Penny Thoughts b​/​w Lucy's Tea Party

by Maxwell Countryman

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credits

released July 29, 2014

Both songs written by J. Maxwell Countryman Skewes.
Max recorded this on much borrowed equipment from Ben Edwards and Ben Delany in various basements, rooms and warehouses in Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand, May 2013.
Mixed by Ben Edwards and Max at Ben's house in Lyttelton. Additional mixing by Josh Powell at the Map Room.
Mastered and cut to vinyl by Gus Elg at Sky Onion.
Cover art of 'vulture disemboweling banjo' block print by Max.
Photos of Max with Mollie Jule Conlon by Mel Luna.

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Track Name: Penny Thoughts
Penny Thoughts

"A penny for the thoughts
that rot in your head.
A penny for your thoughts,"
Mother said.

"A penny for that rot
you call thoughts within your head.
A penny for that rot,"
Mother said.

"Try and find a pretty girl,
one that's not yet bled.
Or poison for the husband
if she be already wed."

"A penny for the thoughts
that rot in your head.
A penny for your thoughts,"
Mother said.

"A penny for the heart
that rests in your chest.
A penny for your heart,"
Mother said.

"A penny for what rests,
pumping rust through your chest.
A penny for what rests,"
Mother said.

"I only need one kidney
and I know that you have two.
God placed them by your belly
when He blessed my birth to you."

"A penny for the heart
that rests in your chest.
A penny for your heart,"
Mother said.

"A penny for the seed
within the womb that you do breed.
A penny for the seed,"
Mother said.

"Grow your seed like a weed
when you breed within her bed.
Your seed like a weed,"
Mother said.

"My body has grown frail,
do not doubt that yours will too.
So share your blood with me
as your blood shall do for you."

"A penny for the seed
within the womb that you do breed.
A penny for the seed,"
Mother said.

Well it was these words
that I did dread.
But it was these words
Mother said.

But it was these words
that she did fear.
So heed these words,
Mother dear.

A penny of my own
if you'll lend me an ear.
A penny of my own,
Mother dear.

One penny from my pocket,
my decreer you shall hear.
A penny from my pocket,
Mother dear.

I will not find a pretty girl
whose womb I will abuse
and grow a human garden
of spare parts for you to use.

A penny from my pocket,
my proposal is sincere.
So heed these words,
Mother dear.

A penny for your corpse
full of rot, black as pitch.
A penny for your corpse
in a ditch.

A penny for your corpse
dead as dust in a ditch.
A penny for your corpse
black as pitch.

You've ruined your own body,
you'll not do the same to mine,
from years of sipping laudanum
and snifters of brandywine.

A penny for your corpse
full of rot black as pitch.
A penny for your corpse,
old bitch.
Track Name: Lucy's Tea Party
No one ever dare darken the door
of the house where Lucy sleeps.
A house surrounded by the graveyard grounds
where her father the sexton keeps
the mortal remains of the people who spent their lives
in the factories of this town.
The priest sails their souls through the skies to heaven,
their vantage coign at the miseries on the ground.
Then watch the earth swallow their bodies down.

Lucy has no friends of her own
though only six years to her age.
Alone she treads between the cemetery beds
to the cry of the creaking cage
that is the forbidding gate of the children's cemetery
where the footpath bends.
Her posthumous classmates of yesteryear
whose lingering spirits have become her only friends.
Those who've met untimely ends.

"I'm all alone in this great big house.
The other children, they won't play with me.
But you could stray from your cold, dark graves
and join me for a cup of tea."

As the moon sinks her fangs into the day
and the evening clouds have swept the sun away,
Lucy's friends, in their funeral dress,
ascend from their children's cemetery beds
and for the evening come to the cold dark house to play.

There's Quentin who was found hung from a tree
and Maud knifed 'til her blood ran thick.
And Beatrice found on the hill by the well,
her brain claimed by a brick.
And Thaddeus strangled with piano wire
'til both eye sockets bled,
who now in death became Lucy's friends,
though in all their lives never shared her tea nor bread.
How fortunate now they're dead.

Still as the moon sinks her fangs into the day
and the evening clouds have swept the sun away.
Lucy's friends, in their funeral dress,
ascend from their children's cemetery beds
and for the evening come to the cold dark house to play.

And when the time has come time,
Lucy bids her friends adieu.
When the evenings events have come to an end
and the day's begun anew,
she then retires herself to her bedroom before
she tucks herself in tight.
Her gaze turns to the box by her bed
illuminated by candle light
which holds a noose of flax, a stray piano wire,
leather gloves, a brick and one sheathed knife.
She then blows out the candle and whispers out the window,
"My lovelies, God bless, good night."