The Evidence Written In Stone

This page shows a young Rob Bates in his band Amethyst as well as some of the lyrics to songs that he wrote with them. Peruse and abuse at your leisure.

Those heady school days of the early 80s

Those heady school days of the early 80s

Cynical Eyes

[Lyricist’s note: “ochre rain” – what was I thinking?]

Darkness falls so fast it’s like an ochre rain,
Turn away from chaos, head homeward once again.
The silver in your pocket buys the comfort that you keep.
Free of pain and fear, lie down your head and sleep.

You’re stumbling through the darkness,
Overwhelmed by black despair,
And you’re running fast,
But from nowhere to nowhere.
Before you are the faces,
Of the ones you have despised,
Grinning back at you with those,
Cynical eyes.

The nightmare takes control and rules your troubled mind,
Your guilty conscience take revenge for truths maligned.
The people you usurped to gain your wealth and power,
Come back to haunt you and turn all your dreams sour.

Water everywhere, nor any drop to drink,
Gold is no use in a nightmare peril,
Can’t you see that all your wealth is worth nothing,
For if the gain’s dishonest then it belongs to the devil.

© 1983 Rob Bates.

Listen to the Silence

[Lyricist’s note: I’d just like to say that despite the tone of these words, I had a great time in my teenage years, and never suffered from the traditional teenage angst of depression, paranoia and suicidal tendencies. I guess I just found that I couldn’t write about girls, motorbikes or drinking so there wasn’t much left in the Heavy Metal cliche catalogue to choose from.]

The rain is falling, making puddles in my mind,
I turn my eyes from the flooding that I find,
I see reflections on the faces in the crowd,
I turn myself away because they all seem too loud.
I search within me for a place to call my own,
Somewhere for meditation, somewhere to be alone.
People all around me keep asking me my name,
They tell me I’m a fool and then they tell me I’m to blame.

I turn away and leave them far behind,
I need somewhere to hide, somewhere they’ll never find.
Life is full of misery and nothing’s what it seems,
I feel so helpless all I can do is dream.
I fly away, on silver wings,
To a place where no one mocks me, to a place where I can sing.
There are no crowds with their taunts and violence,
I close my eyes and listen to the silence.

Someone shouts at me, the dream is shattered,
The crystal shards around me are scattered.
I’m brought back to this world of pain,
To face the people’s laughter once again.
They say they like me, they say they need me,
They say they want me but they’re lying through their teeth.
They’re all against me, they all detest me,
They want to kill me and lay the final wreath.
Won’t someone help me get out of this place,
I feel I don’t belong to this human race.
Beneath their shining masks they’re laughing with derision,
They make my decision,
End my life.

Look into the mirror, what do I see?
Mocking with its emptiness a face of misery.
A flash of steel from my hand brings sunlight to my eyes,
But sunlight brings the people here, the people I despise.
I look unto my naked arm, the veins are clear and tense,
In all my muddled thoughts this alone makes some sense.
I hold the blade above my wrist, stiffen, bow my head,
Drag the knife through skin and vein, the room just turns to red.

I fly away, on silver wings,
To a place where no one mocks me, to a place where I can sing,
There are no crowds with their taunts and violence,
I close my eyes and listen to the silence.

© 1983 Rob Bates.

War Hound

[Lyricist’s note: Loosely inspired by Michael Moorcock’s novel “The War Hound and the World’s Pain” – fortunately I don’t think he’ll ever read this.]

Riding away from the carnage and death,

Rob with hair

Rob with hair

No feelings of triumph inside me.
A smouldering city is all that we left,
What was once life is now a memory.
Magdeburg burned, no fighting was done,
Orders were misunderstood.
I didn’t know which side I was on,
But the money was good, yes the money was good.

Living life from day to day I know,
Emotions freeze but the pain still grows.
The battle may be over, but the war still carries on.
I wash my bloodstained hands as I think on what has gone.

Waiting for an end, waiting for a new beginning,
Waiting for a friend, waiting for an end to sinning,
Waiting for an answer to a question I lost long ago,
Flying my own banner, the War Hound sells to him with most.

Once again I ride alone, friends can turn to traitors.
The stars are my chart, leading me on to places filled with danger.
Born of a priest and brought up a scholar I learned it all the hard way,
But when war and the gods tore the country apart I knew how to keep from the fray.

© 1984 Rob Bates.

Back to Rob’s bio