(© Words and music by Paul F. Cowlan)
The strangest song I’ve ever written. The words and title came out of the blue on June 25th 2001 and were entered into my notebook without full comprehension. A tune I’d written, and forgotten, years before suddenly re-surfaced on August 25th, and fitted the lyrics perfectly. The chords virtually wrote themselves on September 5th. Six days later it was September 11th.
The killers sleep in peace tonight.
They praise the wrong, they guard the right.
They keep the sacred flame alight
and dream their stolen dreams.
The prison doors are open wide.
The killers snuggle down inside
and whisper of the light denied
when they stretch out a hand.
The workings of the world are strange;
the sun and moon are out of range.
They draw a bead and count the changes
under their disguise.
When Past and Future disagree
they bring a little certainty.
Rub out the truth, and carelessly
eject the magazine.
A perfect silence is their voice.
They spill the blood, they make the choice.
The demons and the gods rejoice
and draw aside the veil.
The killers come from yesterday,
returning fears you’d thrown away,
and listen, smiling, when you say
you’d like to change the theme.
The murderers are walking free.
They flout the law because they see
that crime and punishment should be
a weight in either hand.
Just pray they never visit you.
Or maybe pray that, if they do,
they’ll find that you’re a killer too,
who answers with a blade.