Numbers

from by David Hosking

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lyrics

Numbers

Standing on the main road
Sydney’s at its end
It will only take ten hours
Now they’ve straightened all the bends
But I’m only around the corner
From where I need to be
Waiting in the shadows
For this rain to ease

There are many people moving
In the corner of my eye
They’ve umbrellas and they’ve ponchos
So they’ll be staying dry
But I was never one for planning
So I’m staying put
Until the elements have squandered
The chance’s that they took

But the night is getting older
The rain has settled in
I feel it getting colder
As it slams into my skin
I’ll be here forever
Counting on a break
But counting on this weather
Is a chance I shall not take

So I step out from the shadows
Hoping for a ride
I’m only there a second
And I’m pleasantly surprised
I say I’m bound for Sydney
And I have the cash
To take me to the moon and on
As long as you don’t crash

He says I’m just a taxi
Not built for astral streets
But I’ll take you anywhere you wish
Now you’re sitting in that seat
I say I’m just a joker
Your temporary load
You won’t be making much from me
I’m only up the road

He says then tell a story
I’ll count it as a tip
I’ve worked too many hours tonight
You will be my final trip
If you’ve anything worth hearing
To add to what you’ll pay
I’ll consider you the customer
Who didn’t waste my day

I say I’m sorry
I’ve only money
My stories are all spent
They’re just written down soliloquies
That never paid the rent
I should have kept them to myself
And that’s just what I’ll do
You’re better off just driving and I’ll listen to you

So the taxi driver tells me
Numbers are his game
I count the numbers on the meter
He the letters in my name
Now what about the date
And the year of your birth
And what’s your occupation
Here on earth

I say my mother called just yesterday
She remembers everyone
I thought he’d wish me happy birthday
But continued on
Please explain the work you do
And how long you've been there
I say nothing like I dreamed I would
And too many years to care

Now what about your brothers
You said there’s only three
I’m having trouble with these numbers
They beg to disagree
Well yes there was another
Count him if you must
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust

I thought he’d say that he was sorry
For discovering this loss
But he just turned the final corner
And switched the meter off
The fare I’d pay was frozen
I looked to see how much
He said well I guess that he was chosen
Or his number just came up

He calculated figures
And this is what he got
You’re supposed to earn you living from singing
But you’re not
I don’t understand it’s worked before
Something must be wrong
You sure you got your birthday right
You should be singing songs

He pulls up to my driveway
Still trying to work it out
There must be something you’re not telling me
Without a doubt
Numbers unlock mysteries
And that’s what you remain
I said and you’re still driving taxis
It’s a little bit the same

credits

from Butterfly Net, track released February 23, 2017
David Hosking - Acoustic, Vocals
Paul Hammy Hamilton - Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals
Gareth Hughes - Upright Bass
Bruce Haymes – Piano
Strings by Arco String Quartet

String arrangement by Michael Keeney

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David Hosking Melbourne, Australia

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