Van Der Graaf Generator:A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers

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“A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers”
Artist: Van Der Graaf Generator
Albums: Pawn Hearts (1971)
The Best Prog Rock Album in the World ... Ever (2003)


Still waiting for my saviour
Storms tear me limb from limb
My fingers feel like seaweed
I'm so far out I'm too far in

I am a lonely man
My solitude is true
My eyes have borne stark witness
And now my nights are numbered too

I've seen the smiles on dead hands
The stars shine
But they're not for me

I prophesy disaster
And then I count the cost
I shine but, shining, dying
I know that I am almost lost

On the table lies blank paper
But my tower is built on stone
I only have blunt scissors
I only have the bluntest hone

I've been the witness and the seal of death
Lingers in the molten wax that is my head

When you see the skeletons of sailing-ship spars sinking low
You'll begin to wonder if the points of all the ancient myths
Are solemnly directed straight at you




No time now for contrition
The time for that's long past
The walls are thin as tissue
And if I talk I'll crack the glass

So I only think on how it might have been
Locked in silent monologue
In silent scream

Anyway, I'm much too tired to speak
And, as the waves crash on the bleak
Stones of the tower, I start to freak
And find that I am overcome


Unreal unreal
Ghost helmsmen scream
And fall in through the sky
Not breaking through my seagull shrieks
No breaks until I die

The spectres scratch on window slits
Hollowed faces and the mindless grins
Only intent on destroying
What they've lost

I claw the wall till steepness ends
In the vertical fall
My pail has sailed into the sea
No joking hopes at dawn

White bone shine in the iron-jaw mask
Lost mastheads pierce the freezing dark
And parallel my isolated tower
No paraffin for the flame
No harbour left to gain

Presence of the Night

Alone alone
The ghosts all call
Pinpoint me in the light
The only life I feel at all
Is the presence of the night

Would you cry if I died?
Would you cry if I died?
Would you catch the final words of mine?
Would you catch my words?
I know that there's no time
I know that there's no rhyme
(False signs find me)

I don't want to hate
I just want to grow
Why can't I let me
Live and be free? But I
Die very slowly alone

I know no more ways
I am so afraid
Myself won't let me
Just be myself and so
I am completely alone

Kosmos Tours

The maelstrom of my memory
Is a vampire and it feeds on me
Now, staggering madly
Over the brink I fall

(Custard's) Last Stand

Lighthouses might house the key
But can I reach the door?

I want to walk on the sea
So that I may better find a shore
But how can I ever keep my feet dry?

I scan the horizon
I must keep my eyes on
All parts of me

Looking back on the years
It seems that I have lost my way
Like a dog in the night
I have run to a manger
Now I am the stranger I stay in

All of the grief I have seen
Leaves me chasing solitary peace
But I hold experience in my head

I'm too close to the light
I don't think I see right
For I blind me

The Clot Thickens

Where is the God that guides my hand?
How can the hands of others reach me?
When will I find what I grope for?
Who who who is going to teach me?
I am me, me are we, we can't see
Any way out of here
Crashing sea atrophied history
Chance has lost my Guinevere

I don't want to be one wave in the water
But sea will drag me deep
One more haggard drowned man

I can see the lemmings coming
But I know I'm just a man
Do I join or do I founder?
Which can is the best I may?

Land's End (Sineline)

Oceans drifting sideways
I am pulled into the spell
I feel you around me
I know you well

Stars slice horizons
Where the lines stand much too stark
I feel I am drowning
Hands stretch in the dark

Camps of panoply and majesty
What is Freedom of Choice?
Where do I stand in the pageantry
Whose is my voice?

It doesn't feel so very bad now
I think the end is the start
Begin to feel very glad now
All things are a part
All things are apart
All things are a part

We Go Now