hooker

Credits

Chris Bonner (bass & drums)
Curtis Hasselbring (trombone)
Cynthia Hopkins (accordion, guitar, saw, vocals)
Tom Hopkins (guitar, vocals)
Philippa Thompson (violin)
Cuong Vu (trumpet)
Recorded and Mixed by Chris Bonner, NYC

Lyrics

1. down in the mud

it’s it’s indescri – it’s just a rush, you know you get totally outside of yourself, I mean no thing I ever took took me outside of myself that quick. Like you know of course your heart starts beatin you know and you like you know it’s like you’re num – it’s like you’re stuck, you like hyped up and you know you like really observin everythin around you the littlest noise has you you know you know you thinkin you dropped some crack and you lookin on the floor for some crack and you know you like you’re you’re alert level is like ten or fifteen times sharper than it it’s if you just you know just out of a regular state, a sober state
I want to get outside
I want to get outside
outside my skin
outside my mind
outside this body I’m in
I want something more
I want to soar
above this body
above this time
above this world
above this body I’m in
I want something more
it’s a dirty filthy habit
but it’s mine all mine
and I’m down in the mud
and it feels real good
I want to get outside
this body I’m in
I been out all night
and I like it like that
I like to be up
when the sun comes up

2. cheap two-faced star

everyone wants something, they just can’t get it
you see those guys in their suits
I had lots of friends turn into money grabbers
but you, you’re much much worse
look down your nose at me, you don’t even know me
think everything is just dirt under your heels
you know what they done, the priests to the magicians?
they hung the heretics they’d stolen all their tricks from
well I had lots of friends turn into money grabbers
and started wearing fancy hundred dollar suits
they started shelling out forty dollars for a goddamn pair of pants
but you, you’re worse
you’re a cheap two faced star,
you’re a cheap two faced star,
and I hope I never see you again
just remember : everyone wants something, they just can’t get it
and maybe there’s just something in their way
who are you to say what people trying to do
and whether they should or shouldn’t pray?
just find your own God, or not, I don’t even care
as long as you stay far away from me
cause I had lots of friends turn into money grabbers
but you, you’re worse

3. little piece of grace

a little piece of grace just fell on me
and it stretches out about as far as I can see
now it may last a week or two or only a day
but I’m gonna savour it until it goes away
I’m gonna let it roll off my tongue and into my dancing boots
I’m gonna let it sweep me offa my feet
cuz if I had nothing before, I got nothing to lose
and I might as well see where it’s leading to
cuz oh, oh, a little bit of luck is in my hands
oh, oh, a little bit of heaven is just fine with me
it used to be that I was scared of happiness
it was such a stranger that it made me a little nervous
and I thought that sadness was my one true friend
and I thought that happiness was just something that would end
but I’m gonna let it lift me up in its tender hands
I’m gonna let it rock me off to sleep
I’m gonna let it kiss my forehead when I’m down and out
I’m gonna let it do what it will with me
cuz oh, oh, a little light is shining on me
oh, oh, a little flame is in my heart burning bright
I used to go around with armour on
I used to look at others with a calculated scorn
I just didn’t wanna have anything to lose
so I kept the doors to my heart locked up and closed
but now I’m not gonna fight it anymore
yes I’m gonna take the lock offa my door
yes I’m gonna strip myself down and bare my skin,
yes I’m gonna let that happiness in

4. one-legged waltz

but I am not sorry, oh no I’m not sorry
in fact I feel rather simple and clean, and truthful
I’ve simply decided to no longer pretend
like I’m having a good time with you when I’m not
or to put up with jerky behaviour, it’s simply not worth it
I’d rather be lonely than tolerate fools acting mean as they please
and expecting their women to graciously appease them
no matter what they might do
and haven’t you noticed how the kindness in men
so rare and so treasured wears off once a few blessed months have passed?
(oh why can it never last)
then later, much later, they come crawling back
a-wondering how you have been doing
and they seem so concerned, so gentle and kind,
almost as nice as before you let them into your pants
it’s a sad excuse for romance
and if you’d ventured to ask me, here’s what I would’ve said :
I am right and you are gone
I am right and you are wrong
yes I believe in a one-legged waltz
yes I believe in a language without talking
yes I believe in leaving without walking
and I believe I am right and you are gone,
I am right and you are wrong
for still they expect you to sing their praises
while your rough-hewn voice goes unheard
their kindness un-displayed
and your gracious ignorance of all of their faults is so underpaid
so rather than finish this same old story
I’d rather choose nothing at all
I’d rather not answer when you call
yes I believe in a one-legged waltz
yesI believe in thinking without thoughts
yes I believe in seeing with the lights off
yes I believe I am right and you are gone
I am right and you are wrong

5. family tree

an American flag he hung down from the roof, and he hung it askew
he laid down on it in a drunken stupor
and dreamed about his daddy how his daddy used to do
sleepin on an old cot out in the barn, working throught the heat out in the yard
kicking back a whiskey till the sun come up, and showing up to church half-drunk
playing poker all night long, and playing the accordion that same old song :
who loves you more than me?
who loves you more than your family?
(yeah he remembers it)
lookin through the crack between the blanket and the wall
he sees his daddy bash a phone into his mamma’s skull
over and over and over again
and his rage and her shame flow through him
well it’s a strange little custom in the family
and the branch never falls too far from the tree
some may call it a natural thing
but I call it a good old-fashioned tragedy
cuz it’s an old fashioned dream, to plant a family tree
mix blood on blood, in a family recipe
it could be so good, it’s the oldest story in the book
she sees her step-daddy comin and her knees get weak
just one touch she passes out on the street
but she covers up the bruises so her momma won’t see
cuz what have you got without your family?
yeah his momma beat him just like that too
and now these two lay together in a drunken stupor
she’s crying cuz of what he might do
now how can two of a kind make something new?
yeah what’s the good of forgiveness if the sinners go free
and come back to haunt you in your time of need to say :
who loves you like I do?
who else is gonna see you through?
because vengeance is such a waste of energy
and you get poisoned fruit from a poisoned tree
so let’s pull it out by the roots
let’s chop it up and put it to a new use :
fuel for the fire of a family tree

6. such a long time

now how can I live without whisky and wine
when I know that forever is such a long time
well I know that I could do without it just fine
if only forever weren’t such a long time
oh I know that my heart would relent from its aching
if it could see beyond this turn
I’d forgive and forget and no more would I yearn
for a love that has long ago ceased to burn
oh I’d shuck the shackles away from my heart
and I’d never notice that we were apart
no loneliness would never keep me from shaking you loose
(if this weren’t true)
yes without your love I’d get along fine
if only forever weren’t such a long time
your leaving me lonely it is such a crime
when you know that forever is such a long time
for solace in sadness is so hard to find
when I know that forever is such a long time
for my longing is lasting long beyond its use
and its taming is beyond my ken
for I’d struggle and I’d slave and I’d begin again
if I only would know that your love I might win….
but I can see my tomorrows stretched out
in a long and unbearable desert of doubt
and it’s too much to bear when I see that you will not be there
(if I only wouldn’t care)
but I think that I may be losing my mind
knowing forever is such a long time

7. hospital waiting room blues

I got these mean old hospital blues, I’m sitting in the hospital
and my nose is split clean open and the doctor’s lookin at me
and he won’t gimme no pain killer and his face is red from yelling
well you shoulda known much better, well you know it’s all your fault
and the feeling is returning in my face and in my bones
and my brain is slowly waking to the hospital waiting room
and the doctor says I’ll have to wait
till the alcohol wears off
so they can sew my face up straight, and leave me with a crooked line
to remember my mistakes, a souvenir to locate my mistakes
I got these mean old hospital blues, I’m sitting in the hospital
waiting till the alcohol wears off

8. all hang down (parts 1 & 2)

Plant this idea in your mind : what if this music were an unrelated subset of some other music that you may have heard many times over, but it was in the background, let’s say in a coffee shop or the undercurrent beneath some action film or TV commercial backdrop, or let’s say this other music was emerging from the headphones of someone seated next to you on the subway or wafting out of an electronics store as you walked past, and underneath and carefully submerged so as to be camoflouged, this music was actually playing simultaneously and yet, some minute particle of your memory cells was indelibly ingrained with the pattern of this music, and so forever and ever some minute fraction of your brain will be occupied by this music, hovering there amongst your brainwaves (and other more precious memories), and ready at each and every moment to ‘link itself’ to some similar sound you might hear – the raindrops against your windowpane at night, the traffic along the highway, or the steady hum of the electric lights in your home.
let it all hang down, let us dance all night
I want to hear the saw whine through the grass outside
I want to hear the voices of a great choir
like in the olden days, crack the church roof through
I want this to fill me into the wee hours
I’ve got to spend some time in the smoky air
in the mild madness of a back room somewhere
I want a sweet guitar in my hands
and let the music fill me, and make me drunk again
what else is there beyond this? what else is there to live for?
than to lift up the hearts of our brethren somehow
and let a little joy in somehow……….

9. a long way down

and I’m falling, and I’m falling, and it’s a long way down
and it fills me with desire, and it burns like fire
if I could be strong as water, as gentle and as smooth
as full of danger and of beauty, then I would let your arms around me
and my own around you
but I’m falling, yes I’m falling, and it’s a long way down
and I don’t know what’ll happen when I reach the ground
and I don’t know if I’m ready to be broken again
though the more times my heart’s shot through
the more holes the wind can blow through
and it makes a pretty sound
ever deeper are the colors the longer I’m around
ever fuller is my cup and it’s overflowing now
oh if I was strong as water and as deep as the sea
I would let myself inside you, and I would let you within me
and I’d let you within me
but on the other side of gladness there’s the awful sound
of the wailing and the grieving over the loss of what was found
I should be wanting some kind of spell to quell this violence in me
instead I find myself longing to open up my heart
so you will have the best of me

10. beyond my wildest dreams

if I didn’t know you, I wouldn’t think anything of you
but this fantasy is taking up all of my time
beyond my wildest dreams is where I’d like to go
beyond all expectations is what I’d like to turn into
but if you had had as little sleep as I’ve had, lately
you might understand my confidence waning somewhat
oh I don’t want only just what’s been given to me
for there is much more far beyond what we hear and see
and that’s where I’d like to be

11. once in the mountains

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12. heat of the desert

Well this is a song about a near death experience in the positive sense of that phrase, it’s kind of about two o’clock in the morning, and it’s late and it’s dark, and you’ve been walking for miles and miles and you’re all alone out on the road, you can’t see too well, maybe it’s a prairie, a desert let’s say or a road cut through a wide grassy field, and suddenly there appears to be a light in the sky moving slowly toward you, and you think well what if that light is attached to some kind of space-ship or some other type of ship come to take me away, and you think you may be hallucinating after all you haven’t eaten since breakfast and haven’t been sleeping too well or maybe you’ve been hitting the bottle a little too hard, but no, there it is again, distinctly a light getting bigger and seeming to make its approach, and just when it’s on the brink of becoming really terrifying, it suddenly glows in such a way that is astonishingly undeniably absolutely beautiful, it takes your breath away, and you are messssssmerizzzzzed and you fall down on your knees in the middle of nowhere in total awe and you say :
more than the heat of the desert, more than the frauds from the Lord
more than the blue of the ocean is your heart’s longing for home
donate your sould to the devil, give up your lungs to the winds of the plain
and all your sins come encroaching into that moment of pain
oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh, oh oh oh
oh listen to the sound as the street lights shift
drinking in that moment of gasping for breath
her throat held fast upon the bed
her mind reeling from the things she might have said
the screams of the girl trapped in the upstairs apartment
as she tries to catch her breath as she attempts to head for the door
as the ceiling begins to swirl and shift
one more time, perhaps the last time,
she’s on the brink, walking that fine and crooked line
between this world and the next
and trying to capture that moment of gasping for breath
well there’s just one thing she can count on
and that’s the instinct of the lung
well there’s one thing to be said, it’s one moment that will never
never be recorded and she knows it