The Cat Empire
Music

The Cat Empire

Released: 24/10/2003

The Cat Empire emerged as a live band. We all grew up playing around Melbourne and we are always most comfortable on a stage.

We would always finish gigs and people would say that the energy of the live show was what they wanted to take home on a CD.

Alongside this, we wanted to produce a recording that would get our music on radio and other streams that could access a larger audience.

So the challenge was to create something that was energetic, vibrant, and alive, but also subtle and decisive.
This concept passed by a few different models, but in the end we aimed for simplicity.

We recorded all the tracks live, then spent time re-doing vocal takes, and some other additions.

We had Andy Baldwin on our team, who was the perfect co-producer and engineer. This album took us 8 months to make, with different parts of it being added in Byron over summer, in Melbourne at studios, at Andy’s house and anywhere else we found ourselves.

We are pretty happy with the final product. Make up your own minds by getting your hands on a copy.

Tracklist & Lyrics

  • To the gods in the sky
    there’s one thing you can do
    you can send us some sun
    and we’ll play you this tune
    because sitting in our room
    lying down with a scoob
    and the sunshine
    through our window
    It’s days like these
    that make us happy
    like a puppy getting lucky
    with Lassie hassle-free
    hours passing by
    with the beat one two
    said it’s days like these kicking back
    just doing what we do
    Number one I’d find some
    loving in the sun
    with someone that can make me
    growl and hum say hmmm…
    a boom boom shak
    and the beat that she throw at me
    knocking me flat
    Number two
    I’d cruise where the grass is smooth
    and the sound of the sea
    is a dreamy melody
    snooze all afternoon
    till the night time wake me
    cos shakedown soon
    Number three
    I’d be dancing like a monkey up a tree
    find sweet simplicity
    by kissing my honey
    get funky like Bond
    when he’s played by Connery
    and get crafty
    like Don Corleone
    Four
    watching Oliver jam a little more
    remember the night when I saw
    what i never never never seen before
    Lavender wrestling a rich wild boar

    CHORUS
    HARRY’S NIGHT TIME RHYME
    And dirty hands
    I like them see
    they make the music that we play
    sound oh so sweet
    and my mother always made me eat broccoli
    and now look at me
    i’m as strong as can be
    so put some spice in my sauce
    honey in my tea
    an ace up my sleeve
    and a slinky plan b
    and most importantly
    my mad family
    they named me lucky
    and for that I’ll sing about
    days like these

  • [F REIBL]
    I had nine lives but I lost all of them
    and I’ve been searching in the night
    and I’ve been searching in the rain
    I tried to find them
    but they disappeared
    they walked away they dressed in black
    they left my side and all I say
    is that I wasted time
    when I looked for them
    for now I know that things gone past
    are never to be found again
    no never never again
    I had nine lives
    but lost all of them
    I had a plan
    but never finished it
    and I’ve been searching for the thought
    and I’ve been searching in a haze
    I try all days
    to remember it
    but now the blueprint in my mind has gone
    my mind forgot the colour of direction
    and my eyes they see the hands
    that could have built
    that could have constructed
    the empire in my mind
    the empire
    I’ll never find
    I had a plan
    but that was where it ended

  • [F REIBL]
    Walking down the street
    with some evil in my eye
    and some thoughts in my head
    that were making me feel high
    on my head was a hoodi
    in my ears was some bass
    was walking by my dog
    when I saw that sexy face
    come towards me
    with a little cheeky smile
    if she was a phone
    I’d pick her up and dial
    the fire brigade
    or zero zero zero
    she stopped me in my tracks
    and I said ‘mmm hchello hchello…’
    I was sleeping in the sand
    with some dreams in my head
    that were causing an extension
    to the towel and my bed
    and the waves were rolling
    like the curves on those legs
    of a sweet beach bella
    with that centrefold spread
    in the midst of the slumber
    I heard some footsteps creeping
    and I woke to discover
    the woman I’d been dreaming
    she knelt down beside
    said ‘can I share your pillow?’
    I rolled over and I said
    ‘well hchello hchello…’
    Some like money making
    some like cars
    and some like the houses
    with the rooftop spas
    and some like to gossip
    about some rich sugar daddies
    but me and my friends
    we like the golden brown honeys
    and some like watching people
    living on TV
    that’s a little strange
    if you’re asking me
    cos I like to eat and laugh
    and **** and play down low
    these are the things I know
    well hchello hchello…
    Welcome to this night
    welcome to this song
    welcome to these rhymes
    that be going on and on
    welcome to the empire
    and the funky empire tunes
    but most of all welcome
    to the bellas in this room…
    well hchello hchello

  • [F REIBL]
    Walking down the street
    with some evil in my eye
    and some thoughts in my head
    that were making me feel high
    on my head was a hoodi
    in my ears was some bass
    was walking by my dog
    when I saw that sexy face
    come towards me
    with a little cheeky smile
    if she was a phone
    I’d pick her up and dial
    the fire brigade
    or zero zero zero
    she stopped me in my tracks
    and I said ‘mmm hchello hchello…’
    I was sleeping in the sand
    with some dreams in my head
    that were causing an extension
    to the towel and my bed
    and the waves were rolling
    like the curves on those legs
    of a sweet beach bella
    with that centrefold spread
    in the midst of the slumber
    I heard some footsteps creeping
    and I woke to discover
    the woman I’d been dreaming
    she knelt down beside
    said ‘can I share your pillow?’
    I rolled over and I said
    ‘well hchello hchello…’
    Some like money making
    some like cars
    and some like the houses
    with the rooftop spas
    and some like to gossip
    about some rich sugar daddies
    but me and my friends
    we like the golden brown honeys
    and some like watching people
    living on TV
    that’s a little strange
    if you’re asking me
    cos I like to eat and laugh
    and **** and play down low
    these are the things I know
    well hchello hchello…
    Welcome to this night
    welcome to this song
    welcome to these rhymes
    that be going on and on
    welcome to the empire
    and the funky empire tunes
    but most of all welcome
    to the bellas in this room…
    well hchello hchello

  • [F REIBL]
    Listen doctor I have pain
    that grows inside myself
    shelf me please
    I just can’t ease the pain
    I need some drugs to help
    ah pollution fills my lungs
    and convolution fills my mind
    ah my legs do ache
    I contemplate
    that living’s less than fine
    my spine does tingle
    when I think of being
    freed from this curse
    but what is worse I feel
    life is a bubble
    blown until it’s burst
    oh doctor I am desperate
    to get rid of this feeling
    oh doctor I am desperate
    for some good soul healing
    The doctor turned and gave a grin
    and reached into his bag
    but instead of an injection
    got a record with a tag
    that said listen to this daily
    with hip shaking and such things
    then he puts the record in
    grabs a mic and starts to sing
    you need some
    One four five
    to make you high to make you high
    to make you high to make you high
    when heaven falling from the sky
    to make you high to make you high
    Doctor I am feeling better
    what was that you sang
    did you write it or recite it
    or just steal it from a band
    ah my bones are feeling stronger
    and my spirit’s feeling fresh
    ah that dose of 145 has put the life
    back in my breath
    ‘yes yes yes’ the doctor said
    then he sat me down and say
    ‘young man don’t think I wrote
    these chords they’re written in
    your brain’
    and when you hear them
    there’s a shakedown that begins within
    the mind
    cos these three chords make people
    feeling better all the time ah
    they keep repeating
    like a scratch on a cd
    but it’s quality cos these three harmonies
    breed positivity
    protecting against insanity
    of modern insecurities
    believe me when I tell you
    all you need is to be hearing all that
    One four five
    to make you high to make you high
    to make you high to make you high
    when they said what and you said why
    to make you high to make you high
    The doctor turned and gave a grin
    and reached into his bag
    but instead of an injection
    got a record with a tag
    that said listen to this daily
    with hip shaking and such things
    then he puts the record in
    grabs a mic and starts to sing
    you need some
    One four five
    to make you high to make you high
    when you could not count to pi
    when you’re told you can’t fly
    to make you high to make you high
    times like these you need some
    One four five …. hhhuuummnn

  • [F REIBL, H ANGUS]
    And for all of the sweet loving that
    I have received
    in the sun in the rain
    by the moon by the sea
    there is one time that I’m thinking of
    one time where one woman
    did knock me off my feet
    and my knees were shaking
    and my jaw was dropping
    and my eyes were squinting
    and my smile was growing
    and my pants were bulging
    and my hands were sweating
    and my chest was beating
    so I cry ‘excuse me,
    what is the secret to your song?’
    Cause when you’re walking along
    when you’re walking along…
    Your legs are a melody my hands
    would like to play
    and your hips are a note
    that does take me away
    and your face and your eyes and your hair
    and your waist and your smile
    drive me to distraction
    she turned and she gave the evil eye
    ‘why thankyou’ she said
    then she sigh ‘ah there’s one thing
    I think you failed to mention…’
    ‘What?’ I said then she said
    ‘It’s the rhythm you forgot’
    and right then I knew what was what
    and she snuck to my lips
    and she kissed them
    said ‘young man
    I’ll show you some rhythm’
    And she’ll show you some rhythm
    And since then ha
    the rhythm’s been running through my veins
    in my thoughts in my eyes
    in my head it’s insane
    it’s the thing that does drive me
    to scream
    on the street when I think of some
    places it’s taken me
    I feel horny when I thinking of some of that rhythm in my mind
    what she gave what she gives to me
    all of the time
    say a little bit of sweet loving in your day
    all my friends know it keeps the
    bad thoughts away
    so sing with your hips my baby
    when you’re dancing to this tune
    and when this tune is through
    we’ll sneak to some place
    and continue to…
    say sing with your hips my baby
    when you’re dancing to this tune
    and when this tune is through
    we’ll sneak to some place and
    continue to –
    she said I’ll show you some rhythm
    And she’ll show you some rhythm

  • [H ANGUS]
    Song and melodies change and change
    and sway
    but they still stay the same
    the songs that we sung when the dark days come
    are the songs that we sung when we chased them away
    if I ever found a pot of gold
    I’d buy bottles untold of the nectar of the vines
    I’m going to die with a twinkle in my eye
    ‘cause I sung songs spun stories loved laughed and drank wine
    Tomorrow is another day
    the cats are out to play, to play
    that old rusty spaceship wants to sail
    into the milky way again
    on a river of red red wine
    Run…
    (let’s have some)
    Fun…
    (we’ll)
    Drink…
    (a toast to the)
    Sun…
    In summer the bushfires rage and rage
    and rage
    on such beautiful days
    and we fight them with water that runs through the cracks
    water we’re desperately trying to save
    so I’ll just live on wine and water my vines
    and sleep on the wind with the fires right behind
    and sing on the beaches and dance through the night
    oh we’ll cry ‘pass the wine, pass the wine, pass the wine’
    Run…
    (let’s have some)
    Fun…
    (we’ll)
    Drink…
    (a toast to the)
    Sun…
    Oh what a beautiful day today!
    today’s a day to celebrate
    grab your bucket, grab your spade
    we’re heading down to Half Moon Bay
    I saw a plane go into a cloud
    I’m drunk I’m happy I’m singing and loud
    two o’clock in the arvo, but hey that’s allowed…
    I’m having a good time and of that I am proud

  • [F REIBL]
    His name was Beanni
    say where you been Beanni
    I saw you on your skateboard
    but I never saw your face
    just saw your beanie
    – Beanni
    Her name was Fly Girl
    say where you been Fly Girl
    I seen you shake your mmm-boobie
    but I never saw your face
    just saw your fly sunglasses
    in the night
    and in the day
    One day that Beanni
    was cruising down the street
    on his skateboard
    and his Beanni eyes did look and see
    that fine freaky Fly Girl
    and that Fly Girl who was dancing
    like only Fly Girl could
    did notice one cruisy Beanni
    flying right to where she stood
    And then that Fly Girl was
    a’scream and laughing at the same time
    and till that Beanni
    did fly and fall and crash into her side
    and both of them did fall
    and roll around on their arses
    but then his beanie fell off
    and so did her round glasses
    Beanni reached down
    and picked up Fly Girl’s glasses
    from the ground
    and Fly Girl did grab Beanni’s
    beanie that she found
    and she gave him back his beanie
    said ‘I like you with your beanie on’
    and he did say ‘your big black glasses
    look so sexy on’
    They got together
    forever and ever after that
    and had some little Beanni Fly Girl
    and Fly Girl Beanni boys
    gave them glasses for their eyes
    and Beanni beanies for their heads
    and now the Beanni family’s dancing
    till the day they’re dead

  • [H, ANGUS] [This song contains a quotation from the poem ‘In a Station of the Metro’ (1913) b Ezra Pound]
    Lord unchain my hands
    let me sing inside the crowded trams
    let me dance among the traffic jams
    we’re going to sleep
    on the St Kilda sands
    Lord unbind my feet
    let me mingle with the good people
    we meet
    water rising up into the street
    unbind my feet
    ‘The apparition of these faces in
    the crowd;
    petals on a wet black bough”
    Ezra Pound found the formula
    our houses are rectangular
    but life is curved not angular
    so when things start to strangular
    remember
    rain still falls on the halls of power
    new babies being born every hour
    and the eagle keeps watch on the old clock tower
    over me…
    CHORUS
    On the train I refrain from sitting with head and shoulders bowed
    they told me time is of the essence
    no wandering allowed
    but then I saw a pretty girl
    whose features stood out in the crowd
    went ten minutes past my stop waiting for her to look around
    I’m just another clown kicking around in Melbourne town
    cooling out, relaxing watching the
    world go round
    so if you ever have the time
    and you want to go drink some wine
    I’d rather greet you with a smile
    than greet you with a frown…
    Lord unchain my hands
    let me sing inside the crowded trams
    let me dance among the traffic jams
    we’re going to sleep
    on the St Kilda sands
    Lord unbind my feet
    let me mingle with the good people
    we meet
    water rising up into the street
    unbind my feet

  • [H ANGUS]
    WE BELIEVE
    In the grass in the trees
    WE SUPPORT
    Living life cause life is short
    WE UPHOLD
    Sky of blue sun of gold
    WE MAINTAIN
    On sunny days all sadness and pain be relieved
    WE BELIEVE
    The breeze blows the leaves in the gypsy king’s court
    WE SUPPORT
    Food and wine song and thought and when the night gets cold
    WE UPHOLD
    The following rules that I’ll sing
    to you all
    We believe in melody
    and harmony
    and all things sweet
    we sing a yum-a-yum chum
    to the moon and the sun
    and the rumble of the drums
    and the big fat beat
    we believe in the ace up the sleeve
    and we shine our gold teeth
    at the cats in the alleys
    a flame on a match
    that the wind can’t catch
    and when the bad guys attack
    the empire strikes back

  • [F REIBL]

    And when it happens it’s like
    honey and pain
    horns in the rain
    misty seas and mysteries
    a dog with no name
    it’s that time again
    not sure if I’m sleeping
    but the vision’s as clear
    as fog on the pier
    someone fishing aimlessly
    a thought’s an idea
    a sound is an ear
    and gods with none believing
    being chased by the lamb
    a knife in its hand
    looked down from that mountain
    saw the moon get a tan
    on the beach with no sand
    something came and something ran
    to make up my mind
    is it bleak or it fine?
    She looked a little doubtful
    smirked and said it’s divine
    to light with no lime
    sometimes
    Oh it’s too late I can’t stop
    moving my mouth
    I’ll shush but I’ll shout
    something’s got a hold of me
    those words coming out
    like froth on a stout
    dreamboat’s sailing into
    stormy weather I see
    salty debris
    cows and tigers jumping at some
    mad dignity
    but passionately we’ll be
    oh finding
    ways without words
    to sing and to purr
    loving without declarations
    stuttered and slurred
    elephants blurred
    nerves resisting urges serve
    to speak with no sight
    a bat taking flight
    only to find tooth marks
    in that sex dynamite
    my girl’s got a bite
    that’s right

    The Cat Empire emerged as a live band. We all grew up playing around Melbourne and we are always most comfortable on a stage.

    We would always finish gigs and people would say that the energy of the live show was what they wanted to take home on a CD.

    Alongside this, we wanted to produce a recording that would get our music on radio and other streams that could access a larger audience.

    So the challenge was to create something that was energetic, vibrant, and alive, but also subtle and decisive.
    This concept passed by a few different models, but in the end we aimed for simplicity.

    We recorded all the tracks live, then spent time re-doing vocal takes, and some other additions.

    We had Andy Baldwin on our team, who was the perfect co-producer and engineer. This album took us 8 months to make, with different parts of it being added in Byron over summer, in Melbourne at studios, at Andy’s house and anywhere else we found ourselves.

    We are pretty happy with the final product. Make up your own minds by getting your hands on a copy.

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