Sin City Blues (2014)

by Mark Lucas & the Dead Setters

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released June 26, 2014

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Mark Lucas Sydney, Australia

Australian roots music – it’s a sense of place. In singer-songwriter Mark Lucas' word picture world you’ll encounter ghosts of the past & yearning spirits of the present, making themselves known in a variety of familiar locales, together with a motley cast of misfits & dreamers who could fit in just about anywhere there’s people & stories to tell. ... more

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Track Name: House of Pain
Romeo is anxious, he’s waiting by the door
He knows he’s here for something but he don’t quite know what for
He can see her now smiling and leaning ‘gainst the wall
He feels her soft breath on his neck, all this and more recalled
It’s been so long he’s standing here on this empty stage
But he remembers everything she said before the House of Pain

Last night I dreamt the Queen of Hearts rang the palace bell
But the guards were under orders and did not treat her well
She took it all so gracefully, so serene and so composed
Yeah it’s the devil in the hearts of men that innocents expose
As fate drove her through the tunnel of love I’m sure I heard her say
Keep your crowns, those hand-me-downs, drive on to the House of Pain

And the leader of the opposition, it seems he’s got the blues
Trying to sell the future to a disaffected youth
Now the world is getting smaller, we’re all civilized
We got super-sized democracy, free Coke, Big Mac and fries
It’s too late they cry, we’re on line, we know you’re all the same
We’d rather just take our chances here in the House of Pain

So wise up friend for in the end this is all we got
When Elvis left the building he just moved around the block
The more things change they still remain - it’s grace alone that counts
And now we’re getting low on juice and time is running out
So if you’re looking for the real thing and not someone to blame
She lies bleedin’ in the hall of mirrors the House of Pain
Track Name: Where Your Heart Says Go
The radio is playing that song about Marlene

I can see you there on your wedding day

With the boys and girls gathered all around

You brought the circus to that sleepy little town

It all seems so long ago Tell me

Did you get to go where your heart said go?


Now I’m standing here in my Sunday best
And I’m dreaming of more but settlin’ for less
I’m hearing ‘bout Jesus but I’m seeing Dick Cheney
I believe in love and I don’t mean maybe
I know you reap just what you sow
You got to go where your heart says go


You can calculate your stocks and bonds

But they won’t get you where you’re going when you’re gone

On this long and winding road

You got to go where your heart says go

Sometimes I just can’t believe my luck
Seems sometimes I just keep fucking up
Sometimes it’s all too hard to believe
That to believe in love is all we need
And when the darkness takes a hold
You got to go where your heart says go
Track Name: Sin City Blues
Now she’s trying to get ahead but it’s like it all just weighs her down

And she’s just one of many role players they expect to have around

She’s got to be so many people she feels like just a face in the crowd

Lost and found

Her mother, God bless her brought her up to be a queen
Good catholic girl princess in blue jeans
She bought the man and the mortgage for the price of her dreams
Kicks and screams

She used to see diamonds I used to see stars

We used to lie in the sand listening to Venus and Mars

It’s not easy to explain but I miss the innocence somehow

But that was then and this is now

That was then and this is now

Her mama knew nothing beyond the soaps and abuse
Yet her Daddy worked hard for his footy and booze
And her plans were the envy of all the girls that she knew
Sin city blue

She used to see diamonds I used to see stars


Lord Lord there ain’t a minute to spare

Just a moment ago your dreams were waiting there

But the years flick by like those broken white lines

And before you know it you’re just plumb out of time

Now she’s taking the bus to the end of the line
Where hope is a freeway and the freedom to drive
Away from hard promises away from cold lies
Come alive

She used to see diamonds I used to see stars
Track Name: Soldier's Row
Young Jack left home one fine bright morning
With a spring in his step and the world in his eye
It’s a black dirt, yellow sun, red sky country
Jackie won’t you come on home
He was another country kid, a boy who’d barely grown
The last words his mother had for him were Jackie won’t you come on home

Young Jack never meant to leave the pastures
But there was no room now on his Daddy’s land
So he traded fence-lines for a foreign border
Dust & steers for sand & oil
He never knew why he was really going it just seemed the way to go
The last words his mother had for him were Jackie won’t you come on home

Young Jack sailed away across the ocean
Do your bit son & do your country proud
And armchair generals dream of history
While the boys stand up and the boys fall down
They told him God was on his side as he marched down Soldier’s Road
The last words his mother had for him were Jackie won’t you come on home

Sometimes the thing worth fighting for is the right to stand your ground
Young men die in old men’s wars so the money goes around

Young Jack came home a dead war hero
In a flag draped box on a transport plane
Yeah they made their speeches over his body
And his mother wept upon his grave
Track Name: When You're Gone
I’ve got this little problem I don’t like to be alone
Guess I just need someone that I can call my own
So why do I mess it up every time

You never miss your water when you’re standin’ in the rain
When that midnight sun comes beating down you’re naked and afraid
Baby I think my well just ran dry

We made love in the kitchen
Then we made war in the hall
Make the 7:10 from Central
I might miss you when you’re gone

You’ve one step on the platform and the other on the train
I’m thinkin’ that it’s just as well you kept your maiden name
Baby you know this is the end of the line

You like your legs over easy I like ém sunny side up
I like to make love in the morning you don’t like to wake up
Maybe we should have seen the signs

We made love in the kitchen

Now the evening sun is throwing up your shadow on the wall
I can’t believe I’m here alone I can’t believe you’re gone
Maybe I’ll just sit right down here and cry

I gave up drinkin’ whiskey and I don’t smoke cigarettes
These days I just collect the things that help me to forget
Lately it’s what I do to survive

We made love in the kitchen

I’ve got this little problem I don’t like to be alone
Guess I just need someone that I can call my own
So why do I mess it up every time
Why do I stuff it up every time
Why do I muck it up every time
Why do I…