Lyrics

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LYRICS: INCIDENTAL LIGHTSHOW (Black Market Glamour, 2016)

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“FORT ASHBY”

Out-of-tune piano, cylinder gramophone

Katydids, calliopes, big machines that buzz and groan

Down at the County Fair

There’s music in the air

It’s like a Tom Waits tune but with a different singer

It’s a great big world and it seems to me (it’s coming back to me)

It’s much bigger and it’s so much smaller than it

Ever used to be

In my grandma and grandfather’s backyard

They built a forty-foot slide

All I remember is the light

There’s a funhouse called Star Warz, it’s spelled with a “z”

Copyright infringement, it’s all coming back to me

Here comes a big bass drum

To rock my skeleton

There’s candy in the air, it’s slipping through my fingers

It’s a great big world and it seems to me

It’s much bigger and it’s so much smaller than it

Ever used to be

Now they tell me that it’s monster trucks and

Tractor pulls in the night

All I remember is the light

Put me in the moonwalk, I can’t even stand

Take me to the stage to see Daddy in a country band

Some kid who’s half my size

She won the livestock prize

She had a little lamb

And then the lamb got bigger

It’s a great big world and it seems to me

It’s much bigger and it’s so much smaller than it

Ever used to be

Got my baby beside me going eastbound

On a cross-country flight

All I can think of is the light

It’s coming back to me…

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“CATERWAUL”

Come down, catercorner

Carry me across the square

Come down, catastrophic

Crushed and quite beyond repair

Come down, calla lilies

Cold and lovely in a vase

Come down, cantilever

Can you lever me in place?

But if it’s not your time

You can’t make it your time

If it’s not your time

Come down, cat o’ nine tails

Count again, it’s more like ten

Come down, catatonic

Cannot wake her up again

And if it’s not her time

You can’t make it her time

Can’t make it her time

Come down, Cosa Nostra

Clarity and Claritin

Come down, catalytic

Car exhaust to do you in

Come down, cantaloupe and

Honey, do it while you can

Come down, caterwaul and

Honey can I be your man?

And if it’s not your time

You can’t make it your time

If it’s not your time

Caterwaul, catewaul, caterwaul

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“RESPONSIBLE”

Bones are falling from the trees

And I can’t get my car to start

It’s broken down just like my heart

And my wah wah pedal

Crow takes wing from the branches above

And I swear to God she winks at me

I don’t know why, but I’m watching her fly

And it makes me feel better

RSVP

Unrequited

Ready, aim, fire!

No one is responsible at all

The wind is blowing apples through

My kitchen window every day

Stack ‘em up and save ‘em for the kids when they visit

I wanna be more than a flickering number

I wanna be more than a demographic

I wanna be more, that’s not too much to

Ask for, is it?

Unresponsive

Correspondent

Just plain corossive

No one is responsible

At all, all

No one is to blame, because

No one is responsible

At all

Been raining bones for three days straight

I still can’t get my car to start

The guy down at the Pick-A-Part

Is a cold-eyed geezer

Says, “Son, your car ain’t worth a dime

But how much for that broken heart?

I’ll keep it with the other four

In the back of my freezer.”

Irresponsible

Inhibition

Reuptake—fire!

No one is responsible at all

No one is responsible at all

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“UNHAUNTED”

Empty house on my street with the doors chained up tight

And a window with candles that burn late at night

Children quicken their pace as they walk on by

From all the stories they’ve heard and they’re too young to die

And I miss her so badly I wish I were there

To see the spectral lights and feel the chill in the air

Empty bottle of wine and nobody to toast

I’m so jealous of other people’s ghosts

When I want her to haunt me she leaves me alone

No creaking floor, no flickering flame

Black candelabra and black cat bone

No disembodied voice to breathe my name

Got a box with a lock of her hair that I saved

And a bag filled with dirt that I took from her grave

Halloween once again and I’m here by myself

While her ghost is out haunting somebody else

When I want her to haunt me she leaves me alone

No creaking floor, no flickering flame

Black candelabra and black cat bone

No disembodied voice to breathe my name

Unhaunted

She’s leaving me

Unhaunted

Don’t want to be

Unhaunted

And she had such faith in the world beyond

But I’m truly afraid that she’s truly gone

She won’t come to me as some tender wraith

In a column of vapor with her face

When I want her to haunt me she leaves me alone

No creaking floor, no flickering flame

Black candelabra and black cat bone

No disembodied voice to breathe my name

It’s November the First under a hangover sky

She’s bound to leave me unhaunted whatever I try

All my breaking and entering won’t raise the dead

And I’ll still be unhaunted tonight in her bed

All the leaves on the ground blow around in the wind

Like a family of rodents relieved of their skin

Halloween on a dirt road, 1983

I believed it was real, it could happen to me

*

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“WHAT YOU DON’T WISH FOR”

Take care what you don’t wish for

It might be passing by your door

Take care what you don’t wish for

It might just not come true

It might come home to you

She says it’s not good for a man to live alone

She asks you are you a believer? She says

Her brother did such things he killed her family

You never know if she means literally

Hearts might heal

But you can’t unbreak a home

Hearts might heal

Take care what you don’t wish for

It might be passing by your door

Take care what you don’t wish for

It might just not come true

It might break you in two

She says be careful with your heart, my friend, she says

Look what I let mine do to me

She says she knows that she’s a catch, and so she is, but

She lets her girlfriend run her over

Hearts might heal

But you can’t unbreak a home

Hearts might heal

Take care what you don’t wish for

It might be passing by your door

Take care what you don’t wish for

It might just not come true

It might break you in two

She feels the pressure gathering behind her eyes

She sees less of you by degrees

You’ve given her a home and she’s given you hope

But now all four of you are breaking

Take care what you don’t wish for

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“PLAYING WITH THE LIGHTS”

Incidental lightshow

Unexpected bloom

Bouncing, bounding, flying, soaring

Leaving to a view

Anywhere there’s fire

Anywhere that’s high

Captured now in clay and crosslegged

Looking to the sky

In the eyes of a mantis

In the stars on the ceiling

You’re here, you’re there

You’re everywhere

Playing with the lights

Cards upon the table

Tools upon the ground

Mantis on the chandelier

Kick drum loud and proud

Off the beaten path now

You can call me if you’re stuck

Etched in skin of ones who lost you

Vines and sky and truck

In the eyes of a mantis

In the stars on the ceiling

You’re here, you’re there

You’re everywhere

Playing with the lights

Late night conversation

Always just one more

Never thought I’d miss the nights

You kept me up ’til four

Are you down to kick it?

Are you here tonight?

Are you laughing in the stars and

Playing with the lights?

In the eyes of a mantis

In the stars on the ceiling

In the soul of a blue dog

In the music and laughter

In the tattoos and rainstorms

In the moth and the flame

You’re here, you’re there, you’re everywhere

Playing with the lights

*

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“WIRE GIRL”

You don’t wear your skin any more

Won’t let him in any more

You can’t risk contact with the Captain’s tears

You don’t count the days any more

Don’t feel the spray any more

It’s been a part of you for all these years

Wire girl, wireframe world

And rusted iron hair

Inklings of your infrastructure inching for the door

Steel wool muscles pull

On copper lungs and heart

Slivers of your superstructure strewn across the floor

Cast adrift, the skipper and his mate

Crew of fading shades

The Captain’s fancy rampant on the deck

A girl long dead now sketched in hurried strokes

Wiry wisps of smoke

Metallic skin the ocean stars reflect

Wire girl, wireframe world

And rusted iron hair

Inklings of your infrastructure inching for the door

Steel wool muscles pull

On copper lungs and heart

Slivers of your superstructure strewn across the floor

Washed ashore, the crew and captain gone

And you still hanging on

By hooks you’ve fashioned from your tangled skin

A girl no longer tethered to the past

Brave new world that has

Such see-through sculptures in it

Wire girl, wireframe world

And rusted iron hair

Inklings of your infrastructure inching for the door

Steel wool muscles pull

On copper lungs and heart

Slivers of your superstructure strewn across the floor

Across the floor

*

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“DOUBTFUL SOUND”

Not so high and lonesome as a question mark implied

Not as wild as mercury, but close

Doesn’t get much lower than the waterline at Doubtful Sound

Driving rhythms drive me to the coast

Sally showed up in the mail

When I helped her post her bail

Looking spotless, looking pale

Sally followed me around

To the shore and back to town

She drew the crescent, drew it down

She took me down to Doubtful Sound

Poisonous and venomous marine organisms

Clothbound books embossed with skates and rays

A butterfly distraction on a Sunday in a plumbing shop

The ringing in my ears goes on for days

Sally’s long and tall and blonde

Sally plays me like a song

When we turn each other on

Sally fits me like a crown

Sally sure does get around

She’ll be my verb and I’m her noun

She took me down to Doubtful Sound

Look into her cat’s eye, you can see she’s not too deep

But she’s higher and she’s brighter than the moon

Doesn’t drive a Mustang, but she overdrives with overtones

That rise and fall like swells in the monsoon

Sally joins me at the hip

Sally goes down like a ship

Turn her up and let her rip

Sally followed me around

To the shore and back to town

Can’t help but wonder where we’re bound

She took me down to Doubtful Sound

She took me down to Doubtful Sound

She took me down to Doubtful Sound

She took me down, she took me down

She took me down

She took me down

She took me down

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“LIVE AND DIRECT”

White paper leaves

Scattered across the Ventura Freeway

She’d bet her last cent

That this had been someone’s unsold screenplay

Violent and crass

Filled in with underdeveloped clichés

She’d written one, too

And now she was driving it out of LA

Her modern romance

Written entirely on spec

She thought it might sell

But what she really wants to do is direct

Live and direct

She ditches the car

She breaks the heels off of both of her shoes

This credit card

Can’t take too much more abuse

Hikes to a hotel

Checks in and opens a tab at the bar

She opens the script

But he catches her eye before she gets too far

This tired hotel

This low desert town

Her modern romance

Nothing but fury and sound

Live and direct

He can’t keep it up

She can’t keep it down

Dreams and hotels

Burn them all down to the ground

She turns on the light

She sees the script lying there on the floor

Goes back to the bar

Where she sits lighting matches and being ignored

She holds the flame to Scene One

And she lights it and thinks what the hell

She couldn’t care less

If this blaze gutted this whole damn hotel

Her modern romance

Written entirely on spec

She thought it might sell

But what she really wants to do is direct

Live and direct

*

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“NEWBERRY SPECTACLE”

She lost time, she lost space

Stepped out of line and lost her place

She lost skin, she lost face

She lost gender age and race

And so the dead wheel rolls

She turned around and lost another

Down among that Newberry Spectacle

Had she but known just how little time was left to her

She could never know how little time was left to her

She savings, she lost grace

Lost the plot and lost the pace

Got short time and got short shrift

A victim of pronominal drift

And so the dead wheel rolls

She turned around and lost another

Down among that Newberry Spectacle

Had she but known just how little time was left to her

She could never know how little time was left to her

She used to think it was punishment enough

But now she seems to like it just fine

She’s come to feel that if they just could see the artistry

They couldn’t judge her unkind

She’s circumscribed within a triangle

Enduring the Pythagorean Curse

In between the jaws of the Nightmare Child

And something that might even be worse

Down in the Newberry Spectacle

Within the Newberry Spectacles

Whoa, oh

Longside the Newberry Spectacle

Deep in the Newberry Spectacle

Whoa, oh

Straight to the Newberry Spectacle

Down by the Newberry Spectacle

Whoa, oh

*

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“NORMA CORONA, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”

Norma Corona, what have you done

To invite such an inquisition, put yourself

Under the gun?

Creditors and jilted boyfriends

Are calling looking for you

Norma Corona, what did you do?

You wear your telephone crown at a

Come hither angle

But you’re letting us down, you’re letting us dangle

Ah ha, Norma

Norma Corona, how could you leave us alone?

Sometimes we know that it’s for you ’cause it’s Spanish, sometimes

We can tell by the tone

Taking your calls is taking all of our time

There’s nothing left

Norma Corona, WTF?

You wear your telephone crown at a

Come hither angle

But you’re letting us down, you’re letting us dangle

We got your number, that’s the

Luck of the draw

Caught up in your wake, caught in your thrall

Ah ha, Norma

People Magazine, we must protest

She was surely one of the sexiest

Fifty people alive on earth that year

Preferential treatment of the famous will not stand

We call for:

Full human rights for non-famous people!

State recognition for non-famous people!

Violent revolution on behalf of the non-famous people!

Like

Norma Corona, where did you go?

We’ll have you know we’re not the only ones who

Want to know

Norma!

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“DOUBLE BLADES”

Sometime it seems like a whole lot of trouble

Not to run down the people in front of me

Sometimes I find it’s easier to fall

Sometimes I find it’s best to sit in the bleachers

And just take in the scene as it passes by

Children doing figure eights and all

Sometimes you want to sit back and observe

Sometimes you’re ready to go

Sometimes you feel like you get what you’re wishing for

Sometimes you don’t even know

Double blades for you, my beautiful daughter

Double blades across the lake

Double blades across the ancestral water

Double blades so you can skate

Sometimes it seems like the sled that you’re sliding on

Gets a little bit off track

Slips off the left or to the right

Sometimes I dream that the bike that you’re riding on

Gets a little too far ahead of me

Slips around the corner out of sight

Sometimes you want to sit back and observe

Sometimes you’re ready to go

Sometimes you feel like you get what you’re wishing for

Sometimes you don’t even know

Double blades for you, my beautiful daughter

Double blades across the lake

Double blades across the ancestral water

Double blades so you can skate

And dreams come true

And dreams come true

Sometimes you wish for a heart-covered spy-scope

And you throw your coin into the wishing well

Sometimes the order doesn’t seem so tall

Sometimes I can’t even find one at Walmart

Or in any old drugstore in Keyser

Sometimes I can’t even find one at the mall

Sometimes you want to sit back and observe

Sometimes you’re ready to go

Sometimes you’re wishing for clear skies and sunshine

Sometimes you’re wishing for snow

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All lyrics © The Armoires