The gods gave you victory today only to make your final defeat more bitter

by The Imaginary Suitcase

/
1.
Hey stranger 06:10
Hey stranger, listen to my story. I swear every word of it is true. If you listen closely, it might make you weep, yes, even a grown man like you Once I met this woman, she was beautiful, she was so damn true She came in like a blazing shooting star and oh my god what could I do? Except fall for her with my body, mind and soul She capsized my life, for the better She made everything I believed null and void She freed me from a life in tethers As for me, I had been living behind a mask for the greatest part of my days And for the first time, someone truly wanted to see what I’d been busy hiding away It was with her that I found out what a true emotion felt like, one that shakes you the core For the first time in my life I thought “I wanna walk beside her until I don’t breathe anymore” Just by the touch of her hand, my heart was unfettered Racing through my chest like a wild bird To love her felt intense like the sun in summer And all the while light as a feather. Of course the world could not resist the urge to meddle and decided to have its say I started hearing the first whispers of that filthy voice, loaded with the wisdom of age Its breath smelled of rancid, of family values, of a past that resented the future Of countless generations of zombies, walking dead in their shiny armors Before I realized, the well had been poisoned Everything beautiful was being reviled And I stood there, unable to muster fortitude Before I knew it it was too late to try Yes the snake with the scornful voice, he is cunning, he knows how to arouse a strife He knows all my weaknesses and plays them like an assassin knows how to use a knife He knows just how to make a man fall for the same old traps he’s been using for such a long time He’s been practicing for centuries, he knows how to make a man turn against the best things in his life And so the sparkle in her eyes grew sullen Her smile, it slowly became bland and dry She tried to warn me, but I didn’t listen Until that day she stopped wanting to try Look at me stranger, my story’s almost over, please fill my glass if you’re kind For I’m lying naked in a grave of ice haunted by keepsakes of what I should have done when it was time So dear stranger if you ever fall in love, cherish her, cuddle her, give her all the best that you feel And the first time that foul snake tries to whisper to you grab it and crush its head beneath your heel
2.
My Garden 05:00
My garden is beautiful My garden is beautiful It’s full of trees and of flowers Of all shapes and scents and colours My garden was made for me For times when I feel the need To rest and to heal my soul When I feel sick of it all My garden’s a friendly place A shelter from all the craze But don’t wander off the path Don’t go sauntering about The rustling of the leaves The humming of bumblebees Should not deceive you my dear All is not friendly here If you come across a spade Leave it where it is laid Leave it there to decay Let the rust have its way Because at the slightest scratch The secret pits will unlatch They’ll release what must be hid God save us if it’s unsealed
3.
Father 04:35
Father, I know you meant me no harm But father, I have to tell you Almost everything you taught me has been proved untrue And father this confession breaks my heart Father, your core beliefs meant well But father, your statue is too tall for me Feeling like a blade of grass in the shadow of an oak tree And your shadow makes me feel so overwhelmed Father, you'll live forever in me I'll always remain indebted to you But the time has come at last to pay my final dues Tip my hat and finally break free Father I won't disavow you But somehow I have to leave you Though it still feels like I'm betraying you You and I have to be through For both our sakes we must go our separate ways Sleep tight, I'll see you somedy
4.
It’s never been about the cause It’s never been about the facts Who cares for a truth that no one really knows It’s just about having the last word What is it we are fighting for? My truth screams louder than yours My God has a bigger dick and has guns galore And you’re just an attention whore We’re all pigeons playing chess We’re all peacocks I guess No one knows a thing about the world we’re living in And if you don’t think like me, you’re Hitler Learned idiots prancing in every talk shows Their Minions echo them on social networks They know all about football, medicine and politics, Feminism, climate change & quantum bloody physics Clinging to their gospel like it’s a lift raft Some even get money for that Every rabid roach has its favourite gurus Depending of what’s in the news We’re all pigeons playing chess We’re all some fucker’s parrot I guess No one knows a thing about the mess we’re living in And if you dare to disagree, you’re Stalin We’re all fucking cardboard tanks We all have mold in our brains No one knows a thing about the world we’re living in And if you dare contradict me you’re bin Laden Let the one who never gave in to rant on anything To display his Dunning-Krueger on a subject he doesn't master Let her cast the first stone, yeah, for it’s most likely a she And for the rest of you, for the rest of us, for the rest of everyone, Well maybe we should just shut our fucking faces unclefuckers This game has only one winner And his name is Mark Zuckerberg… And if you wanna prove me wrong, well, whatever
5.
As long as we measure the value of a man By how many other men bow to him As long as we measure the strength of a man By the number of his victims As long as we worship the fighting cocks The lions and the peacocks As long as we take pride in tears In humiliation and fear There can be no hope How could there be hope? Hope is a sick joke How can we look at ourselves in the mirror And not burst out laughing? How can we claim we are masters and landlords When we’re just puppets on a string? I’ve said it before our chains are plated gold So we can pretend they are jewels Our prisons have wi-fi and beer is ice cold So we can all revel like big fools There can be no hope How could there be hope? Hope is a sick joke How much crap has been poured in our heads That we love what hurts us the most How many lies have we been breastfed By shadows of long extinct ghosts All that we touch we turn into a war zone Can’t we do better than that? All of the shams and deceit we condone Is this what it’s all about? There can be no hope How could there be hope? Hope is a sick joke
6.
Complice 05:30
J’ai toujours fait comme on m’a dit, J’ai tout bien fait comme il fallait Toujours bien marcher dans les clous, Bien colorier dans les lignes J’ai toujours fait comme on m’a dit, En soldat presque parfait J’ai travaillé comme un fou Pour respecter les consignes J’ai bien lu le mode d’emploi, Croyant qu’un jour je finirais Par comprendre les pourquois, Par me dire que c’était vrai Par y croire moi aussi, Par dire qu’ils avaient raison Ces grands messieurs semblaient si A l’aise dans leurs convictions Complice Frère, si tu savais comme j’enrage de pas l’avoir écoutée Cette petite voix dans mon cœur qui toujours me répétait D’avoir un poil de courage et de les envoyer bouler Tous ces doctes arnaqueurs et leur discours frelatés Souvent j’ai envie de vomir, de rugir ou de pleurer Quand j’arrive pas à dormir et qu’il revient pour me hanter Ce petit garçon qui rêvait de tendresse et de douceur Que j’ai lentement suicidé pour faire place à la torpeur Complice Là où je suis j’ai un peu plus d’hier que de lendemains Et l’armure que je me suis faite, je peux plus la supporter Je ne respire quasiment plus, je sens à peine mes mains Le casque m’écrase la tête, la rouille m’empêche de marcher Mais le cadenas est inviolable, la mécanique en est grippée La clef en reste introuvable, et je reste bien élevé. Mais cette fois-ci je crie « non ! » et même si je dois en crever Je retrouverai ma voix, mon nom, mieux vaut même trop tard que jamais Plus jamais complice Au pire si je trouve pas la force de sauver ce qui reste de mon âme Je peux au moins couper la chaîne, je peux arrêter la spirale S’il ne reste de moi qu’une écorce et qu’en route je perds ma flamme Cette mort molle dans mes gènes trouvera en moi son point final. S’il y a un gamin qui m’écoute, envoie-les bien chier tous ces cons Offre-toi des fleurs et des doutes, n’aie jamais peur d’une question Mets pas ton cœur dans de l’acier c’est une arnaque, un sabotage, Aime, c’est la seule vérité, le reste c’est que de l’enfumage. Ne deviens pas complice
7.
OK Boomer 04:05
There you are, patronizing as usual Dealing death and judgement on your throne made of fool’s gold We are tired of watching your misplaced pride You know all the answers but you don’t know any single question There you are blaming everyone especially your daughters & sons Petty ludicrous inquisition We are tired of hearing you spew your bile always one the wrong ones Always on the weaker ones We have every right to be upset, we have every right to be mad Cause now we know you fed us lies and good intentions won’t make it right we have every right to discard you, you rigged the game and tilted the table And you look so self-satisfied but lies are lies & they weren’t even white There you are hammering spoilt brat wisdom Bloated egos so self-important There we are one foot on sea one on shore but both feet deep in your manure And the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a train We have every right to be upset, we have every right to be mad Cause now we know you fed us lies and good intentions won’t make it right we have every right to discard you, you rigged the game and tilted the table And you look so self-satisfied but lies are lies & they weren’t even white You have built the cities of nightmare, you have drank the whole world dry Now that we ask for a glass, you call us thieves and lowlife crass But we won’t be grateful for your contempt, we won’t thank you for your scorn Cause your whole world was built on lies and we’re about to tear it down
8.
This is the greatest love that’s ever been under the sun Too bad it’s an unrequited one Another man, he’s making happy Another man, he’s slowly killing me Though I do my best to hide it all behind casual schmooze There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to be in his shoes You know I wouldn’t spend a drop of sweat for no God and no king But I would smile in the line of fire if that would save your skin So many times I felt on the brink of breaking all the levees Of giving myself up to your mercy on my bended knees But I can lay no claim, I have no right to burst into your world And disturb it no matter how sincere would be my words. I can’t help it You and I, we would be so beautiful We would simply be magnificent There would have been nothing quite like us No other story would ever match us O why such a waste of glory? All of you watch me heads up, playing the cynic Profess with arrogance that love is just an antic A spasm decked out with the rags of a dead god A lie that will be gone as swiftly as a storm cloud But my arms are aching with the longing to hold you dear My eyes are stinging as they fight against the bitter tears The thrill of a first kiss that will never ever be Feasts on my soul and tears it off from me This is the greatest love that’s ever been going down the drain Its ashes washed away by an unsuspecting rain
9.
I’ll be happy with the crumbs from your table I’ll be content with whatever you’re able To throw at me, to toss at me, I don’t care if it’s good All I care about is that it’s coming from you Anything you’d discard, anything you don’t mind Throwing away, I’ll take it no questions asked I’ll be weaving such a web with my open wound I’ll create such a perfect cocoon My weaknesses are my weapons, my nakedness is armed And before you know it you’ll be helplessly charmed Anything you’d discard, anything you don’t mind Throwing away, I’ll take it no questions asked I’ll be happy with the crumbs from your table You’ll be enthralled by whatever I’m able To build for you, to do for you, and before you understand I’ll be holding you under complete command Anything you’d discard, anything you don’t mind Throwing away, I’ll take it no questions asked
10.
Coming home 07:20
I’m coming home with a knife between my teeth I’m coming home with a hard-on in my jeans I’m coming home Whether it’s good news remains to be seen I’m coming home with a few things to say I’m coming home not sure I’m gonna stay I’m coming home Half of my life already down the drain I’m coming home and I got presents for you all But don’t get hyped, not before you know I’m coming home And some stories need to be told Do not slay the fat calf to quickly Not before you listen to me Do not yet set the table with silverware Do not wear your Sunday best for me Do not call the neighbours to see This party might become your worst nightmare It took so many years to get rid of the muzzle It took a lot of tears to get rid of the blinkers To shed the old skin that was never mine to begin with It took a half life to get out of the straitjacket You decided suited me best And that dead skin I throw it at your feet in offering But do not fear me I don’t want no payback I just came here to play the final act Of unlearning most of what you taught me was good and bad To clean myself from the poison of your white lies
11.
Harking is bonny and there lives my love My heart lies on him and will not be moved It will not be moved oh for all that I have done Oh I never will forget my love Anachie For Anachie Gordon he's bonny and he's rough He'd entice any woman that ever he saw He'd entice any woman and so he has done me Oh I never will forget my love Anachie Down came her father and he's standing by the door Saying “Jeannie you’re trying the tricks of a whore You care nothing for a man who cares so very much for thee You must marry Lord Sultan and leave Anachie For Anachie Gordon he’s barely but a man I know he may be pretty but where are his lands The Sultan's lands are broad and his towers they run high You will marry Lord Sultan, forget Anachie.” Jeannie was married and from church was brought home And when she and her maidens so merry should have been When she and her maidens so merry should have been She went into her chamber, she cried all alone. And down came her father and he's spoken with renown Saying “you that are her maidens, go loosen up her gown” But she fell down to the floor, so close down by his knee Saying “father look I'm dying for my love Anachie.” The day that Jeannie married was the day that Jeannie died And the day that young Anachie came home on the tide And down came her maidens all wringing off their hands Saying oh it's been so long, you've been so long on the sands So long on the sands, so long on the sea They have married your Jeannie and now she lies dead. Harking is bonny and there lives my love My heart lies on him and will not be moved It will not be moved oh for all that I have done Oh I never will forget my love Anachie
12.
The bungler 06:00
If he was made of flesh & bones I’d smash his head with a brick It would be so good to hear him moan While I punch and tear and kick But it’s my own face I’d have to wreck For he lives in my skull, flows in my veins He keeps my heart in a tight check While he makes my tongue say words of pain He’s the civil war inside my head He’s the hemlock I keep drinking He’s the tombstone in my bed The lies unmasked that I keep believing When my left hand wants to caress My right hand is a clenched fist My heart wants to give you access My brain puts you on the blacklist I want him dead, I want him out, I want him gone, should I cut my hand to stop it from hurting I want him dead, I want him out, I want him gone, should I pluck out my eyes to stop them from weeping I want him dead, I want him out, I want him gone, should I cut my tongue to stop it from lying I want to live, I want to love, I want to hold you without his shadow so sickening But this time, you’ve gone too far This time Mister Bungle, it’s war Maybe you finally lost your touch This time you’ve cost me too much This soul ain’t big enough for both of us
13.
Bought myself a guitar, learned all the chords Watched every video to learn how to strike a pose Fell prey to the gear acquisition syndrome Know where my money goes, don’t care where it comes from But there’s one thing I have to say Things still don’t come my way There is something that is not quite right No matter how hard I try: I can’t get no sex and the drugs are expensive All I can get is rock & roll I can’t afford drugs and sex is elusive But I find solace in rock & roll It’s not that I haven’t tried to bring chicks to my house But they just clap politely, kiss me on the cheek and say “see you around” They find me sympathetic, yeah, without the sym But I know one day they’ll treat me like a king Still there’s something I don’t do right And I can’t name it for the love of life When I’ll put my finger on it I’ll blow your mind, believe it I can’t get no sex and the drugs are expensive All I can get is rock & roll I can’t afford drugs and sex is elusive But I find solace in rock & roll One day, when I’ll be rich and famous, they’ll all look up to me And for all their scorn and indifference, they’ll feel so sorry I’ll sweep ‘em off their feet take them sky high My riffs will feel like a whip upon their backs Until then... I can’t get no sex and the drugs are expensive All I can get is rock & roll I can’t afford drugs and sex is elusive But I find solace in rock & roll
14.
Whiskey 04:50
I’ve been up & down. Well, more often down than up And I had my share of dreams though most of them didn’t work And if I’ve learned one thing don’t rely on material things They flow like water through yur fingers before you can think You believe you’ve earned yourself a place in this world thanks to hard work and pluck Till some bloke from the bank or the taxes comes and says “buddy, you’re fucked” And you’re left stranded, but it’s not the worst part of it yet Watch your friends as they run like rats leave a sinking ship For I had one friend and his name was whiskey And its warmth within me Never let me down down down Love is pleasing, takes you high on its fluffy wings Then drops you five miles high and watches you with a grin The very reasons why a lover will find you adorable at the start Will be the reason why they’ll deject you and will tear you apart Enjoy the sweet while it lasts, before the sour comes to pass Cause love will say byebye, leaving you high and dry But I had one love and his name was whiskey I had one love and its warmth within me Never let me down down down You can put your trust in the golden spirit of the glen The only one I knew that remained true to any bitter end Who will be stand by you, help you pulling through when the cap it spins When every friend betrays and every lover leaves when the thick becomes thin I have no head for wine, it fucks too much with my mind Beer is OK you know but today I won’t take it slow Bring me my friend whose name is whiskey Bring me my friend for he never failed me

about

The title comes from the reply a Roman general allegedly gave to Celt warriors bragging about having heavily defeated the Romans in a previous battle.

This album was everything but easy to bring to life. I won't spill the beans, but let's say 2019 & 20 have been "annis horribile" (not sure this plural of "annus horribilis" is correct, let me know if not).

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, it is said. Not sure about that though. Ordeal after ordeal after ordeal will maybe not kill you, but may leave you exhausted, drained, with some serious shellshock, running on empty emotional batteries.

Those who followed the previous episodes know my songs were most often loosely inspired by events in my personal life, though always through a lens of irony and detachment. Not this time. These ones are not "freely adapted from" or "inspired by".

"The gods..." is me, Laurent, where I stood in november-december 2020. To hell with masks, manners or irony buffer.

This album is edgy, uncomfortable and I made no effort to make your listening experience comfortable. It is rough around the edges, and technically far from flawless. This is all deliberate. Deal with it or go listen to Mumford & Sons.

credits

released March 1, 2021

All words, music, vocals, instruments Laurent Leemans except:
-"Anachie Gordon" trad., arr. Laurent Leemans
-Vocals on "Anachie Gordon": Daria Leemans
-Backing vocals on "Pigeons playing chess": Carla Joisten & Margaux Duwez (www.instagram.com/lady_lullaby)

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The Imaginary Suitcase Wallonia, Belgium

Grumpy Belgian singer-songwriter voicing his considerations about life, death, and the confusing bits inbetween.

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