Peter Hammill - Crying Wolf / This Side Of The Looking Glass 7" (1977)

I think many will agree that Over is one of the most intense album about a sentimental separation even made. It's also an extraordinary album and one of Peter Hammill's best (maybe his last masterpiece although I'm sure many of his/her fans would send me to hell for such an opinion). Not sure that it was a good idea to issue a single from this narrative album. But that was done (and failed at least commercially) so here it is. It's true that "Crying Wolf" is one of his rare rocker released as Peter Hammill (he had released a very rock album the previous year but it was under Rikki Nadir's name) and maybe some at Charisma imagined it could be rapted by the punk wave of this year's onset. It was not. On the B-side, a really extravagantly orchestrated but infinitely delicate song called "This Side Of The Looking Glass" (that every Hammill's fan cherishes). Even Procol Harum have not pushed their symphonic arrangements to this level of grandiloquence. But it works and I bet you'll have chills while listening. I did the cover sleeve since there was none for the single. No rare or different version than on the album but anyway catch it here.

Crying Wolf You turn out the lights and sit alone, trying to pretend that it's anguish; start at the ring of a telephone, throw down all your food at the banquet, keep a close eye on all you own, while leaving it all to languish:- Is this what makes you happy? Is this what brings you joy? Your excuses are so crappy... silly boy. You take all the love and throw it aside to wallow in your sorrow, expect everyone to know how you feel inside, to forgive and forget come tomorrow - repaying all your debts with uncommon pride, but denying that you ever borrowed... Is this whay makes you perfect? Is this what makes you free? Just how long do you rehearse it, or does it just come naturally? Crying wolf from the depth of you sheep's heart crying fire from the depth of the well, in an endless parade of repeat starts, just how long will it last - can you tell? Untill all your friends and lovers are simply bored with the pretence? It'll be too late then to discover just exactly what you meant and what was true and what was false... the wolf turned into human, the killer with remorse. Crying pain as though that should be pleasure, crying anger as though that should be revenge, crying sorrow as though that were a treasure - your treasure will find you in the end. When all of your friends have gone away, unwilling to put up with the danger that lies in each spiteful word you say, you'll have made yourself a perfect stranger; baying at the moon both night and day you'll be left, a greying wolf in a manger. And when you've raised your last howl and destroyed all that you can with rotting teeth and slack jowls you'll be left a lonely man. And when it's nearly finished and you know the end is near with true sorrow undiminished there'll be no-one left to hear - your desperate cries, they all come out as bleats: and though you were a wolf-man. but you're really just a sheep.

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