Cities of the Plain

well I'm a weary traveller
a puppeteer by trade
i count my profit in miles clocked up
an' the friends that i have made
my home i carry on my back
the map tattooed in veins
but i lost everything i had
in the cities of the plain

well i came into town
with my head held down
my hands in my pockets too
looking for a place to sleep
and maybe some decent food
pretty soon i'd found a room
gave the receptionist my name
but i didn't know i'd signed my life away
in the cities or the plain

it seems that every place i go
people think they know me well
they come to laugh at the clothes i wear
and the stories that i tell
and in wood and paint i carve their souls
in their emptiness and pain
but people don't like to see themselves
in the cities of the plain

well i was asleep one afternoon
i was suddenly dragged from my bed
the mob had come in
with their clubs and their chains
and started beating me 'round the head
and a goon in a suit cried "string up the freak!"
foaming from the mouth so insane
then they dragged me out
on the cold soulless streets
of the cities of the plain

well it wasn't me that let the boy escape
from the prison cell in town
and it wasn't me who killed the guard
and burned the whole place down
but a bigot pointed his finger at me
said "i bet that stranger was to blame!"
and now I'm being tried for my life
in the cities of the plain

the trial was a farce and fixed of course
and the witnesses had learnt their lines
the lawyers all spoke in jargonese
and the jury were all phillistines
and as far as i can see all i was guilty of
was going up against the grain
but thars enough to lose your life
in the cities of the plain

so now I'm hanging from a tree
and here i must close my act
no one here can seem to distinguish
between fiction and fact
because the crowd crave blood
i can't let them down
is someone pulling my leg again?
now i twitch as i dangle like a puppet
in the cities of the plain