"As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still" as written by and Robert/ratledge Wyatt....
Here's a song for 'clean machine Kevin Majorca'
He's found his own way of 'live in Majorca'
Don't walk, don't drink
Don't talk, just think
Heaven on Earth he'll get there soon

Kevin's highly unlikely to get ill
At least as long as he lies perfectly still
He eats brown rice and fish - how nice
Heaven on Earth, he'll get there soon

Good and bad go so well together in his tunes
He wrote a song and called it the weather - or not
He's Lucky or Pozzo, Estragon and Vladimir
Waiting for something that's already there
Heaven on Earth or is it the moon?

Why, why, why is he sleeping?
Why is the trumpeter weeping?
Kevin maybe asking to get back into my dreams
His voice is so weak now and the customers are screaming
Heavens above, we can't hear what you're saying

We've got something to tell you
Hold on we wanted to thrill you
Reckons it's so nice and it will make you feel better
Something in the nature of a Lullabye Letter

Kevin on Earth there'll be one
Kevin on Earth make room for one
Kevin himself he'll be in
Kevin on Earth, be here
Or you could be now
Or is he found, in Herne Bay...


Lyrics submitted by Chip Spitz

"As Long as He Lies Perfectly Still" as written by Robert Wyatt Michael Roland Ratledge

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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  • 0
    General CommentAfter the Wilde Flowers dissolved, the Soft Machine arose with drummer/singer Robert Wyatt, organist Mike Ratledge, bassist/singer Kevin Ayers, and guitarist/singer Daevid Allen. Allen, an Aussie, was denied re-entry into England due to visa troubles, so the Soft Machine continued as a trio. After the first album and hectic touring, Kevin Ayers felt burnt out and decided to embark on a life of relative ease and comfort; this song was a sweet dedication to him.

    I don't know a lot about the scene, but I've pieced together a few things:

    Ayers' birthplace was Herne Bay, Kent, England. Majorca is a sunny, pleasant Spanish island which I assume Ayers vacationed at--he took up residence there for a while, too.

    Lucky, Pozzo, Estragon and Vladimir are all characters from the play "Waiting for Godot," which ties in with "Waiting for something that's already there", a line from Ayers' "Why Are We Sleeping?"

    Much of the rest of the song is references to Ayers-written lyrics:
    "Good and bad go so well together in his tunes/He wrote a song and called it the weather or not..." are nods to the "Lullaby Letter."
    The entire "Why is he sleeping/why is the trumpeter weeping" line is a nod to "Why Are We Sleeping?", while the next verse ("we've got something to tell you") is another reference to "Lullaby Letter".
    bugmenot123on August 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSome good spot-on facts in that last post, but I think there's a little more. I believe the story goes something like this: Kevin Ayers didn't enjoy the US tour they did with Hendrix, and developed a habit of just lying on the floor in his hotel room and doing nothing. He did eat brown rice and this was all part of an illness avoidance strategy. The strains of touring led to Kevin's departure and a near break-up for the entire band.

    References are made to so many of Kevin's songs, but I can't tell if Wyatt wrote this song affectionately or if he was having a dig. "Why is the trumpeter weeping?" seems to be asking what the hell Kevin's words actually meant, if anything. Whatever was in Wyatt's mind when he wrote these words, they continued to play on eachother's solo albums, so no long-lasting damage seems to have been done.

    The song itself kicks some arse though.
    light vesselon July 28, 2010   Link

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