Packrat

by T. Hallenbeck

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04:57

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Recorded in Emeryville CA, 2006

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released October 1, 2006

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T. Hallenbeck Oakland, California

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Track Name: Wrath of God
Time goes on forever, the world is so wide,
But still I wake up feeling empty inside.
My dreams are full of sweet revenge
on enemies and crooks,
But the visions and the bright lights,
I just read about those in books.

I'm arrogant and lazy, heck, I'm just plain bad -
Tiny evil seeds lace half the thoughts I've ever had.
But what if there is no cosmic ledger
of my misspent years?
What if no one's watching?
What if no one hears?

chorus:

Am I invisible? Am I undead?
What happens to those pangs of love and hate
that haunt my head?
Everywhere I go, the Devil gives me a nod,
So why can't I feel the wrath of God?

I shout and I scream but I don't make a sound.
I wander all day long but cast no shadow on the ground.
The universe is cold and still and all I do is stare.
Maybe no one's looking back. Maybe I'm not there.

(chorus)
Track Name: Robert Johnson
Swallow this pill - oh, and here's your freewill -
go and do not sin again, my son.
It's a beautiful day - they've sent me out to play -
but I'm not allowed to have any fun.

I know full well I'm on the highway to Hell -
the guy on my doorstep says that's fair.
But the one saving grace about that terrible place
is that Robert Johnson's already there.

Every day at noon, some Satanic goon
hauls Robert Johnson to the lunchroom stage.
And while the damned dine on rats, Robert shows those cats
that he's way better than Jimmy Page.

He whips out the riffs, the diabolical gifts
that made him the Devil's pet.
And when he rocks the Hell-house,
No one, not even a Hell-mouse,
is left standing when he's done with his set.

I have no idea what I'm talking about -
I'm making this up as I go.
The guy on my doorstep is preaching again
and I shouldn't interrupt the flow.

But when I ask him if he's heard Robert Johnson's sad tale,
he says, "I'm sorry, I don't know who what is.
But the bright swift sword of a vengeful Lord
must have reduced him to an indistinct fizz."

The guy wanders off, and I wonder where Bob J. went
when his terrible debt got paid.
And I wonder if any in my circle of friends
has ever made a similar trade.

I know full well I'm on the highway to Hell -
the guy on my doorstep said that's fair.
But the one saving grace about that terrible place
is that Robert Johnson's already there.
Track Name: Lazarus
Lazarus my friend, you're just in time
for happy hour and some daily bread.
Lazaus my friend, you were sorely missed.
like you, I have nowhere to lay my head,
so let's get in trouble and raise the dead,
yes, let's get in trouble and raise the dead.

Lazarus my friend, do you know how we've waited,
and how we swore that we'd never tell?
Lazarus my friend, do you know what you are?
Like you, I know the side roads all to well,
so let's get in trouble and raise some hell,
yes, let's get in trouble and raise some hell.

We won't blow your cover now that you're here.
we'll hide you from family and nuts and police.
You're among friends now, there's nothing to fear.
We know you'd rather be resting in peace.

Lazarus my friend, do you know who you are,
and why we welcome you in from the rain?
Lazarus my friend, can you say where you've been?
Like you, I'm full of worries and doubt and pain,
so let's get in trouble and raise some Cain,
yes, let's get in trouble and raise some Cain.
Track Name: The Great Escape
Everything has changed since I ditched my former masters
I have been reborn into a beautiful land
Full of lost chances and unwitting disasters
Puppet strings pulled by invisible hands
Nothing is the same now that I've walked away
from the bad place
I have been reborn into a world of light
Got a lotta sunscreen and I'm wearin' the clownface
I'm much too free and it's much too bright

Aimless, soulless, godless, goalless
So little to do, so much time to do it in
Loveless, faithless, rootless, graceless
So little to do, so much time to do it in
I was built to endure
My heart's strong and pure
No roadblocks, no hassles, no red tape
It's a brand-new phase
Till the end of days
Thanks to my great escape

Nothing is the same since I threw off my shackles
So many breathtaking sights to see
Everyone's so happy and it raises my hackles
I've got no one to meet and nowhere to be

Aimless, soulless, godless, goalless
So little to do, so much time to do it in
Loveless, faithless, lawless, graceless
So little to do, so much time to do it in
I was built to heal fast
From the sins of the past
No roadblocks, no hassles, no red tape
It's a brand-new phase
'Till the end of days
Thanks to my great escape
Track Name: Juke Joint
May you live with starlight on your shoulders,
Avoid all potholes and falling boulders,
May you see all shooting stars and never miss one.
May you find a town that fast cars pass
Where no one can fault you for parkin' your ass,
In a low-down honky-tonk juke joint like this one.

May the road always rise to meet you,
May this harsh life never beat you,
May you avoid all hornets' nets, and never piss one... off.
May you hold your own and speak the truth
From a comfy, cushioned, duct-taped booth
In a low-down honky-tonk juke joint like this one.

May your dull grind never fail!
May you find your Holy Grail!
May your slow burn never stop!
May your best-laid plans not flop!

May you fend off every goon
Who walks beneath a silver moon,
May you never have to eat a toad or kiss one.
May the howling someday cease,
May you someday find your peace,
In a low-down honky-tonk juke joint like this one.
Track Name: Redneck Divorce
Hey Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore
My family's rotten to its awful core
We can't let this slide
Let's go for a ride
I drove nine hours and I'm all sore
Someone's gonna lose the trailer home
Someone's gonna hafta pay
Someone's gonna hafta explain
Someone's gonna hafta get out of the way

chorus:

And now I stand before you humble
I've fallen off my high horse
Last night I got drunk and passed out
And dreamed of the redneck divorce
Now I appear before you humble
Last night I screamed myself hoarse
At flying monkeys and creepy little people
As I dreamed of another redneck divorce

You're not a wizard - you're just a very bad guy
Forget it buddy 'cause it ain't gonna fly
We can't let this go
You reap what you sow
I drove nine hours and real men don't cry
Someone's gonna hafta buy some beer
I bought it last time
Someone's gonna hafta get gas and not pay
I did the last crime

(chorus)
Track Name: Don't Leave Me Out Here
They tell me that I've done terrible things
Please madam, don't leave me out here to die
They called me names, then they pulled off my wings
Please madam, don't leave me out here to die
They tell me I've committed unforgivable crimes
Please madam, don't leave me out here alone
I know some things now that I've crossed that line
Please madam, don't leave me out here alone

chorus:

Close your eyes - what do you see?
I see sunlit lands where orchards grow.
Close your eyes - what do you see?
I see a perfect world: another Idaho.

They've run me through their cages and their torture machines
Please madam, don't leave me out here to die
They've made me an extra in their nightmare scenes
Please madam, don't leave me out here to die
They tell me that I've done terrible things
Please madam, don't leave me out here alone
They called me names, then they pulled off my wings
Please madam, don't leave me out here alone

(chorus)
Track Name: Jealous of Joe
Someday he'll be the ultimate scam artist -
he stands and thinks and wonders
while the fast cars go.
Let's stay up late tonight,
and see what our funny friend drags home.

Soon to be the ultimate flim-flam artist,
he watches, waits, and listens
while the dealers deal.
Let's stay up late tonight,
and see what our slippery friend drags home.

chorus:

I'm jealous, so jealous -
I'm really so very, very jealous of Joe.
Consumed, intrigued, bright green with envy -
I'm really so very, very jealous of Joe.

Someday he'll be the ultimate con artist,
He lurks in quiet corners
while the schemers scheme.
Let's stay up late tonight
And see what our fearless friend brings home.

Soon to be the ultimate scam artist,
He learns the little things
while the dealers deal.
Let's stay up late tonight,
And see what our squirrelly friend drags home.

(chorus)
Track Name: Kitty Hawk
No good ever comes from standing around.
No one gets anywhere by hugging the ground.
Few have envisioned so many strange new worlds,
So many bright futures as I have.

No good ever comes from staring at dirt -
All you get is vertigo and drool on your shirt.
Few have built so many strange machines
With as capable hands as I have.

chorus:

I'll be the Orville, and the Wilbur - your back yard
Will fill with old bike chains and aluminum poles.
My early inventions will flip and destroy themselves,
Marring your beacheads with wreckage and holes.
But my crazy ideas will blossom like daffodils -
New worlds will open before your wide eyes.
And the time that got lost, and the fortune it cost
Will be paid back the day that I come home alive.

No good ever comes from reining it in -
You fall back, you fall down, you never begin.
Few have built so many oddball machines
With as capable hands as I have.

(chorus)