Atavist

by T. Hallenbeck

/
  • Streaming + Download

     

1.
01:47
2.
3.
4.
04:50
5.
01:20
6.
01:21
7.
01:24

about

Recorded live in seven hours, Oakland CA, 1999

credits

released October 12, 1999

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

T. Hallenbeck Oakland, California

contact / help

Contact T. Hallenbeck

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Apology
An apology's in order; didn't mean to leave you alone
for so long - I know it was wrong. Is my darling okay?
Come in and be welcome and warm.

There is no news to speak of, except that I'm hearing
the voices again - they come now and then, but the vision
remains, of a beautiful world.

And sometimes strangers stop by, looking for a place
to crash and a meal - they show up insane, and at dawn
the next day, they leave healthy and whole.

Apologies, apologies - didn't mean to leave you alone
for so long - I know it was wrong. Is my darling okay?
Come in and be welcome and warm.
Track Name: The Green Lady
Somewhere I still have
the arrowheads, plucked
from Grandpa's old box
in the season when I'd pray
to the Devil for what only
he could give - please forgive
my infidel sidewinding.

By moonlight I'd serenade your likeness,
and you'd come down on high steps,
hair in tangles, like unto
the green lady who lives
in quarry ponds,
she who lets arrowheads fall
into the hands
of children.
Track Name: Out in the Yard
When she came to get everything back,
I was out in the yard dozing off the sunshine.
She asked where he was, I said, "Inside",
so she walked up the stairs and I saw she'd
been crying. And from inside my funky old house
came the voice of my roommate splitting hairs
with his girlfriend. For an hour they bickered
and screamed, hurling insults, and I heard it all
from the yard.

She left in tears, but I knew she'd be back,
or he'd storm to her front door with flowers.
They're like that, and it happens alot - they're in love
and it makes them angry.

After a while, my roommate came out and said,
"Sorry you had to hear our dirty laundry."
Then he broke out the pipe and we got really
stoned and hung out in the sunshine.

In my mind I invented a girlfriend who'd
fight with me, throw things, be jealous and nosy.
And my roommate, he soon wandered off,
leaving me out there hopelessly stoned
in the yard.

She leaves in tears, but I know she'll come back,
or I'll storm to her front door with flowers.
We'd be like that, it would happen alot -
always at each other's throats.

And that day I saw the real me: unemotional,
holding it in, much too guarded. I guess the
intense things in life pass you by when you're
like that. That's why I'm alone in the yard.
Track Name: Moonbeams
Darling, the stars are out in the June sky.
Kids throw their caps in the air to see the bats fly.
The dog in the yard, he's chewin' his fleas,
because even at midnight, it's eighty-five degrees.
And I'm on the sidewalk in the moon's humid white,
watching the moths crash head-on into the streetlights.
I'm full of the whiskey I downed at Big Joe's -
fifty cents left and I just stubbed my toe

on the curb out in front of the duplex you rent
with a waitress who keeps pickled yams in the basement.
The neighbors in the right half have all the lights on,
but your half is dark, so I guess that you're gone.

Or maybe you're lying awake in the dark,
while the waitress is on the back porch for a smoke.
A dog barks in somebody's yard down the block,
upset 'cause the neighbor's dog stole the toy sock.

But here I am - somehow, it doesn't feel wrong:
a night full of whiskey, a head full of song.
And if I were someone else, you'd pull the blinds,
and beneath your window, I'd sing all the right lines
to some silly song about fireflies and lights,
and moonbeams, and bad dreams,
and sweet summer nights.

Darling, it's midnight, I'm in your front yard
humming a tune, and I feel like a retard,
thinking about you inside your four walls,
and I'd better move on before somebody calls
the police, and they come, and I have to explain
that I'm harmless, shy, smitten, flat wasted, but quite sane.
The moon laughs at me from her heavenly dome,
and before I pass out, I guess I'll just go home.

But there I was - somehow, it didn't feel wrong:
a night full of whiskey, a head full of song.
And if I were someone else, you'd pull the blinds,
and beneath your window, I'd sing all the right lines
to some silly song about fireflies and lights,
and moonbeams, and bad dreams,
and sweet summer nights.
Track Name: Tomfooler
I'm the plan-stealer, I'm the gate-jumper,
I make the liars dance on red-hot coals.
I'm the tape-eraser, I'm the Tomfooler,
I send the rats back to their dirty holes.

chorus:

Not to worry, you're very safe -
I take only what the trashmen leave behind.
I got bags of knick-nacks and whoosy-whatsies -
come on, let's watch the world unwind.

When you go and kneel at the big computer,
I'm gonna watch you press the keys.
Too many dangerous toys, too many popguns -
I'm gonna drag 'em all in to the sea.

(chorus)

I'm the plan-stealer, I'm the gate-jumper,
I make the liars dance on red-hot coals.
I'm the tape-eraser, I'm the Tomfooler,
I send the rats back to their dirty holes.
Track Name: A Living God
Bulldozers could not drag him away;
he's the living god, the clownface.
Ride the time machine, and pray
for Christmas fruitcakes,
just like last year.

No bomb could dislodge him
from his funky, funky home.
Ride the time machine
and hold on to your barf bags.

No knife can excise him
from my happy, happy head.
Come ride poor old Eyeore,
and nail my tail back on, please.
Meet the living god, the clownface.
Track Name: Forty Days
How long is forty days? Only a fool
keeps himself awake at night over angels
on a pinhead. Is God great enough
to make a rock that He can't move?

I count myself lucky to have wise friends
who answer my impossible questions
when I ask them, and they tell me
that it's only human not to know.

What happens when you die? Is there a God?
How do spiders know the way to spin a web?

And despite the wise advice from my friends,
it keeps me awake at night, even though
it's only human not to know.