SPLENDID INSINCERITY
Mulberry Coach
All songs © 2007 Morris & Fisher


1. Felipe

Everyone knows, when Felipe goes
He won't come again
Here for a day, then he's gone away
And now the memory ends

Felipe was the kindest boy I ever knew
Always shared his toys, and when he grew up
He shared his money too
A boring job around the house to do?
He volunteered, and the floor was swept
And the dishes cleared, and a smile for you

Everyone knows, when Felipe goes
He won't come again
Here for a day, then he's gone away
And now the memory ends
(En busca de mi alma me fui)

I heard Felipe sing a melancholy song
We didn't know that tune, but when he hummed it
We tried to sing along
And the melody played on and on
Like a serenade for the family who will remain
When the music's gone

Everyone knows, when Felipe goes
He won't come again . . .

Echoes of the Earth
Ask what is beauty worth
A wren, a firefly
You navigate the path
By some celestial math
And when you hear the call
Well, there's no returning

I wasn't home the day Felipe went away
But the note he left in the children's room
Said he just couldn't stay

Everyone knows, when Felipe goes
He won't come again . . .
En busca de mi alma me fui
En busca de mi alma me fui
En busca de mi alma me fui


2. Hemiola (instrumental)


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3. Prime Mammal

There's a lot of snakes out there
I've been bitten so often that I almost don't care
Scaly-skin forked-tongue guys
They slither in, and roll those snake eyes
Yeah it's bad and it's bound to
Drive me right out of my mind
But I finally found you
Honey you're one of a kind

You're my prime mammal
Warm-blooded and good to me
Prime mammal
Ooo you hold me so tenderly
I know that I need to be sure of you
A rat is a mammal too
But every time you touch me, well I can't explain
But something happens in my reptile brain –
You're my prime mammal

I once knew a bird of prey
His talons were sharp, I don't know how I got away
And there's so many fish in the sea
I reel 'em in, and then they get their hooks in me
Well I know they're only
Obeying the natural law
Now I don't get lonely
Every morning I love you more

You're my prime mammal
Warm-blooded and good to me
Prime mammal
Ooo you hold me so tenderly
I know that I need to be sure of you
A wolf is a mammal too
But every time I kiss you and hold you tight
I wanna battle for your animal rights –
You're my prime mammal

I even tried a microscopic mister
He just about ruined my health
I let that virus into my system
He started making copies of himself

Several billion years of evolution
I'm humming with the honeybees
A fine design, a new solution, I say
Thanks for the mammaries
Thank you for the mammaries

There's a lot of fakes out there
I've been bitten so often that I almost don't care
Scaly-skin fucked-up guys
They slither in, and tell a lotta lame lies
What a world we live in
Where only the fittest survive
But I would not give in
And now I can take you alive

You're my prime mammal
Warm-blooded and good to me
Prime mammal
Ooo you hold me so tenderly
I know that I need to be sure of you
A man is a mammal too
But every time you touch me, well I can't explain
But something happens . . .
You're my prime mammal


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4. The Locked Room

I heard a voice when I knocked
I tried the knob but the door was locked
And who's that slinking away
A deep dark shadow from yesterday
Now I'm no mastermind
These are clues I was meant to find

I know he's been here before
Did his thing and then reappeared
On the other side of the door
They do it with mirrors and a Santa Claus beard
And a speech so perfectly timed
Before committing this perfect crime

Let me in the locked room

Who should I arrest
The usual abusers, the viper's nest
"You bad seed, you rotten fruit"
Intimidate the witness into standing mute
The locked room is the only
Place you've ever been
Here you stay, so alone
No one else will be getting in

Let me in the locked room


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5. When I'm in London

Lying on this sofa
Won't you turn that racket off
I know you're there
You just coughed

I need my eraser
Where's the gummy one I brought
Can I delete
My last thought

When I'm in London
Riding the Underground for hours
Where did I get on?

Angel wing begonia
Petals fallen to the ground
Hush now, you can't
Make a sound

When I'm in London
I'm always looking for my mother
And my little boy

And the butterflies
Wave their little flags
Some are blue

I shine so bright
When you're gone

When I'm in London
I always stay in Sedgwick Gardens
Where do I belong?

Where did I go wrong?


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6. Freeze or Burn

Salamander grows another digit
But this lizard isn't missing his opposable thumb
As for me, I've made my last widget
Disability, here I come
A cold December night
Frosty bite, frosty bite

(And the bank manager said:)
You'll receive a prize for your endurance
But now I will be calling the security guard
Sorry sorry sorry you got no insurance
We'll up the limit on your credit card
Man his teeth are so white
Frosty bite, frosty bite

Give me a reason to believe you
Show me the way it has to be
I feel the heat
Two hundred and thirteen degrees

I'm just trying to make a living
Trying to support my family
Help us please
Two hundred and thirteen degrees

Frosty bite, frosty bite
Two hundred and thirteen degrees


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7. My Own Devices

The rain's been coming down for I don't know how long
I feel I must decide, but I could be wrong
The moment came around, oh there it is again
I made myself myself but I don't know when
Years went by while everybody's trying harder than I would
They overcome their limitations somehow better than I could

Leave me to my own devices
Living day to day
Am I the vase or the doubled faces
The statue or the pile of rubble
Time chips away

You don't know where to stop – better not to start
You watch the rock erode and you can call it art
The moving finger wrote a little late for me
A haiku on the wall of my destiny
Language has a job to do, then you have something to say
All my words got tired of working so they went out to play

Leave me to my own devices . . .

I'm losing confidence in any race I'd actually win
I'll devise a private exercise for me and my twin

Leave us to our own devices
Living day to day
Am I the vase or the doubled faces
The statue or the pile of rubble
Time chips away

The rain's been coming down, but I could be wrong
I feel I must decide, for I don't know how long
The moment came around, but I don't know when
I made myself myself, oh here it is again


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8. That Box from Japan

My neighbor bought one and he said, Come over
You've got to check this puppy out
A row of tween-daughters on the sofa
Staring at some yahoos twist and shout
I don't know what they're singing about
And when I made it home, my family values all were blown
My doctor said, You need to interact
And then she unpacked

That box from Japan
I don't know what it's doing here, I cannot understand
That box from Japan
Better watch it, while you can

The stories you're retailing don't amuse me
Unless they're not intended to
If that's reality, then please excuse me
My kids have better things to do
If I can ever get 'em back from you
I could say "I forbid," I could remove us from the grid
But now there's boxes everywhere we go
Everywhere they show

That box from Japan . . .

Well, we must not blame the Orient
We invented it here and away it went
And they sent it right back with a signal boost
That's one peacock come home to roost

Some simulacrum tried to give me credit
Then take it back in 2010
I had no appetite until I fed it
Will the morning after ever end?
I guess I never knew that life was green and red and blue
Bright as any sundown on the screen
And I wish I'd never seen

That box from Japan
I don't know what it's doing here, I cannot understand
That box from Japan
Better watch it, they're watching you through
That box from Japan . . .


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9. Inspiration

Ooo you can pray to a doorknob if it gets the job done
Every flame, every heart-throb, well it could be the one
Like Beatrice and Dante
Charles Kinbote and John Shade
Inspiration is a funny thing
You never know what'll make your little bell ring

Ooo a roman numeral outline and a place in the sun
For good measure a deadline, well that won't get it done
But when you're lonely and heartsick
That's when the goddess will visit
Inspiration is a funny thing
You never know what the midnight light will bring

From the basement, through the trapdoor
Comes a statement that they can't ignore
Never heard it before, never knew it was there
Now it's in the air for evermore

From courtly love to Courtney Love
Is not as far as you might think
Troubadours and bad guitarists
Dip their pens in the same ink

Ooo you can pray to a corncob if it gets the job done
Every flame, every heart-throb, well it could be the one
Like Dulcinea and Quixote
John Hinckley and Jodie
Inspiration is a funny thing
You never know what'll make your little head ring

From the basement, through the trapdoor
Comes a statement that they can't ignore
Never heard it before, never knew it was there
Now it's in the air for evermore


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10. Tongue-Tied Blues

In the land
Of the blind, the one-eyed man
Lost his mind, no one understands him

The lion too
If he could talk to you
You wouldn't make
Any sense of it, if it's all a mistake
Why do we keep on moving the air around
And dance on this uncommon ground?

Well, the front man gave it all he had
But he got such bad reviews
He sang another chorus of those
Tongue-tied blues

Sound the alarm
On old McDonald's farm
The farmer's wife
Heard a pitter-patter and
Reached for the carving knife
We need somebody new to address the crowd
And tell them carving's not allowed

Well, they offered you the microphone
And I know you won't refuse
Here comes another chorus of those
Tongue-tied blues

The nightmares of Montgomery
Are the reveries of Kabul
The local buzz was digitized, now we'll
Sing in global babble
(English Scrabble with no vowels)

The lion spoke
It could've been a knock-knock joke
The Cyclops too
Found his footing and
Put on the crown for you
Why do we keep on using our words at all?
Throw away this blue and emerald ball

Well, we might not be so dumb and deaf
We got nothing left to lose
I can't stand one more chorus of those
Tongue-tied blues


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11. Hal Riggs

Her friends at the office throw Sandy a party
She's finally tying the knot
Everyone's happy or so it would seem till
She sees what the mailman has brought
The handwritten missive is twelve pages long
It comes from a colleague, Hal Riggs
"Sandy, you must not do something so wrong
You know we belong together"
Says the letter from

Hal Riggs
What do you want?
Is it really me?
Hal Riggs
I want no part
Of this destiny

"Why did he write this?" says James, her fiancé
"I've never heard of this creep
Did you go out with him?" "Yes, only once, it was
When we broke up for a week
Please don't be mad, when I see him tomorrow
I'll tell him to leave me alone"
Just then the phone rings, when James says hello
A voice whispers "Oh, wrong number"
But I wonder, was it
Hal Riggs

Sandy sits down next to Hal in the breakroom
"Find some other woman to write to
I'm getting married, that's all there is to it – "
"To a man who won't love you like I do
I saw the announcement – December the seventh
Trinity Church, one o'clock
That's Pearl Harbor Day, hey maybe you'll get bombed
Maybe I'll come to the wedding"
"Don't you threaten me!"

Hal Riggs
What do you want?
Will I ever learn?
Hal Riggs
Your broken heart's
Not my concern

James wants to kick ass or call in the cops
"Honey no, we can't go start a war
I still have to work with him when we get back
From the honeymoon, just like before"
They argue for hours and then compromise
On a private security firm
"If this Mister Riggs tries to spoil your big day
He'll see we don't play
That's no joke – have you got a photo of
Hal Riggs?"

Such a long engagement
And finally James said
"Well, I guess we should
I know you want to have some babies
And I guess we could"

The day of the wedding it feels like it's springtime
And everyone's grateful for this
Nothing occurs to disturb the exchange of
The rings and the vows and the kiss
But at the reception it all seems so strange
And Sandy retreats to the lobby
Guards with batons have surrounded the door
And a man on the floor
And he's crying – "Sandy, I'm trying"

"Please let him get up, he's not going to hurt me"
"My God, Sandy, who are these men?
I only came here to wish you the best and then
You'll never see me again"
Sandy stares at his trembling hands
"Thank you," she whispers, "now go"
Watches as Hal disappears in the night
"Who was that guy?"
"No one . . . no one . . . just

Hal Riggs
Now say goodbye
It wasn't meant to be
Hal Riggs
Lay down and die
For the love of me

Hal Riggs
What do you want?
Is it really me?
Hal Riggs
And now you're gone
And I'm finally free


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12. The Great Undo

Almighty icon
Erasing what went bad
A single nibble of the mouse
And I'm back to what I had
Before I made the changes
Before I hit Restart
Before the impulse to revise
Removed you from my heart
Let's return to Version One
All our blunders are undone

The Great Undo
We'll try to get it right
The Great Undo
Shine another light
Illuminate this long night
I wonder where we're going now
And how the story's gonna end
It's all unknown to me
But all I need is you
And the Great Undo

I get nervous when they warn me
"You gotta leave those words alone"
When preachers worry chapter and verse
Like a dog chewing on a bone
With splendid insincerity
They ask you to accept
All those pulpit fictions
Well there's one thing that I kept
I believe we're born again
Here is where and now is when

The Great Undo
We'll try to get it right
The Great Undo
Shine another light
Illuminate this long night
Don't know why it feels so hard
To let the old times fade away
I need unlimited love
You know you need it too
And the Great Undo

Well, the first thought is the best thought
Don't need another take
It's a folly that turned out to be
My lucky break
Here we are at Version One
All our misery undone
The Great Undo . . .

Well, we told you 'bout Felipe
How we thought he'd gone for good
But we're going to meet that boy again
He was just misunderstood
He moved into a nicer neighborhood
(Try to get it right)

The Great Undo
Shine a better light
Eliminate this long night
We're running low on memory
Or else the power's running out
It doesn't matter now
I love you anyhow
I love you anyhow

 

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