Houdini in Reverse (1998)

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1.    WAKE ME UP (WHEN WE GET THERE)
2.    DANCE MONKEY DANCE
3.    GOOD OLD DAYS
4.    THAT’S MY MIDDLE NAME
5.    ONE & ONLY
6.    REVENGE OF LAZARUS
7.    I BELIEVE IN YOU
8.    OLD GREY HOUSE
9.    CAT’S PAJAMAS
10.    YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER NOW
11.    HOUDINI IN REVERSE
12.    YOU’RE THE ONE

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

WAKE ME UP (WHEN WE GET THERE)

See the handsome young man speakin’ his mind
You wouldn’t think it would take all that much time
Seems like everywhere you meet someone who knows
Just exactly the way it’s gotta go
The speakers scream and the megaphones wail
Just like a snake swallowin’ its own tail
Spare no expenses in buildin’ fences
Did I happen to mention that I couldn’t be less impressed?

But don’t mind me, it’s nothing crucial
I am only desperate as usual
You take the wheel and drive awhile
I’ll ride behind –
Wake me up when we get there

I woke up from a night-time vision
Walked right into a three-way collision
People took pictures, wrote down everything I said
Before movin’ on to the baby born with three heads
Saw a whole way of life and a world that once had been
Sacrificed to satisfy somebody’s drunken whim
What some must do to pay the rent
Is beyond belief and beneath contempt

But don’t mind me, it’s nothin’ crucial
I am only desperate as usual
You take the wheel and drive awhile
I’ll ride behind –
Wake me up when we get there

I’m only waitin’ for a miracle
Just one last chance for a human to stand still
And dream and lean upon a windowsill
And see the scenery
No expectations of gettin’ out of debt
Just wanna catch a ride and catch my breath
For one last moment before I’m chewed to death
By the machinery

See the young woman dancin’ with the chemical glands
See the mind of the outcast snappin’ like a rubber band
In a crippled crevice of a city wall
Where life is cheap if it’s even there at all
Politician says “Why help the needy?”
Scientist says “It’s all a matter of breeding”
All I’m lookin’ for is a few feet of space
Without somebody’s derriere shakin’ in my face

But don’t mind me, it’s nothing crucial
I am only desperate as usual
You take the wheel and drive awhile
I’ll ride behind –
Wake me up when we get there

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

DANCE MONKEY DANCE

Dance monkey dance, with a fire in your pants
And your head lost in dreams of tomorrow
You spin ‘round the floor, down the long corridor
Of dark vacancies and of sorrow
Though the day of your doom
May be comin’ up soon
‘Neath the white frozen moon
Monkey, dance

Dance monkey dance, in a spell, in a trance
In a well-tailored velvet tuxedo
You can save the day, you make the band play
All the way from here to Toledo
With your tail up so high
So proudly you fly
Through the day, through the night
Monkey, dance

Dance monkey dance, while you still got the chance
Before somebody comes and destroys you
The whole world’s asleep, all the wolves, all the sheep
All the men, women, girls, and the boys, too
As the crows gather near
And the sky disappears
Through the smoke, through the mirror
Monkey, dance

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

GOOD OLD DAYS

The morning sun comes down like a hammer
The ones that aren’t struck dumb just stammer
The meek ones crawl and the clever ones clamour
Up the tower where the gold still shines

Everybody’s in costume but nothin’ much is doin’
Silicon Mona Lisa and Leather Rasputin
Go divin’ in dumpsters to sift through the ruins
Of whatever is left out there to find

The good old days are gone at last
Thank God, I thought they’d never pass
The good old days are gone at last

He was the pride of his parents but nothin’ could hold him
He had stereo drugs and wall-to-wall boredom
The sissy boys fear him but the bully boys court him
For reasons of a monetary kind

His life was too soft, he needed some friction
A taste of the whip, some polite mutilation
Reborn as the savior of a new generation
Now they sell his blood like vintage wine

The good old days are gone at last
Thank God, I thought they’d never pass
The good old days are gone at last

Left me standin’ like a lamp with an empty socket in the rain
They pulled me inside out like a poor man’s pocket once again
As the howl of the misfit faded out
On the wind like the whistle of the midnight train
(in vain)

Now it’s Saturday night in the Land of Amnesia
The freaks in the Big Top pass out the anaesthesia
As Leather Rasputin and Silicon Mona Lisa
Disappear in a stretch limousine

And it’s blessed be the flag and blessed be the nation
Whatever it stands for, whoever creates it
Pull up the covers and let’s celebrate it
As our last prayer fades from the screen

‘Cause the good old days are gone at last
Thank God, I thought they’d never pass
The good old days are gone at last

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

THAT’S MY MIDDLE NAME

Darlin’, I can see
Things are not going as you planned
All the promises that were made to you
Seem to’ve been written out in sand
And you’re not sure if you want someone to stand with
Or if you want someone to blame
A steadfast soldier or a scapegoat, darlin’
That’s my middle name

We stepped out of the garden
Into an avalanche of doubt
Now no matter where you’re standin’
The spotlight always seeks you out
And you’re not sure if it’s trouble that you’re wantin’
Or if it’s trouble that you’re trying to contain
A sun-scorched desert or a cloudburst, darlin’
That’s my middle name

That’s my middle name in times of worry
That’s my middle name, and all you gotta do is say it
If you’re wondering why you came here
Even if you’re wondering
Why on earth you’re stayin’ –

Now I see you in the shadows
And I see you in the light
I love the way you roll the dice
With both your eyes shut tight
And you’re not sure if you wanna pack it in for awhile
Or if you want to make the neighbours complain
A Sunday driver or a four alarm fire, darlin’
That’s my middle name

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

ONE & ONLY

I was stranded in a city where the only known truth
Was industry and labour, hard work formed the noose
For the love of strange beauty and the fancies of youth
And the blue sky was blocked by the factory roofs

Solitude and loneliness, starin’ out the window
Lookin’ in the fields all smothered in the snow
Waitin’ for a sign to show me where to go
Countin’ every minute, not so long ago

The minds were straight and narrow and the friends were few
But there was always someone handy tellin’ me what I should do
I listened to them all then did what I wanted to
There was no choice, one voice comin’ on through

Singin’ out: Baby, don’t you know me?
I’m the one and only
Sanctified and holy
Lonely as a hounddog bayin’ in the moonlight
Check it out, baby!

I went into the city of saccharine and steel
Where the long-faced ones tried to show me what is real
Sterilized and compromised with so much to conceal
But I never could kneel nor settle for the deal

Never had a doubt I was on the right trail
Never gave a thought to what would happen if I failed
Runnin’ for my life with a dead man on my tail
By rail or sail, direct mail –

Singin’ out: Baby, don’t you know me?
I’m the one and only
Sanctified and holy
Lonely as a hounddog bayin’ in the moonlight
Check it out, baby!

As I explained to the judge and jury too, I only got one
As I explained to the judge and jury too, I only got one
As I explained to the judge and jury too, I only got one
So do you –

So don’t run and hide when you hear me call
I ain’t no Sunday driver, I’m in this for the long haul
Can’t be erased nor painted over like
Graffiti on the wall, no no no

Some like to weep and some like to sleep
You can read the news and count the sheep
There’ll always be enough to get yourself in deep
And raffle off your soul for what you cannot keep

Some speak of the future, some of what has been
Makin’ you forget that you’re a human, bein’
But life ain’t a dream and I ain’t a machine
So put the pedal to the metal, honey, don’t forget the gasoline

Baby, don’t you know me?
I’m your one and only
Sanctified and holy
Lonely as a hounddog bayin’ in the moonlight
Check it out, baby!

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

REVENGE OF LAZARUS

Too many cooks spoilin’ the broth, little darlin’
Too many saviors on the cross
I’m goin’ out for to read the writin’
On all of the coins that get tossed
Five lonely mothers in a welfare line
And an irritated cop on the beat
Skinny little hippy man puts a fine shine
On the shoes on everybody’s feet

But not mine

Slack-jawed glassy-eyed enterprising college boy
With a collection of electric power tools
Big mouth back-slappin’ dirty little hypocrite
Sittin’ on the family jewels
He got a bridge that he built in nineteen sixty-nine
And it’s still collectin’ toll
All of the money that money can buy
And a lease on everybody’s soul

But not mine

Come along with me, honey, take ya out where
All the weeds and the wild things grow
It’s just a step away from the slaughterhouse gate
Or at least it was a week ago
Where no-one hides from the rain or remembers your name
Or cares what side you’re on
Or pays much attention to the wind’s direction
‘Cause all of their hope is gone

But not mine

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I BELIEVE IN YOU

I got a heart that takes no chances
On anything it can’t see through
It’s very trained to be aware
Of every trap and every snare
But I believe in you

I got a mind that won’t be swayed
By any passing point of view
I keep it set into its groove
Where it’s not easily moved
But I believe in you

I put my trust into so many things
And one by one I seen them fall
But like a fool who never learns
I’m willing to risk anything
Anytime I hear you call –

I got a love that strains and rages
I’m afraid of what it might get up to
I keep it under lock and key
So tell me how can it be
That I believe in you?

It’s closin’ time down in the gamblin’ house
And they’re takin’ all the tables away
It’s time for one last bet
Even though we’re deep in debt
Well, you can’t win unless you play

I got a life that rolls and plunges
Who knows where it’s gonna lead me to?
So much uncertainty and fear
And so much that’s unclear
But I believe in you

So much uncertainty and fear
Still, while I’m here
I believe in you

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

OLD GREY HOUSE

There’s an old grey house by the side of the road
Faraway from the highway where nobody ever goes
Who once lived there, nobody knows
In the old grey house by the side of the road

It’s an old grey house half-hidden by the trees
With the shutters fallin’ off, hangin’ down in the breeze
With the laneway gone, overgrown with weeds
It’s an old grey house that no-one needs

Someday someone must have built it there
For some good reason
But now it is just cluttering up the air
It’s so displeasin’

One day they say there was parties there
There was dancin’ in the front room, people sat in every chair
You could hear the music float out on the still summer air
There was revelry and laughter, people came from everywhere

But now the old grey house sits in the middle of a field
With the windows boarded up and the doorways sealed
With the roof cavin’ in and the paint all peeled
It’s an old grey house with nothin’ to steal

The old grey house just sits there takin’ up ground
And that is all
Why the hell don’t someone tear it down
Put up a shopping mall?

As the old grey house rots and decays
Getting’ uglier and uglier with every passin’ day
Couldn’t sell it for a nickel, couldn’t give it away
‘Cause it’s all old grey house, and it’s a big disgrace

Have you ever seen anything so dumb
And don’t it make you wonder?
Waitin’ for the bulldozers to come
And plow it under

There’s an old grey house by the side of the road
Faraway from the highway where nobody ever goes
Who once lived there, nobody knows
In the old grey house by the side of the road

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

CAT’S PAJAMAS

Cat’s pajamas, angel wings
Lovin’ cups and broken strings
It ain’t enough, it ain’t enough
Without your love
To keep me standin’ here
Tellin’ lies and cryin’ tears
Without your love

Been out in the wilderness, past the past fence and beyond
Seen the seven wonders of the world, they only made me yawn
It ain’t enough, it ain’t enough
Without your love
To keep me sittin’ on this fence
Pretendin’ that it all makes sense
Without your love

God said to Jesus: “Listen to me, son
If that’s the way they’re gonna treat us, I think we’d better run”
It ain’t enough, it ain’t enough
Without your love
The truth may still be true
But what good’s it gonna do
Without love?

You fill my cup to overflowin’
You drain my head when I get plugged
But I just don’t know where I would be goin’
Without the light of your love

Monkey feather, grizzle bone
Pink umbrella, purple telephone
It ain’t enough, it ain’t enough
Without your love
To keep me hangin’ on here
Long after you’ve gone, dear
Without your love

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER NOW

The moon is comin’ up over the trees
As if even it’s got someone it has to please
This room is crowded, though just the two of us are here
Waitin’ for the fever to break
And there’s still so much that I feel I’ve got to say
But nothing that hasn’t been repeated for ten thousand years
Outside a crowd is gatherin’, cryin’ out for vengeance
They’ll cry that way forever now, all along the road of good intentions
But you should know better now
You should know better now

We stepped off a cliff, but survived that fall
And now return again to confront the same old wall
And you’re thinkin’ of a doorway
But is it the same one I’m thinkin’ of?
There’s a tavern across the street where the old soldiers go
Now that the war is over, now that life is slow
Upstairs from a funeral parlour
And they call it ‘Heavens Above’
They got a brand new singer but it’s still the same old song
Where a man’s more punished for doin’ what’s right
Than for what he knows is wrong
But you should know better now
You should know better now

Outside there’s a figure
Movin’ through the shadows of the night
Could be another murderer,
Or another blackbird takin’ flight
As a blind man walks straight into the sun
Cryin’ out: “Won’t someone please turn on the light?”

Laughin’ Boy’s uneasy, sittin’ on the windowsill
He got so much space to fill
And so much time to kill
And tonight he’s desperate,
Like a ghost without a house to haunt
As you raise your eyes to me from the book you’re readin’, then
Let them drift down slowly, like the silence that descends
When somebody finally decides what it is they really want
And I’m hopin’ that you heard me
And believed me when I said
That my love for you is real, not just another accident
But you should know better now
You should know better now

And I should know better now

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

HOUDINI IN REVERSE

Never had a stroke of luck but it was all bad
Never got a decent chance, wouldn’t know it if he had
The only road he ever knew was the one that went from bad to worse
That’s why everybody called him Houdini in Reverse

Anybody could’ve seen he was doomed from the start
Never got an even break but it broke all apart
And all the parents of the town
Would cry “My God, that boy’s been cursed!
Sons and daughters, stay far away from
Houdini in Reverse!”

He had a club on his foot and a sty in his eye
And an ugly rash on his knee
Deserted by his mom and dad, the only friends he had
Was the birds that sang in the trees
He could hear their sound from the hole in the ground
Where he lived when the people threw him out of the town
Sayin’ “Please stay far, far away from us,
Houdini in Reverse!”

One day somebody came and put him on TV
Sayin’ “Here stands the most afflicted man in all of history”
Suddenly all wars did cease, heavy storm clouds did disperse
‘Cause everyone was so grateful they weren’t
Houdini in Reverse

They put his face upon a postage stamp
As a symbol of hope
And everybody came to visit him
Lowered down upon a rope
All professors, priests, and presidents,
Even the Pope

When he died everybody paused to remember him
Then went right back out to fight all the wars again
But on his gravestone marker, which was relieved upon by birds
It said: Don’t Get Too Close For Here Lies the Ghost
Of Houdini in Reverse

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

YOU’RE THE ONE

Always on the wrong side of a bloodbath or a mudslide
Or on an ocean liner when the ocean’s at an ebb tide
You’re the one, you’re the one

Always in crossfire of some maniac for hire
Or in the eighth floor window when the seventh floor’s on fire
You’re the one, you’re the one

You’re the one that makes this life worth livin’
You make this constant slaughter almost worth forgivin’
And because of you I wouldn’t miss a single minute of it
You’re the one

And even when I’m weary,
Just to know that you are near me
Is enough to keep me pumpin’ when the world outside is dreary
You’re the one, you’re the one

You ask me where the light is, I haven’t got the slightest
All I know is where you are is where the dark is brightest
You’re the one, you’re the one

You’re the one that makes this life worth livin’
You make this constant slaughter almost worth forgivin’
And because of you I wouldn’t miss a single minute of it
You’re the one

People come and offer their solutions
They’re all so certain
But I see nothin’ here much worth salutin’
Or preservin’

Except the thin blade of your smile as we walk the moonlit mile
Behind the backdrops of the world where the casualties are piled
You’re the one, you’re the one

Always on the wrong side of a bloodbath or a mudslide
Or on an ocean liner when the ocean’s at an ebb tide
You’re the one, you’re the one
You’re the one

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

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