The Lampolier – Grover Anderson

A lot of good music comes to me in unexpected ways. I was sent an email a while back from a man named Grover Anderson, along with this song. Track with those lyrics while you listen.

There was a poor old Lampolier
Who’d corner any man drawn near
Solicit, grinning ear to ear, his time
“Dear Citizen, entrepreneur,
“Bourgeoisie or raconteur,
“Permit me the chance to fill your mind
“With my travelled, torrid tale
“No broken hearts or angels ailing
“In some foreign castle in decline.
“If you’ll sit a minute please
“I’ll tell you how your own two knees
“Can carry you to hold the brightest light
“Ever to shine.”

Now most men over five and twenty’d
Long since learned to make their money
Pouring iron or pressing fact’ry stamp.
But me, I’d gone by many names,
I’d brought my parents ought but shame
Dishonorably they’d cast me out a tramp.
“Sit, I’ll tell you crystal clear,”
To me said the Lampolier,
Cold, glazed piercing eyes once red and damp
“Days a’walk from this cold city
“Hides a cave, old, dark, & gritty
“And inside’s the light that outshines anything
“I’ve ever burned inside my lamp.”

The Lampolier
Tell my mother it was the Lampolier

“Three days out Route 49
“You’ll find a town in deep decline
“Left abandoned by all but the fools.
“Then go up walking in the hills,
“Wander where the light it wills,
“But don’t you trouble rations, maps or tools.”
I had to stop the Lampolier,
“Mister you’ve not made it clear,
“Exactly the value of the light.”
“Young man,” said the old lampmaker,
“Love your God and don’t forsake Her,
“But this light’s the very holy source that gives
your soul its life.”

The Lampolier
Tell my mother it was the Lampolier
If you find my body here
Carry it into the sun

Well I obeyed the man’s directions
Brought no map but found the sections
Perfectly the Lampolier’d described
I crawled headfirst in that hole
Lost my grip and cracked my skull
And in the waning moment before I died
I recognized a well-dressed stranger
Eyes ablaze, I’d played his game to
Watch him stoke his cold and glorious fire
He held a shiny lamp towards me
And rather than my soul set free
Now I make his flame burn all the brighter

The Lampolier
Tell my mother it was the Lampolier
If you find my body here
Carry it into the sun

Children do not fear the dark
You’ve no idea who lit the spark
That you believes keeps demons far at bay
Late at night when lamps are burning
Next to you he could be lurking
The Lampolier could always use more prey.

Check out his website, buy his music, etc. I’m going to be reviewing the album “The Optomist” when I get the chance to listen to the whole thing. Seriously, though, Grover writes some of the coolest lyrics I’ve ever seen. Bravo.


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