The Ever Open Door

I wrote this in Leek, Staffordshire, still under the Dylan influence, but never played it. When I came to Edinburgh in 1990 I played it gingerly at a writers’ workshop, thinking I’d be savaged for ripping off Dylan. Nobody mentioned Dylan but one participant sneered ‘sounds like fucking Donovan’. The title was a reference to collecting boxes we used to have at school for Dr Barnardo’s Homes. For some reason it’s a really satisfying song to sing, something about the timing.

You were there and I was there
That’s all there had to be
From the moment I first spoke your name
To the moment you kissed me
My defences were all loosened
You asked me to trust you and I swore
I would make my heart an ever open door

That summer that we spent together  I love to recall
I never felt so humble but I never walked so tall
And you there in the centre of
The strangeness of it all
I’d never felt so many things before
I was gone, there was just this ever open door

But even as the sun went down
Upon our wedding night
I looked out at those autumn leaves
And something wasn’t right
You looked past me out the window
Lost your appetite
The night we spent in room three twenty-four
And the creaking of that ever open door

I guess you were faithful to me
As long as I was there
I watched you observe your duty
You always did your share
Trying to keep the truth from me
Like trying not to swear
Your discipline turned you to a bore
With one eye on that ever open door

You packed your bags and told me that you’d
Got a job in France
Said you were going to work for love
No more slaving for romance
I said I’d like to see you try
You said you’ve had your chance
But if it makes you happy,
Keep the score
And you walked out, and left an open door

Well if I could have it all again
I guess I’d do the same
Only things I’d change would be
My hairstyle and my name
Hey St Peter let me try again
To stake my claim
Well if you haven’t learned your lesson son
There’s more
Just take a step back through that ever open door…

  © Norman Lamont 1996

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