From the recording The Emergent Sea
I think the song tells the story well enough. Definitely a tribute to the power of Venus: you can't control love, it doesn't follow rules. You can deny it piously like Hippolytus and it will pick you up, slap you around and let your own horses crush you (Read myth as psychological devices). Best to acknowledge love and celebrate it, but sometimes that means hurting one you already love. So you just acknowledge it in yourself and then deny yourself and in that case the denial just punctures a hole in your soul and leaves you feeling empty and dark. And like Blake's Pretty Rose Tree, the your denial of your emotions for another does not win you any browny points with the one you remain true to. No one said life and love would necessarily be easy. But I do believe the modern world needs to rethink its entire value system concerning love. Like all the old people say, we regret the loves we deny.
A Man Once Called Me: Lyrics.
In Old Amsterdam by the Vondel Park on a bicycle built for one, She clung to my waist as I pedaled through the darkTo the places where tourists don't come.
We opened our hearts in bars of darkened oak Sipped Genever and Tullamore Dew. Our lips lingered on glasses; hands missed all the passes For I didn't want to lose you know who.
Yeah I feared the flood the flotsam and jetsam, And all that would be drowned. So I held back my hand, and kept plugged the dam In that anything goes old town.
Chorus: Just as little Boy Blue held back the sea, I held back the love in me. Her name was Michelle and she cast quite the spell, On a man whose name once was Me.
Well her hand hung down from soft warm bed to the wood floor where I lay my head. So close, so close, but never did touch, Never seen air hold back so much.
Though I held back my fingers, the longing still lingers down by the Vondel park. If you give love it grows, if you don't it just goes And leaves you empty and dark.
So you can stay true, but you'll only be blue.And still destroy what is whole. With my hand on my chest, my thumb did it's best To plug up the leak in my soul.
Repeat bridge 2 and chorus.