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Border Town Shades

by Saline Grace

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‘Mercy And Deliverance’ Within those realms of community The days rage like the tearing claws Of the beast of prey But in gnawing nights searching for peace The sufferer’s stolen soul fails inside The beast’s hurtful paunch And its acid laughter Far from here within the storm’s raging The fleeting years swirl like leaves In those ruins of a human soul But reaching for those years The seeker drowns in A surging ocean of Fading memories The weak senses change illusions Into glimmers of hope A suspected deeper truth The observer cannot realize For he plunges into passion and faith As a way of passing the time The exhausted death itself miserably fails Giving no certainty of Mercy and deliverance And behind an intangible horizon The swaying comedian squeals And laughs scornfully
In My Room 03:47
‘In My Room’ Oppressive dusk in my room But lights like splintered bones outside A stupid moon doubles up laughing It sees you struggling far away from me Where the carving blades of community Drink off the willing or unwilling blood Of their beasts of burden Suffocating heartbeats in my room And the glass of whiskey shatters Like a snail-shell My clinging hand wriggles itself bloody It shows me slavering pain and absurdity Where the darkened sky fails To carry the colour of your eyes Dead silence of night in my room And the grotesque face of the Waiting grey-haired in the corridor The plants squeal and wither away They succumb to threat and let me shiver Where the timeless wayfarer pricks Our scarred hearts with further needles
‘A Good Man’s Shadow’ Down under a cruel And eastern moon There is a new tale From Bordertown Don’t ask Maggie about her damaged face She knows her garden’s malignant trees And fears the boughs they sometimes raise Maggie deeply loves a good man’s shadow Who cuts the boughs with saw and crown Confidently laughing from upon his throne Don’t ask Maggie about her shrieking voice She knows her attic’s squawking sparrows And fears their violently raging noise Maggie deeply loves a good man’s shadow Who shoots the birds with gun and crown Mischievously laughing from upon his throne Don’t ask Maggie about her strangled son She knows her fairy tales and comfort And fears the truths which sometimes dun Maggie deeply loves a good man’s shadow Who loves fairy tales with rope and crown Contentedly laughing from upon his throne Don’t ask Maggie about that rude car crash She knows the poor and tragic guy And fears the day he wants more cash Maggie deeply loves a good man’s shadow Who drives his car with bottle and crown Merrily laughing from upon his throne Don’t ask Maggie about her anxious mother She knows mum’s childhood, that old hat And fears the questions of her beloved brother Maggie deeply loves a good man’s shadow Who kindles the hat with words and crown Sympathetically laughing from upon his throne Down under a mad And eastern moon Silent years have passed The river on the edge The good man’s restless bones Have felt uncomfortable Clattering and dancing In a tiny, rotten coffin Buried in a shallow grave That swolen hill of soil So… Don’t ask Maggie about a dead man’s shadow She knows the gossip and her inner truths And fears the mocking children on the meadow Maggie deeply loves a good man’s shadow Who haunts in town with sceptre and crown Terribly laughing from upon his holy throne
‘Border Town Shades’ Once more the train stopped In the town of my irksome birth And my contorted reflection Was breaking away from The silent spectacle behind The old window’s cloudiness Unspeakably blind eyes Welcomed me home With glances dedicated To suspicious strangers Who threatened the Standstill While I was crossing a ghost town I reached the river on the edge The stream was flowing cleaner But dirtier in knowledge Realizing the final decline I remembered Those companions Who meant a lot to me But who fed the unholy maw Of jealous estrangement The beginning rain became a flood And a lunatic reverend screamed out of The protestant’s house about wiping out The evil through the hands of his Lord I remembered the devil of my childhood Who still was fairly alive Revealing the old parson’s cursed lies The murder of mine had failed twice though In defiance of the devil’s willing hands Those waters of the opened sky above I reached my early childhood’s empty house Which made me think of the woman Who had given birth to me Weakness had led to the betrayal of her son And had been the devil’s strength But through grey windows I saw the light of my cloudy days In the good eyes of that soul Who had been stronger Than her daughter The subsiding rain washed away The scum in the streets But I saw a gross town dweller Smugly swaggering along these streets I recognized the one he never wanted to be Walking on his circular trails Once more the train Would stop in the town Of my irksome birth Taking me away from The river’s knowledge
Stream 04:48
‘Stream’ The powerful realms of time Shroud us dream figures in Frightening dreams of that Hateful defencelessness Our pale silhouettes are Strange prisoners on that old And rudderless raft of truth Chained to the changeable Whirls of waiting on The stream of fading And while the daylight is waiting Hidden behind the bare skull’s top Of a cruelly grinning moon My figure is staring into a whispering And lively landscape of trees Which is filled with hope and Speaks the stranger’s language The temptation to understand Bears peculiar pictures Of an unsuspecting boy The dawn appears grey and Contorted beyond recognition In deep loss of the former pride Swept away on rudderless raft By raging stream’s power In those deeper waters of Our blinded existence While sad eye sockets rove Through their chamber’s Everlasting emptiness
‚Theresa The Sinking’ Theresa’s Bloody and sore back Crawls on crooked trails Through the structures of her lifetime Swaying and dancing Burdened with a poor smile Of that safety giving dramatic art Where strange word plaitings search For the ears of those charitable creatures Who understand to carry their own burdens Theresa the admired Exalted on the trails Of her mincing lifetime Laughs and looks down to Those who are truthful Theresa’s words Are those streams of nothing Floating on the transfigured surface Of an unpredictable ocean While broken eyes Tell their own unconscious tale Telling about the fiends of seclusion About her nights moistened with sweat Lying in those strangers’ arms Who send warmth from necropolis Theresa the imprisoned Lost in the streams of Her wretched existence Kneels down and looks up To the one who is called Jesus
Nightly Sea 06:36
‘Nightly Sea’ Standing on the hill In the lighthouse’s shades Jack was conscious of his malignancy Like the sin’s pestilential atom Which had driven a pure to lust and lie He was waiting for Desirable Sally Understanding her misdemeanour She had become cruel And let him suffer from Through the sea breeze Sinful Sally Left the fallow love of her youth Stumbling whilst climbing the hill of truth Acquainted with sorrow through confession And thirsting for torture she loved the pain Sally assumed The recognition of truth On those trails of martyrdom Standing on the hill In the lighthouse’s shades Jack considered Sally’s sinful body With the slaughter’s eyes and self-hate stricken Her fragant flesh he had conceived Incapable of decency or even love Imbued with malignancy and hate They spoke of brotherhood And humanity But not bearing her wretched fate Repentant Sally shed her own blood Before Jack’s murderously waiting hands His desperate eyes spoke of that justice Which had sprung from the criminal’s head Betrayed Jack took Dead Sally downhill And committed both pale bodies to the Purifying strength of the nightly sea Inspired from the story “The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man” by Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
Mercy #2 01:12
Endless 04:42
‘Endless’ Woodlands of eternal silence Oceans of dullness without storms Trails of infinite desolation In those moments when we look In empty eyes Curious creatures want The mirror of last truth Like restless water Easy to destroy With a stone’s throw Never-ending mires of wilderness Unattainably glowing horizons Messengers of apocalypse That never arrive While musty smell is spreading Curious creatures want The mirror of last truth Like restless water Easy to destroy With a stone’s throw Deserting streams Like rays of hope To drive us into a corner In a wasteland Devoted to nothing Curious creatures want The mirror of last truth Like restless water Easy to destroy With a stone’s throw
The Valley 04:16
‘The Valley’ O brother Tied to that saline grace of A noble but fragile ocean We meet us in frightening dreams With painful silence My brother Behold! The failure’s bloody flood Fills the valley of valleys O sister Tied to that saline grace of A noble and indestructible ocean We meet us closely enfolded Looking for the lands of our coming years My sister Behold! Through the flood’s coagulated depths We wade through the valley of valleys
‘Crossing Trails’ Whenever the relentless claws of years Renounce their exalted throne Of marble breakage Whenever the darkened window opens Illuminating the vaults of our history I see The estranged for life On crossing trails Whenever the relentless grief of recognition Refracts sadly through the vault Covered in dust Whenever the illuminating window fails And the clockwork’s noise laughs scornfully I see The hopful for life On crossing trails Whenever the relentless silence Echoes awfully along the well-known Wallpaper’s colour Whenever the blinded window shuts Declaring its cold and everlasting scars I see The failure for life On crossing trails
‘From The Fruit Of The Womb, The Liveliness And The Fatigue’ The fruit of the womb is still strong For the firstborn in Mary’s arms Will learn the pure child’s play In gentle embraces of the world Where that swampy and creeping water Of that obscure existence Washes its glutinous streams Around the heir’s expectant bones But the firstborn In Mary’s arms Will learn the Pure child’s play The liveliness is a whore For the trialed digs deep The faithful will’s spade into The deepest dungeons of devotion Where that will to live is being Sucked out of human bodies As a fee for their shortly Lasting light-heartedness But the trialed digs deep The faithful will’s spade Into the deepest dungeons Of devotion The fatigue’s eye is a friend For the enraptured loses his meagre home Smouldering in the embers Of too long digging hands Where that agony is prepared To give a new home Buried underneath the ruins Of its suffocating power But the enraptured loses His meagre home Smouldering in the embers Of too long digging hands
‘Last Day Of September’ Hank’s graceful countenance vanished With the last breath of September In the year of his birth Robbed of the life’s bright goodness Under the Lord’s envious power Once upon a time The fallow world bore vast warmth When he wrested free from the womb Showing the true loving-kindness But too early robbed of his poor mother Illness only was his mind’s reward With the betrayed’s floods of tears and Through the slough of deepest lifelessness Two faithful followers took his tiny coffin To the chosen place of holiest peace While the weeping rain was hammering down Those faithful followers who had covered His ill body with tears of love before Buried him on the last day of September Resting in the bosom of the lamenting earth Nestled under warming roses’ strength For a faithful friend
Bird Song 02:53
‘Bird Song’ From the deceptive days in Bordertown We set off holding our hands Through the frosty woodlands’s paths Those silently whispering, sinister lands Leaving the white woodlands behind We saw it coming, the cold-tortured countenance Within a fallow wasteland a frozen stream was Sadly flowing on wrong tracks, without a chance Losing the distant murmur of Bordertown Your exhausted eyes shed bitter tears An easier fate we had tried to reach But along the stream no bird was singing within our years


Saline Grace is the new project of Ricardo Hoffmann, who is known as the composer and poet of the German avant-garde band Nobility Of Salt. Supported by his long-term bass player and companion through
life, Ines Pollok, the amazing multi-instrumentalist and singer presents his first solo album, called “Border Town Shades”.
Strongly influenced by the works of Dostoevsky, Kafka and Bukowski, Ricardo Hoffmann has written claustrophobicly profound songs about desperation and the blackest depths of misery, candle-lit rooms full of tragedies, forlorn sinners and deceptive roads which are surrounded by broken telegraph poles, low-hanging wires, sadness and peculiarly grown trees, leading into nowhere and failure. He also tells us about the human’s eternal yearning for deliverance and his hope for God’s doubtful mercy, presenting now with Saline Grace a 17-track-album of incredibly emotional depth.
On “Border Town Shades” his extraordinarily filigree guitar style has been woven into antiques such as piano, organ, banjo and marimba, building up together with Ines Pollok’s powerful bass, admonishing bells and stylishly played drums a remarkable mixture of Americana, psychedelic and folklore of old Eastern Europe which creates an oppressively sinister atmosphere.
Within the centre of this soundscape, in the tradition of Nick Cave, And Also The Trees, Woven Hand or Leonard Cohen stands ominously, full of urgency and often with amazing warmth the marvellously narrative voice of Ricardo Hoffmann, who, like creeping out of the human psyche’s repressed depths, sometimes supported by means of using choirs, knows to celebrate his fateful tales and philosophic poems.
Indeed, with “Border Town Shades” Saline Grace seems to roam a sinister valley on a rain soaked, covered wagon whose wheels pass through that muddy soil, where Nick Cave once laid down
The Carny’s old nag named Sorrow.


released September 1, 2007

Ricardo Hoffmann:
vocals, guitar, piano, organ, banjo, marimba, chimes, percussion and additional Instruments

Ines Hoffmann:
except: bass on 'Stumbling Mary And The Tree At The Dry Riverbed', 'Stream' and 'A Good Man's Shadow' by Ricardo Hoffmann

Saline Grace guest:
Chinaski: drums

Words and music written by Ricardo Hoffmann
Lyrics reproduced by permission
All songs published by COPYRIGHT CONTROL (C) 2007 Saline Grace


all rights reserved



Saline Grace Berlin, Germany

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