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The Tangent

The Celluloid Road

i) The American Watchworld

I go there nearly every night, I find the accents so familiar...
If I heard one here in town, I'd spin myself around
To see who was talking like they were on TV
From America!

Steam rises from pavements in this strange world
Of fire escapes and trash cans,
Muted brass sets the tone of the scene
And though the backdrop's not that clean
There's always someone on hand to sort it out - in America

Bruce Willis has the airport locked down and
Hollywood superstars are running the town
Peter Parker writes it all in the fre press
(While his editor puts him under serious duress)
And if I ate Italian, well I might be scared
That some kind of gunfight would break out down the stairs
Jack Bauer's 'gone dark' and there's an APB
It's a hell of a job defending the Land Of The Free

But it looks alright! In the TV light
America, is that you?
Or did we get it right?

I know you monuments by heart
Climbed down Mount Rushmore in the moonlight
(I've never been to Dakota though
I just dropped in for the show
Bought my North By Northwest poster at HMV)

And so I guess I'd be nervous waiting for a Greyhound Bus
Although the people around me might not see the fuss
But maybe if a crop duster was doing the nearby fields
They'd be running just like me?
And if I met some end in a backstreet night
The cops'd have the coffe and donuts ready by first light
And maybe if I was lucky I'd get Sandra Bullock on the case
And my Greyhound Bus would get me any place!

ii) Cops & Boxes

America, did we get it right?
Or is what I see from the chair in my room
Some kind of illusion through the Yorkshire gloom
Oh America, do we see it right?
Oh you've got people swinging from buildings
(And a bomb's just about to go off, one man armies on every
street corner - so I wouldn't worry, that guy in the deli is probably
some kind of ex marine)
Hey will you save me from the End Of The World
From the curse of the Bad Guys, 'cos that's what I heard
On America, do we see you right?

iii) On The Road Again

Let's take the Freeway, try to lose the town
Let's eat some distance, see what's goin' down
I'll be Dennis Hopper, you be Thelma (or Louise)
We'll kick up dust as the sun strobes through the trees
And we'll have ourselves a real Easy Ride

A motel hoarding looms out of the dust
Abandoned steelworks glowing with rust
Watching all those telegraph wires
Follow the eternal yellow line

We're on the Road again!
Wr're on the Road

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And I'm half hoping that some guy in a truck
Is gonna chase me through the landscape (be just my luck)
I wanna stop at diners where they spit on the floor
And give you lomg, cold looks when you walk through the door

Rivers getting deeper, mountains getting high
Roads are getting smaller 'neath the bigger, bluer sky
Bridges made of matchwood in a country made of iron
And 'Jesus Saves' - if you believe the signs

Fin tailed Caddies and thick milk shakes
Dunkin' Donuts and screeching brakes
Tarantino makes it all live again
(With a 'Motherfucker' dropped in, every now and then)
We're on the road...

iv) The Inner Heart

And far from the Freeway
Where we find your inner heart
Of Cowboys and Cacti, Meth Labs and Mountains
Holes in the desert with the bodies of gangsters
Or Indians from the movies...

And Salt Lakes
All Here
All True
Under the unrelenting sun
And deep underground
They're at Def Con One

v) San Francisco

I've seen this town in ruins, its bridges broken twice
I've seen it take an earthquake, bombarded by ice
Attacked by giant lizards and levelled to the ground
I've seen it in the future when there's no-one around
But you can still buy a pizza

And half the region's folklore comes from the city jails
Whether it's Clint or Johnny Cash, the underdog prevails
I've walked the Wharf with James Bound, seen Gandalf lift the bridge
I was safely in England when the aliens made their pitch

On San Francisco, what a world! What a place! What a life!!

The future home of Starfleet, the LAST home of the whales
(A Bird Of Prey still rusting beneath your silver waves)
Skycraper infernoes, militia on The Rock
Volkswagens that drive themselves
And apes that freely talk

But I'm just cavesdropping on an LED screen
From the centre of England, can I believe what I've seen?
Will I ever walk those streets again?

vi) The American Watchworld (Reprise)

America, my love affair goes on
That faith in Flag and proud salute still touch me
As in your world of men, you save the President again
And have your troops back home in time for the parade

Once again, tears fill my eyes
But the montage you make will show him
Gain wisdom as he grows
And we all wish we could grow up like him
In America

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