Can't Clip My Wings

by Nazneen Rahman

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about

I wrote these songs between 2012-2014. I don't know quite why. I didn't write then with the anticipation that anyone else would want to listen to them, but I have been deeply touched that they have brought pleasure to others. My songs are snapshots of life's complexities, sometimes wistful, sometimes melancholic, always heartfelt. I hope you enjoy them.

credits

released May 5, 2014

Music and lyrics by Nazneen Rahman, except track 4 (Kate Bush), track 9 (Kaiser Chiefs), track 10 (Sade)
Vocals and backing Vocals, by Nazneen Rahman
Piano and programming Joe Davison
Saxophone (track 10) by Haroon Taylor
Produced by Joe Davison for Auburn Jam Music
Album design by Nikki Davison for Auburn Jam Music
Photography by Andy Teo

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about

Nazneen Rahman London, UK

Welcome!. I sing intimate stories about life's complexities. With jazz and soul influences. I'm also a cancer scientist.

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Track Name: Running Wild
Oh since you’ve gone, I’m running wild.
Oh since you’ve gone, I’m wasting time.

I’m making all my sad excuses
Blaming all the gods and zeuses
I’m breaking every resolution that I make.
I'm milking every smile and kindness
Claiming sanctuary in the mindless
I’m shirking all of my commitments, what a fake.

Oh since you’ve gone, I’m running wild.
Oh since you’ve gone, I’m wasting my life.

You’d be so sick of my excesses
You’d roll your eyes at my digresses
You’d say that I was so much more than I’ve become.
Could it be I’m just a reckless, feckless sham without you here?
Could it be that without you, I’m no one.

Oh since you’ve gone, I’m running from my life.
Oh since you’ve gone, I’m running for my life.

They all say that I’m grieving
But I’m just angry at you leaving
I want the world to scream out with my pain.
Sure I could drag myself together
Play like its sunny weather
But if I do what of you would remain?

Oh since you’ve gone, I’m running wild
Oh since you’ve gone, I’m wasting time
Oh since you died,
I'm running wild.
Track Name: Constructive dismissal
You ask me for a present,
I offer you a song
You say that that’s too easy
Cos it won’t take me long.

You ask me for a token
I offer words of love
You say that that’s too simple
And no more than you deserve.

But it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
That there’s nothing I can give you.
It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
Cos there’s nothing you will take.

I ask you for an answer
You offer me denial
You flinch beneath my fingers
You bridle at my smile.

I ask you for a grievance
You’re happy to provide
You ice it with resentment
I don’t even care, just it let slide.

But it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
That there’s nothing you will give me.
It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
Cos there’s nothing that I want

But I remember when you coaxed the buttons from my blouse
You traced the lifelines in our palms
You walked for miles to reach my house.
And I remember when I had no fear
If you were near and
Everything in life seemed clear.

Now we’re a mess of contradictions
We’re a sump of futures gone
We’re the shards of broken ceasefires
And everything we do is wrong,
Everything we had is gone,
You and I we don’t belong,
You and I we’re just wrong.

But it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
That your keys are on the table
It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
Cos I’ve already changed the locks

It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
That we’ve nothing left to fight for now.
It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok
Cos the bed’s already warm.
Track Name: Lost Cause
Why can’t you hear me?
I’m talking quite loud.
Is the voice in my head?
Was it lost in that crowd?

Why can’t you hear me?
I’m singing it out.
My lungs ache from the crying
There’s no cause for doubt.

And I’ve told you I’m sorry
I’m not this girl.
I’ve told you I’m trying
Not to drown in this world.

Why can’t you see me?
I’m standing right here.
Has the black of my shadows
Made my face disappear?

Why won’t you touch me?
I’m lying so still.
I won’t be any trouble
When’s the next pill?

And I’ve told you I’m looking
Though it’s so very dark.
I’ve told you I’ll keep searching
For our bench in the park.

And I long to taste the air outside this space
To sense some warmth upon my face
But I have no feeling.
I just keep falling, I’m falling, I’m falling,
Keep falling down.

Why won’t you help me?
I’m trying so hard
Are you scared I’ll drag you under
If you let down your guard?

Won’t anyone help me?
Why do you all pause?
Can you sense in the ether
That I’m a lost cause.

But I promise I’m fighting
No one could do more
I promise I’m clinging on
Though my fingers are raw

Hush now, I’m talking
I can’t say it out loud.
Too weak even to whisper
No strength to be proud.

And you know that I’m sorry
That I can’t try anymore
You know I’m too crippled
To swim to the shore

Can anyone hear me?
Track Name: The Man with the Child in His Eyes
I hear him, before I go to sleep
And focus on the day that’s been
I realise he’s there when I turn the light off
And turn over.
Nobody knows about my man.
They think he’s lost on some horizon.
And suddenly I find myself, listening to man
I’ve never known before.
Telling me about the sea
Oh he’s lost to eternity.

Ooo he’s here again
The man with the child in his eyes.

He’s very understanding
And he’s so aware
Of all my situations
And when I stay up late
He’s always waiting
But I feel him hesitate.
Oh I’m so worried about my love.
They say, no no it won’t last for ever.
And here I am again, my girl.
Wondering what on earth I’m doing here.
Maybe he doesn’t love me
I just took a trip
On my love for him.

Ooo he’s here again
The man with the child in his eyes.
Track Name: Thank You For The Flowers
They’re so beautiful, so colourful
See how they light up all the room.
Their scent seduces us to feel
That perfection can be real.
And you’re beautiful, as you laugh and kiss the air.
As you ruffle the kids’ hair,
So I smile and take the flowers.
But it’s nobody’s birthday, today.

It’s nobody’s birthday,
Should I look the other way?
Your hair is damp on this rainless day.
Thank you for the flowers.
It’s nobody’s birthday,
My life slipping away,
But there’s no way out for us today.
So thank you for, thank you for the flowers.

We were beautiful, so hopeful,
We thought the world was ours.
You lost your vows in that casual smile,
I lost my heart in every child.
But they keep us beautiful,
Playing ball games in the park,
But it gets chilly after dark,
When I hear the whispered phone calls,
But I don’t say a word.

It’s nobody’s birthday,
Can I look the other way?
When your hair is damp on this rainless day,
Thank you for the flowers.
It’s nobody’s birthday,
My life slipping away,
But there’s no way out for us today.
So thank you for, thank you for…

The days and nights we share,
And the million ways we care.
Thank you for the perfect boys we made,
But this pain won’t go away.
Is it wrong to leave?
Is it right to stay?
Is it strong to leave?
Is it weak to stay?
What is this game?
Who made the rules?
Is there any way not to lose?

They’re so beautiful, so colourful
See how they light up all the room.
But it’s nobody’s birthday.
Today.
Track Name: We Don't Speak Of Her
When you told me I didn’t cry.
I was wondering if those steaks I bought
Would last another night.
When you told me I didn’t scream or make a fuss.
I was wondering how you rip in two
A lifetime’s worth of us.
When you told me
I had nothing to say.

When you told me I couldn’t look you in the eye
I couldn’t bear to see the pity
The absence of love’s light.
I was sinking, I was drowning
I couldn’t take a breath
I watched the bubbles slowly fading
Like it was someone else’s death.
When you told me
I had nothing to say.

But you had plenty, boy’s on fire.
But everything you say’s so tired:
We don’t talk, we don’t make time
I must have known that we’re not fine.
You don’t feel needed, I’m too strong.
We’re worth more than drifting along.
We’re not working, you say it‘s clear
We Don’t Speak of Her

Do you really think it will be ok?
Our lives, the lies, will melt away
Can you really think I’ll pull us through?
Take care of all the details
Like I always do

I’m not calm, this is numb, this is misery
I can’t focus on the future
Blinded by our history.
Don’t you care that I’m broken, I’m lost
That if I ever started crying, I would never
Stop.

So, when you told me,
I looked the other way
Cos when you told me
I had nothing to say

When you told me
There was nothing
Left to say.
Track Name: The Time Travelling Wife
If I could travel through time
Would I change the world
Right the wrongs of human kind
No, no, no, no
I am too small
Too inconsequential
To make those journeys.

If I could travel through time
I know where I would fly
To that warm Egyptian night.
My head was resting on your chest
And we’d synchronised our breaths
Your heart was beating with my own
I thought I’d never be alone.
Oh no, no, no
I did not know
That on a winter’s afternoon
You’d take your things and go.

If I could, I’d rewrite all of our dramas
I’d walk on by all of those charmers.
I wouldn’t waste our precious days
Being careless with your heart
I would cherish your devotion from the start.

I wouldn’t let your courage fail us.
I wouldn’t let the years derail us.
I would curb my waspish tongue.
I’d remember how to laugh.
Every day I’d show you we were meant to last.

If I could travel through time
I would say sorry, sorry,
Sorry, sorry.
I would say sorry, sorry
Sorry, sorry sorry
I would say sorry
For all of time
All of time
All of time (ad infinitum)
Track Name: Is This A Love Song
Is this a love song, I don’t know,
But your unruly locks delight me.
Is this a love song, I can’t say, I won’t say
But the wrinkles round your eyes make smile.

Lately I seem to find
I am laughing all the time.
I’m drifting in and out of days
In a poppy-scented haze.
And you are here, in scruffy clothes
You crowd my space, then stroke my face.
You are here, when I need you most
You fire me up, then draw me close.

Is this a love song, I don’t know, I don’t know
But your unruly locks delight me.
Is this a love song, I can’t say, I won’t say
But the wrinkles round eyes make smile.

Lately, it seems to me,
I might have happened on the key.
A boy, a girl, both thinking their luck is in
That’s what it takes in life to win.
And you are here, though I push you away
I lose my cool, but still you stay.
Yes, you are here, still it’s hard to believe,
That one of us won’t someday leave

It’s not a love song
I don’t write love songs
Is this a love song?
I can’t say
I won’t say
Is this a love song?
Please don’t make me say
Cos I don’t want to lose all we have today.

Is this a love song, I don’t know,
I just don’t know
But those wrinkles round your eyes……….
Track Name: Love's Not A Competition (But I'm Winning)
I won’t be the one to disappoint you anymore.
I know I’ve said all this and you’ve heard, it all before.
The trick is getting you to think that all this was your idea.
And that this was everything you’ve ever wanted, it’s right here.
Love’s not a competition, but I’m winning.

I’m not sure what’s truly altruistic anymore
And every good thing that I do is listed and you’re keeping score.
Love’s not a competition, but I’m winning.
Love’s not a competition, but I’m winning.

At least at I thought I was, but there’s no way of knowing
Thought I was, but there’s no way of knowing.
You know what it’s like when you’re new to the game,
But I’m not.

I won’t be the one to disappoint you anymore.
I won’t be the one to disappoint you, no more, no more.
Love’s not a competition, am I winning?
Love’s not a competition.
Track Name: Love Affair With Life
You play a love affair with life
You stay and dance with every night.
The moments from dawn to dusk you chase
But I’m lost now, where do I stand
In the race.

You play to empty eyes in crowded bars
I can’t believe we come this far
Yet got nowhere
What is there left for me in this?
Every time you play it’s your first kiss.

I’m not a pastime, I’m not your pastime
Don’t play around with me.
You cannot play me
I’m not a melody.
Track Name: Can't Clip My Wings
I walk alone, I stand alone
I’m a one-way ticket
Resilience is my home
And I know it’s out of fashion
Making selfishness a passion
But a thirst to find one’s own light
Isn’t something you can ration

I might have stayed forever
If you’d let me keep one foot in the door.
You confused my lust for living
With your fear of being bored
So here I am again
Flying solo round the world

I take my time, I know my mind
Not for me the old conventions
I’m no production line
I want a world that’s built on caring
Just can’t take the over-sharing
Being smothered by opinions of the masses
Is kind of wearing

But I might have stayed forever
If you’d let me keep one foot in the door
You confused my lust for living
With your fear of being bored
And here I am again
Flying solo round the

World is so inviting
Don’t know why some find it frightening
You’ve got to chase its endless riches
It’s not a crime to be ambitious
So many wonders to be learnt
No time to stress about being burnt
We’ve got to challenge broken systems
We’ve got to try to make a difference
Life’s a joyous helter-skelter
But sometimes I need shelter
Cos it’s just on and on and on

And I might have stayed forever
If you’d let me keep one foot in the door
It’s not my fault you’re all running
Scared of being ignored
And here I am again, flying solo
It’s my time again, flying solo
Don’t clip my wings
I’m flying solo round the world

Flying, soaring,
Flying, flying, striving, thriving

Can’t clip my wings