Major General

by Franz Nicolay

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1.
east bay ray seemed like a pretty nice fellow but that one guy from philly, i wonder if he knew what he was getting into it was the greatest karaoke show that i had ever seen who could blame him? certainly not me. they hit "holiday in cambodia" and 500 people screamed and he gave us a nice compliment before "moon over marin" there were wisecracks in the upper deck from people in the scene but it sure looked like we all still wanted to believe so i'm sorry jeff whats-his-name if we didn't take you serious but the punks all still sang along when we got to the chorus i'm sorry jeff whats-his-name if we didn't take you serious but the punks all still sang along, still sang along, still sang and they went whoa... what happens to the road crew when the contractor goes down? who takes the helm when the captain moves to higher ground? those rangy old sled dogs still know which way the race should go all those rudderless old sailors can still tell which way to row did you pack up your kit bag and leave your troubles by the road? well, i've tried to outrun problems, man, the problems they followed johnny appleseed didn't need to tend the seeds that he had sowed the other farmers grabbed the reins and they got by on their own i'm sorry jeff whats-his-name if we didn't take you serious but the punks all still sang along when we got to the chorus we all still need a leader to support us but the prow needs a ship when he gets into deeper waters we all still need a leader to support us but in a pinch a hundred punks can still do the job for us They go whoa.... we sang along.
2.
Hey Dad! 03:37
i got a memory like a stream with a stick the good ones flow by the ugly ones stick gather around and block up the flow 'til the kids come down looking for something rotten and wet to throw rainboots on and a plastic pitchfork if it weren't such a pleasure, it'd only be work raincoats on, and run for the door if it weren't such a pleasure, it'd be just a chore hey dad! the river's running clear it's a good old harvest, those rotten leaves'll be good for topsoil another year hey dad! that river's running clear good for the topsoil, but bad for the deer mirror mirror on the wall what happened to those good things that happened last fall? well they all washed away with a nod and a grin sometimes a victory's just something you win well they all washed away with a wink and a nod the losses they gather like leaves on a log. hey dad! the riverbed's clogged it's a long lonely winter, and a long hard slog go get your sister, grab that stick don't let 'em build up get it done quick can't you feel it? what can i say? the river brings, and the river takes away i can see it! i see where it goes! it came down from the mountain, and it went with the snow what can i give it? what will it cast away? what will it raise up? what will it bring come day? i can speak to it! i know what to say! rinse your hands in the river, then raise them to pray hey dad! the riverbed's clogged it's a long lonely winter, and a long hard slog go get your sister, go grab that stick don't let 'em build up get it done quick.
3.
at an anarchist fortress in roma we laid in each other's arms on the stone after all those nights and all of those fights i never felt less alone we stole all of the liquor and cocaine at the mermaid in old new orleans the clowns ran the bar, and jack drove the car it all smashed, c'est la vie you are always surrounded by lovers you are never as broke as you seem but i might have fought for the wrong side it was never this cold in my dreams we stopped and picked sage in montana won big at the poker machine bought a round for the bar, twenty bucks goes pretty far at only a dollar a dream you are always surrounded by lovers you are never as broke as you seem i still think i fought for the right side but it was never this cold in my dreams just call 'em nine musketeers, still more family than friends i'll burn a candle to you in some great cathedral. of course i'll burn it at both ends. bonfires and bridges, beginnings and ends sometimes i don't even care what it all meant but i never forgot my lines i still hear them all the time i always tried for the right side of life but it was never this cold in my mind you are always surrounded by lovers and you are never as broke as you seem but i might have fought for the wrong side it was never this cold in my dreams i might have fought for the wrong side it was never this cold in my dreams.
4.
Dead Sailors 03:03
5.
You are not in danger, loud as you may scream Life is not a fabric tearing at the seams This is not a mountain, high as it may seem Do we not live in dreams? You may wake And find your heart is beating by mistake You can't take more of this You've washed the blood off from your wrists But you may sleep And find yourself a lover who is more adept than this At all the permutations of a kiss As he appears to you Just so he is made to be true You are not in danger, loud as you may scream Life is not a fabric tearing at the seams This is not an ocean, wide as it may seem Do we not live in dreams? In our sleep We wander weightless, I can't wake you Even if your life can take you Up inside it's arms and break you We go our separate ways But I'll look after you always Walk due east, away from sunsets I will walk due west, fast enough to follow them We'll go our separate ways But I'll look after you always So you can sleep And find yourself a lover who is more adept than this At all the permutations of a kiss If in your dreams he can exist Just so he is made manifest You are not in danger, loud as you may scream Life is not a fabric tearing at the seams You are not a mountain, high as you may seem Do we not live in dreams?
6.
she yelled "fuck you, franz" from the back of the ambulance but she whispered "i'll still fuck you" the next time we danced so i took the chance i don't think that i was wrong she broke my nose, and i bled on her nightgown she took pictures, we did it with the bloody silk still on you think anything was wrong? sometimes i ain't quite right, but it ain't the same as being wrong i could say that i still love her, but what do i know about love except love songs all i know is what i once saw in a girl or two and what they once thought about me she said "i'll cut you if you don't come see me or if you prefer, i'll cut you if you do come see me" do you see what i mean? you see what i mean? "will i see you in texas?" "if you're lucky cowboy" "how about new orleans?" "i got chased out by the flood could be i'll be in baltimore by fall" maybe i don't know anything at all there was a florist from outside san diego, a politician's daughter a slovene punk with one gold tooth her gypsy grandma bought her one ukranian squeezebox player, one half-mexican ballet dancer a music journalist or two, two korean preacher's daughters a cartoonist with a thing for knives, an activist, and someone's wife out of these i'm trying to make a life out of these i tried to make a life i know this song may not paint me in the best light but i'd rather come off honest than come off right i do like people, i want them to know that and to be known but i can only say that from behind a microphone i want to try and explain why i did the things i did so i won't pretend not to be the unreconstructed id i want to try and explain why i do the things i do 'cause up here in these hot lights it's just between us two
7.
I can feel your body turning. I can still taste your last night's wine. I can hear your blood is singing. I can feel your hand in mine. I still taste tears like stagnant oceans. Even though you never cry. I hope I die and am forgotten. I hope it's quiet where I lie. Well it was one of those days The kind where even flies can't be bothered to rise above the haze The kind where I can walk the downtown streets Listening to Brian Wilson and "Songs of Love", and saunter to the beat And when the sheets are crumpled at our feet We sleep with only fingers touching - breathless - helpless in the heat. The cars ride by on roads alive Heat rising like a serpent's tongue, licking windshields as they drive. You drift in and out of focus now. As my eyes adjust to darkness, I fleetingly wonder how I can feel your body turning. I can still taste your last night's wine. I can hear your blood is singing. I can feel your hand in mine. I still taste tears like stagnant oceans, though I never see you cry. I hope I die and am forgotten. I hope it's quiet where I lie.
8.
9.
Nightratsong 03:00
It's a clear day down on second avenue I'm staring at the wall and dreaming 'cause I don't have a view Neither I nor him nor you has any clue of what to do We're fidgety and nervous. I can't help thinking of you. My throat is getting tight. I'm waiting for someone to call. If i could afford the bill I'd put my fist through this wall. I got 800 CDs. I'm still heading for a mini-mall. 'Cause right now not a word of them is any use to me at all. Cash in your chips. The pot is getting full. Even if I had something to add, I'd never make it through the door. I'm too tired to turn out the light. No strength to start a fight. But it's alright. Nothing but a friend of mine. It's alright. Nothing but a waste of my time. I spend my days in the dark, and I spend my nights in the light. I wander in this world of phantoms trying just to stay out of sight. I got a desperate streak inside me that I gave up trying to hide. As it is I'm getting better at saying, "Hey, I'm alright." And less and less I mind, well, I don't care that it's a lie 'Cause what the hell, I'm still alive; who'd notice if I died?
10.
X-Games 04:11
it doesn't take much these days to trap me a look, a smile, a touch and you've got me i fall in love the way folks race cars jump from cliffs, build rockets, shoot for the stars i get the same thrill, get the same rush to the heart follow the east side highway in the dark it's the danger that gets me chance that you'll let me get close to your heart as we walk down the hudson river to battery park as we walk down the hudson river afloat in the dark as i jump from the cliffside, lit brief by a spark such a fool am i, such fools are we we bring salt to the ocean, fish to the sea we'll sing songs to our maker songs that make me feel young we'll blaze trails in the woods of our hearts before we're done it's so strange how it gets me the chance that you'll let me try out for the part as we walk down the hudson river to battery park as we walk down the hudson river afloat in the dark as i jump from the cliffside, lit brief by a spark cast fire into fire, render hot air unto air each to his own bed, whether barren or shared it's the fear that directs me the chance that corrects me to get close to the part where i walk down the river and up to your heart as i jump from the cliffside, lit brief by a spark
11.
This world is an open door. I'm waiting for you to come in. It's a brand new apartment with hard-wood floors. It's a brand new face. Brand-new skin. This world could be an open door. This light could strip you of your sins. This love could be a beacon. This song could live inside your skin. You've got scales that won't fall off. I've got gloves but won't weigh in. It's a million-dollar pinprick leaves a crescent on your skin Star witness for the prosecution. And you wonder what the trial is for. This world could be an open door. Every Saturday night. Every Holiday Inn. Every chance to forget, open the shades and let the sunlight in. Every horse is a winner. Every glass house made of tin. Why don't you open the shades and let the sunlight in. Why don't you open the shades and let the sunshine in. I'm waiting for you to come in.
12.
thought we were nick & nora of some local underground punk rock scene i was twenty six, she was seventeen too angry for lovers too close for friends if i can't love you, baby well, let's try to pretend when we met, i was broke, now i got a pile of tens baby, let's go out tonight, let's see how fast i can spend i got a couple hundred bucks, let's go out all night let's see how much longer that money can last if you can't love me, baby, maybe we can just pretend we were well-matched opponents in our own private boxing ring with just local celebrities in the front row, and our friends for don king but in these unlicensed fights, nobody wins the spectators yell, and the judges rescind our credentials and the press says "well, they're no peoples' champions." it's possible, even probable, we won't be lovers again and it's possible, even probable, that that's for the best. 'cause we still believe in forgiveness but we believe in vengeance too i'll drop my weapons if so will you. these days, you're broke, and now i got a pile of tens let's go out tonight, let's see just how fast i can spend i got this hundred dollar bill, let's go out all night let's see if that money can last until daylight if we can't love each other just for tonight, let's pretend if we can't love each other c'mon, let's pretend.
13.
if they ask, say i've gone singing those bell-ringing days have lost their shine if they ask, say i've gone singing i'm at the door but i can't tell which keys are mine doorbell ringing waking up everyone inside i'll be singing until you get up and turn on the light but for now, i'm done singing these wildwood words have lost their charm i'm done singing strike up the drums & sound the alarms if they ask, say i was bringing a plum, a note, not much a book of letters from everyone your life ever touched. but i'm done singing maybe now these tears will dry i'm done singing now these blues are all that's mine i'm done singing those rock and roll boys have lost their pride 'cause you can't make guitars dignified those rock and roll boys have lost their fire there's handbell hand grenades in their eyes.

about

Major General is:
Yula Be'eri - bass
Franz Nicolay - guitar, vocals, keys, banjo, accordion, percussion
Jared Scott - guitar
Brian Viglione - drums, percussion

Demander is:
Karen Kanan Correa - bass, vocals
Sivan Harlap - drums, vocals
Jared Scott - guitar, vocals

Also starring:
Peter Hess - sax, tambourine
Emilyn Brodsky & Anthony Da Costa - additional vocals
Hubert Chen - violin
Margaret White - violin
Pinky Weitzman - viola

Lyrics on "Dead Sailors" & "Note On A Subway Wall" by Jack Terricloth

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released January 13, 2009

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Franz Nicolay New York

To us, the beautiful - and to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out.

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