More Songs for Dreamsleepers and The Very Awake

by Christians & Lions

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Originally released on ECA Records, thanks to Dave Conway.


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.




Christians & Lions Providence, Rhode Island

New England DIY dreamfolk collective founded 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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Track Name: Longboy
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?
Track Name: Stay Warm
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.
Track Name: Bones
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
Track Name: Sexton Under Glass
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.)
Track Name: Gimme Diction
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:

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.
Track Name: A Root’s Grave is Above Ground
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.
Track Name: Skinny Fists
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.”
Track Name: Tender Sparks (October and Over)
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.
Track Name: Some Trees
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.)
Track Name: Landing
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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