Songs In the Key of Your Face

Woody Guthrie's 33rd Resolution


Now I lay me down, bone-tired and bruised

Perchance to dream of better days might never be

I pray the lord my soul to keep

But even if he's there, I'm told,

He pays no heed to guys like me


In 1942, Woody Guthrie wrote his New Year's

Resolutions down, that they might guide us

Through the darkest nights


chorus

Number 1, work more and better

Number 8, write a song a day

Thirteen, read lots of good books

Number 4, shave

Nineteen, keep Hoping Machine running

Thirty-two, make up your mind

Thirty-one, love everybody

And Number 33,

Wake up and fight


When we were little, we learned of heroes

Of a world of fairy-tales, our own to make

But we're just people, trying to make sense out of things that don't

And Supermen rule the Earth instead of save the day


In a world turned upside down, where

Superstition trumps all reason

Woody Guthrie's voice still rings out through the darkest times


chorus

Number 15, learn people better

Number 8, write a song a day

Twenty-seven, beat the fascists

Number 4, shave

Nineteen, keep Hoping Machine running

Thirty-two, make up your mind

Thirty-one, love everybody

And Number 33,

Wake up and fight


Little Black Dog


Remember that time that aliens invaded and a little black dog captured all our hearts

Built a star-fighter with her own two paws, went out and kicked their asses like Captain Picard


Remember all those nukes hung over our heads by stolid old men who preyed upon our fears

Then a little black dog deconstructed dogma, no there's no more war or strife or tears


Chorus

Nobody wants to hear a song about a little black dog

But then my sister told me all the stuff hers did

I haven't fact-checked all of it, but it's better than the world we've made

A slobbering super-ego to our id


Remember when we used to get old and die, at least until that fateful pet therapy day

When doctors let us play with a little black dog, no we're always 29 and we all get laid


Sure she can be a bitch to her giant cousin Hondo

Or sometimes when she doesn't want to come back in

But I think we can forgive a modicum of pathos

To a quadruped who saved us all from aliens, mortality and old white men


Remember how we used to wail and gnash over how, if and whether someone liked us enough

Then a little dog licked us even when we were jerks and now we understand unconditional love


Chorus


Real Americans


As the days get colder and the weekend rolls around
And big lights make halos at edges of towns
And cars line the streets as the sun goes down
And the faithful all take their pew
And they wear the same colors and cheer the same things
Share blankets, hot chocolate, and gossip like teens
They're Republicans, Democrats, some even Greens
And they love their kids every damn bit much as you


chorus

Real Americans don't share your values, they're way more than able to live by their own
Real Americans don't worship Jesus, they worship who and whatever they want to, or don't
They're dumb and profound, gay and straight, pink and brown, and, like anyone, cut em they bleed
And most don't waste half a drop sweating what self-described Real Americans think they should be


It's a fool's prayer that asks for forever-blue skies
Some time's it's a storm, sometimes someone dies
And phonecals breed phonecalls and potluck and pies
And if you need it, someone's got room
They don't ask for your papers or voter ID
It's from each of his haves to each of his needs
In small towns, in cities, all colors, all creeds
And mostly it's just kind of what people do


chorus

Real Americans don't share your values, they're way more than able to live by their own
Real Americans don't worship Jesus, they worship who and whatever they want to, or don't
Conformsts and weirdos and losers and heroes, as good or as bad as their deeds
And most don't waste half a drop sweating what self-described Real Americans think they should be


My Lesbian Girlfriend


She draws all eyes upon each entrance to her belly-tees and leather pants

A genetic wonder – sorry, gents – you'll likely never touch

She's a vegan who eats bacon sometimes, prefers poetry that doesn't rhyme

I might dislike her if I didn't dig on her so much


But we've got a few things in common

Yeah, we both dig girls and booze and some nights

For lack options we have sex

And lest that seem confusing


chorus

She's not my lesbian girlfriend

She's not my lesbian girlfriend

She's not my lesbian girlfriend

And she can't emphasize this enough


She hates sports, I liveblog Bulls games; she hates filth, I live in self-same

She digs Teagan and Sara where I'd rather shove chopsticks through my ears

She hates TV, I think cable is a human right; she can dance all night to technoshite

But we'd rather still be smashing Christian patriarchal financiers


And we both figure loving who you love

Is kind of key to being free

And if you see us making out at the end of the night

Just chill, it's an anomaly


Chorus


And yeah, maybe she should self-describe as queer or bi

But tell her that yourself because I'm kind trying to stay

On her good side


Chorus


Kickass Wake


The universe blinked in and out the other night

Leaving an empty cage in this cosmic zoo

His name was John, he was our friend, he lived his life until it ended way too

Soon, but that's way more than you walking corpses do


He was nothing special as he'd be the first to tell you

Decent job, a wife, a kid, all the stuff of tragedy

Seems life gives you all this shite to take it all back in the night

And there but for the whim of entropy go we


chorus

Book the back room at McWether's, tell the band they're back together

There'll be kegs, yeggs and hookers, and no fucking clergy

Pomp and circumstance is for the fancypantses so we're throwing

The most kickass wake this burg'll ever see


Jesus and advertising teach us we're immortal if only we accessorize just so

But everyone you know is going to die and so will you so you should

Come out ot the wake and bring that hot chick from your co-op


The world is shit and run by cretins with more power than they deserve

Boosting the odds your dreams will calcify and crash

We're born and die by accident so drink and fuck and be a mensch

And remember John, who took a karmic bullet for your ass


Chorus

Book the backroom and McWether's, tell the band they're back together,

There'll be kegs, yeggs and hookers, and no fucking clergy

Death will find you either way, so live a life makes death a payoff at

The most kickass wake this burg'll ever see


Back Booth


The thoughts I'm thinking are for chumps

I'm too old to have them anyhow

God knows there's a billion things way more important in this world

Than the thought of you and me making out

In the back booth


Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't need much of your time

Much less the rest of our whole lives through

Just one more time or three I'd like to flee back to that old-man bar

And argue about nothing till I'm locking lips with you


chorus

It all hit like a sonic boom

Our semi-private motel room

We might've not had sex but not for lack of trying

Tore at each other like wolverines

A time machine set on sixteen

Felt a lot like what one does in lieu of dying

In the back booth


Shoud've sat on the other side

Should've never gotten close enough to smell your hair

Should've wondered how your tongue got in my mouth

Instead of licking it while it was there


But you should go back to your life

It's so much better with you there

Where people make out with the people they're supposed to but for

Random moments of crazy

In which I'll gladly share

The back booth


chorus


Go the Fuck Home, Mindy


Go the fuck home, Mindy, don't take that wrong, you're usually awesome company

Least till however much you drank

Go the fuck home, Mindy, no one here thinks the films of Wes Anderson

Are more than self-indulgent wank


Go the fuck home, Mindy, there's no point picking fights with the neighbor's dog

Your arguments leave him unfazed

Go the fuck home, Mindy, I know it's the pot calling the kettle drunk

But if the cops came you'd get tazed


chorus


Go the fuck home, Mindy

What consciousness you have left seems strictly on loan

We love you and will tomorrow but tonight we've reached

The point of love's diminishing returns

So go the fuck home


Go the fuck home, Mindy, no one likes Ayn Rand who's not a sociopath

Right now you might be borderline

Go the fuck home, Mindy, I played “Fools Rush In” for you an hour ago

And you hit on Andy the whole time


We're not being ironic

We're not being ironic

We are in no way

Invoking irony


Go the fuck home, Mindy, you must be setting a record for non-sequiturs

Right now you might be borderline

Go the fuck home, Mindy, I wish there was a nicer way to say it that

We haven't already tried


chorus


Enemy


Look at all those people out there in the cold

With a single voice like thunder from the skies

It's as if no one listened when they spoke in indoor voices

Like they lacked the graft or lobbyists to be heard otherwise

You call them malcontents and radicals and troublemaking scum

Who should just grow up and learn life isn't fair

Except they're mothers and they're fathers and they're students and they're workers

All with better things to do than ask for what's already theirs


chorus

If your enemies are social workers, EMTs and file clerks

If your enemies are librarians and road crews

If your enemy is everyone who works every day instead of

Gaming debts and savings of people who do

If your enemies drive buses and plow frozen highways,

Fix bridges and make the cities run

If your enemies are firefighters, teachers and nurses

Your enemy is everyone


Look at all those people struggling to survive the toxic jungle

Your corporate lords have made of the Earth

They write your policies and ads, tell us fortune favors predators

Whom God chooses to dictate what our labor's worth

You call us parasites and looters and, god forbid, progressives, who should

learn our place and that life isn't fair yet

making life fair's kind of the point of a society

And maybe till it is we won't be going anywhere


chorus


West Allis


Packed up his desk in a cardboard box

Maybe told em he’d send postcards from New Mexico

Eight years, same job, city payroll

Maybe someone said it was sad to see him go


Drove back to West Allis to the houses all in rows

Where days flit by like gray winter birds

And he forwarded his mail, paid the bills, took out the gun

And he went to a place where nothing hurts


Four years — unshoveled sidewalks and unmowed lawn

Four walls enclosing perfect desolation

Four years — you’d think someone might’ve noticed something gone

Four years of most mundane transmutation

Dust thou art

gone back unto the ashes of stars


Got a bachelor’s at UdubM,

Had a girlfriend and daughter but it didn’t last

Moved into his mom’s house when cancer crept in

Mortgage paid so he stayed there once she passed


But the neighbors all recall not much of him after that,

In to work and back but mostly sight unseen

What questions went unasked and chasms left unfilled

A bullet’s least one answer to everything


chorus


I never knew him, but I guess nobody did, he made his

Choice, we make ours, the Earth endures

Maybe you’re your brother’s keeper not by code or creed or canon

But a simple hope that someone will be yours


chorus

Four years — unshoveled sidewalks and unmowed lawn

Four walls enclosing perfect desolation

Four years — you’d think someone might’ve noticed something gone

Four years of most mundane transmutation

Dust thou art

gone back unto the ashes of stars

Dust thou art

going back unto the ashes of stars



All songs by Matthew Grimm  © 2013 Grimm Reality Music (ASCAP). 
Cover songs on SITKOYF 

"Union Maid" by Woody Guthrie

"Pancho & Lefty" by Townes Van Zandt

"Ideology" by Billy Bragg

"Telegraph Road" by Mark Knopfler

"Out of the Darkness" by Steve Van Zandt

Click here for lyrics for The Ghost of Rock & Roll

Click here for lyrics to Dawn's Early Apocalypse