A Tall Order

Singer, sing
Let's drown out everything
I'm spent and it's only Tuesday
I could use a drink tonight
Get smoky and loud with
The Church Street kids, the theater crowd
And half the art department here
Perhaps I'll be all right

I kick around this town
Want to keep my friends but get the hell out
And I just don't see how
I just don't see how

So what if I stay
Watch the place while you're away
I'll clean the glasses, change the kegs
I'll put the chairs away
I could sleep on the bar
Quit my job, sell my car
And it'll be Christmas
Before you cut up my credit card

I laugh about my life
My other choice was cry all night
And I need a break now
I need a break now
So give me a glass if we be friends
Another pitcher shall restore amends
And tonight it's all right
Tonight it's all right

Hey can you do that one by the Jimmy Carters
Or "Taking the Mick" by the Bathtub Flowers
Or what's that song you've done
By Sally Cinnamon
The whole mob-boss table
Knows the backup to that one

Singer, sing
Drown out everything
I've come here for a reason
I need your help...
Singer, make me feel
The way that I would kill to feel
I know it's a tall order
But if anyone could do it, you might

Sing us another one
Bring us another one
And it's all right


I can hear the soft breathing of the girl I think I love
It makes me twitch and want to jump from this bed
If you knew her, you'd love her, but if you were me, you'd run
Cause you'd have it all messed up in your head
Get up, get coffee, get notebook and pen
Turn the pages back, untangle all these threads

Look, I start out all grateful and amazed at my good luck
Then something snaps and doom's impending instead
And every nail you bite, every snore
Is now the first crack in the wall
Pretty soon the roof will cave in on our heads
I'd calm down if I could just find the pattern in this
But when I read back through the course of our events
None of it makes any sense

But it's my job to figure this out
I get so mad that I'm not more confident
I've gone through several pens
Trying to write the proof that this is the right thing
Then went looking for the catch in the fine print
I don't know how you put up with this crap
I would have slapped me
You know, I think maybe you should
The regrets that I've had are not the crushes that went bad
They're when I left too soon to see it end up good

So if you feel more and more
Like running screaming out the door
Is that good instincts or irrational fears
I can hear my ex-girlfriend saying "Will you ever learn
This is the same rut you've been stuck in for years"
It's my big break or my fatal mistake
I got it backwards almost every time I've tried
Now I can't decide how to decide

What if you took that trip after all
I've got all these scattered thoughts to compile
Perhaps it would be best
If you had a chance to see what you're missing
And I had a chance to miss you for a while
I could fight it out in the lines of a song
A final showdown with a hundred nameless fears
It's my paper and pen against the mob, but I intend
To be the one still standing when the smoke clears
And when I've found words to tie them up
And throw them all in jail
You'll be sure to be the first one who hears


Will you hate this song?
Tours de force all wrong to you?
Forty minutes of me on the toilet?
Well, hope you choke on the glowing reviews
Your catchy, feel-good hooks
Won't make the history books I'll be in
Cause it takes thoughts no one else
Ever thought about
To get us all someplace we've never been

I am a genius
An unqualified genius
And if you don't understand me
It wouldn't undercut me
And surely won't surprise me
Cause no one's ever done this before

Don't like what I said?
Read your Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
It's the mark of a true artist outside the envelope:
People attack what they can't understand
So go ahead, hate this song
There's nothing wrong, my friends
The more you push me away with your ignorance
The higher I fly over your heads

"And do not forget that you are stupid." -- Dexter

See also Ismism: the philosophy that art is only meaningful insofar as it advances an innovative manifesto

They Can't Have You

I wrote your name on my shoes
I wrote your lyrics in my math book
So I had to buy it from the school
No, they don't love you like I do
And that's the reason
They can't have you
You are mine
And it's for your own good, you know
If Angela gets a hold of you
You'll be all over the school until
She makes us sick of all your songs and then
No one will admit they used to listen to you

They can't have you
It's not fair
Cause I finally find a band
That's like I have this secret club
This hidden thing that's beautiful
So don't you dare say it's no big deal
If you show a million tourists all our hiding spots
It's gonna change
It's gonna change when you get popular
You're gonna change
You're gonna change when you get popular

Guest vocals: Jenifer Parks


I could write a hundred songs
And love them, hate them
Think they're perfect or all wrong
I'd end up where I've always been:
What do I do now?

What do I do now
Do I play this stuff
Just me and my guitar
Sounding watered down
And this crowd doesn't much want to hear
Or hole up for a year
Fiddle with the mix some more
Mail it blind, go door-to-door

Should I write the hundred songs
Or stick to twenty I could
Really work up strong
Or is it pointless by myself
Thought I'd find someone by now
What do I do now?

What do I do now
Do I leave this town
Just me and my guitar
Schmooze and work those crowds
And cry from wishing I was here
Or hole up for a year
ÔTil there's something to leave for
A sign, a band at my door
What do I do now?

Do I give this up
Say I tried real hard
But I can't get there from here
Or hole up for a year
Get distracted, drown my fear
In work or friends or sex or beer

But I can't leave things unsaid
These songs tug at my head
Probably will until I'm dead
And I don't feel I'm done yet
What do I do now?

Big Tom

Big Tom the Femo Man
Comes a-barrelin' up through the ground
At the foot of the hydro-electric dam
Big Tom the Femo Man
Mother Nature's son
A gentle tower of clay and sand

What's that in his hand?
It's a fifteen-passenger van
Twinkle in his eye
Could blind the average man
Big Tom the Femo Man
Looks like his feet are stuck
But the Army Corps is doing all it can

Big Tom the Femo Man
Strikes terror in the heart of every
Shifty Sheila and Dirty Dan
Not to mention Sketchy Stan
Big Tom the Femo Man
Modern weapons are as useless against him
As if you'd thrown a yam
Just eats 'em, Sam I Am

What's that in his hand?
It's a lemonade stand
He's one tall drink of water
He can see clear to Japan
Big Tom the Femo Man
Picks up his tree-pencil
It's widely believed he has a secret plan
Big Tom the Femo Man

The Catchy Single

I give up, I give in
Have it your way, fine, you win
I will scratch, break the skin
Get this over
I was good and all was well
God you make me mad as hell
Your siren song casts a spell
Says it's over
You work the line between love and hate
One's your bobber, one's your weight
You set the hook with lots of bait

You're, I don't know, Sheryl Crow on the radio
Through the back door of my mind
"All you want is some fun, come and soak up sun"
You repeat it a hundred times
And how I miss that state of grace
Before you'd ever shown your face
And I was fine

From Ocean Park to Charlottetown
I took my time and I looked around
From Newhaven port to Harris Sound
Went out to mingle
I chose a path where I'd belong
And learn each step like a favorite song
Then came you, track two
The catchy single
I didn't want you in my head
Saying "Rhyme that with Ômy bed'"
I should have had a shower instead

Now you're, I don't know, J. Lo in some video
Paid to play now in my mind
I got burnt by the sun trying to soak up fun
And I see it a hundred times
I wish you'd never come along
I wish I'd never left the place where I belonged

I wish you'd never come along
I wish I never had to hear your stupid song


Here's a filler song
I was a song short for the album
Hence the filler song
Almost totally without merit
But my other ideas
Aren't anywhere near
To recordable yet
And I took "Throwback" out
Of the lineup because
It's too depressing
So here you go
Here you are
Here it is
I wrote it just for you

It's a filler song
It's been three years since my last disc
I gotta get this out the door
I wrote this in ten minutes
Sitting here on my couch
Where I'm singing it now
That very same morning
See, it's Thanksgiving week
I want to get done
And go to the beach
So here you go
Here you are
Here it is
I wrote it just for you

Selling Out

Dye my hair, buy new clothes
Get that look you can't resist
Act all confident but secretly wounded
Let you fill in all the rest
If I get my foot in the door
Run away cause it makes you chase me more
Then, in time, it's me you love me for
Is that such a bad thing
Is it such a bad thing

Would you love me
If I gave you what you wanted
Would you need me
If I became just what
You wanted me to be
And if it's love I want
And this gets what I want
Is that selling out

Write one little radio song and
The rest of your album gets heard
Write two, they'll buy your back catalog
Years of songs finally reach the world
If I get my foot in the door
Then go back to songs that matter more
For millions who weren't listening before
Is that such a bad thing
Is it such a bad thing

This is the real me
Thank you for purchasing the real me

"With every purchase of The Real Me (TM)
We donate 1/10 of 1 percent to charity"


I'm jealous of your life now
Should I try to live it too
I thought I'd show you, write you a song
But then this was the best I could do
With the radio in my head
Wilson Mann and Travis Smith
I should have known I was lost from the point
That I thought up a chord to start with

It's been done, I hope you don't mind
I get so derivative much of the time
No practice and obvious-rhymed
I'm just not inspired that much of the time

Between my Pets and their Sounds
Between Ella and Shakespeare
I ought to have the inspiration to get over it
Get some songs and my sorry ass in gear
I've been sitting here all pissed off
That I'm not a Beatle yet
Perhaps I lack the talent, the confidence
And the sense to give up and forget
(So much for hopeful)

I'm babbling so pay me no mind
I don't know why I do this half of the time
Why want things that aren't there to find
Too late now, I've killed too much of my time

Why can't I find the right place, the right time
What's missing that I need now in mine
Why can't I find the right notes, the right lines
All psyched out and hard to satisfy

Why can't I get the mix right, record it
So it sounds like it sounded in my head
I hate songs about songs -- like this song
I just wish I knew what I'm doing wrong

The Last Song

Birthday comes, it hits me
It's been over quite a while
There was no bang, no whimper
We're still trying to sing and smile
But it's the sound of a dying band
The lyrics make a brave last stand
But oh, the chords say we know we're done for
Falling not to rise again

There's no point in dragging this out
So I'm not going to stick around
Two friends shrug, one hates me
I feel lost, I've let them down
My life's over -- I've had my chance
My girlfriend says don't think like that
Because it mattered and you're a good guy
Be happy, you sure tried
And dreams don't fail and dreams don't die
They just gather around something new
You don't need songs to be worth something
We all love you -- I love you

I love you
What would I do without her?

Let's go get some more cerveza
Stay out on the porch all night
Consider it a wake
For the part of me that's died
And as a eulogy occurs to me
I grab a pen and write
One last song saying goodbye and I love you
And I'll see you on the other side

I'll see you around sometime

These lyrics appear by permission and are
(C)2002 Scot Ninnemann. All rights reserved.