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Lyrics

from the Kropotkins
from the Spinozas
from Smut
from Soldier String Quartet
from the People's Choice Music (Most Wanted and Most Unwanted music)

LYRICS FROM THE KROPOTKINS

Truckstop girls  (Soldier)             

You don't know the darkness in my heart
summer days drain down in coffee grounds
read a cold destruction in my eyes
feel pealing thunder from the skies

and I rock and I roll
and I roll a big stone on your grave

Truckstop girl will paint her face and fire her grill and burns you off my mind
Heavy wind with heavy water now avoid the trooper's daughter baby take your order any time

Truckstop girls know every lie avoid her eyes and any driver here
Heavy wind with heavy water now keep your eyes on the quarter
watch it watch it watch me disappear

and I rock and I roll
and I roll a big stone on your grave

Seconds past midnight  (Velvette & Soldier)  

Heighdy ho heighdy hi
One hundred twenty fifth street on a midnight creep.
All you need for tonight is forty-five dollars for a Valentine’s special.
They brushed his hair and beat him tenderly.
That fool thought death didn't know his name.

Don't hold it so tight, it's gonna bruise your head
you don't need that tonight, all you need in New York
is forty-five dollars and a Valentine’s special.
They beat his breast and singed him tenderly.
That fool thought death didn't know his name.

Yes sir, yes ma'am, don't work 'round here
babe don't go unconscious ‘til you’ve had enough.
They'll ride you hard and put you up wet
just so you don't forget the whole wide world is looking for love.

Only seconds past midnight and her leg so high
and her smile so sweet.
All you need in New York is a heart as cold as railroad steel.
They broke his bank and kissed him tenderly.
That fool thought death didn't know his name.

The wimens the wimens the wimens the wimens.

Sissy wa wa   (Velvette, Soldier, Rory Young)

Sally died, how did she die?
Oh Sally died, how did she die?
She died like this, oh she died like this

Sally’s living, where’s she live?
Oh she lives in a country called Tennessee
She wears short short dresses up above the knee
She like to shake that thing wherever she goes
She wanna shake that thing wherever she go

Sally died, oh Sally died just like a cherry tree
Oh she died like this, oh she died like this

Sally’s living, where’s she live?
Oh she lives in a country called Tennessee
She wears short short dresses up above the knee
She gonna shake that thing wherever she goes
She gonna shake that thing wherever she go

He look sissy sissy sissy sis
Hang down sissy sissy sissy sis
Touch the ground sissy sissy sissy sis
Turn around sissy sissy sissy sis

Oh Sissy wa wa
I found my lover
He’s so sweet
Just like a cherry tree

Crazy Hannah  (Maureen Tucker)     

Crazy Hannah’s riding the train
drinking and cursing and acting insane
Crazy Hannah’s making a fuss
stop this train put her on the bus
Crazy Hannah’s riding the train, Crazy Hannah

Crazy Hannah’s drunk again
loud and messy and eyeing all the men
Hannah’s crazy and riding the train
drinking in the club car and making a scene

Crazy Hannah’s drinking more and more
someone pick her up and put her out the door
playing her music much too loud
conductor’s pissed off and so is the crowd

Poor old Hannah’s crazy as a loon
riding this train and don’t know what she’s doing
she don’t know if she’s coming or going
she don’t care while the beer keeps flowing

Junior's groove  (Velvette)   

I’m lukewarm Lord, neither hot nor cold
who’s gonna pour water on me tonight?
my mouth is sweet as honey, my belly told me so
who’s gonna pour water on me tonight?

I’m oversexed and the Lord He provides
who’s gonna pin a hundred dollars on me tonight?
gonna run the devil up the flagpole
who’s gonna pin a hundred dollars on me tonight?

Old black Mattie’s got no change of clothes
girl got drunk and throw her clothes outdoors

I like my man who is thick at the root
get back woman you messing my stuff up
my baby giggle he don’t give a hoot
get back woman you messing my stuff up

I gotta man  (Charlie Burnham)              

I gotta man, I gotta man
I gotta man who wants my love and affection
I don't pay him no attention ‘cause I gotta nother man

I gotta word, I gotta word
I gotta word for the man who says he loves me to my soul
don't come round me with your pocket full of holes
cause I gotta word, I gotta word
and I hope he don't come knockin' too late

Starkweather  (Poem by James Tucker, edited for song by Dave Soldier)

Charlie combing his pompadour
watch hisself disappear
‘neath the weight of that great Nebraska sky.

Sometimes he felt his soul flap around
like a torn out windowshade
in the empty house where his mama died.

When the headaches got bad
there were visions Charlie had
of a cornfield with Christ a-floating high.

Christ the carpenter is nigh
Master of the Badlands
hammering people down
like crooked nails.

A 49 Merc running flat out to nowhere
with the needle pinned, running flat out to nowhere
past the withered fields and the jerkwater towns
like Indian smoke drifting high and wafting down.

When the night heat got bad
some more visions Charlie had
runnin' flat out on the blacktop center line.

And the sun bloomed millions a roses
red as blood, dripping like tears
and he’s hammering people down like crooked nails.

Forever motel  (Poem by James Tucker, edited for song by Dave Soldier)

If you could only check into a sorryass motel
one of those places where the headlights glide across the wall
big trucks wheeling by and by and by.

If you could only fall asleep and sleep for years
where souls of sleeping children slide down walls like tears
souls of sleeping children that you never had.

If you could only sleep forever in a sorryass motel
‘round souls of sleeping children in a crummy damn motel
just so long, see you later, adios, farewell.

If you could only
fall asleep and sleep for years.

Drivin' to spring    (Soldier)

Gonna be drivin', drivin' to spring
girl you do imagine things, hey hey

Musta done it sideways, done it all night long
rider done been here and gone

Must be a driver, rider like it like that
singin' like an alley cat

Ridin' under the sunrise, high voltage lines
leavin my rider by the backdoor cryin’

Pullin’ ouch'yer driveway, heard a trashcan sing
basketball and backboard ring

Gonna be drivin', drivin' to spring
girl you do imagine things, hey hey

Justice down south  (Soldier)

Justice in bed, justice down south
Just us in the morning with you runnin off your mouth
All last night you was a holy rolluh
Now baby you a broken down Ford

The history steamin’ off the history book's pages
Your story's history’s highly outrageous
Roll you on a crate a RC Cola
Cause baby you’re a broken down Ford

Like sweet honeysuckle from the honeybee
Like teeth gone to chatter from a sweet ice tea
Like a sleepy banty rooster 'neath a magnolia tree
Who cain't cocka doodle doo anymore

Justice in Biloxi, Mississippi by the sea
Jes 2 lazy people cain’t sleep and hardly eat
Start you up and roll your engine ovuh
This moanin' you my broken down Ford

Justice in Biloxi, Mississippi by the sea
Jes 2 lazy people, hey don’t you get up to eat
Start you up and roll your engine ovuh
Oh baby you my broken down Ford

Well it’s up to you, it’s up to you
It’s up to you, it’s entirely up to you
Throw you on a crate a RC Cola
Baby you’re my broken down Ford

On this earth  ( Soldier)

The wife girds for the coming storm
The fisherman shrugs and won't take warning
They don't belong together on this earth
they had minutes of wonderful nights
seconds of pure delight
But they ain't right together on this earth.

The household prays an act divine
Transfers their demons to a herd of swine
They don't belong together on this earth
The prayers they make demand the right
|to seconds of pure delight
But they ain't right together on this earth.

Mary waits beside the tomb
The foolish brides wait for the groom
They don't belong together on this earth
The foolish brides wait day and night
for seconds of pure delight
But they ain't right together on this earth.

The righteous long to live like Buddha
Young King David wails for Judah
They don't belong together on this earth
The righteous long all day and night
for seconds of pure delight
But they ain't right together on this earth                 
No they ain't right together on this earth.

Coal Black Wind (Soldier)

The coal black wind rode in south to East St. Lou
Felt the heat close in, Mister Heat how do you do
Then she turns to read the spraypaint on the wall
said “down in hell the devil wear overalls”

It was a demon police said “baby can I accompany you”
She presented her revolver to suggest a different point of view
Dead seraph frozen where he falls
Down in hell where the devil wear overalls

“Through the bars of East St. Louis lives the dead frontier riverboat days”
where the gamblers and the rounders bet rights to their rowdy ways
police and lawyers can’t win hands at all
Down in hell where the devil wear overalls

Well I packed up my suitcase and I started for the train
Down deep in my soul I thought I felt a spreading stain
Down in hell the devil wear overalls
And the damned ride a train they call the Cannonball

Lyrics from the SPINOZAS

With the exception of The Stars of Country Music Greet the Spring, lyrics are from the middle ages, either Iran (Bima), and all of the others from Andalusia, originally in Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, or Romance Spanish

Krav
by Samuel ha Nagid

Krav Dome Berosho Leyefeyfiya
Asher Kol Eesh Lesachek Ba Ye-ave
Vesofo Kazkena Hameusa
Asher Kol Shochara Yivke Veyidve

Battle
translated from Hebrew by Na' Ti

At the start, a battle is like a very beautiful woman
That every man will desire to play with…
And when the battle is over… it is like a
repulsive old woman
And all of her advocates will mourn cry and ache.

Rendered in modern Hebrew:|
Beethila Krav Dome Le-eesha Yafa
Shkol Ehad Haya Rotze Ba Ve-eeta Lesahek
Vekol Mee Shetamach Ba Mitabel Veboche.

Water and Fire
by Al-A Ma At Tutili

Beesa Laomri Marada El-adul
Umrun Kasiron Wa-eenaun Tawil
Yazafaratin Natakat Alil
Waya Dumuan Kad Aanat Masil

Dam-un Maspuch Wadulu-un Chirar
Maun Wanar
Ma-ajtama Ela Amrin Kubar

Yakaban Hajat Eliya Elkulub
Bayna Hawan Dayin Washawkin Mujib
Hanna Awahin Alayha Munib

Labayka Lialwee Likawlee Elrakib
Maw El-habib Anfarmo thi-amar
Kanna Dashtar
Nunfis Amibi Kasadi Nul Yigar

Water and Fire
translated from Arabic by Na'Ti

According to my life, it's sad to hear their (censorious) words
that life is short & labor of love is long…
(I sing) to the groans that betray the one who loves…
and to the tears that flow like a stream.

Flowing tears and a burning chest
water and fire
if you can't get together, leave the moment you can…

All hearts are wandering to Kaba.
I am torn by the passion who calls to everyone who believes in love.
you called the sinner to come back to you.

Here I am! Pay attention to me!! Not to the spy's words…
my lover, he is tired of loving me
and why wouldn’t he?
cant you see our love is forbidden?

Beautiful Boy
by SHMUEL HANAGID

Beautiful Boy

Ehi Kofer Tzvi Hefer Briti
Veahavato Betoch Libi Shmura
Asher Amar Lasahar Bealoto
"Hatireh Et Meor Panay Vatera"
Umareh Halevana Baafela
Kevareket Bechaf Alma Shchora

Invitation

Ehee Kofer Laofer Kam Balayil
Lekol Kinor Veugavim Meytivim
Asher Ra-ah Beyadi Kos Veamar
“Shte meebeyn Sfatay Dam Anavim”
Veyareach Kmo Yod Nichteva Al
Ksut Sachar Bemeymey Hazehavim

Beautiful Boy
translated from Hebrew by Na'Ti

I will be a ransom to the deer (even though) he betrayed me,
his love , in my heart is guarded.
he said to the rising moon:
"When youll see my radiant face- will you be afraid?"
and the sight of the moon in the darkness
was like an emerald stone in the palm of a black girl

Invitation

I will be a ransom to the fawn (lover), (who is) rising at night
to the sound of violins and melodious harps.
he saw a cup in my hand and said
“will you drink from between my lips grape's
blood”?
and the moon is like ink that was written on
robes of dawn on the golden water

alternate translation of last 2 lines: And the moon was like a yod (the letter C) written in golden ink on the robes of night.

Haldara
by Ibn Sahl

Haldara thabyu elhema, An Kad Hama
Kalba Sabin Chalahu, An Maknisi
Fahawa Fee Haren, Wachafkin Mitlama
Laebath Reeyachu, Alsabaa Bilkabsi

Ma Likalbi Filhawa, Thambin Seewa
Minkum Elchusnu, Wamin Awnee Elnathar.

If
translated from Arabic by Na'Ti

Does the little fawn from Al-Hema  knows that
he kindled his lover heart (when he lived with him)?
so that is why it's (his love) burning & pounding
like the flame was teased by the west wind…

is my heart a sinner because I am in love?
all the beauty comes from you, and the sparkle is coming from my eyes.

B-Abi
by AL-QAZZAZ

B-abi Ee-lku
Bil-nafsi Aliku   
Hawaytu Hilalan Fil-husni Farida
A-aara El-razala Al-hadan waggida
Zanahu Rashku
Wa-ilkadu Rashiku
Badrun Yatharalab Bilsachri Almubini.

Etharun Muakrab Ala Yasmini
Falahu Mashku
Wa-ilkalbu Mashuku
Wataha Gamalan Lam Yanbor Mazida
Badrun Yatallala Fi-chusni Aatidali.

My Father
translated from Farsi by Na'Ti

I would pay a ransom for my father
Even with the most precious property my soul holds on to
I loved a new moon so special and unique in its beauty
He loaned his sparkle and thin neck from the deer
blessing adorn him
his figure was graceful
a full moon that is captivating with his recognized charm.

His cheeks directed towards the ground, curving on the jasmine
his figure is tall and attractive
from now on my heart is enslaved to passion
He asks (the moon) not to grow old
a full moon that appears with is fullness glory, proud of his beauty.

Raqib
anonymous

Ke adame filiolo alieno del amibe,
keredlo de mi betare su a raqibe!

Lo eshkach yemey cheldee
Leyl shachvo eley tzeedee
Al arsee u-marvadee
Ad boker neshakanee
ve-asses peev heneekanee

Spy
translated from Romance (early Spanish) by James DenBoer

I loved a sweet boy from another clan, and he loved me
but his chaperone (spy) wants to keep us apart!

Rendered in modern Spanish:
Am\E9 a un hijito ajeno y \E9l a mi
lo quiere apartar de mi su esp\EDa!

The Clouds of Country Music Greet the Spring (Dave Soldier)

Your eyes glowed with trouble like the end of a cigarette

like the end of a cigarillio, your eyes glowed with trouble
burning in trouble like the end of a cigarillio in the back in the dark

in a dark backroom whisky with rank cigarillios
a jukebox for crying and a Hank Williams number that you can’t forget

tears for the clear falling true harmonies
til the dead looking trees dress in leaves
and the stars  of country music greet the spring

Shake the rain from your hat, walk inside your silhouette

way deep in the shadows shake rain off your hat
you fade into black  in the back of the barroom in Monta\F1a in the rain

deep down in the barroom an old singer’s crying a Lefty Frizzell song
with a steel guitar whine she’ll never forget 

tears for the clear falling true harmonies
til the dead looking trees dress in leaves
and the stars  of country music greet the spring

Wave so long Triana from the road to Monta\F1a

the rain from that country is lost in the mountains

clouds past the horizon dissolve in Monta\F1a so dry and far away

letters for daughters from old mother countries

while Patsy Cline’s crying for an old love who faded who she can’t forget

tears for the clear falling true harmonies
til the dead looking trees dress in leaves
and the stars  of country music greet the spring

 

Lyrics from CHOREA LASCIVIA (1991)
recorded on the CD

Original Latin lyrics and translations of medieval Latin poetry, mostly on homosexual themes featured on the CD of the same name.
The text is adapted from homo- and heteroerotic Latin poetry of the Middle Ages.
Dedicated to Robert Mapplethorpe and David Wojnarowicz.
English translations of II, V, VII, & VIII by the late Thomas Stehling, by permission of his family. Translations of I & IV by Soldier.

I.   Dum Caupona Verterem

Dum caupona verterem vino debachtus,
secus templum Veneris eram hospitatus,
solus ibam prospere vestibus ornatus,
plenum ferens loculum ad sinistrum latus.

Venus clementissima, felix creatura,
cerno quod preterita noscis et futura.
Ipse sum miserrimus, res iam peritura,
quem sanare poteris tua leni cura.

"Bene," inquit, "Veneris noster o dilecte
iuvenis, aptissime cedes nostre secte.
Si tu das denarios monete electe,
dabitur consilium salutis perfecte."

"Ecce," dixi, "loculus extat nummis plenus,
totum quippe tribuam tibi, sacra Venus;
si tu das consilium, ut sat sim serenus,
tuum in perpetuum venerabor genus."

Exuit se vestibus genitrix Amoris,
carnes ut ostenderet nivei decoris.
Sternens eam lectulo fere decem horis
mitigavi rabiem febrici doloris.

Tribus reor mensibus secum sum moratus,
plenum ferens loculum, vixi vir ornatus recedens a Venere sum
nunc allevatus
nummis, atque sic sum pauperatus.

Terreat vos, iuvenes, istud quod auditis;
dum sagittam Veneris penes vos sentitis,
mei este memores; quocumque vos itis,
liberi poteritis esse, si velitis.

When I left the tavern

When I left the tavern drunk on wine,
I visited Venus's temple nearby.
I traveled alone, dressed to kill
with a full wallet on my left hip.|"

"Venus, most merciful, blessed creature,
I observe you know the past and also the future.
I'm most miserable, about to die,
but you could heal me with your gentle attention."

"We welcome," said Venus, "our fine youth
who choose to join our righteous sect.
If you donate the right quantity of cash
you will be advised about the perfect salvation."

"Look", I said, "my wallet has plenty of cash;
I will assign it completely to you holy Venus.
If you give instruction so that I will be at peace,
I will venerate your high ancestry forever."

The Mother of Love removed her clothes
to show her lovely flesh.
Spreading her out on the couch for some ten hours
I appeased the rage of my fever and pain.

I stayed with her, I think, for three months
and was respected while I had a full wallet.
Yet after leaving Venus I was relieved
of all my money and now I'm a pauper.

Young friends, may what you're hearing strike you with terror.
When the arrow of Venus pierces you
remember me; wherever you go
you can be freed [from torment] if you wish.

-from the Carmina Burana

II.   Ad Puerum Anglicum

Ad Puerum AnglicumAve puer speciose, qui non queris precium
qui te dono conparari summum ducis vicium
in quo decor et honestas delegit hospicium
forma cujus sibi capit oculos spectancium.Crinis flavus, os decorum cervixque candidula
sermo blandus et suavis; sed quid laudem singula
Totus pulcher et decorus, nec est in te macula
sed vaccare castitati talis nequid formula.Crede mihi, si redirent prisca Jovis secula
Ganimedes jam non foret ipsius vernacula
sed tu, raptus in supernis, grata luce pocula
gratiora quidem nocte Jovi dares oscula.Puellarum juvenumque votum extas publicum
te suspirant et exoptant quem noverunt unicum.
Errant quidem, inmo peccant qui te vocant Anglicum;
et vocalem interponant, et dicant angelicum.

- Hilary the Englishman (12th century

III.   AThe English Boy

Hail handsome boy, you who seek no gain,
Who think that to be purchased by a gift is highest vice,
In whom beauty and integrity choose their dwelling place
Whose appearance captures the eyes of all who see.
Golden hair, beautiful face, and white neck,
Winning and sweet conversation--but why praise these things one by one?
You are completely handsome; there is no flaw in you--
Except this worthless decision to devote yourself to chastity.
Believe me, if the ancient times of Jove were to come again,
Ganymede would no longer be Jove’s maid,
But you, ravished in the heavens, would give Jove
Pleasing cups by day, and even more pleasing kisses by night.
You stand out, an object of general devotion for young men and girls.
They sigh and long for you, recognizing you as unique.
Those who call you English truly make a mistake; no, they even sin.
Let them change the vowel and say angel.

Note:
Ganymede, the cup bearer for Jupiter, is used in classical and medieval poetry to represent homosexuality.

IV.   Miser, Miser

Olim latus colueram, olim pulcher extiteram
dum cignus ego fuream.

(Refr.) Miser, miser!
modo niger et ustus fortiter.

Girat, regirat "furcifer"
propinat me nunc dapifer,
me rogus urit fortiter

Miser, miser!
modo niger et ustus fortiter.

Mallem in aquis vivere
nudo semper sub aere,
quam in hoc mergi pipere:

Miser, miser!
modo niger et ustus fortiter.

Eram nive candidor,
quavis ave formosior,
nodo sum corvo nigrior:

Miser, miser!
modo niger et ustus fortiter.

Nunc in scutella iaceo,
et volitare nequeo,
dentes fredentes video:
Miser, miser!
modo niger et ustus fortiter.

Once I lived on a lake,
once I was beautiful,
when I was a swan.

Misery, misery!Now I'm black and charred
through and through.

Now they turn me on a spit
I feel the searing flame
a mighty funeral pyre.

Misery, misery!Now I'm black and charred
through and through.

I'd rather live on the water
always exposed to the open air
than immersed under this
pepper.

Misery, misery!Now I'm black and charred
through and through.

I'll never be snowy white
like a gracefully formed bird
I'll be twisted like a black raven.

 Misery, misery!Now I'm black and charred
through and through.

Now I lie in the pan
unable to fly
I can see the gnashing teeth.

Misery, misery!Now I'm black and charred
through and through.

- from the Carmina Burana

V.   Graffiti from a ninth-century manuscript

Antidoto cuivis Venus indiscreta choheret,
sed discreta Venus gaudet Ganimede tenello.
Certius hoc certo nichil est, quam quod Venus omnis
expers sit mellis, si Ganimede caret.

Corpore pigmeos, hos inguine crede gigantes,
nam longam caudam quisque pusillus habet.

Sit licet iste brevis, iactura tamen brevitatis
inguine pensatur, quod longum constat habere.

For relief the undiscriminating Venus embraces anything,
But the fussy Venus takes her delight in tender Ganymede.
Nothing is surer than this: Venus would be
Without honey if she were without Ganymede.

As for bodies, they’re pigmies, but believe me they’re giants in the crotch,
For each of these little men has a long tail.

Though they may be short, the lack of height
Is compensated in the crotch, which certainly has length.

VII.   AParisius Paridi

Parisius Paridi.
Felix tua secula vidi,
infelix careo
nunc Ganimede meo.Vulgus mendicum,
nebulones, grex meretricum
turbaque lixarum
te sine leta parum.Cura tue Flore--
marcet sine te, sine flore
hit sitit--ut valeas,
plus tamen ut redeas.Nevolus absque pari
nescit de nocte iocari;
hic ait: "Hispo, redi,
cui mea vota dedi."Te sine mendico;
sed, si te tollis amico
et remeas sero,
publicus hospes ero.

-Serlo of Wilton (c. 1110-1181)

From a Parisian to Paris: happily I watched your life;
Now unhappily I miss my Ganymede.

All the crowds of beggars and bums, the flocks of whores,
And the mobs of camp followers have little joy without you.

Your Flora--drooping without you, thirsting without his flower-
His concern is that you be well, and even more that you return.

Nevolus without his mate can't play at night;
He says, "Hispo, return; I have pledged myself to you."

Without you I beg, but if you tear yourself from your friend
And return, even late, I will be host to the whole world.

VIII.   Letter to Ausonius

Ego te per omne quod datum mortalibus
et destinatum saeculum est,
claudente donec continebor corpore,
discernar orbe quamlibet.Nec orbe longe nec remotum lumine
tenebo fibris insitum,
videbo corde, mente conplectar pia
ubique prasentem mihi.Et cum solutus corporali carcere
terraque provolavero,
quo me locarit axe communis pater,
illic quoque animo te geram.Neque finis idem, qui meo me corpore
et amore laxabit tuo;
mens quippe, lapsis quae superstes artubus
de stirpe durat caeliti,Sensus necesse est simul et adfectus suos
teneat aeque ut vitam suam,
et ut mori, sin oblivisci non capit,
perenne vivax et memor.Vale domine illustria.

- Paulinius of Nola (c. 353-431)

               You and me: for all time which is given
And destined to mortal men,
For as long as I am held in this confined, limping body,
No matter how far I am separated from you in the world,
You will be neither distant from me or far from my eyes:
I will hold you, intermingled in my very sinews.
I will see you in my heart and with a loving spirit embrace you;
You will be with me everywhere.
And when released from this bodily prison
I fly from earth
To the spot in heaven where our universal Father places me,
There too I will keep you in my spirit;
Nor will the end which frees me from my body
Release me from your love.
For the mind once it has survived loss of limbs,
Continues to grow out of its heavenly root,
And therefore must keep both its understanding and affections
Along with its life.
And just as it experiences no death, it will experience no loss of memory
But remain forever alive, forever mindful.
Farewell noble master.

SOLDIER STRING QUARTET

Michael Callen music & lyrics Dave Soldier

  If you lived long before
Courbet would paint your eyes
From Monmarte prison
Genet could send you a thousand pretty lies
Someone would write lyrics like Porter
And bring them to you on his knees
No matter, someone would adore you
In this age I'm lucky to be
One who believes
Romance can live today
and though they try
To sweep our old world dreams far away
While we cling to each other we can ignore
The critics who neatly surmise
That no one can speak that pure old language
But our love tries.

N'Orleans music & lyrics Dave Soldier

Learn to sing in pidgin English and gently embark on the breezy sea
down in the cargo I hear sweet voices ringin'
you'll give thankful oblation when we land in beautiful N'Orleans

Food just like it was on the Gambia river
just a little rice and pepper and the sweet red beans
just a bit of lazy work on afternoons in summer
is more or less expected when you land in beautiful N'Orleans

Now be glad glad glad you not traded in Charleston
where you bound on Sulivan's Island 'til you sink or swim
now be glad glad glad when they sanctify your person
and you get your new religon over there in beautiful N'Orleans

I'll take you there
to a beautiful city
I'll take you there
to the drums on Congo square
I'll take you there
every Saturday and Sunday
you will praise your Gods you landed over there in beautiful N'Orleans

There's a pretty little house for you on a slowly windey river
| don't even need to wear shoes on Rampart street
from Algiers to Treme' to the lovely Garden districts
you'll surely praise you Gods you landed in beautiful N'Orleans

Boogie on, party people

Lyrics adapted from traditional songs by the Bauls of Bengal with translations by Deben Bhattacharya

1
Only a connoisseur of the flavors of love can comprehend the language of a lover's heart: others have no clue. The taste of lime rests in the core of the fruit and even experts know of no easy way to reach it. Honey is hidden in the lotus blossom, and the bees know it. Dung beetles nestle in dung, not caring for honey.

The land talks in paradox and the flower devours the heads of fruits, and the gentle vine, roaring, strangles the tree. The blood is white and on the lake of blood float a pair of swans copulating continuously in a jungle of lust and love.

2
The incredible engine of a train makes the wheels move with organized power from the beautiful earth, fire, water, and air. But the day comes when the passenger goes, and the boiler breaks down and the engine stops and four shoulders bear the machinery to the funeral ground.

3
Mad, mad, we're all mad. Why is this word so derogatory, then? Dive deep into the heart's stream and you will find no one better than the one who is mad.

Some are mad after wealth and others for glory. Some go mad with poverty and others with aesthetic forms. Some are madly in love. The glamour of madness is great.

4
A tramp by nature and a beggar at that, she lives a strange life, almost insane, with values of her own which are contrary to those of others. Her home being under a tree, she moves from county to county all year round, as a dancing beggar who owns nothing in the world but a ragged quilt.

Lyrics from Soldier String Quartet CD

“She’s lightning when she smiles”
Transpcriptions of recorded blues 1926-1966

liner notes for "She's Lightning When She Smiles"

I began transcribing and arranging old records after listening to Robert Johnson's If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day. The performance gave me the feeling that Johnson, who I later heard was a Count Basie fan, was thinking of a big band orchestration even while playing the parts on solo guitar. When I wrote a big band arrangement of this piece and some Skip James songs for a concert at Gorgio Gomelski's club Plugs in 1983, my eyes opened to how deep and complex the music really is. The polyrhythms and microtonal intervals of the originals are so unforced and natural that listeners are unaware of them. The goal I've set is to try not to smooth over the weird patches and keep all of the strange pitches, rhythms, and phrasing that I can understand. As I continued to transcribe and arrange the work of great blues musicians, it became a school, and although I'm not a rhythm and blues performer, it has been a place from which in part my own compositions have grown. An invitation from Art at St. Ann's to perform a concert of blues transcriptions gave me a chance to pay tribute to this music. Some of the musicians are considered classics by millions of listeners while others are mysteriously ignored and seem to live on by altering the course of those fortunate enough to encounter them, the way that I suspect Robert Pete Williams helped beget Captain Beefheart.

Moanin’ at Midnight (Howlin' Wolf)

   There’s somebody knockin on my door

         Well I’m so worried don’t know where to go

  Well somebody’s calling me

    well calling me on my telephone

   somebody calling  call by my telephone

  well keep on calling

  tell him I’m not at home

Well do not worry  daddy’s gonna be here

Clouds in my heart (Muddy Waters)

Oh look out at the weather woman I believe it’s going to  rain
whoa you know I’m going to check up on my baby
  she’s going with another man >

      Lightning was flashing
don’t you hear how the thunder rolling
  I'm all alone by myself
don’t you hear how the wind a blowing

  The weather seems so foul
clouds way deep down in my heart
  the sweet little girl    we made such a bad   we made such a badZ
     bad bad start

By the moon & stars (Louise Johnson)

It's a full day moon goin’ down
well I saw my man but he still comin’ round and round

I said a big star is falling and it’s goin’ on for days
I goin’ hold my baby, change my evil ways

I’m gonna way down squeeze me night and day
Yes I - squeeze me night and day

If I cross my knees baby I swear I’ll be goin’ away
Now won’t you come here baby sit down on my knee

won’t you come here and sit down on my knee
well I just want to tell you that man how you have treated me.

 

Cypress Grove (Skip James)

I would rather to be buried in some cypress grove
then to have a country woman lord I never could call true

And when your kneebones get to achin’ and your body getting cold
you know you’re just getting ready honey for some cypress grove

Honey I would rather to be buried six feet in the clay
then be up here in New York City honey treated this a way

And I would drink muddy water, I sleep in a hollow log
before I stay up here honey treated like a dog

Yes I’m going away honey don’t you want to go
scared to go back down south them people gone kill me sure

I’m going to sing this song and I ain’t gonna sing no more
because my time has done got precious baby I just got - I got to go

Uncloudy Day (as sung by the Staple Singers)

well they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise
whoa they tell me of a home
far away so far away
whoa they tell me
of a home where no storm clouds rise
whoa they tell me
of an uncloudy day

well well well
lord they tell me lord
I got a home got a home beyond the sky
well well a home
well they tell me
of a home far far away
yea lord they tell me now
well no storm no storm cloud rise
well whoa whoa
they tell me of an uncloudy day

Sugar momma (John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf version)

Now they tell me sugar momma|
where in the world did you get your sugar from
way down in Lousiana
way down on your father’s sugar farm

You know they braggin’ ‘bout your sugar
you know they braggin all over town
You know they braggin’ ‘bout your sugar
about it all over town
the bootlegger want enough to make whiskey
you won’t sell but about 4 or 5 pounds

You know I like my coffee sweet in the morning woman
and you know I’m crazy ‘bout my tea at night
you know you come out of Lousiana babe
all I want you to do is treat me right

Future blues (Willie Brown)

Can’t tell my future lordy
I can’t tell my past
lord it seems like every day sure gonna be my last

well minutes seem like hours lordy
hours seem like days
and it seems like my woman oughta  stop her lowdown ways

well that woman I love now she’s five feet from the ground
I said woman I love now lordy five feet from the ground
yes she’s tailor made and ain’t no hand me down

Lord and I got a woman now lordy shes lightnin’ when she
lightin’ when she
lightnin’ while I said a I got a woman now she’s lightning when she smiles
Well I feelin’ so (itchy?) when she damn good lookin’ style (?)

well I know you seen that picture now lordy up on you mother’s
up on your mother’s on that shelf
I know you seen that picture now up on your mother’s shelf
well you know bout I’m gettin tired of sleeping by myself

And it’s T for Texas T for Tennessee
and it’s T for Texas now it’s T for Tennessee
God bless that woman that put that thing on me

Black Snake Moan (Blind Lemon Jefferson)

Oh ain’t got no momma now
   they told me late last night you don’t need no momma nohow

hmm black snake crawlin’ in my room
some pretty momma better come and get this black snake soon

Oh that must have been a bedbug
honey a snake can’t bite that hard
I asked my baby for 50 cents she said Lemon ain’t a dime in the yard.

If I had possesion over judgement day(Robert Johnson)

If I had possesion over judgement day
lord then there woulda been one woman would have no right to pray

And I went to the mountain and as far as my eyes could see
Lord (?) but a man got my woman and lonesome blues got me

And I rolled and I tumbled and I cried the whole night long
whoa I woke up this morning my biscuit roller gone

As I folded my arms butI slowy walked away ( spoken:) I didn’t like the way she’d done
As I folded my arms and I slowy walked away
I made in my mind your troubles goin’ come some day

Now run here baby set down on my knee
I wanna tell you all about the way they treated me

PEOPLE'S CHOICE MUSIC

THE MOST WANTED SONG

Lyrics by Nina Mankin (after Dave Soldier's survey results)

She:
Ooh yeah
Everyday I think of love
I thank the angels up above
They sent me into your world
Baby let me be your girl
ooh

Lying in my silken sheets
I think of ways that we might meet
I’d be so good by your side
Baby let me be your bride

‘cause I been goin’ so wrong
and I’m thinkin’ maybe baby
you’re the one to make me right  ooh

Baby can’t you see
You’re my fantasy

He:
Joey was a travelin’ man
Long and lean with a face like a baby
And she worked the nightshift
In the bright lights down on Washington

As she filled the ketchup jars
She looked at him like the risin’ sun
Shinin’ down on his dark star
Shinin’ for the lucky one

Cause he’s be goin’ so wrong
And he’s thinkin’ maybe baby
You’re the one to make me right
yeah yeah yeah

Both
Baby can’t you see
You’re my fantasy

He
Maybe she likes reading Wittgenstein

She
Fancy dinners drinking good red wine

He
Simple livin’ in our own RV

Both
Could it be that you're exactly like me?
Yeah yeah yeah

Baby can’t you see
You’re my fantasy

THE MOST UNWANTED SONG

Lyrics by Nina Mankin (after Dave Soldier's survey results)

Soprano raps:

YO, I'M ROPIN' UP MY SADDLE

FOR THE LONG LONG RIDE

EVERY TIME I SEE THE DESERT

THERE'S SOMETHING INSIDE SAYS

YO! YO!

THIS IS THE LIFE

GIVE ME OPEN LAND AND A

BIG OL' KNIFE TO GET SOME

BEAR, DEAR--

EVEN A SNAKE

I LIGHT ME A FIRE

DO THE

SHAKE AND BAKE

I SAY

YO! YO!

I'M A COWBOY NOW

THE SUN IS HOT AND DRY

GONNA ROPE ME A COW

I SAY

YO! YO!

I'M LOOSE AND FREE

WHOA THERE NELLY

YOU'RE THE HORSE FOR ME!

Soprano warbles:

ROPE 'EM UP BOYS!

THE DESERT IS 'A CALLIN'!

YAHOO! YAHOO! YAHOO!

SADDLE UP FELLAS!

(kids: SADDLE UP FELLAS!)

THE DESERT IS 'A CALLIN'!

YAHOO! YAHOO! YAHOO!

Children's Chorus:

(one kid yells) hey everybody, it's Christmas-time!

CHRISTMAS TIME!

CHRISTMAS TIME!

JESUS, MARY AND THE MANGER        

CHRISTMAS TIME, FAMILY TIME

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING AT WALMART!

Children's Chorus:

EASTER TIME! EASTER TIME!

LOVE, FORGIVENESS AND THE BUNNIES

EASTER TIME, CHOCOLATE TIME!

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING AT WALMART!

Soprano raps:

(Kids)Go go go go

 

OUT ON THE PLAINS

JUST ME AND MY MIND

TOOK ME A BREAK

TO READ SOME

WITTGENSTEIN

BORN IN VIENNA

IN '89

OBSESSED WITH THEORIES

OF LANGUAGE AND TIME

LIKE THE "TRACTATUS"

WHERE LUDWIG WOULD

CLAIM "THE LOGIC OF OUR LANGUAGE

IS MISUNDERSTOOD":

PHILOSOPHY IS BASED

ON A FALSE PRETENSE

SO PHILOSOPHY ITSELF

IS NONSENSE, NONSENSE!

PHILOSOPHY ITSELF IS NON-SENSE!

 

Soprano

MEANING IS DOING! IT'S A LANGUAGE GAME!

WORDS ARE CONTENT! NONSENSE! NONSENSE!

WORDS ARE CONTENT! YAHOO!

Children's Chorus:

YOM KIPPUR! YOM KIPPUR!

SELF REFLECTION AND ATONEMENT

YOM KIPPUR, THAT'S WHAT FOR

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING AT WALMART!

Children's Chorus:

FEEL THE EMBERS GLOWING

AND THE TURKEY IN THE OVEN

HEAR THE CHILDREN SINGING

THERE'S A TURKEY'S IN THE OVEN!

CANDLES ARE SO PRETTY

AND A TURKEY IN THE OVEN!

Soprano:

OH SAY CAN YOU--!

AMERICA!

THE GOLDEN LAND!

Full Chorus:

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING

AT WALMART!

Soprano:

BUY SPURS THAT JINGLE

AT WALMART!

Children's Chorus:

RAMADAN! RAMADAN!

LOTS OF PRAYING WITH NO BREAKFAST

RAMADAN, SO MUCH FUN

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING AT WALMART!

Soprano raps:

IT'S HOME, HOME

ON THE BIG OL' RANGE

YIPPIE TAI OH.

GET ALONG THERE STRANGER

ROPE 'EM, RIDE 'EM

SHOOT 'EM UP GOOD

WE'RE BIG AND BAD

IN THE COWBOY HOOD

 

I SAY YO! YO!

GOT A RIVER TO FORD

 

WITH A LIFE LIKE THIS

I NEVER BE BORED

I SAY YO! YO!

I'M WILD AND FREE

WHOA MISS KITTY,

YOU'RE THE GAL FOR ME!

Soprano

WHOA MISS KITTY!

I SAY WHOA THERE!

WHOA MISS KITTY

YAHOO! YAHOO!

Children's Chorus:

(one kid yells) Hey everybody! It's Labor Day!

LABOR DAY! LABOR DAY!

SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED AND POOLS ARE OPEN!

LABOR DAY!

ALL THE WAY!

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING

AT WALMART!

Children's Chorus:

GRANDMA'S ON THE PHONE

GO AND TELL HER THAT YOU LOVE HER

DADDY'S ON THE PHONE

GO AND TELL HIM THAT YOU LOVE HIM

SISTER'S ON THE PHONE

GO AND TELL HER THAT YOU LOVE HER

Soprano:

OH SAY CAN YOU--!

AMERICA!

THE GOLDEN LAND!

Full Chorus:

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING

AT WALMART!

Children's Chorus:

VETERAN'S DAY! VETERAN'S DAY!

SOMETHING TO DO WITH WAR AND CARNAGE

VETERAN'S DAY!

WHAT'S THERE TO SAY

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING

AT WALMART!

(one kid yells)  Hey everybody! It's Halloween!

HALLOWEEN! HALLOWEEN!

TRICK OR TREAT FOR CANDIED APPLES!

HALLOWEEN! WHAT A SCREAM!

DO ALL YOUR SHOPPING

AT WALMART!

20. Soprano raps:

LOOK OUT THERE!

IT'S AN INJUN BAND

COMIN THIS WAY

GONNA FIGHT FOR MY LAND

AND BUILD A HOME TOWN

GROCERY STORE

AMERICAN CHEESE

WORTH FIGHTING FOR

CALL IT "DRY GULCH"

O.K. CORRAL

HOLIDAY SPOT

FOR YOU AND YOUR GAL

TO GET SOME COOL SHIT

AND DESERT RAYS

COWBOY LIVIN' THE AMERICAN WAY

IT'S COWBOY LIVING

(with kids) GO GO GO GO

IT'S COWBOY LIVING

ALL THE WAY!

 

Soprano:

ROPE 'EM UP BOYS!

THE DESERT IS 'A CALLIN'!

YAHOO! YAHOO! YAHOO!

SADDLE UP FELLAS!

(kids: SADDLE UP FELLAS!)

THE DESERT IS 'A CALLIN'!

YAHOO! YAHOO! YAHOO!

protest rant over elevator music

VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE! TWENTY-SEVEN ELECTORAL VOTES! CENTRAL POLICY ISSUES! TWO PARTY SYSTEM! STRUGGLE!

PEOPLE! COMING TOGETHER OUT OF A DESIRE TO OBTAIN POLITICAL POWER! GAIN CONTROL OF THE GOVERNMENT! EXECUTIVE BRANCH! MILITARY BRANCH! FOREIGN AFFAIRS! INFLUENCE POLICY! PROMOTE IDEOLOGY- FASCISM! PROMOTE INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS -- GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOUS! IMELDA MARCOS! PROMOTE SPECIAL INTERESTS -- SUGAR! BEEF! BANANAS! PORK BELLIES! PORK BARRELS! LUMBER! COCA COLA! THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY! THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF OPPRESSION!

WHO ENSLAVED HUMANS OF COLOR? WHO INVADED THE CARIBBEAN? WHO MURDERED ALL THE INNOCENT CHILDREN?

YOU DID! YOU! YOU! YOU!

Children and soprano on protest song

IT MAY BE YOU

IT COULD BE ME

IT'S NOT ENOUGH

TO WAIT AND SEE

AND WHEN WE ALL

LOCK ARMS AND SING

THEN BELLS OF FREEDOM

RING DING DING