Song A Week, Volume 1

by James Tristan Redding

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about

Entire collection of weekly original songs written and recorded for Song A Week 2016, an international songwriting group created by Redding.

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released February 12, 2017

Written, performed, engineered and mixed by James Tristan Redding. Words and music copyright 2016 by James Tristan Redding. Registered with BMI. All rights reserved.

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about

James Tristan Redding New York, New York

James Tristan Redding is a singer-songwriter in the tradition of American narrative, putting poignant and sometimes whimsical lyrics to accessible, memorable melodies. Redding was raised in the mid-west by British parents and wrote, recorded, and toured with Alt-Country group Union Pulse (2002-2012). Now in his 30s, James is building a catalog of original material written and recorded on the road. ... more

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Track Name: Week 01 - Eyes And Ears Alive (01-09-16)
A little closer to tomorrow
The city sidewalk starts to show
A clearer picture of the reasons
The broader purpose of the road

I once was in the shoes you’re wearing
With all the promises ahead
These days will weave into a lifetime
Before you even see the threads

This is it now, this is cheers
You just arrived, you’re on the other side of five
Come Monday morning you can start a brand new year
With your ears and eyes alive, keep your ears and eyes alive

To find the square root of a number
When you’d rather play outside
Or draw a map of Indonesia
When your brain is feeling fried

You face an age uniquely challenged
A youth of new and changing times
I gotta’ tell you, I’m excited
To see your spirit define

This is it now, this is cheers
You just arrived, you made it 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Come Monday morning you can start a brand new year
With your ears and eyes alive, just keep your ears and eyes alive

So happy birthday, Phoenix
And another brilliant year
To the dreams you will discover
To your own untamed frontiers
From your father and your brother
From your mom and all your friends
For a life that’s full of wonder
From the start right to the end

This is it now, this is cheers
You just arrived, you’ll do much more than just survive
Come Monday morning you can start a brand new year
With your ears and eyes alive, your ears and eyes alive
Track Name: Week 02 - Even On A Bad Day (01-14-2016)
Still as steam above the dash
High as phone lines off the ground
Did I forget the desperate days
When all I wanted was the sound

That even on a bad day the next train is home
Even when the January sky is grey it still looks like gold to me
A pocket full of daydreams and loose change
But never is it too late or too strange
Just put one foot in front of the other

Trembling hands release their grip
Green printed promises fall free
Four hundred ways to save a life
A prayer is answered on the street

One by one the taxis leave
We are the same when we believe
That on a dime it all can turn
You’re never too far to return

Lift your voice up make it heard
After all you know the words
Give it everything you’ve got
It’s just enough
Track Name: Week 03 - North Dakota (01-20-16)
North Dakota, where they always know your name
North Dakota, it’s the cornhole hall of fame
North Dakota, home of all the kindest folks
North Dakota, and they’ll trade you redneck jokes

North Dakota, where the air is crystal clear
North Dakota, and there’s always room for beer
North Dakota, where they greet you with a smile
North Dakota, pack a bag a stay awhile

Grand Forks, Washburn, Devil’s Lake
Lisbon, Lincoln, Ellendale
Tattoo sleeves and fireworks
I-29!

North Dakota, where the pickups cut their springs
North Dakota, ‘cuz the simple life is king
North Dakota, pass the beans and baked potates
North Dakota, boy you better clean your plate

Bismarck, Fargo, Dickenson
Minot, Jamestown, Williston
Trucks and booze, guitars and guns
I-94!

Sure it’s cold as Scott Walker’s heart
Just get yourself a hot beverage
Soon you will find it’s just a jumpstart
And frostbite gives you leverage

North Dakota, buy a house for 30 large
North Dakota, we can park in my front yard
North Dakota, where the winter starts in June
North Dakota, but you’ll want to come back soon

North Dakota, they would ski except it’s flat
North Dakota, need a real good thermostat
North Dakota, N-O-R-T-H-D-A
North Dakota, K-O-T-A-hey-hey-hey!
Track Name: Week 04 - Opposite Day (01-29-16)
The garbage man was kind enough to take
Aboard his diesel chugging steed
My best regrets to someplace I will never find
Buried deep, satisfaction guaranteed

If I were reading from a brilliant movie script
There is no way I’d ever make the cut
Our leading man must know exactly where he stands
No hesitation in his gut

Everyone from here to Bowling Green
Can feel the pressure coming down
But we all know it’s Opposite Day
And I sure don’t miss you now

From time to time I replay a scene or two
It’s black and white, and pretty faint
A word I wish I’d said, and many I wish I had not
These little cracks pervade the paint

Before and after I could taste you bittersweet
For nothing else could I have asked
My forward steps are slow, my building blocks are small
Westbound I will be free at last

Just because the sun came up
That don’t change my grand design
It’s a brisk and brittle Opposite Day
And you’re not on my mind

We can dance around the feelings
But it don’t erase the facts
Now the lights are low on Opposite Day
And I don’t want you back

Never mind the heavy silence
Ignore the reasons and the rhyme
I miss you least of all on Opposite Day
Well I guess that’s all the time
Track Name: Week 05 - Real Specific (02-06-16)
I got a real specific itch that only you can scratch
‘Cuz there’s a real specific way you turn the tune
And it’s a real specific moment when you pop the hatch
Before the real specific flowers start to bloom

Unslide this real specific knife out from my play-doh ribs
Remove this real specific rope from where it binds
Replay the real specific reel, reveal the tongues and the lips
Return the real specific pieces right on time

From Atlantic to Pacific BE REAL SPECIFIC
You only wanna’ be prolific IF YOU’RE REAL SPECIFIC
A couple verses are terrific WHEN THEY’RE REAL SPECIFIC
Or did it get too scientific? WELL IT’S REAL SPECIFIC

I want your real specific soul between my mental paws
Give me the real specific key to swing the door
Disclose the real specific facts and do it just because
You had this real specific feeling once before

A couple real specific words come quickly to my aid
To show you real specific why you got no time
Until my real specific love either inches or invades
Beneath the real specific rules we left behind

From Atlantic to Pacific BE REAL SPECIFIC
You only wanna’ be prolific IF YOU’RE REAL SPECIFIC
A couple verses are terrific WHEN THEY’RE REAL SPECIFIC
Or did it get too scientific? WELL IT’S REAL SPECIFIC
Track Name: Week 06 - Good and Lost (02-11-16)
I thought I read the label, imagine my surprise
When two or three ingredients not listed were inside
A bottle is to beauty as a river is to land
Your inspiration rises with the tide

Her body is the ocean, so salty on my lips
The current casts my compass down below the wayward ship
Adrift without an anchor or captain at the helm
The wood, the rope, the iron in my grip

So it’s 30 knots to starboard, then open up your sails
Through caution to the wind and let the elements prevail
I know just how to find it but can’t quite get across
But I steer the stormy water good and lost

Dry land was not much drier 3,000 Miles away
The bottle still was after this coastal castaway
My feet were on the pavement, my heart was underground
Her lashes drew my silhouette in gray

The jury would convict me of pride and lust and greed
If only they weren’t fooled by all the tears my eyes could bleed
But study well the landscape I did with map in hand
And knew exactly where the road would lead

So it’s a left from where you exit, you’ll see Museum Mile
Turn clockwise at the corner, then cruise a little while
I know just how to find it but can’t quite get across
Then I hit the dead end highway good and lost

Now if you feel directed, compelled to do the same
First reach up to your temple and try to find your brain
One visit would be plenty, and most make two or three
Tomorrow just the memory will remain

The question isn’t simply why would a man so choose
A steamer trunk of heartache, a stomach full of booze
But knowing where it takes him and how hard to return
Can one day at a time this man refuse

So it’s a ticket to the concert, and a pair of brand new socks
The way the sunlight fills the morning and your courage is unlocked
Yeah I thought I knew the answers and it wasn’t worth the cost
How surprising is the comfort now when I get good and lost
Track Name: Week 07 - Plastic Machete (02-16-16)
s p e l l i t o u t t o m e
e x p o u n d y o u r p o v
i f o r g o t m y s m i l e
h e r e a n d l a y n u m b

a l l o f m e p l a n n e d
t o d r i f t o u t o f o z

s o m e o n e l i f t o u t
t h i s o d d f e e l i n g
f o r o n c e m y h e a r t
s t o p p e d b e a t i n g

c l a s s i c y o u s a n g
t h e p l o t d e s c e n d

g e t t i n g t o o l a t e
b o t h d i d o u r b e s t
t o s l i n g o n e l a s t
p l a s t i c m a c h e t e
Track Name: Week 08 - New Best Friend (02-27-16)
Let all the clouds roll by
Forever after free
Don’t need to give our names
Can’t even see our feet

You wanna’ meet me there
Just behind the beat
If I were with her now
Apologia me

I got my new best friend sittin’ next to me
We’re gonna’ get so high above the olive trees
Up on the strangest wings sweet as a honey bee
Don’t wanna’ come back down beneath the deep blue sea

Mix the eggs and flour together
Baby take your time
The crescent wrench is all important
And the lift will save our lives

On the up and up
Give Danny five, no not your hand
He needs the dough, ha ha!
Maybe he’ll take a scone

Where oh where did my glass eye go
Where oh where have you seen it though
Track Name: Week 09 - Learning How To Walk (03-02-16)
“What new altitude of sin” cry my scales and tail and fins
And though formerly submerged my lens is now absurd
To my paraphyletic friends with their notochords to bend
Inverse bliss paralysis and my words remain unheard

I’m learning how to walk
To fuck and fight and talk
A shark without his brine
Exhausted on the rocks

Against my tetrapodic foes pumps my ectothermic flow
With all the ferver of an eel this operculum to seal
Too early and too often must a chimera bellow thus
Even I could not conceal that the landlocked blues are real

I’m learning how to walk
To fuck and fight and talk
A shark without his brine
Exhausted on the rocks

What are these made up things like zip code, taxi, shoes
Such elevation for an ichthys unprepared
Typewriter ribbons tangled up in nylon lines
Out of the flood again and right back into black

Given saline to inhale and a reef not far below
Like a submarine in flames and her hazy afterglow
Maybe north is just a hook that I read once in a poem
Nevermind the rising tide and eschew the undertow
Track Name: Week 10 - For Paula (03-11-16)
On a wave of wind
A soul floats
East then west, back again
In no hurry she ambles
Like a silver moth or
Crimson canary
Slow and care free toward
Her very own meadow.

Unannounced
And unafraid
Bright winter branches stretch
Tomorrow’s fresh canvas
Over the ideas once vibrant
Which expired today.

She is like the feather
On the water’s surface
Being carried by the river
To what needs not
Any explanation.
Track Name: Week 11 - Piece By Piece (03-11-16)
Troubled I left Memphis, forgot to pack my ears
Really thought I’d need ‘em but not the last few years
You see I left there with a hunger and a brand new way to hear
The tiny sacred moments when our details disappear

At the old West Prairie Palace pretty sure I lost my mind
But I found I didn’t need it so I let it all unwind
To my great surprise it was not a loss that I sustained
My thoughts are with the outlaws now, wild horses on the plains

For all this time I’ve been so confused
I’d lie and cheat and steal to win but I would lose
But if I open up and give it all away
Sweet sunlight shines upon my path today

To a girl in Veracruz I gave my broken heart
She’s free to try n’ fix it, or sell it off for parts
I still find I can feel it when I’m barefoot in the mud
Like a djembe to the rhythm of the ocean in my blood

On a beach in Frisco my eyes just walked away
They had enough midwest I guess, they were ready for C-A
An urchin gave me his to use so he held onto mine
My world’s a little brighter but we’ll trade back down the line

For all this time I’ve been so confused
I’d lie and cheat and steal to win but I would lose
But if I open up and give it all away
Sweet sunlight shines upon my path today

What do I have left you ask? And that’s the funny part
Each ounce of me I gave, not only did it leave no scar
But I received the same in turn exactly piece by piece
This patchwork man complete I stand, a reverse amputee

So when they ask me for my hands I’ll give both left and right
And feet they’ll say, those too I’ll offer up without a fight
Knees and elbows, legs and arms, yes they can have it all
My maker will replace it, make me strong, not let me fall

I may be multi-colored with stitch marks everywhere
And limbs of different sizes, a real Frankenstein affair
But each piece of the puzzle in which my soul resides
Was traded with another creator in disguise
Track Name: Week 12 - Hey Cowboy (03-24-16)
Hey cowboy won’t you let me in
I’m nothing if I’m not your friend
And if our dreams catch fire we can start again
Hey cowboy, hey hey hey cowboy

Flannel and leather, iron and ash
Circuits and starships, blasters and cash
Bullets and powder, granite and slate
History and future, horse hair and faith

Reach for forever wring out the reins
Pull not your punches speak not your name
Spin only clockwise let out the sound
Fall never silent shut never down

Hey cowboy won’t you let me in
I’m nothing if I’m not your friend
And if the wheels catch fire and the roof descends
Hey cowboy, hey hey hey cowboy

Stranded expanded hands in the sand
Landed in tandem branded and planned
Offhand understanding demanded the cans
Commanded a band and manned it firsthand

I have a lump of lead in my sock
And boots in the water slick as a fox
Give me the hatchet bury the keys
Take off your handcuffs light the marquee

Hey cowboy won’t you let me in
I’m nothing if I’m not your friend
And if the wheels catch fire and the roof descends
Now, cowboy

I can see the world but the world cannot see me
Track Name: Week 13 - Living Medium (03-31-16)
You never know until its hits you that the golden age is now
Whatever after may be stellar but it ain’t real anyhow
Better make it here try it out today and forget about what it cost
All the cards are on the table and the wise ones cut the loss

I have a day job that I love except the days I don’t
And every time I think I will leave it turns out that I won’t
When the well dressed boys downtown tried sell whole thing short
The other shoe just came untied slipped off and hit the floor

It could be better could be worse
Could be blessed could be cursed
But it’s sweet as pie not to be in charge
Living medium beats the hell out of living large

My apartment is the size of a Taco Bell Express
And the suit that’s on my shoulders well it couldn’t cost much less
Some girls like a man with fame, some prefer he just look great
I am unknown, cheap, and free, let the record clearly state

It could be better could be worse
Could be chorus could be verse
Real glad the smallest fees are charged
To guys like me living medium instead of large

Some kid in Tulsa will be moving here next week
And when I pass him on the early morning street
Hope I remember to show a little love
Toward the large in charge medium above

It could be better could be worse
Could be his or could be hers
Good luck to anyone in charge
From guys like me living medium, by and large

It could be better could be worse
Could be last could be first
As April takes the place of March
Living medium is my kinda’ living large
Track Name: Week 14 - Valparaiso (04-05-16)
So less is more (more or less)
That’s the basic deal I guess
Can’t make a snowball without snow
Can’t see the roof from down below

Went out to pick the hollyhocks
Slid down the hallway in my socks
Gave everything I owned away
Got me the moxy just to say

That I don’t feel right without you love
So let’s take all night to dispose of
Anything that gets in our way
Anyone who don’t like what we say
We can trade the halos for the pesos if we say so
This is Valparaiso

Pretty please with cherry bombs on top
Let me hold your hand in the coffee shop
Everyone is speaking on the sly
Every whisper we both occupy

What if there were purpose in my knees
And a diamond begging to say please
Show your heart and soul on your cotton sleeve
Show me how to dance honey I believe

That I don’t feel right without you love
So let’s take all night to dispose of
Anything that gets in our way
Anyone who don’t like what we say
We can trade the halos for the pesos if we say so
This is Valparaiso

This city almost lived the day you took me home
Our fingers to our lips tonight we’ll both be gone
Small wonder we should find your Honda safely holds
Four thumbs three maps two hearts one circle made of gold
Track Name: Week 15 - Quiche And Tell (4-15-16)
My favorite kind of pie in the world isn’t sweet
We make it in December and we both overheat
Salty on my tongue when we’re cookin’ it up
Every saucy moment with a measuring cup

Cracked like a couple Grade A eggs
You whisk me away, sweep me right off my legs
First you add the custard then butter and flour
Hard to believe that it’s under an hour

Baking up the batter slowly getting better letting all the bitterness go
Put it on a platter to savor it together the hazy glazy glittering gold
So good I wanna’ talk about the taste and the smell
But baby I been taught pretty well not to quiche and tell

She’s the cheesiest the please and thank you easiest dish
Add the broccoli and spinach ham it up if you wish
Now it’s bacon and we’re milking it for all that we can
Turn it up and watch the dreamy steamy cream in the pan

Quiche me quick, quiche me right on the lips
Thyme to taste test all the fillings we whipped
One last quiche make it sloppy and wet
Watch it cool on the rack as the porcelain sweats

Baking up the batter slowly getting better letting all the bitterness go
Put it on a platter to savor it together hazy glazy glittering gold
So good I wanna’ talk about the taste and the smell
But baby I been taught pretty well not to quiche and tell

A quiche in the hand is worth two in the bouche
Mon coeur est Français et mon cerveau est faux, oh oh oh
Something this delicious could never be wrong
C’mon baby quiche me all night long
Track Name: Week 16 - Grand Finale (04-20-16)
A lotta’ people talk about the many metaphors
What a stellar way of marketing a couple story boards
Get a couple colored pencils an eraser or two
Then before you even notice you’re a big cartoon

Well it happened all around me and before I was hip
They put some crazy ass computer graphic microchips
With a dude in isolation and the comic reel
So the audience believes the way they think they feel, wait

Thought I was Aladdin but maybe I’m Jafar
How did this shit happen to a movie star
Wasn’t I Mufasa, what the fuck I’m Scar
Check out the grand finale it’s my au revoir

Now I kind of always thought I was the belle of the ball
And someone else was the beast but baby now I recall
My magic carpet is sunk, the talking teapots have quit
My luck is just about out I guess I gotta’ admit

So if it’s all about perspective and the narrative voice
Could I get another chance to be the popular choice
Or has the illustrator spoken with her circles and lines
And have the viewers seen it all and all but made up their minds

Thought I was Aladdin but maybe I’m Jafar
How did this shit happen to a movie star
Wasn’t I Mufasa, what the fuck I’m Scar
Check out the grand finale it’s my au revoir

And my mama told me it will all be alright in the end
But baby it’s not alright so we just have to pretend
Eat the red pill and the blue pill and the red pill and then
Watch your nose it’s gonna’ grow until you’re honest again

OK I’m talking to the mirror and the map on the wall
And if I’m getting any answers are they lucid at all
I’m not the fairest nor the cleanest, better try to get smart
Never mind all the dalmatians I got fleas in my heart
Track Name: Week 17 - Un Alma De Calor (04-29-16)
Tal vez yo debo decir amenos
Darme tu mano y cambiamos bueno
Eres la única de mis sueños
Por mis venas eres oxigeno

No sé como revertir tu dolor
Borrar su triste otro señor
Para compartir nuevo sabor
Vamos adelante por favor

Si sólo puedes tomar, te siente tan peor
Y otra vez fumar, con un alma de calor
Pero su voz llamar, anoche mi amor
Me invitas a cantar, y hacerlo mejor

Sus ojos ya veo cuando tratando
Fuerte muchas horas trabajando
Para armonía ya buscando
La vida juntos quiero disfrutando

A mí los días pasé tan bendita
Porque la casa tuyó es bonita
Nuestra valor dulce como la gatita
Que se besa tu cara señorita

Si sólo puedes tomar, te siente tan peor
Y otra vez fumar, con un alma de calor
Pero su voz llamar, anoche mi amor
Me invitas a cantar, y hacerlo mejor

Ojala que nos días son suaves nunca feo
Sus aventuras todos sigan lo que tu deseo
La misma por las noches y las cositas que veo
Ahora necesito baja y orar yo creo

Quizás luego más después la próxima perdón
Si nociones más claro alumbra este rincón
Las aves la camino conocen en canción
Para siempre estoy tuyo precioso corazón
Track Name: Week 18 - First Five Steps (05-06-16)
The first five steps would
From below the sea begin
Like magnesium

Soundless on impact
Glitching grasping error punch
Drenched under wonder

And take them I have
Patient dutiful and raw
Iron from my skin

Heresy at home
Bandaid on a butcher block
Cheers to ecdysis

If you see the Buddha kill the Buddha
Track Name: Week 19 - Heart Does Not Want (05-15-16)
The heart wants what it wants says the spine of desire
But just behind the title page my ego is the supplier
Of yearn and churn and burn for more or greener grass
After the rooster’s curtain call waxing in the glowing gas

Give it all you got, not for naught
Stand up and reach out for beauty and truth and not an ounce less
Give it all you got, we cannot
Hold out for hope if we will not concede the heart does not want

And it’s awkward and it’s strange like another mother tongue
Neither better than nor worse the air in someone else’s lungs
Forever is too long so let’s focus here and now
Just surrender your defenses they were useless anyhow

Give it all you got without a thought
Stand up and reach out for beauty and truth and not an ounce less
Give it all you got, we cannot
Hold out for hope if we will not concede the heart does not want

No, it sounded just as strange to me
Yes, I hear you loud and clear
Let go, when everything else has failed
Come on, you don’t need your bullets here

Give it all you got and that’s a lot
Track Name: Week 20 - Keep The Lights (05-21-16)
Across the city line to anywhere but here
Beyond the ivy walls my dear to disappear
With diamonds in her eyes and a key around her neck
Yours truly left behind to recreate the wreck

Full speed ahead at any cost don’t spare the bridges now
And cut the deadweight let it crash and burn
Nothing stands between these tires and endless open road
Ride further faster never to return

Keep the lights back home ablaze carry onward come what may
Lift your voice up unafraid you’re exactly where you should be
Make a joyful noise today like a Boxing Day Parade
Throw all your cares away where you’re headed it’s all gonna’ be okay

Forget our debt and tread a wealth of miles beneath
Could not our driven stride be ever more complete
The taste is on our tongues of freedom and of change
Whence bore a silent scorn release and rise again

Full speed ahead at any cost don’t spare the bridges now
And cut the deadweight let it crash and burn
Nothing stands between these tires and endless open road
Ride further faster never to return

Keep the lights back home ablaze carry onward come what may
Lift your voice up unafraid you’re exactly where you should be
Make a joyful noise today like a Boxing Day Parade
Throw all your cares away where you’re headed it’s all gonna’ be OK

An only child from Indiana when she moved out to the coast
With two thousand and a record, black and blue from head to toe
Built a start to something better wrote her thoughts down in a letter
To a mother in the gutter uttered tears in stereo

Set aside the tidal water of her bootstrap kingdom come
Takes a pauper to be grateful for the offshore setting sun
Drop the needle like an anchor hit the surface wild and blue
No regrets and don’t forget the roots run deep
You can’t runaway from you
Track Name: Week 21 - Have You Seen This Man (5-26-16)
Smooth as silk and iron tough
Lucky, smart, earns more than enough
Five miles tall with at least thirteen arms
No one alive can resist his charm

Where is this heart breaker, why you would not believe
How he got so many secrets up that sleeve
You know he’d have the nation eating out of his hand
If only we could track him down
Have you seen this man

Style like it’s going outta’ style, muscles for days
Faster than a speeding ticket the train that he’s on is never delayed
Perfect height, perfect weight, perfect SATs, a dream come true
Every day his socks match and never does he find anything unwanted on his shoes

Wherefore art thou Romeo the people wanna’ see
The brightness of your smile c’mon you gorgeous absentee
Our ever-loving world would bend to his every command
But no one has a clue where he is
Have you seen this man

Two left feet and an old tuxedo t-shirt
Who’d have thought to ask this complete introvert
Stumbling down the stairs like a busted string of pearls
Hiding Mr. Wonderful from the rest of the world

How could we have found him in such a subtle hiding place
Never did his splendor appear upon his face
Far and wide surely anyone would be his biggest fan
Too bad we couldn’t spot him in the crowd
Have you seen this man
Track Name: Week 22 - Pretty Excellent Whatever (06-04-16)
Hey be honest with me for a moment
When we go see your favorite band
Or take the Bowery with our boots on
Did you think it would be like this

Talk to me about midnight slices
And a rich tobacco dawn
Could you wake up feeling any better
South of Houston west of Wall

You will always be my something
Full of what I can’t remember
Such a stunning never mind
A thousand words you may have heard

From the moment we began to
Just a gorgeous I forgot
A pretty excellent whatever
Truly beautiful I guess
Track Name: Week 23 - Just This Side Of The Line (06-09-16)
The day the old man died a couple subtle things changed
A shifting of the tide and gallows down below
No one likes to find a crack in their foundation
Funny how the time wears away the stone

Marty had a knack for playing folks like fiddles
And folks want to be played each one like the last
Before his lips were cold Cole Younger dropped his pistol
No sooner did the notes shatter like a glass

As the second hand continues round the circle
I’m cashing in my chips for something universal
But even if I tried I couldn’t say the reason
Why I seem to stop a little short of freedom
Just this side of the line

I never got to ask Maureen a single question
Now tell me that ain’t proof, not a doubt remains
Someone higher up is guiding our intentions
And I am not a pilot, and this is not a plane

One day I’ll see Joseph out beyond the river
I’ll lay down my burden and he will wash it clean
Finally the answers all will be delivered
Bless the broken promises and borrowed nicotine
Track Name: Week 24 - Vampire in Reverse (06-16-16)
When the sun tags out and the moon tags in
You won’t find my feet on the street again
All that is the yin cannot abide the yang
From a stately smile losing all its fangs

How do you know on which side you belong
Partly it’s the sidewalk that you stand upon
Also it’s the apple that claims the careless tooth
The bloodline back before you the jeans within your boots

Somewhere in America there’s a real live scare
A bat from Transylvania second shift beware
Lucky me to linger and elude the midnight curse
One lost incisor and a coin in my purse
I’m a vampire in reverse

A long way from Wisconsin the last weekend in May
Two parents and a brother and a sister one sunny Saturday
Hopped a silver bullet to a modest pizza joint
On the corner of Mott St & Spring but that’s not the point

With a greasy paper napkin and some pepperoni breath
I found proof the Tooth Fairy’s real but I bet you’d never guess
Turns out her name is Larry she’s been there for 20 years
She spends 40 hours a week serving kids cold root beer

At the hotel back in Jersey, as the daylight faded slow
We all watched the evening kiss the Hackensack below
Talked about the Statue, Ellis Island and the Mets
Vampires don’t do anything like this and I’ll never forget
Track Name: Week 25 - Heaven Is Now (06-24-16)
With the flip of a switch the scratch of an itch
Bring the candles colitas and corridors
Overthrown underwhelmed antihero
Vermin everywhere

Ay but it’s not so bad
Warm blankets and dull needles
Shamrocks pushing through the concrete
Into exile from the mainstream trail of smoke

Heaven is now lift your veil
We could implode with desire
Another way to say forgive
In a descent from yourself

Below ground below zero
Push the salt into orange eyes
Glory be unto nothing forever and ever
Once and for all erased

Axel grease in my fingers
Buckshot peppered through silk
Fireworks strafing a sapien circumspect
Watch my pathetic mélange

Heaven is now lift your veil
We could implode with desire
Another way to preserve this
In a descent from yourself

Jason are you listening
Hell is a closed circuit loop
Interrupt the voltage reverse the current
Before the filament fuses to the frame
Track Name: Week 26 - Nothing On Earth (06-30-16)
Hey baby hold out your hand
I been picking blackberries all afternoon
Maybe it’s time that we jam
So gimme’ five and I’ll give you a spoon

Without the sun and the rain and the soil
Sunflowers can’t make their sunflower oil
And just like flowers we need nourishing too
I went looking for the best and that led me to you

You’re better than baseball on the 4th of July
Cooler than iced cream and hotter than apple pie
A million and one things I still wanna’ try
But nothing on earth could ever beat this high

Just like a laser arcade
With your initials at the top of the screen
Your heart is like a grenade
Launched off a Cliff if you know what I mean

Here come the fireworks and the pink confetti rain
Funny I can feel it but I still can’t explain
Where you got the spark for my gunpowder heart
If I ask you real nice will you blow it all apart

In another life when our bodies had wings
You and I were plovers on the first day of spring
Everybody knows when the pendulum swings
Some of us are silent while others start to sing
Track Name: Week 27 - Made For Joy (07-09-16)
Captive or free born to believe
A sweet paradox intercepts
Never complete we pay our dues
Still a supple heart is beset

Once at the shore twice on the tide
Paradise belongs in the hands
Holding out for the dawn asking only for time
With the facts and the hint of a chance

We were made for joy
Made to embrace in the fullness of time
And a grateful poise
Strapped to the stars with a flicker sublime
It’s a perfect mess
Black on the inside in a silver disguise
Can the best be blessed
To receive it all as a sacred surprise

When they pull the shells out of all the guns
And the empty shelves can be filled with fun
Then and only then will the children dance
In the empty streets if our best laid plans

Say the clock ran out and the people shout
Give it up run away crash and burn no doubt
But we have ourselves and we have our dreams
And the future stars orbiting upstream

Not the only way to change the course
There’s like a million different buttons on an iron horse
Somehow we gotta open up a new discussion to ask
For all the superheroes hiding in the Welfare Class

To lend their voices to the choices of the governing few
And open up a new horizon for the red white and blue
I never seen a real democracy but heaven is now
Maybe the music leads the way so can you show me how
Track Name: Week 28 - Puerto Rico What Is Your Secret (07-15-16)
Heavy as a tidal wave washing up on shore
Easy honey we got saved so many times before
Altogether let it breathe
Ready we can stand beneath
Trouble with a T on the double with a D in the rubble of a jubilee

And maybe it was Jacksonville could be twenty years
Smoking on a picnic bench naked in the pines
Underneath a half pint moon swimming in the summer air
Neon ether motel crush gasoline and wine

Devil in a paper bag like the southern tide rolling up in rags
Early in a morning dive lift another drag let the feeling rise
Risky letting out the words to escape a tongue let alone who heard
Angel with a blackened lung to a hummingbird beautiful and stunned

Nowhere near the finish line this is not the end
Gracefully a last goodbye or funeral for a friend
Elevator tumble dry sixty second drop
Lemonade and stumble by take it from the top
Track Name: Week 29 - George Clinton For President (07-20-16)
Where are you now
If only the barber salon in Plainfield
Atomic Dog on the water horse
Straight outta’ the speaker

Real time dollar holler
Pick up sticks to your shoe
Now a ballot always a ballot
Give ‘em what they want
Track Name: Week 30 - Gems (7-29-16)
Alright let me cut to the chase
The meat and potatoes will only take a second
Look here between the verse and the inverse
Right in the middle of the smoking section

An ice carving begins with a big frozen block
Like a sculpture the negative space is enormous
So this is the part where I peel off the bark
From everything that doesn’t look like a chorus

Sometimes the sun don’t shine never quite hit the perfect crime
Penny ain’t heads every toss you know how these things unfold
Toss another log on the fire dig a little deeper this time
Any luck it leads to a couple gems through all the coal

Fuck it Billy let’s do it live
Between hits let a few strikes cross the plate
Dealer can’t hit twenty one every time
Just don’t sit with your back to the gate

Find your furnace and fill it to the top
With whatever you got lying around
Color of the smoke may vary
But the fire will burn all night

Somewhere on a bar stool at the end of the world
He is carving out a future with a shovel and a pipe
Downright heartland mainstay for the South Dakota girls
They flicker like a lightning bug tricky to describe
Track Name: Week 31 - Koreatown (08-06-16)
White plywood cross Wilshire and Western
Took what it took to teach me a lesson
Big chunk of stone soaked up the sunshine
Do you daydream of starting all over? Yeah, maybe sometimes

All that you want four walls and a box fan
So why not right here with palm trees and minivans
Life’s like a beach wealth just conjecture
Peace means release the metal detector

Raise up your hands and bow like a deacon
Hope’s all you have practically speaking
Cast iron bench in the shade fresh cup of coffee
One more lead weight on my mind please lift it off me

Nothing but time and fresh out of options
I was holding some strange expectations I decided to drop them
Earth tones and carbon monoxide rising above you
Koreatown open your heart I came here to love you
Track Name: Week 32 - Zero Percent Chance of Participation (08-12-16)
Stuck like nails
In soggy asphalt
Try fail repeat

14 minutes early
Fifteen seconds late
Not what you want it to be

Make no more melt
Rather to thaw
Guess I got something to say

The where to the when to
The got to the how
And yet not the want
Track Name: Week 33 - Knife To A Gun Fight (8-16-16)
Such a heavyweight such a champ in love and war
Faster than ignition while I fumble for the door
When your shadow shows I’m way out of my league
In the dark I can’t define it let’s just say that I’m intrigued

Me and this old switchblade yeah I guess we better not
Try to compete with all that ammo you got
You know I should have known my old Swiss Army smile
Ain’t no kind of match for your Smith and Wesson style

Goodness knows how many men went to the grave
How many times another sinner wasn’t saved
Just because he wanted to know you for a night
Kiss a killer queen like a knife to a gun fight

Barreling toward me molten lead in rapid motion
Empty shells escape the chamber of a beautiful explosion
Like a Band-Aid for a freshly broken heart
Didn’t even see it coming from your buckshot bodyguard

Once upon a time I thought my steel was pretty sharp
Charm good luck and timing had my enemies disarmed
Unbeknownst to me I found temptation in the sights
Violent anti-hero perfect aim just cut the light
Track Name: Week 34 - Kiss Me Right, If You're Gonna' Kiss Me At All (08-25-16)
Not your average summer almost stole the show
You got to just recover remember Mexico
Never was it better falling out of time
If we had been together would remain pantomime

Stillness anyway keeps my secrets
Don’t know how to say that you’re my weakness

Kiss me right if you’re gonna’ kiss me at all
Put up a fight like a burning cannonball
Out of sight outta’ mind and off the wall
Kill the lights get a grip and start to fall

Only leaves are leaving branches overhead
Every robin robbing singing the unsaid
Along the rainy river silent as the dawn
You were like a zephyr blackest of the swans

Darkest just before striking thunder
Harmless pinafore but filled with wonder
Track Name: Week 35 - X Is For Eyes (08-31-16)
White as snow holy hollow hands
Vexes and sighs dive down deep

Upper apex supple run for red
Tarot atlas shining via vida

Slice and hook notches broken
Rhythmic reason fallen spoken

Qourse qorrecting qarthorse qarving
Pistol perfect pitch preserving

Orthopedic autotuner
North by western rotten rumors

Milk and honey napalm necktie
Lets go steady burn the bonsai

Klezmer sweetheart pigtail earthworm
Jumping jackknife light up lead mine

Into action out of exile
Track Name: Week 36 - Now Hiring, Inquire Within (09-06-16)
Looking through the listings
Of a twenty five cent paper
In a pretty town a long way from home

The fishing boats are cheap
As are the carpeted apartments
And the singles who don’t want to die alone

I been searching since the get go
Maybe now it’s time to let go
Of the make believe world that’s all my own

So when I saw the want ad
I thought that’s not so bad
And decided to pick up the phone

Now hiring someone just like you
Responsibilities include all the things you do
Opportunity of a lifetime to use
Stuff you learned everywhere you’ve been
You’re really perfect for the part
Inquire within

So I called up to the top floor
Where my agent works to chat some more
About my chances to audition for the skit

I said they might like what I’m doin’
And it sounds like I’m a shoe-in
How come you never send me out for gigs like this

Well he put down his sudoku
Asked me “guess how well I know you?”
Turns out not only did they pick me for the play

From the posting I deduced that
He executive produced it
After writing it on the day that I was made

Don’t worry about the salary
The benefits or perks
You match the job description
So come on in and get to work

Of the many who were called
There’s only one who fits the bill
No sense in unemployment
If there’s a roll you’re born to fill
Track Name: Week 37 - 222 Years (09-15-16)
No wonder everything changed it’s a miracle for the latter day aints
Unhooked from whatever cart was in front of the horse
Always and everywhere still to feel the wind in the daffodils
Presenting nothing but rich and enduring remorse

It took me 222 years to sort the truth from the lies my dear
Two plus two plus two does not equal one
We just got 222 more 12th of Septembers on the bathroom floor
You plus me plus you and I’m back on the run

Dusty fingers rusty ringers lusting lingers in the sand
Lying broken flying choking try and open up your hands
Ever after will the waterfalls be free ‘til we’re long gone you and me
Could not help but to ignite the Christmas tree dance in the burning wonderland

4 more fragile seasons
21 years old
‘67 Chevy
8 million hands to hold
50 shades of empty
120 bucks
.38 revolver
0 givafux
Track Name: Week 38 - Zombie Lover (09-23-16)
The one I care for, the one I want
The one whose memory my head will haunt
Sure makes an entrance so nonchalant
Anytime at all

My special someone to have and hold
Almost eighty five hundred years old
Locked my heart up without parole
Drove me up the wall

Cuz I got the hots for an ice cold bombshell
When we get it on it’s wild as all hell
And I feel so lucky since the day we met
My zombie lover didn’t eat me yet

So I been talkin’ about introducing
Her to my parents but they’re refusing
To entertain how it could be amusing
If I bring her home

Bless her heart she don’t like the opera
Doesn’t care for dancing salsa
Maybe it’s best we skip the drama
And use the telephone
Track Name: Week 39 - Waiting For April (09-28-16)
In the ice and the snow when there ain’t no place warm to go
Ask me just how I know she’ll be here
Six or seven below blurry eyes and a runny nose
Just when I feel exposed she appears

One by one these icicles melt and I unfreeze finally compelled
For the first time only by grace am I able
Two by two we wake to the sight of a new world thawed overnight
So I’ll stand here lovingly patiently grateful waiting for April

Like an ember beneath blackened timber with jagged teeth
Smoke surrenders the leaves which ascend
Minutes ticking away not persuading my faith to fade
Holding out for the days just ahead

And since New Years Day I’ve been setting the table
Because flowers in May need the showers of April
March comes like a lion goes out like a lamb
The one that I dream of will soon take my hand

So on March 31 she is hailing a ride
Headed straight to the airport she’s glowing inside
And she gets on a redeye to visit the city
Where the frost turns to fog and the air’s not so chilly
Track Name: Week 40 - Eyes And Ears Alive, Redux (10-07-16)
It’s no one’s fault but mine
And there’s no more alibis
Yeah I just ran out of time
Out of reasons and resigned

Won’t try to shake the blame
To unbreak the window panes
Nothing good is gone to stay
It’ll all come round again

Sorry that I missed your birthday
That you might never hear these words
Better if I send a letter
I wonder what would you prefer

Never want to miss the sunset
Or to tell a friend goodbye
Maybe next year I’ll surprise you
With my eyes and ears alive

Imagine with a flutter
A mockingbird in flight
Unwind the sunny summer
It was October overnight

The changing of the chapter
As the leaves begin to glow
Carry with you all the laughter
If it’s heavy let it go
Track Name: Week 41 - He's Coming Back For Me (10-15-16)
He’s the kid in the cargo van
He’s the guy with the gun
He’s the man on the rooftop and
He’s the one on the run

He’s the best hope the good guys got
He’s the last one to doubt
He’s the knot in the twisted plot
He’s the only way out

And he’s coming back for me

She’s the devil with bright red lips
She’s the worst of it all
She’s the bitch with a bag of tricks
She’s the crack in the wall

She’s the flames of eternal mire
She’s the basket of worms
She’s the lights of a ship on fire
She’s the shriek of alarms

And she’s coming back for me

She’s the deadest of everyone
He’s the bravest for real
She’s the scorned when the story’s done
He’s the prayers when you kneel
Track Name: Week 42 - Ten Ton Crush (10-19-16)
Fairy tales on East Eighty Eighth
Who’s the big bad wolf
A trail of crumbs leading straight down the drain
Goldilocks herself

Be the change that I wanna’ see
Lift my chin to the rain
Slide down the railing and blow my house down
Climb in my window again

I got a ten ton crush I need a heavy touch
And we were trying say we just got carried away we had to feel that rush
You made me break my stare I was unaware
Oh baby try to abuse me honey how can we lose what never meant that much

Like a detective with a hook for hand
Or seven dwarves in a cell
Crosseyed crazy pigtails and grin
And I couldn’t even tell

Try to compare you try try and then
Big big laugh open wide
Which one is crazy which has a chance
And which is rotten inside
Track Name: Week 43 - Hold A Candle (10-27-16)
It’s a story for the ages no beginning and no end
Soft and gentle but courageous the blessed bond between best friends
Over trials and tribulations to each other always true
Never saw such grace and patience as the story of these two

Now we all know Eve and Adam burned their bridges with desire
We saw Romeo and Juliet set both their souls on fire
Just like Jerry and Theresa there’s a glow we’re dreaming of
But not another can be said to hold a candle to their love

Oh so many take for granted what so few of us can find
But to really understand it gotta’ leave our fears behind
To a brave new world we’re walking bated breath and open hands
With our fingers interlocking asking just to understand

How it felt for June and Johnny and just how a blaze begins
Or when Tristan and Isolde tried to hide the spark within
Neither Jerry nor Theresa was the first heart to ignite
But none before nor any since can hold a candle to their light

Well then one fine day in autumn surrounded by a faith
That can never be forgotten and will always captivate
It was history in the making from the moment it began
Tender feeling overtaking both this woman and this man

So like Liz and Mr. Darcy lit the fuse on their constraints
And Sid and Nancy torched it all you know not everyone’s a saint
Maybe Jerry and Theresa are just two of many names
But of all the others no two lovers hold a candle to their flame
Track Name: Week 44 - Take Me Where I've Never Been Before (11-04-16)
I thought I was a dreamer without a dream
A blazing fast propeller fresh out of steam
But I’ve begun to wonder just what it means
To know the fortune teller ain’t all she seems

I heard it’s always darkest before the dawn
So what about the darkness within my bones
Come with me to the pasture outside of town
Tonight I meet my master but not alone

So ring the bells by morning how we always planned
Let this be a warning a circle in the sand
For thirty years I wondered what lies behind the door
I’m ready to go under take me where I’ve never been before

I hastened from a vision to no repose
A horse without a ribbon beyond exposed
My orders have been given these eyes are closed
The worse is my condition it’s overload

So mitigate my fever empty all the doubt
Lead me to believe you with witness or without
Deliver me from shipwreck a beacon on the shore
I’m headed for the apex take me where I’ve never been before

In searching for the answers I found the blues
There are no second chances to win or lose
But what about damnation desire or deja vu
A prayer for our salvation on Seventh Avenue

So pull the trigger slowly or fast it’s all the same
I’m begging you to show me no mercy in your name
Just push me to the limit and shake me to the core
Rewrite all the lyrics take me where I’ve never been before
Track Name: Week 45 - We're Fucked (11-08-16)
My oh my we’re fucked
We’re so very fucked
Great balls of fire we’re fucked
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

Yes indeed we’re fucked
All day long we’re fucked
The next four years we’re totally fucked
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

It’s no lie we’re fucked
No joke that’s right we’re fucked
Holy hand grenades are we ever fucked
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck

What the fucking fuck
Shit for real we’re actually fucked
Like sideways, upside-down, and backwards
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
Track Name: Week 46 - Asking For A Friend (11-13-16)
You got a certain way about you babe
A sight and sound a color and a shape
The birds are singing a song about your hair
Each word is ringing to lovers everywhere

Will you sing again?
Asking for a friend

Everyone you meet wonders what to say
How to stop the sidewalk from walking you away
The callous concrete cannot quite convince
A silly someone he may not be your prince

What do you recommend?
Asking for a friend

How in the world after learning that you exist
Can you expect a man will be able to resist
Singing at your window every night ‘til you’re convinced
Just help me comprehend asking for a friend

Tea for two but you only got the one
And every waiter between your finger and your thumb
First thing in the morning ‘til evening’s coming down
Don’t it wear you out always running all around

The minds of men
Asking for a friend

How in the world after learning that you exist
Can you expect a man will be able to resist
Singing at your window every night ‘til you’re convinced
Well help me comprehend asking for a friend

Pour a little sugar and some milk into a cup
Cinnamon or chocolate and a spoon to stir it up
Sometimes you’re the dark roast other times the light
Anyway you mix it every time it turns out right

So baby tell me when
Asking for a friend
Track Name: Week 47 - JFK to Dublin (11-22-16)
Can the tide itself decide when to ebb and when to flow
Or does someone high and holy hold the rolling undertow
When the water wants your body and the clouds have cut a deal
Make a circle on the ceiling really none of this is real

At the end of every story there’s a door that we can open
With a key we’ve always carried but we thought that it was broken
On a bird comprised of metal moving faster than a prayer
Something happened in an instant to awake the unaware

Even if the crew had shown a swift reaction to the rumble
It was too late to elude the taste of trouble
JFK > DUB

There was ice across the aisle and a whisper in the wings
Someone asked about the exit as our hopes began to sink
First the wheels were not responding to the buttons at the helm
Then the luggage started dancing and the crew was overwhelmed

Like a tidal wave toward me came a thousand words a minute
And I tried to offer solace but my heart just wasn’t in it
What’s the answer to the riddle or does asking change the game
If we reach our destination we may never be the same

If the captain had been warned the shift might not have been so sudden
But what’s done is done and no one saw it coming
JFK > DUB

To bear witness is to honor what another hand has carved
After giving up the concept of the outcome we deserve
Should our plans be all but shattered and we barely wash ashore
Drop the rock and listen closely this ain’t Kansas anymore

In the morning we are taller than ourselves when evening falls
When we still don’t see the reason and the mirror can’t recall
I’d be lying if I told you that I never told a lie
But I know it never saved me from the way I felt inside

Thank the heavens all the engines simultaneously stumbled
Opened fire on our pride and made us humble
JFK > DUB
Track Name: Week 48 - This One's For You (12-01-16)
For the girl with the long dark hair
Who can light up a midnight anywhere
For the one with the deep brown eyes
And a smile that’ll give me butterflies

To the woman who’s on my mind
Even if I cannot explain sometimes
You will always be in my heart
Not a chance they can keep our hands apart

This one’s for you

So I’m letting the sunshine in
Yeah I’m looking to let our lives begin
And it’s you when I sing these words
You are holding the notes my soul has heard

This one’s for you

And I can’t believe it’s true
No I can’t believe it’s true
Well I can’t believe it’s true
But this one’s for you

To the ears that can always hear
With a wish and a hope beyond compare
But the truth isn’t where we are
Our future is filled with shooting stars
Track Name: Week 49 - Flowers Are For Suckers (12-08-16)
From a state shaped like a glove more of less
Me and him we headed east hoping for the best
Left behind my Louisville slugger and I’m sometimes way off base
Never mind the home team leave it somewhere back out west

So I got this empty table

From the last turn of the century to 1939
Everything looks different now and that’s just mighty fine
Tomorrow cannot answer all of yesterday’s appeals
Only in this moment can we see the storyline

So I got this empty table

From pizza to pastrami, from asleep to wide awake
It went from complicated to as simple as we can make it
On a yellow piece of paper “get your package at the counter”
And I knew just what it was yeah there was no mistaking

So I got this empty table

To an office blue and white off Eerie’s southern banks
And a town that’s bright all night from the Mets to the Yanks
Well you know that you’re my brother but flowers are for suckers
Now my table ain’t so empty this is just me saying thanks
Track Name: Week 50 - Victimless Crime (12-13-16)
Out behind the stables with
All the best intentions in mind
But half blind

Hiding in the hay loft and
Tying up the ends which unwind
By design

None were any wiser when
One by one the rancheros fell
To the spell

All the pretty horses on
Each and every last carousel
Said farewell

No one gets hurt just walk away
Victimless crime like a ballet
Dance for December skates on the lake
Crisp is the crack swift is the break

Driving at a point with no
Gasoline or oil in the tank
Please no thanks

Saddle up the best one but
Better not invest let’s be frank
We’re outflanked

Maybe all the rules and the
Regulation tools have your grin
Paper thin

Never mind the hay bales or
Legalese delays underpinned
Just break in

No one gets hurt just walk away
Victimless crime like a ballet
Dance for December skates on the lake
Crisp is the crack swift is the break

Hand on the shifter
Eyes on the prize
Hard as a pillar
Fast as goodbye

Beautiful freedom
Just like machines
Dangerous heathens
Long live the dream
Track Name: Week 51 - Xmas Breakfast (12-24-16)
Jazz on the short wave bare feet on the rug
Hot orange pekoe in a busted mug
Four dollar haircut Chinatown style
Jeans and t-shirt six strings and a smile

Clothes to the corner detergent, petty cash
Fill up my window with sandalwood ash
Boxes and wishes sent overnight
Long distance kisses and oh so many lights

On Sunday morning I’m coming down
East sixty eighth street that’s where I’m bound
No reservations just lips that want a taste
Xmas breakfast got no time to waste

So this 51 out of 52
Who would have thought that baby me and you
Could keep on keeping the lights from burning out
And walk the walk by now we’re learning how

Our times are changing but certain things will not
True love and beauty will never be forgot
We have each other December 24th
For all religions it’s time for peace on earth

Tomorrow morning I’m coming down
East sixty eighth street that’s where I’m bound
No reservations just lips that want a taste
Xmas breakfast got no time to waste

It’s been a big one - losses, wins, and draws
But now it’s over so let’s stop keeping score
No need to fight it just give in to the grace
Xmas breakfast got no time to waste
Track Name: Week 52 - Unbecoming (12-31-16)
Unlike anyone
Underneath the sun
Unresisted rush
Undercover lush

And I’m unbecoming
The tears are running
Above the drumming
The sound is stunning

The notes are numbing
An endless strumming
The curse is cunning
And all but sudden

Unannounced are we
Unbeknownst to me
Unforgiven and
Undone understand