Sonnet 155 (2010 -Rock)

Sonnet-FINAL-Master-Cover2

“Ambition, Rock ‘n’ Roll and profound commentary on humanity…”
The Stage

“Arnold is an animated and fascinating frontman…”
Classic Rock Magazine

My obsession with Shakespeare began in earnest when I worked at Shakespeare’s Globe. I was exposed to a lot of literature, history and knowledge about the authorship question. I had met some learned and passionate experts who devoted time and study to the authorship question and its relation to the spiritual advancement of humanity. So who wouldn’t want to write a concept album based on that?

But there was more than one ambition with this album.

  1. Making a rock album with an orchestra, re-interpreting Mozart, Rimsky Korsakov and Michael Nyman along the way.
  2. Asking Shakespearean actors to contribute their own personal thoughts on Shakespeare and including those thoughts in the lyrics of the songs.
  3. Finding the parallels between their thoughts, Shakespeare’s thoughts and mine.

Somehow, I managed to achieve all three ambitions.

For the short time that I studied at the Rudolf Steiner school, we used to do what was called a main lesson. This was a study and exploration on one single subject, every day for three weeks. By the end of the three weeks, you would have created your own volume of work on the subject. That process is very much at the heart of my album making process.

But Sonnet 155 was a main lesson that took three years, not three weeks. And I loved every minute of it. All the themes that were passed on to me from luminaries like Derek Jacobi, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Janet Suzman made me explore myself with more depth than I had ever done before. Love and Death being the two predominate forces that I concerned myself with lyrically. Whilst all the time making an album that would fit snuggly on the shelf between Muse and Led Zeppelin. I doubt I will write anything again more epic than songs like The Fall of a Sparrow or Flights of Angels. The material gave me a license to be as dramatic as I possibly could be, and realising it live at The Almeida Theatre was the most intense and frighteningly honest performance of my music that I have ever given.

Working alongside extraordinary actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, Lisa Dillon, Hattie Morahan, Richard Briers and Paul McGann raised the bar for me and rekindled my love of being part of a theatrical company. It was exhilarating, and to all intense and purposes, Sonnet 155 is my Hamlet.

 

Tracks and Lyrics

1. Citrinitas

Intermission

2. Flights of Angels

A turn in the road, a break in the code
33 degrees and I’m on my knees
taking a test,caught in the bet
If there’s life after death
It hasn’t been invented yet
But I’ll look at what I can get
There must be something
Are you looking? What do you get?

Angel flight took me by surprise
Who am I if I can’t fly like them?

I’m half smiling that I’ll never be born again.

Am I animal bait? Or just a mistake?
Already too late?

To sit and play with the rain on my face
The story says that I’m sane but I’m not aware.
What am I saying? I’m not aware…

Angel flight took me by surprise
Who am I if I can’t fly like them?

I’m half smiling that I’ll never be born again.

Bonus nox noctis dulcis princeps
Angelus sono vos dormio
Bonus nox noctis

And I’ll never really believe we’re alone.
And I’ll never really believe we’re alone.

You can’t see them
But they’re still around

Angel flight took me by surprise…

3. Shadow Walking

We sit around switching on to every single little song
Don’t matter if the words are wrong
We’re really switching off.

Let the broadcast do us in
Panicking will make you thin
But they don’t know what wakes a sleeping soul

They say it’ s a step to talk out the hurt
But they’re breaking you down with a new red alert
Imaginations long been sold
Now we’re selling Mickey Mouse’s Heart for gold

Just stop listening
And let your shadow walk
I’ve stopped listening to let my shadow walk
Stop listening

It’s better not to pull the wool over the eyes of fortunes fool
‘cause every fool has his day

The advertisements on the wall
They’re really big but really small
I wonder could we eat them all?
We’re hungry for one more
Pointless extra course

Just stop listening
And let your shadow walk
I’ve stopped listening to let my shadow walk
Stop listening

I want a side, a side to join
A side that won’t just spin a coin
On all our minds and all our hearts
When in Rome
Just swim to France
Set the sun and be well read
Don’t televisualise your head
Settle down but pucker up
And let a secret fill your cup

But keep you big mouth shut

4. The Old Kings Fool

Memories all around, keep them from disappearing,
pretending to yourself you’ve seen the last of them
Then up it comes again

This time – all we can do is try…

…to hurt each other less

The king, he held the fool, like I was holding you
Sleeping in his arms and weeping till the dawn
Well we’re all alike in scars

But will we have to sail alone…

…if we hurt each other less?

A storm is followed by the summer sun
And then again the clouds will come undone
The circle never ends
The wheel is turning in
As we shed another skin

And we’ll both stop losing when…

…we hurt each other less

5. Hurly Burly

I’m digging out a soul with a serenade,
I’m digging ‘till I break the spade
I couldn’t live without it,
I couldn’t give without it

I’m forking out a fortune like a fool,
I wanna know the answer soon
Give me the key to the kingdom,
Give me the key to the kingdom

Love is not love that alters when it alteration finds
But the news ain’t that new to a dinosaur
In fact it’s robbing me clean from my mind

I’m shaking out the corners of honesty
I’m questioning reality
Give me a real connection,
Give me a real connection

I’m looking but I can not believe I’m seeing
What it is I’m really feeling
I’m a complete invention
I’m a complete invention

Souls say hello and goodbye to love,
we are waving but what does it mean?

When shall we three meet again? In thunder. Lighting, or in the rain?
When the Hurly Burly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won

I’m staring at the future in to space, it’s written all across your face
So give me the right direction,
Give me the right direction

It’s coming up now inside of me and will it turn out to be
The Dream that we’re predicting?
The Dream that we’re predicting?

Save all your sorrow, it’s come and gone. What’s not lost is a war to be won…

When shall we three meet again? In thunder. Lighting, or in the rain?
When the Hurly Burly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won

Give me an L (I’ve lost and won)
Give me an O (I’ve lost and won)
Give me a V (I’ve lost and won)
Give me an E (I’ve lost and won)

6. Rubedo

Intermission

7. Heads and Hearts

True confession comes from concealing it
Like a good disguise that opens eyes
To what the truth has always hid
Sweet, sweet Hero. I knew it couldn’t be you
You paid the penalty and died
Resurrected from a lie that grew in to the truth.

You want to look in my head?
Well I’m not quite ready yet
You want to look in my heart?
Well give it a reason to start
I want to look in your head
To see if you think what you said
You never show me your heart
You were playing a part
And you wanted to hear the applause
I tried to be everything you adore but
I’m falling out of the World. The Stage…

And Love…I’m cold
Without you at my side
When the Summer holds all our goals
A raindrop can make you blind
Here we are, afraid to let down our guards
Don’t want to hurt, don’t want to be hurt
But stopping it’s so hard

You want to look in my head?
Well I’m not quite ready yet
You want to look in my heart?
Well give it a reason to start
I want to look in your head
To see if you think what you said
You never show me your heart
You were playing a part
And you wanted to hear the applause
I tried to be everything you adore but
I’m falling out of the World. The Stage…and love.

8. Such Sweet Sorrow

I want you not to need it
But where are all the signs?
You keep me hanging on a word
You tease me under water, when we’re both under orders
We love each other out of thirst

And you’re really hurting now
Cause you said you wouldn’t do this anymore
And you just remember me
From another century, but I’m not there

I say a prayer for yesterday with such sweet sorrow
Remembering a face with such sweet sorrow
Imagining it today with such sweet sorrow now

Holding out a hand
Was never hard to do
But now what will we hold on to?
We’re stronger than we think but
Weak enough to lose
Everything that we will cling on to

And I promise I won’t return
Even thought it was hard to learn
It’s finally sinking in
And I see your stare attack in the wall I’m staring at
But you’re not there.

I say a prayer for yesterday with such sweet sorrow
Remembering a face with such sweet sorrow
Imagining it today with such sweet sorrow now

I want you not to need it
But where are all the signs?
You keep me hanging on a word
You tease me under water, when we’re both under orders
We love each other out of thirst

So pray for yesterday
Remembering a face
Imagine it today…
With such sweet sorrow

9. Sonnet 155

Unsure, yet so sure
And never surer upon your shore
Sun blinded by smile, I sleepwalk to save
Every step from a fall
Each sensation from a name
Any picture from any frame

Your flame

Flickers and growls, purrs, then it prowls
Filling the footprints of a slave that dreams
To your light, your light

Chaining your waist
into my brain
By holy nectar
And back again

I’m saving energy for truth
With a golden smile and a broken tooth
As all your powers put me in tune
With every sonnet sung for you

You tame the untamed
And break me in a child’s laughter
As cream is crashed o’er crushed fruit clusters
Sweet, then savage
Here in and forever after

I want you
I want you
I want

You…

…from the brink of nativity
To the tomb of all time

I’m saving energy for truth
With a golden smile and a broken tooth
As all your powers put me in tune
With every sonnet sung for you

10. Star Crossed

She caught me when I’m most vulnerable
In the English winter: she’s the poison I picked
And just because I knew what she was like
Didn’t mean I wasn’t willing to be her addict

Oh no, It’s the Star that came to cross us
Oh no, It’s the Star that came to cross us

I’ve been hungry since but she’ll never know
Even though I’m the king of open books
And I’m sure she’s the puppeteer of all these tricks
But it doesn’t matter ‘cause I’m happy I’m hooked

Oh no, It’s the Star that came to cross us
Oh no, It’s the Star that came to cross us

And I’m hooked

I know what you are: you’re not my armour
I’ve seen what you are and I’m not afraid to be it
But, oh God, I’m still starving after you
Oh God, I’m still starving after you

Oh no, It’s the Star that came to cross us
Oh no, It’s the Star that came to cross us

And I’m hooked

11. The Fall Of A Sparrow

Sue can’t imagine the world
Cutting the mustard without her.
Easy to say what’s not heard
He bet the reason was hers.
Suddenly switching the ride
Into the ocean: your mind.
You carried the storm in your eye
And cast all the spells as you cried:

You don’t want me even now (She let it out)
You just want to nearly drown
If only it were as easy as they try to make it sound.

if it be now,
’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
readiness is all

A kill in the natural heart
Throw a stone in the fire to start
Going ahead in the heat
Freedom is tied round your feet

You can’t walk the big farewell without a road.
You can’t see without your self.

if it be now,
’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be
now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the
readiness is all

if it be now, “Judicio Pylium, genio
’tis not to come; Socratem, arte Maronem
if it be not to come, Terra tegit, populus meret
it will be now; Olympus habet”
if it be not now, Judicio Pylium, genio
yet it will come: Socratem, arte Maronem
the readiness is all Terra tegit, populus meret
the readiness is all Olympus habet”

the readiness is all

since no man has aught of what he
leaves, what is’t to leave betimes?

Love ain’t something you say, it’s something you do
So don’t say another word, if it ain’t true…
I would fall down for you
But I’m breaking up inside
As you turn away when I touch you
Should I even try?

‘cause if I didn’t find a little love in your shadow
Am I gonna find a little love now I’m in the light?
And when the sun shines on me
Will I see you?
You know I really want you to be at my side.

But I’m feeling you slipping away from me baby
I give you an answer: it’s a definite maybe

We’re love locked, yeah we’re love locked
If you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it
You know, yeah you know that there’s no doubt about it

You’re love locked, yeah you’re love locked

And who will answer the dreams of all those scattered keys?
Don’t break this promise now, it’s all that I need
And I would fall down for you
Would you do the same for me?

‘cause if I didn’t find a little love in your shadow
Am I gonna find a little love now I’m in the light?
And when the sun shines on me
Will I see you?
You know I really want you to be at my side.

But I’m feeling you slipping away from me baby
I give you an answer: it’s a definite maybe

We’re love locked, yeah we’re love locked

‘cause if I didn’t find a little love in your shadow
Am I gonna find a little love now I’m in the light?
And when the sun shines on me
Will I see you?
You know I really want you to be at my side.

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