More Songs for Dreamsleepers and The Very Awake

by Christians & Lions

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1.
02:41
They say to move along, but it’s hard to get along when something’s not right with my air. They say to move along, but it’s hard to get along with what’s going on over there. And maybe the boy with the lead in his side needs attention, for without it he’ll surely die. Ignorance is bliss and it’s something we’ll miss if we choose to open up both of our eyes. So I says “You been hit, how hard’s it hurt?” And he says, “Not as bad as the two in my back.” Says “I find it pretty hard to move with this subjection around my neck.” And maybe the boy with the lead in his side would like to get a chance to tell his side ’cause ignorance is bliss and it’s something we’ll miss should we choose to open up both of our eyes. You know, I’m having these symptoms, too, is there really nothing any of us can do? So I says “You been hit, how hard’s it hurt?” And he says, “Not as bad as the one in my lung.” Says “I find it pretty hard to speak with this compulsion tipping off my tongue.” You know, I’m having these symptoms, too, is there really nothing any of us can do?
2.
01:57
So we built burning cities at the top of our notes, now we doubt our commitment to God and Country or Job and Comp’ny. Though no one wants to break their arm to reach for what they don’t know, this truth’s in you and it’s bruising through when you’re provoked: open notes from open throats rattle down closed-circuit hopes, like all those little bones that choke up, lonely in the cold. So it’s for all those who gave clinch pins as engagement rings, who make “Amen”s instead of making amends, who let someone steal their kisses, who hit the bottom of a bottle and forget to put the message in it. We know what we don’t deserve, but we’re oh-so-tired and we “have no time,” and the only thing that we were taught was where, when, and how often to draw lines. But if we only find ourselves in decision. And we only find ourselves indecision. Will we have found the solvent or the solution? And is there merit in either both? Please don’t choke up in the cold.
3.
02:56
Over the tracks, with a sack full of matches, I’m gonna burn all the letters I’ve wrote. Don’t worry, darling, I ain’t brave enough to catch it, this fire that’s licking my hopes. Besides, if I went up like a soaked rolling paper, I’d still be fast-burning-out. And what’s the use of a good, strong noose when your problem’s too much hanging around? So I walked back crashing, my pockets full of ash in the latesummer moon’s holy glow. that loved me to death on the banks of every river, where every breath in brought me home. ‘Cause if home’s where hearts is beating like a bird’s wing, then I’ve many homes and I should: said a man who wasn’t homeless, “I’m always just traveling/ taking walks around my neighborhood.” Wisdom: it comes but age don’t unlock it. You’ve got to spend all the passion you’ve found. With more change in their heads than in all of their pockets, some can show you the way to slow down. Sometimes we all need to slow down
4.
I’ve got this frozen virus in my blood, like my words are the warmest I could ever touch. I’ll limp west with the sun and sleep the days under wide-eyed illusion. But that beacon has seen me sleeping, knows the ruse; the rouge, the spill that pools to pull at my shoes and leave me to stand, forever free, forever dead. Please stay alive. I can’t beg again with a back that’s bad as your eyes and ears–oh my. Please stay alive. I can’t ask again with a tongue that’s worse than my pride Oh Angels, keep the windows open wide as English bathtubs running through miss Annie’s head (the one she cradled in CO). I know I shouldn’t talk so low of high life when I’ve got no frame of reference; all the ones I found were broken with pictures torn out and strewn asunder under summers laced with tracer fire, copper pieces, and fishing wire. (Rolled in the covers over tumblers filled with vacation. Empty, it reeks of self-deprecation.)
5.
It’s like some overbearing tax on praxis; how I’m supposed to feel bad for this when all I’ve sworn to do is hold soul like a cold in haunted bronchial tubes. And my love for you is harmless as fallen fruit. ‘Picked up quick how nice a jaw cradles a fist - you made it look like an accident and no (no) one finds truth among tooth that march ’round my parched mouth slinging science to the beat of their own gums. Ooh (ooh)-ahh-la-lies we advertise. Bastardized pidgin insult, a lingua franca of heroes and villains: Failure. I don’t know it any more than I know success - it ain’t my mess. I won’t baby you, won’t wipe your mouth when the shit-talk stops. Oh, stop.
6.
Each year my hands look more like my father’s: scars of a yesterday, but palms up to tomorrows, knuckles dug in rusted earth to loose the saplings. Follow the hollows to the trunks and wrap my arms around the sorrow. And the seeds that I will sow slow as the earth turns will be the snares that strip the ankles, (trip to hide me from the half-truths,) the garden, hard and soft, holding me, older than the oak trees. Mama didn’t raise no fool. Each year my feet look more like my mother’s: heels feel for days before and toes hold to the next end, pounding out the sounds of freedom, loud and out the quicksand, kicking down the rocks to talk the language of the wetlands. And the paths I will travel spring up ringing with their own voice, rolling over stones and soles, (fast awake, in-tune,) rising from the dust to trust themselves with their own noise. Mama didn’t raise no fool. Each year our eyes are looking more like someone else’s: taking in the things they string together through distraction. We burn what we learned in urns to piece together action, or mistake a greater dose of hope for peace and satisfaction. And I sustain the pain and shame of the slings and the arrows launched from the mouths of folks that I once thought I knew. Yes, I’ve known love but not how to love in spite of these blows, so I keep on and hope I learn to. For now? Course I can hear ‘em, but I can’t listen to folks who have the curse of sight without the gift of vision; they’re deep as summer puddles, just as easy to see through, and Mama didn’t raise no fool.
7.
03:52
Blue smoke and cider sounds curled above our heads like tongues of fire under wires in a big City Hall stands tall and every pregnant pause is giving birth to answers I can’t understand. “We’re only starting a racket ’cause you’ve started a racket!” I scream, “We only want to level this city because things are so uneven!” But I don’t think they can hear me. Like hot breaths between my praying hands could make my fingers glow, like the psalms between my palms are all I’ll ever need to know, I count out hymns for hims and hims and hers and hers and hims-for-hearses, turn to face the wind and silence flying sins in words-like-curses. “Church and state had their day in the centuries before,” I say, “The future is unwritten if we hold what can erase.” But I still get sad ripping up ads that the Marines send to friend every kid in my family. (‘Cause I can afford to.) I told her once, “There’s a great line in this song I heard, But I can’t tell you unless something really big happens to us.”
8.
October and over. There`s never enough words for my throat. So cold in the root cellar suburbs. Low in the lowlight, and high on tender sparks. Water comes through wood over my head same as it would through the hull of a dead ship sailing on a slow sea. And I`ve seen too many wrecks to think this year. That horizon’s climbin’ high’s it can. This ladder flatters gravity, and the bones we hold tremble our knees, but they’ll be worn no more. There`s all those girls and all those boys who liked me better when I was weakened by loss in all the right spots, but I don`t need to slap people in the face.
9.
02:25
Hitting and missing, (mostly missing,) I sit kissing where your face was an hour before. Both spell disaster with some kind of far-off capital L. But I’ll never say it, dear. Like tossing bread at the bird in the park; it’s not going to help anything anyway, or make anything go faster. And I’ve been sure that she’d be this ghost that she’d never meet, that I’d find her dragging dumb luck down cold nor’easter streets. But I’ve fallen into your arms like a collapsed prizefighter, and so far I’m crawling this year like it’s going stale. Braced to embrace, I’m all sick-grins in (Break my jaw on a Goodnight, I slip grins in,) the corner of the living room, back of the kitchen, (the back of the hallway, the back of the kitchen,) and tonight I’m wrapping myself in linens like gauze and staunching thoughts from running where they ought not to run. I’m not lost, I could slow it down, but I Doubt I can–I can’t stop. (Well, gosh, it’s hot. I want a body where my head is finally the top.)
10.
04:53
Like a block party with smoke. Little godspittle showers the hair on our arms. My hair still smells like burning church. I know folks brought under the grace of some fog there. I know folks joined in word and deed there. I know the love that won’t falter without an altar. Holy Holy Holy Hiss on the house when a steeple calls out: the AM static of a thousandth rescue mission. Your lashes were fastened, fascination came second, and the minutes were mashing up symbols with actions. My Is bled all over the page, and I couldn’t cross my Ts without a prayer and a bowed head. In the dark, back to ark, my feet were bare. There was glass in all of the parking lots.

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Originally released on ECA Records, thanks to Dave Conway.

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released November 21, 2006

Ben - vocals, guitar, saw; Sam - vocals, bass; Matt - guitar, organ; Chris - drums; Chris B. - trumpet. Recorded by Jack Younger at Basement 247 in Allston, MA with a full band. Mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East in Boston, MA. Art by Michael Washburn. Design by Matt Sisto.

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Christians & Lions Providence, Rhode Island

A "veritable underdog super group" (TheDig) formed in 2004. Benjamin Potrykus (Bent Shapes, Receiving End of Sirens, etc), Matt Sisto, Chris Mara, and Chris Barrett are joined by Fiona Wood, Chris D'Amore, James Weinberg, and Sara Honeywell.

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