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The Beast in Its Tracks

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Recorded at the Great North Sound Society, Parsonfield, Maine, 2011-2012
Produced, Engineered, and Mixed by Sam Kassirer
Assistant Engineer: Erik Hischmann
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice

Drawing by Greg Brown, based on a photograph by Todd Owyoung
Layout by Matthew Fleming

 

Lyrics

1. Third Arm
2. Evil Eye
3. A Certain Light
4. Hopeful
5. Nightmares
6. New Lover
7. Heart’s Ease
8. In Your Arms Again
9. The Appleblossom Rag
10. In Your Arms Awhile
11. Joy To You Baby
12. Lights

 

01 Third Arm LyricsThird Arm
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals

Last night, I saw someone with your eyes
Someone with your smile
Someone with your smile
We danced and though glad that she had asked me to
She didn’t, no she didn’t have your arms…

 

02 Evil Eye LyricsEvil Eye
Sam Kassirer – keyboards, percussion
Josh Kaufman – guitar, percussion
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals

He’ll laugh and say that he can’t sleep
And he don’t know the reason why
Maybe it’s the evil eye.
Oh, that awful evil eye.

Remember how he used to hold you close
Now in the middle of the night
Oh, the evil eye.
Oh, that awful evil eye.

Someone must really have it in for him
the way they’re sticking him with pins.

We know he’s sick but we can’t be sure
Still from everything I’ve heard
it’s hard to cure the evil eye.
Oh, that awful evil eye.

Has he lost weight, have his lips gone pale
Covered in little white lies
Oh, the evil eye.
Oh, the evil eye.

You’ve got me worrying about your health
Cause you don’t look so good yourself.

Somebody must have gotten hurt a lot
Somebody crueler than you thought
Now you’ve got the evil eye
Evil eye…

 

03 A Certain Light Lyrics
A Certain Light
Sam Kassirer – keyboards
Josh Kaufman – guitar
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals

My new lover, sweet and kind
The kind of lover that one rarely finds
And I’m happy for the first time in a long time.

Came along and opened up a door
And though I know I’ve been in love before
Oh I feel it so much more than the last time

And she only looks like you
In a certain kind of light
When she holds her head just right…

It’s been winter for awhile
The north wind’s wail cut like a baby child’s
It was hard to think her smile would bring the springtime

But it did and now it is
The green, green grass has grown up green and it’s
feeling just the way it did the very first time

And she only looks like you
In a certain kind of light
When she holds her head just right…

And anymore would stretch the rhyme
So, let me leave this where I started
I’m just happy for the first time in a long time
In a long time.

 


04 Hopeful Lyrics
Hopeful

Liam Hurley – drums, vocals
Sam Kassirer – keyboards
Josh Kaufman – guitars, bass, vocals
Josh Ritter – vocals

Supposedly it was a wise, wise man
Who said it’s better to have loved and lost
Then never to have loved at all
Never to have loved
How many times is truth that you took to be true
Just truth falling apart at the same speed as you
Until it all falls away at a million degrees
And you’re just a few pieces of falling debris
And she’s hopeful, hopeful for me
Coming out of the dark clouds

Then she went away and she took all her love
And I could now believe how little there was
I stood in the cold kitchen with nothing to say
Who’d keep the whole world spinning whens he went away
She kept telling me ’bout the good things I deserved
That I wanted somebody I’d mistaken for her
But one look in my eyes and she’d know she was wrong
So she wouldn’t look back at me until she was gone
How many times did you give all your love
Just to find out it was so far from far from enough
I followed her out into the street in the rain
And the whole world stopped spinning and just went up in flames.

And she’s hopeful, hopeful for me.
Coming out of the dark clouds
Hopeful, hopeful for me
She says it to me often.

The sunlight corroded as the day started to fail
The rocks in the road sharpened shadows to nails
The fence posts were empty and so were the trees
Had the bluebird of youth sung its last tune for me
I’ve seen her around with someone new I don’t know
She likes green eyed boys who are haloed in hope
But I know the look in his face and I know all the old signs
It’s just a couple more curves before the old road unwinds
These days I’m feeling better abut the man that I am
There’s things I can’t change and there’s other I can
I’ve met someone new now I know I deserve
I’ve never met someone loves the world more than her
She’s been through her own share of hard times as well
And she’s learned how to tear out the heaven from hell.
Most nights I’m alright still old rocks roll downhill
But she says I’ll get better, she knows that I will.

And she’s hopeful, hopeful for me.
Coming out of the dark clouds
Hopeful, hopeful for me
She says it to me often.

(The world is what the world is,
Everybody’s gonna hurt like hell sometimes.)

 


05 Nightmares LyricsNightmares
Sam Kassirer – keyboards
Josh Kaufman – bass
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals

I know where the nightmares sleep
On what fodder do they feed
For two long weeks I stayed awake
Until I saw one cross your face

I know that you had been untrue
I didn’t know how but I knew
The who you spoke to in your dreams
Was never how you spoke to me
I know where the nightmares sleep
On what fodder do they feed
I followed one back down to hell
And spent some time down there myself.

Nightmares have their dreams, as well.
And when they sleep they go to hell
And drink their fill on lakes of blood
Canter ‘cross the skull-paved
And nurse their little colts on flies
Their coltish teeth like kitchen knives
And look down from abysmal cliffs
Their dead hair by the lead wind riffed
on denizens to deep to see
whose own dreams nightmares’ nightmares be.
I know where the nightmares sleep
On what fodder do they feed
I’d been awake so long by then
They thought that I was one of them.

Nightmares cannot be ribcaged
Midnight’s just a steeplechase
Down silver needles half will go
And pin your navel to your soul
The other half will go instead
A’gallop ‘cross the kicked-up bed
The find the one who’s sleeping sound
And drag him down, oh drag him down
Drag him down, oh drag him down
Drag him down, oh drag him down
Drag him down, oh drag him down

Drag him down where I got took
And through he may not want to look
I’ll sift hell for an equal pain.

 

06 New Lover LyricsNew Lover
Liam Hurley – percussion
Sam Kassirer – keyboards, percussion
Josh Kaufman – guitar, bass
Josh Ritter – vocals

I can’t pretend that all is well it’s like I’m haunted by a ghost.
There are times I cannot speak your name for the catching in my throat
There are things I will not sing for the sting of sour notes.

I feel like a miser, I feel low and mean
For accusing you of stealing what I offered you for free.
Still it baffles the belief sometimes what thieves we lovers be.

I don’t know who you’re with these days, might be with someone new.
And if you are I hope he treats you like a lover ought to do
But whatever makes you happy it don’t really matter who
I got a new lover now, I hope you got a lover, too.

Praise the water under bridges, praise the time they say will heal,
Praise the fonder that still grows on the absent heart in fields
Praise be to this pain these day it’s all I seem to feel.

Perhaps the fault was mine, perhaps I just ignored
Who you were always gonna be instead of who I took you for.
I’ve been treated worse (it’s true), still I expected more.

But I will not chase your shadow as you go from room to room
Dropping handkerchiefs and daggers, smoking guns and other clues
For what someone did to someone and who did what with who
I got a new lover now, I hope you got a lover, too.

I got a new lover now, I know that she’s not mine.
I only wanna hold her, I don’t need to read her mind
And she only looks like you when she’s in a certain light.

I got a new lover now, she knows just what I need.
When I wake up in the night she can read me back my dreams
And she loves them though she never needs to tell me what they mean.

I hope you got a lover now, hope you’ve got somebody who
can give you what you need like I couldn’t seem to do
But if you’re sad and you are lonesome and you got nobody true
I’d be lying if I said that didn’t make me happy, too.

 

07 Heart's Ease LyricsHeart’s Ease
Zachariah Hickman – guitar
Josh Kaufman – electric guitar
Austin Nevins – guitar
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals

Gonna find me a black eared bay
Gonna meet me a black haired girl
Who smells of smoke and caraway
I’m on my way to find my own heart’s ease.

The high up-country is the place where I
have always longed to wander wild and free
Among the slender and the peace of mind
Grow mountainsides of my own heart’s ease.

I’ve been with beauties and I’ve been with some
That even thinking of them would be like
using the moonlight to describe the sun
The fairest one is my own heart’s ease.

I crossed the desert and I crested swells
The unknown country and the far-flung isles
The shores of faraway and faretheewell.
There’s nowhere else like my own heart’s ease.

So, gather round me all you bright young blades
And this little lesson take by me
Go seek adventure gold and fame but may
Each of you one day find your own heart’s ease.

 

08 In Your Arms Again Lyrics
In Your Arms Again

Liam Hurley – percussion
Sam Kassirer – keyboards
Josh Kaufman – guitars, bass
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals, vacuum cleaner

An oh, what a thrill it was to be in your arms again
And oh, what a thrill it was to be in those arms
And all those plans I had all they did was hold me down
Those plans I had they can’t hold me now that I am back
In your arms again.

Every airplane has a pilot, locomotive a conductor
And I who had so many things but did not have a lover.
And all those plans I had all they did was hold me down
Those plans I had they can’t hold be now that I am back
In your arms again.

 

09 Appleblossom Rag LyricsThe Appleblossom Rag
Haley Tanner & Ariane Kassirer – gossip
Josh Rittter – guitar, vocals

Where’s the queen of my parade?
She ain’t coming back.
The only thing she left me is
This appleblossom rag

Oh, the appleblossom rag
oh, such sweet refrain
And hid beneath the chords, the thorns
That cause such awful pain.

This new gang’s the gang for me
Always on the town
Oh, the stories I could tell
If I felt like it now.

This new gang’s the gang for me
I know all of their names
And they know mine and them that don’t
All love me just the same.

Oh, the appleblossom rag
oh, for such a knife
That from my blood could love unbraid
Without taking my life.

This new girl’s the girl for me
Best girl that I know.
Never asks me where I’ve been
or when I’m coming home.

This new girl’s got a real fork-tongue
I love the way she lies.
A false young painted devil
But, I know so it’s alright.

Oh, that appleblossom rag
Lord, I’m such a fool
for things that sing so sweet and sad
And are so goddamn cruel.

 

10 Bonfire LyricsBonfire
Liam Hurley – drums
Sam Kassirer – keyboards, percussion
Josh Kaufman – guitar, bass
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals

You got a lot of lovers with star-crossed wrists
They keep a candle burning on the corner you kissed.
One day I might die until then there’s too much to do
But I’ll keep a bonfire for you.

I’ve seen the pretty boys that you’re keeping around
I know how it goes, I’ve got a girl in town.
And she likes me enough to do what I like to do.
But, I’ll keep a bonfire for you.

Let the other lovers talk about who carries the torch
Let them talk about the beauty that they carry it for
Let the other lovers talk about who got what
And who got burned and who got cut

I’ll be in the orchard when you get tired
Day after day of the shouts from the choir
Eating the apples and eating the peaches, too
And waiting by my bonfire for you.

In the dark anybody will do for love
But you’re the only one I want when the sun comes up
No burning ball of fire set in the sky will do
Next to my bonfire for you.

Let the other lovers talk about who carries the torch
Let them talk about the beauty that they carry it for
Let the other lovers talk about who got what
And who got burned and who got cut

I need a little motion, need a little relief
I get a little lonely at the end of the week
And I want it so bad and if you want it so bad, too
I’ll be over here with my bonfire for you.

You got a lot of lovers with star-crossed wrists
They keep a candle burning on the corner you kissed.
One day I might die, until then there’s too much to do
But, I’ll keep a bonfire for you.

 

11 In Your Arms Awhile LyricsIn Your Arms Awhile
Liam Hurley – percussion, vocals
Sam Kassirer – keyboards
Josh Kaufman – electric guitar, bass, vocals
Josh Ritter – guitar, vocals

Hold me in your arms awhile
Hold me in your arms awhile
And I will hold you in my arms awhile
I will hold you in arms just a little bit longer

Hold me in your mind awhile
Hold me in your mind awhile
And I will hold you in my mind awhile
I will hold you in my mind just a little bit longer

Hey hey hey
You got my heart in your pocket

When you’re lost and you’re falling down
When you’re lost and you’re falling down
I will hold you in my arms awhile
I will hold you in my arms and you won’t fall farther

When you’re gone and you’re far away
When you’re gone and you’re far away
I will hold you in my mind awhile
I will hold you in my mind and you won’t go farther

Hey hey hey
You got my heart in your pocket

 

12 Joy To You Baby LyricsJoy To You Baby
Liam Hurley – drums
Sam Kassirer – keyboards
Josh Kaufman – guitars, bass
Josh Ritter – vocals

I go to the parties
Throw my hands in the air
I drink what they pour me
The cups of who cares.
I go up in the night sky
Up in the clouds
Fly over the houses
Looking down

Joy to the city
Joy to the streets
Joy to you baby
Wherever you sleep tonight

There’s no ghosts in the graveyard
That’s not where they live
The y float in between of
What is and what if
And cast our own shadows
Before our own eyes
You don’t get them up here though
They don’t come up high

Joy to the city
The parking lot lights
To the lion of the evening
With the rain in its eyes
Joy to the freeway
Joy to the cars
Joy to you baby
Wherever you are tonight

There is pain in whatever
We stumble upon
If I’d never have met you
You couldn’t have gone
But then I’d never have met you
And we couldn’t have been
I guess it all adds up
To joy in the end

Joy to the city
The heatwave and all
To the lion of the evening
with the storm in its paw
Joy to the many
Joy to the few
Joy to you baby
Joy to me too tonight

 

13 Lights LyricsLights
Liam Hurley – drums
Sam Kassirer – keyboards, percussion
Josh Kaufman – guitar, bass
Josh Ritter – vocals

I cannot recall when I’ve felt like this
It’s been a long, old time if I ever did.
So, if I act strange I’m hoping you’ll forgive
I’ve got your light
I’ve got your light in my eyes.

On some distant moon I lie on my back
For a glimpse of blue ‘fore it fades to black
it used to be like this now it’s not like that
I’ve got your light
I’ve got your light in my eyes

Every heart on earth is dark half the time
Oh I try and try but I can’t read your mind.
Sometimes I can’t see, that don’t mean I’m blind
It’s just your light
It’s just your light in my eyes.