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The Animal Years


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(2005 V2 Records / Independent Records)

Produced, engineered, and mixed by Brian Deck.

 

Lyrics

Girl in the War

Peter said to Paul you know all those words we wrote Are just the rules of the game and the rules are the first to go But now talking to God is Laurel begging Hardy for a gun I got a girl in the war man I wonder what it is we done

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire But I got a girl in the war Paul the only thing I know to do Is turn up the music and pray that she makes it through

Because the keys to the Kingdom got lost inside the Kingdom And the angels fly around in there but we can’t see them I got a girl in the war Paul I know that they can here me yell If they can’t find a way to help her they can go to Hell If they can’t find a way to help her they can go to Hell

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire But I got a girl in the war Paul her eyes are like champagne They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain
Wolves

I still remember that time when we were dancing We were dancing to a song that I’d heard Your face was simple and your hands were naked I was singing without knowing the words But I started listening to the wolves in the timber Wolves in the timber at night I heard their songs when I looked in the mirror In the howls and the moons round my eyes

So long, so high!

Then winter came and there was little left between us Skin and bones of love won’t make a meal I felt my eyes drifting over your shoulder There were wolves at the edge of the field But I still remember that time when we were dancing We were dancing to a song that I’d heard Your face was simple and your hands were naked I was singing without knowing the words

So long, so high!

Then one day I just woke up And the wolves were all there Wolves in the piano Wolves underneath the stairs Wolves inside the hinges Circling round my door At night inside the bedsprings Clicking cross the floor I don’t know how they found me I’ll never know quite how I still can’t believe they heard me That I was howling out that loud

So long, so high!

At times in the frozen nights I go roaming In the bed she used to share with me I wake in the fields with the cold and the lonesome The moon’s the only face that I see But I still remember that time when we were dancing We were dancing to a song that I’d heard Your face was simple and your hands were naked I was singing without knowing the words

So long so high!
Monster Ballads

Radio waves are coming miles and miles Bringing only empty boats Whatever feeling they had when they sailed Somehow slipped out between the notes

Out on the desert now and feeling lost The bonnet wears a wire albatross Monster ballads and the stations of the cross Sighing just a little bit Sighing just a little bit

And I was thinking ’bout what Katy done Thinking ’bout what Katy did The fairest daughter of the Pharaoh’s son Dressed in gold ‘neath pyramids

Out on the desert now and feeling lost The bonnet wears a wire albatross Monster ballads and the stations of the cross Sighing just a little bit Sighing just a little bit

Ones and zeroes bleeding mesa noise And when you’re empty there’s so much space for them You turn it off but then a still small voice Comes in blazing from some vast horizon

And I was thinking ’bout my river days I was thinking ’bout me and Jim Passing Cairo on a getaway With every steamboat like a hymn

Out on the desert now I’m feeling lost The bonnet wears a wire albatross Monster ballads and the stations of the cross Sighing just a little bit Smiling just a little bit
Lillian, Egypt

I remember back in Illinois I found her The lily of the valley the lily of the West was a rose The daughter of the biggest big town banker He kept her like a princess I stole her like the Fort Knox gold

She used to pour Four Roses like it was going down the chimney Like the bottle was on fire or the boiler was about to blow She was up on the table when we hit Missouri Dancing with a movie man he was holding her a little too close

La didi da da da da da da da!

He made her the star of the silent movies But all she did was mouth the words all she did was mouth the words, ³Oh no!² And he cast me as the villain as the sheriff’s worst enemy I practiced falling off of buildings and out windows

La didi da da da da da da da!

The last time I saw she was tied to the train tracks I was back there with the extras riding on a tiger roan The villain on the left with the studio mustache Winking at Lillian blowing kisses from the second row

La didi da da da da da da da!
Idaho

All that love all those mistakes What else can a poor man make? So I gave up a life of crime I gave it to a friend of mine Something else was on my mind The only ghost I’m haunted by I hear her howling down below Idaho oh Idaho

Wolves oh wolves oh can’t you see? Ain’t no wolf can sing like me And if it could then I suppose He belongs in Idaho Packs of dogs and cigarettes For those who ain’t done packing yet My clothes are packed and I want to go Idaho oh Idaho

Out at sea for seven years I got your letter in Tangier Thought that I’d been on a boat ‘Til that single word you wrote That single word it landlocked me Turned the masts to cedar trees And the winds to gravel roads Idaho oh Idaho
In the Dark

We started looking for you In the darker caves We had a lot of love We thought would light the way We saw the wrecks of buildings And ships that sank in starlight We saw the ghosts of angels That spoke of falls from tremendous heights

Don’t you leave us in the dark!

We saw your old flames And some were burning yet It made us smile to see Just how well tended each was kept But other fires were burning too And I saw the battlefields The dying Light Brigade Stretched out upon the wheel

Don’t you leave us in the dark!

Every heart is much the same We tell ourselves down here The same chambers fed by veins The same maze of love and fear We thought you were a saint But the halo was an eye It’s hard to see how there could be So much dark inside the light

Don’t you leave us in the dark!
One More Mouth

Honey how you gonna make it on your own? Honey how you gonna make it on your own? When you wake up in the night And see the stars just city lights And you can’t find home?

You act like you don’t need nobody else And you dance like you don’t need nobody else And all the other moths need light To circle round while you just fly Around yourself

Oh I stir my sugar with a spoon And watch your white dress float around the room I try to see what you’re about But even my candles are down and out

Honey why you gotta hide your face from me? Honey why you gotta hide your face from me? Will I starve in this eclipse while you treat every hungry kiss Like one more mouth to feed?
Good Man

These chords are old but we shake hands Cause I believe that they’re the good guys We can use all the help we can So many minor chords outside I fell in love with your sound Oh I love to sing along with you We got tunes we kicked around We got a bucket that the tunes go through

Babe we both had dry spells Hard times in bad lands I’m a good man for ya I’m a good man

Last night there was a horse in the road I was twisting in the hairpin My hands held on my mind let go And back to you my heart went skipping I found the inside of the road Thought about the first time that I met you All those glances that we stole Sometimes if you want them then you’ve got to

Babe we both had dry spells Hard times in bad lands I’m a good man for ya I’m a good man

They shot a Western south of here They had him cornered in a canyon And even his horse had disappeared They said it got run down by a bad bad man You’re not a good shot but I’m worse And there’s so much where we ain’t been yet So swing up on this little horse The only thing we’ll hit is sunset

Babe we both had dry spells Hard times in bad lands I’m a good man for ya I’m a good man
Best for the Best

Once I knew a girl in the hard hard times She made me a shirt out of fives and dimes Now she’s gone but when I wear it she crosses my mind And if the best is for the best then the best is unkind

I realized that Illinois was more than I could stand They say working’s best cause poverty is hell on a man Now I ride a lazy river through the Mississippi fan And if the best is for the best then the best can be damned

I spent a few years on the Queen of Spain She was a leaky little boat that went up in flames When the boiler blew some people started naming names But if the best is for the best I guess the best is to blame

I spent a few more as the Cairo Crown A heavyweight wrestler in the Midwest towns But I was lonesome for a girl who could pin me down They say the best is for the best but that’s not what I’ve found

Now I listen to my sweetheart and I listen to my thirst I don’t spend time listening to other people’s words Sometimes they’re right most times the reverse They say the best is for the best when the best’s for the worse

Once I knew a girl in the hard hard times She made me a shirt out of fives and dimes Now she’s gone but when I wear it she crosses my mind And if the best is for the best then the best is unkind
Thin Blue Flame

I became a thin blue flame Polished on a mountain range And over hills and fields I flew Wrapped up in a royal blue I flew over Royal City last night A bullfighter on the horns of a new moon’s light Caesar’s ghost I saw the war-time tides The prince of Denmark’s father still and quiet And the whole world was looking to get drowned Trees were a fist shaking themselves at the clouds I looked over curtains and it was then that I knew Only a full house gonna make it through

I became a thin blue wire That held the world above the fire And so it was I saw behind Heaven’s just a thin blue line If God’s up there he’s in a cold dark room The heavenly host are just the cold dark moons He bent down and made the world in seven days And ever since he’s been a’walking away Mixing with nitrogen in lonely holes Where neither seraphim or raindrops go I see an old man wandering the halls alone Only a full house gonna make a home

I became a thin blue stream The smoke between asleep and dreams And in that clear blue undertow I saw Royal City far below Borders soft with refugees Streets a’swimming with amputees It’s a Bible or a bullet they put over your heart It’s getting harder and harder to tell them apart Days are nights and the nights are long Beating hearts blossom into walking bombs And those still looking in the clear blue sky for a sign Get missiles from so high they might as well be divine Now the wolves are howling at our door Singing bout vengeance like it’s the joy of the Lord Bringing justice to the enemies not the other way round They’re guilty when killed and they’re killed where they’re found If what’s loosed on earth will be loosed up on high It’s a Hell of a Heaven we must go to when we die Where even Laurel begs Hardy for vengeance please The fat man is crying on his hands and his knees Back in the peacetime he caught roses on the stage Now he twists indecision takes bourbon for rage Lead pellets peppering aluminum Halcyon, laudanum and Opium Sings kiss thee hardy this poisoned cup His winding sheet is busy winding up In darkness he looks for the light that has died But you need faith for the same reasons that it’s so hard to find And this whole thing is headed for a terrible wreck And like good tragedy that’s what we expect

At night I make plans for a city laid down Like the hips of a girl on the spring covered ground Spirals and capitals like the twist of a script Streets named for heroes that could almost exist The fruit trees of Eden and the gardens that seem To float like the smoke from a lithium dream Cedar trees growing in the cool of the squares The young women walking in the portals of prayer And the future glass buildings and the past an address And the weddings in pollen and the wine bottomless And all wrongs forgotten and all vengeance made right The suffering verbs put to sleep in the night The future descending like a bright chandelier And the world just beginning and the guests in good cheer In Royal City I fell into a trance Oh it’s hell to believe there ain’t a hell of a chance

I woke beneath a clear blue sky The sun a shout the breeze a sigh My old hometown and the streets I knew Were wrapped up in a royal blue I heard my friends laughing out across the fields The girls in the gloaming and the birds on the wheel The raw smell of horses and the warm smell of hay Cicadas electric in the heat of the day A run of Three Sisters and the flush of the land And the lake was a diamond in the valley’s hand The straight of the highway and the scattered out hearts They were coming together they pulling apart And angels everywhere were in my midst In the ones that I loved in the ones that I kissed I wondered what it was I’d been looking for up above Heaven is so big there ain’t no need to look up So I stopped looking for royal cities in the air Only a full house gonna have a prayer
Here at the Right Time

Under wide blue skies There’s a place to lie For me and Evelyn to hide tonight I’ll try my best to make a go But I’m not sure what I don’t know Oh chariots, if you’re out there Please swing low

Tell me I got here at the right time If I did it’s probably the first time No second guesses or secret signs Tell me I got here at the right time

You’re so red in the eyes Either too low or too high When I met you you Were sick but you did not know why I was a pretty poor cure But my love for you was always sure The bucket was broken But the water was pure

Tell me I got here at the right time If I did it’s probably the first time No second guesses or secret signs Tell me I got here at the right time