They Killed Us. 

The days came when nights seemed to be just for laying down, and boys like what we were aren’t what boys like now.  And there was a time the radio would play a song and let it go, but we saw them marching us to stand by that wall. And they killed us, not from danger. And they killed us, keep moving on. Seemed clever to make the space and too steep to feed us. And they shot Dan in the back of the head with the rest of us looking on.
The backbench was super young and called out for rolling heads. The gallery had bet they gonna give them what they want. And when someone stood to tell ‘em off and claim that we were groovy, speaker told them, No one’s groovy since Cass Elliot was lost. And they killed us, done by strangers who had practice from shooting other ones before. And they killed us, this rebel bunch of worn out players. And the speaker said, Thank God that Mama Cass had seen them off.
I blame the parents who taught them how to listen. Gave fodder for the blues, pottery for rhythm. They’re taller than they look, and it’s harder than it seems. Dropped when I was only just 14.
You see, I didn’t mean to say I was anything but guilty of maybe loving Bernstein past his prime. And the member from Waterloo said, Give us just a verse or two of Krupke, then march yourself to stand and face the fire. And they killed us, not from danger. And they killed us, keep moving on. Seemed clever to make the space and too steep to feed us. And they shot Dan in the back of the head with the rest of us looking on.

Mother’s Got a New Son

You and I are two of a kind. Both in trouble, both now older. And the fight came with the borders. First for lovers’ first reformers. Mother’s got a new son, your mother’s got a new son, and so does mine. Long since this fight seemed worth winning, we should make it two against them. I’ve seen this a thousand times; my father’s seen it more than I, but mother’s got a new son. Your mother’s got a new son, and so does mine. So does mine.
Feel the weight under my fingers. All we’ve ever known is gone. Run the risk of losing pleasures never known. Never known.
Left a rolling stone, still rolling. My saint Louie, your boy Robby, both alike and called to tender. You can have what’s mine, remember Mother’s got a new son, and so does mine.

The Duke in Berlin

Wing tips fluttered away from pedals swayed by the dots that you gave. There’s no longer a way I know of to play. Bridgers will move to Paris. Billy will try to make his own way. For a brief time today, I notice that you were my Strayhorn, Danny. And I was the Duke in Berlin.

Philadelphia

These boys are not your friends, so I would think about coming in. Firm hearts believing that they almost swallowed us whole. This time I know it’s you. They’re counting everyone two by two. And I hardly notice that you’re almost linked at the arm, but they should warn that kid with the harm. ‘Cause he don’t know, but best believe it, oh ‘cause, yeah I was born back in Philadelphia. The boys get rough and come back for more. It’s not too late to start a war, never too late to start a war.
This town’s already full of college kids in their fathers’ stores, and I’m a firm believer that we just don’t need anymore. This time I know it’s true, in back of everyone turning screws. They’re not hard to come by, and they’re not hard to kindly ignore. But I don’t do that stuff anymore. ‘Cause they don’t know, but best believe it, ‘cause I was born back in Philadelphia. The boys get rough and come back for more. It’s not too late to start a war. Yeah, I was born back in Philadelphia, the girls are tough and they ask for more. It’s not too late to start a war, never too late to start a war.

No, Nothing

Nothing, no, nothing could ease me now and wash this face from flies and no longer the man I saw there, and tore him down to me.
Stay there and wait for the air to cool down, and sleep but not for me. Off and kill yourself for moving. Hardly moved until I took him.
And once I was born I was told outright, Follow the boy, bonnie prince was I. Onward they cry over sea to Skye. Baffled our foes by the shore won’t try, no. Many away fought the day to night. And soft shall ye sleep, over sea to Skye.

The Water

I troubled the water, but I drink from the dough. Big Sand is a gold tooth, but it’s no place to go. I troubled the water, and I wait for the blind. They wait for the hammer, but the hammer is mine.
I never wanted the same old sort who eat with their mouth shut, and don’t burn holes in my fort anymore. It’s a “favor” spelled the way it should (from your brother).
They troubled the water, left me with the goat. This pipe, black and smoking, goes right down my throat. There’s sugar in one hand, but there’s trouble in both. This cure for a dry heave says the whole lot get soaked.

They said calm your nerves, get back to your bothers. No sense beating this one, we’ve seen the end of her, take some glue paste and blanket fur for your daughter.
Honestly I sound down whether bodies have a purpose, too. Marigolds they use for food.

Scuttled Down the Rill

What day is it? What time is it now, and how long have I been here? Ticks on watches somehow understate the affair. This rail don’t go nowhere—not that I can see. If mine were fake, it would have a plot or some kind of endgame: cops and robbers, shoot ‘em ups, or just a parade (just ticker tape in spades, I must be waiting on). Just yours and older girls get scuttled down the rill. Not Delta blues or just a prince of colonies, so what am I supposed to do with twos and threes? Just hands that can play. Can’t win a game, these tables tilt away. Lift my head, feet first is fine. Arch my hands to a point and straighten my spine. It seems cold, but it always gets warmer with time. Just yours and older girls get scuttled down the rill.

Beauchemin

They call me tailor, cutting coats for Beauharnois. And I’d lie if I would say I don’t care to ever be him. Well, suppose I kill him. Stitch my way into the folds. I would look good in his chair, the curly hair and long robes…believe me, I know I’m not a killer. But it’s simple as trimming the collar down a bit from bone to bone. I don’t understand people who write the words, saying, Well, oh, well, oh well, you know. Oh, I’ve talked it over once – No! I know I’m just a tailor.
I would be sweeter, gentile demeanor, elegant leader stalked by ladies in the street. And they’d sing my praise to God in the highest of achievers. Oh, I’ve talked it over once. No, I know I’m just a tailor.

Rabbi

First in line, manic as those thirsty for the drink. They call, Rabbi! Rabbi!
Mine was sweet, bitterly so, I wander ‘til I wait, and call, Rabbi! Rabbi!
First he sang Norma and Werther, then Rabbi. The Rabbi sang the fugue. The Rabbi sang for you.

Danger

Danger. Why am I always in danger? Why am I always the first to strike down?
Weightless. Kept my fears in the basement. Held my breath ‘til the cornerstone’s down and we’d laugh at the rubbled old ground.
Carvers of the hills and streams, pumped this blood to me. Danger will not count the words from whence it came and honestly sounds like I’ve heard before. Even when the sun came down, I heard the bloody boots around, and even when the world said, “Go on, children. And save me from the likes of drill and blade men.” The weight of the world.
And danger. Held my feet to the flame, sir. Held my teeth to the grinding stone, and gripped my chest ‘til the wind had blown in.
Mothers of the decent men blurred by change again. Danger will not hold the boys from going mad and honestly sounds like I can’t ignore. Even when the walls came down, the bedroom and the eyes were found and even when the girls said, “Go on, baby. And prove to be the kind my mother raised me to follow along.”
Carpenters and cavalry, builders of bones in me. Danger will not count the words and when it came to convoluted rules don’t ever see the light of judgment day. And I wait for her, but in my mind, it’s overtones and overpriced. This Godforsaken crowd, they never knew the likes of what became and honestly sounds queer to me.
Flying birds are all I’ve ever seen. Feels like I’m the first to fear the evening.
And danger. Why am I always in danger?

The Light of Western Stars

For the range in the evenin’, and the doggies are runnin’. For the girl back waitin’ for her buckaroo home. For the kids in the morning who’d give their left arm to be on his side, without warning.
Yippee-ti-yay. Yippee-ti-yo. Yippee-yi-ki-yay.
For the crooks and the bad guys, who’d give their left arm to go far and hide until mornin’.  

Beacon

Oh and who will survive this cock and bull divide? Oh you know it was me keeping this land in sight, and keeping alive all those who sail the night. Just a beacon I hung with you nowhere in sight, and a pinch in the neck would be too late to set it right.
Wish I never met you. Never met you at all. I wish I never met you, and left it to themselves to fall. The blaze it wasn’t me, was out there by myself. I told you he was wrong, you need somebody else. I wish I never met you, never met you at all.
Oh who then am I? Just a humble passer by, not a man who’s been working this point all his life? And keeping it bright, ‘til the royals built it right. Then all of a sudden you’re here for the light. And a hundred a year disappears like I wouldn’t mind.
Wish I never met you. Never met you at all. I wish I never met you, and left it to themselves to fall. The blaze it wasn’t me, was out there by myself. I told you he was wrong, you need somebody else. It serves him right to flee, it didn’t take that long. The fire set the trees, I saw it from the lawn. I wish I never met you, never met you at all.

Summer is for Boys

Here we stay, and wait for the nays to fall off again. The forge ahead is long; narrows and falls remain. This far is fine, too south seems no place for our sort to find what we’ve been starved to get: space for to clear our minds, and room still to stand behind. Summer is for boys, but some bends they won’t enjoy. We stood alone here and don’t care about what everyone had said, to turn the northwest on. Summer is for boys, but some girls can’t stand the noise. And who could blame them, when the channel dries, and anyone who knew it would are all but gone?

La Lune Tire la Marée

La lune tire la marée. Je veux cette force aussi.
Pas de vent, ou de gravité, juste moi-même.
J'ai besoin d'un cœur, pas d’un soldat, 
vous attendez dans les bois. 
Où est le temps pour le bonheur? Damner conflit! 
Vous essayez trop, vous êtes dangereux.

Plus près, le plus proche de moi. Le plus proche d’ici. 
Lever la tête, pieds en avant, mon dos est parfaitement plat. 
Il semble froid, mais il fait toujours chaud plus tard. 
Milicien, vous avez déjà tué quelqu'un!
Milicien, aux mains sanglantes. 
Je ne peux pas vivre. Je suis endormi.