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I don’t know about other people, but in my case, writing a song usually begins with a musical idea, and the lyrics arrive later in dribs and drabs. Lager always helps in this situation, but what also contributed to Swans Flying was a mental picture of a relationship taking place over a summer spent somewhere remote like highland Scotland. The man worries he’ll never hold on to the woman and as autumn approaches, she grows ever more restless until one day she’s gone.

lyrics

2. Swans Flying

Another day spent by the window.
Watch the weather turning sideways through the year.
I always know before the leaves do,
‘cos the sky’s all written-on with swans,
and there’s air beneath your shoes.

Swans flying in a straight line,
high above this house of mine.
I don’t look, I just have to turn to you,
and your face says you’re leaving.
Little pattern in a big white sky,
those wings that tumble slowly by,
those clouds...
I can read the signs
(swans flying in a straight line).

This screen has never seemed so empty.
Shoes flutter down at last, now they’re so empty too.
You should go barefoot for the journey,
and dance across the autumn sky,
with the north wind at your tail.

Swans flying in a straight line, etc.

I know that change is a part of life,
it’s a sign of life, but it hurts
on the day that it comes true.
No lights will shine from these window panes
till the wind and rain have destroyed
every trace of me and you.

And when the years have changed their meanings,
and what we shared is overgrown by separate lives,
sometimes when I’m between two buildings
I’ll accidentally see the sky,
and I remember those
swans flying in a straight line, etc.

I know that change is a part of life,
it’s a sign of life, but it hurt
on the day that it came true.
Maybe one day we will meet again
in the wind and rain,
but who knows if it’s me
and if it’s you?

Swans flying in a straight line, etc.

credits

from Follow The Gleam, released January 22, 2013
Composed by Heneghan & Lawson

Ben Heneghan: vocals, keyboards
Ian Lawson: piano, rhodes
Mike Heneghan: bass
Andrew Lawson: drums
Sylvia Strand: backing vocals
Kat Squire: backing vocals
Hwyel Maggs: guitar
Dan Jones: guitar
Gethin Liddington: trumpet
Gareth Roberts: trombone
Lee Goodall: alto sax
Osian Roberts: tenor sax

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The Boo-Hooray Theory Cardiff, UK

The Boo-Hoory Theory is led by composers Ben Heneghan and Ian Lawson. The band records and performs original Heneghan & Lawson songs with a 'classic' 11-piece, line up.

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