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Crying Wolf

Peter Hammill

You turn out the lights and sit alone,
trying to pretend that it's anguish,
start at the ring of a telephone,
throw down all your food at the banquet,
keep a close eye on all you own,
while leaving it all to languish....
Is this what makes you happy?
Is this what brings you joy?
Your excuses are so crappy...
silly boy.

You take all the love and throw it aside
to wallow in your sorrow,
expect everyone to know how you feel inside,
to forgive and forget come tomorrow;
repaying all your debts with uncommon pride
but denying that you ever borrowed....
Is this what makes you perfect?
Is this what makes you free?
Just how long did you rehearse it,
or does it just come naturally?

Crying wolf from the depth of your sheep's heart,
crying fire from the depth of the well
in an endless parade of repeat starts,
just how long will it last - can you tell?

Until all your friends and lovers
are simply bored with the pretence?
It'll be too late then to discover
just exactly what you meant
and what was true
and what was false...
the wolf turned into human,
the killer with remorse.

Crying pain as though that should be pleasure,
crying anger as though that should be revenge,
crying sorrow as though that were a treasure -
your treasure will find you in the end.

When all of your friends have gone away,
unwilling to put up with the danger
that lies in each spiteful word you say,
you'll be left, a greying wolf in a manger
and when you've raised your last howl
and destroyed all that you can
with rotting teeth an slack jowls
you'll be left a lonely man.
And when it's nearly finished
and you know the end is near
with true sorrow undiminished
there'll be no-one left to hear....
Your desperate cries,
they all come out as bleats:
you thought you were a wolf-man,
but you're really
just a sheep.

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