by men who then walk free
Track Name: Through the Left Door
If you knew today all you will know tomorrow 
Imagine what a nightmare that would be
All the thrills, the boredom and the sorrow
Engraved in granite for eternity

Walk through the left door
 - you live and learn

Walk through the right
 - you crash and burn

Surrounded  by a million strident voices
Wondering which talk true and which tell lies
Confronted by unpalatable choices
Puzzles for the worthy and the wise

On the surface everything looks fine
Deep down you’re sinking
Holed beneath the waterline

Sometimes I sit in silent meditation
Watching as my breath flows in and out
The object of my idle contemplation
Is what it means & what it's all about
Track Name: Too Old for This World (but too young for the next)
When you’ve heard it all before there’s not much left to say
Words that once inspired you now sound like a cliche
The fabric of society feels threadbare frayed and torn
The emperor stands naked as the day that he was born

Constantly confused and persistently perplexed
You feel too old for this world but too young for the next

The people that you work with have all grown very young
They speak a weird language that sounds like a foreign tongue
The things they find exciting, strike you as a bore
You're sure that given half a chance they’d show you out the door

You get no help from
Lessons that were taught to you
In this brave new world
You’re not sure what you ought to do

Not so very long ago you were in your prime
Now you’re on the scrap heap, overtaken by the time
However high you climb one day you’re bound to slip and fall
It’s a fact that growing old makes monkeys of us all
Track Name: The Way it Is
You’re looking good - time’s been kind
Just a little older, maybe a little more lined
Though we fight the fade to grey
Truth be told, we had our day

I try to remember but sometimes I forget
There are gaps in the record, there are holes in my memory net
I wish I could answer all the questions in your quiz
But some things are lost for ever and that’s just the way it is

You’re asking me - can I recall?
Bits and pieces, by no means all
Just enough to reconstruct
A list of those I bought or bucked

As I look back upon my glittering career
I contemplate the twists of fate that lead me here

My mind’s a mirror, stained and cracked
Mixing fiction with the fact
The more I see the less is clear
The more I learn the more I fear
Track Name: Golden Lads
I always wanted to be like you
How I aspired to that ideal
Everybody could agree that you
Had a fair spin of the wheel

Golden lads and lasses must
As chimney sweepers, come to dust
But in the sunlit fields of my memory
You’re still a golden lad to me

Looking back upon the best of times
Days I would gladly live again
Older now, I feel blessed that I'm
A link in life's unbroken chain

The show was splendid
The crowd craves more
But we’re denied
A last encore

Hour by hour, day by day
Things come to pass then pass away
Seize the moment, breathe it in
We do not pass this way again