by Jack Howard

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The Story So Far... is a 15-track "Best Of" compilation taken from Jack's six beautifully-crafted albums. From the early Secrets And White Lies and the mighty Long Lost Brothers' recordings through to Lost Horizon recorded with The Nightbirds, these songs represent a powerful cross-section of Jack's rich and varied songwriting.


released December 10, 2012



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Jack Howard Melbourne, Australia

Jack Howard played trumpet with Hunters and Collectors and for the last fifteen years, he's been releasing his own highly- regarded CDs. Along the way, he's also played with Midnight Oil, The Living End, The Violent Femmes, Rodriguez, The Break, You Am I, Little Red, Pete Murray and a host of others. He also teaches music and throws the shot put. ... more

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Track Name: LOSIN' MY MIND
I string my soul like an old guitar and the line is going slack
I hang my hat in a drifter's bar, there's no turning back
At last count, I was 41 - 41 going on nowhere
I bailed my wife out of jail today, you know I got my cross to bear

I must be losin' my mind

I sank my teeth into her neck, she did not seem to mind
Her eyes were green, my heart a wreck, we seek what trouble finds
I always feel like a sinner, black and sometimes blue
But I'll keep on swingin', and I'll wind up next to you

I must be losin' my mind
The boys all fall around her feet
All their riches can't persuade her to defeat
She's faraway, she's fear or fate
What she wants, it isn't here

And as she glances round the room
Her face so fair, her eyes so blue
So deep inside, so ill-defined
All the time she's movin' on

Nothin's gonna change her ways
Stranger than a fallen angel
Nothin's gonna make her sway
Mystery, it still surrounds her

The princes gather now to offer up their gold
They court her endlessly to seek her hand
They think she's cold, no heart to heal
She's like a siren in their soul
She's like a dream they never had

Nothin's gonna change her ways, etc.
Track Name: DELIVER ME
I have prayed for rain, I have prayed for pain
Now I wil pay for anything to stop me fallin' down again

I have prayed for love, I have prayed for glory
But I try and I try, it still ends up the same old story

Deliver me from good, deliver me from evil
The lord gives, the lord he taketh away

Once I thought that I could change
Once I thought that I could change my ways
Once I thought that I could change my sinning ways

Deliver me from good
If I see you walking down the street
I give the briefest nod and walk on by
And if you call my name, my head is down, my heart is hard
I turn the corner out of sight

I read my morning paper and I drink my morning coffee
But I know that I am faking, these encounters leave me shaken
It's not as if I'm broken but I keep it all unspoken
And when I find myself alone, there's nothing left

Oh but when will I be over it
Tell me when will I be over this affair

I hear you moved away, you left without a trace
I wonder if you found the shore
The operator says, there's no-one by that name
I wonder if you'd ever come back to my door

And I know that I should say something like I hope you're happy
And I hope that you have found somebody new
But you know that I'd be lying because this jealousy's like fire
And I lie in bed and dream of sweet revenge

Oh but when will I be over it, etc.
Track Name: ON AND ON
I took one look in the mirror, I knew it was time to go
Emptied out my wardrobe, where to now I didn't know
Get behind the wheel and drive, turn up the radio
Got the one-armed tan, feel like a macho man
Don't fence me in

I go on and on and on, wonder where I'll go today

Pulled up by the side of the road
Cold coffee and the sounds of silence
Looking for a sign, oh I'm looking for peace of mind
Wonder where I'll go today
Go one thousand miles away
Where the ocean meets the sky, that's where I will stay

I go on and on, etc.
Track Name: WILL YOU WAIT?
Supple as anger, tender as steel
Your back is the bridge that will help me to heal
Out there is the darkness, out there is the night
In here I am gone when we turn out the light

Kiss me in comfort, kiss me in fear
Kiss me in joy cos I think this real
Open your eyes and I'll open mine too
You only live once

Will you wait for the oceans to part?
Will you wait?

Blind to the danger, deaf to the gun
Dumb enough to look straight into the sun
Feeling like death, now I feel like a life
Anything goes, the temptation is rife

Love really hurts, love is in the air
Love is a many-splendoured affair
The cliches abound so just open your eyes
You only live once

Will you wait, etc.
Track Name: LET ME LIVE
Down by the jukebox and the pool table he sits
He's a lovely man, he's got a heart of gold
And he's dreaming of 1982 and the Seaview Ballroom
He's a lovely man, lost his short-term memory

He sings hallelujah, hallelujah
Let me live

Says he still loves you and you kiss him as a friend
He carries that kiss like a treasure to have and to hold
Down in this dark corner
Outside the stars are shining and a last tram rattles by
He's such sweetheart, don't let him take you down

He sings hallelujah, etc.

He wanders down the strip searching for food and luck and a last song for the evening
Something blue, something emotional
That ghost down the road is a friend of mine, be kind to the spirit of the night
Something blue, something emotional

He sings hallelujah, etc.
Far, far from home on a lost night in a strange motel
Love's on the horizon as the twilight fades
Let's sit here in the bar and sample the top shelf
So well-lit, so intoxicating
If you could only bottle seduction, here it is

Outside the wind it whips and the rain it falls
Beyond the Jubilee Highway
Lies a field of fallen pine like a graveyard
Run beyond it to the forest, so dark and inviting
A clear sky and a brilliant cold
And the flames like your fate so rich

Further on to Corangamite and Wendouree
Ghosts everywhere in the road-side stops and the cattleyards
Oh, I'm sailing home to you, my love
I float like ice down muddy streets
Blow this sinking world apart piece by piece
Looking for a dollar, looking for a clue
Wonder what the hell is going on inside this zoo

It's time to kick the crust off these feet of clay
Time to make my way down the great white way

Preachers at my door
Salesmen by the score
I blow them all away
Let nature know the score
Look for every crack to burn down the maze
Wonder the hell I'm going blinded by this haze

It's time, etc.
The beer-coloured bay smells oh so sweet
And the wandering sickness is nigh
The open sea's like a siren call
And the world bids a fond goodbye

Now you perch upon her temper
And you yap for her return
And you sail upon her smile

The map of all those mean streets
You used to know so well
Is not forgotten, nor forgiven
But hope springs eternal in this house, baby
And the endless search has not been in vain

Now you perch, etc.
She wakes at two in the morning
Climbs silently out of bed
Avoids the creaks in the floor so as not to wake the dead
She stands naked in the kitchen
Framed in that cold and steaming light
Her brain spins like a mouse on a wheel

But neither food nor drink nor love
Can cure that endless restlessness

There's nothing but infomercials and christians on tv
So she comes and stirs me awake with her expert hands
Oh such excellent kisses, such sweet surprise
She loves me in stealth like a thief in the night

But neither food, etc.

I still hear those echoing footsteps
Clear and stark in the hallway
Come into my room and I will turn the lights down low
Dry martini, Bacharach, an easy evening glow
The conversation slides along, we seek each other's souls
Closer and closer on the couch, the temperature rises

Telling secrets and white lies
Oh so sensitive

Accidentally spill my drink
Slip into something more comfortable
As the night begins to fall, our words begin to fail
My fingers through your hair
Making love like there's no tomorrow
And no yesterday

I feel so lucid, so alive
The lights of the city down below, leave the riff-raff far behind
Making love like there's no tomorrow
And no yesterday

Telling secrets and white lies
A crescent moon hung low in the sky
The first star was close at hand
in the winter trees, two last birds sang their last hurrah
And there's nothing in the mailbox but a rumour

I sat on the balcony for a while
And I read about the latest bad news
Murder and suicide and chaos they rule the world now

But in truth, my mind was far away
An echo of guilt rolled across my heart
What game am I playing now cos there's always a game
What game are we playing now?

What can you hear in my voice?
What news does my lover bring?
What can you hear in my voice?

The valley of Shangri-la, sometimes it seems so close
But can it ever be regained?
Was it only a trick of the light
Or a fine piece of stagecraft

What can you hear in my voice?
What news does my lover bring?
What can you hear in my voice?
Track Name: IF I WERE A BIRD
If I were a bird
I'd be the smallest bird that I could be
As weightless as the air
I could change direction effortlessly
No baggage, no body full of bones

No bones full of sorrow and guilt
No bones full of joy and love
No love, no pain, no hate, no gain

I would just fly, fly away
So beautiful and cruel
So cruel and beautiful

Bright colours and endless movement
Blue and green and iridescent and tangerine
A life so pure, a life so free

I would just fly, fly away, etc.
Once I tried to find a way back home
All I needed was the key to turn the stone
I jettisoned cheap regret and all those stupid lies

This endless maze you wander blind
One fine day, you seek and you will find

First, you crawl and then you run
Then you learn to look out for number one
Then the numbers start to turn
And a simple twist of fate begins to burn

So far astray, you wonder why
One fine day, you seek and you will find