Paul Jarvis is the lyricist for Slab!, a London-based band who
originally released records from 1986-1990. Slab! have recently
reformed and are working on a double CD of both previously
unreleased and new material.
As the music has become increasingly filmic and varied, Paul feels
his challenge is to write lyrics that will match it in scope. He shies
away from the confessional and instead tries to create scenarios
that work as mini short stories. He believes the key to writing
intriguing lyrics lies in the detail left out so that the imagination
can take over. His biggest influence is Raymond Carver.
Paul and Slab! are audible at:
The Girl From The Walled Up Room
She fades in
Like mercury on skin
Her body wan and thin
She's locked in...
She's a mystery in bloom
Her shivers shake the room
She kisses me the moon
That old tune...
We dance through time
To a music box's halting chime
'Till we're out onto the square
Past the windows weeping
To the place she calls her tomb --
She's the girl from the walled up room.
We lie so calm
She clings to me, this balm
Her hands are soft and warm
But her nails are torn...
She fades out
Oh, morning comes to doubt --
I can see there's no way out --
I am her now...
The Strangers (L’ Etrangers)
Who are all these strangers
At my mother's house?
Sitting in my father's chair
Spitting on the couch?
Mother’s in the kitchen
Not making too much sense
She can’t think – did she let them in?
These smiling men...
They’re gonna eat with us tonight –
They’ve got big plans for us tonight –
The clocks are moving backwards
They say it’s time to leave
We’re best friends on a knife edge
The strangers, Mum and me...
Drive us to the sea, they say –
We’ll live together well
But at the cliff’s edge at daybreak
We’re really going to hell...
Late Summer Swallows
We pick our way through windfalls
Left rotting on the ground
As the sun lights up the orchard
Your car is all we’ve found
Along the narrow hedgerows
Swallows skim the wire
Swooping down to call us
Beyond the sinking fire
How much will he miss you
By sunset's next return?
Will roads we know have vanished?
Will maps show where we turned?
Through a steamy window
We eat like refugees
Is conversation slowing
Now breathlessness has eased?
You want the curtains open
So I watch the swallows crowd
As they flee, I think of Autumn
And the flow of changing clouds
And will I find you near me
When the swallows come in Spring?
In a cheap room soon, inside my arms
You'll dream of dreams and him...
Of restless flight and him...