If Poets Were King

New Rose Records

Record Details

Elliott Murphy - If Poets Were King

Six song EP from 1991.


  1. Rio Grande Revisited -:-- / 3:12
  2. On The Wings Of Icarus -:-- / 3:11
  3. Something Like Steve McQueen -:-- / 4:40
  4. Sunflower -:-- / 3:30
  5. Eliza -:-- / 3:24
  6. If Poets Were King -:-- / 4:20
  7. Spider And The Honey -:-- / 4:07


Standing on the shore of the Rio Grande
The suitcase and the child in her hand
Waiting for a signal from the man
Cross over the river – cross into the promised land
By the Rio Grande

Floating off the coast of Vietnam
You got twenty in the boat maybe twenty more hanging on
A freighter cruised by flashing the stars and stripes
Dreams of Hollywood – LAX tonight
And Hollywood’s in sight

I’m checking out your social systems
I’m checking out your social benefits
Most of them are non-existent
Hello Uncle Sam don’t you treat me like shit

The tyrant and his mistress breeze through customs
Carrying their bloody loot in Louis Vuitton sacs
The politicians – no – you just can’t trust em
The people screaming give our money back
Can you dig that

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On The wings of Icarus too close to the sun
But hot enough for Coltrane
Meet my wife and my son
Thieves are moving fast now
Better walk don’t run
Purify my passions
A new life has begun

Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde
Jack the Ripper too
They’re living now in your home town
Just watch the news
I’m trying to walk a straight line
I’m trying to do what’s right
Like Wrestling alligators
On a Florida night

And every minute that I’m away
I hear you calling
Calling me home home to stay
I hear you calling
I don’t know what I should say

On the wings of Icarus
Better Fly by night
On the wings of Icarus
A vertical eagle’s flight
On the wings of Icarus
I see my baby’s lights
On the wings of Icarus
Take me home tonight

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When you climb up that mountain – Don’t jump off of that cliff
Think how much you’d be missing – And oh how much you’d be missed
The crowd is cheering now – They want to see your blood
But you can’t hear them now – You’re too far above love
Now listen to me – There’s a moon on Gibraltar
Brighter than any sun – shining on a desert of water
You can swim but you just can’t run
The crowd is waiting now
Hear them hold their breath
There’s no wedding anyhow
I watch the bride get undressed

No all these years of keeping it in and keep your secrets clean
But one of these day I’m gonna explode
And you’ll know what I mean
Something like Steve McQueen

There’s a face in the future a memory in the mist
No matter how bad things turn out
Don’t you ever regret that first kiss

The crowd is leaving now
They’ve had their fill
You gave your pound of flesh
But never your will
The waters are rising now
You’re barred from Noah’s ark
There’s no room for a single now
Your love is so far apart

Now I don’t know if all that’s true
But you know what I mean
One of these days I ‘m gonna explode
From all these things I’ve see
Something like Steve McQueen

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You were a sunflower that I water everyday
Tend your garden my the hour
In the darkness look away
I was always waiting for the sunrise to arrive
I’m anticipating now the swiftly moving skies

Take me down go Vincent where hysteric flowers grow
Where the stars swirl in the heaven in a sacred afterglow
You were always waiting for the world to look to look your way
I can hear you laughter if you came back here today

Drink a glass of water
Watch it shatter by my feet
See the carpet turning dark now where the bloody designs meet
I was always dreaming of some some sickly psychosis
I wake up to find me in my familiar neurosis

ha ha ha ha ha ha….

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Come down Eliza you’re not alone
I’ve been here waiting on a peacock throne
You be my barefoot princess of the night
Say it isn’t right
Say it isn’t right

White slip over black skin
A tiny window lets the moonlight in
We tough it out as lovers do
Oh man it can get to you
We stared them down at such a price
I look at you and all I say is oh Christ
Say it isn’t right
Say it isn’t…

hey when the lights go down
I go to see my baby down in shanty town
A cotton dress – she’s standing there
A neon bar sign standing there
hey man its all she wrote
Carry pieces of my heart in a goodbye note
Say it isn’t right
Say it isn’t

So many year crawling toward the truth
This veil of tears seasons of abuse
Does victory ever come

Full moon is rising can’t you hear me moan
Moaning for the lost love that I couldn’t own
I’m standing by this ocean
Skipping stones
Say it isn’t right


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In the midst of a midsummers dreaming
A dog is barking ‘cause he thinks he smells a thief
Inside the gates of the garden of Hamlet’s ghost
But underneath the gown of the queen lies the host who’s
Drunk out of his mind on princely pleasure passions
When its time to duel he merely
Throws his hat into a
Ring of Fire – of a ritual ceremony
Designed to curse the living for blessing what they knew was phony
All the time

But all these words are merely cleverly orchestrated
To hide my pain and so I don’t overstate it
To avoid you embarrassment or squirming in your seats
Help you to say thank you to all the people that you meet
While swimming or dating or looking in the mirror
We’ll go on forever we’ll be dead
Before the fear gets in

Oops there goes that dog again and the release of children’s voice
Playing in their fantasies
When Hide and seek are choices
We seem to make while picking a sound mate
Someone to participate in this experiment of love and hate
But lying with you
That’s what I would rather do
‘Cause rhyming words won’t save the kurds
‘Though I guess they ought to
If poets were king
This world would change its marching tune
And nothing would get done until very, very very, very late
In the afternoon

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All songs by Elliott Murphy except where noted © 1990 Eljamur Music/Warner Chappell Music – Lyrics Reprinted by Permission

If Poets Were King
New Rose Records

“Rio Grande Revisited,” “On The Wings of Icarus” & “If Poets Were King”
Produced by Elliott Murphy & Roger Robindore
Recorded at studio 60 Lausanne, Switzerland
Elliott Murphy – guitar vocal, harmonica
Roger Robindore – drums, mandolin, percussion
Art Labriola – organ, piano
Ernie Brooks – bass, vocal

“Something Like Steve McQueen” & “Eliza”
Produced by Elliott Murphy, Ernie Brooks, Roger Robindore
Recorded at Studio of the Three Brothers, Paris, France
Elliott Murphy vocal, guitar, harmonica
Ernie Brooks – bass, vocal
Roger Robindore – drums & bongoes
Benoit Urban – accordion

Produced by Roger Robindore & Elliott Murphy
Recorded at Sweet Life, Lausanne, Switzerland
Elliott Murphy – vocal, guitar, harmonia
Tony Machine – drums
Art Labriola – drums
Ernie Brooks – bass

Photos Marc Ginot, Montpelier, France
Mastered by Raphael Johnin

Oh man… If poets were king what would happen? Asked Alberto on his first trip to Paris.

Record By Record, Murphy By Murphy: If Poet’s Were King

The video for the title track is really good and was directed Argentinean Max Ruiz. My second EP after Affairs. My favorite line: “If poets were king… nothing would get done until very, very late in the afternoon.” That’s the story of my life. Basically, this was the after-shock of 12.

Taken from Crossroads magazine.

About The Cover – “Liner Notes”

The thing that was cool about this cover is I put the liner notes right on the front with my signature. It looks like I’m reading them with my hand on my mouth in amazement. I always liked liner notes and I fear they’ve gone out of style.

Elliott Murphy followed up 1990s massive 12 with this six-song French EP, which has a running time of 22:14. The autobiographical but typically allusive lyrics reflect on Murphy’s expatriate experience, even when, on the opening track, “Rio Grande Revisited,” the subject is refugees on their way to America instead of away from it. The melodic folk-rock serves to provide an agreeable yet stimulating backdrop to Murphy’s poetic flights, and the disc’s concision is welcome after its predecessor’s length. Four of the songs were released in the U.S. in 1993 on Unreal City, but the title track, which is the best song, was not. On it, Murphy confesses the powerlessness of artists — “rhyming words won’t save the Kurds” — and concludes that things would change if poets were king, even though “nothing would get done until very late in the afternoon.”

Richard Ruhlmann – AllMusic


New Rose Records Rose 269
Musidisc 120482 (1996)

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