LYRICS

SADIE
We’re a snake bit squad that’s overwrought and all chewed up
But we still suit up
We still suit up

And after years of drunken stumbling
thought we’d find our step
But we haven’t yet
No, we haven’t yet

Oh my Sadie
How I’m begging you to stay
Oh my Sadie
I’ll need you till their dying day

My grim and glacial home was the only thing I craved
With an upright tuned
To the silver moon

Until the commissary captain caught us in our tracks
I didn’t even know
We were on parole

Oh my Sadie
Oh how I need you by my side
Oh my Sadie
I’ll need you till the day they die

Take your taste for royal waste and burn it quick
Cause it’s got me sick
Yeah it’s got me sick

And let the smoke unplug and drain the thoughts keeping you awake
Who needs them anyway
Who needs them anyway

Oh my Sadie
How I’m begging you to stay
Oh my Sadie
I’ll need you till their dying day

But I’m as bound to you as the lonesome sound to its minor key
And I’ll always be
I’ll always be

So load the truck and come unstuck for one more shot
Save me a spot
Save me a spot

Oh my Sadie
Oh how I need you by my side
Oh my Sadie
I’ll need you till the day they die

Oh my Sadie
How I’m begging you to stay

Oh my Sadie

I’ll need you till their dying day

 

UNBENDING
Where time and space meet on a road unending
We stand on separate sidewalks miles apart
And it’s here that I have stopped pretending
That I’ve known my way since the very start

Crowds en masse, they chant defending
Saying: streets are made to be paved this wide
But in the gravity of their voices descending
We sink and we slide to each other’s side

My will in unbending
You’ll always be mine

They’ve pulled our trampoline out tighter
Now time’s too stiff beneath our feet
So we twist street signs to fool outsiders
This space is meant for just you and me

Let ‘em keep their stories with happy endings
And we’ll keep our songs with the maudlin beats
They may find their homes with a clock and a compass
But they’ll never find that unending street
In that time and space that we both shall meet

My will in unbending
You’ll always be mine

It can’t be found in some man-made invention
No super market or three-dimensions

Just meter and rhyme:

You’ll always be mine

 

THIS PAST STORM

This past storm recalled in me, my darling
A story that I thought you’d care to know
I’ve no place left to go

How I wound up in a hole so low my darling
With this strangest most dangerous brew ever known
Is all here in this note:

Oh, I cheated death in the kind of wreck that turns your hair to gray
They respected me, mistakenly, overestimating my age
So I broke out and headed south, before my dark roots could grow
And my cover was blown
I just thought that you should know

I found a town in east Colorado
Where I learned to stitch up tattered clothes
It was in my bones

The old man who was my teacher
Let me sleep inside the stove
I never felt less alone

Though I was as good a tailor as that town had ever seen
I couldn’t recognize this wool that was pulled right over me
In that sudden cotton-mouthed blindness, the only regret I could hold
Was letting you go
I just thought that you should know

So I awoke on this fishing boat, my darling
With a thousand men I do not know
A thousand miles from home

We all speak a different language
Cloaked in the smoke of a north Atlantic night
Just trying to live our lives

With what you lent I can pay my rent for my old dog and me
But I still can’t circumvent the seafloor that’ll be our home next week

I’m a reprobate and profligate who can’t navigate this far from shore, anymore

I just thought that you should know

 

MUCH AT ALL
You faded fast at the end
Your screen creaking and your doorframe bent
I still can smell you in this room
It’s like gunpowder soaking in cheap perfume

But I don’t really need you much at all
No I don’t need you much at all

All you left were your rusted shears
You never did like my phony beard
Your fade-to-black was a maddening sight
But you also never cared to end things right

But I don’t really mind it much at all
I don’t mind it much at all

I hope that you see
Each word that I speak is untrue
When I tell you that I don’t want you
Cause you know that I do

I walk barefoot to close the gate
My steps seem heavier every day
I notice it most when I’m out wandering late
My vestigial heart is just dead weight

I don’t really need you much at all
I don’t need you much at all

A false prophet in a tempest tossed
It was my crooked staff-cross that got you lost
I stare out the screen at the tracks you made
And I sharpen your shears and start to shave

I don’t really need you much at all
No I don’t mind it much at all

And I hope that you know
Each word that I wrote is untrue

When I told you that I don’t want you

Cause you know that I do

 

I DON’T KNOW ‘EM
It’s a question that they wrote me
In a story
About a city quarantined
Filled with the desperate and diseased

And I answered in a poem
Called “I Don’t Know ‘Em”,
That reads, “it won’t break my heart
When they rip themselves apart”

So I will breathe
On those peaceful streets
Until I sleep
To dream that night away

And I’ll throw away my pistol, not beat but wistful
Like a captain old and frail
Whose ship that never hoisted sail

Maybe I’ll plant a garden, but I’ll beg your pardon
If I drown every seed
Growing’s not my specialty

And I will sweep
Up each dead leaf
And I’ll make a bed for me to sleep
To dream that night away

And a storm blew, it blew my eyes open wide
“Someone help me, please help me,” I cried
And the ground shook, but all I heard was the beat
Of my pounding heart as I awoke on the street

Inside the mausoleum, I paused to see ‘em
Standing still in the dark
Like statues in the park

I miss their conversations, and their desperation
And their diseases all the same
No, they’re not to blame

And I will weep
In our cemetery

And I’ll find a hole for me to sleep

Oh to dream that night away

 

BLOOD & RUST – 2013 VERSION
The forces formed and the phalanx split
I bet you can still remember it
It’s nothing if not an astounding view
Of those rebel troops surrounding you

You look at me like I ought to know
In our bedroom dug like a fresh foxhole
Then you hand me my survival kit
Just a blindfold and a cigarette

You chose war
While I chose you
Ain’t it cruel

Your city-state will crack and split
And I’ll made my home right under it
It’s the ones you love that lay siege to you
But I can’t be blamed for the things they do

Like destiny you head out west
Where your general’s been laid to rest
On his gravestone you scrape back the dust
And read: those not covered in blood are covered in rust

You chose war
While I chose you
Ain’t it cruel

The forces formed and the phalanx split
I bet you can still remember it
It’s nothing if not an astounding view

Of those rabid troops surrounding you

Of those rabid troops surrounding you

 

HELP ME WHEN I SAY – 2013 VERSION
It’s a silver line of light across my eyelids
As the violence follows me down
The silver line helps me come to feeling
Revealing your peeling heart
I’ll hold my tongue cause I know this is the when
I’m left standing abandoned in the rain

Help me when I say
Please don’t go away
Please don’t leave me here alone
Help me when I say
Please don’t go away
Please don’t leave me here alone
So far from home

Very few people know the sequence
Of the events that prevents our love
Yes it’s only you and I who know the reasons
For the treasonous way you put me down
Help me if you can I’m filling up on
All the ways you and the days you fool around

Help me when I say
Please don’t act this way
Please don’t cast me off your bones
Help me when I say
Please don’t go away
Please don’t cast me off your bones
So far from home

Help me when I say
Please don’t go away
Please don’t leave me here alone
Help me when I say
Please don’t go away

Please don’t leave me here alone

So far from home

 

ORACLE’S TUNE
It sounds insane
But the oracle she called my name
Dragged me inside,
Stuck these ancient coins up to my eyes

Said with these I see right through
No matter what you do
Like Styx this river’s fixed in front of you
And you know it to be true

She grabbed my cheeks
I felt my little heart get weak
Whispered to me
You’re as shallow as these breaths you breathe

Your words are dirt, tar, and glue
No matter what you do
Paving the shoddy streets in front of you
And you know it to be true

Your gathering fear grows like the beard
Of neglect around the neck of you
And you wear it proud
Like some self-knit shroud

But fear knows no refuge
And there is no other truth

So I broke out
Dragged her words behind me on the ground
By the time I’m home
I’d lost them thirty blocks ago

With those two coins I buy myself a brew
It was all that I could do
But through the filthy night’s perfume
I hear that oracle’s tune

Your gathering fear grows like the beard
Of neglect around the neck of you
And you wear it proud
Like some self-knit shroud
But fear knows no refuge
And there is no other truth

Your gathering fear grows like the beard
Of neglect around the neck of you
And you wear it proud
Like some self-knit shroud

But fear knows no refuge

And there is no other truth

 

A MODEST BOAT
Oh how you’ve spread all around my head
And I’m still so goddamn young
And I’m afraid, that you now aim
For my twisted tongue

So if I can’t speak
Won’t you arrange for me
A modest boat
For to take me home

Your garden’s gloom fills the rooms
Of this house I haunt
If I close the shades, I might get another day
Just not the one that I want

So if I can’t see
Won’t you direct me
To the harbor of stone
For to take me home

You can take the photographs, and each unbroken dish
And the second best bed, like in Willy’s dying wish
But the friends you keep are far too steep for me to bargain for
Oh I hope what I got coming, it won’t leave me wanting more

It’s been years, since my brothers did hear
Even their telephone ring
Now it’s too late, to fix the fate
Of this most important thing

So, if you bury me
Won’t you equally
Send my bones
To each of their homes

You can take the photographs, and each unbroken dish
And the second best bed, like in Willy’s dying wish

But the friends you keep are far too steep for me to bargain for

Oh I hope what I got coming don’t leave me wanting more

 

PAPER THIN
Across my bed before the dawn
She said “hold me tight and hold me strong
And say that you will be here now
That you won’t leave and you don’t know how”

She said “feels my arms, heavy as brass
Feel their weight and feel their mass
Am I not your iron ore?
Am I not your molten core?”

But all you are is paper thin
A strand of hair against a blood red sky
All you are is paper thin
And all you are is wasted in my eye

A silver tongue and words like fire
Can’t spin gold neath a steeple’s spire
I’ve spent weeks on end alone
But can’t find a vein in this goddamn stone

Like a dressing on a stage
Or a half-wit sonnet on a page
At a shallow depth it’s crystal clear
But if they turn, how they disappear

I’ll disappear
But all I am is paper thin
A tower lost behind a horizon line
All I am is paper thin
All I am is wasted in your eye

All we are is paper thin
Two traffic signs, they long left behind

All we are is paper thin

All we are is wasted in their eye

FALSTAFF
Like Falstaff
On his marble stage
I lost my balance
On these hollow leg

I need
Your spirited flood
To come and warm my weary blood
I’m too tired to beg

Just ease me down, ease me down
Upon that bed
Ease me down
I need some rest

Carve me
With your broken bottle of wine
A good six or seven times
Into a dozen portraits of you

Then lead us
Down the paths that we want
Down the tunnels that haunt
Fools who try to pass through

Just ease me down, ease me down
Upon that bed
Ease me down
I need some rest

I lost my step just like I planned
Pour me my crutch so I might stand
Yes I won’t live on wounded knees
And I won’t let you make a fool of me
hat easily

Falstaff
In a barroom haze
Caught me flat-footed
When I looked the other way

He pulled me
By my shirt to his chest
Whiskey and flesh on his breath
Stared straight into my face

And said: ease me down, ease me down
Upon that bed
Ease me down
I need some rest

I lost my step just like I planned
Pour me my crutch so I might stand
Yes I won’t live on wounded knees
And I won’t let you make a fool of me
That easily

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