Brookmill Park

from by Lily Bentley

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about

I was walking through Brookmill Park in Lewisham on an absolutely beautiful bright Summer day, when I saw a man rise out of the fountain where he had been bathing. The image stayed with me for years, and when I started writing songs, I took that split-second as the inspiration for this character.
(Absolutely everything beyond the first verse is pure fiction... with the arguable exception that there really are herons in Brookmill Park.)

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lyrics

He rises into life, breathing out, breathing in
Another soul been left behind, in Brookmill Park Fountain
He shakes the algae from his hair, feels the green against his skin
They can watch but they can’t know all the things he’s seen
He doesn’t know the way out
Doesn’t remember the way in

And one day they’ll find him floating
And trace the footsteps back in snow
There are perhaps worse ways to live
There are perhaps worse ways to go

The heron stands unmoved, as ruined shoes sink deeper in
While other men may pan for gold, in Brookmill Park he wades for tin
The signs talk proudly of renewal, while the leaves turn brown from green
And here beside the Ravensbourne, the trolley catch is wearing thin
“Council can’t leave things alone!”
Seems the last exception’s him

And one day they’ll find him floating
And trace the footsteps back in snow
There are perhaps worse ways to live
There are perhaps worse ways to go

The winter steals in slow, leaving just the cold and him
He sees the river flow below, wonders what it’s like within
His shelter rises from the bank, cardboard walls and wire and pins
Brighter scales flash and glow, beneath the ice, beneath the wind
He sends his prayer into the deep
Oh God, grant me fins

And so he goes
The water rises to meet him
And so he goes
The fishes welcome him home
All the things he never had
He won’t need them again

And one day they’ll find him floating
And trace the footsteps back in snow
There are perhaps worse ways to live
There are perhaps worse ways to go

And one day they’ll find him floating…

credits

from Norwood Gothic, released February 1, 2019
Lyrics: Lily Bentley

Vocals: Lily Bentley
Everything Else: Gerry Diver

Produced by Gerry Diver

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about

Lily Bentley London, UK

Folk singer, songwriter and Crystal Palatian

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