A memorial to Emma Lindley

Gold Smatter

This is a piece of music I worked on over an extended period of time, and released as Joe Galen. Initially I used Bob Dylan’s Last thoughts on Woody Guthrie as a spoken accompaniment to the music (currently available here). Some years after the Dylan version, I asked Emma to write some original words to accompany the music. She produced Gold Smatter. Emma wrote the words in 2007, but it wasn’t until two years later that I finally remade the track for release on Does your cat know my dog? 

I and Emma recorded a couple of versions, but Emma was actually in a manic state at the time (which I believe is what the words are really about) which made doing a recording that was ‘polished’ difficult, as such the release version doesn’t have Emma speaking on it but is entirely instrumental. This is a version recorded one day, in Emma’s house in Manchester, while she was unwell, in 2009.

      Joe Galen - Gold Smatter (feat. Emma Lindley)

Here are the words:

sweet seconds of chemical jelling
slick delicacy in wide eyed disbelief of it

agonising balance on a tiny pivot of time
forwards backwards
spiral of unknowing

trusting upwards to a climax of piquante anticipation
and sinking again
ebbing to a blue wash of pale faithful wist

anxious yearning
for whole
over less than certain rainbows
the gold smatter has (already) taken hold

silver truth shines in ungaps
refracted through overlaps

invisible stitches
and open bindings
formed by sweat against skin
glance against lash

no absolutes
no bolts or locks

simply quiet understanding
spread over joint loss
the gold smatter has already taken hold

the world gathers round with its offerings and sacrifices
and in the middle of the clammering is one small face
smiling smiling
but knowing nothing of questions and yearnings
of the crownings, the burnings
the turning and the running
and again on a tightrope – arms outstretched
fingers curling
reaching out for something fixed
there is a place
where the crowds disperse
the clouds drift like breath
birds, magpies and gulls wheel about overhead
and on the cusp of the wind
there’s a thought like a sound
everything clears and is suddenly simple
this is just going mad


  1. susanne stevens

    The beautiful albeit painful creativity of psychosis is usually dismissed…it is often greatly missed by it’s creator when the loathsome drugs kick in. It is good to see it respected and honoured in a song. All poetry or prose is not understood on a conscious level.it is heard deeply in the unconscious – in the same way as consciousness raising drugs like LSD open the doors of perception so can bi polar disorder.


So, what do you think ?