"...They say it takes a village to raise a child, But I'm the village idiot..."

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Piano and vocals performed by Ric Neale

All songs written by Ric Neale
Produced by Ric Neale and Ed Heaton
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Ed Heaton

Art Work by Adam Neale, Harriet Neale, Mel Neale and Ric Neale
Design by Ric Neale and Paddy Garrigan of Studio Patrick
Photography by Natasha Arciniega
Released by Ha! Music

Special thanks to Joe Simpson, Danny Cope and Craig Golding

All tracks recorded on January 15th and February 2nd 2018. Piano and vocals were recorded live with no overdubs


Prologue (These Lullabies Of For You)


They say it takes a village to raise a child

But I'm the village idiot

And I've been making up the numbers here with you since I joined


Be it the fruit of your loins or the apple of your eye that you've chose to cradle high

On the branches of your growing family tree


When the house is quiet and you creep downstairs

And you're trying to remember who you were


If your heart hurts from loving

Or you so tired you feel nothing

We deserve some nursery rhymes too


So these lullabies are for you

Round The Outside


There's only so much I can really do

I've got to sit this out and leave it up to you

I shouldn't wrap you up in cotton wool

You've got to take this mess and make it meaningful


So we're folding our arms sitting round the outside, round the outside, round the outside

We're crossing our fingers sitting round the outside, round the outside


I know I've found the point of no return

Just putting out the fires before they start to burn

I can see your tempers getting lost

But I'm gonna have to sit here and watch it heating up until it gets too hot


So we're trying to keep calm sitting round the outside round the outside round the outside

And we’re sitting on our hands staying round the outside round the outside


I can teach you things but I'm not that clever

I can hold your hand, I can't hold it forever, and ever, it's not what I'm there for

So you'll have to make it on your own 


But this is how it's always meant to be

Watching you get strong enough to not need me

That's why we're investing so much time

For you to find your way and make your own sun shine


But don't forget about me if you need some bad advice, I'll be round he outside, 

round the outside

I won't be getting in the way, but I'll be on your side….

Round the outside

I Am Letting You Down


If this is a game then I just can't seem to win

If it's a test then I am failing with flying colours

If it's a gift then I am covered head to toe in sellotape and untied bows


If this is a war then I'm waving my white flag

If it's a jigsaw I can't even find the corner pieces

If it's a journey I'll be found along the fold inside a map that's upside down


But friends who don't have kids just roll their eyes each time I mention it

And the ones who do just make me feel I'm failing

So the jury all agree

The judge’s gavel falls on me

The verdicts passed

I am letting you down


If this is a job then I don't deserve my pay

If this is magic I'm left sawn in half and disappearing

If it's a biological imperative no scientist is formulating

Why am I so low and lost and broken?

Why am I so lonely even though I'm never alone?


But friends who don't have kids just roll their eyes each time I mention it

And the ones who do just make me feel I'm failing

So as the headline go to print

The truth laid bare in bold black ink

This news just in

I am letting you down


Totally, comprehensively, thoroughly, unremittingly

So apologies - I am letting you down.

Asleep In The Car


Filling the boot up with memories

Cramming in more stuff than I can fit in

Feeling the pressure and running on fumes I don't have


But we've finished the goodbyes and tantrums

Then there's last minute checks and delays

But right now my favourite escape route is only a key turn away 


When you're asleep in the car

I'll drive us around

We needn't go far

I'll cover the ground

You're safe where you are

You're tucked up and dreaming, 

you're sleeping in the car


Winding through worlds between windmills

I feel them blowing the outside away

And I will take every turn that I'm told till were there


And I make it to our destination

I would keep going all night if I could

Cos I know the briefest of time in control of our world feel so good.


When you're asleep in the car

I'll drive us around

We needn't go far

I'll cover the ground

You're safe where you are

You're tucked up and dreaming, 

You're sleeping in the car


Like a cloud that's all tied up with string

This bow brakes so gently your cradle won't swing

I'll help you count sheep but you're counting on me

And you'll never know


You're asleep in the car

Enjoying the view

I know where you are

I know what to do

I'll drive us forever

And it's only me, who isn't sleeping in the car

Grown Up Now


Looking back

What did we do with all the time we had

Did we just waste it all on stuff that fades away


Now that's all gone

We've given up all that to get things done

But even then there's not enough hours in the day


I can see, the heady heights I used to wanna

try to reach

But here and now with you…


I'm gonna stay home

No nights out for me I'm gonna say no

The invites been received and been turned down

I'm gonna have to be the grown up now


Now and then

A chance to hang out with some grown ups again

But we just talk about the kids we left at home

With a baby sitter waiting by the phone


I'll concede, theres things that one day soon we wannna

Try to see

But here and now with you




I'm gonna take out the bins on Tuesday night

I'm gonna put in the wash and get it dry

I'm gonna read the same story every time

I'm gonna sing the usual lullabies

I'm saying no when it's got too late

I'm saying yes to staying home for the night





What are you doing to me

Look at the state I'm in

You're holding me well and truly

Under your spell now I'm overwhelmed by everything


I'm breaking down

Is this how I'm supposed to feel

I'm welling up

At Christmas adverts on TV

I'm lost when you're lost in laughter

Afraid that we'll find disaster




Running out

Of energy to keep control

Why do I hold it in?

What am I afraid to show?

Telling myself I'm stronger

Knowing deep down I'm wrong




Once upon a time in the palace of my mind

I really knew my way around

A throne and a wand all the variables gone

Just me and the peace that I'd found

Then something changed and my heart got rearranged

Now I've fallen so far

But I can't keep my feet on the ground


Everything was clear

Now I'm stuck on the verge of tears



You're Probably Doing Fine


You're probably doing fine

These are words I'd really like to hear

Stop second-guessing every second guess just take a breath

And keep on going


You're probably A OK

When they're grown up you'll probably look back and you'll laugh about this

You’ll hold your temper bite you're lip and then count back to ten

And keep on going

You're doing fine


I can't compare myself to all those dough-eyed mums on Facebook

They're probably every bit as lost

I'm doing all I can to balance magic and logistics

It isn't much but it is everything I've got


You're probably doing fine

The fact you ask yourself the question makes you something special

When you can't take their dreams and make them true, you'll muddle through

 And keep on going


These cut out picture perfect parents I just can't contend with

The kind of people I'm just not

I'm doing all I can to balance magic and logistics

It isn't much but it is everything I've got



How can I hold them, without holding them back

How can I stand up for them, without standing in their path

What can I do to keep the safe but not afraid

push them without pushing them away…..



Another day another night I've somehow bluffed my way through

Pretending everything is fine

I'm doing all I can to balance magic and logistics

It's not enough but it is everything I'm trying to give you everything I’ve got


You're probably doing fine.

Epilogue (What Have We Learned?)


So what have we learned?

Absolutely nothing

What do we want?

A little bit of peace cos this is hard


As hard as ice and stone

As hard as getting up and keeping going


But loving you is easy


Like skimming stones across a frozen lake

It's as easy as pie or a piece of cake

Loving you is protest against underhanded greedy hearted plans and wars and cheating

Help me believe that a soul that pure can take a beating



So what have we learned?

Absolutely nothing cos we've always known


How to open up my heart into a home

How to dry up tears

How to chase away fears

How to turn my voice into a whisper that is soft and sweet

And move it up and down

And make some lullabies

So close your eyes and sleep