Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas

by Tujacques

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about

'Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas' is the motto of the fair city of Dublin and appears on the city's Coat of Arms along with three burning castles, which represent three gates into the ancient Viking city and two women carrying olive branches. The motto translates as "the obedience of the citizens produces a happy city." The use of the motto as the title of Tujacques' EP relates to the songs' shared subject of the city of Dublin in troubling times. The title is, of course, ironic, as Dublin is anything but an obedient city. Yet, given the many sad revelations of institutional abuses, the suffocating financial crimes, and increased emigration there is an unsettling acquiescence. But, there is also a persistent willingness to go on, or to paraphrase Beckett, it is a city that 'can't go on' but will nonethess, 'go on'. Perhaps it is courage that leads the city to go on, perhaps it is otherwise, perhaps it is obedience to an exhausted system.

'Tall Ships' is a jazz inflected, beat poetry, film noir homage to Dublin. Although, it may represent an outraged voice, it is in many cases, a love letter to the city and its strange draw. 'Rain' is a tender song of memory and regret for those who have left and those who choose to stay behind. It is an immigrant's song sung by an ex-pat. 'Red River' ventures far afield from Dublin toward my homeland in Louisiana. It is what we playfully call ‘psychedelic cowboy music.’ Red River is a tale of spectral appearances and haunted worlds. The EP rounds off with 'Beautiful People', an anthemic, yet mournful ode to those whose lives have been brutalised and stolen and for whom redemption seems unreachable.

-Matthew Causey

credits

released July 8, 2013

Music and Lyrics by Matthew Causey
Produced and Mixed by Cameron Doyle

Tujacques:
Matthew Causey, Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Stevie Darragh, Guitar
Scott Johnson, Drums
Matthew Nolan, Bass

Additional Musicians:
Richie Buckley, Sax
Cameron Doyle, Vocals, Keyboards
Ryan Doyle, Vocals
Bryan O'Connell, Drums


'Tall Ships'
Recorded at
Windmill Lane Studios
Dublin, Ireland
Produced and Mixed by Cameron Doyle
Engineered by Alan Kelly

'Rain', 'Red River' and 'Beautiful People'
Recorded and Mixed at
ATRL: Arts Technology Research Laboratory
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Produced, Mixed and Engineered by Cameron Doyle

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Track Name: Tall Ships
Tall Ships:
Music and Lyrics by Matthew Causey

Green train runs through the city
Like some of kind putrified blood lost of all its colors
No more red and blue now just a slickly paleness
The prostitutes and junkies walk through the night
And no one walks into a local without a invitation
The fluorescents knock you back
And tell you to go away and quick
There are no street signs
If you don’t know where you are
Then you’re in the wrong place
A blow-in from somewheres else
See yahs at the methadone clinic
Running along Pearse Street
Between the black river and
The holy and undivided Trinity.
The council houses erupt with the screams
Of families ripping themselves apart
With what little they have
To tear themselves up with
But a bag of crisps and a sugar drink
Make a fine breakfast for a family of eight
And it was Dostoevsky wrote these words:
Men and women deprived of meaningful work
Lose their reason for existence
They go stark, raving mad
So they queue up for a job
They queue up for the dole
They queue up for a hand out
Stark raving mad
And the woman walks
Between the cars at the streetlight
Hoping to have some money to show her man
Who doesn’t take an empty cup lightly
A young man took a screwdriver
To the head of two Polish workers
And pleaded drunkenness and bereavement
He’ll be sloppin’ out at Mountjoy for a couple of years
And back out in no time.
And the Americans with their
Matching white trainers
And stuffed backpacks
Search out the green thatched roof utopia
The Nigerian taxi driver was beaten to death on Pearse and Lower Erne
And the young woman from India was told
'This is a Catholic Country'
But no one is looking for a priest to do anything at all
They’re all laid out on the trolleys
Waiting for a room to die in
And the emergency room is its own emergency,
And any self-respecting nurse would call it hopeless
and triage it out of existence
Seems like a cancer cluster has appeared
In the square with Lillie and Margo and Dimple and Matthew
Queuing up at the linear accelerator
It’s a north side south side divide
Split by a river of filth
Tall ships with the ghosts of a famine
Now turned to stone at the feet of the financial centre
All dried up itself
And it was Dostoevsky wrote these words
Deprived of meaningful work
Men and women lose their reason for existence
They go stark, raving mad.
Track Name: Rain
RAIN
Music and Lyrics by Matthew Causey

The street that I live on is made of ancient cobblestones
Each carries a trace of a love lost and forlorn
And as I lay my footsteps in these same old worn down stones
Feel a history of misery rise amongst my bones

The house that I live in, two up and two down
Carries the scars of one hundred years in this imitation pagan town
And as I lay my body down in the same old worn down room
I feel a million other tortured souls deep inside their tombs

And the river rises and the river falls
Mama boys cry at the gaswork walls
The unbelieving prophets turn our eyes from the light
Without a reason to believe, without a reason to fight

And another day dawns and another night falls
The people cryout and the people call
A reason to continue to live this life
A reason to believe, for a reason to fight

And the rain keeps pouring down
On the streets and souls
Of this sad town

And the rain pours all night through
As I call your name
And I reach for you
Sweetheart

This work that we live in, eternal circle of the same
Yet we are surprised when these bad old days repeat and play again
You know the story, you know the score
The pain of showing our children the door

And the river rises and the river falls
The moon turns red and the seagulls call
The clouds swirl black and the seawalls crash
The ship sailed away and my heart collapsed

And another day dawns and another night falls
The people cryout and the people call
A reason to continue to live this life
A reason to believe, for a reason to fight

And the rain keeps pouring down
On the streets and souls
Of our home town

And the rain pours all night through
As I call your name
And I reach for you
Sweetheart
Track Name: Red River
RED RIVER
(Music and Lyrics by Matthew Causey)

I keep seeing you floating down the stairs
In white linen bedclothes and scarecrow hair
Silver-coated eyes, a hollow grin
Outside is a world built on corruption and sin

You can’t believe they’ve come for you
(the Red River is swollen)
Our dark night dangerous friends
(now dry)
Drape the veil across your eyes
(now swollen again)
And walk me down to the . . .

Red River is swollen, now dry, now swollen again
And I’m back on the shoreline
One foot stuck in the muddy water
One hand holds onto yours as the tides rise

Seems like everybody I ever known is here
They whisper to me a truth that is crystal clear
I float through the roof and up to the sky
Looking over our fields gone bone dry

You can’t believe they’ve come for me
(the Red River is swollen)
Our dark night dangerous friends
(now dry)
Drape the veil across my eyes
(now swollen again)
And walk me down to the . . .

Red River is swollen, now dry, now swollen again
(seems like everyone I’ve ever known is here)
And I’m back on the shoreline
(I keep seeing you floating down the stairs)
One foot stuck in the muddy water
(I float through the roof and up to the skies)
One hand holds onto yours as the tides rise
(the fields gone bone dry)

Red River is swollen, now dry, now swollen again
And I’m back on the shoreline
One foot stuck in the muddy water
One hand holds onto yours as the tides rise

(spoken)
In this house clouds hover over the rooms
Darkening our sleep
The roots of ancient and knotted trees break through the ground
Spreading up through the floorboards
The walls pour down rain
The windows smile
The doors unhinge
And the hallways twist

I felt you just outside
Breathing
My heart beating slowly
Flowing
You slide under the door
Appearing beside me
You reach for me
Disappearing

Your fragile spider hand runs through my hair
Pulling out
Dry lips crack open and forgotten words are sung
A drawing down
We embrace as shadows
They drape the veils across our skin
A kiss ripped in half
We descend

Each face comes near me brushing across in a gentle touch
Exhaling
The river swells and turns
Pulled under
Through red water a fractured sky rises
Shuddering
Breathing underneath
Washing away
A quick depth

Red River . . .
Track Name: Beautiful People
BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
(Music and Lyrics by Matthew Causey)

Any day now, it will be revealed,
All the reasons we cry
All the ways that we die
All the mysteries revealed

But any any chance of this simple epiphany
It’s a laugh, it’s a joke
Its just a wink and poke
Just a sad fantasy

Any time now, I firmly believe
All the pain will let go
All the suffering closed
All the ignorance relieved

But I know none of this can possibly be true
It’s just a wink and a poke
It’s just mirrors and smoke
Just a lie you can’t undo

All you weak and beautiful people
Who have given up with such sweet grace
What you need is someone to take hold of you
And gently with love
Gently with love
Gently with love
Give your life back to you*

Any day now, I firmly believe
All the reasons we cry
All the ways that we die
All the mysteries revealed

But any any chance of this simple epiphany
It’s a laugh, it’s a joke
Its just a wink and poke
Just a sad fantasy

All you weak and beautiful people
Who have given up with such sweet grace
What you need is someone to take hold of you
And gently with love
Gently with love
Gently with love
Give your life back to you

All you weak and beautiful people
Who have given up with such sweet grace
What you need is someone to take hold of you
And gently with love
Gently with love
Gently with love
Give your life back to you

* (Chorus derived from Tennessee Williams 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof')