CONTRABAND (©Words and music by Paul F. Cowlan)

Good vibrations, lost and found on the motorways and borders between Tuscany and Hesse. There’s no set tariff for this kind of import anyway.


We took our chances with it down at the border.
Didn’t pay the duty that we ought to pay.
Told the soldiers that we couldn’t afford it.
They didn’t listen anyway.

Driving in the rain, neither of us said a word of it,
Just kept staring at the road ahead.
Both of us pretending that we’d never even heard of it,
There was nothing to be said?

Warm smiles, a candle on the table, hills beneath the moon,
Bright fires and Tuscan fables. Hazy afternoons.


If we’d shared it with them down on the border,
They’d lock it in a cupboard, throw the keys away.
long faces and short orders.
They turned us over, didn’t they?

Read the message on your own front gate.
‘It’s too early to be born too late!’
They find it difficult to contemplate
that they’re not the only ones who know what’s going on.


They were heavy with us down on the border.
In their uniforms of green and grey.
Tongue in cheek we said we couldn’t possibly afford it.
And they let us get away.

Nothing alcoholic, no camcorder,
Nothing they could specify in any way,
Papers stamped, and all the documents in order.
Just a little something we forgot to say.
We gotta, gotta, gotta got away.

If they read the message on their own front gate
they’d find it easier to contemplate.
But it’s far too little and much too late
to guess what’s going on.

We’re away and gone!