The Sunburn Index

by The Plague Monkeys

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The second studio album by The Plague Monkeys. ℗ & © Crosstown Music 1999. Produced by Donal O'Mahony and The Plague Monkeys.


released October 8, 1999

Vocals and Bicycle Horn – Carol Keogh

Electric Guitar, 6 and 12 String Guitars, Steel Guitar, Mini Moog, Keyboards and Piano – Donal O'Mahony

Bass – Barry Roden

Drums, Percussion, Keyboards – Thomas Haugh

Piano on 256 Shades of Grey – Kim Porcelli
Photography – Carol Keogh
Sleeve – Thomas Haugh
Art Direction – Carol Keogh, Thomas Haugh

Special Thanks to Oliver Walsh.



all rights reserved


Carol Keogh Ireland

Irish singer and songwriter, Carol Keogh, has written and sung lead vocals for a number of Irish bands including The Plague Monkeys, The Tycho Brahe (Tychonaut), The Natural History Museum (with Dunk Murphy) as well as a prominent guest role as lyricist and vocalist on three albums by Autamata
Keogh's first solo release (backed by The City Fathers), "Mongrel City", was released in 2014.
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Track Name: Last Bus
Go from the top

Now there's a student with a PC
And a soldier with a mobile phone
We are the army of technology
And we're all in the same U-boat

I've had enough of this
I'm gonna do the same thing tomorrow

And now my television is mutinous
And from the radio comes bucking fizz
So if I miss it will you pick me up
And will you show me where the cause is

I've had enough of this
I'm gonna do the same thing tomorrow
Track Name: The Bomb Circle
To spill a cup and not to cry
To wind a watch and watch time fly
To cast a line and reel it home
To find in time what Americans call closure

So much easy talk
So much attitude
Such a lack of thought and values too
The fuse that blows the ring of explosives

To face the fire and not to flinch
To meet an eye and not to blink
To raise the mind to greater heights
To find in time what Americans call closure

The ring of explosives
(What) Americans call closure
Track Name: Rogue Gene
A stranger stands in my doorway bumming a cigarette

And temper boy is hiding in the space beneath the bed,
I sense a voice disappearing from the centre of this noise

I'm not always sure I love you but then do I have a choice?

Sometimes you have to face your enemy so look at me

I tire of people asking why as a prelude to judgement
The killing kinds that give the lie to the politics of dysfunction
Is this the core of emptiness in each suburban district
Or the anomaly of consciousness
A base human conflict?

Sometimes you have to face your enemy so look at me

It seems the soul craves oblivion while the body lusts for life
The human urge is to hide away while struggling to survive
And all the things that I would say
To an angry child of five are hidden..... hidden

Just too late... trust you
Track Name: Sea Change (Part 2)
Stand at the prow, I'm in the wind
Breathing the future, channelling in
Under the breakers, tied to the post

I am the harbour, your are my ghost
I claim you
Track Name: 23C
The space where nothing matters
But half a lead with my feet

But what of destination
When I don't know where this began
And what of celebration
When I don't know where this will end

It covered me over the dark heart of winter
Sleep was the only respite
A station where I could be oblivious
To my solitary flight
Just give me information
And show me the new and the strange
I'm not courting danger but I am embracing the change

I'm not seeking absolutes
But sleeping with you
Is like touching the ground. It's the safest place
That I have found where nothing matters
Track Name: Doppler Effect
Another summer without sheets
Ten horses playing shapes
Upon the ceiling of the bedroom
Seek me out, the most obtuse
Social excuses, luminous companion

Metal from Troy, a tin-nickel alloy
A wireless toy, the driven self

I watch the cars go by in the heat
A need a shaft of light to find me
Pinned against the wall
Seek me out this little feeling
Such angled meanings never make me scream

'This thing I fear, there's something I fear,
I have nothing to fear but fear itself'

Seek me out..

A yellowed radius of light
Reflected on the glass, inside a sweet parade of strangers seek me out
Distorted lenses
Can be amended

'This thing I fear there's something I fear,
I have nothing to fear but fear itself'

I can see you from up here..
Track Name: Over
For every second I was beneath you
For every second laid on your chest
For every second that you are breathing
For every second that you have left

Be damned

For every second chasing your tail
For every second kneeling in bonds
For every second desire prevailed
For every second leading me on

Be damned

Hell hath no fury, hell hath no fury
Like this, like this, be damned...

For every second, for every second
For every second, for every second
Track Name: 256 Shades of Grey
Plastic raincoat
The colour of aqua-marine
Face the cloud banks
Look for the rainbow in-between

Let it rain, let it rain on me

The meeting of water and light
Raindrop prism
Meeting the gift of human sight

Let it rain, let it rain on me

Except for the shadows,
I'm not here at all, except for the shadows
Except for the shadows, I'm not here at all
Except for the shadows, I'm not here

This is a spectacle
Never to be caught
It's just a perspective
Of what I am not

So let it rain, let it rain

I'm not here, I'm not here at all
Track Name: Polar Magnets (Parts 1 & 2)
Can you fathom the depths of reason
Or reason the depths I care?
Should you be muse or demon, or simply an air?

We dance around each other like polar magnets
And I go home un-together
A complete atomic mess...

Life is too short and important to waste time with these feelings
Most things submit to rationale
This will not bow to reason
Half an arc is a question mark
What use for a one-sided bridge?
No more saltwater coffee
I'm sorry, I can't do this
I can't, I can't...

And nothing can make it better
We will have to live with it forever
Track Name: The Crystal Palace
When I find my courage
I'll live like an ascetic

And though I'll be hanging on by that gold thread
I'll find a serum that makes me thinner
So I can easily slip through the bars of this facility

Hand me my robe
Show me the mirror
And defer to what you see
You the subject
I the monarch
Of this glass bound country
Mid the spoils of war
Surveying my palace
Knowing I will survive
In this remnant from greatness

If I were to forfeit custom
I could never brook the shame
Of descent among the rabble
Just a monkey, just a monkey
By another name, by another name
Track Name: Sea Change
A fine collection in these pieces of time
Correct location is the meridian line
Now I can see it, I can see it

Such a great idea, You duly became
A hindrance to progress, in deed and in name

I broke the hourglass, there was so little sand
Each saline crystal is a dream upon dry land
Now I can see it, I can it

Such a special memory, you duly became
Just a random image, fading in a frame

Now I can see it, I can see it
I can see it, I can see it

Track Name: Exit
My brothers and sisters
Circle 'round like standing stones
These columns mark my exit

Lines etched on their bodies
Mark the passages of time
Ancient scripture, first calendar
This is it, this is it

Thank them for the pity
Hidden in the heart of love
And thank them for the flowers

I tried to make sense of it
With my aesthetics of loss
But no words can penetrate
The blank tableau of fate

As the voices join together, say "I"
As I dance with my creator, say "I"
On the day of all our fathers, say "I"
This is it, this is it

This is it, the history of me
This is it, the history of me
Track Name: Holy Smoke (Tsunami)
Fire on a mountain
I am shocked by this act of contrition
Apocalyptic turn that the sun makes once a year
The plutonic force of Libra, but who holds the balance of power

Fire is a process, no matter sacred in its vortex
The Holy See, the elements resist
This sanitation system, and who holds the balance of power?

No watershed here, no watershed here

Fire on a mountain
Forensic, participate in evidence
The aftermath, the optic nerve is singed
The retina is unhinged like things seen in the first hour

No watershed here, no watershed here

I was by the river filling up
Put your lip to my cup
Share the water with me
Track Name: untitled <hidden track>
Well you cut through some fire with your ice
Tattooed a heart in flames

I'll meet you several years from yester night upon an arctic plain
I can see you leaving like a Swedish sun
If seeing is believing all is said and done
But how the goal posts keep moving
When you're a freedom junkie
And who's to know who's scoring who
When I'm a freedom junkie too