THE PLAID ALBUM LYRICS

HERE AND NOW

Draped in white
Gently waked by the light that softly
Lifts her out of night
She sighs
Opens her eyes
And looking up at me, she smiles

"You again?" she laughs
Lifts up the covers as I crawl past
And as I'm holding her now
I'm wondering how
The days go by so fast

Must they end
"Must I leave you again," I find myself
Asking my best friend
She sighs
I lower my eyes
And kissing me, she says goodbye

Too good to last
Brush back the tears as the miles roll past
And as I'm leaving her now
I'm wondering how
The days went by so fast

I will not forget
But she wouldn't want me holding my breath
So 'til she comes back around
I'll be living here and now
And the days will go by so fast
The days will go by so fast



HIGH SCHOOL JOB

I'm back from college
And I know what I want:
Can I wash the dishes
In your restaurant?
GPA of 3.9
Now would you like the large
Or the super-size fries?

Four years of a
College education is the
Slowest way possible
To get robbed
Cause $50,000 buys a
One-way ticket right
Back to your high school job



TRUE LAUNDRY STORY

Sarah is climbing up the stairs
With her boyfriend's laundry again
Hasn't she heard of women's liberation?
She says, "I'd die for him
So why shouldn't I do his laundry?"
I thought, "He can't expect you to die for him
Nor should he expect you to do his laundry"

Sarah has freaked me out a while
When we first met in the theater
Every third word out of her mouth was "boyfriend"
As in, "I'm Sarah, and I love my boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend"
I thought, "Okay, you can stop now
I get the picture, you've got a boyfriend, boyfriend"
Now I think: I'm not the one she's trying to prove it to
She's trying hard to talk herself into something

Don't know her well
But well enough to know
That determined look
As she steels her will
And grips it tighter still
As it spins out of control



THE LETTER Q

If you could be a letter
Would you be the letter Q?
Cause then you could make
The queen a quilt quite quickly
Cause "quickly" starts with Q
Would you be the letter Q?
You could quake and quiver
'Til your face turned blue
Cause "quiver" starts with Q

Well my friend Q is a
Different kind of letter
It's friends with U and
That helps it feel better
Cause my friend Q is
Always followed by the letter U
Q, then U

If you could be a letter
Would you be the letter U?
Cause then you could make
Your uncle undress an umpire
Well, maybe not...
But "umpire" starts with U
Would you be the letter U?
You could eat umbrellas
If you wanted to
"Umbrellas" starts with U

Well my friend U is a
Different kind of letter
It's friends with Q and
You might find them together
Cause my friend Q is
Always followed by the letter U
(My friend U is
Occasionally preceded by the letter Q)
My friend Q is
Always followed by the letter U
Q, then U



BLINK

Someone remind me why I'm here
I think I believe in something
I think that used to be clear
Now I can't see through this ink
You say, "Try to put aside your fear
Try not to be so disillusioned"
I'm trying hard here
But it's like trying not to blink

Do I still believe in my heart of hearts
I'm supposed to make a difference
For mercy's sake, let me feel that now



BASIC NEEDS

What color is the money up in heaven
Or will the snowmobiles be free?
Will Jesus let me borrow all his stuff
If I can't take my stuff with me?
Down here it's all I can depend on
To comfort me

Down here, Jesus said to
Help the poor folks
Cause they don't have the basic needs
You know I would
Help them if I could
But I don't have a spare TV
And I still don't have enough money
To comfort me

If I work hard
All my life without complaining
And I finally get that
Cabin on the lake
Would God really take it
Away from me?
Maybe I can get Jesus to watch
Some football with me
He must have one hell of a
Big screen TV

The Bible says Jesus goes to parties
And he turns water into wine
Well if God won't let me
Borrow all his stuff
Then I'll just stay drunk all the time
Up there it's all I can depend on
To comfort me



TRYING TOO HARD (Memo to myself:)

Let me remind you while I'm here
Remind you what you still believe in
What's buried in there somewhere
If you can't see through this ink
Are you choosing to be swallowed by this mess
To try to grab it by its center and with one strong motion
Turn it all back right-side-out?
So this is how you feel
And you chase it down that tunnel
And with your back to the sun
Your eyes strain harder to find what went wrong

I know you're trying to push aside your fear
To overpower your disappointment
You're trying too hard, dear
You can't cage up what you think
So this is how you feel
And you want to face it head-on
And learn from it all
So now that you're okay with that
Hey, look at me and
Feel me scratch your back
Distract you and make you laugh and
Aren't you glad that you have me right now?

It's time for you to put down that weight
To laugh out loud just for laughter's sake
For this once, stop being so serious
And step outside
Come back from that planet inside your mind
There's so much world and so little time
Reach out, make it your world
The larger your world
The smaller your problems will look

I remember why I'm here
Hey, look at me and
Feel me scratch your back
Distract you and make you laugh and
Aren't you glad that you have me?
And stretch your world still more beyond yourself
And watch life look different
And if you did not know that before
You know it now



SAFE

I need to get backstage and
Catch my breath and
Get my balance again
And you can get me to talk somehow and
I feel so much better
I think I've found a friend
And I have to smile
When you smile at me like that

I know we really don't know
Each other that well
But you make me feel so at ease
And when you open your door
There's that look in your eyes
That says you're glad it's me
How can I describe
How much that means right now

Do you know how much it
Calms me down
To have you here in this room?
You're so kind, you're
So kind
I feel like maybe I could be safe with you

But I don't know how to get
Closer to you
There's so much I don't know how to say
And I can't afford to mess up
What could be a good friendship
And make you want to push me away
But I don't know when
I've felt as lost as I feel now

And I'm amazed how much it
Calms me down
To have you here in this room?
You're so kind, you're
So kind
I feel like maybe I could be safe with you

I swear I won't ask for anything much
I don't want to stand in your way
I just really could use a friend like you
That's all I wanted to say
I swear, it's all I wanted to say

I've been hit hard for reaching out before
But I'd like to turn the other cheek
And angels wrap their wings around me
As I find the courage to speak

If I rest awhile, will you stay here with me
If I let you in, will you listen to me
If I open up, will that be alright with you?
If I drop the mask, can I just be me
If I start to cry, will you reach out for me
If I take your hand, will that be alright with you?
If I care for you, will that be alright with you?



SMILE

I hadn't talked to one person today
I said I'm not
Very good company right now anyway
Sat staring up at your picture on the wall
For one brief moment
You don't feel so far away after all
La da da da...
And for one brief moment
I'd smile

My time had stopped
Frozen, no motion at all
I hung suspended
Changeless
Lifeless as that picture on the wall
Woke myself up
Started the clock on the wall
Walked out my door
Found my life not so far away after all
La da da da...
And since that moment
I've smiled.



GO?

I'm sick of love that doesn't make sense
I've no strength left for any more romance
When I've followed my heart
I have been misled
When I shot at my dreams
They all wound up dead
Swore I'd never believe
In a word love said again

I was happy minding my own business
I don't know how you talked me into this
I got out of that whirlpool
Cause I can't swim
Now the sweetest voice calls me
To get back in
I can hardly believe it
Here I go again

The deeper you beckon me in
The more my hands cling and refuse to let go
If this is the chance that I've waited so long for
Why don't I want to go?

Breaking open the doors
I had locked inside
Now you've left me with no place
That's safe to hide
I think Cupid is
Taking me for a ride again

I want you to prove that I'm wrong
I want to believe it's not how things should go
If this is the chance that I've waited so long for
Why don't I want to go?



HAUNTING MR. JONES

I know it must be Sunday cause you're
Half-asleep there in your usual chair
The most amazing thing just passed your
Window now but you weren't looking there
Mr. Jones
The only time you're wakeful anymore
Is when you're fast asleep in bed
Which is sad, Mr. Jones

The world was at your doorstep but your
Face was buried in the New York Times
You thought to sweep your dreams under the rug
Would help you ease your troubled mind
Mr. Jones
Look under that rug there
I don't think they've become what you're expecting
Which is nothing
Which is not what's haunting you
Now is it, Mr. Jones?

Does it feel safe to do just what's expected
Let momentum carry you
Cause good boys don't ask questions
They just do the things they're told, and so did you
Mr. Jones
Look back on your life now
I don't think you'll regret what you're expecting
Which is nothing
Which is not what's haunting you
Now is it, Mr. Jones?

And hasn't there always been
Something you wanted to say?

Just let your thoughts out honestly and
You might be surprised at what you say
Get off your riding lawnmower and
Let your fingers dig into the clay
Mr. J.
Look under that rock there
I don't think that you'll find what you're expecting
Which is nothing
Which is not what's under there
Now is it, Mr. Jones?



CAGED

I've never seen her look so tired before
She walks over to my table
Her eyes don't leave the floor
She laughs and says "I guess my faith is wearing thin
And the dream that kept me floating
Is now the mess I'm drowning in"
She pulls a chair up next to mine
And stops pretending that everything is fine

She says, "What if I have nothing to say?
Nothing to offer and my chances slip away
I want it so badly but there's no guarantee
For some, it never happens what if that's me?
I'm trying, but it's hard to believe"

It's getting to the point where she's scaring me
She's making perfect sense and I don't want to agree
But I know her life has never proven otherwise
She's staring in her coffee
And the spark's gone from her eyes
It hurts seeing her this way
There must be something I can say

She says, "How maddening
To know where you want to be
It's hanging there above me
And its shadow follows me
I'm a caged animal tired of pounding against the walls
And I'm scared to think I might make
No difference at all..."

She says, "It's killing me to watch my dreams die
These things happen, but not to such as I"
I said, "Why shouldn't they? There's no reason why!"
She says, "That's exactly what I mean"
And she's starting to cry
Oh how she wants to believe



THE EMPTY PRESENT

Time to tug at the ribbon
Unravel the bow
That's holding this pretty box closed
I shake at my presents
For days before Christmas
For reasons that everyone knows
But I get the feeling this one's empty
All wrapping, all show

Better watch out for time
It burns off the pretense
Until it finds the core of what is real
A song, proving honest
In innocent earnest
Goes through a fire that would melt steel
But I get the feeling this one's melting
Like so much summer snow
And I get the feeling it won't take me
Anywhere I want to go

Better wipe that smirk off
You'll never fool me with that smile
Better find some substance
Cause time will make a mockery of your style
Is it not hard enough to breathe
Behind that mask you wear?
You'll fill in all the cracks
Until you can't get any air
Why worry that I'll see?
I don't know why you'd care
Tell me are you scared
That when I pull it off you
I will find there's no one there?

So you'd best watch out for time
It lays bare your inner workings
I see them like I've opened up a clock
It rips through the paper
It scrapes away the glitter
That decorates all your empty talk
And I get the feeling what my life needs
Is a little poetry
And I get the feeling I'll find no comfort
In your vanity



PORCUPINE
(Lyrics: Scot Ninnemann and Noel Cragg)

The rain stops as the light turns red
And Mr. Baker walks across the street
Behind the zebras
The Presidential Breakfast Pastry passes
Icing melting from the heat
Of the zebras

And if it's rain or shine
They don't really mind
Sun or snow
They don't really know

But the forecast says continued
Partly scary and croissant
So the short and portly butler
Blows his toast rings on the lawn
And the ghost of Shlomo Sigmund Freud
Comes running down the street
Chased by the largest salami
That the world has ever seen
And I know I'll be at peace there
Cause I asked the talking cow
She says everything is fine there
And I'm going to be there any minute now

The roller skating nun's drunk
But her voodoo socks make sure she swerves in time
Around the night chef
Who hides behind an imaginary wall
To lose a crowd of screaming mimes
Who want his Loaf Loaf(TM)

The Italian-speaking penguins
Playing racquetball with trees
Lost all their money to
Jean-Michel and His Amazing Cheese
You know his upper ones and fours are his
But his sofa isn't real
And he will tell you that his life is
"Like a wheel without a wheel"
(Ignition!)

Miss Kathy and Miss Julia
Make faces at the kids
From a newspaper taxi
On the 59th Street bridge
And the girls downstairs are psycho
Grandma 3 lives above
You know they really get crabby
When she bangs the drums

And I know I'll be there
(It's so peaceful there)
So don't dare to drag me back down
You know my system is armed now
The poison spines are out
(Love is everywhere)
And I'll shut you down now
And tunnel 'til I'm clear
And I'm happy going anywhere
Cause anywhere is better than here



SONNET

Lie back awhile and lock your cares outside
The world can wait outside for us awhile
And meanwhile, I have everything I need
A little time, some music and your smile
We've worried now so long 'bout what's to come
That what we have right now seems less than real
Take time to let this moment sink in deep
In the future this is how I hope we'll feel
We'll find out then, much further down this road
You're here right now, that's all I need to know
When you can't stay awake another hour
Then I will sit and watch you as you sleep
Tomorrow we'll chase after all our dreams
For now, this moment is enough for me



GRAVITY

She walks on some other shore
Stares across some other sea
But as she takes one footstep more
I can feel her one step closer now to me
Though further off than I have eyes to see
With every step I feel her coming
Closer now to me

Her eyes catch some other light
As it dances cross the waves
It will guide me safe through the night
'Til I'm catapulted skyward by her face
Turning giddy circles through the sky
A dizzy swirl of motion and I'm
Learning how to fly

Time is finally on my side
The planet can't unwind its spinning
And I'm getting closer all the time
Time propels her round to me
Like gravity
And nothing in the world could ever
Stop what's meant to be
And I can feel her closer now to me

She smiles as she walks along
Staring cross some other sea
My heart's not yet learned the song
But I'm following a distant melody
Like all of heaven's angels calling me
And with every step I feel her coming
Closer now to me





These lyrics appear by permission, and are
(C)1993,1995 Scot Ninnemann except "Porcupine,"
(C)1993 Scot Ninnemann and Noel Cragg.
All rights reserved.