From the B-side of the One Word single

This house was built by my grandfather's hand.
Before I was accused of theft.
The boat was sold for eighty thousand pounds.
The work is now at an end.
It is rumour that he's gone.
It is rumour that he's gone.

The mountaintops were covered in snow.
Dinner wasn't served until nine.
The windows were painted three weeks ago
And we closed them one by one.
The work is now at an end.
The work is now at an end.

I played with my children all afternoon.
The plane took off at quarter past three.
In the house that was built by my grandfather's hand.
I stood accused of theft.

Transcribed by Dave Matthews


" Eno’s attitude to lyrics is best exemplified by his decision to use arbitrary phrases from the Hugo Spanish in Three Months guide for one of his tracks. ‘I like using techniques that catapult me into a strange landscape. I was studying Spanish recently, so I started reading lines like “This house is where my grandfather lived… He owed £80,000… Dinner doesn’t start until nine”, and so on. They were written disconnectedly, but when listeners hear them in a song, they seem to resonate with each other so you start to imagine a narrative linking them together.’ "

-- Johnny Black, interviewing Brian Eno in an unknown publication, 1990

"Cordoba" also uses phrase-book lyrics. The chorus of "One Word" also looks phrase-book-like: Remember this oil by Augustus John? / These are the ones I found in Rome. / There are few things I keep for long. / When does your plane leave for Cologne? -- Tom

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