MENAGERIE
Mulberry Coach
© 2012 Morris & Fisher 


1. Rebirthdays

We dropped the needle on the first track
My father started to complain
Johnny's mixing up the medicine
And something happened to my brain
Never did go back to normal
Living color all the time
But Dylan, Janis, Grace, and Jimi Hendrix
They led me to my life of crime

Rebirthdays – now it's looking like a smart move
Rebirthdays – we got nothing to prove

I was too curious for high school
You were too young for Vietnam
And both of us had seen the awful truth:
You can't crawl back inside your mom
No we couldn't get a good job
Could not look out for Number One
My brother bought a yellow microbus
We drove it straight into the sun

Rebirthdays – say goodbye to Mickey Mouse for me
Rebirthdays – I got my own menagerie

People are so funny
When they raise their own families
They don't know what to say
Were you a seeker
Or were you an idiot
Back in the day

By the time we got to Woodstock
They were half a million strong
So we turned that microbus around
My brother fired up the bong
No we never heard no Jimi
Never wallowed in the muck
We're just a-rolling back to Washington
A little bit of bad luck

Well you can find it on the Internet
Google "Ancient History"
But are those objects in the mirror
Closer than they appear to be?
Up and down remain the same, boy
But left and right are now reversed
And that's enough of all this doubletalk
The view is bad and getting worse

Rebirthdays – well I guess it's gonna have to be
Rebirthdays – have to be good enough for me


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2. Hypnagogia
You're not quite sleeping and you're not awake
The lake is trembling but the lake won't break
All that's left is all you make – in Hypnagogia
Oh Hypnagogia

Thought I could leave my thoughts behind
But I was wrong
You gotta bring your mind along
And now my thoughts are leaving me
Where I belong

Now you lay you down to sleep
Spelling COW and counting sheep
You loved your mother when you were young
Now she utters this foreign tongue
In the land of Hypnagogia

All that's left is all you make – in Hypnagogia
Oh Hypnagogia

Thought I could leave my thoughts behind
But I was wrong
You gotta bring your mind along
And now my thoughts are leaving me
Where I belong

 

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3. Sharing the Elements
We're doing fine
We bless the bread and wine
Oh we're doing great
We transubstantiate
We make our first communion long ago
'Bout the time the zygote comes alive

A lot of stuff
Blew out of that cosmic ball of puff
Lucky us
Intelligent dust
We notice just enough to realize
It won't take a miracle at all

We're already sharing the elements
The iron and blood, the sulfur and mud
Already sharing the elements
Molybdenum dreams and hydrogen beams

And though our past is checkered
We can check the fossil record
And we find ourselves entirely at home
An apple's just what happens
In that garden made of atoms
Yeah the snake is carbon-based as me and you

We're already sharing the elements . . .

Devonian apartments
Filled with Ordovician garments
Handed down as feathers, fur and skin
And we continue mining
All the gold and tin and silver lining
Tó remind us what we're doing here

We're doing fine
We bless the beer and wine
We celebrate
And for those who came in late
The story so far is a mystery
We don't need to understand at all

We're already sharing the elements . . .

 

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4. If Wishes Were Horses
Once upon a time
As simple as this rhyme
There was a man
With time upon his hands, oh no
Oh no

His soul is earthbound
Buried in the rocky ground
Somehow, it will be found
He'll get it back again
But until then, oohhhhh

Change is overdue
The manatee and the cockatoo
Should never be held in any zoo
And I want to be free
To be me
Too

If wishes were horses then all of the beggars
Would never stop riding because they can't choose
To be in their horseshoes won't make you feel better
Because you can't refuse
If wishes were horses

There is a man
Who's doing all he can
Down goes the sun
The job is still undone, oh yeah
Oh yeah

I bucked up the cowardly lion
Gentled the fretful porpentine
God is threatening to resign
Now don't go blaming me
I tried to be
Kind

Now I beg of you
Give me something to
Make my wish come true
And make this gallop stop, oooo

If wishes were horses then all of the beggars
Would never stop riding because they can't choose
To be in their horseshoes won't make you feel better
Because you can't refuse


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5. Nobody Move
All the pieces in the great board game
Take their places – I'll move them all the same
I finally know how I
Want my world to end
Just you and me and our
Dearest friends

Nobody move
Nobody move
We got nothing to prove
So nobody move

Bite your tongue now – keep your eyes closed too
Maybe somehow we'll stay where we're supposed to
You can call it entropy
I call it love
We've got our home and the
Sky above

Nobody move
Nobody move
Nothing more to improve
So nobody move

And I could've been a woman in motion
If I only danced better
I'd flip and wriggle like a fish in the ocean
When she moves in on you, I won't let her

All the people in the great board game
Take your places – we'll play it all again
Nothing's wrong now – nothing to arrange
Maybe somehow we will never change
You can call it accidie
I call it love
We've got our own and the
Sky above

Nobody move
Nobody move
We got nothing to prove
So nobody move

 

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6. Loyalty Test
Did I say the right thing to upset you?
Did I promise to call and forget to?
Was I insufficiently supportive?
Will I love you forever and ever? – well, sort of

You're making reproach into a virtue
And I'm not even trying to hurt you
When I'm trying to hurt you, you'll know it
You blamed me from day one – I thought you'd outgrow it

You review the catalog of everything I'm not
And now another cross-examination I forgot
To study for

(don't turn over)
Have I passed your loyalty test?
I'm not gonna take it again
I just can't fake it again
No you can't have both the loyalty oath
And the loyalty

At my family gathering they bored you
They said hi, then got drunk and ignored you
Should I call everyone and berate them
And tell them how you felt – by now I could do that
Verbatim

A touch of insecurity is lovable I guess
But your fragile ego will come tumbling down unless
I prop it up

Well, have I passed your loyalty test? . . .

Somewhere in the world there's another woman
You've mistaken for me
She will make the grade, she will never fail you
That's a guarantee

Do you really believe that I'm able
With a Number Two pencil and a times table
To answer the questions that frighten and confuse you
I know you can't help it – it doesn't excuse you

Well, have I passed your loyalty test? . . .

 

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7. Broken Lives
So we're gonna stand up for Natty Jesus
And a big fat boo for Rush Limbaugh (and that other guy)
It's all so easy when you're drawing with a crayon
And we are reasonable folk
But – let's say that Jesus lives inside you
And that big bad Rush is in there too (and that Mormon guy)
What you gonna do now
Forget the finger pointing
Can we make one out of two?

Broken lives
Broken lives

No we're not Jerusalem divided
Shedding blood on common ground (or it ought to be)
Your heart is holier than anybody's holy book
Than any temple or mosque
Well your enemy's hiding over there, sir
He's using your own eyes to see (and your mouth to talk)
It's the Jungian thing, sir, but I'm no private joker
Everyone's singing now – sing!

Broken lives
Broken lives

Loyal soldiers don't know the war is over
Disarm them now and give them something else to do
At your internal conference on reunification
They'll keep the peace until all parties can agree

Step it up, step it up for the local Son of God
And the Devil's just a walk across the aisle (maybe down the hall)
It's all so easy when you draw them with a crayon
You color inside the lines, in simple set designs
My kid could do that, forget the finger painting
That target is so obvious, how could you miss?
Ooh Lord you can do better than this
If I wasn't real busy here, I'd take the time
To tell you what's wrong with you
But I got a life of my own

Broken lives
Broken lives

 

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8. Somehow Like Glasgow
The tale of how I broke up with him
I wrote it under a pseudonym
There's no protecting the innocent
"I love you more" was what I meant

It was somehow like Glasgow
And a lot like home
The room was bitter cold
We warmed ourselves as best we could
It was somehow like Glasgow
That's a lot of good
We burned our hopes in the fire
Like Glaswegian wood

The sky was full of volcanic ash
A foreign tongue but I felt the lash
I tried so hard to come back to you
But I'm better off alone, oh you know it's true

It was somehow like Glasgow . . .

When I look at your face
I can tell that it's only a dream
And yet we go on dreaming
When I look in your eyes
I can see it'll never come true

And now I could be a different girl
In another time, in another world

But it's somehow like Glasgow . . .
We burned our hopes, burned our hopes in the fire
Like Glaswegian wood


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9. Recovery
A fixer-upper round the clock
The sudden shock
When my home went underwater – and disappeared
I started to hallucinate
I felt my fate
It burned me like a fever – and burned away

And now the mercury was normal
Venus smiled at me and said
You can run, you can walk
We can talk when you're done with

Recovery
Recovery
Congratulations on your recovery
Recovery
A lot is resting on your recovery

A cartoon world of birds and bunnies
Heard the gun
Booming on Saturday morning – and died of fright –
We went out to play cause we would not learn
The recess turned
Into the great recession – the great divide

I found the first step was the hardest
I took my time and told my tale
It was black, it was deep
They said keep coming back

Recovery . . .

Each new day is bright and naked
You say buy and buy and I got
Zero interest now
Some regimes will never change
The big flat screen that shows my age
The rows of Lowenbrau
And highbrow dreams
We found the last step was the longest
We knew our time was running out
In the heat, in the shade
Have you made a complete
Recovery . . .


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10. Stop!
He was just one of a corporate herd
Organic is not the word
A chemical diet made him fat and sick
Inhaling dust and mud and shit

His feedlot life was a living death
No shade, no grass, can't catch your breath
They jammed him in to a tiny pen
Removed his horns and balls and then

They took him for a little ride
Terrified and hurting
Now don't look behind that leather curtain

I don't mean to rant and rave
I just want you to feel
A lot guiltier than you do now
Gotta have the flavor you crave
But when you grill up your next meal
Remember what they did to that cow

He loved his mother when he was young
The feel of the udder, the gentle tongue
The cattle prod when he wouldn't budge
That's when he learned the human touch

Into the slaughterhouse he was led
They tried to stun him with a blow to the head
It didn't work but they didn't mind
You can't slow up the assembly line

And so they hung him upside down
Yanked his throat out, took his hide
All the while his eyes were open wide

Now I don't mean to rant and rave . . .

Stop!
Surely we exaggerate
Every cow can't meet this fate
Humane killing is the law of the land
Factory farming can't be that bad
Well really, we appreciate
Your desire not to torture and mutilate
Just eat meat that's cruelty-free
You can trust the industry
To tell you the truth about all they do
To keep those cattle happy for you
But if you ask to go see for yourself . . .
Stop!

Suddenly they are not so friendly
Suddenly you've become the enemy
And if you want some real drama
Try showing up with a video camera

(cow solo)

He was just one of a billion cows
Is he tasting good right now?
You absolutely have a choice
You've got a conscience, you've got a voice

Remember where the flesh came from
That neatly shrink-wrapped package
Didn't turn up in the store by magic
Stop!

I don't mean to rant and rave
I just want you to feel
A whole lot guiltier than you do now . . .

All songs © 2012 by J. Morris and Katie Fisher

 

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