The Toad and other Strangenesses

by Zander Nyrond

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about

This is my half of a shared album I recorded with the wonderful Talis Kimberley back in the heady days of cassettes and hardware synth modules. You can find Talis' half, Ancient Sky, on her page.

credits

released May 4, 2015

Unless otherwise specified, all lyrics and music by Zander Nyrond.
All vocals and synth programming by Zander.
Everything else by Talis.

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about

Zander Nyrond Westbury, UK

Zander Nyrond likes to describe himself as a logical necessity, though he knows perfectly well he is nothing of the kind. "If I had not existed," he says grandiloquently, "I would have had to invent myself." A more pertinent description would be "tall, hairy idiot which makes music and does not wear a hat," though even that is derivative. Lives in Wiltshire and has better friends than he deserves. ... more

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Track Name: Circle Charm
Slow flames guard the circle
Blue flame that burns low
The light of the Teller
The Rheave on the snow
Pass the Grail of the Lady
Just one sip and you're caught
Drink the health of the other
And you're bartered and bought

Cast the circle in magic
Form the wards with a song
Drink the wine of the Lady
Death can deal you no wrong
Though the rock runs in rivers
And the snow melts like blood
Take the cup of the Lady
Take the tide at the flood

In crystal and silver
Quench the thirst of the Grail
Live on then forever
Though eternity fail...
Track Name: Musicmaker
Dark magic, musicmaker, weave your song for me,
Turn the crystal in the mindflame, set the spirit free,
Cast your liquid net of lightning, let the power be,
Show us how the joy is growing in your melody.

Light magic, musicmaker, conjure song in flame,
Stone will lend a deeper power, stone will give her name,
Shape the soulsound of the ocean on your harp of bone,
Coral deep and jade in wisdom bear the spirit tone.

Still magic, musicmaker, carve your words in air,
Fire is bold, bright and brittle, songs it will not share,
Melody is swift as water, keener than the blood of life,
Power comes if you would call it, music is the surest knife...

Deep magic, musicmaker, summon sound and fly,
Where the will is strong and subtle, song shall never die,
Bring your giving gift in moonlight, let the circle form,
Harvest time within the windsong, keeper of the storm.
Track Name: Binding Song
With this harp I bind you, with these strings of gold,
All your youth remembered, you were bought and sold,
With this gift I give you, all your gifts make mine,
All your treasures I consume, I drink you down like wine.
Out from the gutter I pulled you back to me,
Healed you and fed you and would not set you free,
Out from the dreamstorm of deep and dreaming Blue
I drew your spirit shining bright and true...
And with every action, every thought and deed,
I bind you to me to feed my own dark need.

With this sword we chain you, chains of liberty,
Honour and duty are not words to set men free,
For the cloak of Corrain you wear to make us proud
Is the cloak that is Clanley that is doomed to be your shroud.
Out from the circles where Keepers' lives are sold
We called you and claimed you to suffering untold,
Out from the Fringes, darkside of the Edge,
We drew you to redeem an ancient pledge...
All the gifts we give you take away your soul,
All the gifts we offer you must take to make us whole.

With a curse I bind you when I would run free,
Still you always follow like a part of me,
And your pain is my pain, though it's pain I would not feel,
And my precious freedom, no thief but you could steal.
Out from the starvoid your torment tore my mind,
Bonded our spirits, though I was none of your kind,
Out from the darkness that Rhagans call the Hain
You rescued me and bound me once again...
Far away you're with me, closer still I'm lost,
Caught up in your bindings now and who may tell the cost?
Track Name: No Such Thing
On a day of wind and rain
My daughter said to me:
"The clouds are full of things today,
Oh Daddy, can you see?"
"What kind of things?" I asked her
As the clouds went rushing by.
"There's whales and seals and dolphins,
All swimming in the sky."
I took her from the window
And I sat her on my knee,
And I told her "Stop this foolishness
And listen well to me..."
CHORUS
There's no such thing as dolphins
And there's no such thing as whales,
They're creatures out of fantasy
And children's fairy tales.

But now my daughter's quiet
Amd she spends too long alone,
Gazing from the window
At the clouds all tossed and blown,
And I know that one day soon now,
When she's old enough to dare,
She'll want to leave this shielded dome
And taste the poisoned air,
And she'll learn about the ocean
And the clouds that hide the sun,
And in spite of all our lying
She'll know what we have done,
For--[CHORUS]
Track Name: The Toad
I am malachite, gleaming green,
And the stone in my head has a delicate sheen.
I am the toad on the green-line tube,
And if you see me, you're coming unglued.

And I'm hard as a stone, and I don't have a home,
I'm more faithful than any damn dog.
You can conjure me up from misery's cup
And you're never alone with a psychic frog.

I have pale blue glistening eyes.
I listen in secret to everyone's lies.
I am the toad and the toad is the road,
And if you see me, let me shoulder your load.

I can tell you're in hell, so come out of your shell
Let your darker self out for a jog.
I'm the powerful friend, the wild journey's end,
And you're never alone with a psychic frog.

The stone that I bear is a stranger to blame.
It warns against venom and guards against shame.
I am the toad and the toad is the goad,
And if you see me, you've broken the code.

Through the rain of your tears as you face your dark fears
And your mind slowly falls off its log,
You will see my broad grin just inviting you in
And you're never alone with a psychic frog.

The milk that I bear bodes nobody good.
It gives glittering visions and strips paint off wood.
I am the toad and the master of fate,
And if you see me, it's already too late.
Track Name: The Unknown
Here I am, see me in your crystal,
I wait for you on a white-crowned hill
Where a lamp leans over a crossroads,
The snow is falling, the air is still,
And I wait for you...

Here I am, follow in my footprints
Around a bend on a rain-washed street,
Where dust and oil make rainbows in the gutters
And garbage gathers around your feet,
I wait for you...

And I am love, I am death,
I am news from over the sea,
I am joy, I am pain,
And you'll never be ready for me...

Here I am, listen for my heartbeat,
Behind a groyne on a sandy shore,
Where the gulls circle in their hundreds
And mix their cries with the ocean's roar,
And I wait for you...

Here I am, track me with your radar
Within the caverns far underground,
Where the lights flicker on the consoles
And terror drowns out the slightest sound,
I wait for you...

And I am war, I am peace,
I am all that's waiting to be,
I am hope, I am fear,
And you'll never, never,
Never be ready for me.

Here I am, feel me close beside you,
Here in your bed when the night is still.
They are fools who worship me or fear me,
For I am Future. I have no will.
I just wait for you...
Track Name: Judgment Day
They have called you insane,
All your work was in vain,
Yet your nightmares remain
Of the world blown away.
Still you try to break free
For you know what will be.
John your son has to see
What's beyond Judgment Day, Judgment Day, Judgment Day...

Your escape goes to hell
But your hear your son yell
And a thing you know well
Keeps the heavies at bay.
This machine's on your side.
John knows you never lied.
Now together you ride
To avert Judgment Day, Judgment Day, Judgment Day...

What is human and who gets to say?
Is it knowing the value of life?
If you kill, are you better than they?
And if not, where's the point of the strife?

This whole nightmare began
Through the work of one man,
So you leave with a plan:
For his sins he must pay.
While out there all unseen,
Lethal, liquid and mean,
One more killer machine
Rides to force Judgment Day, Judgment Day, Judgment Day...

What is human and who gets to say?
Is it knowing the value of life?
If you kill, are you better than they?
And if not, what's the point of the strife?

Now the battle is done
And somehow you have won.
You are free with your son,
Free to live as you may.
For the old beat the new,
Then gave his life for you.
Was that what you would do
At the end of the day?

Did he choose the right side?
What got broke, and who died?
Only you can decide:
This is your Judgment Day, Judgment Day, Judgment Day...
Track Name: Oil-Fired Stanley Price
It was a stormy night back in ’74
When three men came to the Professor’s door.
Up in Injun Pass there’d been a big rockfall
And under them rocks lay the bravest of all.
He was a mean gunfighter name of Stanley Price
He was quick on the draw, he’d beaten Hickok twice.
When they pulled him out he was all but dead,
But the Professor said, “I can save the head.”

CHORUS
Oil-fired Stanley Price.

His name was Franklin Stine, he was a book-larned man,
He went to his drawing boad and started to plan.
When they brought him the head, he stuck it straight in a tank
Full of bright green stuff that kinda bubbled and stank.
He drew all night and then went to the forge
He called on the blacksmith and said “Hey, George,
I’ve got a job for you but I need it fast
‘Cause I don’t know how much longer old Stan can last.”

CHORUS

Well, the blacksmith worked all day and all night
And finished the job just before first light
Then he hauled it round to Professor Stine
Who took one look and said “That’s just fine!”
It was a metal shell about eight feet tall
Full of dials and wheels and levers and all
It had an oil-fired engine to make it run
And at either side hung a big six-gun.

CHORUS

They mounted the tank on top of the shell,
Asked “How’d you feel?” and Stan said “Well,
I gotta thank you, Prof, for saving my life,
But what the Sam Hill do I say to my wife?”
“Stan, you know you ain’t married!” the blacksmith said.
“I know,” said Stan, “I’m just thinking ahead.”
The Professor said, “I guess you’ve hit the spot,
‘Cause a head right now’s about all you got.”

CHORUS

Stan rolled out of town under cover of dark
And pretty soon began to make his mark
Catching cattle rustlers and guarding the stage
He was the Robocop of the Golden Age.
His legend grew and got passed around
And they made him Sheriff of some Texas town
So he was fixed up good when the oil strikes came
He just bought him a share in private claim.

CHORUS

But all good things gotta come to an end
And one day Stan picked a fight with a friend.
He got tipped over near Broken Creek
And his inlet valve, well it started to leak.
It was just high noon and the sun was hot
And a chance reflection made a burning spot.
When his friend came back to Stan’s rescue
There was a huge explosion as his fuel tank blew.

CHORUS

So here ends the story of a cyborg dude
Who was real refined, though he ran on crude.
His design was poor, but his heart was great.
He was the best oil-fired lawman in the Lone Star State!

CHORUS
Track Name: Sam's Song
Well, it's after hours down in Harry's Bar, and the evening has just begun,
And MacIvor is telling all over again how he nearly fell into the sun,
And the droid in the corner is getting well oiled, and the Wookiee has let down his hair,
And I'm sitting alone on a 49 bus and I'm wishing that I was there...

I'll have one more photon torpedo, Harry, and make it a litre or more,
And if I should happen to fall off my seat, just let me slip to the floor,
'Cause it took me too many years to come, but I'm where I wanted to be;
Home is the Hunter, home from the hill and the sailor, home from the sea...

And it's outward bound on a Nyrond ship, and the warpdrive is coming apart,
And that damn Vigilante is back on our tail, and we've only got five minutes start,
And the planets around here all have us on file and they'll grab us as soon as we land,
And I'm sitting alone at a barrister's desk and I'm watching life slip through my hand...

I'll have one more try at the warpdrive, Zander, and then we'll work out what to say,
And although my life is in deadly danger, I feel that I've lived for this day,
'Cause it took me too many years to come, but I'm where I wanted to be;
Home is the Hunter, home from the hill and the sailor, home from the sea...

(Instrumental break)

Well, it's peaceful down here in the Library, and I'm reading of h'Ellen and Jet,
And Kirk and the Seven are all on their way, and a Nyrond is never in debt,
And my friends are around me and so are my foes, but no-one's for fighting today,
And I'm standing alone on the top of this hill, and it's only inches away...
(I rather like it ending just there, but we did in fact finish it off.)

I'll read one more page of my oldest book, the one that I know and love best,
Then I'm for my bed and my mind for its roaming while everything's lying at rest,
'Cause it took me too many years to come, but I'm where I wanted to be;
Home is the Hunter, home from the hill and the sailor, home from the sea...
Yes, it took me too many years to know that wherever we happen to be
Is home for this Hunter, home from the hill and the sailor's home from the sea...
Home from the sea.