FULL LYRICS

Two Cities 

CHORUS: Two cities stand on separate shores, on either side of a stretch of sea 

The channel’s only one mile wide but these towns hold such different scenes (yeah)

In wealthy Seston people play and streets are bathed in leafy shade (yeah)

In Abbeyford furnaces blaze and workers slave through burning haze (yeah)

And in between no ships may pass, as long as gods control our fate,

The ocean forms an endless wall that none can break

Two lovers broke each others faith, and dragged us all into their games

Aphrodite the goddess of love and Hephaestus the god of flames 

So violent is that ancient hate they closed the borders between their states

In her town of Seston she hides away and in Abbeyford he rules with rage

And in between no ships may pass, silence falls upon the waves

Anyone who dares to cross will be erased

The Stage Is Set

CHORUS: The stage is set 

The gods have their strange divorce settlement 

Us regular humans have to do as we’re told

But for one day a year

Everything changes 

The borders are flung open 

Thousands of people pour into Seston 

And Speakers thud  

To the sounds 

Of the festival            

The Festival

LEANDER: I got off the boat this morning 

Fresh out of Abbeyford ready for an all-day spree

Me and all the squad  work three hundred 

Sixty-four days so you know now we’re blowing off steam

It goes one shot two shot turn into a few shots Seston ain’t ready for me, I don’t 

Care who watches I got money in my pocket in we all just turned 18 (ayy)

So pour up, pour up the amphora -phora, it’s the festival of Aphrodite, I don’t 

Care who’s playing cos I know that we’re staying ’til the sunrises and we gotta flee

But then I see somebody standing on the Main Stage 

And suddenly my head no longer spins

She has a voice like a thousand starlings murmurating

When she takes the microphone and starts to sing

HERO: I get off the stage that evening

Tired as the summer day’s long and I’m ready for sleep

But I don’t even get ten yards ‘til

This boy with a drink in his hand start’s heading towards me he says

LEANDER: That was amazing can I ask what your name is?

 HERO: Hero. 

LEANDER: Hero?

HERO: That’s correct.

And if you’re about to tell me that’s a man’s name, then I’m gonna 

Pour that red wine on your head.

LEANDER: I was gonna say that’s it’s beautiful and so are you 

HERO:You’re drunk. 

LEANDER: That doesn’t make it any less true. 

My name’s Leander and if you’d take my hand and have a 

Dance I would truly be blessed.

HERO: And I don’t know why such a corny pick up line works

But suddenly I’ve found a second wind

And there’s a million better things I should be doing

But instead for that whole night I dance with him

The Next Morning

CHORUS: The Next Morning, Hero Wakes Up Alone 

The memories of last night swimming like dolphins 

Panic

And loneliness start 

To set in

Then a young man climbs the stairs to her bedroom

Sheepishly holding a tray

It is Leander

Breakfast Ballad

LEANDER: I hope you don’t mind but I got up and

Made you breakfast

You looked so peaceful asleep spreadout like a tree

In a canopy of sheets and so I

Ran round the lighthouse that you somehow live in

To find your  Utensils

It isn’t my greatest creation don’t ask me how 

The avocados are burned

Apollo’s great sphere burns the night’s mist away and

The last ship is ready to leave

But we’ve got one hour until then so I 

Thought this would help get the hangover eased

HERO: What on earth are you, you come out of nowhere 

Stunned me senseless

Now you’re all doe eyed at six in the morning

With coffee and toast like my heart won’t explode

I moved to this lighthouse to find peace on my own

But you stormed my defences

It’s not the booze that turns in my stomach

It’s knowing that you can’t come back until next summer

HERO & LEANDER: Nyx pulls the curtain of darkness away and

The last ship is ready to leave

But we’ve got one hour until then

So let’s just pretend we don’t know that means

LEANDER: I think I’ve had an idea

HERO: Please hurry its nearly too late

LEANDER: Okay, but shine your lighthouse’s beam towards Abbeyford tonight, 

You might be surprised at what comes back your way

The Swim

LEANDER: Spent the whole day sleeping

When night falls I’m rushingown to the sands

It’s all grey without her

All the colours run from across the border where she stands

I wonder what she’s thinking

Maybe she won’t follow through with the plan

But then I see that lighthouse twinkling

The brightest star in all the world rests upon the land

If I had wings like Hermes’ sandalled feet

Or Pheatons horses charging though the sky

I’d leap this ocean like a mountain stream

And sttick a clumsy landing at your side

But since I’m just a lump of mortal clay

And there’s no ship to bear me on its prow

I’ll swim my passage through the crashing waves

To where your house’s flickering light shines out

The water’s dark and freezing

Pushing half the air out of my lungs

But as long as I’m still breathing

I can put one arm in front of the other until I’m done

The town’s search lights are blazing

They won’t a single boat come ashore

Good thing I’m not sailing

So as long as I’m not swept away I’ll make it to her door

If I had wings like Hermes’ sandalled feet

Or Pheatons horses charging though the sky

I’d leap this ocean like a mountain stream

And stick a clumsy landing at your side

But since I’m just a lump of mortal clay

And there’s no ship to bear me on its prow

I’ll swim my passage through the crashing waves

To where your house’s flickering light shines out

Smugglers’ Song

POSEIDON: Poseidon is what some call me, some Erectheus or Neptune

All you need know is I’ve rode these waves as long as they’ve been blue

If there’s something you’re craving bad and  buying local just won’t do

Then sneak your order across the border and I’ll be there promptly with my crew 

POSEIDON & CREW: So roll boys, the night is young, And there’s a killing to be made

Where the moonlight glows and the punters go that’s where we ply our trade

(I said) Roll Boys the chase is on but they’ll all flounder in our wake

We’ll smuggle our score from shore to shore til the dawn begins to break

POSEIDON: Hephaestus is a nephew of mine his temper’s furnace hot

When he caught Aphrodite with another man he nearly slew her on the spot

I kept him quiet with a mountain of gold that he spends on his machines

And while he broods on divine principles we meet his subjects’ earthly needs 

POSEIDON & CREW: So roll boys, the night is young, And there’s a killing to be made

Where the moonlight glows and the punters go that’s where we ply our trade

(I said) Roll Boys the chase is on but they’ll all flounder in our wake

We’ll smuggle our score from shore to shore til the dawn begins to break

POSEIDON: Aphrodite is a flighty one she hasn’t  been seen in years

Her worshippers all talk of love but foreigners give them fear

Unless its for the festival its’ “no migrants welcome here”

But oh how quickly they change their tune when I show up with a crate of exotic beers

POSEIDON & CREW: So roll boys, the night is young, And there’s a killing to be made

Where the moonlight glows and the punters go that’s where we ply our trade

(I said) Roll Boys the chase is on but they’ll all flounder in our wake

We’ll smuggle our score from shore to shore til the dawn begins to break

POSEIDON: So out one night on a channel run you won’t believe what I see

A young lad swimming through the jet black waves says he’s off to meet his squeeze

He asks for a lift and tell him alas you’re too risky a cargo my lover

But I throws him a bottle of my finest rum and wish him luck one smuggler to another

POSEIDON & CREW: So roll boys, the night is young, And there’s a killing to be made

Where the moonlight glows and the punters go that’s where we ply our trade

(I said) Roll Boys the chase is on but they’ll all flounder in our wake

We’ll smuggle our score from shore to shore til the dawn begins to break

You Came Back

HERO: Once I had a lover, he threw me to the wolves

Left me by the cliffside, where I wondered If I’d fall

I built myself a new life, found a lighthouse no-one used

Was going to turn it’s light off, and nurse another wound

Then on the seaside I saw you

You came back,  and nothing about it’s logical

Against the rules, against the odds, against the tides,

You came back, now nothing is impossible

I’m not letting anything take you away this time

Come in you frozen merman, let me melt away the ice.

Let me bathe you let me feed you let me kiss you back to life,

Take my heart and take my body, I wasn’t using either right

Take the sun out of the heavens so you can stay, or if you like

Just swim back tomorrow night

‘Cos you came back,  and nothing about it’s logical

Against the rules, against the odds, against the tides,

You came back, now nothing is impossible

I’m not letting anything take you away this time

Hephaestus’ Song

CHORUS: When Leander swims back to Abbeyford

Word of his adventures gets back to the gods

Hero watches smoke blotting out the sky

And in a vision Hephaestus meets her eye

HEPHAESTUS: Hero, you’ve made a dreadful mistake

You’ve broken the promise of that goddess you praise

Those borders you think of as a burdensome chain

Are really the only thing keeping you safe

Aphrodite, she betrayed me, she tore up all I’d known

I could have destroyed her and this town you call home

But instead I showed mercy and all I asked in exchange

Is that she keep her distance, and that you little mortals do the same

Hero, we both know love’s no bird on the wing

It’s a fire in forest that chars everything

When the summer has faded, and the seas are too wild to swim

Do you really think Leander will come back to visit next spring?

HERO: Hephaestus, you don’t know me I can do just what I please

I’m sorry Aphrodite hurt you, but neither of you rule over me 

I’m following the laws that my heart has made clear

And as long as he’s swimming I’ll welcome him here

HEPHAESTUS: Hero you fool, you don’t care who will drown

When the floodgates are opened and the system breaks down

I can’t let you I must stop you, and since Aphrodite won’t help

And extinguish this lighthouse I’ve no choice but do it, myself 

CHORUS: Then down from the smoke Hephaestus descends

Raises up an arm where flesh and metal blend

Brings it down upon the lighthouse’s glass

Smashes it into a thousand tiny shards

The Beacon

HERO: The light is now a wreck

A pile of broken glass and torn electric cabling

How will I fix this mess?

How will I show Leander I’m still waiting?

He will think that I have just forgotten 

And everyone will tell him not to bother

And all my love will be dashed upon the rocks

And wash out with the flotsam 

What if hephaestus is right?

What if there’s no hope, what if we’re doomed to failure?

Each swim could take his life

And we barely know each other is it worth the danger?

Every voice in either town is raised to warn us

And now the ones in my head join the chorus

To scream that I’m always supposed to be alone

Safely sad within these borders

No I won’t, I’ll

 Sweep the old light out of this place, and 

Where it stood I’ll build up a fire That’s 

Big enough to see from where he stays, and

Light it with a lock of my hair, oh

Aphrodite please hear

Red White and Gold

CHORUS: The beacon burns red white and gold

A pyrotechnic flare in the night

These colours all belong to one goddess

Could this be the return of Aphrodite?

If she is here she makes no sound

No sign anywhere in town of her

Hero and Leander have no time to wait

Too busy enjoying the summer 

The Summer

HERO: I caught me a summer, Held it gently in my hand

Like it might fly away, I couldn’t let that be

The future’s like a mushroom cloud, but I’ll pay it no mind

If you are here with me

LEANDER: Let’s go to the beach beach, let’s go get a wave

Let’s just sit out here with a bag of chips and chat nonsense for days

HERO: Let’s go walking, climb on the rocks,

They used to terrify me but with you beside me I know I won’t fall off

LEANDER: Let’s wake up together, just for one day

Its the freakin’ weekend surely no border guards will come our way

HERO: What about your job? 

LEANDER:They might fire me but hey,

I’ll just be your roadie and follow you around carrying

HERO: The summer goes on may it never fade

Let’s stay eighteen forever never let autumn break

LEANDER: The Elders don’t like it, what’s got them so afraid?

What could one extra human possibly take away?

HERO: I see more arriving, swimming out in the spray

You set the example you showed them how to be brave

LEANDER: I just told them about you and the music you make

Look even Poseidon’s come out in broad daylight to hear you play

POSEIDON: I caught me a summer, held it gently in my hands

Like it might shed its bonds and leap back in the sea

I came to make sure these new swimmers have all that they need

But wait who’s that in front of me?

APHRODITE: It’s Aphrodite baby!

I’m back, I’m back,  Pop all the champagne

It’s been a while, but darling you look the same

Seston, why the long faces? // Let’s celebrate

My presence is a present so enjoy it today 

LEANDER: Aphrodite what an honour 

APHRODITE: Leander, enchantez,

I’ve heard all about you, cheeky chappy no mistake!

I can see why Hero likes you. Mmm swimmer’s physique…

My ex must be fuming that you’re here all week!

LEANDER: I have to ask you about that, Hephaestus is on our case

They say he’s building a machine, they say it makes the weather change

I’m happy swimming out here, but not if Hero isn’t safe

Maybe you could talk to him? Help him let go of his pain?

APHRODITE: Darling it’s complicated, there’s the whole thing we arranged 

We can’t talk to each other that’s the deal that was made

Besides you’re a delight but I wouldn’t want a million of you here

LEANDER: What? 

APHRODITE: Sorry must dash, maybe see you next year!

LEANDER: I caught me a summer, held its  gently in my hands

I knew it couldn’t  stay, still I begged it not to leave.

But when the first leaf turned to orange I knew that it was done

And let it catch the breeze

My love I think I have to stay home for winter

I promise on the first day of next summer I’ll return

HERO:  Okay.  

No, wait, just one more night swim back here

LEANDER: Anything for you babe, let that lighthouse fire burn

The Weather Machine 

HEPHAESTUS: Build it up so tall

My beautiful machine

Raise it to the very highest point

I want to them watch as the furnaces gleam

When it fires up

The clouds will unravel

Seven feet of rain in a single night

Then we’ll see who wants to swim the channel

Riots downtown

They don’t want to sink

What’s an omelette without a few broken eggs?

Sorry if I’m s’posed to care what they think

Now its time to start

So let the engines roar

All they had to do was stick to the rules

Now they won’t have any thing left to stick to at all

 The Flood 

LEANDER: The sea is writhing and roiling 

The sheets of rain obscure what little light persists 

But I’ll shed my clothes and  dive in, I’ll swim blind if I have to

Because I made a promise. And that promise is worth the risk

And I won’t, I won’t leave you out there

Alone in the wind and the storm

To love someone, even when it might kill you

Is madness and an idiocy I’m so glad exists

To touch someone, even when its forbidden

Is the loveliest crime I’ve ever had the chance to commit,

So I won’t, I won’t leave you out there

I’ll find you, somehow I will keep you warm

HERO: What have I done, I should have known this night Hephaestus would strike

I have to find some way to tell him not to swim tonight

Poseidon, I’ll give you all I have just smuggle him the message that I’ve changed my mind

POSEIDON: I’ll do it Free of charge my lover, 

but I can’t guarantee that I’ll make it in time

Let’s go boys! Roll!

HERO: I stand up on the rocks, the Beacon is blown out

I’m Scanning the shoreline for any sign of a boy or a ship

The water’s so high, it there’s so little hope left

But as long there’s a glimmer I’ll hold so  it tight in my fist

HERO & LEANDER: ‘Cos I won’t, I won’t leave you out there

Alone in the wind  and the storm

I won’t, I won’t leave you out there

I’ll find you, somehow I will keep you warm

Dawn Breaks

CHORUS: Dawn Breaks 

Poseidon returns to console Hero

But he is too late

She sees Leander’s body wash up on the beach below

And she knows 

there is only one way to join him: to jump 

HERO: If I had wings like Hermes’ sandalled feet

Or Pheatons horses charging though the sky

I’d leap this ocean like a mountain stream

And sttick a clumsy landing at your side

Haul Away

POSEIDON: Oh hoist the sail the wind is strong

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: I cannot stay by this ruin too long

CHORUS: And it’s gone, boys, gone

POSEIDON: Oh lift the anchor turn the wheel

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Put open waves beneath our keel

CHORUS: But we sail, sail on

POSEIDON: The flood struck both the towns that night

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: It swept each house and home in sight

CHORUS: And it’s gone, boys, gone

POSEIDON: When dawn stretched o’er that awful day

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Many more than Leander were washed away

CHORUS: But we sail, sail on

POSEIDON: Some turned and fled to higher ground

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Some built again from what they found

CHORUS: And it’s gone, boys, gone

POSEIDON: Some blamed the gods and cursed the fates 

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Some thought it just the ocean’s way

CHORUS: But we sail, sail on

POSEIDON: I went down and held the broken frames 

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Of two young lovers needlessly slain

CHORUS: And it’s gone, boys, gone

POSEIDON: Though I’m wisened through a thousand years

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Tears fell like tides upon my beard

CHORUS: But we sail, sail on

POSEIDON: I carried them to the lighthouse boys

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: And climbed it to the highest point

CHORUS: And it’s gone, boys, gone

POSEIDON: And in one final beacon fire

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: I laid those bodies side by side

CHORUS: But we sail, sail on

POSEIDON: Some say the gods took pity on their souls

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: And plucked them both out as they rose

CHORUS: And it’s gone, boys, gone

POSEIDON: And made them two goldfinches that soar

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Through mountains far from any shore

CHORUS: But we sail, sail on

POSEIDON: I can’t say how true these tales may be

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: Such mysteries are like the sea

CHORUS: And it’s gone, boys, gone

POSEIDON: We know not what its dark depths hide

CHORUS: Away, Haul Away

POSEIDON: But at dawn across it we must strive 

CHORUS: But we sail, sail on

Tide comes in, tide goes out

Autumn turns to winter, winter to spring

Nothing’s quite the same as last time

But nonetheless we start again