Life & I

by Dusty Limits

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1.
03:49
LIFE & I Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, Life hit a new low and then, I got trapped in a lift, run down by a hearse, And chased by an emu. Again. Just when I thought things couldn't get badder, Bad luck appeared right on cue. Scratched by a cat, crushed under a ladder, And stuck to a railing with glue. Life and I, don't get along. Maybe it's because of my karmic debt. I don't believe in that stuff and yet, I stay indoors and play Mah Jong, 'Cos Life and I don't get along. Just when I thought, my fortunes might change, Fate got fixated and then, I was mauled by a bat, contracted the mange, And a goat ate my trousers. Again. Now I believe as chapter-and-verse, No matter how bad things might seem, Sod's Law dictates they'll surely get worse. I'll never wake from this dream. But screw it all, I'll carry on. I won't give in to my Catholic guilt, I won't just curl up underneath my quilt. What didn't kill me didn't make me strong, But Life and I, we'll struggle on. Why does this happen to me? Why is my life such a melodrama? What medication could make me calmer? Why can't I be like the Dalai Lama? But when it's Life, who gets along? I'm falling like a piece of buttered toast, But I'm not ready to give up the ghost. I might be face-down when they ring the gong, But Life and I, we'll muddle on. So why do I still carry on, When Life just makes me want to stay in bed? I guess it's preferable to being dead. I dried my tears and put them in a song. And Life and I, we'll get along, Yes Life and I, we'll get along.
2.
UNTER DEN LINDEN Life of late had been a tired dance. Monotone. All alone. Without a spark of scandal or romance. No racier, than a glacier. Then last night, as snow fell on the linden-trees, I saw you and heard an angel choir. My heart felt big and light, like the Hindenburg, And every bit as likely to catch fire. Your eyes invited across the street. Your eyes delighted, and so two strangers came to meet. And now I'm wondering where I left my hat. Oh fancy that! I've hardly met you but nonetheless, I can't forget you, I'll dream tonight of your caress, Instead of wondering how I lost my scarf. It makes me laugh. Without my scarf Berlin is awfully cold, The snow is blanketing the street. I think of you, so beautiful, so bold, Your bed still warm with our bodies' lingering heat. The chimes are ringing across the square. My heart is singing to picture you still lying there. And now I wish I hadn't walked away. What might you say? A chance liaison has drawn me in, Romance emblazoned in lines of fire across my skin. The touch of you I simply won't resist. The ice has melted everywhere you've kissed. And so I pause, and turn my feet, And hurry through the frozen street. To mein Hut, mein Schal, und dir.
3.
03:01
GOYA We stood high on the hilltop with the city laid before us, And I imagined I would hear some loud ecstatic chorus, But the only sound I heard was from the seagulls far away, And when we spoke it only made it clear, That we had nothing left to say. That we had nothing left to say. We stood outside Kings Cross and it was not unlike that hill. The moment when you feel the world should suddenly stand still But nothing changed, the traffic kept on madly rushing by, And when I walked away you seemed confused. I still sometimes wonder why. I still sometimes wonder why. Words were whispered in the dark, Promises at far too high a cost. Wishes spoken, wishes broken, Journeys taken, only to be lost. We walked among the paintings making clever observations, And all I had in mind were hills and beds and railway stations, And wondering why I'd travelled such a long, long way to see, That the Goya, was smaller than I'd imagined, And then your phone rang. And it wasn't me. It wasn't me. It wasn't me.
4.
IN CONFIDENCE We've been friends for many years, shared our laughter and our tears, Shared our drugs and rent arrears and God-knows-what back in the day. Since we've had a drink or two... Fine. Nine! There is something I must say, though the truth may go astray, My darling girl I think your husband's... Going great for his age, has he taken up swimming? Or maybe it's rugby. I wish I could play. And he's grown a beard, it could do with some trimming. My intuition tells me that your husband might be, you know, Gosh! Won't you look at that ceiling? The drinks are expensive, but I'm happy to pay. I have a suspicion, and it's more than a feeling. My dearest one, my angel cake, I think your husband's... Going to the gym a lot, and I must say that he's looking ho.. ealthy. Like a different person, but God knows I don't like to pry. He really is a dark horse. Won't you tell him I said 'hi'. How d'you feel about divorce? I might as well be speaking Norse. I'm pretty certain that at least he's... Buying shirts from Milan, every summer when he goes. That vase is exquisite! D'you think it's Baroque? We met at a party. He was wearing his Speedos, In mid-December! But there's nobody so queer as folk yet He, he has a new air now, a fashionable flair now, Has it gone to his head? He puts me in mind of a big handsome bear now, And he certainly is very good in bed.
5.
THE CLASH OF CIVILISATIONS It's Autumn and the cluster-bombs are falling, In countries so appalling that we had to steal their oil. And hordes of little children we will never meet, Will soon be waving goodbye to their little feet, Before the tanks we sold their leaders pulverise the street. It's all too dreary! So raise a glass and sing about the 'Clash of Civilisations'. The 'good' the 'bad' the quick the dead, The terrorists under every bed. Subscribers to this theory would do well to be advised: In order for civilisations to clash, we'd have to be civilised. It's Winter and the Middle-East is burning, And billionaires are turning handsome profits from the flames. While lunatics in droves of all the different sects, Justify their murders by quoting holy texts. We heard that 'God is dead', well now I've paid my last respects. It makes one weary! So raise a glass and sing about the 'Clash of Civilisations'. The 'us' the 'them' the 'West' the 'rest', The terrorists marching ten abreast. And give us a smile, and don't be fearful, you might be surprised, In order for civilisations to clash, we'd have to civilised. I'm told that Spring must bring a new beginning. Let's vote for someone different and then see what difference it makes. We claim that we're more sinned-against than sinning. We're going to Hell in a handcart and we don't have any brakes. We're killing for reasons of State. We're killing to answer God's call. Abandoning Reason whatever the season to kill for no reason at all. It's Summer and the Bible Belt bans Darwin, For hinting that we're little more than apes who've taken airs. I find it hard to buy the thought that 'Jesus saves!' While millions of His children are little more than slaves. We're living in glass houses, but really they're just caves. I'm almost teary. So raise a glass and sing about the 'Clash of Civilisations'. The Hell-born, and the Heaven-sent, The terrorists high in Government. And gimme a kiss, and just be cheerful now that I've surmised. While fat robber-barons are raking in cash, And children are living in piles of trash, There's nothing to fear, there can't be a clash. We'll never be civilised.
6.
HEAVEN OR HELL (OR HIGHGATE) Standing in the graveyard in the sight of our dear Lord, As the ritual the good Reverend intones. Feeling very little, except rather cold and bored, In this place of beauty and bones. I'm drunk, but not drunk enough the sermon to believe, And typically, it's just started to rain. I'm pondering a mystery as I pretend to grieve, A simple question that's haunting my brain... Where do atheists go when they die? To Heaven, or Hell, or Highgate? Do they soar up to the angels on high? Or sink down into Hell, to be tortured and cry? Or simply expire, like a tired may-fly, In Heaven, or Hell, or Highgate? Are there atheists hedging their bets On their fate once they've been clapped in hard-board? Do we fade out like dropped cigarettes? Or will I be full of surprising regrets? And will I have finally settled my debts, Or will I be buried in cardboard? At three grand a plot I can't lie here to rot, When one day I meet my doom, Though it's still much cheaper than where I am living, And frankly, has twice as much room. That's London for you. When my sun finally sets in the West, Beyond Heaven, and Hell, and Highgate. There'll be no sin left to be confessed, And I won't be around to be lauded and blessed. I know – when I go – I'll be glad of the rest, So my question to you, is 'why wait?' Screw Heaven, and Hell... I'll take Highgate.
7.
MY DEAR DEAD LOVER Cold coffee still there in the mug. Notes and bills all scattered on the rug. The atmosphere is like an airlock. There's a pipe. And you weren't Sherlock. Week-old flowers, wilted; loose change on the counter. One coin for each one of your eyes. My dear, dead lover, I'm supposed to say I miss you, And I wish that I could kiss you, But that would be a lie. My dear, dead lover, Though the fun was undeniable, You weren't all that reliable. Though frankly... nor was I. You had a sense of liberation, You explored uncharted oceans, But there's no reincarnation, And there's treason in emotions. And isn't that good reason not to cry? My dear, dead lover, Now you've gone beyond the curtain, And I'm feeling pretty certain, You've made your final bow. And the sad thing is, I have never felt As close to you as I do now.
8.
02:45
A LOVELY DAY It was Sunday morning and I was stony broke. I had a gig for quite a sum down on the Sussex coast. I didn't have the train-fare, I couldn't get to work. Sometimes this job can get you down you feel like such a jerk. I got onto this website, got chatting to this bloke. He offered me some ready cash to sit and watch me stroke. Well desperate times were calling, and I was still quite pissed, Thought: 'Sod it, I'll take fifty quid for a quick one off the wrist!' Oh what a lovely day I had! I got to work on time, the weather was sublime. What a lovely day I had! And all the Kemp Town ladies were looking in their prime. A cove in Hove showed me his love tattoo. I even got the last train back to Waterloo. Things panned out just perfect, though I've a sense of shame, Not to do with being poor or going on the game. But let's just say my acting skills could earn me global fame, 'Cos I wanked my way to Brighton but I faked it when I came! Didn't see that coming, did ya? I'm a chap who doesn't shrink or shirk, 'Cos I think idle hands invite the Devil's work. Life is made for living, and life is made for fun. That's what I thought while strolling down in Brighton in the sun. The moral of this story: when things don't go as planned, Keep your chin up, don't despair, there's always cash in hand. Oh, what a lovely day I had! I strolled along the plage, I had a neck massage. What a lovely day I had! With the added satisfaction that I'd earned an honest wage. Altogether now! What a lovely day I had! I napped there in the shade, and I was fairly paid. What a lovely day I had! 'Cos when Life gave me lemons, I made lemonade. Yes I made lemonade!
9.
(DON'T) HELP THE AGED Many centuries ago, a wise man name of 'Kong', Confused us with Confucianism. He said 'respect your elders', well I'm sorry, he was wrong. The time has passed for altruism. For thanks to modern medical techniques, We're burdened by these quaint living antiques. So... Don't help the aged, speed them on their way. They've had their fun, they've had their fill, they've had their fecking day. They're like a wrinkled berry when you've squeezed out all the juice, So don't help the aged, they serve no sodding use. Whining all the time how things were better in their day, And saying all the boring things that geriatrics say, like: 'It's too loud!' and 'you're so rude!' and 'I can't see to drive.' Stop your silly whining, love, be glad you're still alive! I'm not a whinger but the Baby Boomer boom, Has used up all the real-estate and left no sodding room To swing a cat or come to that to park a bloody broom, So don't help the aged, speed them to their doom. They bought their council houses and they've driven up the price. At this rate I will never own a flat that's vaguely nice. And though it is a cliché, they do really smell of wee, Though on a drunken Friday you might say the same of me. Every time I hear some poor old dear has 'had a fall', I just wonder why the silly sod was standing up at all. Selfish gits, clinging on and cheating all their heirs, So don't help the aged. Push them down the stairs. If you are aged and you have some cash to sport, And you wonder, 'should we help the kids, or build a tennis court? Or buy a Persian carpet or head off to a resort?' Just remember it's your kids who get to cut your life-support. The Winter Fuel Allowance, well it makes my blood fair boil. Subsidising heating when we're running out of oil. They say that that which does not kill you only makes you stronger, So let them freeze, who gives a toss? They cannot vote much longer. And speaking of other people who can't vote... Don't help the homeless, let the bastards starve. We've spent our precious working lives trying our best to carve A cosy nook just for ourselves. It's down in the Algarve. So don't help the homeless, they get what they desarve. And don't you help the sickly, my God they make me squirm, Sucking on the NHS like parasitic worms. If they were meant to be alive they wouldn't be half-dead, So don't help the sickly, give me the cash instead. 'Cos in our brave society it's each man on his own. We don't need some addled codger, or some old wizened crone. Old and wise they may be but they're costing me and you, So don't help the aged. Boil them down for glue! Don't help the feeble, let the weaklings fold, As we march on to a brighter tomorrow, young and strong and bold. March with our children, as Ayn Rand foretold. Marching on the corpses of the weak, and sick, and old. Hurrah! Hurrah! Don't help the aged, the country's nearly broke. We don't need to prop up all this venerable oak, no! Cut down the dead wood, and throw it on the fire. Don't help the aged, don't help the sickly, don't help the feeble. Just let the cunts expire! It'll pay for a tax-cut. Hoorah!
10.
05:01
NIGHTFALL She puts the blood-lilies in the throat of the vase. She takes off her face, and hangs it to one side. She loses herself in the mirror a while. The hours resound through the blue empty room. She reaches up high and turns off the stars. Under the veil of sleep she must hide. Twilights and yesterdays run through her veins, And slowly she vanishes into the gloom. She falls into the night, into the deep deep waters, To give her tribute to the dark, to the darkness and its daughters, And dawn comes, ashen and still. He rises from his dreaming, Feeling the cold air caressing his face, the light from windows gleaming. He picks up the glass and he rinses it clean. His tears wash the last of her from his eyes. He turns on the news and he blinks at the screen. Flowers burn bright against grey empty skies. And he prays for the mercy of rain, And he waits until night falls again.
11.
03:57
POLAR BEAR His Daddy was a lawman and he told his son at five, You have to get a licence if you want to learn to drive, To hunt'n'fish and watch t.v. a licence is the law, But there is just one thing that you don't need a licence for... You don't need a licence to make babies, Almost anybody can do that. You don't need a licence to create a human being, All you need, his Daddy said, is fifteen minutes flat. Sometimes five will do. In my case only two. He went away to college and he partied like a dude. He got his girlfriend pregnant, she was Catholic, he was screwed. He's tempered his ambition since his family has grown, He didn't ever graduate, now he works for Vodafone. 'Cos you don't need diplomas to make babies. Just find a girl who's looking for a man. You don't need diplomas to create a human being. All you need's a bottle of tequila, and a van. Even a pick-up truck will do. Or a Ford Fiesta. Here's the last thing his Daddy said before he died: Son, the Lord wants you to multiply. Do you really want some goddamn chimpanzees to claim the Earth? Then stick it in and don't ask why! Don't ask why! 'Cos you don't need a reason to make babies. Get your cock out son and soldier on. You don't need a reason to create more human beings. Just hope we find another planet when this one is gone. There's a polar bear in Oxford Street, Yet we still fly Ryanair. Now I know what you're thinking, 'this man' is really me. Well my friend you couldn't be more wrong. For I have dodged that bullet, and for that I thank the Lord. He made me gay so I could write this song. Everybody sing along! You don't need a licence to make babies. All you need's some natural know-how, You don't need a licence to create a human being, So get your clothes off people, and make some babies now! Make-a-little-baby now! Get your clothes off people, and make some babies, now!
12.
04:07
M.S.M. If you're fond of surreptitious fondling, And for willy you have quite a yen, Or some frottage in a cottage where the light-bulb is low wattage: You're a 'man-who-has-sex-with-men'. If you go to church and end up kneeling, And you finish with a loud 'amen!' Though the sermon was appealing it's the priest who was revealing You're a 'feller-who-has-sex-with-men'. Or are you a famous football player? Not a gayer, just a striker. Though the balls you're best at handling, Are mostly dangling from a biker. Or a hitchhiker. Do you go to gay bars oot in Glasgow, And you hope your girlfriend disnae ken? If you feel a twinge of guilt but you like what's under the kilt, You're a 'bugger-who-has-sex-with-men'. Cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock. (rpt) And dosey-doe. Strip the Willow. Change partners. Are you some kind of religious figure, Or a sultan in the Middle-East? Next to godliness is cleanness but you're partial to a penis, And you won't be starving at the feast. Are you someone who enjoys the man-porn, Or a sauna full of steam perhaps? If some poppers and cocaine'll lead to just a spot of anal, You're a 'feller-who-has-sex-with-chaps'. And you're sure your wife has no idea. Do you fear the news would spite her? Or are you scared that if she found out, It really might excite her? You might invite her. There are folks who would call you 'bisexual'. You'll deny it with a manly roar. You may bellow like a bison, but you suck just like a Dyson, You're a classic little Kinsey 4. Cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock. (rpt) And dosey-doe. The Gay Gordons. Promenade. I remember you from Glastonbury, There's a reason that you're called 'Big Ben'. For your groin was getting restive in the freedom of the festival, And tenting time and time again. And you always say this is your 'first time'. And you always claim you're 'strictly top'. And you boast of cunnilingus while you take a pair of fingers... Please just stop pretending. Sexuality is one big rainbow, I meet fellers like you now and then. And I certainly don't judge you, and I really don't begrudge you, 'Cos I'd just be getting one in ten, Without men-who-have-sex-with-men. Cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock. (rpt) Cock cock! Cock cock! Cock cock! Cock cock cock.
13.
HIGH HEELS BY THE SINK A pair of high heels by the sink, I'm washing off the blood. Fake blood. And starting now to think just maybe... this isn't a real job. I'm drinking Spanish wine, it's only half-past nine. A.M. But I'm still on foreign time, and I'm feeling fine. God knows, it's Happy Hour somewhere. The made-up face from my make-up case, is somebody I do not know. My aspiration's just a brief vacation, but where could I afford to go? I measure out my life with dry-cleaning bills, and when I can't manage these, I just measure out a line – of caffeine pills – and spray all my kit with Febreze. Ah Febreze! All of my clothing and most of my plants are forever infested with glitter. I spend endless hours on Twitter just trying to think up some smart thing to say. I'm fighting a constant war with myself, not to be angry and bitter, But when your dreams have all gone down the shitter it's easy to end up that way. Hey, hey. Laddered tights and tangled lives, broken hearts and then just broke. Stony. 'Don't you fret, it's only money!' Ha! That might be funny if I was still twenty. Like playing in the sand-pit if the sand-pit were a snake-pit. Bitches. Smiling, joking and pretending it's all grand. I don't know, how long I can take it. The failed sobriety, constant anxiety, all fuelled by the anticipation, Of no security, and no pension scheme, and the debts of a developing nation. I'm dragging my gigantic suitcase-on-wheels over cobblestones. Why can't they see? These meandering twats who get in my way, don't they know that my soundcheck's at three? And it's nearly three! Imagine the other lives I could have: a lawyer, a dancer, a yachtsman. What's tragic is if I get cancer I know my instant reaction will be: My show about cancer might finally get me that five-star review in The Scotsman. At this point it's either that or a gameshow and they won't put me on t.v. Hee. Bloody Q.I. All our wishes and our schemes come to nothing and it's sad. Boo hoo. We're artists, we live your dreams. No wonder we're all going mad. No wonder we're all going mad. No wonder... Scooby-doo! Oh yeah.
14.
01:17
NARCISSUS Narcissus, Narcissus, you're hardly capricious, Your love is as true as the sea and the sky. We're of the same kind so I've no doubt you'll find me Enjoying myself by myself, by-and-by. Self-love is best, this is quite undeniable. Self-love is love at a one-to-one ratio, But since at my age I'm no longer so pliable; I've had to give up on the auto-fellatio.

credits

released July 19, 2018

Songs by Dusty Limits & Michael Roulston
Recorded & Mixed at The Cowshed Studio by James Johnston
Produced by Michael Roulston
Mastered by Stevan Krakovic

Keyboards & backing vocals: Michael Roulston
Percussion & backing vocals: Jonathan Kitching
Guitars, banjo & backing vocals: Joseph Warwick
Clarinet and saxophones: Chris Rand
Double bass: Tom Mansi
Violin: Laci Olah
Cello: Laura Moody
Trombone: Chris Fry

Photography: James Millar
Design: Snookie Mono

www.dustylimits.co.uk
www.michaelroulston.co.uk

Twitter: @DustyLimits @michaelroulston

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Michael Roulston UK

Michael Roulston is a composer, accompanist, arranger and actor-musician with a passion for cabaret.

www.michaelroulston.co.uk

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