Grandfather

by Tigers On Trains

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1.
Open all your doors and windows, Let the lightning in your house I have been seeing your cold face Ever since my blood went south Take a long ride to Chicago, Steal some wind to stir my bones Throw my soul into the great lake, Make a lighter trip back home. You had sharpened all your teeth, Painted your fingers black and blue When Ishtar's yellow smile broke my knees, I blamed it on you. I've been tearing down the paintings That portrayed you in a field All of my wounds have reopened, If any of them had healed. But I was wrong, I was wrong, I know. Thank God, I can rest again. I think I have been receding Into ever-thinning air You insist that love is here If it was ever anywhere Felt the devil in my pillow, Somehow thought that it was you He convinced me of your sorrow, I really thought that that was true. Of course I was wrong. Yeah I was wrong, I guess. Thank God, I can see again. Crossed the great Peconic canyon With a fire by my side, Just to find some shadow of you, You had vanished with the tide. I hid my face and kept on walking Til my lantern wouldn't light, Hearing all you'd said more loudly Well it turned out you were right. And I was wrong. I was wrong, I know. Thank God, I can rest again.
2.
03:02
I died on Good Friday from swimming in smoke It was worth it And I felt all the world start to sing in my name, And they drank my blood Well I spent some time in the blackest abyss It was peaceful And getting reborn, well it hurts like a bitch I do not recommend it I lied on Palm Sunday and said I was pure And faithful And I realized the spirits, they lived in my feet How they itched and made me sane Then I disappeared like I hoped that I would In my past life And I realized the Lord's watch, it runs a bit slow He answers each prayer a century too late.
3.
03:27
So I spent half the day scaring crows with my neighbor, And got pretty scared of myself And that night I drank and told jokes with my lawyer, Who'll still probably take all my cash Yeah, he knows that it won't be long Before I am as good as gone So it's best to just go ahead and move on So I waited around in the pews until sunset, And watched all the good men go home And I wondered if maybe they'll head to the brothel, Or drink and then go for a drive What does a saint do with his time, when outside of God's lazy eye? Well I wish those thoughts would stay clear of my mind I don't believe that there is any system Set up to apportion bad luck It chooses a man from a lineup at random, And feeds on his soul day and night Well it takes some nerve to assume That unlucky soul could be you So I'll just keep those thoughts to myself
4.
03:36
I see Muhammad at the end of his life, The devil bird escaping his mouth He had sung the sweetest songs to me I see Vietnam collecting our blood, and John's reflection in the black wall He was sad, but he was finally free And I see four horsemen, four prophets Four arms of a cross leaning upon you You were spending all your Sundays counting And I see twenty demons for every man Who falls asleep next to his fortune He is stone and you are stone and I am stone And I'm wrestling the blue-skinned bull His pulling veins are full Rivers of disbelief And I'm talking to the ten foot man with the axe in his hand For some reason he knows me I see Babylon passed out on the floor Don't know whether I should wake him His alarm is ringing out my ear drums I see six directions all at one time And seven sleepers now surround me A hundred years of never knowing what it's like My memory's a no good cheat His fertile crescent greed is starting to sting my tongue Now I'm looking for a sunburnt God With a straight-eye shot Yeah he owes me some favors Well I see corporations buying our souls, Putting heaven out of business Anything to kill the competition And I see eleven year olds waving their guns, Fighting wars their fathers started Just trying to make an honest living And I've seen twenty years inside of this trench, Passing time and dodging bullets Well it's fine if you can take the violence But I'll see death before I see any rest, Maybe that's the way it should be So I think it's best to just cover my eyes
5.
03:09
We are filled with wild woods And spitting tangled branches every word we shout I think it's best we cut that out, Let the trees and bushes settle down But doubt is watching us again, No longer laughing at our faces stained with sun I'd like to put him in his place So we can put this off another day You are the good side of a coin, I am the disembodied ghost of a better man But you only saw me upside down If I knew how to I'd turn around So we just stare each other straight, And try and try and try to see the same But all that talk just seems to fade Into an orange sea of lions' manes 'Cause I'm tired of you, Yeah I'm tired of you So please stop coming around 'Cause every time you do it brings me down
6.
02:54
So we were married on the silk road, A thousand giants throwing rocks And just as I pulled back your white veil you were struck We had your funeral in the ocean Off the coast of Mozambique That's where you said you always wanted to live So I said, "Lay her here so she can always hear the trees calling her name, And they'll wrap their roots so gently all around her frozen frame" So I carved you into marble, Placed you high up in the frieze So old Herodotus would write entire books about your glory I gave your necklace to a poor boy He didn't thank me, he just left And I heard your ghost playing the organ again And I said, "Play that song that echoed through the church when you were born" But then the music stopped and I never heard another sound from you So I was walking on the silk road, Heading home for the last time And you were sitting waiting for me on the side Beneath a tree I just kept walking I didn't see
7.
I spent a holiday alone in the dark, Trying to read the tea leaves And I caught my shadow speaking old African languages again Went to a party at the funeral home, Out on the city limits Me and the skeletons were hanging 'round the back too tired to dance And I thought the railroad was an old time-machine, And I got on and wished real hard And me and John Wayne spent the day trapped at the bottom of a glass I was reduced to a repeating line of code, Numbers in a computer And I followed circuits through the mainframe and eventually got lost Guess I am not cut out to be a program Guess I am not cut out to be a gunman Guess I am not cut out to be six feet under ground Guess I am not cut out to be anything at all Anything at all
8.
05:05
I flew out to see the valley get filled in A plain of pavement where a gaping mouth had been Who am I to label anything a sin? I just watched and I am watching it again Light up when you turn into a pine tree Settle, there is nothing but to be free Too late to be worried for your safety So long to the soldier you could not be There is no ghostly honor To keep me facing straight There is no balance for my dead weight I saw a merchant lying flattened in a ditch Crying curses in an ever-falling pitch Now I'm the conscience of the man pulling the switch Though I see both sides, I cannot tell which is which Go down to where Helios is weeping Your knife took his love while she was sleeping Too late to be asking for forgiveness Your shame is a never-ending sickness I pulled the poison flowers from my grandfather's grave And ground them into paint for my face I felt Atlantic justice pulling my muscles down To carve me into something unsound Alexander...
9.
All the bones in my back Start to rally up against me And my veins tighten up And constrict like snakes In the choir you stand, Start to read from the Qur'an I can't do my part, I am not a man So I kneel down in the fireplace So the ashes can clean my face But I don't know what suffering is But I'd find that out if it would clear your sins If you froze to death, I would lay you on the table And I would fix you up With metal parts And I would sew you shut With the strings from your mother's harp And I would run you down Just to test your heart So I lie down for a month at a time, Let the moss grow on my northern side And I shake it off every time you're near But there's just no point, you can't see me clear no more So I'll change my shape into that of Dionysus And I will tie you up with screeching vines And I will take you down to the coastline where I'll feed you To the great white whale that haunts your mind And he will spit you out and you'll be a different person With your serpent soul all rearranged So what's done is done Just be glad that no one saw you When you disappeared into desert air
10.
When your father's lungs started to fill up, And the sickness spread to his thinning blood Well you pulled the sheets tight over your head, It was you and God and a safe warm bed And you thought love was a bullshit lie 'Til you saw the tears in your mother's eyes And you spent a year in the garden shed, Just to get things straight in your fuming head When those white-tipped waves broke against the house And the door came loose, and the dog got out It was you and me, we were losing teeth Saw our own ashes laid across our feet And you drank yourself right down into Hell It was you and God in a cheap motel And you dug your grave on the bathroom floor, And finally found what you were looking for And you said, "Death is not a curse, it's the only thing that's keeping us alive."

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SS008

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released July 8, 2010

All Songs Written by Tigers On Trains.
Mixed and Mastered by Gregg Andrew
Produced by Greg Andrew and Tigers On Trains.
Artwork by Billy Duprey

Tigers on Trains are: Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs

TigersOnTrains.com
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