Atlas & Beyond



Four Rhapsodies

Between 50-40 years ago Henk Harmsen worked as an active singer-song-writer and keyboard player. He was also a member of the Symphonic Rock band Atlas (19787-1981). From 1985-2000 he almost left the music. But from 2000 on he started again to compose and record (most spiritual) songs. From 2015 on, Henk started to re-record songs from the early eighties again.

In 2023 the album Four Rhapsodies was released. Look here for the available streaming platforms.

Being a Symphonic Rock band in the end of the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s, Atlas liked to perform long songs with many (rhythmic and melodic) changes in it. Now we would have called these songs Rhapsodies. The four Rhapsodies in this relelase were the best kept in my memory, although it still took me a very long time to get the music around it again. I hope there will be more Atlas- rhapsodies brought alive in the future.

Four Rhapsodies on YouTube

Find the release on your streaming platforms



The lyrics



1. The Hydra

Written and performed by Henk Harmsen ©1978-2023)

the many-headed-monster
marvels at the way I wine and dine
many excited voices
phrase the rumours of their mind:
“he’s in wine!”
“good heavens, how dare he”

“it cannot be controlled”,
cried the bag-piper
as he entered his church
no rumours are heard inside
no words are ever said

“beware of the Hydra, son”
“this wired-haired poet laughs at common knowledge, sir”

2. X24628 Heretofore Six to Eight

(Written and performed by Henk Harmsen ©1978-2023)

3. The heartbreaking story of Gulliver and Deirdre.

(Written and performed by Henk Harmsen ©1978-2023)
I

shrewd boy
shrewd girl
they come and knock you on the floor
they won’t let you go
until the moment you’ve been shorn wicked, lewd and mangy, tiny hands
grab and grabble
furious little men

II

oh how the sun burns
upon exhausted flesh
colours of the rainbow
dissolving in a grey mash
oh lord, the ache is getting so unbearable

oh how the dice roll
no chance that we can win
the oracle predicts the hell
we might even loose our skin
oh lord, the ache is getting so unbearable

III

have you heard the message
heaven’s coming down
near wall street
do you hear the flourish
god, it sounds so shrill

do you fear the angels
splendour of the sun
it dazzles
play the harp and sackbut
wall street’s burning down

and in the ashes they will write
we’ve lost the fight

IV

shrewd boy
shrewd girl
your problems cannot be reduced
because
dwarfs and giants cannot loose

4. Elgin Marbles


(Written and performed by Henk Harmsen ©1978-2023)

marbles:
what prate they may prattle
what mess they may make
it sure bates their battles
their fug and their fate
it may sound stupid
but their life is lost
narrator:
and so it was
and so it will be

marbles:
pigheaded grumpy mortal men
your time will come
don't sooth your conscience little men
don't act that dumb
what prate they may prattle
what mess they may make
it sure bates their battles
their fug and their fate
it may sound stupid
but their life is lost
narrator:
he comes and sees
and the victory is his

boy:
dang dang
like David: pebbles and string
I'm gonna spoil eternity
dang, dang
dang, dang
Goliaths, you'd all better watch out
I'm gonna rape your despotism
dang, dang

narrator:
he carries the heavens
upon his shoulders
he can hardly bear it
he's getting older and older
and older and older
atlas:
those creatures say I'm old
really?
immortal that's what they mean, yeah!

narrator:
and so it was
and so it will be