WORDS

Here are the words to all the songs on the albums.

They are in chronological order by release date going backward. 

So it's:

GOOD GOODBYES (2013)

BACKYARDS (2011)

TOO MANY GHOSTS (2009)

AMERICAN IN LOVE (2009)

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHY IT IS, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT'S WRONG (2008)

BEFORE WE FALL (2007)

THE HEREAFTER (2006)

PARADE (2004)

All words written by John Elliott.

•    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •

GOOD GOODBYES

1 All these good goodbyes again, farewell all my far flung friends, toast the messes you cleaned up and the messes that you’re in. When I’m lost and gone for good, a man will stand right where I stood, raise a glass like we once would. I know how all this goes, how it’s born and how it grows, how it crumbles when the days get slow and numbered. How it never quite is gone, how it creeps and steers me wrong, there are two days to the dawn and both are true. I chased it as it teased, I tasted it in trees, it was foreign, I was frightened, it was cute. It’s true nothing ever lasts when enough of nothing’s past, I’ve held glass and I’ve had cash, but never gold. It’s the details that I promise, it’s the reason that I plead. I can’t let a good thing go even when it starts to bleed. Even when I know it’s dying and it’s time to set it free. I’m afraid I won’t be treasured the way she treasures me. I’m afraid I won’t be treasured the way she treasures me. So if it’s goodbye to the old days let the new ones be here quick. I’m tired of these in betweens and I’m tired of my tricks. I won’t tell you I won’t question what I do or where I go. I won’t know what might have been, I will never know. Something tells me that I’ll make it. Something tells me I’ll be loved. Heaven’s right here sometimes and that’ll have to be enough. That’ll have to be enough.

2 Tonight I will wipe my butt with a coffee filter. Mother wouldn’t approve. She’s listening to radio in Minnesota. She can’t get into a good groove. She’s not groovy. They got to her too early with Jesus Christ and Santa Claus. It’s a shame to carry so much shame. It weighs more than any cross made out of wood would. It’s quiet on the outside, it’s thunder on the inside. It’s thunder on the inside. I’m a yin & yang collector, I’m a gonna go with the flow, I might be here tomorrow. I got a brain in a skull, I’m electrical, I’m electrical, I’m electrical! I got a full full tank and I’m fixin’ to blow, I got a heavy heavy load and a ways to go, I got some friends who know me and some friends who don’t. I’m letting a lot of them go. I wish ‘em all well, I wish ‘em all well. I’m a yin and yang collector, I’m a gonna go with the flow, I might be here tomorrow. I don’t know.

3 Give me laughter, give me sun, give me love for everyone, make it hellbound, bent and heaven sent. When the working day is done and the evening has begun make it hellbound, bent and heaven sent. And whoever I end up with when the whiskey’s all been drunk, she’ll never get to see every side of me ‘cause I’m hellbound, bent and heaven sent. Well, the first one that I tasted was so helpful and so wasted, she was hellbound, bent and heaven sent. And the one I thought I’d stay with was the one I liked to play with, she was hellbound, bent and heaven sent. The future’s what we make it and we’ll make it like the past. I hope we let it shine, take it slow this time, make it hellbound, bent and heaven sent. So give me laughter, give me sun, give me love for everyone.

4  All that humanity. What has it made in me? Why is it so hard? Why can I not think straight? I was making history. A sword and an open sea carried me far. Carried so far. I couldn’t see the signs there. I didn’t make sense. Time was I could live with it. Time is now I can’t. I’m not getting old yet. I’m not getting scared. Still I know I’m older and closer to there. Still I know I’m older and closer to there. Oh, the way it went. All the love that I should have spent. There’s not much that I can’t say. Just let me tell it my way. I’ll talk about that long date. Driving through some lost state. That’s why it’s called a freeway. I’m not getting old yet. I’m not getting scared. Still I know I’m older and closer to there. Sometimes I might mention how we’re all alone. It’s good to be back home now. It’s noisier at home. It’s good to be back home now. It’s noisier at home.

5  There’s a picture that I know, we are frozen in the snow, and it’s hard to believe that you were there with me. There’s a picture where I wear a shirt that’s almost there. I used to love every word, they were the best I’d ever heard. And if you want me monogamous, I guess I’ll tell you I’m monogamous. It doesn’t matter anyway, all the words that people say. There was nothing I did that I can’t defend in a court of law in front of God and my friends. And there’s nothing I said that has been recorded so there’s nothing I said that can be reported. We had better pick a place in the park in the dark where we wanna make a new start if it all goes down like I hope it’s going down. Just the first night there and then we’ll ride down south or we’ll roll up north, we’ll know when we find out, we’ll know when we find out. I know the natives lost it because they weren’t built for it. And I know many of ‘em made it, but they just weren’t meant for it. I know that millions died, but millions have died. Billions have died. Billions and billions.

6  It’s okay to be alone. I can learn to be alone. I’m gonna have to start all over. I’m gonna have to start all over. They are statues in the sun. They are frozen in the stone. It’s okay to be alone. I got some options. I got some options. So before I go away, ‘cause I think I have to go, I’m really gonna go this time, I swear I’m gonna go this time. And I might come back. And I might just stay. It’s okay to go away. I said a lot of words. I did a lot of nothing. But I know I did enough of something so I can keep asleep at night. I can make it on my own if I can make it through today. It’s okay to be alone. I got some options. I got some options. So before I go away, there’s a bit I have to say. I wanna get it on the record so I can keep asleep at night. I loved you every time. I didn’t love you all the time, but I loved you every time. I’m gonna have to start all over. I’m gonna have to start all over. I’m gonna have to start all over. I’m gonna have to start all over. I’m gonna have to start all over. I’m gonna have to start all over. I’m gonna have to start all over.

7  I got through the detour, I’m back on the shore, I am hurt and alone, I used to call this a home, I am just all right. My pockets are worthless but they have a purpose, I’m ready to go, I should be somewhere, I know, I could be somewhere, I know. I got sidetracked, pushed back, swimming with strangers, no way to get out of here. There’s sun on the windshield and sun in my head. Sometimes the sun shines in darkness instead. When I know the difference I’ll give you the details. You should’ve been there, you should’ve seen what they’re talking about. You would’ve loved it if you’d shut up your mouth. You could’ve listened. And all of those idiots, all of that craziness down in the well, someone is hurting, can’t somebody tell? Someone is breaking down and sidetracked, pushed back, swimming with strangers, no way to get out of here. There’s sun on the windshield and sun in my head, sometimes the sun brings the darkness instead. When I know the difference I’ll give you the details. I spun around, I went to sleep, I couldn’t speak, you wouldn’t have recognized me. You should just go, you should just go, you should just take a trip and turn around and see: I have been different. I have been different. But somehow I got here, somehow I came back to life. I wagered I would, I’m designed to survive. I am just all right. Nothing can kill me. I’m earth and I’m fire, I’m water and wind. I’ll always end and begin. Over and over again. I am going to turn into pieces, I’m not going at all. I am going to turn into pieces, I’m not going at all. I am just all right. I am just all right. I am just all right. I am just all right. I am just all right. (all of these people, these fortunate people, are photograph frozen and intimate open, they make it look easy, believe me, i used to believe, believe me, i know what it is, i’ve seen it and smelled it, i’ve tasted and felt it, i’ve told it to leave, but it just wouldn’t go and so here it is now sitting, spitting, grinning at me through terrible teeth and it’s eating my face off and ripping my heart out and drinking my blood, it would be beautiful, it would be beautiful on a tv)

8 All these suicide disasters have been circling around, I’m getting out of town. I told you what I wanted, what I think I wanted, if you see it my way I don’t know. But I wanna sit and talk it over, listen to distant thunder roll, I’m taking the time to live forever and watch the endless summer stroll. I was watching when the stars came out on the television screen, I know just what they mean. I could shoot a man who’s guilty in the back. I wanna sit and talk it over, listen to distant thunder roll, I’m taking the time to live forever and watch the endless summer stroll. Before we got drunk, we got stoned. She wasn’t there and I wasn’t home. She would give me her secrets, I would take ‘em for granted, I gotta get somewhere. I gotta get somewhere. I gotta get somewhere. I gotta get somewhere. I gotta get somewhere. I gotta get somewhere. I believe I’m younger now than I’ve ever been before. I believe I’ll make it for awhile. I wanna sit and talk it over, listen to distant thunder roll, I’m taking the time to live forever and watch the endless summer stroll.

9  I spent two weeks in the heart of a beast that always knows hunger and never knows peace. The men I loved breathed in ashes and smoke, but they’re quick with a joke and they’re free. Walk around worthless, thunder and glass. Shrink from the shadows and the people who pass. When it’s cold they get cold and when it’s hot they get clean, wake up and start up again. So when the days get all wrong and I’m weary too long, don’t worry for me at least, I have got friends back east. And in the winter the devil’s inside. I am not able to stop it. Nothing is noisy, nothing is simple, nothing is sacred, nothing is right. I sleep through sunrise into the day. I’m gone half a year and then I’m carried away. And I cannot pray ‘cause I think that it’s dumb. I cannot wish ‘cause I know it won’t come. I cannot plead ‘cause nothing that’s good ever comes quick or when I’m sure that it should. I cannot wait and I cannot try, one is just worthless and one’s just a lie. And when I vanish for good, a man will stand right where I stood. I got no hope that I can see, but I have got friends back east. I fell asleep under a tree that came to be before Christ was killed. I sat on a stone and I got specific in the Pacific. I always go but soon I will stay. I need to find another way or I will not make it. I’ve wandered for years, swallowing fears, sleeping with angels and tempted by God. I’ve been a poor man and I’ve been all right. I told you I love you ‘cause I think that I might. I have known sickness and I have known helpless. I have known anger and I have known sin. I have known hunger and I have known thirst. I have known wealth when it wasn’t rehearsed. I have known evil and I have known good. One day I left and I said that I would. And there in the darkness, there in the night, I shook into sleep and I shrunk from my dream. And now I can just stay or I can just go and I will know one thing at least. I have got friends back east.

11 Now you’re in a city and I’m in a town and all of these strangers keep picking me up and pulling me down. Some friends are forgotten, some friends are just gone, some friends are easy, some friends are good, some friends move on. I’m over my anger, I’m weary and wrong, I’m carefully careless, I’m hard to give up, I almost belong. But something inside me is running away the second I think that I should decide to settle and stay. Still I’m not sorry. Still I’m not still. Still I’m not still.

 

BACKYARDS

THE AMERICAN WEST

TREVOR’S STARTING A LIST, MY FORTUNE’S A FIST

WHATEVER IT WAS, IT’S GONE NOW

COLORADO WAS DUMB, THE LOCALS WERE WEALTHY

THE MOUNTAINS WERE WHITE, THE PEOPLE WERE WHITE

 

IT’S A GOOD DAY TO BE IN THE AMERICAN WEST

I’M CLOSER TO HOME THAN I EVER GET

I’M NOT THROUGH WITH THIS YET

I WAS WEAK IN THE WINTER AND STUCK IN THE SOUTH

BORN IN THE NORTH WITH A CATHOLIC MOUTH

MOTHER SAID, “SON, YOU ARE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE”

YOU’RE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE

 

WE HAD TO PROVE IT, WE HAD TO BEAT BRITAIN AGAIN

MAYBE TAKE CANADA TOO, THE INDIANS SIDED WITH THEM

WE WON AND THEY LEFT

NO APOLOGIES YET

 

IT’S A GOOD DAY TO BE IN THE AMERICAN WEST

I’M CLOSER TO HOME THAN I EVER GET

I’M NOT THROUGH WITH THIS YET

I WAS WEAK IN THE WINTER AND STUCK IN THE SOUTH

BORN IN THE NORTH WITH A CATHOLIC MOUTH

MOTHER SAID, “SON, YOU ARE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE”

YOU’RE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE

 

THE COUNTRY OF TEXAS IS TRICKY, THE NATION OF TEXAS IS TOUGH

EL PASO TO AUSTIN, DALLAS TO DENTON, LUBBOCK TO HOUSTON

NEW MEXICO ISN’T THAT NEW, CALIFORNIA WAS MEXICO TOO

NO APOLOGIES YET

ARIZONA IS SOMETHING TO SEE, PHOENIX IS SOMETHING TO SKIP

THERE ARE GUNS IN THE NIGHT

CALIFORNIA, YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU, YOU KNOW THAT I ALWAYS WILL

YOU TAUGHT ME TO SING, YOU TAUGHT ME TO LOVE

YOU TAUGHT ME TO LOSE

BUT YOU KICKED ME AROUND, CALIFORNIA

YOU TOLD ME WHAT I HAD TO HEAR

AND IT’S HARD TO BE CLEAR

AND IT’S HARD TO CONNECT

SUNGLASSES AND CHESS

NO APOLOGIES YET

 

IT’S A GOOD DAY TO BE IN THE AMERICAN WEST

I’M CLOSER TO HOME THAN I EVER GET

I’M NOT THROUGH WITH THIS YET

I WAS WEAK IN THE WINTER AND STUCK IN THE SOUTH

BORN IN THE NORTH WITH A CATHOLIC MOUTH

MOTHER SAID, “SON, YOU ARE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE”

YOU’RE LUCKY TO LIVE HERE

YOU’RE LUCKY

 

GOOD TIMES 

GOOD TIMES ARE HERE AGAIN, I DON’T WANT ‘EM TO END

BUT I KNOW THEY ALWAYS DO

17, 22

BROKEN UP AND RAGING

ALL THE MONEY’S GONE, I KNEW IT WOULDN’T LAST

SO I KEPT MY CASH, BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH

NOW THE MONSTER’S TALKING TOUGH

WHISPERING AND WAITING

 

OH, THERE’S NOWHERE ELSE TO GO

THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO FIGHT

IT’S BETTER IN THE NIGHT

AND IT’S AWFUL IN THE MORNING

TIME, SHE’S NOT A FRIEND OF MINE

SHE’S ALWAYS KEEPING TRACK

SHE KNOWS WHEN TO ATTACK

WHISPERING AND WASTED

DON’T LET ME FORGET WHEN I FORGET AGAIN

 

I AM NOT AFRAID

 

DAYLIGHT SAVING

I CAN’T AFFORD DESIGNER SHIT SO I DON’T WEAR IT

WE CANNOT GET TO MARS, I GUESS I’LL NEVER SEE IT

I’M RACING LIKE AN IDIOT, I CHASED AWAY MY DEMONS

I AM JUST IN TIME AGAIN FOR DAYLIGHT SAVING

 

I DOVE INTO THE DARKNESS, I WAS SCARED AND ANXIOUS

PULLING OUT MY HAIR WHEN THERE WAS SHOUTING IN THE SILENCE

I COULDN’T TALK TO ANYONE, I COULDN’T SEE THE BEAUTY

I THOUGHT ABOUT MY FUNERAL, MY MOTHER WEEPING

 

I PLAYED THE GAME OF RISK LIKE I WAS HITLER AND I LOST EARLY

I TRIED TO TALK TO JESUS, BUT JESUS JUST DIDN’T MAKE SENSE

RUNNING FROM THE WILDERNESS

HIDING FROM THE SUN

WAITING ON THE GUN SHOW

SOMETHING SIMPLE IN A GUN

WAITING ON THE GUN SHOW

SOMETHING PEACEFUL IN A FUN

WAITING ON THE GUN SHOW

 

I’M COMING BACK AROUND, MY FRIEND, I DO BELIEVE IT

LOOK STRAIGHT INTO MY EYES AT NIGHT AND YOU WILL SEE IT

I WANT TO BE SURPRISED AGAIN, I’M READY TO BE TRUTHFUL

I AM JUST IN TIME AGAIN FOR DAYLIGHT SAVING

 

AND WHEN THE BEAST RETURNS I’M GONNA STAND AND FIGHT IT

I’LL STARE IT DOWN WITH ALL I’VE GOT, ONE OF US WON’T MAKE IT

I AM READY TO BE RUTHLESS

I WANT JUSTICE

I WANT VIOLENCE

EVERYONE MUST MURDER, ALL THAT MATTERS IS THE REASON

 

I’VE GOTTA:

QUIT COLD TURKEY

MAKE A PLAN

AVOID TEMPTATION

GET SUPPORT

MAKE A LIST

LIVE HEALTHY

GIVE MYSELF A GIFT

BREATHE DEEP

GET HELP

LOSING STREAK

I COULD NOT SEE THE MOUNTAIN WHEN I LOOKED THROUGH THE AIR

I KEPT CRAWLING FOR SOMETHING THAT NO LONGER WAS THERE

ONLY PORCELIN PICTURES, ONLY BEAUTIFUL PASSED

ONLY DELICATE QUESTIONS OF WHAT LEAVES AND WHAT LASTS

 

ALL THE PEOPLE ARE FROZEN AT HOME

THEY’LL GET NOTHING BEFORE THEY CAN GO

I’M ON A LOSING STREAK

AND IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAID AT ALL

I’LL BE BEATEN BEFORE I WILL FALL

I’M ON A LOSING STREAK

 

WE DROVE THROUGH THE DESERT, WE STARTED AT THE SKY

SHE HELPED ME REMEMBER WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE

ONLY SILOUETTE CANDLES, ONLY TEARS FROM ABOVE

ONLY INNOCENT ANSWERS FROM EXPLOSIONS OF LOVE

 

SO IT’S EMPTY AND ACHING AND OPEN TONIGHT

I GOTTA GET ANGRY AND LEARN HOW TO FIGHT

I NEVER GOT OFFERED ENOUGH TO DENY

I NEVER GOT OFFERED ENOUGH TO DENY

IT’S NOT HARD NOT TO SEE THAT IT’S NEVER ON TIME

IT’S ALL MUDDLED IN MEMORY AND DISTANT DESIGN

IT WAS NOTHING AT ALL BUT A CASUAL LIE

 

I KNEW I COULD NEVER SURVIVE IN LOVE

 

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

ALL THESE PEOPLE WITH HOUSES, WALKING INSIDE OF A RIDDLE

LOSING THEIR EYE TEETH, FIGHTING FOR A LOSING CAUSE

SHE ONLY CAME AROUND HERE LOOKING FOR A LITTLE BIT OF SILENCE

SHE NEVER GOT IT

 

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

AND I WON’T GET BETTER WHEN I SEE HER

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

 

SHE IS WILLING AND WASTED, WALKING WITH REASONED RHYME

LOVELY IN THE FIRELIGHT, EASY LAUGHING MOST OF THE TIME

IT’S ONLY WHEN IT’S EARLY, MAGICAL, OR UNDERGROUND

WE WERE ONE OR THE OTHER, SLEEPING THE CLOCK AROUND

 

I THINK I FOUND A NEW FRIEND

 

WHEN WINTER CAME, I GOT SO STRANGE

ANOTHER TRIP, ANOTHER BAD IDEA

I’LL LET YOU KNOW

 

(IN THE WINTER HAZE

FORTUNATE, FAR AWAY

THERE WERE GONNA BE BETTER DAYS)

 

OVER A YEAR

I’M TIRED ALONE

AFRAID OF THE PHONE

AND ALL PEOPLE I’VE KNOWN

ALL THESE CIGARETTE SCARS

AND BROKEN CARS

IT’S BEEN OVER A YEAR

I WAS BARELY AROUND

I WAS NEVER AT HOME

YOU WOULD SLEEP ON THE COUCH

IF IT WAS SOMEHOW AGAIN

I WOULD KISS YOU, MY FRIEND

I WOULD KISS YOU

 

I’M NOT SORRY I LEFT

I’M NOT SORRY I RAN

I’M NOT SORRY I’M GONE

AND I CAN’T GO BACK

IT’S BEEN OVER A YEAR

 

NOW IT’S CEILING FANS

AND SHAKING HANDS

AND PLAYING CARDS

AND BACKYARDS

 

CASSIUS CLAY 

THE SHIT I HAVE READ AND THE BULLSHIT I’VE SAID HAVE GOT NOTHING ON TRUTH OR ON JOHN WILKES BOOTH OR MUHAMMAD ALI WHO KILLED CASSIUS CLAY ON A COLD AFTERNOON IN A MOTEL ROOM.

DON’T SMELL THE SHEETS DON’T GET CURIOUS CHANGE HAS COME AGAIN AND AGAIN IT CAME AND IT WENT AND IT’LL BE BACK AND PROBABLY BLACK.

APRIL IS DANGEROUS

MAY CAN BE MURDEROUS

JUNE CAN BE COOL

JULY CAN BE SLOW

SO IN AUGUST YOU GO

COME BACK FOR THE FALL

WHERE YOU PAY FOR IT ALL

SO BE STRAIGHT AND BE CLEAR YOU HEARD IT ALL HERE IT’S THE WRONG TIME TO LOOK IT’S THE RIGHT TIME TO FIND SO STAY OUT OF YOUR MIND KEEP YOUR EAR TO THE SKY KEEP YOUR EYE TO THE GROUP KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSE KEEP YOUR FRIENDS ON A LEASH KEEP YOUR PETS IN THEIR PLACE KEEP YOUR PARENTS IN PRISON

APRIL IS DANGEROUS

MAY CAN BE MURDEROUS

JUNE CAN BE COOL

JULY CAN BE SLOW

SO IN AUGUST YOU GO

COME BACK FOR THE FALL

WHERE YOU PAY FOR IT ALL

 

RADIO LITE

THERE’S A LOT THAT I DON’T UNDERSTAND

I HAD FIFTY BUCKS TO MAKE IT AND A DAY IN SPOKANE

I WAS KNOCKED UP, LOOKING FOR LOVE, FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM

WE SAW THE COUNTRY IN A COUNTRY VAN

SHE HAD VELCRO SNEAKERS AND TEXAS TAN

OH MAN, GET ME OUT OF THIS

GET ME OVER IT

LET’S GET LOST

LET’S GET UNSTOPPABLE

LET’S GET LOST

 

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

ANOTHER HIT AND I’M ALL RIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

 

SHE WAS YOUNG RIGHT BEFORE I MET HER

SHE WAS OLDER WHEN I KNEW HERE AND YOUNGER AFTER

IT’S MY FAULT, I KNOW IT, I’M SO BAD

BUT ONCE WE WENT SKIPPING STONES IN THE AFTERNOON

I GOT A LITTLE TOO EXCITED JUST A LITTLE TOO SOON

OH MAN, GET ME OUT OF THIS

GET ME OVER IT

LET’S GET LOST

LET’S GET FABULOUSLY WEALTHY

LET’S GET LOST

 

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

SATURDAY NIGHT AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

ANOTHER HIT AND I’M ALL RIGHT

RADIO LITE AND I’M FAR FROM MY MOTHER

I GOTTA DO IT TONIGHT

 

I’M RADIO LITE

I’M LOOKING FOR FUN

IT’S ALREADY DONE

I’M ANGRY AT YOU

YOU’RE NOT WHAT YOU SAID

YOU’RE NOT WHO YOU WERE

YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR HEAD

I AM OUT OF MY HEAD

IT’S OVER INSTEAD

 

LET’S GET LOST

LET’S GET EVERYTHING WE WANTED

 

SO THIS IS WHEN IT COMES

WHEN WINTER COMES TO THESE TOWNS THEY HUDDLE UP INSIDE

THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE, TERMINATED AND SURPRISED

NOW SHE’S IN SYNDICATION AND I AM ON MY OWN

STILL LOOKING FOR A HOME I WON’T BE LEAVING

 

SO THIS IS WHEN IT COMES

SO THIS IS WHEN IT ALL COMES BACK TO ME

 

NOW EVERYONE IS ANGRY AND TALKING IN THE PAST

LOOKING AT ME SIDEWAYS, THINKING THINGS THEY’LL NEVER ASK

IT’S LIKE SLEEPING IN THE BACKYARD

IT’S LIKE WALKING THROUGH A GRAVEYARD

 

SO THIS IS WHEN IT COMES

SO THIS IS WHEN IT ALL COMES BACK TO ME

 

IT’S LIKE WALKING THROUGH A GRAVEYARD

 

OUT IN THE BRANCHES

I WANNA GO FIRST SO I WON’T HAVE TO FACE IT

THERE WAS LOVE AND I ERASED IT

A HOLIDAY DISPLAY, EVERYONE WAS WASTED

I GOT IT CAUSE I CHASED IT

 

MY FORTUNES ARE BURNING BRIGHT

IT’S LATER, BUT IT’S ALL RIGHT

OUT IN THE BRANCES I’M TAKING MY CHANCES TONIGHT

WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN SURE OF OURSELVES

I WANT IT, I’M ASKING FOR HELP

OUT IN THE BRANCES I’M TAKING MY CHANCES TONIGHT

 

I KNEW IT FROM THE START

SHE COVERED UP MY HEART

WE MADE IT THIS FAR

IT’S A BRAND NEW YEAR

IN THE OPEN AIR

IT WAS OVER ME LIKE A ROSESARY

ALL THE PEOPLE SAY THEY’RE GETTING OUT TODAY

EVERYBODY KNOWS IT’S GETTING BETTER

 

I WANNA GO FIRST SO I WON’T HAVE TO FACE IT

THERE WAS LOVE AND I ERASED IT

A HOLIDAY DISPLAY, EVERYONE WAS WASTED

I GOT IT CAUSE I CHASED IT

 

EMPTY IN THE HEARTLAND 

I TRY TO BE HONEST, I TRY TO BE GOOD

MY WORD WAS MY HONOR, I GAVE WHAT I COULD

I SAVED WHAT I WANTED, I MADE WHAT I PROMISED

 

I’M LOSING SOME MONEY, I’M TAKING SOME TIME

I’M TAKING SOME CHANCES, I’M FACING BEHIND

IT’S ALREADY ENDLESS, IT’S EMPTY IN THE HEARTLAND

 

IT’S EMPTY IN THE HEARTLAND

 

I’M WATCHING THE WOMEN SO DESPERATELY

I’M THINKING OF WOMEN I NEVER WILL SEE

I THINK OF THE WOMAN I SAW AND DESERTED

 

I SLEPT IN HER MOUNTAINS, I WEPT IN HER TREES

I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT, I WANTED TO BELIEVE

SHE KEPT ME BREATHLESS, SHE LEFT ME IN THE HEARTLAND

 

IT’LL ALL BE BETTER NEXT YEAR

 

OUTLAW 

I LEFT BECAUSE I WANTED TO, I LEFT BECAUSE I COULD

I’VE NEVER GOTTEN OVER IT

I WAS ALWAYS GENEROUS, I WAS NEVER KIND

NEW YEAR’S DAY AND CHRISTMASTIME

 

I’M NOT SURE WHAT YOU WANTED, I’M NOT SURE WHAT WE HAD

I’M NOT SURE IF I’M HAPPY, I KNOW THAT I’M NOT MAD

I’M YOUNG ENOUGH TO STILL BELIEVE

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW I’VE NEVER MADE IT ANYWHERE ALONE

 

I NEED A NEW HEART, A NEW HOME

I NEED TO KNOW

I AM AN OUTCAST

I AM AN OUTLAW

 

TIME IS NEVER GOOT TO ME, TIME IS ALWAYS FAIR

I CAME BACK AND YOU WERE STANDING THERE

THOSE EYES WILL NEVER LOOK THE SAME

THOSE EYES WILL ALWAYS KNOW I’VE NEVER MADE IT ANYWHERE ALONE

 

RUNNING AROUND ON THE STREET THAT NIGHT

NO ONE WAS LOOKING FOR ME

I’D ALREADY GONE

 

I’VE NEVER MADE IT ANYWHERE ALONE

 

TOO MANY GHOSTS

1. TOO MANY GHOSTS

WELL, I’M BETTER OFF WHEN SHE’S NOT NEAR
WHEN THE DAY COMES HOT AND THE GIRLS ARE NOT
WEARING ANY CLOTHES OR PAINT ON THEIR TOES
AND THE RAIN COMES SOFT, I’M BETTER OFF

WELL, I LOVED HER MEAN, I LOVED HER CLEAN, I LOVED HER QUICK,
I LOVED HER SICK, I LOVED HER CLEAR, I LOVED HER NEAR
I LOVER HER FEAR, I LOVED HER FEAR

I HELD HER CLOSE DOWN THE GOLDEN COAST
DOWN IN THE SAND, I HELD HER HAND
THERE’S TOO MANY GHOSTS ON THE GOLDEN COAST
TOO MANY GHOSTS, TOO MANY GHOSTS

WELL THE HIPPIES TRIED, THEY TRIED THEIR BEST
THEY WASTED TIME, THEY WASTED BREATH
SO THE HIPPIES SLEPT, NOW THEY’RE BACK AGAIN
I HOPE THEY WIN, I HOPE THEY WIN

FROM NEW MEXICO, SLUGGIN’ THROUGH THE SNOW
INTO CAROLINE, SLEEPIN’ IN THE PINE
THEY’RE FEELIN’ FRESH, THEY’RE LOOKIN’ SWELL
IT’S JUST AS WELL, IT’S JUST AS WELL

AND I’M BETTER OFF WHEN SHE’S NOT NEAR
WHEN THE DAY COMES HOT AND THE GIRLS ARE NOT
WEARING ANY CLOTHES OR PAINT ON THEIR TOES
AND THE RAIN COMES SOFT, I’M BETTER OFF

 

2. KEEPING UP THE NEIGHBORS

THERE’S A PICTURE OF A POCKET AND A PEN ON THE NIGHTSTAND
A BETTER WAY TO DO IT WITH A BOTTLE OF WINE
I ONLY GOT A WOMAN WHEN THE WOMEN WERE WASTED
BUT EVERYBODY CAME DOWN FINE
IN THE OPEN, IN THE ATTIC, IN THE PROTESTANT BASEMENT
MIXING UP THE MEDICINE AND DOING MY TIME
KEEPING TRACK OF WHAT I HAD AND WHAT I WAS AFTER
KEEPING THE LOSERS IN LINE
THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT THAT MATTERED IN THE END
IF I DID IT WRONG I’LL DO IT WRONG AGAIN

I HAD A SOFA AND A SALAD AND A DELICATE HAIRCUT
A PURPOSE AND A PASSION WITH SOME SOUP AND A SWORD
A SENATOR FOR SUPPER AND SOME BACON FOR BREAKFAST
WHILE EVERYONE RECEIVED AN AWARD
BUT I NEVER SAW A SOLDIER WITH A REASON TO DO IT
I NEVER SAW A BROTHER WITH A REASON TO RUN
I WAS MESSY, I WAS MOODY, I WAS READY TO QUIT
I WAS HAPPY TO HEAR THAT WE WON
THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE THAT MATTERED IN THE END
IF I DID IT WRONG, I’LL DO IT WRONG AGAIN

WE WERE KEEPING UP THE NEIGHBORS EVERY NIGHT

 

3. MOCKINGBIRD

MAMA MADE ME A MOCKINGBIRD
I WANDERED OUT, I WANDERED ALONE
I WANNA BE MORE THAN A MOCKINGBIRD
FLYING FOR A HOME

WHAT I DID IS FORGIVEABLE
WHAT I SAID IS UP FOR DEBATE
WHERE WE WERE WAS EVENTUAL
WE COULD NOT BE SAVED

DADDY KNOWS THE SECRET
DADDY’S CLOTHES DO JUST FINE
OUT OF THIS I’LL GET NEXT TO NOTHING

NUMBER ONE OF THE JUNIOR HIGH
NUMBER ONE IN THE STATE
NUMBER ONE IN THE UNIVERSE
WE WILL NOT BE SAVED

 

4. THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE YOU CAN BE THAN WHERE YOU ARE

I WILL NEVER BE THAT COOL AGAIN
AFTER IT I WAS READY FOR MY LIFE TO END
SHE WAS A RUSSIAN GIRL

AND WE DROVE ACROSS THE COUNTRY
TAKING TURN, WE TALKED ABOUT THE COUNTRY
SHE WAS A NAUGHTY GIRL

AND THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE YOU CAN BE THAN WHERE YOU ARE

SHE HAD A CAT, I HAD A HAT
IT WAS A LOT OR IT WAS NOT
SHE AIMED TO PLEASE, SHE ATE SOME CHEESE
SHE FELT MY KNEES, I FELT MY KEYS

AND THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE YOU CAN BE THAN WHERE YOU ARE
MY BACK’S AGAINST THE WALL
THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE YOU CAN BE THAN WHERE YOU ARE

 

5. I GOTTA GET YOU OUT

STANDING IN THE 7-11, GETTING MY DUCKS IN A ROW
I’M MESSING THIS UP, I KNOW
IT’S ALREADY OVER
STANDING IN THE 7-11, I WAS WRITING LETTERS IN MY HEAD
SHE CAME AND IT WASN’T THE END AND IT WASN’T THE MIDDLE
NOW SHE’S LYING NAKED ON THE LAWN
I’M WASTED WITH THE TELEVISION ON
I’VE NEVER BEEN AWAKE ENOUGH TO SEE IT’S UP TO ME

I GOTTA GET YOU OUT OF MY HEART
I GOTTA GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD
I GOTTA GET YOU OUT

SOON SHE’LL BE UNDER THE TABLE, SOON SHE’LL BE ABLE TO SEE
SOON SHE’LL BE ALL SHE CAN BE AND I’LL BE A REMINDER
SOON THEY’LL BE DELICATE DANCING
SLEEPING OUT UNDER THE STARS
HE SIGHS, SHE HOLDS HIM IN HER ARMS AND IT’S ONLY BEGINNING
BUT SHE WAS LYING NAKED ON THE LAWN
I WAS WASTED WITH THE TELEVISION ON
I’VE NEVER BEEN AWAKE ENOUGH TO SEE IT’S UP TO ME

I GOTTA GET YOU OUT OF MY HEART
I GOTTA GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD
I GOTTA GET YOU OUT

STANDING IN THE 7-11, THE FACES ARE FOLLOWING ME
THEY CHASE ALL I THOUGHT WE WOULD BE

 

6. THE WONDER YEARS

SHE KNEW ME LONG BEFORE I FELL
SHE THOUGHT WHAT I COULD NEVER TELL
I’M SURE IT HAPPENED ALL THE TIME, BUT I WAS NOT AWARE
I MET HER IN THE CASTLE HALL
I KISSED HER IN THE CASTLE WALL
I NEVER KNEW IT WHEN SHE CAME, I RAN UP THE STAIRS
AND I WAITED PATIENTLY

SUMMER TURNED TO EARLY FALL, EVERYONE WAS AT THE BALL
EVERYBODY LOOKED THEIR BEST, I LOOKED AT HER CHEST
SHE ASKED ME OUT ONTO THE FLOOR, I’D NEVER SEEN SKIN BEFORE
SHE OPENED UP AND HELP ME HARD IN DRUMS AND GUITARS
AND I WAITED PATIENTLY

I DROVE HER HOME IN EARLY SPRING, I LISTENED TO THE SPEAKER SING
SHE STOOD OUTSIDE MY CAR, SHE KNEW AND I KNEW IT TOO
SHE ASKED ME OF MY SUMMER PLANS, I TOLD HER AND I HELD MY HANDS
I HURT HER AND I KNEW I DID
WE COULD HAVE BEEN SO SWEET

 

7. LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

A CANDLESTICK, A BROKEN JAW
SHE TOOK OFF HER MAKE-UP WHILE I TOOK OFF HER BRA
SHE INTERRUPTED ME AND PUT HER FINGERS UP MY SLEEVE
I HAD ANOTHER GLASS OF WATER AND I STARTED TO AGREE
LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, I WAS LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

IT WAS TOO LATE FOR ANYTHING ELSE
SHE NEEDED SOME ANSWERS AND I NEEDED SOME HELP
IT WAS A GOOD IDEA, IT WAS THE RIGHT TIME
SHE KNEW I KNEW AND KNEW I DIDN’T MIND
LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, WE WERE LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

NOW I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY LAWS I’M BREAKIN’
BUT IF THEY PULL ME OVER I KNOW THAT I’LL BE TAKEN
TO THE HALL OF CORRECTIONS IN THE CANYONS OF THE STATE
THEY CAN TEACH ME HOW TO LOVE AGAIN, SHOW ME WHO TO HATE
LOOKING FOR TROUBLE, THEY ARE LOOKING FOR TROUBLE

 

8. LAS VEGAS AVENUE

I DON’T KNOW WHY I WENT LOOKING FOR YOU ON LAS VEGAS AVENUE
WHEN THE SKY WAS SPLIT OPEN
AND OUR LIVES HAD BEEN BROKEN IN TWO
I HAD PLENTY OF TIME AND NOTHING TO DO ON LAS VEGAS AVENUE
IT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOU

IT WAS MORE THAN I ASKED FOR
IT WAS ALL THAT I ASKED FOR
IT WAS NOTHING I ASKED FOR
IT WAS LOVE THAT I ASKED FOR
IT WAS NOTHING I ASKED FOR

I DON’T KNOW WHY I WENT LOOKING FOR YOU ON LAS VEGAS AVENUE
WHEN THE SKY WAS SPLIT OPEN
AND OUR LIVES HAD BEEN BROKEN IN TWO
I HAD PLENTY OF TIME AND NOTHING TO DO ON LAS VEGAS AVENUE
IT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH YOU

 

9. DISNEYLAND

I DROVE AROUND FOR HOURS, I DIDN’T TALK FOR DAYS
LOS ANGELES APPEARED BEFORE ME SPREAD OUT IN A HAZE
I STAYED FOR HALF A DECADE, IT FELT LIKE HALF A YEAR
NO, MORE LIKE HALF A STRANGE AND WASTED SUMMER
BUT THE AFTERNOONS WERE SWEET, AT LEAST
SHE KISSED ME ON THE COUCH
SHE SAID SHE LIKED MY MOUTH, I SAID I MEANT IT
AND WE DID IT ‘CAUSE WE WANTED TO
SHE DID IT ‘CAUSE SHE WANTED ME
BUT DIDN’T, I COULD TELL
AND IT ENDED JUST AS WELL AS IT HAD STARTED

WE WERE MOURNING EVERY MORNING
WITHOUT WARNING WE WERE GONE
LOOKING OUT UPON LOS ANGELES, A DIAMOND IN THE DAWN
SO THE WOMEN KEPT ME COMING, SO MY FRIENDS KEPT MY LOST
IN THE VALLEY, BY THE WATER, IN THE CANYONS, IN THE FROST
WE WERE LOUD BECAUSE WE COULD BE AND WE WANTED TO BE HEARD
IT WAS NOT A GOOD DIVORCE, BUT IT WAS GOOD
IT WAS SIMPLE AS IT SHOULD BE, IT WAS PAINLESS AS IT COULD BE
STRIKING SILOUETTES AND SUBJECTS TO PASS AND FILL THE TIME
IT WAS SIMPLE AS IT SHOULD BE, IT WAS PAINLESS AS IT COULD BE
STRIKING SILOUETTES AND SUNSETS TO PASS AND FILL THE TIME

WE WERE LOUD BECAUSE WE COULD BE AND WE WANTED TO BE HEARD

SHE IS CALLING, SHE IS STALLING, SHE IS SINGING OUT TO ME
I KNOW EVERYTHING SHE’S MADE OF AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO SEE
SHE IS EMPTY, SHE IS ANGRY, SHE IS SIMPLE, SHE IS SICK
IT IS EVENING IN LOS ANGELES AND NOTHING SEEMS TO STICK

NOW THE DEVILS ARE ALL DREAMING BUT THE ANGELS ARE AWAKE
THEY ARE PLOTTING, THEY ARE PLEADING
THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO TAKE
THEY DISCUSSED IT WITH THEIR THERAPIST AND DECIDED IT’S OKAY
IT’S A CITY, AFTER ALL, OF PRIME CONTENDERS
IF THEY’RE SORRY WHEN IT’S OVER
SHE WON’T KNOW AND SHE WON’T MIND
SHE’LL BE HALF ASLEEP AND WAITING
SHE’LL BE HALF ASLEEP AND BLIND
IT IS MIDNIGHT IN LOS ANGELES, I’M LEAVING HER BEHIND

AND EVERYONE IS THERE

 

10. CHRIST IS A SINNER

YOU CAN SAY ANYTHING YOU WANNA SAY
GO AHEAD, IT’S OKAY
GO AHEAD AND SAY IT
JUST SAY WHAT YOU WANNA SAY
COME ON, SAY WHAT YOU WANNA SAY
I’LL ONLY HEAR WHAT I WANNA HEAR

EVERYONE I KNOW IS A WRECK

MY FLIGHT WAS DELAYED
I KNEW I SHOULD HAVE STAYED, I KNEW IT
AND BECAUSE MY FLIGHT WAS DELAYED
I HAD TO SIT AROUND AND THINK ABOUT IT FOR HALF A DAY

EVERYWHERE I GO I’M A WRECK

YOU JUST GOTTA SWALLOW IT DOWN, SWALLOW IT HARD
SWALLOW IT DEEP, SWALLOW IT DOWN
YOU JUST GOTTA SWALLOW IT HARD, SWALLOW IT NEAT
SWALLOW IT DEEP, SWALLOW IT DOWN
DEEP DOWN, DEEP DOWN

CHRIST KNOWS I AM A SINNER
CHRIST KNOWS CHRIST IS A GOD
CHRIST KNOWS GOD IS A LIAR
CHRIST KNOWS I AM A FRAUD
CHRIST KNOWS I AM A LIAR
CHRIST KNOWS CHRIST IS A GOD
CHRIST KNOWS GOD IS A SINNER
CHRIST KNOWS I AM A FRAUD

YOU CAN SAY ANYTHING YOU WANNA SAY
GO AHEAD, IT’S OKAY
GO AHEAD AND SAY IT
JUST SAY WHAT YOU WANNA SAY
COME ON, SAY WHAT YOU WANNA SAY
I’LL ONLY HEAR WHAT I WANNA HEAR

 

11. AFTER LOVE AFTER ALL

N INSECT, A DINOSAUR
YOU’RE PERFECT FOR IT, YOU’LL BE FINE
A HANDSTAND, A STUPID POEM
YOU STILL BELIEVE IT, YOU’LL BE FINE
YOU’RE AFTER LOVE AFTER ALL

ALL THE BABIES ARE OFF TO SCHOOL
THEY’RE READY FOR IT, THEY’LL DO FINE
ALL THE GENTLEMEN ARE KEEPING TABS
ALL THE GENTLE LADIES ARE CLEANING UP
THEY’RE AFTER LOVE AFTER ALL

THEY’RE PERFECT FOR IT

I CANNOT LOSE YOU NOW
I CANNOT CHOOSE YOU NOW
I CANNOT WAIT
I’M AFTER LOVE

 

AMERICAN IN LOVE

1. Concerning the Lincoln and Douglas Debates or Love Found Lost

Let’s go out tonight like it is last year, like everything’s all right and it is late last year, we’ll walk around this planet ‘till we’re home, we’ll both get old. Let’s go out to the ball and see ‘em all dressed up, I’ll tell you that you’re pretty, we’ll get all messed up, we’ll talk about the future, we’ll call ourselves the future and we’ll mean it. It’s been a restless several years, full of ignorance and fears, I think it’s time for you to go, I think it’s over and you know, you had a nice impressive run, you had your way, you had your fun, I wasted hours with your tongue. It’s like I never learned to love, no one ever walked me through it, no one taught me how to do it, no one told me that it’s real, and it’s not enough to feel and it’s not enough to promise and it’s not enough to try. I know I’m not the only one, I just can’t be the only one, I know I’m not the only one who knows. I been lookin’ up my future on the world wide web, lookin’ up my history on the world wide web, I read the transcripts of the Lincoln and Douglas debates. It’s like all of a sudden there were Germans, acres and acres of Germans, hilarious Germans, their English was pretty good. They came into this country, they fed it with disease, they killed too many trees, baby everyone agrees: you can’t win when you’re old, you can’t win when you’re angry, you can’t do everything you’re told. It’s not a sign from above, it’s not from anyone you love, it’s not a bird, it’s not a car, it’s not afraid of what you are, it’s not a place, it’s not a plane, it’s not a God, it’s not a name, don’t waste your money or your time. I know I’m not the only one, I just can’t be the only one, I know I’m not the only one who knows. But you see there’s no one left that you can turn to now and you know there’s someone new you better learn from now, your mother’s too afraid, your father’s not alive anymore. I want it to be perfect, I want it to be right, I wanna fall in love and it’s gotta be tonight, I don’t care if it’s you, I don’t care if it’s her, I don’t care if it’s both of you. It must be hard to be a Mormon, I know they get a lot of shit, I’ve thought a lot about it and I think we should admit that it’d be nice to have five wives, it’d be nice to have five husbands, it’d be nice to live in Utah. But you don’t wanna fight ‘cause you don’t wanna lose, well I don’t have a choice so I don’t wanna choose and I came to let you know, I came to let you go, I came to tell you so. So let’s go out tonight like it is last year, like it’s winter and you’re nervous and it’s late last year. I’ll kiss you on the Ferris wheel, I’ll hold you out over the ocean. In the middle of April I was willing and able, I was under the table, in over my head, I can never remember, it was early December, or later November, when it started again. I know I’m not the only one, I just can’t be the only one, I know I’m not the only one who knows.

 

2. The Score

Somewhere out there in the world tonight there’s a man hungry and sick and frozen with fright who is trying to cross the United States border. I’m up here on the fourth floor tonight, I’m hungry, I’m sick and I’m frozen with fright. I’m trying to get my hilarious life in order. And I know what the score is and I know what a war is. People die in a war, it’s all happened before. When last we spoke I made a terrible joke, you laughed but you knew it was a terrible joke, there was a time not that long ago when all of my jokes were good ones. So maybe I lost it in the back of that truck or that night we swam naked in the lake and we stuck to each other and we clutched and we kissed and we knew we could make it. But I know what the score is and I know what a war is. People lose in a war, it’s all happened before. Well I said, “Wait a minute, you got an eyelash, let me get it before I go.” And I said, “Wait a minute, let me get it... now make a wish and blow.” I’d give anything to know what that wish was. Somewhere on another planet tonight I’m fairly certain there’s intelligent life and they’re using their time and their tests to figure out what love is.

 

3. End of Summer Cigarettes

end of summer cigarettes, undercover backyard bets, next to me the music plays, next to her it’s better, candy bars and shooting stars, endless fog and endless cars, i let her fall asleep so she wouldn’t catch me lookin’, i was fine until i saw her in a dress the week of end of summer cigarettes… an old friend came to visit me i didn’t see her comin’, when i breathed her it was something like a high school football game, we took turns, we looked for signs, i knew that she would have to leave, i knew that we just couldn’t be together anymore, i showed her out, i shut the door and i was fine… wild in the evergreens, i met her there, i saw her knees, i saw her shoes outside my tent, we both went straight to sleep, end of summer cigarettes, long forgotten dreamed regrets, i know that we will meet another time, i’ll be clean and she’ll be free, she’ll spend another night with me and i won’t let her fall asleep, i was fine until i saw her in a dress the week of end of summer cigarettes… i was fine until i saw her in a dress.

 

4. Shimmering Shining

I’m back where I started, I’m broken-hearted, I’m disenchanted, I’m not the only one. I’m back where I started here and all that I felt, my dear, and all that I held dear evaporated. I was under the willow tree changin’ my chemistry, re-readin’ my history. I was disenchanted. A chain reaction occurred, I fell in love with her. I fell in love with her ‘cause she fell in love with me. I would kill for you. I would kill for you too. Or maybe it’s the other way around, I should just call it square and settle down, I should just go to the house of the woman I used to fantasize about, wake her up and take her out, tell her how it is with me, re-invent our history, we could be prime contenders, we could be shimmering shining yeah.

 

5. The Last of the Mohicans

They’re fightin’ in the Middle East, they’re fightin’ in the bar down the street, and I’m sure she’s got a piece of me inside, I had her locked up in rhymes. Like everyone else I made it through the storm. I was born out of love. The calendar was right, I listened all night. The teachers were so wrong, so wrong all along. Like everyone else I made it through the storm. I was born out of love. I am trying to read “The Last of the Mohicans,” it is boring me to tears. I am trying to read “The Last of the Mohicans,” I haven’t talked to you in years.

 

6. An American in Love

I am an American in love. I’ll show you what I’m made of. And I know I’m not the only one with a problem and I know, ma, yes, I know, ma, I know they’re starving in China, I know they’re dying in Africa. But I am an American in love. I’ll show you what I’m made of. I am an American in love. Maybe we should go, dear. Maybe we should leave here. Maybe I should go, dear. Maybe I should leave here. I’ll show you what I’m made of. I am an American in love.

 

7. Anybody Everybody

In the country they really know how to rock. Andrew Jackson sittin’ in the captain’s tower, Andrew Jackson shootin’ in the captain’s tower. And if it was up to me we could be all that we can be. We could be anybody, everybody. All through the desert I was lookin’ for a place to stop. Saw some Asians on vacations, saw some Mexicans talkin’ to a cop. Saw some Asians on vacations, saw some Mexicans stopped by a cop. But if it was up to me we could be all that we can be. We could be anybody, everybody. Kill me now, my darlin’. Prove to me I’m wrong.

 

8. screaming in love

it’s in the atmosphere they’re coming over here mom’s got a lot to be afraid of they’re selling poetry they’re looking out for me they are so out of place in heaven it was so hot that day we swore a lot that day you caught me peeking at her shoulder i stood in line all day i watched you walk away i saw you on the roller coaster screaming in love here comes another one just like the other one just like the one who came before her she looks and tastes the same she smells and acts the same it stands to reason she’s the same thing i’m not a champion, i never try to win i’m not a lion or a soldier i took my time with you, i talked about peru i’m not the only one i know screaming in love.

 

9. Yesterday Some Roses

Hello again, my old friend! I been deep in trouble, but I think I’m comin’ ‘round the bend. Yesterday some roses came around, I took ’em for what they were, I fell back in love with her. So why, oh why, do I always imagine that I am far from where I am? Memory: sittin’ on the rocks at dawn, buildin’ a sand castle later on. We created a residential section, a commerical section and an industrial section. So why, oh why, do I always imagine that I am far from where I am? Give me credit for what I’ve done. Give me credit for what I’ve won. It’s a tournament of riches, revolution under the sun. Santa Claus, camouflage, Santa Claus. I’m taking a break, time to get away, I cannot stay.

 

10. Nowhere Fast

There’s an open invitation on the table by the stairs, the magazines are obvious, the radio is theirs, all the little babies have been moved off the line. She was in her make-up on a Sunday afternoon, I was taking care of business with some matches and a spoon, all the little babies have been moved off the line. And I am going nowhere fast, nothing that I say will last, I am going nowhere fast. I thought without thinking, I knew that I was wrong, I ended up lost with the radio on, something about how it’s good only when it’s gone. We almost made it late that night, we made it up instead, I don’t care what she doesn’t know, I don’t care what she said, all the little babies have been moved off the line. And I am going nowhere fast, nothing that I say will last, I am going nowhere fast.

 

11. (Like Bon Jovi) I’m Running Away

I was so far away the other night, I came alive the other night, I made it out, I made it to her window, she was waiting for me ready to go. This love is so mysterious… I know the way it’s done, I’ve heard it from everyone, I went to school, I know my options, but even the starts know how to cheat. This love is so mysterious… The wedding was a nice affair, everyone’s friends were there, the Priest was serious and friendly, but nothing Father Arnold said ever stayed in my head, if he spoke for God I’m disappointed. I’m thinking of my old address, I’m thinking that I’m not done yet, I’m running from everything I love. I don’t care what the papers say, it’s not supposed to be this way, I’m running from everything I love. Like Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Fred Flintstone, George Jetson, the terrorists, the Jews… I’m running away (and i know i’m not the only one with a problem i know ma yes i know ma i know they’re starving in china i know they’re dying in africa but i am an american in love i’ll show you what i’m made of)… This love is so mysterious.

 

12. The Meanest Man Alive

It must be a new day, I might be the only man alive, you must be a new friend, I might be the meanest man alive. And it must have been like the old days when everyone was outside just walking around or maybe it was one of those crazy days when a couple planes fly in and knock a couple buildings down. I’ve been dreaming of the apocalypse, I’ve been imagining that I am the only one who survives. I’d go get some cigarettes, something to eat, a book to read and I think, after a long while, I could forget this.

I’ll be up n’ runnin’ when the steam whistle blows, you’ll never see me again. Make me up some bacon in the sunbeam shade, I’ll eat it up before the animals come. Give me lots of money and I’ll go away, you’ll never see me again.

 

IT DOESN'T MATTER WHY IT IS, IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT'S WRONG

I. Pissin’ on Plants in the Suburbs


i. Pissin’ on Plants in the Suburbs

I’m pissin’ on plants in the suburbs
I’m pissin’ on plants in the suburbs
I’m pissin’ on plants in the suburbs
I’m pissin’ on plants in the suburbs
I’m pissin’ on plants in the suburbs
I’m pissin’ on plants in the suburbs

And the newsman and the paperboy
And the bureaucrats and Ned were for the war
So they sat around and they talked a bit
Then they slept on it and agreed to not agree
It’s not for me

I’m makin’ it count in the suburbs
I’m addin’ it up in the suburbs
I’m kickin’ some ass in the suburbs
I’m takin’ you out in the suburbs

And the newsman and the paperboy
And the bureaucrats and Ned were wrong before
So they sat around and they talked a bit
Then they slept on it and agreed to not agree
But I said that Pete’s been to the war and Pete says:

“We gotta make it out, we gotta make it up again
You should come to my place and look at my swords
You should come to New Jersey, you should come and meet me
You should come and look at my swords”

Pete says it’s a tradition over there
Pete has confident eyes and nervous hair


ii. Where I’m From

Where I’m from we kick the can in cul de sacs
We cheer when the marines attack
We go to the boat show
Where I’m from we know to take it slow
Where I’m from I never met a black guy
I never knew a Jew
Maybe one or two
Where I’m from

I was doin’ it right in the suburbs
Sleepin’ all night in the suburbs
Livin’ the dream in the suburbs
I was happy to be in the suburbs
Keepin’ it clean in the suburbs
Livin’ the dream in the suburbs

The neighbors came to call
We had a ball, we had it all

Now the time’s tick tockin’
We’re criss crossin’ the planet
Having sex and drinking water
Eating food and drinking water


iii. We All Fall

I was so surprised when trouble came
(And we all fall)
She had pretty eyes and a pretty name
(And we all fall)
I was such a sorry sight to see
(And we all fall)
Everybody tried to bury me
How did we get so low?
We were beautiful you know, we had it all
We had a ball

Now the time’s tick tockin’
We’re criss crossin’ the planet
Having sex and drinking water
Eating food and drinking water


iv. People and Their Problems

People and their problems: mosquitoes, ducks and swallows
We hold each other up and then we all fall down

 

II. Charlie

i. Charlie

Look to the high hills, pace yourself Charlie
All in good time my dear
Sometimes at night when the campsite is quiet
I pick up his leg and I kiss it
And I miss him

Charlie’s a soldier, a virgin, a sweetie
A buddy, a memory, a cripple
Charlie’s a junkie, a bookie, a banker
A silent consumer, a thanker
He got a face, he got a place
He got a calendar and he crosses off each day
He counts down to his grave and every month he saves
A little bit, a little bit more
But Charlie what’s it for?
Charlie what’s in store?
Charlie’s keepin’ score, but…

Charlie don’t believe in it no more
Charlie’s grown accustomed to the war
Charlie doesn’t wish for all that much
Perhaps some season tickets and a cabin
Perhaps some season tickets and a cabin


ii. One Penny Can Help (Sha La La La)

Sha la la la sha la la la
Sha la la la la la la la la la la la
Sha la la la Sha la la la
Sha la la laSha la la la la


iii. Tonight he’s in the Trenches

Tonight he’s in the trenches with his dog
His trusty, rusty dog
Charlie named him Charlie

And shots ring out
And Charlie shouts
And Charlie barks
And Charlie’s hit
Charlie sniffs
Charlie moans
Charlie goes for help


iv. Charlie the Dog

What a good boy, what a good boy, what a good boy
What a good boy, what a good boy, what a good boy
What a good boy, what a good boy, what a good boy
What a good boy, what a good boy, what a good boy

My name is Charlie, Charlie the dog
Charlie alert
Charlie is hurt
They got him with bullets, with quote unquote bullets
Proverbial bullets, ridiculous bullets
One of his legs is lost
The other leg came off
One of his legs is lost
The other leg came off

What a good boy, what a good boy, what a good boy
What a good boy, what a good boy, what a good boy

Dogs are so funny, they’re almost like humans
It’s almost as if they’re trying to tell us something


v. Charlie Reminds Me of Charlie

Charlie reminds me of Charlie
Charlie is chomping at the bit
Charlie is already dead
Finally got what he wanted


vi. Charlie (reprise)

Charlie’s a soldier, a virgin, a sweetie
A buddy, a memory, a cripple
Charlie’s a junkie, a bookie, a banker
A silent consumer, a thanker
Charlie’s a dog
Look to the high hills, pace yourself Charlie
All in good time my dear
Charlie’s a dog
Look to the high hills, pace yourself Charlie
All in good time my dear

What a good boy what a good boy what a good boy what a good boy such a good boy Charlie such a good boy such a good boy what a good boy what a good boy such a good boy Charlie

 

III. Ned

i. Ned

Out where drew drops drip in New York state
There lives a smallish man
He reasons not his face or place
He cares not for the terror of our times
He spends his mornings reading books
He smokes a wooden pipe
He reasons not the health defects
He cares not for an entertainment center
While his neighbors surf the internet
He drinks and mows his lawn
He reasons not of fax machines
He cares not for your web address or number

And so it was and so it went
For forty plus odd years
Ned the hillside valley soul
Ned the odd man out, the next-door weirdo


ii. I’m Your Grocer

I’d be lying if I said that I knew him
But I blew him from time to time
See by day I’m your grocer, you’ve known me for years
By night I’m a cock suckin’ queer
There’s a guy like me in every dime store
The fag whore, the cum guzzlin’ ass muzzlin’ dude
And the town was a small one, population 400
I plugged every butt hole but two
And as you can imagine, I kept pretty quiet
I never let on what I did
And Ned, by the way, wasn’t dirty or lonely
A once-a-month blowjob was all


iii. He Was a Wonderful Man

Yes, it’s safe to say Ned was a topic at table
Everyone thought he was odd
He never got angry or purchased a paper
He cooked all his meals at home

He was a wonderful man
He was a wonderful man
He was a wonderful man


iv. The Day That It Happened

On the day that it happened I had an appointment
To suck on Ned’s dick after twelve
I put on my shoes and I slathered my hands
With ointment to slather Ned’s cock

I stopped on the stoop to admire the view
A lazy July afternoon
Across on the hillside was Ned sitting outside
Also enjoying the view
I waved and he waved, I stepped onto the road
I never got further than that
The rocket came fast, flew in with a flash
Exploded and blew off my hat

I gathered my senses and rose to my feet
The townsfolk were chattering loud
I gazed at the chasm to check in with Ned
And saw the great nuclear cloud


v. The Commander

Then a bugle did sound and assaulted the town
Announcing the army brigade
They crested the hill in their jeeps and their tanks
Waving American flags
The Commander rose up with a bullhorn and spoke
He said:

“People of Valley View, listen!
We are the good guys, we are on your side
We tested a missile shield and failed.
Now do not be frightened, it’s not what it looks like
This mushroom plume is a ruse.
It’s a shock and awe tactic to scare off the evil,
Your tax dollars working for you!
Now tell us, you citizens
Tell us, you friends
Did anyone live in this spot?
The rocket’s not toxic, but fire is fire
This person is probably dead.”

He made his announcement so matter of factly
That nobody batted an eye
They shrugged and dispersed like satisfied dogs
Content that their country was winning

I ran to the nearest jeep shrieking and weeping
I threw myself onto the ground
The sergeant called out to the sergeant
Who called to the captain, who called the commander
He sauntered to me, he spat on my shoes
He asked for my job and my name
I couldn’t respond, I was sad about Ned
And his many guns terrified me

“Well speak up and answer, what are you, a fairy?!”

He pushed his pate into my pate
His dogmen surrounded, the siren was sounded
The townsfolk remaining retreated
And I mustered up none but a feeble refrain
Over and over again

He was a wonderful man
He was a wonderful man
He was a wonderful man


v. Crucifixion

They strung me up high and they crucified quick
I’m closer to Ned every hour
The townsfolk ignore me as children implore me
To tell them the tale of Ned
I start at the start and with all of my heart
I spin it with fabulous ease
How Ned from the valley lived neatly and sweetly
And died in a test of our missile defense
From a rocket wound paid for by us

 

IV. The Ballad of Wallace Green and His Dog

i. Wallace Green

From just outside of Birmingham, a man named Wallace Green
He’s got a dog he loves who loves him back
And a pick-up painted green
Been in the desert for four years
On probation for four months
He’s got a lawyer from the state who’s always late
And he’s got some land back home
But he won’t get back to it
And he won’t see the sun again
When they take him in and they get a closer look


ii. Wallace Out West

Wallace came out west to meet a girl
Took his time along the way
She was thinner in her picture, he decided he should stay
Taught her children to be proud
Cleaned ‘em up and set ‘em straight
Gave ‘em something to believe, filled up their plates
But all the men he met didn’t treat him with respect
They called him slow, they made him mean
And Wallace Green says:

“It doesn’t matter why it is, it doesn’t matter if it’s wrong
It only matters that it is and it’s been goin’ on a bit too long.”


iii. Wallace Hears a Buzzin’ Sound

There’s only so much that a man can take before he breaks
It happened one night, it happened so fast
Wallace don’t remember what went down
He knows he heard a buzzin’ sound
And he woke up next to dead tied to a hospital bed
With four felonies to his name
It’s a dirty game and he got a piece of it


iv. Wallace’s Dog

That dog was desperate when he found her
Hunger sick and danger thin
Caked in shit, he cleaned her up, washed off the blood
And took her in
Wallace learned to love her quick
Gave her a name he thought would stick
He lets her out, she feeds herself, she leaves the bones
And every night back home she’s sleepin’ at his feet
It’s all that either of them needs
It’s a perfect scene
But it’s over now for Wallace Green


v. It Doesn’t Matter Why It Is, It Doesn’t Matter If It’s Wrong

He was out on bail when he found
That his dog was in the pound
He had a week to get some cash
Or they were gonna put her down
He called his ma hopin’ that she could help him out
She had some money down south, she went it west
And Wallace said it’s good she did
‘Cause he’d come after who killed her if they did
And he’d hurt him hard
He wouldn’t laugh or frown
He’d hunt him and he’d bring him down
Take the body back to town
Put it in his pick-up truck
Prop it up and drive it around

‘Cause it doesn’t matter why it is and it doesn’t matter if it’s wrong
It only matters that it is and it’s been goin’ on a bit too long

 

BEFORE WE FALL

1. Before We Fall

Emmy’s doin’ handstands in the Minnesota sun just for fun,
I cannot be certain but I know that we’re not done
I can keep it cool, I won’t be mean before we fall
A pirate flag is flying in the California sun just for fun
I cannot be certain but I know that we’re not done
No one has it all, I won’t be wrong before we fall
Summer’s gone, I know, I watched it go

 

2. Grandpa

I left my grandpa for dead, I left him in the Midwest
I left him playing Chinese checkers staring into space
Grandpa was a banker, grandpa was a money man
Grandpa kept his end held up, grandpa kept his head held up
Grandpa had a plan
Grandpa fought over there, fighting in The Big One
Floating over the Pacific, fighting in the trees
Grandpa killed the Nazis, grandpa killed Napoleon
Grandpa killed the Japs and Jews
Grandpa never got to choose
And grandpa never won
Grandpa moved to the farm, grandpa got a big house
Grandpa filled it up with children, grandpa bought a fridge
Grandpa got a good job, grandpa worked it nine to five
Grandpa cheated all the time, grandpa told ‘em where to sign
Kept his family alive
Grandpa sat on the lake, grandpa ate a sandwich
Grandpa put his hook in proper, grandpa listened to the game
Grandpa watched the bobber, grandpa caught another one
Grandpa pulled the anchor up, emptied out his coffee cup
And grandpa floated away
Grandpa took to the road, grandpa had a shotgun
Grandpa had a dirty pistol ready to go
Grandpa hit the truck stop, grandpa made ‘em all line up
Grandpa did ‘em one by one, grandpa did ‘em just for fun
And grandpa drove away
I left my grandpa for dead, I left him in the Midwest
I left him playing Chinese checkers staring into space
Grandpa was a banker, grandpa was a money man
Grandpa kept his end held up, grandpa kept his head held up

 

3. Over My Heart

When it started with you I took a good look at you
You were impossible, you knew where to start
I was standing alone, you had the radio on
I was impossible, I knew where to start
When it started with you I took a good look at you
I knew you’d never leave me out in the dark
I was standing alone, I had the radio on
You had your hand held over my heart
Over my heart
When it started with you I took a good look at you
I was impossible, I knew how to start
You were standing alone, you had the radio on
You were impossible, I knew how to start
When it started with you I took a good look at you
I knew you’d never leave me out in the dark
I was standing alone, I had the radio on
I had my hand held over my heart
Over my heart
When it started with you I took a good look at you
I was impossible, I knew how to start

 

4. Down in Mexico

I’m sick of thinkin’ ‘bout the right way to go
I think I’m movin’ down to Mexico
I’ll meet a girl there with blackberry eyes
A senorita with impeccable thighs
Yes it’s one two three, it’s five six nine
I’m up and down, I’m never doin’ fine
But she won’t be the one, I know
I got a woman down in Mexico
Last time I saw her I was lookin’ all right
Last time I saw her I was doin’ fine
Now there’s a lot that she ain’t ever gonna know
My little woman down in Mexico
Yes it’s one two three, it’s five six nine
I’m up and down, I’m never doin’ fine
But she won’t be the one, I know
I got a woman down in Mexico
She can’t see me now
I need uno mas

 

5. My Mom is a Dog

My mom is a dog
She does what she’s told
She gobbles her treats
She eats and gets old
My mom is a dog
And soon she will die
And daddy will cry
My mom is a dog
Dropping a bomb on a person’s
Is the same as beheading a person’s head
My mom is a fish
Or so I have read
Or so I’ve been told
She spawns and gets old
My mom is a fish
And soon she’ll be caught
She’s perfectly taught
My mom is a fish
Dropping a bomb on a person’s head
Is the same as beheading a person’s head

 

6. Feet to the Fire

Comin’ back to California, I’m in love with California
California, I’m in love with you
I’ll give all my lovin’ to you
I’ll give all my best years to you
I’ll give everything I’ve got to you
When it’s over, California, I’ll be angry California
California, if you don’t come true
I believe you, California
I believed you, California
California, I believe in you 
And I’ve got my feet to the fire
It’s not as if I’m from here
I mean, my family’s not from here
I lost my train of thought again, I’m lost
The railroad was amazing, the people really loved it
The railroad is amazing once again
And dogs are so protective, dogs are so objective
Dogs are so secure in what they know
While everybody’s Moses and everybody’s Jesus
And everybody’s meaner than a dog
Everybody’s meaner than a dog
And I’ve got my feet to the fire
I think I thought that she was nice
I mean, I know that she was nice
I saw her belly burning in the glow
It’s not as if I’d turn it down
It’s only that, when she’s around
I think I’ve found a person I can die with
So maybe I’m too serious
I’m serious, delirious, deliriously serious, I know
And you are so on top of it
You got it all on top of it
I’d love to see you making love or killing
Making love or killing 
And I’ve got my feet to the fire 
I don’t love you, New York City
You’re too cocky, New York City
New York City, we do not agree
But I admit it, New York City
When they hit you, New York City
Something broke and tore inside of me
End of summer, New York City
End of something, New York City
New York City, we were having fun
So I get it, New York City
Yes I get it, New York City
New York City, you are number one
And I’ve got my feet to the fire
It’s not as if I’m from here
I mean, my family’s not from here
I lost my train of thought again, I’m lost

 

7. 52 Pick-Up

 
She’s playin’ games, she’s playin’ hard to get
I know, I’ve seen if before, I know how she gets
Starve her for a few days, don’t give her any water
She’ll be crawlin’ back to kill you
This is what happens
It’s what happens, it’s what happens
It’s not sad, it’s not sad
So I will not be hesitating
I will not be hesitating
I will not be hesitating this time
Because a hurricane, you know a hurricane
Could never make me cry, never make me cry
The ace of spades, the two of clubs
The six of diamonds, the jack of hearts
The nine of hearts, the ace of spades
The six of diamonds, the two of spades
The jack of spades, the queen of spades
The six of diamonds, the two of spades
The ace of spades
The king of clubs
And so a hurricane, you know a hurricane
Could never make me cry
So I will not be hesitating
I will not be hesitating
I will not be hesitating this time
Because a hurricane, you know a hurricane
Could never make me cry, never make me cry

 

8. There’s No Reason

I am on the wrong side, so are you
Everyone is talking, so are you
Oh, I will not believe it
Oh, there must be a reason
Oh no, there’s no reason
I am always hungry, so are you
Everyone’s got babies, so do you
Oh, I will not believe it
Oh, there must be a reason
Oh no, there’s no reason

 

9. Simple Heart

If it was such a great mistake
Then why was it so nice to take it slow with her
We were up all night playing cards
The city lights stopped the stars, but I didn’t mind
No, I didn’t mind
And she was up, down, all around
I had her hands pushing onto the ground
She’ll know it when I start
I got a simple heart
And all the big boys runnin’ around
And all the photographs of girls downtown
I wanna tear ‘em apart, I know where to start
A simple heart, a simple heart
So why was it so hard to see
What it was that was wrong with me?
I was lookin’ good, I was feelin’ good
The people dance, the people sing
The people don’t know anything, but they’re lookin’ good
Yeah, they’re lookin’ good
And she was up, down, all around
I had her hands pushing onto the ground
She’ll know it when I start
I got a simple heart
And all the big boys runnin’ around
And all the photographs of girls downtown
I wanna tear ‘em apart, I know where to start
A simple heart, a simple heart
The friends I’ve loved, the friends I’ve known
The friends I’ve lost or I’ve outgrown will all be there
And hangin’ on the Christmas tree
A photograph of you and me
And we’re looking good, yeah we’re lookin’ good
We are lookin’ good

 

10. Every Car is a Person

I retreated, I concede
I’m not stupid, I can see
I’m not sorry, I’m angry
I am beaten, I am torn
I am glad that I was born
I am glad that I am living
I’m shaken, I am scared
I’m weak and unprepared
I’m a loser and liar
But I will kill to stay alive
I will kill to prove a point
I will set the earth on fire
So I woke up late
Put my shoes on straight
And walked out the gate
And the day the new
And the lake was blue
And the eagle flew
I’ve been hibernating, waiting for a sign
Medicating, drinking dollar wine
She was cute and she was small
She was playing basketball
She made me wonder
And we finished it so fast
As the ambulances passed
In the lightening and the thunder
She gave everything to me
I said I didn’t know and I put myself above her
Then I decided not to wait, I decided not to care
I decided just to love her
And from where she stood
And from where I stood
It was understood
And the day was new
And the lake was blue
And the eagle flew
I said let’s stay up and watch it all go down
Once again they played with my head again
I fell for their tricks again
They got me in deep again
And I believed them again
I’m such an idiot
Once again they twisted my arm again
I fell for their charm again
I didn’t wake up until I understood the freeway
Every car is a person
So the lake was blue
And the eagle flew
But the day is new
I am older now, we are older now
You are older too
And the organ grinder will always find her tune
In the desperate faces of a Sunday afternoon
Yes the organ grinder will always find her tune
In the desperate faces of a Sunday afternoon

 

11. The Greatest Ever

I wanna be a true confessor
I wanna be a serious contender
I wanna drive around in sunsets
I’ll let the smoke get in my eyes
Every professor is a prophet
What a surprise
We could be the greatest ever
We could be the greatest ever
And if it’s up to me we’re always gonna be free
She came to me a pretty pretender
I came to her a funeral attender
She was so vocal and so vicious
I was suspicious from the start
Later I lost it all and she said you’re breakin’ my heart
We could be the greatest ever
We could be the greatest ever
And if it’s up to me we’re always gonna be free
So it started on the rocks
So I put it in a box
What have we become?

 

12. Handstands in the Sun

Emmy’s doin’ handstands in the Minnesota sun just for fun
I cannot be certain but I think we’re almost done
I can keep it cool, I won’t be mean before we fall
A pirate flag is flying in the California sun just for fun
I cannot be certain and I think we’re almost done
No one has it all, I won’t be wrong before we fall
Summer’s gone, I know, I watched it go

 

THE HEREAFTER

at the conclusion of this, i would invite you to stay and listen for a moment to another peal or two on the bells. the richness of the sound, i think, is quite amazing. perhaps you do too.

1. everyone looks different: i’m chillin’ with the natives, but i’m leavin’ today – i’m slummin’ it to midway, but i didn’t pay – everyone looks different now – you wanna make it matter, but you’re stuck in the crowd – you’re trying to convince me, but you’re talking too loud – everyone looks different now – i’m lockin’ up because of it – because of it i won’t be comin’ back – because of it i won’t be back – i’m lookin’ to the future and i like what i see.

2. the heads of the state: the man in the corner is looking at me, he’s got a nice hat and a fancy degree, he is sharing his coffee with strangers and looking important – the women i loved were all fragile and wrong, the men all gave up or shoved off and moved on, clancey and frieda and tucker are gone and forgotten – all the heads of the state will be locking their gates tonight – it’s so easy to wait with a smile and a casual lie – but i don’t try – grandma is crazy, grandpa is dead, grandpa is sad and he’s sick in the head, grandma’s denying the fact that she coulda been somethin’ – mommy’s in florida gettin’ a tan, dad’s in the pet store holdin’ her hand, emily went to barbados with dan and she loved it - all the heads of the state will be locking their gates tonight – it’s so easy to wait with a smile and a casual lie – but i don’t try.

3. give me what i want: i went out walkin’, the people were smokin’, i shouldn’t have spoken, i shoulda kept my cool – sometime later, i’m doin’ a favor, i’m lovin’ my neighbor and i’m keepin’ my cool – let it out – (give me what i want) i was under pressure when she came (give me what i want) or i was in the back predicting rain (give me what i want) either way i’ve never been the same and i will go away, i will go away (give me what i want) give me what i want and i won’t stay (give me what i want) give me what i want and i won’t stay (give me what i want) give me what i want and i won’t stay, i will go away, will go away, i will go away, i will go away – the greeks and the romans, the creeks and the colemans, the whigs and the mormons, the japanese – i’m sorry my brother, you fell for another – you fell for another cheap disguise – it’s right in front of your eyes - (give me what i want) i was under pressure when she came (give me what i want) or i was in the back predicting rain (give me what i want) either way i’ve never been the same and i will go away, i will go away (give me what i want) give me what i want and i won’t stay (give me what i want) give me what i want and i won’t stay (give me what i want) give me what i want and i won’t stay, i will go away, i will go away, i will go away, i will go away – san francisco, california, planet earth, the mind of god.

4. back where i was: it was summertime, we had too much time, we got ourselves in trouble – we went to the beach, then we crashed a car, then we crashed another – and when it hit me i could not think, i decided i should hide away – so i did, i did what i could, i did what i did because it was easy – and i was surprised, before i knew it i was back where i was – it was wintertime, my friend dropped me a line and said he’d pay a visit – we were gladly met, he ran off to forget, i ran off to remember – and when it hit me i could not sleep, i decided i should hide away – so i did, i did what i could, i did what i did because you loved me – and i was surprised, before i knew it i was back where i was.

5. my cousin’s canoe: the personal ad is terribly sad – desperately seeking what no one has ever had – the popular crowd is shiney and loud – they’re laughin’ at you, they’re laughin’ at you, they’re laughin’ at me too, they’re laughin’ at you – that night on the pier when heaven was here and the music played from the dead arcade and the wheel turned and the water burned – you’re a transformer, you’re a transformer, you’re a performer, you’re a transformer – let me be, i’m over it, i’m over it – let me be, i fell for it, i fell for it, i fell for it, i fell for it again...again...AGAiN...AGAiN! – my cousin’s canoe has nothing to do – this century’s boring, we need a man to kill or love.

6. the national anthem: i don’t know when it shows, i don’t know – over it, i’ll never get over it – you were such a beautiful provider, i was standing on the steps and the steeple was a mess, all the people were a mess – and though they made you look your best, there was no one to impress – they put your hands across your chest, we were singin’ the national anthem - by the dawn’s early light – jesus chirst, sacrifice – i know that it’s dangerous, i know that it’s dangerous – superman, spiderman – you were do inviting every fall, i thought i’d call – now i’m angry i confess, but the freeway was a mess – they’d better make me look my best, i got a lady to impress – she’s got her hand across her chest, she is singin’ the national anthem - by the dawn’s early light – never will we be that young again.

7. a teenager in love: i got a brand new pair of pants and a cool shirt to wear to the junior high school dance – you’re like a whitney houston song and i’m like whitney houston after everything went wrong – just a teenager in love - lookin’ for a little bit - a way to get away from it – just a teenager in love – gimme just a little bit and i will get over it – i will get over it – we are young and we are cool – i’m spendin’ the afternoon sneakin’ a peak at you under the pool – but you know all this will soon be gone, so let’s let it end under a blanket on your stepmom’s lawn - just a teenager in love - lookin’ for a little bit - a way to get away from it – just a teenager in love – gimme just a little bit and i will get over it – i will get over it – and if could do it over again, i would make sure you knew that i was more than a friend – i’d take you upstairs and lock the door and i wouldn’t care when your parents heard you screamin’ for more - just a teenager in love - lookin’ for a little bit - a way to get away from it – just a teenager in love – gimme just a little bit and i will get over it – i will get over it.

8. space junk: right now, an asteroid is speeding toward earth (i don’t know when it will get here, but it will) – thousands of tons of space junk are getting ready to crash your next bar-b-que at 22,000 miles per hour - and when the sun runs out of fuel, it will suddenly balloon up and swallow the earth.

9. musical chairs: i’ve got a shot and i mean it – i’m suicidal with a secret – you say you’re sad and i believe it, i’m so easily confused – i make a full stop for the cop – then i’m off and i am buzzin’ – i’m only lookin’ for some lovin’, but so are you and you’re so scared – musical chairs! – when you’re livin’ at the end of the world, it is good to be alive – there’s a boy for every girl at the end of the world – a laundromat, an audio cassette, they never will forget, we are never gonna win – when i tune in to the television station, it’s not the truth about my nation – we’re havin’ fun out in the sun, we are not afraid to die, we are not afraid to die – musical chairs! – when you’re livin’ at the end of the world, it is good to be alive – there’s a boy for every girl at the end of the world – do do do do, do do do do do, do do do do, do do do do do, do do do do, do do do do do, do do do do, do do do do – (all the poets and the priests, all the terrorists and thieves, all the people who believe we are more than what we seem and the people who agree – come to town, gather around, look at all the lovely ladies – all the dandelion dresses and capable caresses, so aware, musical chairs!).

10. better now: cinderella’s on display, the police are on parade, we are safe and we’re secure – she was different when we met, she is lovely when she’s wet, she is lonely now i bet – we were young, we were havin’ some fun, we were singin’ in the sun, we had barely begun – when it died i was laughin’ on the side of the road as the people came to watch the show – but i’m better now – i feel better now – all the indians were here ‘cause they thought it was a nice spot, isn’t it a sad thought? – and when the aliens arrive they will teach us how to drive beyond the stars – oh, my dear, you have nothing left to fear and i’m outta luck, i care too much and i don’t know who to trust – but i’m better now – i feel better now – i wish i could be the only one in the world.

11. the 40th century: let’s have a party tonight - i will dress right, i will look nice – you know i’ve never been in fight - i couldn’t punch right, they would knock me over - i rarely remember my dreams – if i do, they’re so true, they’re so embarrassing – i had a nightmare again about you – you were drowning, i swam the other way – the 40th century’s near, you won’t be here.

and so, it’s like…it’s like us…uh…changing…we changed into what we are now…we’re changing...…the bacteria changes in a matter of seconds...…say we change in a matter of…22,000 years ago we were, like, hairy as hell…hair everywhere…like uh…25,000 years later we don’t have really a lot of hair…we adapted like bacteria to our circumstances...…we are like ka ka.

12. the end: well my friends, we’ve come to it, the end is drawing near – the distant lands are calling and we do not feel fear – all the old alleys have new little warriors, our ghosts are finally gone – we nodded off and the world moved on, we nodded off and the world moved on – christ’s crusade had come to the woman in the car in front of me a few weekends ago at a football stadium – admission was free, the pretzels were not, the preacher sold it well – i understand why people believe in angels, i understand why people believe in angels – i’m sorry my sister, i’m sorry my mother, i’m sorry my father too.

y m i – y r u – y m i – y r u – y m i – y r u

13. take it easy (yeah yeah yeah): papa go to work in the morning, papa gotta get it right – mama go to god in the morning, mama gotta get it right – everytime i see the president i wanna take my pants off – everytime i see the president i wanna take my pants off – and i think we need to take it easy (yeah yeah yeah) – you were pretty good at a party, you were pretty good in the hall, you were pretty good in the back room, you were funny in the bathroom stall, you could drink ‘em under the table, you could pin ‘em up against the wall, you were pretty good at a party, it was wonderful to watch you fall – and i know we need to take it easy (yeah yeah yeah) – washington is nothing, michael jordan is nothing, africa is nothing, jesus christ is nothing – and i think we need to take it easy (yeah yeah yeah).

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

14. eulogy: let’s pretend that we can still pretend
let’s pretend that we are young again
i am only looking for a friend
let’s pretend that we are young again
a drink for all the secrets that you seek
a drink for all the memories you keep
a drink for all the dreams you’ll never dream
a drink for all the planets in between
believe me when i say i love you dear
believe me when i tell you not to fear
that autumn morning everything was clear
believe me when i tell you not to fear
a dollar for the country that i knew
a dollar for an afternoon with you
i know i’ve seen my best days, you’ve seen them too.
a dollar for the country that i knew.

the bells are there to proclaim for us the glory of god and to speak with us and for us - to speak thanksgiving and praise - to announce god’s presence to all the world...you know, traditionally church bells were thought of as living things because they have voices that speak and they speak for us when we are silent, their voices ringing out in praise.

 

PARADE

1. she shoots to kill

more of the same, how many days
we all waste away, why not?
it’s not like we’re the first ones
but we may be the last ones
so we may as well relax

and the cars outside my place sound like the ocean
america’s in motion
she shows her teeth and i can’t breathe
she’s my magic potion

my girl exhales and turns onto her side
someone is born and someone dies
nobody even knows we’re here
i wake her up and take requests

when it’s my turn i’ll take what i can get
i’ll run away when i’m scared of it
we’ll find a place where winter’s cold
we’ll sit on lawn chairs in the snow

from coast to coast and sea to shining sea
she doesn’t wait for me
but i see that promise in her eyes
i can’t resist it when i rise
i’ll let her take me where she will
she rumbles on and shoots to kill
she shoots to kill

 

2. caveman

you’ve got the funniest face in the whole human race ‘cause the point of a face is to put on display what you’re thinkin’
you’ve got a head that’s a mess and an unimpressive chest, but i’d wager a guess if i lost all my clothes and i saw it exposed you would know
right away what i’m thinkin’
and if i were a brave man i think i could live with myself, i wish i were a caveman ‘cause cavemen did what they felt
we’d go fishin’ at dawn with nothin’ much on and though we wouldn’t have words i would point at a bird and then i’d point at you and you’d know
we’d cook out under the stars, away from these bars where you can’t even hear when i scream in your ear that sharing this beer is already a sad memory
and if i were a brave man i think i could live with myself, i wish i were a caveman ‘cause cavemen did what they felt
tonight all these cars have ruined the stars and they make so much noise that i can’t even dream of a million bc with you sleepin’ with me on a rock on a hill where the night is so still that i think that i’m dead and if it weren’t for your head restin’ on me i might be

 

3. it must be nice

welcome back from the night, dear
you love playin’ out there, you always have
i’ve been in here, dear
i’m not that content
i don’t belong here
they’re all throwing themselves out the window
i need a view, dear
where i can hear myself think
but you know you believe in the way they take you in
you’re listenin’ to their whispers
they’re whipsperin’
doesn’t it sound nice to hear your voice on their wind?

i’ve got other plans, dear
yes, i believe
that there are other ways, dear
and yes, i still believe
you’re throwin’ it away
you’re watchin’ on the way
the people on the roadside wavin’ you by
isn’t it nice?
it must be nice
it must be nice
it must be nice

 

4. oh canada

i wish all of my friends would come knock upon my door and say they it’s not worth it anymore so i can just crawl off and die and no one will try to stop me. i’ve got nothin’ new to share except that i no longer care, maybe i should move to canada. oh canada! maybe i should move to canada. i need a miracle now, we need a miracle now.

 

5. the girl next door

she’s the girl next door
you know the girl next door
she doesn’t live next door
but you’d drive all night to see her
she looks like a magazine
she plays like a slot machine
i’m starin’ at the screen, watchin’ myself losing
and the words upon her shirt are so strategically placed
it’s a good excuse to gaze upon her face

oh god, send a thunderstorm
fix the scene up right tonight
oh god, you’re the one i blame
for even knowing her name tonight

you all her all too well
i know her all too well
she’s like the liberty bell
she’s been messed up for ages
we’ve memorized this scene
the stick shift in between
and then she leans and leans and leans and leans
and she holds me like a brother
but she doesn’t know i know
she means it like a lover and it shows

oh god, send a thunderstorm
fix the scene up right tonight
oh god, you’re the one i blame
for even knowin’ her name tonight

you know how the ending goes
i know how the ending goes
we’ll either lose our clothes or i’ll be left to wonder
if i can love anymore after the girl next door
i gotta tell her before she meets the other neighbors
but not tonight, you see, ‘cause it’s a bit too late
she’s walkin’ through the gate
i don’t know why i wait

oh god, send a thunderstorm
fix the scene up right tomorrow night
oh god, you’re the one i blame
for even knowin’ her name
oh god, you know these city lights
are this poor kid’s stars tonight
so god, leave ‘em blinkin’ on
for me to wish upon tonight

 

6. before we fall asleep

these cityscape dreams
and these maddening machines
are all that’s between you and me
my mama’s boy dress, your virgin caress
all right, i’ll confess, i’m terrified
the dawn through the dust is sighing
it reminds me of us, still trying
still trying
before we fall asleep

alone on the roof
avoiding the truth
imaging you shuddering
it’s dizzy downhill
we’ve both had our fill
i’m jack and you’re jill and we’re tumbling
and the way that you hold my body is frightening
i’m seven years old, watching the lightning
before i fall asleep

i hope i don’t die today

if i’ve been absurd, it’s only this season let’s leave out the words, abandoning reason before we fall asleep

i hope i don’t die today

 

7. the sunset king

here we go, ready and able
gather up your courage, let it go
it’s a brand new world, a presidential order
i’ll shrug and hug her shoulders, i suppose
‘cause she is close enough
as for me, as for me

i’ve become the sunset king
falling over everything
the carnival begins and i appear
assassination, early spring
dying comes to everything
let it come, it’s lonely way up here

i wish i were eighty-three, fast asleep on a quiet street
nobody would notice i was there
yesterday she came and went, i’ve forgotten most of it
the rest was like the minnesota far
but she is close enough
as for me, as for me

i’ll become the sunset king
horrified of everything
gentlemen, i’ve had a lovely time
assassination, early spring
dying comes to everything
when it comes, i’ll wait for it outside

the carnival is shutting down
everyone is grieving now
quiet down, come on now
let’s pretend
nothing’s ever near enough, senators are talking tough
wake me up, it’s déjà vu again

and i’ve become the sunset king
terrified of everything
thank you, sir, my spaceship has arrived
and i know when i’m gone and done
i’ll be a defeated one
hang my head and wish i could survive

 

8. adding up

your wishes on a star built this house of cards
so light it up and burn, the point of no return
but this time we spend, my friend
it’s adding up again
it’s adding up again

 

9. the old neighborhood

there’s dew on the grass where you first felt
an august breeze on yourself
and all the trees are larger now
you believe you’re small somehow
still small somehow
in a humid hot with a sticky thought
of evenings spent with girls you’d met
and you’re surprised to find they’re all still in your mind
they’re all still in your mind
like the ice cream treats and the grass stained feet
and the secret place you used you meet
beneath the weeping willow tree
to read old dirty magazines
you’re haunted by these scenes
they force your ears to hear the roar
of laughter from the kids next door
who wonder why this older guy is standing
just outside an open car door
the turn and run inside to hide
you see yourself from years before
with sex and love still to explore
and so much more in store
so much more
and you stand there in your cool guy shades
and clothes that say: i’m on my way
i’ve got it made and i thought i’d pay
a visit to my old neighborhood
but you are not that good
at night you lie next to her and sigh
and resolve to try and dissolve to dream
but in your sleep you scream
how it is is not how it seems
how it is is not how it seems

 

10. cemetery song

we were born for thunderstorms
she smells like autumn gold
she grins another mystery and wins some more control
her hidden skin is oxygen, fireflies and flame
i make another joke and hope it hides the lovesick shame
she breathes for me, she teases me
she’s close enough to taste
no one wants to be alone in april
and her lonesome lover bedroom sigh could make me cry tonight
as we drink and think of better times in the cemetery light

 

11. franklin street

i’m so sick of this sun, i don’t care if i never ever see it again
and a thousand years of winter settle in
i’ve been wishin’ i was back in marcia’s kitchen, oh yeah
with the trees all on fire
with autumn’s burning desire
we’ll get dressed up in blue ‘cause we have to
we got spirit to show
and you know that you’ve got to blend in to be cool
with the hippie kids from the local high school
it’s time for trick or treat, we’re gathering to meet
Knee deep in the leaves out on franklin street

well all of these palm trees
don’t belong in october
if i could i would show her
just how the autumn should be
i need the snow on my shoulders
i need the nights to get colder
i need a reason to hold her
closer to me

indie rock talk on the dock with her socks off
and the world’s orange and yellow
and we’re keepin’ it mellow
and her hair is in pigtails all held up with bows
she says she only likes bands that nobody knows
there’s a castle on the edge of this town
with walls that surround, with vines comin’ down
“it is haunted,” said
she called it secret instead
well then, i will be the king, you can be the queen
and together we’ll rule over franklin street

all is still on the hill
all is still
the sky fulfills its reputation
she names every constellation
ten or more souls are buried
out in the old cemetery
and she was so scared that the ghosts would rise
i kissed the fear out of her eyes

tonight out here on the egde we’re takin’ it easy
it’s seventy and breezy
and it’s makin’ me queasy
she is back in the east makin’ halloween feast
ten or more pumpkin pies
and the season in her eyes
all this distance is breaking me down
i’d rather be in a quieter town
where she wakes up and starts up her day
but i’ll still be sleepin’ so far away
well then, as you pull on your jeans
i’ll be in a dream
that we’re still in the fall out on franklin street

well all of these palm trees
don’t belong in october
if i could i would show her
just how the autumn should be
i need the snow on my shoulders
i need the nights to get colder
i need a reason to hold her
closer to me

 

12. twenty million russians

twenty million russians died in world war 2
you still think it matters, don’t you?
i do too

what a lovely parade

 

13. maybe

from an orbiting station, i look down on the nation
and wonder why we’re living this way
the moon punches the clock as the sun steps in the spot
and announces another day
i love this world, crazy
sponsored by maybe
it’s ruinin’ me
maybe

you are in high heeled shoes
so i look smaller than you
it was funny the first time
later you’re at the bar
your head stuck in the stars of the new guy
i wish you well
and who can tell, baby
we should have been, maybe
and it’s ruinin’ me
maybe

now the red, white and blue is waving at you
from the porches of your neighborhood
we’re the champion team but we’re not what we seem
we don’t say what we mean, but we look good
so dream or pray, baby
the american way is maybe
and it’s ruinin’ me
maybe

All words written by John Elliott