The Stick Figure Saints

by Duncan Gillies

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about

This is the music from two EPs, All The Wrong Places and Small Crooked Smile. All The Wrong Places is more folky and Small Crooked Smile more rocky. All songs have been written by me, Duncan Gillies, and recorded at home. They were mixed and mastered by Nick Taylor at Sosol Sound and Lance Powell. Artwork by Yasmina Gillies.

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released April 29, 2013

All songs Duncan Gillies.

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The Stick Figure Saints Auckland, New Zealand

My name is Duncan Gillies and I have written these songs. I have recorded them in a home studio set-up and have been helped along the way by multi-instrumentalist Angel Joseph Gordon. The tracks were mixed and mastered by Nick Taylor at Sosol Sound and Lance Powell. ... more

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Track Name: At The End Of Time
Don’t ask, you don’t get
But I ain’t finished asking yet
Long time, but I can wait
Whatever happens put it down to fate
Count the seconds, watch them fly
Never get them back once they’ve passed you by
Count my blessings, count my crimes
Add them all up at the end of time

Cold wind, warm breeze
Watch it all unwind in the sycamore trees
Summers vanish without a trace
Winter’s always waiting to take its place
Count the days one by one
Someone will keep counting when your days are done
Count my blessings, count my crimes
Add them all up at the end of time

Paint a picture, black and white
Never quite the same in a different light
Build a fire, flame and smoke
Never too hot till you stand too close
Count the days, count the nights
Count the fires burning bright
Count my blessings, count my crimes
Add them all up at the end of time

Take this book and pass it round
Spread the message from town to town
The road is long but the way is clear
If you arrive first I’ll see you there

Search for strength, long for love
Gonna put my faith in the powers above
High hopes, high stakes
Hope God listens to he who waits
Count the beads on this chain
When I’ve finished counting I’m gonna to start again
Count my blessings, count my crimes
Add them all up at the end of time

Always running, always trying
Doing what we can to stay ahead of time
Time to sleep, time to work
Gotta keep fighting for your pile of dirt
Count the years, watch them pass
Only lesson learned is that it all can’t last
Count my blessings, count my crimes
Add them all up at the end of time
Track Name: Come And Take My Hand
My cards are on the table
I’ve got nothing up my sleeve
Thought I was on to something big
But didn’t know who to believe
I always thought I’d go down fighting
Now I’m back where I began
Now I’m reaching out to you girl
Won’t you come and take my hand

If Hell’s for the unholy
And Heaven’s for the forgiven
It makes this long and lonely life
That much harder for the living
God knows I’ve made mistakes
Things are quite the way we planned
Now I’m reaching out to you girl
Won’t you come and take my hand

Known exactly what I wanted
Known just what I had to say
But then sat alone in silence
Watched it all just slip away
Prisoner of my indecision
Seems it’s always been that way
You know I’ve wasted so much time
I just can’t wait another day

I tried so hard but in the end
I didn’t know where to begin
It seems with every breath I take
I shed another layer of skin
Not expecting any answers
I just hope you understand’
Now I’m reaching out to you girl
Won’t you come and take my hand

Known exactly what I wanted
Known just what I had to say
But then sat alone in silence
Watched it all just slip away
Prisoner of my indecision
Seems it’s always been that way
You know I’ve wasted so much time
I just can’t wait another day

My cards are on the table
I’ve got nothing up my sleeve
Thought I was on to something big
But didn’t know who to believe
I always thought I’d go down fighting
Now I’m back where I began
Now I’m reaching out to you girl
Won’t you come and take my hand
Track Name: Cardboard Castles
Cardboard castles and sticks and stones
I’m beating my drum with a dead man’s bones
The captain set sail on a sea of stones
Said nobody sleeps till the dead man moans

Bad luck boys and a crab apple crow
Evil wind blowing, half moon hanging low
Picture in my pocket of a girl I used to know
Heading out into the waters where the dead men go

It’s a cold dark place where nobody has a friend
And if I make it home alive I’ll never leave that girl again

Six days at sea sailing in a straight line
Wind began to howl and the waves began to climb
Captain he cracked, drank himself blind
Singing songs about the dead men and the life he left behind

Seasick sailors and a bottle full of flame
Wind screaming like a siren in apocalypse rain
The captain’s overboard, the vicar’s insane
And I’m saying my prayers in that pretty girl’s name

When you’re hanging on to life it seems the fight will never end
But if I make it home alive I’ll never leave that girl again

It’s water for the weak, a word for the wise
A penny for your thoughts and a dollar for your lies
I longed for a life between a perfumed pair of thighs
To drift off to sleep to a pretty girl’s sighs

The sinner can’t be saved no matter how he tries
The saint’s fate’s sealed, it’s written in the skies
The sailor’s lost at sea among the dead man’s cries
I lost my heart in that pretty girl’s eyes

I told her I’d be back, I just didn’t tell her when
And if I make it home alive I’ll never leave that girl again

Seems I’ve travelled so far from my maker’s guiding hand
How I ended up alone I don’t completely understand
Am I just a passing thought in some grand majestic plan
Another drifting soul a thousand miles from land

I could say I’m not scared, I could try to pretend
But if I make it home alive I’ll never leave that girl again
Track Name: It's Raining Outside
It’s raining outside
I’m watching people on the street
They make the world go round
People listen when they speak
It seems to get ahead in life
You gotta make a lot of noise
But I can’t even remember
The sound of my own voice

I didn’t mean to be so long
Turned around and you were gone

The world goes rushing by
This train it slows but never stops
And once you get on board boy
There’s no chance of getting off
The people stand and wave
As we go from town to town
But what passes slowly by one day
Can return to cut you down

I didn’t mean to be so long
Turned around and you were gone

And if I don’t get back by tomorrow night
There’s no telling if I’ll get back at all
Because I’ve been following a fading light
And now there’s almost no light at all

I remember sitting in a church
Safe by my father’s side
A cold kingdom carved in stone
While the fires raged outside
I remember sitting in the church
Felt God’s presence in the air
And as the world goes rushing by
I wonder if he was even there

I didn’t mean to be so long
Turned around and you were gone

Well these winding roads they wind back
To the place I once called home
Where the walls are caving in
And the garden’s overgrown
I used to think these winding roads
They led to paradise itself
Till I followed them one day
And they took me some place else

I didn’t mean to be so long
Turned around and you were gone
Track Name: I Found God In All The Wrong Places
I was looking for a reason
I was looking for an answer
I was trying to draw a line
Between Capricorn and Cancer
I was searching for a sign
In the firmament above
Waiting for a star
To guide me to his love

But I found God in all the wrong places
Cheap Champagne and pretty girls’ faces
I can’t say for sure if I know what God’s grace is
But I found God in all the wrong places

I went to church on Sunday
And I knelt and prayed
I begged for forgiveness
And for my soul to save
I confessed all my sins
Though I enjoyed them at the time
And I tried to think pure thoughts
When they turned the water into wine

But I found God in all the wrong places
Heavy metal music and high-speed chases
I can’t say for sure if I know what God’s grace is
But I found God in all the wrong places

I beat my chest three times
And I held my head in shame
I nailed myself upon a cross
To try to feel his pain
I starved myself and hid in caves
Till I was not much more than bones
I walked out in the desert
Made myself a bed of stones

But I found God in all the wrong places
Peak-hour traffic and empty parking spaces
I can’t say for sure if I know what God’s grace is
But I found God in all the wrong places

Well I tried to read the Bible
But it was all interpretation
I tried to talk to God
But it was a one-way conversation
I hoped that he’d reveal himself
And lead me into the light
Till I walked away in darkness
Thinking he’s not the revealing type

But I found God in all the wrong places
Late night card games, a pair of queens and three aces
I can’t say for sure if I know what God’s grace is
But I found God in all the wrong places
Track Name: Down
I’m going down, where the dirt road ends
I’m going down, where the river bends
I’m going down, past the railroad tracks
I’m going down, past the shotgun shacks
I’m going down, I’m going down

I’m going down, where everybody knows my name
I’m going down, where nobody sees my shame
I’m going down, gonna shake theses shackles off
I’m going down, me and Raskolnikov
I’m going down, I’m going down, I’m going down

I’m going down, where the dead men go
I’m going down, where the mad men crow
I’m going down, where the prophets cry
I’m going down, where the angels sigh
I’m going down, I’m going down

I’m going down, you know I’ve been given the word
I’m going down, by the mynah and the mocking bird
I’m going down, by the sparrow with the serpent’s head
I’m going down, God spoke in every word they said
I’m going down, I’m going down, I’m going down


I’m going down, where the dirt road ends
I’m going down, where the river bends
I’m going down, past the railroad tracks
I’m going down, cause I ain’t coming back
I’m going down, I’m going down
I’m going down, I’m going down
I’m going down, I’m going down
I’m going down
Down
Down
Down
Track Name: Tired
I’m tired of this town, I’m tired of this street
Tired of all the talking, I’m too tired to speak
I’m searching for trust in a world of deceit
What I already trust I no longer seek
I’m tired of being told to have a voice all of my own

I’m tired of feeling nervous, tired of the pain in my chest
I’d go see a doctor but I’m tired of all the tests
I’m thinking about a girl I once tried to undress
She laughed in my face, I can’t remember the rest
I’m tired of this body with a mind all of its own

It seems I find more trouble every time I turn around
Behind every corner someone’s there to knock me down
I’m tired of always having to pick myself up off the ground
I’m tired of being tired, I’ve been too long in this town

I’m tired of wasting time when I’ve got no time to waste
But how I waste my time is just a matter of taste
I’m tired of finding answers to all the problems that I’ve faced
Tired of finding out that my love has been misplaced
I’m tired of people measuring the love that I’ve shown

I’m tired of all my mornings spent the same old way
Tired of lonely nights and tired of wasted days
Tired of always searching for something nice to say
Tired of waiting round for all the nice people to go away
Tired of always reaping everything I’ve sewn

It seems I find more trouble every time I turn around
Behind every corner someone’s there to knock me down
I’m tired of always having to pick myself up off the ground
I’m tired of being tired, I’ve been too long in this town

I’m tired of taking orders, letting others take the lead
I’m living in the slow lane, too tired to pick up speed
There’s people in this world who have everything they need
I guess it could be luck, I like to think it’s greed
I’m tired of people telling me of all the chances that I’ve blown
Track Name: I Won't Be Seeing Her Again
She had raven black hair and a small crooked smile
Claws like a cat and the face of a child
I tried to warn myself of the trouble that she'd bring
But she was hard to ignore, like a kick in the shin
Still I think about her every now and then
But I don't suppose I'll be seeing her again

It seems so much about her now is all lost in space
Like the small of her back and the lines on her face
Her small cold hands, her snow-white skin
It gnaws away inside of me like a festering sin
She was looking for a lover, I would have settled for a friend
But I don't suppose I'll be seeing her again

She had a cold, cruel laugh and a smoker's cough
Evil green eyes, but her skin was soft
She had a body straight from heaven but her heart was forged in hell
Which one controlled her mind was sometimes hard to tell
She said I could buy her soul, I said I don't have much to spend
But I don't suppose I'll be seeing her again

She said she'd watched me from afar, I said I preferred to look within
She smothered me with kisses, I tried to shed my skin
I'd built myself a world out of all my shame and fear
All her love and devotion were just too much to bear
She said we were made for each other, I said we'd better fix that then
But I don't suppose I'll be seeing her again

She said she'd always loved me, I said I locked it up inside
She said she had the key, I said that was no great prize
She said she felt she knew me, I said I didn't know myself
She said that was just what she'd expected to hear
I said I'd expected something else
I asked myself aloud how clear a message must I send
But I don't suppose I'll be seeing her again

She tried to make me love her, she played me like a game
She tried to make me suffer, to me it was all the same
She tried to make me weep, she tried to make me laugh
She said she wanted all my loving but I only gave her half
I gave her five-point-five when she thought she was a ten
But I don't suppose I'll be seeing her again

Our love has had its wings clipped though it never really soared
She was looking for excitement, I did my best to keep her bored
She said she wanted romance, I said it didn't suit my look
She said she wanted mystery, I said she'd find it in a book
She said I wasn't worth the effort, I said there's always other men
But I don't suppose I'll be seeing her again
Track Name: I've Done A Terrible Thing
And so it comes to this
Alone here in the dark
If I could I’d just confess
But don’t know where to start
Was I always on this path
But chose not to see the signs
Maybe it’s my imagination
I’d say I’m paying for my crimes
I’ve lied to you girl more than once
That’s the least of all my sins
I’ve done a terrible thing
Girl I’ve done a terrible thing

Nobody ever sees
In theory nobody ever knows
I could walk these streets without a care
Instead the fear it only grows
I feel every eye upon me
Trying to peek inside my mind
Maybe it’s my imagination
I’d say I’m paying for my crimes
If I could I’d lose these childhood chains
And shed this serpent’s skin
I’ve done a terrible thing
Girl I’ve done a terrible thing

It seems every time I pull this thread
I tie another thousand knots
I know everything is for a reason
I just can’t connect the dots
So I walk alone, retrace my steps
Like I’ve done a thousand times
Maybe it’s my imagination
I’d say I’m paying for my crimes
We let the world see what we want
And we hide the truth within
I’ve done a terrible thing
Girl I’ve done a terrible thing
Track Name: Empty Bowl
An empty bowl can carry fresh water
Every girl in the world is somebody’s daughter
I’ve carried this weight, my heart like a boulder
So come take my coat and wrap it round your shoulder

Well who gets to choose who lives and who’s a martyr
Sometimes I wish this fire’d never started
It seems every day the world’s getting colder
So come take my coat and wrap it round your shoulder

Because it’s cold outside, I hear the wind in the trees
Stay close by my side, let’s walk in the evening breeze

Will we all rise up, throw the gates wide open
Will you stay with me, when the world leaves me broken
You’re looking younger girl, I’m just feeling older
So come take my coat, wrap it round your shoulder

Because it’s cold outside, I hear the wind in the trees
Stay close by my side, let’s walk in the evening breeze

Every child in the world should know a life of laughter
The days just disappear, why grow up any faster
I thought I understood but lived my life like a soldier
So come take my coat and wrap it round my shoulder

Will we all be saved if we beg for forgiveness
Does God wipe the slate clean or is it just bad for business
I got a love for you girl, it smokes and it smolders
So come take my coat, wrap it round your shoulders
Track Name: I Fucked Up
I was feeling kind of lucky, like I’d finally cracked the code
I’d learned to turn a trick or two, I guess it must have showed
I should have seen it coming but was looking the other way
Now the tables have been turned, guess it’s the price I have to pay

I fucked up, I fucked up
I’d like to say I did my best but in the end I made a mess
I fucked up, I fucked up
I got in way too deep, my self-destruction’s now complete
I fucked up

I’m trying to minimise the damage, trying to keep it all hid
It wouldn’t be so bad if I remembered what I did
Once again I tell myself I’ll learn from my mistakes
But my lessons are piling up like a pile of broken plates

I fucked up, I fucked up
It should come as no surprise, it’s the story of my life
I fucked up, I fucked up
I got in way too deep, my self-destruction’s now complete
I fucked up

Everybody’s got a hard-luck story to tell
We’ve all known disappointment at the wishing well
Some people get what they want, the rest take what is left
I’m just stumbling through life one day to the next

You could say it doesn’t matter and try to ease my pain
Say you should have helped me out and try to share the blame
I could take it as a warning, see it as a sign
Say it won’t happen again but it’s just a matter of time

Cause I fucked up, I fucked up
I could say sorry, act contrite but I wouldn’t even get that right
I fucked up, I fucked up
I got in way too deep, my self-destruction’s now complete
I fucked up

No one ever remembers the good things that we do
They sift through all the scandal, say the worst of it is true
I took comfort in the knowledge that I’m not the only one
Till I opened up the newspaper and thought my God what have I done

I fucked up, I fucked up
They say this life is what you make, my life is just one big mistake
I fucked up, I fucked up
There’s no more turning back, it’s a fast and hard cold fact
I fucked up, I fucked up
I’m begging on my knees, would someone crucify me please
I fucked up, I fucked up
I got in way too deep, my self-destruction’s now complete
I fucked up
Track Name: I Never Found My Way
Six inches too tall, two hours too late
Cut me down to size and knock me into shape
Too tired to fight, too dumb to give in
Nearing the point where the punishment is sweeter than the sin

Wipe away the cobwebs, sweep the floor clean
Bleed the bank dry like a human slot machine
I got debts I can’t pay, I got goods I can’t sell
You think you know what people want but you never can tell

Tried to climb the mountain, ended down in the hole
Walking round in the dark in the graveyard of the soul
Followed the light till the light began to fade
So I kept on walking but I never found my way

Search the internet for my latest inspiration
Do the Devil’s work, read the Book of Revelation
I know right from wrong, I just don’t know how to choose
In love with a machine I don’t even know how to use

Tried to turn my back on the age of exploitation
Politics of money and human degradation
I’m full of good intentions, full of wild desires
My mind’s a short-circuited mass of tangled wires

Justify the pleasure, try to glorify the pain
Every time I get a taste I try to give it up again
Take it all for granted like it’s just a lucky break
Take the moral high ground when there’s no ground left to take

I’m walking round in rags, got to get some new clothes
I’m speaking in tongues, seems nobody knows
Everything I do now needs an explanation
Still got high hopes, just lower expectations

Tried to climb the mountain, ended down in the hole
Walking round in the dark in the graveyard of the soul
Followed the light till the light began to fade
So I kept on walking but I never found my way

Make the problem fit the answer, make the cure hard to quit
Complicate the details, cut the facts to fit
I’m searching for the secret, what nobody every sees
Why what’s hard to explain is easy to believe

Angel on my shoulder whispers in my ear
Tells me all sorts of things no sane man wants to hear
He’s put a price on my soul, says nothing comes for free
But I got myself a ticket in God’s great lottery

Tried to climb the mountain, ended down in the hole
Walking round in the dark in the graveyard of the soul
Followed the light till the light began to fade
So I kept on walking but I never found my way