Carl Cleves

Carl Cleves

 Sydney, New South Wales, AUS
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

Folk legend, musicologist, author, traveller and adventurer Carl Cleves has held audiences under his spell around the world with his brilliant songs, thrilling stories, emotional depth and deep lyrics

Biography


Songwriter, lawyer, author, ethnomusicologist and former Brazilian pop star, Carl Cleves, originally from Belgium, is a contemporary of Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, Paul Simon, John Martyn and other songwriters that emerged in the 1960s and 70s and with whom he shared the stages of the London folk clubs during the time of the folk boom.

Unlike the others who stayed in the scene, Carl’s wanderlust led him to a life of travelling, guitar in hand, to Africa, Asia, the Pacific, South America and Australia, where he has now settled. Along the way he has acquired a loyal following in Europe, Brazil and Australia while avoiding the radar of the international music industry.

Carl's nomadic past results in highly original songs which have won many awards in world & roots categories - most recently, MUSICOZ & Australian Songwriters Association - BEST FOLK SONG AWARDS.

Besides his solo work, Carl leads THE HOTTENTOTS ( link http://www.carlandparissa.com) with Australian-Greek singer-songwriter, percussionist and choir leader, Parissa Bouas {link: http://www.parissabouas.com}. They have recorded 6 acclaimed albums together.

Carl's unmistakable guitar style was learnt from Brazilian players, bluesmen, Bert Jansch & Caetano Veloso, from the American banjo and the arabic oud. Traces of Brazil, Africa, folk and blues are the spice in the stew of Carl's songs that range from polyrhythmic exuberance to intimate subtlety, the personal to the political. Poetry and emotion.

Cleves’s first book, ‘TARAB: Travels with My Guitar”, recounting his adventures as an antelope trapper in Uganda, relief worker in cyclone struck India, recording star in Brazil, radio broadcaster and ethnomusicologist in Africa was published by Transit Lounge, Melbourne.

To check out Carl’s MP3s, reviews, videos and further details, visit:
WEBSITE: www.carlcleves.com
LISTEN: www.myspace.com/carlcleves
Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/CarlCleves

Lyrics

The House is Empty

Written By: Carl Cleves

THE HOUSE IS EMPTY Carl Cleves

I used to burn like a log in a fire
A look from you filled me with desire
For you I’d put my hand in a fire

Failed the audition, forgot my lines
Or was it someone who’s been messing with the signs?
The house is empty, the flock has flown
If we can’t fly together, let me fly on my own

Don’t send me your photographs
I don’t need a picture to see you
You wrote the script, I played my part
Until I lost the key to your heart

First you walk on petals, then you step on thorns
First you give me praise, then you speak with scorn
The house is empty, the flock has flown
If we can’t fly together, let me fly on my own

All I wanted was a fantasy bride
What you needed was a ticket to ride
The house is empty, the flock has flown
If we can’t fly together, let me fly on my own

Memories can give you wings to fly
Or can make you lay down and cry
Why chew if there’s no meat left on the bone
The thrill is gone but the blues have grown

I’m at the airport, I leave a message on your phone
The dog is in the kennel, the garden‘s overgrown
The house is empty, the flock has flown
If we can’t fly together, I’ll fly on my own

Dear Melanie

Written By: Carl Cleves

Last night in Mooball I went to a church hall
To hear the town choir sing
Everyone stood tall when they sang ‘Tell me now’
Oh what a thrill that song brings

Oh dear Melanie
I always thought that you would walk with me
Trying to become what we dream we could be
In this world of darkness where truth is a carcass
You shone like a beacon to me
Oh dear Melanie
You always sang with such honesty
In defence of justice and dignity

Daylight was fading, the lanterns parading
It’s still clear in my memory
There was Kirsten McKenzie and Teresa Castley
Rachel and you Melanie

Oh how your voices would soar
As the festival crowd yelled out for more
And everyone there felt a sacred rapport
Could nobody help you
Could nobody tell you
or spare you from your misery
Oh dear Melanie
It was too hard to find harmony
And so you had to set your soul free

Here we stand, hand in hand
Sing your song over the land
Fly, dear Melanie
You pierced the sky with your heart Melanie
Stars multiplied when you sang Melanie

dear Melanie
I always thought that you would walk with me
dear Melanie
Trying to become what you dreamt you could be

Gone are the DAys

Written By: Carl Cleves

I wore a suit, drove a Mercedes Benz
To the chapel of Saint Caroline
I picked her fruit, ate all her berries
Drank all the wine and then I thrashed the shrine

Gone are the days
What you gonna do now?
You should have changed your ways
While it was time
Too late for tears
There’s only sorrow
You should have thought of that
Before the crime

My uncle Freddie was an undertaker
The best business money can buy
He said ‘boy’ and his hand was shaking
‘You will miss the water when the well runs dry’
‘You will miss the water when the well runs dry’
Gone are the days…

Hey mama, hey daddy, come and take me
Take me to higher ground
Hey mama, hey daddy I’m coming to meet you
As soon as the sun goes down
Gone are the days…

I’m standing on a bridge waiting for my saviour
Should I jump? Will I fall?
I stand ready to meet my maker
How long before the angels call?
Gone are the days…

Look out Johnny, be careful what you wish for
You can’t see the stars when the sun is high
Look out Johnny, be careful what you fish for
You will miss the water when the well runs dry

when the going gets tough

Written By: carl cleves

When the going gets tough Carl Cleves

Where do you go when the going gets tough?
Can’t take it no more, you’ve had enough
Once the neon lights shone pretty
like haloes round the moon
There’s only ghosts left in this city
The long dark night is coming soon

Lower your wings, let the hunt go south
Sleep in your clothes, living hand to mouth
Leave behind your razor and your gun
Vengeance once begun won’t be undone

Veil your light, keep your heart still
Tomorrow you’ll climb the second hill
A hunter with a poison arrow shot your self-esteem
Stole your heart and then he left you
Hanging on to a crazy dream

The mountains are forbidden
But “radiance cannot be hidden’
For every battle lost, a battle’s won
First you learn to walk and then you run

Light a candle when the stars are out
Ask yourself what it’s all about
For every battle lost, a battle’s won
First you learn to walk and then you run

Prince of Darkness

Written By: Carl Cleves

PRINCE OF DARKNESS carl cleves

Who are you prince of darkness who comes brandishing a knife
With what curse did you mark us to strike terror in our hearts
To make us shake and shiver and to watch our memories burn
Who carried you across the raging river and held your hand at every turn?
Who can save you if you don’t want to save yourself?
Who can love you if you don’t love yourself?

You say I’m stealing berries from the beaks of tiny sparrows
That I’m giving you the used bones after sucking out the marrow
You say some wounds will always bleed, that the hounds of anger must stampede
That the winds of vengeance will succeed but in such fierce winds my love can’t seed
Who can heal you if you don’t want to heal yourself?
Who can love you if you don’t love yourself?

Harsh words can break glass and broken glass cuts deep
These wounds from the past make us both weep

Don’t you know me prince of darkness when your heart bleeds so does mine
Can’t you see me prince of darkness we’re both branches of the same vine
Remember prince of darkness that it won’t be long before the sun hits noon
Remember prince of darkness that our precious life will be gone too soon
Who can save you if you don’t want to save yourself?
Who can love you if you don’t love yourself?

Behold prince of the darkness the horizon looks so sombre
You must set out right now if you want to reach the sun that’s yonder
I made a solemn vow that I won’t be your whipping boy no longer
Each time you feel the need to hurt someone who is stronger
Who can heal you if you don’t want to heal yourself?
Who can love you if you don’t love yourself?

I’ll take my candle without blame and hold my hand around the flame
And move it far from all this spite until you find your own light
Once you travelled in my book and you saved me with just one look
But now the time has come to let you off the hook
Who can save you if you don’t want to save yourself?
But I can love you if you learn to love yourself.

TENDER LOVING WOMAN

Written By: Carl Cleves

TENDER LOVING WOMAN

This feeling is too strong for me, I cannot hide it
Never felt like this before in all my life
I’m through with playing cool, I’m through with lying
I want to hold you in my arms each night,
I want to kiss you, I want to touch you
I’m torn in two, I long for you

Ch. Let me be your tender loving woman
I’ll be good to you
You’re the kind of man I always wanted
Right by my side, each day and each night

I wake up in the middle of the night, go walking along the beach
Seabreeze, it don’t cool me down
And when I sleep I have a crazy dream
You said our love was true, you said you want me
At every rendez-vous you held me tightly
I’m torn in two, I yearn for you

As you are leaving, take me with you
My heart is aching, my love is true
And if you ask me would I be the one,
I’d be willing, I’d be willing
I want to hold you in my arms each night,
I want to kiss you, I want to touch you
I’m torn in two, I long for you

Discography

recent:
2012: The House is Empty
2010: Out of Australia -with Parissa Bouas
2008: Tarab. Travels with my guitar
2007 'All Alone

with The Hottentots:
2004: Turn back the Tide
2001: Graceful
1997: The Voice of your Heart
1994: A Small World

vinyl:
1987: Love is a Phantom
1984: African Lion