1. Without Tears

From the recordings Banishment and Hard To Find

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In a lifetime we should have time to reflect on the tears we cry as well as the mystery of laughter. It is impossible to contemplate a worthwhile life without tears. I see it as a positive song that uses biblical images to consider issues of fate and how we value experience.

Vocal: Tom Fairnie
Harmony vocal: Jane Fairnie, Karen Dietz
Guitar: Tom Fairnie
2nd Guitar: Mark Barnett
Percussion: Robin Brill
Bass: Ken Kennedy
Slide Dobro: Bruce Hogg


Without Tears

The road is just a memory
Where sunsets disappear
In the silence of a photograph
That’s faded by the years
To the colour of the old days
The darkness that we drew
In the dust on the horizon
When the sky was blood and blue

Headlights stretch before you
As a thousand falling stars
Drawn down from Heaven
Into midnight’s battle scars
And the emptiness inside you
Is a cancer of the heart
A symptom of pretending
That you’ve never been apart

But it’s a road that you’ll remember until it disappears
A song that you’d forgotten, ringing down the years
A Mardi Gras parade
A silent masquerade
The river where you played
That said there’s no journey here without tears

Fourteen miles to the border
And three days out from home
The neon at the crossroads
Is the promise to my bones
The radio’s a highway
Through this desert of the lost
Where Mescal dreams and thorns might lead you
On to Pentecost

Broken billboards beckon
Like thieves upon the hill
To lead you where temptation
Is meant to test your will
You’ve got one less tomorrow
And one more yesterday
But you hope there’s more behind you
Than tears along the way

But it’s a road that you’ll remember…

© Without Tears words & music by Tom Fairnie, Bob Shields, Jane Fairnie & Martin Boland 7th November 2005
With acknowledgement to the song Via Dolorosa © Martin Boland, Tom Fairnie & Robin Horn 26th February 2005

“There is nothing left to learn of tears.”
The poet hasn’t heard that one in years:
It’s funny how a change of fears
Can prompt the ghosts to re-appear
And set these angels free.

Butterfly In Autumn © Bob Shields