Carmina de Nihil

by The Bureaucrats

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD in retro silver-foil sleeve, reminiscent of an iconic Western Australian double-AA side single release. The hard-copy version also includes a short bonus track, St John's Square (reprise) not available on digital download.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Carmina de Nihil via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Get all 5 The Bureaucrats releases available on Bandcamp and save 25%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Carmina de Nihil, Old Baxter, Far Horizons / Nosferatu double-AA side, the hotelkeepers' friend, and Mirror Man. , and , .

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about

Songs about feminism, existentialism and all-round nothingness from the world's finest purveyors of dark and dirty swamp rhythms.

credits

released August 22, 2014

The musicians appearing on this release are…

Rachael Aquilina (strings)
Peter Baxendale (mandolin, vox)
Elk Bell (vox)
Libby Browning (double bass)
Maree Cole (vox)
Shaun Corlson (vox)
Shaun Hoffmann (drums)
robbie jalapeno (vox, guitars, keys)
Stephan Lund (flute, vox)
Marty Pervan (horns)
Stuart Robertson (drums, percussion)
Cleo Robins (vox)
Imogen Robins (vox)
Damien Snow (electric bass, vox)

All songs written by robbie jalapeno and arranged by robbie jalapeno & the fabulous band of faceless bureaucrats. Recorded by Derek Hall & robbie jalapeno at Wrong Sea Studios, Willetton and latenite studios, Bayswater, Western Australia. Mixed by Derek Hall at Behan Street Studios, Bentley, Western Australia. Pre-mastered by Darren Halifax at Satellite Studios, Burswood, Western Australia. Post-digital mastering by Andrew J Robins at latenite studios, Bayswater, Western Australia.

Many thanks to studio benefactor, Shaun Hoffmann and all you talented musicians. Love and thanks to Tracey, Cleo and Imogen xxx. Without you, this would not have happened.

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The Bureaucrats Perth, Australia

World's finest purveyors of dark and dirty swamp rhythms.

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Track Name: I Have Nothing
Was it you that told someone some big nothing today?
Hide that nothingness in some meaningless way
Jargon-tongue, empty head, withered heart
Don’t you worry now you can still blame the world at large

And do you know or can you see what you’ve done?
This complicated maze of excuses I’ve been led on
Never knowing, never seeing what was done
The talk is piling up and the deed is nearly done.

I was wrong
I stood and waited for something to happen ...
Now I have nothing
I have nothing

Can you understand? Do you listen? Do you care?
A moment’s reflection can ease a lifetime of despair
Instead we quiver, we cower and we hate
Nailed to the dollar we stumble forward to our fate ...
Track Name: Far Horizons
Far horizons beckon their lonely fingers trailing in the wind
A strident fear strikes through the heart, the heat of doubt sears your flesh, bone and skin
Hidden out of sight a promise of all that you want or you could need
To fulfil your destiny to these far horizons you must take heed

Come with me
Come with me and I’ll fill your life with all that you could hope or desire
Come with me and I’ll save you from all your troubles and all of your strife

A thousand years it seems you've waited for a spit of hope to appear
That elusive dreamless place you feel no hate no want no pain no fear
So close so real they seem you reach out to them but then they disappear
And the fading mists reveal the broken promises of a dim and dusty dream ,,,

Come with me …

He stood there at the edge of his life (Follow me)
The ground littered with forks and lies (Hidden Valley)
Ahead the light, the truth, the love, the light (Golden treasures)
The whole lot wrapped up with the keys to the lost city ...

Come with me ...
Track Name: Carmina de Nihil
Carmina felt of all the things that a woman should be
Hers was not a life of glamour and beauty
Such a plain and clever girl
Rather hers was a life of knowledge reason and words
None was the thing to which she could not apply
The power of her mind

With just a turn of a phrase backed by her sabre-toothed wit
She'd make the bishops cry. The nuns would cower on their knees

Brother Stephen spent his days preaching the word of the lord
He'd never met a student like Nina before
He couldn't understand her
With her pale sweet eyes and her untamed locks
She was the perfect canvas upon which any man could write
The story of his life

And yet the power embodied within the spirit of this girl
Brother Stephen was sure could unlock the mysteries of the world …

So Brother Stephen was faced with a terrible choice
To nurture this child and give her the voice
She so desperately needed to make her own way
In this cold, cruel world

Or he could throw his hat in with the bishops and the nuns
With their petty vendettas and their wicked games
As they sought to destroy this beautiful thing
That they could not hope to control

Carmina, for her part, remained unaware
Of the silent maelstrom secretly engulfing her
She simply could not perceive it
It started as an itch, an ache, a dull thud in her heart
That creeping feeling of slowly being left behind
While others advanced past her

As 'Mina grew into a woman, she would come to understand
That in a world that cannot see, the blind will comfort the blind ….
Track Name: It's My Birthday
Today it’s my birthday ... My birthday no more
I lie dying in a pool of mud and gore
I feel sore... I feel sore...

I feel a little sick. I had a bit to drink
But I’m sick from the dying. Not sick from the drink
From the drink... From the drink ...

The taste of blood upon my lips
Erases the sting of love’s lonely kiss
Surrounded by teeth and bone and piss
Oh lord. I never asked for this ...

I can hear their footsteps fade away into the night
Before me a door opens and I’m bathed in a light
In the night ... A shining light ...

I lie and I wonder as my guts spill into the dirt
Just how much time have I missed on this Earth
Oh it hurts .... Man it hurts ...

This godless life. The one I’ve lived
Shall I repent all of my sins?
Behind me lovers I have spurned
Roads full of lessons unlearned
Whispers of hope unheard ………

Today it’s my birthday. My birthday no more ...
But now I’ve forgotten what I was singing for
What was it for? What was it for?
Track Name: Old Baxter
Old Baxter he's caught up in someone else's dream
Laurel and Clarkson blindly follow him
Ignorant to the folly, the mistake in their ways
Blind to the danger of forgetting what their hearts say

Young Baxter was fresh. Not long since a child
He sought wisdom and learning, a career and a wife
But for so many years, he failed to ask himself why
Or seek a reason or some meaning to such a life

So Baxter he worked, he toiled and he strived
For his house and his sons and his car and his wife
Repressing his anger, his ego and his dreams
He buried his soul in routine with two sevenths relief

La la la la la, la la la la ... Friday night
La la la la la, la la la la ... Saturday
La la la la la, la la la la, la la la la
Maybe a barbecue on Sunday
Then it's back to work!

Now Baxter he's old. He's all twisted and torn
By lust. Desire. And the dreams he's hidden from
Now Laurel points his finger at his father and to his brother, Clarkson, he says
Never have dreams or you'll end up just like he did.
Track Name: Something I Care For
You’re only something that I care for
Something used to pass the time
One of many reasons I remain here for
Waiting, watching, listening, wasting time

I should not really wonder why
I watch you pass on by

There’s not too much that I want for
Not too much I want to call mine
Not many causes I would die for
No passion grips this heart of mine

I should not really wonder why
I watch you pass on by

There’s not much that I really work for
Nothing to really tax my mind
You’re only something that I care for
You’re a product of my mind …
Track Name: St John's Square
St John’s Square is where I saw a grown man cry
He never knew I watched as the tears welled in his eyes
Well he just buried his face in his hands and wept
Right there. In St John’s Square
Right there. In St John’s Square

After a while he looked up to the sky
I don’t know if his tears made him blind
I swear the sun bathed the steeple in a hail of light
Right there. In St John’s Square
Right there. In St John’s Square

With the back of his hand he wiped his tears away
He stood up, turned around and went on his way
I felt my hair gently caressed by the fingers of the wind
Right there. In St John’s Square
Right there. In St John’s Square
Track Name: Standing Man
Standing Man do you see how her heart bleeds?
Take a walk through the streets you come upon a scene
Three men they’re standing there
She lies, cries naked, in despair
All can see not only her heart bleeds
Yet you just stand there

Standing man don’t deny you've cried deep down inside
You have felt hop and pity
You understand her pain her suffering
Her screams are ringing in your ears
But all you do is stand there and sing
It’s the same thing
It’s the same thing
It’s the same thing
I've seen this on TV

Standing man fade away into your grey and dreary ways
There is no use for you here, unless you
Help, pitch in clean up the mess
Cover her naked body with her dress
But all you’ll do is stand there and you’ll sing
It’s the same thing
Track Name: As it is Written
I birth. I breathe. I wail and I seethe.
I shout. I kick.
As I am torn from the comfort of my mother’s flailing gut,
I start reading from the pages of the book as it is written for me …

I grow. I learn. I watch and I yearn.
I wait. I wile.
For the time when my kind shall inherit the earth
I keep reading from the pages of the book as it is written for me …

The rules and the queues and the signs on the street
Never stand on a carpet without wiping your feet
Follow every path as they are laid out for you
And when you knock on the door they will not let you in

Where does it lead?
A dead end.

I eat. I shit. I puke and I spit.
The over time I realise
I’m just a bag of blood and bone, now all wrinkled an old
And I start tearing out the pages of the book as it is written for me
Track Name: Mirror Man
Minding my own business like thirty years before
When a hungry little man came a knocking on my door
He had nowhere to run to. He had no place to go
He had no friend to lean on. He was a lonely restless soul.
I turned him away

‘Please good sir’, he said, ‘Don’t turn me from your door.
‘I am a hungry man. I’m lonely and I’m poor, and
I have nowhere to run to. I have no place to go
I have no friend to lean on. I am a lonely restless soul.
Please don't turn me away!'
Well I turned him away.

I couldn’t stand the look of the man
The brand of his clothes. The cut of his hair. The smell of his breath

Your judging stare, it burns into my face
But I ask you the question, if you were in my place, and
He had nowhere to run to. He had no place to go
He had no friend to lean on. He was a lonely restless soul.
You'd turn him away

I think you'd turn him away ...

You couldn’t stand the look of the man
The brand of his clothes. The cut of his hair. The smell of his breath.
Track Name: The Sound of Nothing
Have you ever heard the sound of nothing?
If you listen, ignore the din
You’ll find if you clear the crap from your mind
That nothing is the sound of nothing

He could feel it in his heart
He knew his time had come at last
The truth of it was there was nowhere to hide
He drew his last breath and he died!

He awoke on a cold grey slab
The audience a sea of masks
He choked and he gasped for some air
While the audience could only stare

They’d given him up for dead and yet
Here, he was alive once again
He looked at the crowd and the scar on his chest
He threw his head back he had survived!

Have you ever heard the sound of nothing?
The weeks would drag and wear him thin
He slowly came to realise
That nothing is the sound of nothing!

All the world is a stage and each man
And woman has a part they must bear
But at the end of the show, when in the mirror you stare
Will you pull your mask off and see there’s nothing there!