Laurie Anderson Discography and Lyrics

Albums:
-------
For Instants (1976)
You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With (1981)
Big Science (1982)
Mister Heartbreak (1984)
United States Live (4 vols, 1984)
Home of the Brave (soundtrack, 1986)
Strange Angels (1989)
Bright Red (1994)
In Our Sleep (1994)
The Ugly One with the Jewels (1995)
Life on a String (2001)
Live in New York (2 vols, 2002)
Homeland (2010)

Track Listings:
---------------
For Instants (1976)
 [no info]

You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With (w/William
  S. Burroughs, John Giorno, 1981)
 Anderson - Born, Never Asked
 Anderson - Closed Circuits
 Anderson - Dr. Miller
 Anderson - It Was Up in the Mountains
 Anderson - For Electronic Dogs
 Anderson - Structuralist Filmmaking
 Anderson - Drums
 Burroughs - Introducing John Stanley Hart
 Burroughs - Twilight's Last Gleaming
 Burroughs - My Protagonist Kim Carson
 Burroughs - Salt Chunk Mary
 Burroughs - Progressive Education
 Burroughs - The Wild Fruits
 Burroughs - The Unworthy Vessel
 Burroughs - The Name is Clem Snide
 Burroughs - Mr. Hart Couldn't Hear the Word Death
 Giorno - I Don't Need It, I Don't Want It, And You Cheated
  Me Out of It
 Giorno - Completely Attached to Delusion

Big Science (1982)
 From the Air
 Big Science
 Sweaters
 Walking & Falling
 Born, Never Asked
 O Superman (for Massenet)
 Example #22
 Let X=X/It Tango

Mister Heartbreak (1984)
 Sharkey's Day
 Langue d'Amour
 Gravity's Angel
 Kokoku
 Excellent Birds (Anderson, Peter Gabriel)
 Blue Lagoon
 Sharkey's Night

United States Live (vol 1, 1984)
 Say Hello
 Walk the Dog
 Violin Solo
 Closed Circuits (for voice and amplified mic stand)
 For a Large and Changing Room
 Pictures of It (for acoustic Tape Bow)
 The Language of the Future
 Cartoon Song
 Small Voice (for speaker-in-mouth)
 Three Walking Songs (for Tape Bow Violin)
 The Healing Horn
 New Jersey Turnpike
 So Happy Birthday
 EngliSH
 Dance of Electricity
 Three Songs for Paper, Film, and Video

United States Live (vol 2, 1984)
 Sax Solo (for Tape Bow Violin)
 Sax Duet
 Born, Never Asked
 From the Air
 Beginning French
 O Superman
 Talkshow
 Frames for the Pictures
 Democratic Way
 Looking for You
 Walking and Falling
 Private Property
 Neon Duet (for violin and neon bow)
 Let X=X
 The Mailman's Nightmare
 Difficult Listening Hour
 Language is a virus from outer space - William S. Burroughs
 Reverb
 If You Can't Talk About It, Point to It (for Ludwig
  Wittgenstein and Reverend Ike)
 Violin Walk
 City Song
 Finnish Farmers

United States Live (vol 3, 1984)
 Red Map
 Hey Ah
 Bagpipe Solo
 Steven Weed
 Time and a Half
 Voices on Tape
 Example #22
 Strike
 False Documents
 New York Social Life
 A Curious Phenomenon
 Yankee See
 I Dreamed I Had to Take a Test...
 Running Dogs
 Four, Three, Two, One
 The Big Top
 It Was Up in the Mountains
 Odd Objects (for light-in-mouth)
 Dr. Miller (Anderson, Perry Hoberman)
 Big Science
 Big Science Reprise

United States Live (vol 4, 1984)
 Cello Solo
 It Tango
 Blue Lagoon
 Hothead (La Langue d'Amour)
 Stiff Neck
 Telephone Song
 Sweaters
 We've Got Four Big Clocks (and they're all ticking)
 Song for Two Jims
 Over the River
 Mach 20
 Rising Sun
 The Visitors
 The Stranger
 Classified
 Going Somewhere?
 Fireworks
 Dog Show
 Lighting Out for the Territories

Home of the Brave (soundtrack, 1986)
 Smoke Rings (co-produced by Nile Rodgers)
 White Lily
 Late Show
 Talk Normal
 Language Is a Virus (produced by Nile Rodgers)
 Radar
 Sharkey's Night
 Credit Racket

Strange Angels (featuring Bobby McFerrin, 1989)
 Strange Angels
 Monkey's Paw
 Coolsville
 Ramon
 Babydoll
 Beautiful Red Dress
 The Day the Devil (Peter Laurence Gordon)
 The Dream Before (to Walter Benjamin)
 My Eyes
 Hiawatha

Bright Red (1994)
 Speechless
 Bright Red
 The Puppet Motel (Anderson, Brian Eno)
 Speak My Language
 World Without End
 Freefall
 Muddy River (Anderson, Brian Eno)

 (Tightrope, originally disc 2 of Bright Red)
 Beautiful Pea Green Boat 4:20
 Love Among the Sailors 2:49
 Poison 3:47 (Anderson, Brian Eno)
 In Our Sleep 2:31 (Anderson, Lou Reed)
 Night in Baghdad 3:23
 Tightrope 5:58 (Anderson, Brian Eno)
 Same Time Tomorrow 3:51

In Our Sleep (1994)
 In Our Sleep (Single Mix)
 Poison (Single Mix)
 Ouija Board
 In Our Sleep (Trance Mix)
 Poison (Trance Mix)
 Ugly One With the Jewels
 Poison (Instrumental Mix)
 In Our Sleep (Instrumental Mix)

The Ugly One with the Jewels (spoken word, 1995)
 The End of the World
 The Salesman
 The Night Flight from Houston
 Word of Mouth
 The Soul is a Bird
 The Ouija Board
 The Ugly One with the Jewels
 The Geographic North Pole
 John Lilly
 The Rotowhirl
 On the Way to Jerusalem
 The Hollywood Strangler
 Maria Teresa Teresa Maria
 Someone Else's Dream
 White Lily
 The Mysterious 'J'
 The Cultural Ambassador
 Same Time Tomorrow

Life on a String (2001)
 One White Whale
 The Island Where I Come From
 Pieces and Parts
 Here With You
 Slip Away
 My Compensation (Anderson, Skuli Sverrisson)
 Dark Angel
 Broken
 Washington Street
 Statue of Liberty
 One Beautiful Evening
 Life on a String

Live in New York (vol 1, 2002)
 Here with You
 Statue of Liberty
 Let X=X
 Sweaters
 My Compensation
 Washington Street
 Pieces and Parts
 Strange Angels
 Dark Angel

Live in New York (vol 2, 2002)
 Wildebeests
 One Beautiful Evening
 Poison (Anderson, Brian Eno)
 Broken
 Progress (a.k.a. The Dream Before)
 Animals
 Life on a String
 Beginning French
 O Superman
 Slip Away
 White Lily
 Puppet Motel (Anderson, Brian Eno)
 Love Among the Sailors
 Coolsville

Homeland (2010)
 Transitory Life
 My Right Eye
 Thinking of You
 Strange Perfumes
 Only an Expert
 Falling
 Another Day in America
 Bodies in Motion
 Dark Time in the Revolution
 The Lake
 The Beginning of Memory
 Flow

Lyrics:
-------
(Album titles preceded by ##, Song titles by --)

##
02 You're the Guy I Want To Share My Money With
[see United States Live for lyrics]

##
03 Big Science (1982)

--
From The Air

Good evening. This is your Captain.
We are about to attempt a crash landing.
Please extinuish all cigarettes
Place your tray tables in their
upright, locked position.

Your Captain says: Put your head on your knees
Your Captain says: Put your head on your hands
Captain says: Put your hands on your head
Put your hands on your hips. Heh heh
This is your Captain-and we are going down
We are all going down, together
And I said: Uh oh. This is gonna be some day
Standby. This is the time
And this is the record of the time.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.

Uh-this is your Captain again.
You know, I've got a funny feeling I've seen this all before.
Why? Cause I'm a caveman.
Why? Cause I've got eyes in the back of my head.
Why? It's the heat. Standby.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.

Put your hands over your eyes. Jump out of the plane.
There is no pilot. You are not alone. Standby.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
This is the time. And this is the record of the time.

--
Big Science

Coo coo it's cold outside. Coo coo it's cold outside.
Ooo coo coo. Don't forget your mittens.

Hey Pal! How do I get to town from here?
And he said: Well just take a right where
they're going to build that new shopping mall,
go straight past where they're going to put in the freeway,
take a left at what's going to be the new sports center,
and keep going until you hit the place where
they're thinking of building that drive-in bank.
You can't miss it. And I said: This must be the place

Ooo coo coo. Golden cities. Golden towns.
Golden cities. Golden towns.
And long cars in long lines and great big signs
and they all say: Hallelujah. Yodellayheehoo.
Every man for himself. Ooo coo coo.
Golden cities. Golden towns. Thanks for the ride.

Big Science. Hallelujah. Big Science. Yodellayheehoo.

You know. I think we should put some mountains here.
Otherwise, what are all the characters going to fall off of?
And what about stairs? Yodellayheehoo. Ooo coo coo.

Here's a man who lives a life of danger.
Everywhere he goes he stays - a stranger.
Howdy stranger. Mind if I smoke? And he said:
Every man, every man for himself.
Every man, every man for himself.
All in favor say aye

Big Science. Hallelujah. Big Science. Yodellayheehoo.

Hey Professor! Could you turn out the lights?
Let's roll the film

Big Science. Hallelujah.
Every man, every man for himself.
Big Science. Hallelujah. Yodellayheehoo.

--
Sweaters

I no longer love your mouth
I no longer love your eyes

I no longer love your eyes.
I no longer love the color of your sweaters.
I no longer love it.

I no longer love the color of your sweaters.
I no longer love the way you hold your pans
and pencils.
I no longer love it.

Your mouth. Your eyes.
The way you hold your pens and pencils
I no longer love it. I no longer love it

--
Walking & Falling

I wanted you. And I was looking for you.
But I couldn't find you.
I wanted you. And I was looking for you all day.
But I couldn't find you. I couldn't find you

You're walking. And you don't always realize it,
but you're always falling.
With each step you fall forward slightly.
And then catch yourself from falling
Over and over, you're falling
And then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling
at the same time.

--
Born, Never Asked

It was a large room. Full of people. All kinds.
And they had all arrived at the same buidling
at more or less the same time.
And they were all free. And they were all
asking themselves the same question:
What is behind that curtain?

You were born. And so you're free. So happy birthday.

--
O Superman

O Superman. O judge. O Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad.
O Superman. O judge. O Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad.
Hi. I'm not home right now. But if you want to leave a
message, just start talking at the sound of the tone.
Hello? This is your Mother. Are you there? Are you
coming home?
Hello? Is anybody home? Well, you don't know me,
but I know you.
And I've got a message to give to you.
Here come the planes.
So you better get ready. Ready to go. You can come
as you are, but pay as you go. Pay as you go

And I said: OK. Who is this really? And the voice said:
This is the hand, the hand that takes. This is the
hand, the hand that takes.
This is the hand, the hand that takes.
Here come the planes.
They're American planes. Made in America.
Smoking or non-smoking?
And the voice said: Neither snow nor rain nor gloom
of night shall stay these couriers from the swift
completion of their appointed rounds.

'Cause when love is gone, there's always justice.
And when justive is gone, there's always force.
And when force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi Mom!

So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. So hold me,
Mom, in your long arms.
In your automatic arms. Your electronic arms.
In your arms.
So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms.
In your electronic arms

--
Example #22

Beispiele paranormaler Tonbandstimmen.
Was sind paranormale Tonbandstimmen?
Es sind Stimmen unbekannte herkunft.
Es sing paranormaler Tonbandstimmen-

(Examples of paranormal voices on tape.
What are paranormal voices on tape?
They are voices of unknown origin.
They are paranormal voices on tape-)

Ihren Klang. Ich verstehe die Sprachen.
Ich verstehe die Sprachen nicht. Ich hore nur
Irhen Klang.

(Your sound. I understand the languages.
I don't understand the languages.
I hear only your sound.)

The sun is shining slowly
The birds are flying so low.
Honey you're my one and only,
So pay my what you owe me.

Lights are going down, slowly,
In the woods the animals are moving.

In my dreams you're talking to me.
Your voice is moving through me.
You talk as if you knew me.
So pay me what you owe me.

Beispiel Nummer zweiundzwanzig.

(Example #22.)

The sun is shining slowly
The birds are flying so low.
Honey you're my one and only
So pay me what you owe me

--
Let X=X

I met this guy - and he looked like might have
been a hat check clerk at an ice rink.
Which, in fact, he turned out to be. And I said:
Oh boy. Right again.

Let X=X. You know, it could be you.
It's a sky-blue sky. Satellites are out tonight.
Let X=X.

You know, I could write a book. And this book would
be thick enough to stun an ox. Cause I can see the
future and it's a place - about 70 miles east of
here. Where it's lighter. Linger on over here.
Got the time? Let X=X.

I got this postcard. And it read, it said:
Dear Amigo - Dear Partner.
Listen, uh - I just want to say thanks. So...thanks.
Thanks for all the presents. Thanks for introducing
me to the Chief.
Thanks for putting on the feedbag. Thanks for going
all out.
Thanks for showing me your Swiss Army knife.
and uh -
Thanks for letting me autograph your cast.
Hug and kisses. XXXXOOOO.
Oh yeah, P.S.
I - feel - feel like - I am - in a burning building - and I
gotta go.
Cause I - I feel - feel like - I am - in a burning
building - and I gotta go.

--
It Tango
She said: It looks. Don't you think it looks a lot like rain?
He said: Isn't it. Isn't it just. Isn't it just like a woman?
She said: It's hard. It's just hard. It's just kind of hard
to say.
He said: Isn't it. Isn't it just. Isn't it just like a woman?
She said: It goes. That's the way it goes. It goes
that way.
He said: Isn't it. Isn't it just like a woman?
She said: It takes. It takes one. It takes on to. It takes
one to know one.
He said: Isn't it just like a woman?
She said: She said it. She said it to no. She said it to
no one.
Isn't it. Isn't it just? Isn't it just like a woman?

Your eyes. It's a day's work to look in to them.
Your eyes. It's a day's work just to look in to them

##
04 Mister Heartbreak (1984)

--
Sharkey's Day

Sun's coming up. Like a big bald head.
Poking up over the grocery store.
It's Sharkey's day. It's Sharkey's day today.
Sharkey wakes up and Sharkey says: There was this man...
And there was this road...And if only I could remember these dreams...
I know they're trying to tell me...something.
Ooooeee. Strange dreams.(Strange dreams). Oh yeah.

And Sharkey says: I turn around, it's fear. I turn around aagain
And it's love. Oh yeah. Strange dreams.
And the little girls sing:Oooee Sharkey.
And the manager says: Mr. Sharkey? He's not at his desk right now.
Could I take a message?
And the little girls sing:Oooeee Sharkey. He's Mister Heartbreak.
They sing: Oooeee Sharkey. Yeah. He's Mister Heartbreak.

And Sharkey says: All of nature talks to me. If I could just
figure out what it was trying to tell me. Listen!
Trees are swinging in the breeze. They're talking to me.
Insects are rubbing their legs together.
They're all talking. They're talking to me. And short animals-
They're bucking up on their hind legs. Talking. Talking to me.
Hey! Look out! Bugs are crawling up my legs!
You know? I'd rather see this on TV. Tones it down.
And Sharkey says: I turn around, it's fear.
I turn around again, and it's love.
Nobody knows me. Nobody knows my name.

And Sharkey says: All night long I think of those little planes up there.
Flying around. UYou can't even see them. They're specks!
And they're full of tiny people. Going places.
And Sharkey says: You know? I bet they could all land
on the head of a pin.
And the little girls sing: Ooooeee. Sharkey!
He's Mister Heartbreak. They sing: Oooeee. That Sharkey!
He's a slow dance on the edge of the lake. He's a whole landscape
gone to seed. He's gone wild! He's screeching tires
on an oil slick at midnight on the road to Boston a long time ago.
And Sharkey says: Lights! Camera! Action! TIMBER!
At the beginning of the movie, they know they have to find each other.
But they ride off in opposite directions.

Sharkey says: I turn around, it's fear.
I turn around again, and it's love.
Nobody knows me. Nobody knows my name.

You know? They're growing mechanical trees.
They grow to their full height. And then they chop themselves down.
Sharkey says: All of life comes from some strange lagoon.
It rises up, it bucks up to it's full height from a boggy swamp
on a foggy night. It creeps into your house. It's life! It's life!
I turn around, it's fear. I turn around again, and it's love.
Nobody knows me. Nobody knows my name.

Deep in the heart of darkest America. Home of the brave.
Ha! Ha! Ha! You've already paid for this. Listen to my heart beat.

And the little girls sing: Oooeee Sharkey. He's a slow dance
on the edge of the lake. They sing:Ooooeeee. Sharkey.
HEe's Mister Heartbreak.
Paging Mr. Sharkey. White courtesy telephone please.
And Sharkey says: I turn around, it's fear.
I turn around again, and it's love.
And the little girls sing:Ooooeee Sharkey. Yeah.
On top of Old Smokey all covered with snow.
That's where I wanna, that's where I'm gonna
That's where I'm gonna go.

--
Langue D'Amour

Let's see. Uh, it was on an island. And there was this snake.
And the snake had legs. And he could walk all around the island.
Yes. That's true. A snake with legs.
And the man and the woman were on the island too.
And they were not very smart.
But they were happy as clams. Yes.
Let's see. Uh...then one evening the snake was walking about
in the garden and he was talking to himself and he saw the woman
and they started to talk. And they became friends.
Very good friends.
And the woman liked the snake very much. Because when he
talked, he make little noises with his tongue, and his long tongue
was lightly licking about his lips.
Like there was a fire inside his mouth and the flame
would come dancing out of his mouth.
And this woman liked this very much.
And after that, she was bored with the man.
Because no matter what happened,
he was always as happy as a clam.
What did the snake say? Yes! What was he saying?
OK. I will tell you.
The snake told her things about the world. He told her about
the time there was a big typhoon on the island
and all the sharks came out of the water. Yes.
They came out of the water and they walked right into your house
with their big white teeth.
And the woman heard these things. And she was in love.
And the man came out and said: We have to go now!
And the woman did not want to go. Because she was a hothead.
Because she was a woman in love.
Anyway, we got into their boat and left the island.
But they never stayed anywhere very long.
Because the woman was restless. She was a hothead.
She was a woman in love.
And this is not a story people tell.
It is something I know myself.
And when I do my job, I am thinking about these things.
Because when I do my job, that is what I think about.

Oooo la la la.
Yeah La La La.
Voici. Voila'.
Here. And there.
Ooo la la la.
Oh yes.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Oooo la la la.
Oooo. Oh yeah.
La la la.
La la.
Voici. Voila'. la la.
Here it is. There it is. La la.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.

Ah! Comme ci, comme ca.
Ah! Niether here nor there.
Voila. Voila.
There. There.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Attends! Attends! Attends!
Wait! Wait! Wait!
Attends! Attends! Attends!
Wait! Wait! Wait!
Ecoute. Ecoute. Ecoute.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Ooooo la la la la.
Ooooo. Oh yeah.
Ooo la la la la.
Oh yeah. Yeah.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Voici le langage dans mon coeur.
This is the language of my heart.
Oooo la la.
Oooo. Oh yeah.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Voici le langage dans mon coeur.
This is the language of my heart.
Voici le langage dans mon coeur.
This is the language of my heart.

--
Gravity's Angel

You can dance. You can make me laugh. You've got x-ray eyes.
You know how to sing. You're a diplomat. You've got it all.
Everybody loves you.
You can charm the birds out of the sky. but I, I've got one thing.
You always know just what to say. And when to go.
But I've got one thing. You can see in the dark.
But I've got one thing: I loved you better
You can charm the birds out of the sky. but I, I've got one thing.
You always know just what to say. And when to go.
But I've got one thing. You can see in the dark.
But I've got one thing: I loved you better

Last night I woke up. Saw this angel. He flew in my window.
And he said: Girl, pretty proud of yourself, huh?
And I looked around and said: Who me?
And he said: The higher you fly, the faster you fall. He said:
Send it up. Watch it rise. See it fall. Gravity's rainbow.
Send it up. Watch it rise. See it fall. Gravity's angel.
Why these mountains? Why this sky? This long road. This ugly train.

Well he was an ugly guy. With an ugly face.
An also ran in the human race.
And even God got sad just looking at him. And at his funeral
all his friends stood around looking said. But they were really
thinking of all the ham and cheese sandwiches in the next room.
And everybody used to hang around him. And I know why.
They said: There but for the grace of the angels go I.
Why these mountains? Why this sky?
Send it up. Watch it rise. See it fall. Gravity's rainbow.
Send it up. Watch it rise. And fall. Gravity's angel.

Well, we were just laying there.
And this ghost of your other lover walked in.
And stood there. Made of thin air. Full of desire.
Look. Look. Look. You forgot to take your shirt.
And there's your book. And there's your pen, sitting on the table.
Why these mountains? Why this sky? This ong road? This empty room?
Why these mountains? Why this sky? This long road. This empty room.

--
Kokoku

I come very briefly to this place. I watch it move. I watch it shake.
Kumowaku yamano. Watashino sakebi. Watashino koewo.
Ushano kokoku. Watashiwa sokoni. Watashiwa asobu.
Mountain with clouds. A cry. My voice.
Home of the brave. I'm here now. And lost.

They say the dead will rise again. And here they come now.
Strange animals out of the Ice Age. And they stare at you.
Dumbfounded. Like big mistakes. And we say: Keep cool.
Maybe if we pretend this never happened, they'll all just go away.

Watashiwa sokoni. Watashiwa asobu. Mewotoji. Mewotoji.
Kikunowa kotori. Watashino sakebi. Watashino koewo.
I am here in this place. Losing. My eyes are closed. Closed.
Birds are there. Hearing something. Shouting. My voice.
(And yet, we could all be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.)

Kumowaku yamano. Watashiwa sokoni. Watashiwa asobu.
Kumiwaku yamano. Kikunowa kotori. Watashino sakebi.
Mountains with clouds. I am there. Lost.
Mountains with clouds. Birds are there. Hearing something. A shout.

They say the world is smaller now. Small world.
They say that man is taller now. Tall man.
They say the stars are closer now. Thank you, lucky stars.
You come very briefly to this place.
Jikanwa tomaru. Ushano kokoku.
Time is stopped. Home of the brave.

And on a very distant star, slimy creatures scan the skies.
They've got plates for hands. And telescopes for eyes. And they say: Look! Down
They say: Watch it move. Watch it shake. Watch it turn. And shake.
Watashiwa sokoni. Watashiwa asobu. Kumowaku yamano.
Watashino sakebi. Watashino koewo. Mewotoji. Mewotoji.
I am there. Lost. Mountains with clouds.
A cry. A shout. My eyes are shut. Shut.
And we say: Watch us move. Watch us shake. We're so pretty.
We're so pretty. We say: Watch us move now. Watch us shake.
We're so pretty. Shake our hands. Shake our heads. We shake our feet.
We're so fine. The way we move. The way we shake.
We're so nice.

--
Excellent Birds

Flying Birds. Excellent Birds. Watch them fly. There they go.
Falling snow. Excellent snow. Here it comes. Watch it fall.
Long words. Excellent words. UI can hear them now.
This is the picture.
I'm sitting by the window. Watching the snow fall. I'm looking out.
And I'm moving. Turning in time. Jump up!
And I can land on my feet. Look out! This is the picture.
This is the picture. This is the picture. This is the picture

Looking out. I'm watching now. But when I see the future,
I close my eyes. I can see it now.

I see pictures of people rising up. I see pictures of people falling down.
I see pictures of people, they're standing on their heads. They're ready!
(x2)

They're looking out. Look out! They're watching out. Watch out!
They're looking out. Look out!
They're watching out. Watching watching out.

I see pictures of people. I see pictures of people.
They're watching. They're watching out. Watch out.
I see pictures of people. They're watching. They're watching out.
I see pictures of people. Watching. Watch out. They're watching.
I see pictures of people. Watching out. Watch out.
Pictures of people. They're watching out.

--
Blue Lagoon

I got your letter. Thanks a lot.
I've been getting lots of sun. And lots of rest. It's really hot.
Days, I dive by the wreck. Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon.
Always used to wonder who I'd bring to a desert island.

Days, I remember cities. Nights, I dream about a perfect place.
Days, I dive by the wreck. Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon.
Full fathom five thy father lies. Of his bones are coral made.
Those are pearls that were his eyes. Nothing of him that doth fade.
But that suffers a sea change. Into something rich and strange.
And I alone am left to tell the tale.
Call me Ishmael.

I got your letter. Thanks a lot.
I've been getting lots of sun. And lots of rest. It's really hot.
Always used to wonder who I'd bring to a desert island.
Days, I remember rooms. Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon.

I saw a plane today. Flying low over the island.
But my mind was somewhere else.
And if you ever get this letter. Thinking of you.
Love and kisses. Blue Pacific. Signing off.

--
Sharkey's Night (spoken by William S Burroughs)

Sun's going down. Like a big bald head.
Disappearing behind the boulevard. (Oooeee.) It's Sharkey's night.
Yeah. It's Sharkey's night tonight. And the manager says: Sharkey?
He's not at his desk right now. (Oh yeah.) Could I take a message?

And Sharkey says: Hey, kemosabe! Long time no see.
He says: Hey sport. You connect the dots. You pick up the pieces.
He says: You know, I can see two tiny pictures of myself
And there's one in each of you eyes. And they're doin' everything I do.
Every time I light a cigarette, they light up theirs
I take a drink and I look in and they're drinkin' too.
It's drivin' me crazy. It's drivin' me nuts.

And Sharkey says: Deep in the heart of darkest America.
Home of the brave. He says: Listen to my heart beat.
Paging Mr. Sharkey. White courtesy telephone please.

##
05 - 08 United States Live

 (these lyrics are, I think, from the stage production and contain
 some indications of the visual aspects, so they probably don't
 exactly match the tracks on the cds --dbrick)

Part One

--
Say Hello

A certain American religious sect has been looking at conditions of
the world during the Flood. According to their calculations, during
the Flood the winds, tides and currents were in an overall
southeasterly direction. This would mean that in order for Noah's Ark
to have ended up on Mount Ararat, it would have to have started out
several thousand miles to the west. This would then locate pre-Flood
civilization in the area of Upstate New York, and the Garden of Eden
roughly in New York City. Now, in order to get from one place to
another, something must move. No one in New York remembers moving,
and there are no traces of Biblical history in the Upstate New York
area. So we are led to the only available conclusion in this time
warp, and that is that the Ark has simply not left yet.

Let's compare this situation to a familiar occurrence: You're driving
alone at night. And it's dark and it's raining. And you took a turn
back there and you're not sure now that it was the right turn, but you
took the turn anyway and you just keep going in this direction.
Eventually, it starts to get light and you look out and you realize
you have absolutely no idea where you are.
So you get out at the next gas station and you say:
Hello. Excuse me. Can you tell me where I am?
You can read the signs. You've been on this road before. Do you want
to go home?
Do you want to go home now?
Hello. Excuse me. Can you tell me where I am?
You can read this sign language. In our country, this is the way we
say Hello.

SAY HELLO.

Hello. Excuse me. Can you tell me where I am?

In our country, this is the way we say Hello.
It is a diagram of movement between two people.
It is a sweep on the dial.
In our country, this is also the way we say Goodbye.

Hello. Excuse me. Can you tell me where I am?

In our country, we send pictures of people speaking our sign language
in Outer Space. We are speaking our sign language in these pictures.

Do you think that They will think his arm is permanently attached in
this position?

Oh, do you think They will read our signs?
In our country, Goodbye looks just like Hello.

SAY HELLO.
SAY HELLO.
SAY HELLO.

--
Walk the Dog

Well, I saw a lot of trees today and they were all made of wood.
They were wooden trees and they were made entirely of wood.

I came home today and you were all on fire.
Your shirt was on fire, and your hair was on fire,
and flames were licking all around your feet.
And I did not know what to do!
And then a thousand violins began to play,
and I really did not know what to do then.
So I just decided to go out and walk the dog.

I went to the movies, and I saw a dog thirty feet high.
And this dog was made entirely of light.
And he filled up the whole screen.
And his eyes were long hallways.
He had those long, echoing, hallway eyes.

I turned on the radio and I heard a song by Dolly Parton.
And she was singing:
Oh! I feel so sad! I feel so bad!
I left my mom and I left my dad.
And I just want to go home now.
I just want to go back in my Tennessee mountain home now.
Well, you know she's not gonna go back home.
And I know she's not gonna go back home.
And she knows she's never gonna go back there.
And I just want to know who's gonna go and walk her dog.

Oh! I feel so bad. I feel so sad.
But not as bad as the night I wrote this song.

Close your eyes! (OK)
Now imagine you're at the most wonderful party. (OK)
Delicious food. (Uh huh.)
Interesting people. (Mm hmm.)
Terrific music. (Mn hmmh.)
Now open them! (Oh no.)
Well, I just want to go home now and walk the dog.

--
Violin Solo [instrumental]

--
Closed Circuits

Well I know who you are, baby.
I've seen you go into that meditative state.
You're the snake charmer, baby.
And you're also the snake.
You're a closed circuit, baby.
You've got the answers in the palms of your hands.

Well I saw a blind Judge
and he said: I know who you are
and I said: Who?
And he said: You're a closed circuit, baby.
He said: The world is divided into two kinds of things.
There's luck, and there's the law.
There's a knock on wood that says: IT MIGHT.
And there's the long arm of the law that says: IT'S RIGHT.
And it's a tricky balancing act between the two because both are
 equally true.
'Cause might makes right
and anything could happen. Che sara sara. Am I right?

Who? Do. Who? do.
Who do you love?

Well I saw a couple of hula dancers just hula-ing down the street.
And they said: Well I wonder which way the tide is gonna roll tonight?
And I said: Hey hold up hula dancers! You know the tide's gonna roll out
and then it's gonna roll right back in again.
'Cause it's a closed circuit, baby. We got rules for that kind of thing.
and you know the moon is so bright tonight.

Who? Do. Who? Do.
And don't think I haven't seen all those blind A-rabs around. I've
 seen 'em around.
And I've watched them charm that oil right out of the ground.
Long black streams of that dark electric light.
And they said: One day the sun went down and it went way down, into the ground.
And three thousand years go by and we pump it right back up again.
'Cause it's a closed circuit, baby.
We can change the dark into the light and vice versa.

Well I know who you are, baby.
I've watched you count yourself to sleep.
You're the shepherd, baby.
And you're also one, two, three hundred sheep. I've watched you fall asleep.

Well I was up real late last night.
Must have just dropped off to sleep.
'Cause I saw you were crying, baby.
You were crying in your sleep.
You're the snake charmer, baby. And you're also a very long snake.
You're a closed circuit, baby.
You've got the answers in the palms of your hands.

--
For a Large and Changing Room [instrumental]

--
{From 'Pictures of It': Images of a room are projected onto ceiling
[out of sight of audience] white violin bow cuts into plane of focus,
creating a 'screen.' Room floats midair.}

--
The Language of the Future

Last year, I was on a twin-engine plane coming from Milwaukee to New
York City. Just over La Guardia, one of the engines conked out and we
started to drop straight down, flipping over and over. Then the other
engine died: and we went completely out of control. New York City
started getting taller and taller. A voice came over the intercom and
said:
Our pilot has informed us that we are about to attempt a crash landing.
Please extinguish all cigarettes. Place your tray tables in their
 upright, locked position.
Your Captain says: Please do not panic.
Your Captain says: Place your head in your hands.
Captain says: Place your head on your knees.
Captain says: Put your hands on your head. Put your hands on your
 knees! (heh-heh)
This is your Captain.
Have you lost your dog?
We are going down.
We are all going down, together.
As it turned out, we were caught in a downdraft and rammed into a
bank. It was, in short, a miracle. But afterwards I was terrified of
getting onto planes. The moment I started walking down that aisle, my
eyes would clamp shut and I would fall into a deep, impenetrable
sleep.

(YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THIS ...
YOU DON'T WANT TO BE HERE ...
HAVE YOU LOST YOUR DOG?)

Finally, I was able to remain conscious, but I always had to go up to
the forward cabin and ask the stewardesses if I could sit next to
them: "Hi! Uh, mind if I join you?" They were always rather
irritated--"Oh, all right (what a baby)"--and I watched their uniforms
crack as we made nervous chitchat.

Sometimes even this didn't work, and I'd have to find one of the other
passengers to talk to. You can spot these people immediately. There's
one on every flight. Someone who's really on _your_ wavelength.

I was on a flight from L.A. when I spotted one of them, sitting across
the aisle. A girl, about fifteen. And she had this stuffed rabbit set
up on her tray table and she kept arranging and rearranging the rabbit
and kind of waving to it: "Hi!"

"Hi there!"

And I decided: This is the one _I_ want to sit next to. So I sat down
and we started to talk and suddenly I realized she was speaking an
entirely different language. Computerese. A kind of high-tech lingo.
Everything was circuitry, electronics, switching. If she didn't
understand something, it just "didn't scan." We talked mostly about
her boyfriend. This guy was never in a bad mood. He was in a bad mode.
Modey kind of a guy. The romance was apparently kind of rocky and she
kept saying: "Man oh man you know like it's so digital!" She just
meant the relationship was on again, off again.

Always two things switching. Current runs through bodies and then it
doesn't. It was a language of sounds, of noise, of switching, of
signals. It was the language of the rabbit, the caribou, the penguin,
the beaver. A language of the past. Current runs through bodies and
then it doesn't. On again. Off again. Always two things switching.
One thing instantly replaces another.

It was the language of the Future.

Put your knees up to your chin.
Have you lost your dog?
Put your hands over your eyes.

Jump out of the plane.
There is no pilot.
You are not alone.

This is the language of the on-again off-again future.
And it is Digital.

And I answered the phone and I heard a voice and the voice said:
Please do not hang up.
We know who you are.
Please do not hang up.
We know what you have to say.
Please do not hang up.
We know what you want.
Please do not hang up.
We've got your number:
One ...
Two ...
Three ...
Four.

--
We Are Tapping Your Line [instrumental]

--
{From: Small Voice. Pillow speaker (in mouth) runs to concealed
cassette deck which plays tape of violin solo. Violin coming from the
mouth is phrased + modulated by the lips.}

--
Three Walking Songs

I saw an man on the Bowery and he was wearing ancient, greasy clothes
and brand-new bright white socks and no shoes. Instead, he was
standing on two small pieces of plywood and as he moved along the
block, he bent down, moved one of the pieces slightly ahead and
stepped on it. Then he moved the other piece slightly ahead and
stepped on it.

There are Eskimos who live above the timberline. There's no wood for
the runners on their sleds. So instead, they use long frozen fish
which they attach to the bottoms of their sleds to slip across the
snow.

I saw a photograph of Tesla, who invented the Tesla coil. He also
invented a pair of shoes with soles four inches thick to ground him
while he worked in the laboratory. In this picture, Tesla is sitting
in his lab, wearing the shoes, and reading a book by the light of the
long, streamer-like sparks shooting out of his transformers.

--
The Healing Horn

When I was in L.A. I went to several services run by an organization
called the Universalist World Church. The services were held in a huge
auditorium, formerly a used-car showroom. The head of this operation
was a man named Dr. J., an Egyptologist, preacher and recording
artist. At the back of the church he sold cassettes he had produced in
his home studio. The cassettes had titles like: "UFOs and the
Creatures Who Drive Them." His assistant was a tiny woman named Miss
Velma, a soprano who also administered the Oil of Youth at the Healing
Horn. The Healing Horn was an actual horn of identifiable origins all
set in jewels. When you touch the horn you feel a rejuvenating surge
of energy, about fifty volts, as long as you happen to be standing on
the metal plate embedded in the altar.

The most spectacular event of the year at the World Church was a
Christmas service. There was a giant screen painted with a Nativity
scene. There were lots of animals painted on the screen, with holes
cut out where their heads would be; there was a microphone behind each
hole. During the service, Miss Velma would stand behind the screen and
stick her head through these holes, using a different voice for each
animal. "Hi. I'm the cow and I saw it all." "Hello. I'm the dove. The
lovely dove. And I was there too. I saw everything too."

The service would then abruptly cut to Dr. J., who would announce,
"First, Miss Velma will shoot an arrow through a balloon. Then she
will perform an Indian dance. And finally, she will perform a song for
you on the mellophone." With no further explanation, Miss Velma comes
out from behind the screen. First she shoots an arrow through a
balloon. Then she does an Indian dance. And last, she performs a song
on the mellophone.

And somehow it was amazing. First he tells you what will happen and
then it actually happens, just the way he said it would. Like a
prophecy being fulfilled.

--
New Jersey Turnpike

{It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive in the wrong direction on the New Jersey Turnpike.
It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive in the right direction in reverse on the New Jersey
Turnpike.
It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive herds of hooven animals on the New Jersey Turnpike.
It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive vehicles with metal tires on the New Jersey
Turnpike.
It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive in the wrong direction on the entrance and exit
ramps of the New Jersey Turnpike.
It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive in the right direction in reverse on the entrance
and exit ramps of the New Jersey Turnpike.
It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive herds of hooven animals on the entrance and exit
ramps of the New Jersey Turnpike.
It is against the rules and regulations of the New Jersey Turnpike
Authority to drive vehicles with metal tires on the entrance and exit
ramps of the New Jersey Turnpike.}

PETER: There was an old couple who decided to drive cross country in
their car. Both of them were almost legally deaf. About ten miles away
from home, the burglar alarm for their car door went off and got stuck
in the "on" position. They drove all the way to San Francisco like
this. You could hear them coming from three miles away. The alarm
didn't seem to bother the old woman at all. She thought it was sort of
pleasant. Near Chicago, she said to her husband, "It sounds like
faraway bees on a summer day." Her husband said, "What?"

LAURIE: You can read the signs. You've been on this road before. Do
you want to go home? Do you want to go home now?

PETER: One of the major airlines used to run a kind of lottery, mostly
to give passengers something to do while the plane was waiting in line
on the runway. The stewardess would hand out lottery tickets and you
peeled the sticker away. If you had the right combination of numbers,
you won a free trip to Hawaii. If you didn't, you didn't win a free
trip. The airline discontinued the game when there were too many
complaints about the timing of the lottery. They said: Our surveys
tell us that our customers felt that waiting on the runway was the
wrong time to play a game of chance.

LAURIE: In my dream, I am your customer, and the customer is always
right.

PETER: He said, you know, to be _really_ safe you should always carry
a bomb on an airplane. Because the chances of there being _one_ bomb
on a plane are pretty small. But the chances of _two_ bombs are almost
minuscule. So by carrying a bomb on a plane, the odds of your becoming
a hostage or of getting blown up are astronomically reduced.

LAURIE: You're driving and you're talking to yourself and you say to
yourself: Why these mountains? Why this sky? Why this road? This big
town. This ugly train.

PETER: In our eyes. And in our wives' eyes. In our arms and (I might
add) in our wives' arms.

LAURIE: How come people from the North are so well organized,
industrious, pragmatic and--let's face it--preppy? And people from the
South are so devil-may-care? Every man for himself.

PETER: I know this English guy who was driving around in the
South. And he stopped for breakfast one morning somewhere in southeast
Georgia. He saw "grits" on the menu. He'd never heard of grits so he
asked the waitress, "What are grits, anyway?" She said, "Grits are
fifty." He said, "Yes, but what _are_ they?" She said, "They're
extra." He said, "Yes, I'll have the grits, please."

LAURIE: Over the river and through the woods. Let me see that map.

PETER: A sideshow. A smokescreen. A passing landscape.

LAURIE: I was living out in West Hollywood when the Hollywood
Strangler was strangling women. He was strangling women all over town,
but he was particularly strangling them in West Hollywood. Every night
there was a panel discussion on TV about the strangler--speculations
about his habits, his motives, his methods. One thing was clear about
him: He only strangled women when they were alone, or with other
women. The panel members would always end the show by saying, "Now,
for all you women, listen, don't go outside without a man. Don't walk
out to your car, don't even take out the garbage by yourself. Always
go with a man." Then one of the eyewitnesses identified a policeman as
one of the suspects. The next night, the chief of police was on the
panel. He said, "Now, girls, whatever happens, do not stop for a
police officer. Stay in your car. If a police officer tries to stop
you, do not stop. Keep driving and under no circumstances should you
get out of your car." For a few weeks, half the traffic in L.A. was
doing twice the speed limit.

PETER: I remember when we were going into outer space. I remember when
the President said we were going to look for things in outer
space. And I remember the way the astronauts talked and the way
everybody was watching because there was a chance that they would burn
up on the launching pad or that the rocket would take off from Cape
Canaveral and land in Fort Lauderdale five minutes later by
mistake. And now we're not even trying to get _that_ far. Now it's
more like the bus. Now it's more like they go up just high enough to
get a good view. They aim the camera back down. They don't aim the
camera up. And then they take pictures and come right back and develop
them. That's what it's like now. Now that's what it's like.

LAURIE: Every time I hear a fire engine it seems like the trucks are
running away from the fire. Not towards it. Not right into it. They
seem like monsters in a panic--running away from the fire. Stampeding
away from the fire. Not towards it. Not right into it.

PETER: In Seattle, the bus drivers were out on strike. One of the
issues was their refusal to provide a shuttle service for citizens to
designated host areas in the event of a nuclear attack on Seattle. The
drivers said, "Look, Seattle will be a ghost town." They said, "It's a
one-way trip to the host town, we're not driving back to that ghost
town."

LAURIE: A city that repeats itself endlessly. Hoping that something
will stick in its mind.

--
So Happy Birthday

JOE: In our country, you're free and so you're born and so they say,
"You're free," so happy birthday. And even if you were born to
lose--even if you were a complete wreck when you were born--you might
still grow up to be president ... because you're free.

GERALDINE: Today, you might be an average citizen ... a civilian ... a
pedestrian ... But tomorrow you might be elected to some unexpected
office--or sell your novel and suddenly become famous. Or you could
get run over by a truck and your picture could get into the papers
_that_ way. Because you're free and anything might happen ... so happy
birthday.

JOE: Gee! All those lights and all those screens! The New York
Experience is mind-boggling. I don't think I've ever seen that many
screens and I'll probably come again ... It was really amazing,
mind-boggling.

GERALDINE: You're walking and you don't always realize it but you're
always falling at the same time. With each step you fall forward. Over
and over, you're falling and then catching yourself from falling
... And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.

JOE: Look! Over there! It's a real dog ... and it's really talking

GERALDINE: I wanted you and I was looking for you ... but I couldn't
find you. I wanted you and I was looking for you all day ... but I
couldn't find you.

JOE: Well, I paid my money, and I've got this funny feeling that
somehow--you know--it's not what I paid my money for. I mean I _paid_
my money and I just don't think this is what I paid my money--you
know--what I paid my money for.

GERALDINE: No one has ever looked at me like this before ... no one
has ever _stared_ at me for so long like this ... This is the first
time anyone has ever looked at me like this ... stared at me like this
for such a long time ... for so long.

JOE: Well, he didn't know what to do so he just decided to watch the
government and see what the government was doing and then kind of
scale it down to size--and run his life that way.

GERALDINE: She said the hardest thing to teach her three-year-old kid
was what was alive and what wasn't. The phone rings and she holds it
out to her kid and says, "It's Grandma. Talk to Grandma." But she's
holding a piece of plastic. And the kid says to herself: "Wait a
minute. Is the phone alive? Is the TV alive? What about that radio?
What is alive in this room and what doesn't have life?" Unfortunately,
she doesn't know how to ask these questions.

JOE: We were in a large room. Full of people. All kinds. And they had
arrived at the same time. And they were all free and they were all
asking themselves the same question: What is behind that curtain? They
were all free. And they were all wondering what would happen next.

GERALDINE: This is the time and this is the record of the time.

--
EngliSH

SH SH SH EngliSH... FrenSH... SpaniSH... DeutSH... DutSH... YiddiSH...
RusSHian... SHinese... PoliSH... SwediSH...FinniSH... FinniSH...

--
Dance of Electricity (for Nikola Tesla)

A while ago, I got a call from the Tesla Institute in Belgrade, long
distance. The voice was very faint and it said, "Understand do we that
much of your work has been dedicated to Nikola Tesla and do we know
the blackout of information about this man in the U.S. of A. And so we
would like to invite you to the Institute as a free citizen of the
world ... as a free speaker on American Imperialist Blackout of
Information .. Capitalist resistance to Technological Progress ... the
Western World's obstruction of Innovation. So think about it." He hung
up. I thought: Gee, really a chance to speak my mind, and I started
doing some research on Tesla, whose life story is actually really sad.

Basically, he was the inventor of AC current, lots of kinds of
generators and the Tesla coil. His dream was wireless energy. And he
was working on a system in which you could plug appliances directly
into the ground. A system which he never really perfected.

Tesla came over from Graz and went to work for Thomas Edison. Edison
couldn't stand Tesla for several reasons. One was that Tesla showed up
for work every day in formal dress--morning coat, spats, top hat and
gloves--and this just wasn't the American Way at the time. Edison also
hated Tesla because Tesla invented so many things while wearing these
clothes.

Edison did his best to prevent conversion to AC and did everything he
could to discredit it. In his later years, Edison was something of a
showman and he went around on the Chautauqua circuit in upstate New
York giving demonstrations of the evil effects of AC. He always
brought a dog with him and he'd get up on stage and say: "Ladies and
gentlemen! I will now demonstrate the effects of AC current on this
dog!" And he took two bare wires and attached them to the dog's head
and the dog was dead in under thirty seconds.

At any rate, I decided to open the series of talks in Belgrade with a
song called "The Dance of Electricity" and its beat is derived from an
actual dance--an involuntary dance--and it's the dance you do when one
of your fingers gets wedged in a live socket and your arms start
pumping up and down and your mouth is slowly opening and closing and
you can feel the power but no words will come out.

--
Three Songs for Paper, Film and Video

The detective novel is the only novel truly invented in the twentieth
century. In the detective novel, the hero is dead at the very
beginning. So you don't have to deal with human nature at all. Only
the slow accumulation of facts ... of data ...

In science fiction, the hero just flies in at the very beginning. He
can bend steel with his bare hands. He can walk in zero gravity. He
can see right through lead doors. But no one asks how he is able to do
these things. They just say, "Look! He's walking in zero gravity." So
you don't have to deal with human nature at all.

When TV signals are sent out, they don't stop. They keep going. They
pick up speed as they leave the solar system. By now, the first TV
programs ever made have been traveling for thirty years. They are well
beyond our solar system now. All those characters from cowboy serials,
variety hours and quiz shows are sailing out. They are the first true
voyagers into deep space. And they sail farther and farther our,
intact, still talking.

And as we listen with our instruments, as we learn to listen farther
and farther into space, we can hear them. We listen farther and that
is all we hear. They are jamming our lines. We listen and we hear them
talking, traveling, going faster and faster ... getting fainter and
fainter. And as our instruments become more sophisticated, we can hear
them better .... speeding away ... the sound of speeding away ... like
a phone continuously ringing.

--
Born, Never Asked [instrumental]

--
Sax Trio [instrumental]


Part Two

--
From the Air [instrumental]

--
Beginning French

Lately, I've been doing a lot of concerts in French. Unfortunately, I
don't speak French. I memorize it. I mean, my mouth is moving but I
don't understand what I'm saying.

It's like sitting at the breakfast table and it's early in the morning
and you're not quite awake. And you're just sitting there eating
cereal and sort of staring at the writing on the box--not reading it
exactly, just more or less looking at the words. And suddenly, for
some reason, you snap to attention, and you realize that what you're
reading is what you're eating ... but by then it's much too late.

After doing these concerts in French, I usually had the temporary
illusion that I could actually speak French, but as soon as I walked
out on the street, and someone asked me simple directions, I realized
I couldn't speak a single word. As a result of this inadequacy, I
found that the people I had the most rapport with were the babies. And
one of the things I noticed about these babies was that they were
apparently being used as some kind of traffic testers. Their mothers
would be pushing them along in their strollers--and they would come to
a busy street with lots of parked cars--and the mother can't see what
the traffic is like because of all the parked cars--so she just sort
of edges the stroller out into the street and cranes her head out
afterwards. And the most striking thing about this is the expression
on these babies' faces as they sit there in the middle of traffic,
stranded, banging those little gavels they've all got and they can't
even speak English.

Do you know what I mean?

--
Violin Pantomime [instrumental]

{The hammer strikes. Its bang is memorized by a harmonizer and
repeated. Strike and repeat. Like a ticking watch.}

--
O Superman (for Massenet)

O Superman. O Judge. O Mom and Dad.

Hi. I'm not home right now. But if you want to leave a message, just
start talking at the sound of the tone.

Hello? This is your mother. Are you there? Are you coming home?
Hello? Is anybody home?

Well you don't know me but I know you.
And I've got a message to give to you.
Here come the planes.

So you better get ready, ready to go.
You can come as you are but pay as you go.
Pay as you go ...

And I said: OK! Who is this really?

And the voice said:
This is the hand, the hand that takes.
This is the hand. The hand that takes ... Here come the planes.
They're American planes, made in America. Smoking or nonsmoking?

And the voice said: Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall
stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed
rounds.

'Cause when love is gone there's always justice, and when justice is
gone there's always force, and when force is gone, there's always
Mom. Hi Mom!

So hold me Mom in your long arms ...
So hold me Mom, in your long arms, in your automatic arms, your
 electronic arms, in your arms ...
So hold me Mom, in your long arms, your petrochemical arms, your
 military arms, in your electronic arms ...

--
Talkshow

During the newspaper strike, the networks asked the writers to read
their columns on TV. The writers weren't actors, they did all the
wrong things they squinted into the ... lights, wore rumpled! clothes
and used BIG WORDS the signs for the deaf were getting more and "more"
obscure with lots of qualifying (phrases) and ... uh ... awkward
... pauses so the producers kept saying:

OK! Buzz words only! Two syllables.
Tops!

{Earshot
Talkshow Uplink Update Phaselock
Downtime Hotline Aftermath Upshot
Dropout Nosecone Headset Hotshot
Heatwave Domehead Flashback Feedback}

--
Frames for the Pictures

I had this dream ... and in it my mother was sitting there cutting out
pictures of hamsters from magazines. In some of the pictures, the
hamsters are pets, and in some of them, hamsters are just somewhere in
the background. And she's got a whole pile of these cedar chips--you
know the kind: the kind from the bottoms of hamster cages--and she's
gluing them together into frames for the pictures. She glues them
together, and frames the pictures, and hangs them up over the
fireplace--that's more or less her method. And suddenly I realize that
this is just her way of telling me that I should become a
structuralist filmmaker--which I had, you know, planned to do anyway
...

--
Democratic Way

I dreamed that I was Jimmy Carter's lover, and I was somewhere, I
guess in the White House ... and there were lots of other women there,
too ... and they were supposed to be his lovers too ... but I never
even saw Jimmy Carter ... and none of the other women ever saw him
either ...

And there was this big discussion going on because Jimmy had decided
to open up the presidential elections to the dead. That is, that
anyone who had ever lived would have the opportunity to become
President. He said he thought it would be more democratic that way.

The more choice you had
the more democratic it would be

--
Looking for You; Walking and Falling

I wanted you ... and I was looking for you ... but I couldn't find you
.... I wanted you. And I was looking for you all day. But I couldn't
find you. I couldn't find you.

You're walking and you don't always realize it but you're always falling.
With each step, you fall slightly forward and then catch yourself from falling.
Over and over, you're falling and then catching yourself from falling.
And this is how you can be walking and falling at the same time.

--
Red Hot

My sister and I used to play this game called Red Hot.
And in Red Hot, the ceiling is suddenly about a thousand degrees.
And there's no gravity.
Gravity doesn't exist anymore.
And you're trying not to float up to the ceiling so you have to hold
 on to things.
You have to hold on to sheets, pillows, chairs, _anything_ so that you
 won't go floating up to that ceiling.
I guess it's not what anyone would call a very _competitive_ game.
You know what I mean?
Mainly, we just sweated a lot and we were really glad when it was all
 over and the ceiling cooled back down again.

--
Private Property

William F. Buckley, Jr., Mr. Private Property, planned to give a
little talk, a political speech, in a small town in Illinois. His
advance men discovered that the center of town had disappeared, and
that all the commercial action was out at the mall. When Buckley
arrived at the mall, he set up his microphone near a little fountain
and began to hand out leaflets and autograph copies of his latest
book. Just as a small crowd of shoppers gathered, the owners of the
mall ran out and said: Excuse us. This is private property, we're
afraid you'll have to leave ...

You know, when I got back from a trip this summer, I noticed that all
of the old factories here on the outskirts of town had suddenly been
transformed into luxurious condos and that thousands of people had
moved into them almost overnight. Most of the new residents appeared
to be professional barbecuers. Every night, they were out on their
fire escapes barbecueing something. And the smoke rising from their
little fires made the whole neighborhood look like a giant
battlefield. And I would look out my window and say: Hm. You know,
last night I came up out of the subway and I said to myself: Hm. Do
you want to go home? And I thought: You _are_ home.

Do you want to go home?
Do you want to go home now?

--
Neon Duet [instrumental]

--
Let X = X

I met this guy-- and he looked like he might have been a hat check
clerk at an ice rink--
which, in fact, he turned out to be--
And I said: Oh boy! Right _again_!

Let x = x.
you know, it could be you.
It's a sky-blue sky.
Satellites are out tonight.
let x = x.

You know, I could write a book-- and this book would be thick enough
 to stun an ox.
Cause I can see the future--and it's a place ... about 70 miles east
 of here--where it's lighter.
Linger on over here.
Got the time?
let x = x.

I got this postcard and it read, it said: Dear Amigo ... Dear Pardner--
Listen--I just wanted to say thanks. So ... thanks.
Thanks for all the presents.
Thanks for introducing me to the Chief.
Thanks for putting on the feedbag. Thanks for going all out--
Thanks for showing me your Swiss Army knife.
Oh and uh ... thanks for letting me autograph your cast.
Hugs + kisses --
XXXOOOO

Oh yeah. P.S.
I ... I feel--feel like--I am--in a burning building--
And I gotta go.
Cause I--I feel--feel like--I'm in a burning building--
And I gotta go.

It's a sky-blue sky.
Satellites are out tonight.
let x = x.
You know, I could write a book.
Cause I can see the future--and it's a place about 70 miles west of
 here--where it's darker
Linger on over here.
Got the time?

Your eyes. It's a day's work looking into them.
Your eyes. It's a day's work just looking into them.

--
The Mailman's Nightmare

I have this recurring nightmare, and that is that everyone in the
world, except myself, has the problems of babies. I mean they're
normal height and everything--five feet, six feet tall--but they have
these giant heads, like babies, you know? And enormous eyes, and tiny
arms and legs, and they can hardly walk. And I'm going down the
street and when I see them coming, I give them some room and step
aside. Also, they don't read or write, so I don't have much to do.
Jobwise, it's pretty easy.

--
Difficult Listening Hour

Good evening. Welcome to Difficult Listening Hour. The spot on your
dial for that relentless and impenetrable sound of Difficult Music
(Music). So sit bolt upright in that straight-backed chair (Music),
button that top button (Music), and get set for some difficult music.

Ooola. I came home today, and I opened the door with my bare hands,
Ooola. and I said: Hey! Who tore up all my wallpaper samples? Who ate
all the grapes--
Ooola. the ones I was saving? And this guy was sitting there, and I
said: Hey, Pal! What's
Ooola. going on here? And he had this smile, and when he smiled he had
these big white teeth,
Ooola. like luxury hotels on the Florida coastline. And when he closed
his mouth, it looked
Ooola. like a big scar. And I said to myself: Holy smokes! Looks like
some kind of a guest/
Ooola. host relationship to me. And I said: Hey, pal! What's going on
here anyway, who are you?
Ooola. And he said: Now, I'm the Soul Doctor, and you know, language
is a virus from Outer Space.
And hearing your name is better than seeing your face.

--
Language is a Virus from Outer Space (--William S. Burroughs)

I saw this guy on the train, and he seemed to have gotten stuck in one
of those abstract trances, and he was going ugh ... ugh ... ugh
... And Geraldine said: You know, I think he's in some kind of _pain_
... I think it's a pain cry. And I said: If that's a pain cry, then
language ... is a virus ... from outer space ...

{A Frame B Flick C Note D Day E Coli F Stop G Men H Bomb I Beam K
Rations L Shape M 16 N YC O Type P Coat Q Tip R SVP S Curve T Shirt U
Boat V Sign W WII X Ray Y Me?}

Well I was feeling really rotten the other day, I was feeling washed
up .... and I said to myself: I know what I'm going to do--I'm going
to take myself out. So I went to the park and I sat down and I said:
Boy is this fun. I'm really having fun now. I can't remember having
this much fun before ... And then this little _dog_ ran up, and this
dog had ears like a drop-leaf table, and I said: Boy is this ever fun
...

Well I was talking to a friend the other day, and I was saying: I
wanted you ... and I was looking for you ... but I couldn't find
you. And he said: _Hey_ ... are you talking to me ... or are you just
practicing for one of those performances of yours?

{ZZZZZZZZZZ}

You know, I don't believe there's such a thing as the Japanese
language. I mean, they don't even know how to write. They just draw
pictures of these little characters, and when they talk, they just
make sounds that more or less synch up with their lips. That's what I
think ....

Well I walked uptown and I saw a sign that said: Today's lecture Big
Science and Little Men. So I walked in and there were all these
salesmen and a big pile of electronics. And they were singing: Phase
Lock Loop. Neurological Bonding. Video Disc. They were singing: We're
gonna link you up. They were saying: We're gonna phase you in. They
said: Let's look at it this way--Picture a Christmas tree with lots of
little sparkly lights, and each light is totally separate, but they're
all sort of hanging off the same wire. Get the picture? And I said:
Count me out. And they said: We've got your number. And I said: Count
me out. You gotta count me out.

--
Reverb [instrumental]

{Contact mic attached to glasses--presses on head; banging is
amplified & reverbed}

--
If You Can't Talk About It, Point To It (for Ludwig Wittgenstein and
 Reverend Ike) [instrumental]

{Throw that crutch away! --Reverend Ike}

--
City Song

{There are ten million stories in the Naked City. But no one can
remember which one is theirs.}

--
Finnish Farmers

During WWII, the Russians were testing their parachutes. Sometimes
they didn't open at all and a lot of troops were lost this way. During
the invasion of Finland, hundreds of troops were dropped during the
middle of winter. As usual, some of the chutes didn't open and the
troops fell straight down into the deep snow, drilling holes fifteen
feet deep. The Finnish farmers would then get out their shotguns, walk
out into their fields, find the holes, and fire down them.

During the 1979 drought in the Midwest, the American farmers began to
rent their property to the United States government as sites for
missile silos. They were told: Some of the silos contain Minutemen,
and some do not. Some are designed to look like ordinary corn and
grain silos. The military called these Decoy Silos, but the farmers
called them the Scarecrows. The government also hinted that some of
these silos might be connected by hundreds of miles of railroad in an
underground shuttle system.

This is the breadbasket.
These are the crops.
The shot heard round the world.

The farmers, the Minutemen.
The farmers, the ones who were there.

Breadbasket.
Melting Pot.
Meltdown.
_Shutdown_.


Part Three

--
Hey Ah

It was up in Canada and it was August, but very cold. I had been
staying on this Cree Indian reservation for a few days, just sort of
hanging around. One day, some anthropologists showed up at the
reservation. They came in a little plane with maple leaves painted on
the wings. They said they were there to shoot a documentary of the
Cree Indians. They set up their video equipment in a tin Quonset hut
next to the Hudson Bay Company. Then they asked the oldest man on the
reservation to come and sing some songs for their documentary. On the
day of the taping, the old man arrived. He was blind and wearing a red
plaid shirt. They turned on some lights and he started to sing. But he
kept starting over and sweating. Pretty soon it was clear that he
didn't really know any of the songs. He just kept starting over and
sweating and rocking back and forth. The only words he really seemed
sure of were "Hey ah ... hey ah hey ... hey hey hey ah hey ... hey
..."

(Hey ah hey hey hey ah hey) I am singing the songs,
(Hey ah hey ah hey) the old songs ... but I can't remember the words
 of the old songs,
(Hey hey hey ah hey) the old hunting songs.
I am singing the songs of my fathers and of the animals they hunted down.
(Hey hey hey ah hey) I never knew the words of the old songs.
(Hey hey ah hey hey hey hey ah hey) I never went hunting.
(Hey hey ah ah hey ah hey) I never sang the songs
(Hey ah hey) of my fathers.
(Hey hey ah hey) I am singing for this movie;
(Hey ah) I am doing this for money.
(Hey hey ah hey) I remember Grandfather; he lay on his back while he
was dying.
(Hey ah hey hey ah hey) I think I am no one.
(Hey hey ah hey hey)

--
Bagpipe Solo

Redskins
Red coats
Red tape
Red ink
Red letter
Red handed
Red blooded
Red eye
Red neck
Red wood
Red bait
Red herring
Red cross

--
The Reds

--
Steven Weed

Steven Weed
was asked
by the FBI
to come in
and answer a few questions.
He said it wasn't
like an interrogation room
at all.
There were no
bright lights.
But he said
they had it set up
so that there was an agent
on his right
and an agent on his left
and that they alternated
questions so that he had
to keep turning
his head in order
to answer them.
And he said after a few hours
of doing this
that no matter
what question they asked
or what answer he gave
the answer always
looked
like
no
no
oh-no.
no.

--
Time and a Half

In the middle of the seventeenth century, the only people living in
the American colonies were the Indians, a few scattered pilgrims, and
lots of British troops. Communication between Britain and the colonies
was confused and chaotic. King George told the troops: "Just pick some
kind of headquarters and talk to me from there. I don't care where you
put it."

The logical choice for the headquarters was Philadelphia which had a
few brick streets and some picturesque supply stores and nobody has
ever been able to figure out why the British troops chose Washington
instead--which was basically a few shacks in a swamp.

Recently, historians have discovered two facts that might add up to a
possible explanation. First, the outskirts of Washington, D.C. lay
just a few yards inside the official subtropical zone of the British
Empire. Second, all British troops working in subtropical zones were
paid time and a half.

--
Voices on Tape

Was ist das Prinzip?
What is the principle?
Das Prinzip ist folgenes:
The principle is as follows:
Klang besteht aus Wellen.
Sound is composed of waves.
Wenn die Wellen sich zu Formen beginnen, horen wir das als Klang.
When the wave form begins, we hear it as sound.
Sie sind nicht mehr hörbar, sie bewegen sich langsamer.
But after the sound has disappeared, the waves continue to travel.
Dies ist ein normaler Raum.
This is a normal room.
Niemand hat ihn seit 1955 betreten.
No one has been in this room since 1955.
Aber er ist immor noch voller langsam sich bewegen der Wellen. Die
 Stimmen und Klange langst verflossener jahre darstellen.
However, it is still full of slowly traveling waves. The original
 sound and voices continue to move back and forth.
Mit starken Stereo-mikrofonen, war es uns moglich diese Klange
 aufzunehmen, und sie in horbare Satze urzuwandeln.
With sensitive stereo-microphones, we were able to record these waves,
 and then translate them back into their original form: words.
Ich bin hier. (I am here.)
Goethe ist ein Diplomat. (Goethe is a diplomat.)
So viele Licht hier. (So few lights here.)

--
Example #22

The sun is shining slowly.
The birds are flying so low.
Honey, you're my one and only.
So pay me what you owe me.

Lights are going down slowly.
In the woods, the animals are moving.
Honey, you're my one and only.
So pay me what you owe me.

--
Strike

--
False Documents

I went to a palm reader and the odd thing about the reading was that
everything she told me was totally wrong. She said I loved airplanes,
that I had been born in Seattle, that my mother's name was Hilary. But
she seemed so sure of the information that I began to feel like I'd
been walking around with these false documents permanently tattooed to
my hands. It was very noisy in the parlor and members of her family
kept running in and out. They were speaking a high, clicking kind of
language that sounded a lot like Arabic. Books and magazines in Arabic
were strewn all over the floor. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe
there was a translation problem--that maybe she was reading my hand
from right to left instead of left to right.

Thinking of mirrors, I gave her my other hand. Then she put her other
hand out and we sat there for several minutes in what I assumed was
some kind of participatory ritual. Finally I realized that her hand
was out because she was waiting for money.

--
New York Social Life

Well, I was lying in bed one morning, trying to think of a good reason
to get up, and the phone rang and it was Geri and she said: Hey, hi!
How are you? What's going on? How's your work?
Oh fine. You know, just waking up but it's fine, it's going OK, how's
yours?
Oh a lot of work, you know, I mean, I'm trying to make some money
too. Listen, I gotta get back to it, I just thought I'd call to see
how you are ...
And I said: Yeah, we should really get together next week. You know,
have lunch, and talk. And she says: Yeah, uh, I'll be in touch. OK?
OK.
Uh, listen, take care.
OK. Take it easy.
Bye bye.
Bye now. And I get up, and the phone rings and it's a man from
Cleveland and he says: Hey, hi! How are you? Listen I'm doing a
performance series and I'd like you to do something in it. Uh, you
know, you could make a little money. I mean, I don't know how I _feel_
about your work, you know, it's not really my style, it's kind of
trite, but listen, it's _just_ my opinion, don't take it
personally. So listen, I'll be in town next week. I gotta go now, but
I'll give you a call, and we'll have lunch, and we can discuss a few
things.
And I hang up and it rings again and I don't answer it and I go out
for a walk and I drop in at the gallery and they say: Hey, hi. How are
you?
Oh fine. You know.
How's your work going?
OK. I mean ...
You know it's not like it was in the sixties. I mean, those were the
days, there's just no money around now, you know, survive, produce,
stick it out, it's a jungle out there, just gotta keep working.
And the phone rings and she says: Oh excuse me, will you? Hey, hi! How
are you? Uh huh. How's your work? _Good._ Well, listen, stick it out,
I mean, it's not the sixties, you know, listen, I gotta go now, but,
uh, lunch would be great. Fine, next week? Yeah. Very busy now, but
next week would be fine, OK? Bye bye.
Bye now.
And I go over to Magoo's, for a bite, and I see Frank and I go over to
his table and I say:
Hey Frank. Hi, how are you? How's your work? Yeah, mine's OK
too. Listen, I'm broke you know, but, uh, working ... Listen, I gotta
go now, uh, we should _really_ get together, you know. Why don't you
drop by sometime? Yeah, that would be great. OK. Take care.
Take it easy.
I'll see you.
I'll call you.
Bye now.
Bye bye.
And I go to a party and everyone's sitting around wearing these party
hats and it's really awkward and no one can think of anything to
say. So we all move around--fast--and it's: Hi! How are you? Where've
you been? Nice to see you. Listen, I'm sorry I missed your thing last
week, but we should really get together, you know, maybe next
week. I'll call you. I'll see you.
Bye bye.
And I go home and the phone rings and it's Alan and he says: You know,
I'm gonna have a show on, uh, cable TV and it's gonna be about
loneliness, you know, people in the city who for whatever
sociological, psychological, philosophical reasons just can't seem to
communicate, you know, The Gap, The Gap, uh, it'll be a talk show and
people'll phone in but we will say at the beginning of each program:
Uh, listen, don't call in with your _personal_ problems because we
don't want to hear them.
And I'm going to sleep and it rings again and it's Mary and she says:
Hey, Laurie, how are you? Listen, uh, I just called to say hi ... Uh,
yeah, well don't worry. Uh, listen, just keep working. I gotta go
now. I know it's late but we should really get together next week
maybe and have lunch and talk and ... Listen, Laurie, uh, if you want
to talk before then, uh, I'll leave my answering machine on ... and
just give me a ring ... anytime.

--
A Curious Phenomenon

Recently there has been a discovery of a curious phenomenon deep in
the deciduous woods of Southern Illinois. In the midst of the
underbrush there is a clearing revealing a circle of short wooden
tree-stump-like structures. In the middle of that circle there is a
post-and-lintel structure. The entire circular configuration is
oriented toward the exact point at which the sun rises on the day of
the summer solstice.

Who built this structure? And for what purpose? To what end? A
primitive calendar? A center of worship? A lost tribe?

[Woodhenge:
A mystery that continues to cloud the American brain.]

--
Yankee See

Well I had a dream and in it I was teaching cave people how to use
blenders and toasters. I drive up to the cave in my car. Hey hey hey
hey hey hey hey. In my car.

And there they are banging their heads against the walls of the
cave. And I say: Hey folks! Listen, you're doing it the hard
way. Lemme show you a thing or two. One. Two. Three. Four.

Well I was trying to think of something to tell you about myself, and
I came across this brochure they're handing out in the lobby. And it
says everything I wanted to say--only better.

It says: Laurie Anderson, in her epic performance of United States
Parts 1 through 4, has been baffling audiences for years with her
special blend of music ... slides ... films ... tapes ... films (did I
say films?) ... hand gestures and more. Hey hey hey hey hey hey hey!
(Much more.)

Let's take a look around the stage at what we like to call The
System--i.e., the highly sophisticated (very expensive)
state-of-the-art gadgetry with which I cast my spell.

Now let me tell you something: this stuff does not grow on trees.

Well I was out in L.A. recently on music business, and I was just
sitting there in the office filling them in on some of my goals.
And I said: Listen, I've got a vision. I see myself as part of a long
tradition of American humor. You know--Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky
Pig, Elmer Fudd, Roadrunner, Yosemite Sam.
And they said; "Well actually, we had something a little more adult in
mind."
And I said: "OK! OK! Listen, I can adapt!"

Lucy I'm home. Lucy, I'm home!
LUCY? I'm home!!
I wonder what happened to her?

I Dreamed I Had To Take A Test

--
I dreamed I had to take a test in a Dairy Queen on another planet.

--
Four, Three, Two, One

Four three two one. Rock the cradle.
Rule the world.
One two three four. Beat the clock.
Stop the press.

Four three two one. Stop the press.
Beat the clock. Rock the cradle. And rule the world.

--
The Big Top

When Buckminster Fuller came to Canada, he kept asking the same
question: "Have you ever really considered how much your buildings
weigh?" The Canadians took this very seriously. (Hey, we never
thought of that!) He showed them plans for domed cities, cities with
no basements, no foundations. Cities that could be moved in a minute.
Portable cities. Portable towns.

He said;
Think of it as camping out.
Think of it as one big tent.
He said:
Think of it as
The Big Top ... spinning ... lightweight ... portable.

He said: Think of it as
The Big Top.
Spinning ...
Lightweight ...
Flyaway ...

He said:
Think of it as the
Big Top.

--
It Was Up In The Mountains

It was up in the mountains. We had this ceremony every year. We had it
and everyone from miles around came in for it. Cousins, aunts, uncles,
and the kids. Grandmothers, grandfathers ... everyone. And we set it
up around this big natural pool. With pine trees and palm trees. All
the trees were there. And we had thousands of those big urns--you know
the kind. And everyone would dance and sing, and it lasted for three
days. Everyone cooked and looked forward to it all the year.

Well one year, we were in the middle of it, and I was just a boy at
the time. Anyway, it was evening, and suddenly a whole lot of tigers
came in. I don't know where they came from. They rushed in, snarling,
and knocked over all the urns, and it was really a mess.

Well, we spent the whole next year rebuilding everything. But in the
middle of the ceremony the next time the same thing happened. These
tigers rushed in again and broke everything and then went back into
the mountains. This must have gone on four or five years this
way--rebuilding and then the tigers would come and break
everything. We were getting used to it.

Finally we had a meeting and decided to make these tigers part of the
ceremony--you know--to expect them. We began to put food in the urns,
so the tigers would have something to eat. Not much at first
... crackers, things like that. Then later we put more food until
finally we were saving our food all year for the tigers.

Then one year, the tigers didn't come. They never came back.

--
Odd Objects

Our plan is to drop a lot of odd objects onto your country from the
air. And some of these objects will be useful. And some of them will
just be odd.

Proving that these oddities were produced by a people free enough to
think of making them in the first place. The U.S. helps, not harms,
developing nations by using their natural resources and raw materials.

[How far can you invade our scramble system?]

One of the reasons that Chrysler has run into such financial trouble
is that there have been some problems with the relay devices between
the computers and the robot welders. When a problem develops further
up the line, it takes a long time for the computers to tell the robot
welders to stop. So the robot welders continue to make these welding
motions, dropping molten steel directly onto the conveyer belt, even
though there are no cars on the line, building up a series of
equidistant blobs. It takes several hours for the computers to tell
the robot welders to stop. At the rate of eighty cars per hour, a
typical plant is capable of manufacturing approximately 100 of these
blobs before the plant can be totally shut down.

--
Dr. Miller [instrumental]

--
Big Science

Coo coo coo it's cold outside. Coo coo. It's cold outside. Don't
forget your mittens.

Hey! Pal! How do I get to town from here?

And he said: Well, just take a right where they're gonna build that
new shopping mall, go straight past where they're gonna put in the
freeway, take a left at what's gonna be the new sports center, and
keep going until you hit the place where they're thinking of building
that drive-in bank. You can't miss it.

And I said: This must be the place.

Coo coo coo. Golden cities. Golden towns.
Golden cities. Golden towns.
And long cars in long lines.
And great big signs. And they all say:
Hallelujah. Yodellayheehoo. Every man for himself.
Coo coo coo. Golden cities. Golden towns. Thanks for the ride.

Big Science. Hallelujah. Big Science. Yodellayheehoo.

You know, I think we should put some mountains here. Otherwise, what
are the characters going to fall off of? And what about stairs?
Yodellayheehoo.

Here's a man who lives a life of danger. Everywhere he goes, he stays
a stranger. Howdy stranger.
Mind if I smoke?
And he said: Every man for himself.
Every man, every man for himself.
All in favor say aye.
Hey professor! Could you turn out the lights? Let's roll the film!

Big Science. Hallelujah. Big Science. Yodellayheehoo.


Part Four


--
It Tango

She said, It looks, don't you think it looks a lot like rain?
He said, Isn't it, isn't it just isn't it just like a woman?
She said, It goes. That's the way it goes. It goes that way.
He said, Isn't it, isn't it just like, just like a woman?
She said, It's hard. It's just hard. It's just kind of hard to say.
He said, Isn't it just like a woman?
She said, It takes. It takes one. It takes one to. It takes one to
 know one.
He said, Isn't it, isn't it just like a woman?
She said, she said it, she said it to know, she said it to no one.
Isn't it, isn't it just, Isn't it just like a woman?

--
Blue Lagoon

I had this dream and in it I wake up in this small house. Somewhere in
the tropics. And it's very hot and humid and all these names and faces
are somehow endlessly moving through me.

It's not that I see the, exactly; I'm not a person in this dream; I'm
a place. Yeah ... just a place. And I have no eyes, no hands, and all
these names and faces keep ... they keep passing through. And there's
no scale. Just a lot of details.

Just a slow accumulation of details.

I got your letter. Thanks a lot. I've been getting lots of sun and
lots of rest. It's really hot.

Days, I dive by the wreck.
Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon.

I always used to wonder who I'd bring to a desert island.
Days, I remember cities.
Nights, I dream about a perfect place.

Days, I dive by the wreck.
Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon.

Full fathom five thy father lies.
Of his bones are coral made.
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
Nothing about him fades.
But that suffers a sea change.
Into something rich and strange.

And I alone am left to tell the tale ... Call me Ishmael.

I got your letter. Thanks a lot.
I've been getting lots of sun. It's really hot.
I always wondered who I'd bring to a desert island.

Days, I remember rooms.
Nights, I swim in the blue lagoon.

I saw a plane today flying lower over the island.
But my mind was somewhere else.

And if you ever get this letter:
Thinking of you. Love and kisses ...
Blue Pacific signing off.

--
Hothead (La Langue d'Amour)

Voyons ... euh ... c'etait sur une ile. Il y avait un serpent et ce
serpent avait des jambes. Et il pouvait marcher tout autour de l'ile.
Let's see ... uh ... it was on an island. There was a snake and this
snake had legs. And he could walk all around the island.
Oui, c'est vrai. Un serpent avec des jambes.
Yes, that's true. A snake with legs.
Et l'homme et la femme etaient aussi sur l'ile. Et ils n'etaient pas
très malins, mais ils étaient heureux comme des poissons dans
l'eau. Oui.
And the man and the woman were on the island too. And they were not
very smart, but they were happy as clams. Yes.
Voyons ... euh ... alors un soir le serpent faisait un tour dans le
jardin en parlant tout seul et il vit la femme et ils se mirent à
parler. Et ils devinrent amis. De TRES bons amis.
Let's see ... uh ... then one evening the snake was walking about in
the garden and hje was talking to himself and he saw the woman and
they started to talk. And they became friends. VERY good friends.
Et la femme aimait beaucoup le serpent parce que quand il parlait il
emettait de petits bruits avec sa langue et sa longue langue lui
fechait legerement les levres.
And the woman liked the snake very much because when he talked he made
little noises with his tongue and his long tongue was lightly licking
about his lips.
Comme s'il y avait un petit feu a l'interieur de sa bouche et que la
flamme sortit en dansant de sa bouche. Et la femme aimait beaucoup
cela.
Like there was a little fire inside his mouth and the flame would come
dancing out of his mouth. And the woman liked this very much.
Et apres cela elle se mit a trouver l'homme ennuyeux pare ce que
quoiqu'il advint, il etait toujours aussi heureux qu'un poisson dans
l'eau.
And after that she was bored with the man because no matter what
happened, he was always as happy as a clam.
Que dit le serpent? Oui, que disait le serpent?
What did the snake say? Yes, what was he saying?
OK. Je vais vous le dire.
OK. I will tell you.
Le serpent lui raconta des choses sure le monde.
The snake told her things about the world.
Il lui parla du temps ou il y eut un grand tiphon sur l'ile et ou tous
les requins sortirent de l'eau.
He told her about the time when there was a big typhoon on the island
and all the sharks came out of the water.
Oui, ils sortirent de l'eau et ils vinrent droit dans votre maison
avec leurs grandes dents blanches. Et la femme entendit ces choses et
elle tomba amoureuse.
Yes, they came out of the water and they walked right into your house
with their big white teeth. And the woman heard these things and she
was in love.
Et l'homme vint et lui dit: "Il faut qu'on s'en aille maintenant," et
la femme ne voulait pas s'en aller par ce qu'elle etait une
brulee. Parce qu'elle etait une femme amoureuse.
And the man came out and said: "We have to go now," and the woman did
not want to go because she was a hothead. Because she was a woman in
love.
Toujours est-il qu'ils montèrent dans leur bateau et quitterent l'ile.
Anyway, they got into their boat and left the island.
Mais ils ne restaient jamais tres longtemps nulle part. Parce que la
femme ne pouvait trouver le repos.
But they never stayed anywhere very long. Because the woman was
restless.
C'etait une toute brulee. C'etait une femme amoureuse.
She was a hothead. She was a woman in love.
Ce n'est pas une historie que raconte mon peuple. C'est une langue que
je sais par moi-meme.
This is not a story my people tell. It's something I know myself.
Et quand je fais mon trvail je pense a tout cela.
And when I do my job I am thinking about these things.
Parce que quand je fais mon travail, c'est ce a quoi je pense.
Because when I do my job, that's what I think about.
Oooo la la la.
Yeah. La. La. La. La.
Voici. Voila.
Here and there.
Oooo la la la.
Oh yes.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Oooo la la la la.
Oooo. Oh yeah.
Voici. Voila la la.
Here it is. There it is. La la.
Voici de langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Ah! Comme ci, comme ca.
Ah! Neither here nor there.
Voila. Viola.
There. There.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Attends! Attends! Attends!
Wait! Wait! Wait!
Attends! Attends! Attends!
Wait! Wait! Wait!
Ecoute. Ecoute. Ecoute.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Oooo la la la la.
Oooo. Oh yeah.
Oooo la la la la.
Oh yeah. Yeah.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Voice le langage dans mon coeur.
This is the language of my heart.
Oooo la la la la.
Oooo. Oh yeah.
Voici le langage dans mon coeur.
This is the language of my heart.
Voici le langage de l'amour.
This is the language of love.
Voici le langage dans mon coeur.
This is the language of my heart.
Voici le langage dans mon coeur.
This is the language of my heart.

--
Stiff Neck

A while ago, I had this stiff neck. I couldn't get it out of this one
position. I went to a doctor and he said: I'm afraid this is no stiff
neck--I think we're going to have to operate right away. I couldn't
believe it so I went to a few specialists and they all said the same
thing--we'll have to operate immediately. So I finally decided to have
the operation and right before, the doctor said: Oh, by the way, what
kind of insurance do you have? And I said: I don't have any
insurance. And he said:
Well, maybe we can wait on this.
By this time I was convinced I really needed to have the operation so
I went to one last guy--and the first thing I said when I walked into
his office was: Look. I have no money and no insurance. And he said:
Show me where it hurts. And I said: Well, it sort of starts in my neck
here, and runs down my arm, and kind of crumples up the fingers on
this hand. And he said:
Exactly what is it that you do for a living?

--
Telephone Song

Hi. How are you? What are you doing? Yeah, I know, it's kind of noisy
here. There's kind of a party going on. Why don't you just come
over. Just put on your coat and call a cab and come over. Yeah, I know
you're asleep--but it's really fun--you'd have a really good
time. Just put on your shoes and call a cab and come over. No, he's
not here. Well, maybe he's here--maybe he's not here. What's the
difference? Yeah, I know it's Brooklyn. Yeah, well, what's thirty
bucks? It's two nights. OK. OK. Listen, I'm sure I could get you in.

--
Sweaters

I no longer love your mouth.
I no longer love your eyes.
I no longer love your eyes. I no longer love the color of your sweaters.
I no longer love the color of your sweaters.
I no longer love the way you hold your pens and pencils.
I no longer love it.
Your mouth, Your eyes, The way you hold your pens and pencils.

--
We've Got Four Big Clocks (and They're All Ticking)

--
Song for Two Jims

A while ago I was camping out in Kentucky. I was sleeping out under
this ledge and about three in the morning I woke up. The fire was out
but I could see two boots standing a few feet away. I crawled out and
there was a guy standing there holding a musket. He said: We eat
critters. And I said: What? He said: We eat critters--you know,
possum, squirrel, night animals. We hunt 'em at night.

He said he didn't think it was a good idea for a woman to be alone in
those parts--and he invited me back to his house. I followed him and
ended up staying a week. His name was Mr. Taylor and he was married to
Mrs. Taylor. They were also brother and sister--but they didn't think
that was too strange because their parents were brother and sister
too. There were four Taylor kids--Jack, Jim, Rhonda and Jim. Two
Jims--who knows why. We'd get up every day and sort of hack around in
the tobacco patch and when it got too hot we'd just sit around on the
porch and sort of stare out.

The landscape around there was completely desolate except for the
tobacco plants. Standard Oil had strip-mined it in the thirties, and
just when some vegetation was beginning to grow back, they discovered
that a certain kind of low-grade shale could be converted to oil, so
they came back and drilled holes--very deep holes--hundreds of feet
down into the bedrock. But they never got around to filling them
afterwards. The just sent down a shipment of manhole covers, but
nobody every bothered to put them over the holes.

One day, Mrs. Taylor told me that she used to have another kid, but
that he had apparently fallen down one of the holes. Her description
was very abstract. She said: "Well one day I saw him out there and I
was watching and then I didn't see him out there no more."

--
Over the River

Over the river and through the woods. Whose woods these are.
Long time no see, Long time no see.

--
Mach 20

Ladies and gentlemen, what you are observing here are magnified
examples or facsimiles of human sperm.
Generation after generation of these tiny creatures have sacrificed
themselves in their persistent, often futile, attempt to transport the
basic male genetic code. But where is this information coming from?
They have no eyes. No ears.
Yet some of them already know that they will be bald.
Over half of them will end up as women.
Four hundred million living creatures, all knowing precisely the same
thing--carbon copies of each other in a Kamikaze race against the
clock.
Some of you may be surprised to learn that if a sperm were the size of
a salmon it would be swimming its seven-inch journey at 500 miles per
hour.
If a sperm were the size of a whale, however, it would be traveling at
15,000 miles per hour, or Mach 20. Now imagine, if you will, four
hundred million blind and desperate sperm whales departing from the
Pacific coast of North America swimming at 15,000 mph and arriving in
Japanese coastal waters in just under 45 minutes.
How would they be received?
Would they realize that they were carrying information, a message?
Would there be room for so many millions?
Would they know that they had been sent for a purpose?

--
Rising Sun

--
The Visitors

A group of American minimal artists were on a goodwill trip to
China. Near the end of their visit, they stopped in a remote province
where few Americans had ever gone. One of the Chinese hosts seemed to
be very confused about the United States. He kept asking questions
like: "Is it true that Americans ride airplanes ... to work?" "Is it
true that all your food is made in factories?"
One of the artists was a conceptualist whose specialties was theories
about information and truth. He decided to try out one of his theories
on the host.
So when the host asked, "Is it true you have robots in your houses?"
he said, "Yes, yeah. We have lots of them. It's true."
The host asked, "Is it true that Americans live on the moon?" The
artist said, "Yes, it's true. A lot of us live there. In fact, we go
there all the time."
In this province, however, the word for moon was the same as the word
for heaven. The hosts were amazed that Americans traveled to
heaven. They were even more amazed that we were able to come
back--that we went to heaven all the time.
They look like us.
They act like us.
Remember us.
They are not us.

--
The Stranger

A stranger came into our town at twilight.
He said he had chosen our town out of all the other towns.
He said, "Roll out the red carpet."
He said, "I'm the one you have been waiting for."
He said, "I've come to serve you--no questions asked. So let's make a deal."
He said, "So put her here. Let's shake on it. Give me five."
He said, "I've got a five-year plan. And we mean business. So put her
 here. Let's shake on it."

It's the one with the pool.
It's the one on the corner with the big garage.
It's the one with the fir tree in the front yard.
Leave the lights on. It's twilight.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not see
the log that is in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your brother, "Brother let me take out the speck
that is in your eye," when you yourself do not see the log that is in
your own eye.
You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye and then you
will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

--
Classified

I came home today and you had rearranged all the furniture.
And you had changed your name.
And I'd never seen you wear that pin-striped shirt before.
And then I realized, I was in the wrong house.

In this picture, there's a big blank piece of paper and I'm saying:
 Sign it.
Go ahead. It's blank. What have you got to lose?

And the sun's coming up and you still haven't signed it and I keep
 saying:
Sign it. Sign it.

I'm going to draw a picture and I'm going to put in an eight-lane
superhighway and I'm going to draw you on it in an old jalopy.
And then I'm going to draw a whole fleet of Mack trucks bareling along
the highway with their brights on.
And then I'm going to draw a flat tire on the jalopy and then I'm
going to draw the whole jalopy in X-ray to show that you've got no
gas.

He said: You can take my money. You can take my life.
You can take my gun. You can take my wife.
But just make sure that when you do--you take grandma too.

Hey! That sounds great! That sounds really good!
Just don't put my name on it, OK?
Take my name off it, all right?
Wish they all could be California girls.

--
Going Somewhere?

--
Fireworks

--
Dog Show

--
Lighting Out for the Territories

You're driving and it's dark and it's raining.
And you're on the edge of the city and you've been driving all night.
And you took a turn back there but now you're not sure it was the
 right turn.
But somehow it looks familiar so you just keep driving.
Hello. Excuse me.
Can you tell me where I am?

You've been on this road before.
You can read the signs.
You can feel your way.
You can do this in your sleep.

##
09 Home of the Brave

--
1. Smoke Rings
Standby.
You're on the air.
Buenos noches Senores y Senoras.
Bienvenidos.
La primera pregunta es: Que es mas macho, pineapple o knife?
Well, let's see.
My guess is that a pineapple is more macho than a knife.
Si! Correcto!
Pineapple es mas macho que knife.
La segunda pregunta es: Que es mas macho, lightbulb o schoolbus?
Uh, lightbulb?
No! Lo siento,
Schoolbus es mas macho que lightbulb.
Gracias.
And we'll be back in un momento.
Well I had a dream and in it I went to a little town
And all the girls in town were named Betty.
And they were singing: Doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo doo doo.
Ah desire!
It's cold as ice
And then it's hot as fire.
Ah desire!
First it's red
And then it's blue.
And everytime I see an iceberg
It reminds me of you.
Doo doo doo doo doo.
Doo doo doo doo doo.
Que es mas macho iceberg or volcano?
Get the blanket from the bedroom
We can go walking once again.
Down in the bayou
Where our sweet love first began.
I'm thinking back to when I was a child
Way back to when I was a tot.
When I was an embryo
A tiny speck.
Just a dot.
When I was a Hershey bar
In my father's back pocket.
Hey look! Over there!
It's Frank Sinatra
Sitting in a chair.
And he's blowing
Perfect smoke rings
Up into the air.
And he's singing: Smoke makes a staircase for you To descend.
So rare.
Ah desire! Ah desire! Ah desire!
So random
So rare
And everytime
I see those smoke rings
I think you're there.
Que es mas macho staircase o smoke rings?
Get the blanket from the bedroom
We can go walking once again.
Down in the boondocks
Where our sweet love first began.
Ooo I'm gonna follow you.
Out in the swamps and into town.
Down under the boardwalk
Track you down.
Doo doo doo doo doo.
Doo doo doo doo doo.
Doo doo doo doo doo.
Doo doo doo doo doo.

--
2. White Lily

What Fassbinder film is it?
The one-armed man walks into a flower shop
And says: What flower expresses
Days go by
And they just keep going by endlessly
Pulling you Into the future
Days go by
Endlessly
Endlessly pulling you
Into the future?
And the florist says: White Lily.

--
3. Late Show

L-L-L
L-L-Listen
Listen T-
L-L
Listen to my heartbeat

--
4. Talk Normal

I don't know about your dreams
But mine are sort of hackneyed.
Same thin
night after night.
Just...repetitive.
And the color is really bad -
And the themes are just infantile.
And you always get what you want -
And that's just not the way life is.

First National Bank? I love it!
New hat? Forget it!
Moby Dick? Never read it!

I came home today
and both our cars were gone.
And there were all these new pink
Flamingoes arranged in star patterns
All over the lawn.
Then I went into the kitchen
And it looked like a tornado had it.
And then I realized I was in the wrong house.

Last night I had that dream again.
I dreamed I had to take a test
In a Dairy Queen on another planet.
And then I lokked around
And there was this woman.
And she was making it all up.
She was writing it all down.

And she was laughing.
She was laughing her head off.
And I said: Hey!
Give me that pen!

I turned the corner in Soho today and someone
Looked right at me and said: Oh no!
Another Laurie Anderson clone!
And I said: Loook at me! Loook at me! Loook at me!
Loook at me! Loook at me! Loook at me! Loook at me!
Loook at me! Loook at me! Loook at me! Loook at me!

--
5. Language Is a Virus

Paradise
Is exactly like
Where you are right now
Only much much
Better.

I saw this guy on the train
And he seemed to gave gotten stuck
In one of those abstract trances.
And he was going: "Ugh...Ugh...Ugh..."

And Fred said:
"I think he's in some kind of pain.
I think it's a pain cry."
And I said: "Pain cry?
Then language is a virus."

Language! It's a virus!
Language! It's a virus!

Well I was talking to a friend
And I was saying:
I wanted you.
And I was looking for you.
But I couldn't find you. I couldn't find you.
And he said: Hey!
Are you talking to me?
Or are you just practicing
For one of those performances of yours?
Huh?

Language! It's a virus!
Language! It's a virus!

He said: I had to write that letter to your mother.
And I had to tell the judge that it was you.
And I had to sell the car and go to Florida.
Because that's just my way of saying         (It's a charm.)
That I love you. And I               (It's a job.)
Had to call you at the crack of dawn         (Why?)
And list the times that I've been wrong.
Cause that's just my way of saying
That I'm sorry.                   (It's a job.)

Language! It's a virus!
Language! It's a virus!

Paradise
Is exactly like
Where you are right now
Only much much                    (It's a
shipwreck,)
Better.                       (It's a job.)

You know? I don't believe there's such
a thing as TV. I mean -
They just keep showing you
The same pictures over and over.
And when they talk they just make sounds
That more or less synch up
With their lips.
That's what I think!

Language! It's a virus!
Language! It's a virus!
Language! It's a virus!

Well I dreamed there was an island
That rose up from the sea.
And everybody on the island
Was somebody from TV.
And there was a beautiful view
But nobody could see.
Cause everybody on the island
Was saying: Look at me! Look at me!
      Look at me! Look at me!

Because they all lived on an island
That rose up from the sea.
And everybody on the island
Was somebody from TV.
And there was a beautiful view
But nobody could see.
Cause everybody on the island
Was saying: Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!
      Look at me! Look at me! Why?

Paradise is exactly like
Where you are right now
Only much much better.

--
6. Radar (instrumental)

--
7. Sharkey's Night

Sun's going down
Like a big bald head
Disappearing behind the boulevard.

It's Sharkey's night.
It's Sharkey's night tonight.

And the manager says:
Sharkey? He's not at his desk right now
Could I take a message?

Hey Kemosabe!
Long time no see
Hey Sport -
You connect the dots!
You pick up the pieces!

Well I drove down to Big D.C.
And I walked into Room 1003
And there they were
The Big Boys.
And they were talking
Big B
Little O
Little M
Silent B
They were saying:
Let's teach those robots how to play hardball.
Let's teach those little fellas a little gratitude.

Hey!
What's that big noise from the sky?
Sounds like thunder -
Nope.
Sounds like the Fourth of July -
Nope...Wrong again.
You know? It's just those angels walking
They're clomping around again
Wearing those big clumsy shoes
We got for them

Well deep
In the heart
Of darkest America
Home of the Brave

Well HA
HA
HA
You've already paid
For this
Listen to my heart
Beat.

--
8. Credit Racket (instrumental)

##
10 Strange Angels:

--
1. Strange Angels

They say that heaven is like TV
A perfect little world that doesn't really need you
And everything there is made of light
And the days keep going by
Here they come
Here they come
Here they come.

Well it was one of those days larger than life
When your friends came to dinner
And they stayed the night
And then they cleaned out the refrigerator
They ate everything in sight
And then they stayed up in the living room
And they cried all night
Strange angels - singing just for me
Old stories - they're haunting me
This is nothing like I thought it would be.

Well I was out in my four door with the top down. And I looked up and
 there they were:
Millions of tiny teardrops just sort of hanging there
And I didn't know whether to laugh or cry
And I said to myself: What's next big sky?
Strange angels - singing just for me
Their spare change falls on top of me
Rain falling
Falling all over me
All over me
Strange angels - singing just for me
Old Stories - they're haunting me
Big changes are coming
Here they come
Here they come.

--
2. The Monkey's Paw:

Well I stopped in at the Body Shop
Said to the guy:
I want stereo FM installed in my teeth
And take this mole off my back and put it on my cheek.
And uh... while I'm here, why don't you give me
 some of those high-heeled feet?
And he said: Listen there's no guarantee
Nature's got rules and Nature's got laws
But listen look out for the monkey's paw
And I said: Whaaat? He said:

The gift of life it's a twist of fate
It's a roll of the die
It's a free lunch, a free ride
But Nature's got rules and Nature's got laws
And if you cross her look out!
It's the monkey's paw
It's sayin: Haw haw!
It's saying Gimme five!
It's sayin: Bye bye!

I know a man he lost his head
He said: The way I feel I'd be better off dead.
He said: I got everything I ever wanted
Now I can't give it up
It's a trap, just my luck!

The gift of life it's a leap of faith
It's a roll of the die
It's a free lunch A free ride
The gift of life it's a shot in the dark
It's the call of the wild
It's the big wheel, the big ride
But Nature's got rules and Nature's got laws
And if you cross her look out!
It's the monkey's paw
You better Stop!
Look around!
Listen!

You- could- be- an- oca- rina- salesman-
 going- from- door- to- door.
Or- would- you- like- to- swing- on- a- star-
 and- carry- moon- beams- home?
Or- next- time- around- you- could- be- a- small- bug-
Or- would- you- like- to- be- a- fish?

The gift of life it's a twist of fate
It's a roll of the die
it's a free lunch A free ride
The gift of life it's a shot in the dark
It's the call of the wild
It's the big wheel The big ride
But Nature's got rules and Nature's got laws
And if you cross her look out!
It's the monkey's paw
It's singin': Gimme Five!
It's singin': Bye Bye!

--
3. Coolsville

Coolsville
Coolsville
Coolsville
Coolsville
So perfect
So nice
Hey little darlin,
I'm comin your way little darlin'
And I'll be there
Just as soon as I'm all straightened out
Yeah just as soon as I'm perfect.
Some things are just pictures
They're scenes before your eyes
And don't look now I'm right behind you
Coolsville
Coolsville
So perfect
So nice
So nice!
And down by the ocean under the boardwalk
You were so handsome we didn't talk
You're my ideal I'm gonna find you I'm goin' to Coolsville
So perfect
So ideal
This train
This city
This train
Some things are just pictures
They're scenes before your eyes
And don't look now I'm right behind you
Coolsville
She said: Oh Jesus, why are you always in the arms of somebody else?
He said: Oh man!
I don't need anybody's help I'm gonna get there on my own.
This train
This city
This train
This city
This train

--
4. Ramon

Last night I saw a host of angels
And they were all singing different songs
And it sounded like a lot of lawnmowers
Mowing down my lawn
And up above kerjillions of stars
spangled all over the sky
And they were spirals turning
Turning in the deep blue night.

And suddenly for no reason
The way that angels leave the ground
They left in a kind of vortex
Travelling at the speed of sound.

And just as I started to leave
Just as I turned to go
I saw a man who'd fallen
He was lying on his back in the snow.

Some people walk on water
Some people walk on broken glass
Some just walk round and round
 in their dreams
Some just keep falling down.

So when you see a man who's broken
Pick him up and carry him
And when you see a woman who's broken
Put her all into your arms
Cause we don't know where we come from
We don't know what we are.

So when you see a man who's broken
Pick him up and carry him
And when you see a woman who's broken
Put her all into your arms
Cause we don't know where we come from.
We don't know what we are.

And you? You're no one
And you? You're falling
And you? You're travelling
Travelling at the speed of light.

And you? You're no one
And you? You're falling
And you? You're travelling
Travelling at the speed of light.

--
5. Babydoll

I don't know about your brain but mine is really bossy
I come home from a day on the golf course and I find all these
messages scribbled on wrinkled up scraps of paper
And they say things like: Why don't you get a real job?
Or: You and what army?
Or: Get a horse.
And then I hear this voice coming from the back of my head
Uh huh (Whoa-ho) Yep!
It's my brain again
And when my brain talks to me,
He says: Take me out to the ballgame
Take me out to the park
Take me to the movies
Cause I love to sit in the dark
Take me to Tahiti
Cause I love to be hot
And take me out on the town tonight
Cause I know the new hot spot.
He says: Babydoll! Ooo oo oo Babydoll Ooo
He says: Babydoll! I love it when you come when I call Babydoll!
You don't have to talk I know it all Babydoll!
Ooo oo oo Babydoll Ooo
Well I'm sitting around trying to write a letter I'm wracking my
brains trying to think of another word for horse
I ask my brain for some assistance.
And he says: Huh...Let's see...How about cow? That's close.
He says: Take me out to the ballgame
Take me out to the park
Take me to the movies
Cause I love to sit in the dark
Take me to your leader
And I say: Do you mean George?
And he says: I just want to meet him
And I say: Come on I mean I don't even know George!
And he says: Babydoll! Ooo oo oo Babydoll Ooo
He says: Babydoll! I love it when you come when I call Babydoll!
You don't have to talk I know it all Babydoll!
Ooo oo oo Babydoll Ooo Babydoll! Babydoll! Ooo oo oo Babydoll!
Babydoll! Ooo oo oo Babydoll! Babydoll! Ooo oo oo

--
6. Beautiful Red Dress

Well I was down at the Zig Zag
That's the Zig Zag Bar & Grill
And everybody was talking at once and it was getting real shrill.
And I've been around the block
But I don't care I'm on a roll -
I'm on a wild ride Cause the moon is full and look out baby -
I'm at high tide.
I've got a beautiful red dress
And you'd look really good standing beside it.. I've got some
beautiful new red shoes and they look so fine
I've got a hundred and five fever and it's high tide.
Well just the other day I won the lottery
I mean lots of money I got so excited
I ran into my place and I said: HEY!
Is anybody home?
Nobody answered but
I guess that's not too weird
Since I live alone.
I've got a beautiful red dress
And you'd look really good standing beside it.. Girls?
We can take it
And if we can't we're gonna fake it
We're gonna save ourselves
We're gonna make it
And if we don't we're gonna take it
We're gonna save ourselves
Save ourselves
Well they say women shouldn't be the president Cause we go crazy from
 time to time
Well push my button, baby
Here I come
Yeah, look out, baby
I'm at high tide
I've got a beautiful red dress and you'd look really good standing
 beside it..
I've got a little jug of red sangria wine and we could take little
 sips from time to time
I've got some bright red drop dead lips
I've got a little red card and mechanical hips I've got a hundred and
 five fever!!!
OK! OK! Hold it!
I just want to say something.
You know, for every dollar a man makes a woman makes 63 cents.
Now, fifty years ago that was 62 cents.
So, with that kind of luck, it'll be the year 3,888 before we make a
buck.
But hey, girls?
We can take it
And if we can't we're gonna fake it
We're gonna save ourselves save ourselves
(Yeah tell it to the judge)
We're gonna make it
And if we don't we're gonna take it
We're gonna save ourselves save ourselves
We've got a fever of a hundred and five and look baby
It's high tide.
Well I could just go on and on and on...
But tonight I've got a headache

--
7. The Day the Devil

The day the devil comes to getcha
You know him by the way he smiles
The day the devil comes to getcha
He's a rusty truck with only twenty miles
He's got bad brakes he's got loose teeth
He's a long way from home
The day the devil comes to getcha
He's got a smile like a scar
He knows the way to your house
He's got the keys to your car
And when he sells you his sportcoat
You say: Funny! That's my size
Attention shoppers!
Everybody please rise
Give me back my innocence
Get me a brand new suit
Give me back my innocence Oh Lord!
Cut me down to size
Well you can hide under the porch
And you can hide behind the couch
But the day the devil comes to getcha
He's right on time
Here he comes
Well I'm sick of hearin bout your problems
Yeah girlie you're breakin my heart
I'm the original party animal Hey! Hey! Babaloo
So don't come bangin your Bibles
Cause you've been laughin all the way to the bank
And don't give me those crocodile tears
Cause you've been doing it for years
I'm everywhere!
Sign right here Mr. Jones
The day the devil comes to getcha
He's a long way from home
And you know he's gonna getcha
Cause you're stuck in the middle
Everybody please rise
Give me back my innocence
Get me a brand new suit
Give me back my innocence Oh Lord!
Cut me down to size
Give me back my innocence
Get me a new Cadillac
Cause when I get on up to heave Lord
You can have it all back
Cause in heaven, you get it all back
In heaven it all comes back
Cause in heaven, you get it all back
In heaven Cause in heaven...
In heaven...

--
8. The Dream Before (to Walter Benjamin)

Hansel and Gretel are alive and well
And they're living in Berlin
She is a cocktail waitress
He had a part in a Fassbinder film
And they sit around at night now drinking schnapps and gin
And she says: Hansel, you're really bringing me down
And he says: Gretel, you can really be a bitch
He says: I've wasted my life on our stupid legend
When my one and only love was the wicked witch.
She said: What is history?
And he said: History is an angel being blown backwards into the future
He said: History is a pile of debris
And the angel wants to go back and fix things
To repair the things that have been broken
But there is a storm blowing from Paradise
And the storm keeps blowing the angel backwards into the future
And this storm, this storm is called Progress

--
9. My Eyes

Sometimes I wish I hadn't gotten that tattoo
Sometimes I wish I'd married you
One hundred fires
One hundred days
Sometimes I feel like a stranger
Sometimes I tell lies (Whoa ho)
Sometimes I act like a monkey
Here comes the night
And then kerjillions of stars start to shine
And icy comets go whizzing by
And everything's shaking with a strange delight
And here it is: the enormous night
And oo my eyes
They're lookin all around
And oo my feet
I'm upside down
If I were the president
If I were Queen for a day
I'd give the ugly people all the money
I'd re-write the Book of Love
I'd make it funny
Wheel of fortune
Wheel of fame
Two hundred forty million voices
Two hundred forty million names
And down in the ocean where nobody goes
Some fish are fast
Some are slow
Some swim round the world
Some hide below
This is the ocean
So deep
So old.
And then kerjillions of stars start to shine
And icy comets go whizzing by
And everything's shaking with a strange delight
And here it is: the enormous night
And oo my eyes
They're lookin all around
And oo my feet
They've left the ground
So cry me a river that leads to a road
That turns into a highway that goes and goes
And tangles in your memories
So long
So old.

--
10. Hiawatha

By the shores of Gitche Gumee
By the shining Big Sea Water
Downward through the evening twilight
In the days that are forgotten
From the land of sky blue waters
And I said: Hello Operator
Get me Memphis Tennessee
And she said: I know who you're tryin to call darlin'
And he's not home he's been away
But you can hear him on the airwaves
He's howlin' at the moon
Yeah this is your country station
And honey this next one's for you.
And all along the highways and under the big western sky
They're singing
Ooo oooooo
They're singing Wild Blue.
And way out on the prairie and up in the high chaparral
They hear a voice it says: Good evening
This is Captain Midnight speaking
And I've got a song for you
Goes somethin like this:
Starlight Starbright
We're gonna hang some new stars in the heavens tonight.
They're gonna circle by day
They're gonna fly by night
We're goin sky high.
Yoo Hooooo hooo.
Yeah yoo hooo
Ooo Hooooooooo
So good night ladies
And good night gentlemen
Keep those cards and letters coming
And please don't call again.
Geronimo and little Nancy Marilyn and John F. dancing
Uncle took the message and it's written on the wall.
These are pictures of the houses
Shining in the midnight moonlight
While the King sings Love Me Tender.
And all along the watchtowers and under the big western sky
They're singing
Yoo Hooooo
They're singing Wild Blue.
And way way up there, bursting in air
Red rockets, bright red glare
From the land of sky blue waters
Sent by freedom's sons and daughters.
We're singing
Ooo Hoooooooo
We're singing Wild Blue.
We're singing
Ooo Hoooooooo
Ooo Hooooooooo
And dark behind it rose the forest
Rose the black and gloomy pine trees
Rose the firs with ones upon them
And bright before it beat the water
Beat the clear and sunny water
Beat the shing Big Sea Water


##
11 Bright Red (1994)

--
1. Speechless

It was August. Summer of '82.
You had that rusty old car
And me I had nothing better to do.
You picked me up. We hit the road. Baby me and you.

We shot out of town drivin' fast and hard.
Leaving our greasy skid marks in people's back yards.
We were goin' nowhere. Just driving around.
We were goin' in circles. And me I was just hanging on.

Like in that Annie Dillard book
Where she sees that eagle with the skull of a weasel
Hanging from its neck
And here's how it happened, listen.
Eagle bites the weasel. Weasel bites back.
They fly up to nowhere. Weasel keeps hangin' on.
Together forever.

We were goin' nowhere. Just driving around.
You did all the talking and me I didn't make a sound
If I open my mouth now I'll fall to the ground

If I could open my mouth. There's so much I would say.
Like I can never be honest. Like I'm in it for the thrill.
Like I never loved anyone. And I never will.

Eagle bites the weasel. Weasel bites back.
They fly up to nowhere. Weasel keeps hangin' on.
Together forever.

I remember that old coat my grandma used to wear
Made of weasels biting each other's tails
A vicious circle. An endless ride.
On the back of an old woman.

Eagle bites the weasel. Weasel bites back.
They fly up to nowhere. Weasel keeps hangin' on.
Together forever.
And me? I'm goin' in circles. I'm circling around.
And if I open my mouth now I'll fall to the ground.

--
2. Bright Red

Did she fall or was she pushed?
Your shirt on my chair.
Your shirt on my chair.
I'll be with you.
I'll be there.
I'll never leave you.
Your shirt on my chair.
Come here little girl.
Get into the car.
It's a brand new Cadillac.
Bright red.
Come here little girl.
Hey, haven't I see you somewhere before?
You're disappeared in my heart.
Bright red.
Your words in my ears.
I'll be with you.
I'll be there.
I'll never leave you.
Wild beasts shall rest there.
And owls shall answer one another there.
And the hairy ones shall dance there.
And sirens in the temples of pleasure.
Your shirt on my chair.
I'll be with you.
I'll be there.
I'll never leave you.
Your shirt on my chair.

--
3. The Puppet Motel

I live on the highway near the Puppet Motel.
I log in every day. I know the neighborhood well.
Now about the residents of the Puppet Motel
They're more than a little spooky
And most of them are mean. They're runnin' the numbers
They're playin' cops and robbers
Down in their dungeons inside their machines.

Cause they don't know what's really real now
They're havin' fourth dimensional dreams
Their minds are out on bail now
And real is only what it seems.

And all the puppets in this digital jail
They're runnin' around in a frenzy in search of the Holy Grail.
They're havin' virtual sex. They're eatin' virtual food.
No wonder these puppets are always in a lousy mood.

So if you think we live in a modern world
Where everything is clean and swell
Take a walk on the B side of town down by the Puppet Motel.
Take a whiff. Burning plastic.

I drink a cup of coffee I try to revive
My mind's a blank I'm barely alive
My nerves are shot I feel like hell
Guess it's time to check in at the Puppet Motel.

Boot up. Good afternoon. Pause.
Oooo. I really like the way you talk.
Pardon me. Shut down.

--
4. Speak My Language

Daddy Daddy. It was just like you said
Now that the living outnumber the dead.

Where I come from it's a long thin thread
Across an ocean. Down a river of red.
Now that the living outnumber the dead. I'm one
of many.

Daddy Daddy. It was just like you said
Now that the living outnumber the dead.
Speak my language.

Hello. Hello.
Here come the quick. There go the dead.
Here they come. Bright red. Speak my language.

--
5. World Without End

I remember where I came from
There were burning buildings and a fiery red sea
I remember all my lovers
I remember how they held me
World without end remember me.

East. The edge of the world.
West. Those who came before me.

When my father dies we put him in the ground
When my father died it was like a whole library
Had burned down. World without end remember me.

--
6. Freefall

You're out on the ocean and you get pulled down
Freefall to the bottom
Like when you're drowning or falling asleep
You get turned around
And when you think you're swimming to the surface
You're swimming straight down.
Down to the bottom. All the way to the bottom.

Secret codes and cryptograms
I'm lost in your words I'm swimming.
We're going down to the bottom. All the way to
the bottom.
Rapture of the deep.

I got your letter. I couldn't read it. It was a
cryptogram.
Did it say Take me with you or Take me as I am?
We're going down to the bottom.
All the way to the bottom. We get turned around.
There is another world spinning inside of this
one.

I remember where I came from
There were tropical breezes and a wide open sea
I remember my childhood
I remember being free.

Down to the bottom.
All the way to the bottom. We get turned around.
There is another world inside of this one.
Rapture of the deep.

We're going down to the bottom.
There is another world spinning inside of this
one.

--
7. Muddy River

Rain keeps pouring down
Houses are cracking. People drown.
Cars are rusting here. A church floats by
Washed in the blood of the lamb.

And all the superhighways have disappeared
One by one. And all the towns and cities and
signs
Are underwater now. They're gone.

We're going down by the muddy river
We're walking down by the muddy river
Somebody tell me please
What happened here?

Mud is everywhere.
Fish are swimming in the fields.
Everybody's running around, they're yelling
Is this the end of the known world?

Men and women in their boats
Try to save what they've lost.
They're yelling, It's all gone now.
We're never gonna find it again.

But when the muddy river starts to rise
It covers us all. And when I look into your eyes
Two tiny clocks two crystal balls
We begin again. We try.
We begin again. Down by.

We're going down by the muddy river.
We begin again down by the muddy river.
We're walking down by down by the muddy river.
We're going down by down by the muddy
river.

Tightrope (originally disc 2 of Bright Red)

--
8. Beautiful Pea Green Boat

I'm lying in the shade of my family tree
I'm a branch that broke off
What will become of me?

Dear Mom, I'm lying here in this queen-sized bed.
I'm thinking back
To all the stories you read to me.
About the little animals who went to sea
In their beautiful pea green boat.
But I can't remember now
What happened then?
Dear Mom, how does it end?

The owl and the pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat.
They took some honey and lots of money
Wrapped in a five pound note.
The owl looked up to the stars above
And sang to a small guitar.
O lovely pussy! Pussy my love!
What a wonderful pussy you are.

Let us be married
Too long we've tarried
But what shall we do for a ring?
What shall we do for a ring?
Hey! Hey!

They sailed away for a year and a day
To the land where the bong tree grows
And there in a wood a piggy wig stood
A ring at the end of his nose
A ring at the end of his nose.

And hand in hand at the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the
By the light of the, by the light of the moon.

And hand in hand at the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the
By the light of the, by the light of the moon.
The moon, the moon.
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!

--
9. Love Among the Sailors

There is a hot wind blowing
it moves across the oceans and into every port.
A plague. A black plague. There's danger
everywhere
And you've been sailing.

And you're all alone on an island now tuning in.
Did you think this was the way
Your world would end?
Hombres. Sailors. Comrades.

There is no pure land now. No safe place.
And we stand here on the pier
Watching you drown.
Love among the sailors.
Love among the sailors.

There is a hot wind blowing.
Plague drifts across the oceans.
And if this is the work of an angry god
I want to look into his angry face.
There is no pure land now. No safe place.
Come with us into the mountains.
Hombres. Sailors. Comrades.

--
10. Poison

It was one of those black cat night
The moon had gone out and the air was thin
It was the kind of night the cat would drag in.

I'll never forget it, we had a fight.
Then you turned around turned on the light. You
left our bed.
Then you moved downstairs to live with her
instead.
Yeah just one floor and a shout away.
I guess I should have moved but I decided to
stay.
Did I drink some poison that I don't remember
now?

And every night I open all the windows
I let a cold dark wind blow through.
I play loud organ music and I talk to myself and
dream of you.
Uh oh! I hear voices coming up through the pipes.
Through all the springs in my bed and up through
the lights.
The volume goes up then it drops back down
I can hear the two of you playing records
Moving furniture and fooling around.

Did I drink some poison that I don't remember
now?
Is there blood on my hands?
No, my hands are clean.
Did I do something in another lifetime
That was really really mean?

Yeah I'm hearing voices.
Am I losing my mind?
Think I'm going crazy, I gotta get out.
I run into the street and start to shout
Get out of my way! Get out! Get out!

Did I drink some poison that I don't remember
now?
Is there blood on my hands?
Did I do something in another lifetime
that was really really mean?

A small bullet, a piece of glass
And your heart just grows around it.

--
11. In Our Sleep

In our sleep as we speak
Listen to the drums beat
As we speak

In our sleep as we speak
Listen to the drums beat
In our sleep

In our sleep as we speak
Listen to the drums beat
As we speak

As we speak in our sleep
Listen to the drums beat
In our sleep

In our sleep as we speak
Listen to the drums beat
As we speak

In our sleep as we speak
Listen to the drums beat
In our sleep

In our sleep where we meet
In our sleep where we meet

--
12. Night in Baghdad

And oh it's so beautiful
It's like the Fourth of July
It's lie a Christmas tree
It's like the fireflies on a summer night.

And I wish I could describe this to you better.
But I can't talk very well now
Cause I've got this damned gas mask on.
So I'm just going to stick this microphone out
the window
And see if we can hear a little better. Hello
California?
What's the weather like out there now?

And I only have one question: Did you ever really
love me?
Only when we danced. And it was so beautiful.
It was like the Fourth of July.
It was like fireflies on a summer
night.

--
13. Tightrope

Last night I dreamed I died and that my life had
been rearranged into some kind of theme park.
And all my friends were walking up and down the boardwalk.
And my dead grandmother was selling
cotton candy out of a little shack.
And there was this big ferris wheel
about half a mile out in the ocean,
half in and half out of water.
And all my old boyfriends were on it.
With their new girlfriends.
And the boys were waving and shouting
and the girls were saying Eeek.

Then they disappeared under the surface of the
water
and when they came up again they were laughing
and gasping for breath.

In this dream I'm on a tightrope
and I'm tipping back and forth trying to keep my
balance.
And below me are all my relatives
and if I fall I'll crush them.
This long thin line. This song line. This shout.

The only thing that binds me to the turning world
below
and all the people and noise and sounds and
shouts.
This tightrope made of sound
This long thin line made of my own blood.
Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.

Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.
This long thin line. This long thin line.
This long thin line. This tightrope.

Remember me is all I ask.
And if remembered be a task forget me.
This long thin line. This long thin line.
This long thin line. This tightrope.

--
14. Same Time Tomorrow

You know that little clock, the one on your VCR
the one that`s always blinking
twelve noon because you never figured out how to
get in there and change it? So
it`s always the same time just the way it came
from the factory. Good morning.
Good night. Same time tomorrow. We`re in record.
So here are the questions: Is
time long or is it wide? And the answers?
Sometimes the answers just come in
the mail. And one day you get that letter you`ve
been waiting for forever. And
everything it says is true. And then in the last
line it says: Burn this. We`re
in record. And what I really want to know is this: Are
things getting better or are
they getting worse? Can we start all over again?
Stop. Pause. We`re in record.
Good morning. Good night. Now I in you without a
body move. And in our hearts
we fly. Standby. Good morning. Good night.

##
12 In Our Sleep (1994) [lyrics on previous album]

##
13 The Ugly One with the Jewels (spoken word, 1995)

--
1. The End of the World

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to London Laurie
 Anderson.

Ooooaaaah!
Ooooaaaah!

Hi. This evening Ill be reading from a book I just finished and since
a lot of it is about the future, Im going to start more or less on the
last page, and tell you about my grandmother. Now she was a Southern
Baptist Holy Ruler and she had a very clear idea about the future, and
of how the world would end.

In fire.

In fire.

Like in Revelations.

Like in Revelations.

And when I was ten my grandmother told me the world would end in a
year. So I spent the whole year praying and reading the Bible and
alienating all my friends and relatives. And finally the big day
came. And absolutely nothing happened. Just another day.

Ooooaaaah!

Now my grandmother was a missionary and she had heard that the largest
religion in the world was Buddhism. So she decided to go to Japan to
convert Buddhists.

And to inform them about the end of the world.

And to inform them about the end of the world.

And she didn't speak Japanese. So she tried to convert them with a
combination of hand gestures, sign language and hymns, in English.

Ooooaaaah!

The Japanese had absolutely no idea what she was trying to get at. And
when she got back to the United States she was still talking about the
end of the world. And I remember the day she died. She was very
excited. She was like a small bird perched on the edge of her bed near
the window in the hospital. Waiting to die. And she was wearing these
pink nightgowns and combing her hair so she'd look pretty for the big
moment when Christ came to get her.

Ooooaaaah!

And she wasn't afraid but then, just at the very last minute something
happened that changed everything. Because suddenly, at the very last
minute she panicked. After a whole life of praying and predicting the
end of the world, she panicked. And she panicked because she couldn't
decide whether or not to wear a hat.

Ooooaaaah!

And so when she died she went into the future in a panic with
absolutely no idea of what would be next

--
2. The Salesman

Now the book is called Stories from the Nerve Bible and what I mean by
the Nerve Bible is the body. And parts of the body appear and
disappear throughout the book, adding up to a kind of self-portrait
although not a very naturalistic one.
And I used the word Bible in the title of this book because the first
really strange stories I remember hearing were Bible stories. And
these stories were completely amazing: about parting oceans, and
talking snakes. And people really seemed to believe these stories. And
Im talking about adults. Adults, who mainly just did the most mundane
things imaginable: mowing their lawns and throwing potluck parties;
they all believed in these wild stories. And they would sit around and
discuss them in the most matter-of-fact way. So in a way I was
introduced to a special local form of surrealism at an early age and
so there was always a question in my mind about whats actually true
and what is just another art form. Now Ive always been intere! sted in
trying to define what makes up the late twentieth century American for
example and so, as an artist, Ive always thought my main job was to be
a spy, to use my eyes and ears, and find some of the answers. For
example, I like to hang around the banks of phones in airports, one of
my favorite listening posts and eavesdrop on conversations. Now I
usually travel on the same schedule as salesmen and after lunch these
guys call into the main office and I just stand there at the phones,
listening in and taking notes for my portrait of the American
salesmen.
-- Oh Frank? Listen, Frank. You know, I hate to say this about Brad. I
mean we both know hes got a heck of a job. Ya, ya. Oh youre so
right. But you know, we both know that Brad isn't pulling his
weight. You know what I mean? And Im not saying this just because
were both up for the same Safeway account.

So this book is really a collection of voices and stories as well as
portraits of people that Ive met along the way.

--
3. The Night Flight from Houston

It was the night flight from Houston. Almost perfect visibility. You
could see the lights from all the little Texas towns far below.
And I was sitting next to a fifty-year old woman who had never been on
a plane before. And her son had sent her a ticket and said:
-- Mom, you've raised ten kids; its time you got on a plane.

And she was sitting in a window seat staring out and she kept talking
about the Big Dipper and that Little Dipper and pointing; and suddenly
I realized that she thought we were in outer space looking down at the
stars. And I said:

-- You know, I think those lights down there are the lights from
little towns.

--
4. Word of Mouth

n 1980, as part of a project called Word of
Mouth, I was invited, along with a living other artists, to go to
Panape, a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific. The idea was that
wed sit around talking for a few days and that the conversations would
be made into a talking record.
The first night we were all really jet-lagged but as soon as we sat
down the organizers set up all these mikes and switched on thousand
white light bulbs. And we tried our best to seem as intelligent as
possible. Television had just come to Panape a week before we arrived
and there was a strong excitement around the island as people crowded
around the few sets. Then the day after we arrived, in a bizarre
replay of the first TV show ever broadcast to Panape, prisoners
escaped from a jail, broke into the radio station and murdered the
DJ. Then they went off on a rampage through the jungle, armed with
lawnmower blades. In all, four people were murdered in cold
blood. Detectives, flown in from Guam to investigate, swarmed
everywhere. At night we stayed around in our cottages, listening out
into the jungle.

Finally the local chief decided to hold a ceremony for the murder
victims. The artistMarina Brownovich and I went, as representatives of
our group to film it. The ceremony was held in a large thatched
lean-to and most of the ceremony involved cooking beans in pits and
brewing a dark drink from roots. The smell was overwhelming. Dogs
careened around barking. And everybody seemed to be having a fairly
good time as funerals go.

After a few hours Marina and I were presented to the chief, who was
sitting on a raised platform above the pits. Wed been told we couldn't
turn our backs on the chief at any time or ever be higher than he
was. So we scrambled up onto the platform with our film equipment and
sort of duck-waddled up backwards to the chief. As a present I brought
one of those Fred Flintstone cameras, the kind where the film canister
is also the body of the camera, and I presented it to the chief. He
seemed delighted and began to click off pictures. He wasn't advancing
the film between shots, but since we were told we shouldn't speak
unless spoken to, I wasn't able to inform him that he wasn't going to
get twelve pictures, but only one, very, very complicated one.

After a couple more hours the chief lifted his hand, and there was
absolute silence. All the dogs had suddenly stopped barking. We looked
around and saw the dogs. All their throats had been simultaneously cut
and their bodies, still breathing, pierced with rods, were turning on
those pits. The chief insisted we join in the meal but Marina had
turned green and I asked if we could just have ours to go. They
carefully wrapped the dogs in leaves and we carried their bodies away.

--
5. The Soul is a Bird

In 1984, as part of the press for the tour I was doing in Japan, I was
asked to go to Bali and speak about the future with the prince of
Ouboud. Now the idea was that I would represent the Western world, the
prince the Southern world, and the Japanese press representative would
represent whatever was left.
The conversations would be published in a large book, scheduled for
release one year after the concert tour. Now as press this didn't
really seem like a great way to advertise concerts but it sounded like
fun anyway.
And I stayed at the palace in one of the former kings harem
houses. Each of the kings wives had had her own house guarded by a
pair of animals, a bear and a fox for example. By the time I got
there, years later, the menagerie had dwindled a bit. My house was
guarded by two tropical fish. Bali was extremely hot in the afternoons
and the conversations with the prince drifted along randomly from
topic to topic. The prince was a bon vivant trained in Paris and he
spoke excellent English and when he wasn't in the palace he was out on
the bumpy back roads racing cars. So we talked about cars, a subject I
know absolutely nothing about, and I felt that as far as representing
the Western world was going, I was failing pretty dismally. Then, on
the second night, the prince served an elaborate feast of Balinese
dishes. At the end of the meal, the conversation slowed to a halt, and
after a few minutes of silence he asked:

-- Would you like to see the cremation tapes of my father?

The tapes were several hours long and were a record of the elaborate
three-month ceremony shot by the BBC. When the king died the whole
country went to work, building an enormous funeral pyre for him. After
months of preparation, during which time the corpse continues to
reside in the living room, they hoisted the body to the top of this
rickety, extremely flammable structure, and lit a match. The delicate
tower crumbled almost immediately, and the kings body fell to the
ground with a sickening thud. Suddenly, everyone began to cheer.

Later, I learned that the Balinese believe that the soul is a bird and
that when the body falls it shakes the bird loose and gives it a hit
start on its way to heaven.

--
6. The Ouija Board

In 1978, I spent some time in California in the fall, looking for a
quiet place to live. I finally found what seemed to be the perfect
apartment. But the night after I moved in I heard a tremendous
pounding sound.
As it turned out, I had moved in right above a Hawaiian hallow log
drum school. Every other night, it was converted into a hula school
with a live band of six Hawaiian guitars.
I decided to soundproof my place but I didn't hang the door very well
and all the sounds kept drifting in. About this time, like a lot of
New Yorkers who find themselves on the West Coast, I got interested in
various aspects of Californias versions of the occult.
We would sit around at night when the Santa Anna winds howled outside,
and ask questions to the ouija board. I found out a lot of information
on my past 9,361 human lives on this planet. My first life was as a
raccoon.

-- And then you were a cow. And then you were a bird. And then you were
a hat, spelled the ouija.

We said a hat? We couldn't figure it out. Finally we guessed that the
feathers from the bird had been made into a hat. Is this true?

-- Yes, spelled the ouija. Hat counts as half life.

And then?

-- Hundreds and hundreds of rabbis.

Now this is apparently my first life as a woman, which should explain
quite a few things. Eventually though, the ouijas written words seemed
to take a kind of personality, a kind of a voice. Finally we began to
ask the board if the ouija would be willing to appear to us in some
other form.

-- Forget it, forget it, forget it, forget it, forget it, forget it.

The ouija seemed like it was about to crash. Please, please, what can
we do now so you will show yourself to us in some other
manifestation?

You should lurk. You should L, U, R, K. Lurk.

No, I never really figured out how to lurk in my own place, even
though it was only a rented place, but I did find myself looking over
my shoulder a lot. And every sound that drifted in seemed to be a
version of this phantom voice whispering in a code that I could never crack.

--
7. The Ugly One with the Jewels

In 1974, I went to Mexico to visit my brother who was working as an
anthropologist with Tsutsil Indians, the last surviving
Mayan tribe. And the Tsutsil speak a lovely birdlike language and are
quite tiny physically; I towered over them. Mostly, I spent my days
following the women around since my brother wasn't really allowed to do
this. We got up at 3am and began to separate the corn into three
colors. And we boiled it, ran to the mill and back, and finally
started to make the tortillas. Now all the other womens tortillas were
360 perfectly toasted, perfectly round; and after a lot of practice
mine were still lobe-sided and charred. And when they thought I wasn't
looking they threw them to the dogs.
After breakfast we spent the rest of the day down at the river
watching the goats and braiding and unbraiding each others hair. So
usually there wasn't that much to report. One day the women decided to
braid my hair Tsutsil-style. After they did this I saw my reflection
in a puddle. I looked ridiculous but they said, Before we did this you
were ugly, but now maybe you will find a husband.

I lived within in a yurt, a thatched structure shaped like a cob
cake. And theres a central fireplace ringed by sleeping shelves sort
of like a dry beaver down. Now my Tsutsil name was Lausha, which
loosely translated means the ugly one with the jewels. Now ugly, OK, I
was awfully tall by local standards. But what did they mean by the
jewels? I didn't find out what this meant until one night, when I was
taking my contact lenses out, and since Id lost the case I was
carefully placing them on the sleeping shelf; suddenly I noticed that
everyone was staring at me and I realized that none of the Tsutsil had
ever seen glasses, much less contacts, and that these were the jewels,
the transparent, perfectly round, jewels that I carefully hid on the
shelf at night and then put for safekeeping into my eyes every
morning.

So I may have been ugly but so what? I had the jewels.

Full fathom thy father lies
Of his bones are coral made
Those are pearls that were his eyes
Nothing of him that doth fade
But that suffers a sea change
Into something rich and strange
And I alone am left to tell the tale
Call me Ishmael

--
8. The Geographic North Pole

The summer of 1974 was brutally hot in New York and I kept thinking
about how nice and icy it must be at the North Pole. And then I
though, Wait a second, why not go? You know, like in cartoons where
they hang "going to the North Pole" on their door knobs and they just
take off.
So I spent a couple of weeks preparing for the trip, getting a
hatchet, a huge backpack, maps, knives, sleeping bags, lures and a
three month supply of Banic, a versatile high-protein paste that can
be made into flat bread, biscuits or cereal.

Now I had decided to hitch hike and one day I just walked out onto
Austin Street, weighing down seventy pounds of gear, and stuck out my
thumb.

Going North? I asked the driver as I struggled into his station wagon.

After I got out of New York, most of the rides were trucks until I
reached the Hudson Bay and began to hitch in small mail planes. The
pilots were usually guys who'd gone to Canada to avoid the draft or
else embittered Vietnam vets who never wanted to go home again. Either
way they always wanted to show off a few of their stunts. We'd go
swooping low along the rivers doing loop do loops and baby hueys. And
they'd drop me off at an airstrip. There'll be another plane by here
couple of weeks; see ya; good luck.

I never did make it all the way to the geographic pole; it turned out
to be a restricted area and no one was allowed to fly in or even over
it. I did get within a few miles of the magnetic pole though. So it
wasn't really that disappointing. I entertained myself in the evenings,
cooking or smoking, and watching the blazing light of the huge
Canadian sunsets as they turned the lake into fire.

Later I lay on by back, looking up at the Northern lights and
imagining there'd been a nuclear holocaust and that I was the only
human being left in all of North America and what would I do then.

And then, when these lights went out, I stretched out on the ground,
watching the stars as they turned around on their enormous, silent
wheels

I finally decided to turn back because of my hatchet. I'd been
chopping some wood and the hatchet flew out of my hand on the
upswing. And I did what you should never do when this happens: I
looked up to see where it had gone and it came down fffoooppp just
missing my head and I thought, My God! I could be walking around here
with a hatchet embedded in my skull and I'm ten miles from the
airstrip. And nobody in the whole world knows where I am.

Daddy Daddy, it was just like you said
Now that the living outnumber the dead
Where I come from its a long thin thread
Across an ocean. Down a river of red
Now that the living outnumber the dead
Speak my language

--
9. John Lilly

Now in this book there are a lot of stories about talking animals:
talking snakes, and birds, and fish; and about people who try to
communicate with them. John Lilly, the guy who says he can talk to
dolphins, said he was in an aquarium and he was talking to a big whale
who was swimming around and around in his tank. And the whale kept
asking him questions telepathically. And one of the questions the
whale kept asking was: do all oceans have walls?

You know, I've always thought that one of the most serious defects of
the human body was that you couldn't close your ears. You can't point
them anywhere or close them, they just sort of hang there on the sides
of your head. But an acupuncturist explained to me that the pressure
points in the ears are very important because the whole body is
represented right there in the ear. The ears, he said, are vestigial
fetuses, little versions of yourself, one male and one female, and he
showed me heres the lobe, thats the miniature upside down head, and
this curve here is the spine, and right here are the little genitals,
and that was when I went back to wearing hats.

--
10. The Rotowhirl

Around 1978, I met a comedian, Andy Kaufmann. And he was performing
his avant-garde Elvis act in a club in Queens. The performance
started with Andy playing the bongos, and for some unknown reason,
sobbing. We became friends and I acted as Andy's straight man in clubs
and field trips. At the Improv in New York Andy would begin his show
by insulting women and saying, I won't respect them until one of them
comes up here and wrestles me down. This was supposed to be my job. I
sat in the club drinking whiskies trying to get up the nerve. In the
meantime I was also supposed to be heckling him. And after three
whiskies I managed to get pretty abusive. Wrestling him down though
was really hard because Andy really fought. On our field trips we
would go to Coney Island to try out some of Andy's theories on
cutting-edge comedy. We'd stand around the test your strength games,
the one with the big sledgehammer and the bell, and Andy would make
fun of all the guys who were swinging away. And I was supposed to beg
him for one of the huge stuffed bunnies. Oh Andy Honey, please get me
a bunny, please, please. Finally Andy would step up to the big
thermometer and take a swing. The indicator would rise a few inches
and "Try again, weakling!" would flash. At this point Andy would
start yelling that the game was rigged and demanding to see the
manager.

We also went at the rotowhirl, the ride that plasters everyone against
the walls of a spinning cylinder, and stretches their bodies into
Dopplered blobs. Before the ride actually starts, there are a couple
of awkward minutes while the attendant checks the motor and the
riders, bound hand and foot, stare at each other. This was the moment
that Andy seized. He would start by looking around in a panick and
then he would start to cry. I don't wanna be on this ride, I've
changed my mind; we're all gonna die. The other riders would look
around self-consciously. Should they help? He would then begin to sob
uncontrollably.

I loved Andy. He would come over to my house and read from a novel he
was writing; he would read all night. And I don't know if any of this
book was ever even published.

Now I have never been one that hoped that Elvis is still hanging
around somewhere, hiding, but I will probably always expect to see
Andy reappear, someday.

--
11. On the Way to Jerusalem

There was a devout nun in the XVth century who decided to make a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem; and she belonged to an order that wore bags
over their heads. And the mother superior told the nun that if she
walked through the countryside with a bag on her head, she would scare
people. But the nun insisted, so the mother superior allowed to her
to walk around and around the cloister, every day for three years
until she covered the equivalent distance to the Holy City. At the end
of her journey the nun was so exhausted that she collapsed. A doctor
was called. After examining her he announced that she was too weak to
make the return trip. The nun died shortly after.

--
12. The Hollywood Strangler

I was living out in West Hollywood when a Hollywood strangler was
strangling women. Every night there was a panel discussion on TV about
the strangler, speculations about his habits, his motives, his
methods. One thing was clear about him: he only strangled women when
they were alone, or with other women. And the panel members would
always end the show by saying: Now for all you women, listen: don't go
outside without a man. Don't walk out to your car, don't even take the
garbage out by yourself; always go with a man.

Then, one of the eyewitnesses identified a policeman as one of the
suspects. The next night, the chief of the police was on the panel,
and he said:

Now for all you women, whatever happens, do not stop for a police
officer, stay in your car. If a police officer tries to stop you, do
not stop, keep driving and under no circumstances should you get out
of your car.

For a few weeks, half the traffic in LA was doing twice the speed
limits.

--
13. Maria Teresa Teresa Maria

Last spring, I spent a week in a convent in the Midwest. Id been
invited there to do a series of seminars on language. Theyd gotten my
name from a list in Washington, from a brochure that described my work
as deals with the spiritual issues of our time, undoubtedly a blurb I
had written myself.
Because of this, and also because men were not allowed to enter the
convert, they asked me to come out. The night I arrived, they had a
party for me in a nearby town, in a downstairs lounge of a crystal
lanes bowling alley.

The alley was reserved for the nuns, for their Tuesday night
tournaments; it was a pizza party. And the lounge was decorated to
look like a cave: every surface was covered with that spray-on rock
thats usually used for soundproofing. In this case, it had the
opposite effect: it amplified every sound.

Now the nuns were in the middle of their annual tournament
playoffs. And we could hear all the bowling balls rolling very slowly
down the aisles above us, making the rock club stalactites tremble and
resonate.

Finally the pizza arrived, and the mother superior began to bless the
food. Now this woman normally had a gruffed low-pitched speaking voice
but as soon as she began to pray he voice rose, became pure,
bell-like, like a childs. The prayer went on and on increasing in
volume each time a sister got a strike, rising in pitch Dear Father in
Heaven.

The next day I was scheduled to begin this seminar on language. Id
been very struck by this prayer and I wanted to talk about how womens
voices rise in pitch when theyre asking for things, especially from
men. But it was odd. Every time I set a time for the seminar, there
was some reason to postpone it: the potatoes had to be dug out, or a
busload of old people would appear out of nowhere and have to be shown
around.

So I never actually did the seminar. But I spent a lot of time there,
walking around the grounds and looking at all the crops, which were
all labeled. And there was also a neatly laid-out cemetery, hundreds
of identical white crosses in rows, and there were labeled Maria,
Teresa, Maria Teresa, Teresa Maria, and the only sadder cemetery I saw
was last summer in Switzerland. And I was dragged there by a Hermann
Hesse fanatic, who had never recovered from reading Siddhartha, and
one hot August morning when the sky was quiet, we made a pilgrimage to
the cemetery; we brought a lot of flowers and we finally found his
grave. It was marked with a huge fur tree and a mammoth stone that
said Hesse in huge Helvetica bold letters. It looked more like a
marquee than a tombstone. And around the corner was this tiny stone
for his wife, Nina, and on it was one word: Auslander foreigner. And
this made me so sad and so mad that I was sorry Id brought the
flowers. Anyway, I de! cided to leave the flowers, along with a mean
note, and it read: Even though youre not my favorite writer, by a long
shot, I leave these flowers on your resting spot.

--
14. Someone Else's Dream

You know those nights, when youre sleeping, and its totally dark, and
absolutely silent, and you don't dream, and theres only blackness, and
this is the reason, its because on those nights youve gone away. On
those nights, youre in someone elses dream, youre busy in someone
elses dream. Some things are just pictures, theyre scenes before your
eyes. Don't look now, Im right behind you.

--
15. White Lily

What Fassbinder film is it?
The one-armed man walks into a flower shop
And says: What flower expresses
Days go by
And they just keep going by endlessly
Pulling you Into the future
Days go by
Endlessly
Endlessly pulling you
Into the future?
And the florist says: White Lily.

--
16. The Mysterious 'J'

In the book there are several chapters about women talking and women
writing. Now it seems likely that men invented writing and wrote what?
Maybe ninety, maybe ninety-five percent of everything thats ever been
written. Oh theres the recent theory that a woman, the mysterious J,
wrote much of the Old Testament, but only because God was portrayed in
this book as patriarchal, tyrannical and inconsistent, the way
presumably only a woman would write about a man. But I think I can
picture this J scribbling away and laughing although the first time I
saw the Bible re-enacted was sometime in the 70s and there was a cable
TV show in the Midwest and Bible study groups would act out parts of
the Bible. But these were pretty low budget productions and shot in a
church basement or somebodys ??? and all the prophets had towels
wrapped around their heads for turbans, but you could see the tags,
the ones with the washing instructions, sort of sticking out and back.
There were very few women on these tapes. They tended to be the odd
shepherdess sort dancing girl bit part. Then last year I was invited
to perform in Israel and I was very excited because I wanted to see
Jerusalem where this mysterious J had spent her life writing and
working and the Gulf War had made me even more curious. So I did some
asking around, some informal research, and I talked to an Israeli
woman who was living in New York and she was really having a hard time
living there, and she was always complaining about American men, and
shed say:

-- You know, American men are such wimps, I mean, theyre always talking
about their feelings.

And I said:

-- They are?

And she said she really liked Israeli men because they were so tough
and because they all had guns and I said:

-- Guns, you like guys with guns?

And she said she did and went on about how terrible it was that
Clinton wanted to reduce the army and she was so animate about this
that I started to get kind of worried. Yeah, I thought, yeah thats
true, what are all these military people going to do when they lose
their jobs? And then I thought, well, hang on, weve got all these
service industries now, things like psychotherapy, and the military
approach to psychotherapy would really be kind of perfect, really
efficient and fast, you know, listen, you are nothing, you are a worm,
and if you don't get that mother complex out by 0400 hours you are dead
meat.

--
17. The Cultural Ambassador

Anyway, I was in Israel as a kind of cultural ambassador and there
were lots of press conferences scheduled around the performances. The
journalists usually started things off by asking about the
avant-garde.

-- So, whats so good about new? theyd ask.

-- Well, new is interesting.

-- And what, they would say, is so good about interesting?

-- Well, interesting is, you know its interesting. Its like being
awake, you know, Im treading water now.

-- And what is so good about being awake? theyd say.

Finally I got the hang of this: never answer a question in Israel,
always answer by asking another question. But the Israelis were vey
curious about the Gulf War and what Americans had thought about it,
and I tried to think of a good question to ask and answer to this, but
what was really on my mind was that the week before I had myself been
testing explosives in a parking lot in Tel Aviv. Now this happened
because I had brought some small stage bombs to Israel as props for
this performance and the Israeli promoter was very interested in
them. And it turned out that he was on weekend duty on one of the bomb
squads, and bombs were also something of a hobby during the week. So I
said:

-- Look, you know, these bombs are nothing special, just, just a
little smoke

And he said:

-- Well, we can get much better things for you.

And I said:

-- No really, these are fine

And he said:

-- No but it should be big, theatrical. It should make an impression,
I mean you really just the right bomb.

And so one morning he arranged to have about fifty small bombs
delivered to a parking lot, and since he looked on it as a sort of
special surprise favor, I couldn't really refuse, so we are on this
parking lot testing the bombs, and after the first few explosions, I
found I was really getting pretty interested.

They all had very different characteristics: some had fiery orange
tails, and made these low paah, paah, paah, popping sound; others
exploded mid-air and left long smoky, slinky trails, and he had
several of each kind in case I needed to review them all at the end,
and Im thinking:

-- Here I am, a citizen of the worlds largest arms supplier, setting
off bombs with the worlds second largest arms customer, and Im having
a great time!

So even though the diplomatic part of the trip wasn't going so well, at
least I was getting some instruction in terrorism. And it reminded me
of something in a book by Don DeLillo about how terrorists are the
only true artists left, because theyre the only ones who are still
capable of really surprising people. And the other thing it reminded
me of, were all the attempts during the Gulf War to outwit the
terrorists, and I especially remember an interesting list of tips
devised by the US embassy in Madrid, and these tips were designed for
Americans who found themselves in war-time airports. The idea was not
to call ourselves to the attention of the numerous foreign terrorists
who were presumably lurking all over the terminal, so the embassy tips
were a list of mostly don'ts. Things like: don't wear a baseball cap;
don't wear a sweat shirt with the name of an American university on it;
don't wear Timberlands with no socks; don't chew gum; don't yell Ethel,
our plane is leaving!. I mean its weird when your entire culture can
be summed up in eight giveaway characteristics.

And during the Gulf War I was traveling around Europe with a lot of
equipment, and all the airports were full of security guards who would
suddenly point to a suitcase and start yelling:

-- Whose bag is this? I wanna know right now who owns this bag.

And huge groups of passengers would start fanning out from the bag,
just running around in circles like a Skud missile on its way in, and
I was carrying a lot of electronics so I had to keep unpacking
everything and plugging it in and demonstrating how it all worked, and
I guessed I did seem a little fishy; a lot of this stuff wakes up
displaying LED program readouts that have names like Adam Smasher, and
so it took a while to convince them that they weren't some kind of
espionage system. So Ive done quite a few of these soort of impromptu
new music concerts for small groups of detectives and customs agents
and Id have to keep setting all this stuff up and theyd listen for a
while and theyd say:

-- So uh, what's this?

And I'd pull out something like this filter and say:

-- Now this is what Id like to think of as the voice of Authority.

And it would take me a while to tell them how I used it for songs that
were, you know, about various forms of control, and they would say:

-- Now, why would you want to talk like that?

And Id look around at the SWAT team and the undercover agents and the
dogs and the radio in the corner, tuned to the Superbowl coverage of
the war. And Id say:

-- Take a wild guess.

Finally of course, I got through, with this after all American-made
equipment, and the customs agents were all talking about the
effectiveness, no the beauty, the elegance, of the American strategy
of pinpoint bombing. The high tech surgical approach, which was being
reported by CNN as something between grand opera and the Superbowl,
like the first reports before the blackout when TV was live and
everything was heightened, and it was so euphoric

--
18. Same Time Tomorrow

You know that little clock, the one on your VCR, the one that's always
blinking twelve noon 'cause you never figured out how to get in there
and change it? So it's always the same time, just the way it came from
the factory. Good morning. Good night. Same time tomorrow. We're in
record.
So here are the questions: is time long or is it wide? And the
answers? Sometimes the answers just come in the mail. And one day you
get that letter you've been waiting for forever. And everything it
says is true. And then in the last line it says: burn this.
And I what I really want to know is this: are things getting better or
are they getting worse?
Stop, stop. Pause, pause. We're in record.
Because history's stories that we have remembered, and most of them
never even get written down. And so when they say things like "We're
gonna do this by the book," you have to ask "What book?", because it
would make a big difference if it was Dostoyevsky or just, you know,
Ivanhoe.
I remember where I came from; there were burning buildings and a fiery
red sea. I remember all my lovers. I remember how they held me.
East, East. The edge of the world.
West, West. Those who came before me.
We're in record.
Come here little girl. Get into the car. It's a brand new
Cadillac. Bright red. Come here little girl.
When my father died we put him in the ground.
When my father died it was like a whole library had burned down.
Stop, stop. Pause, pause.
Same time tomorrow.
And wild beasts shall rest there
And owls shall answer one another there
And the hairy ones shall dance there
And sirens in the temples of pleasure.
Speak my language.
Good night.

##
14 Life on a String (2001)

--
1. One White Whale

How to find you, maybe by your singing
A weird trail of notes in the water
One white whale in all these oceans
One white whale
Slipping through the years of silence
Under polar Ice-Caps miles down
You leave your echoes in the water
One white whale in all these oceans
One white whale.

--
2. The Island Where I Come From

Let me tell you a story about Kokovoko
The island where I come from
The beaches are littered with rotten coconuts
And there are pieces of old skulls lying all around
Jewels and sand and rising water
Visions I've seen and cries I've heard
I can't put these things into words
Might as well put some beans
In a hollow gourd and shake it, shake it
I've floated on an icecap with a white polar bear
I've floated up and down the golden stairs
I've seen whales and caught in sails all twiskeetwee
But me? I don't say much
Jewels and sand and rising water
Visions I've seen and cries I've heard
I can't put these things into words
Might as well put some beans
In a hollow gourd
There are lots of people who talk just to hear the sound
The sound, the sound of their own voices
But take an empty shell and put it up to your ear
You can hear the ocean rumbling around in there
Ooo the greasy wheel it goes round
The humming of the breeze it makes a whishing
and whirring sound
The sudden silence when the burning sun goes down
Jewels and sand and rising water
Visions I've seen and cries I've heard
I can't put these things into words
Might as well put some beans
In a hollow gourd and shake it, shake it

--
3. Pieces and Parts

They say that in 1842 on a plantation in Alabama
The slaves unearthed a huge skeleton,
The bones of a giant whale, a leviathan,
From the time when all the world was covered with water
From the Andes to the Himalayas
And even Alabama was deep down under.
And the slaves looked at the huge bones and they said:
These must be the bones of a fallen angel
These must be the bones of a fallen angel
Out on the ocean, out of the water
We look for signs of him
He looks like a giant snow hill, a fountain
Then he disappears.
He's a speck on the horizon
We see him only in parts
The flash of a tail, his beating heart.
He's in pieces and parts.
It's easier for a camel to slide through the eye of a needle
Than to find a whale who hides at the bottom of the ocean
It's easier to sail around the world in a coffee cup
Than to see a whale when he comes rising up
We see him only in parts
A fountain, fins, a speck on the horizon
Giant teeth, an open mouth
Look out, look out, look out, look out
So hit an elephant with a dart
and he just reaches around and pulls it out with his trunk
But hit a whale in the hear and the whole ocean turns red,
It turns red.
We see him only in parts
The flash of a tail, his beating heart
He's in pieces and parts
So get hit in your head
And there may be a few things you can't recall at all
But you get hit in your heart
And you're in pieces and parts
Pieces and parts.

--
4. Here With You [instrumental]

--
5. Slip Away

What's this?
A little dust in my eye
Well I'm not the type to cry
It's four a.m.
I'm standing by the bed where you lie
Sleeping the sleep of the newborn
I put [my] finger to your lips.
Warm air.
Five a.m.
You lift your hand and open it.
Then you slipped away.
You slipped away.
Oh death, that creep, that crooked jerk...
He comes, he comes walking.
He comes sneaking
Down that long irreversible hallway
Grabs you in your sleep
I walk outside to the parking lot.
Bright coins of water on the sidewalk.
Big white building where your body lies
Stands in the middle of the fields.
Icy air.
And after all the shocks the way the heart unlocks
And ooo we slip away.
We slip away.
I'm thinking about the way that lost things always come back
Looking like something else
A fishing pole, a shoe, an old shirt, a lucky day
Ooo then they slip away into the remains of the day
Ooo they slip away.
They slip away.
I'm thinking how you taught me how to win
And how to loose
And how to fight the crippling blues that I was born with
Bad dreams and nightmares
Ooo they slip away.
Ooo they slip away into the remains of the day.
I know that sometime I'll stop looking for you.
Stop seeing your face every day
Bad dreams and nightmares and big bad wolves
Ooo they slip away into the remains of the day
Ooo they slip away into the remains of the day
They slip away
You told me you had no idea how to die but I saw
The way the light left your eyes
And after all the shocks the way the heart unlocks
And ooo then you slipped away.
You slipped away.

--
6. My Compensation (Anderson, Skuli Sverrisson)

My eyes snap open and I get up I say
This must be my lucky day
Jump up - get out - get on my way
Every slobbery frog and every mangy dog
That crosses my path reminds me
You're my precious jewel and you're my precious one
My compensation.
I used to live in a big house
All I ever thought about was getting out
When I met you there was something about you
Every slobbery frog and every mangy dog
That crosses my path reminds me
I love your brain.
I love your brain.
I love your brain.

--
7. Dark Angel

A dark angel parachutes down into an abandoned town
He says: Oh, I've been looking for a certain white clown
Doesn't look like you're it
But you're the only one around
So I guess you'll have to do, He says
So anyway...how are you doin'?
I say, Actually, I can't stand all the new machines
It's supposed to be all brand new but it just looks the same"
He says: Oh, it looks like you're bored. So try this he says to me:
Why don't you get yourself an old beret
And why don't you find an old cafe?
And sit at a time and write something new
That's never been heard before
Or write your own manifesto.
That would do
Just make sure you use a pencil
So you can always get it...you know...right
Look at all the things I've bought
I can't believe what they cost
Just a lot of plastic and numbers on my credit card
I'm feeling kind of lost
The world that used to seem so small
I could wrap my arms around it
Now it seems so big.
And he said: Oh
From your pictures I guessed that you were tall
But actually...I gotta go now
It's a small world full of light
It's a small world full of light
But I wouldn't want to have to paint it

--
8. Broken

You say: Where have you been?
I say: Nowhere
You say: There, you're doing it again
You know I can't keep, I can't keep
I can't keep doing this
I wanted our life to be so sweet
To live on harmony
But there are so many things
You just don't want to hear anymore from me
You know I can't keep doing this, I can't keep,
I can't keep doin' this
Where did it go, the heat?
I can't keep doin' this
I wanted to tell you so many things
But I lost my voice somewhere along the way
I think to myself where did it go?
Maybe it lives somewhere
Outside the city and it's waiting for me there
All I have to do is say the word
And it will come back to me, it will come back to me
But I can't even recall
How to ask something as big as that
You say: What are you thinking now?
I say: Nothing
You say: There, you're doing it again
How did you get to be my conscience?
You know I can't keep, I can't keep
I can't keep doing this
Where did it go, the heat?
Silence can be a beautiful thing
But only when it can by broken by a kind word
With a soft word
With a word
Our love unspoken
Our love lies broken

--
9. Washington Street

It's midnight downtown.
It's been raining for days
Rain beats down.
It covers the streets with its sparkling skin.
In the deli purple light
A woman in a party dress pays for some milk
Yellow cab stops for a light
Two men in black hats are running
A messenger on a bike
Pile drivers pounding.
They've set up some lights.
They're digging a hole.
It's filling up with black water.
Rainy days.
Rainy nights.
Steam rises, covers the city.
Pieces of old newspaper float like paper boats
They slide along the rushing water in the gutter.
Rainy days.
Rainy nights.
Rain falls down and covers the city
It falls from fabulous heights.
Covers the streets with its sparkling skin.
And over on Jane street they're shooting that movie again
They just can't seem to get it right
Behind a warehouse in a burned out building
A man is sleeping in a cardboard box on a pile of salt
Rainy days.
Rainy nights.
Rain falls down and covers the city
It falls from fabulous heights.
Covers the streets with its sparkling skin.
A man on a park bench
He sits in the pouring rain.

--
10. Statue of Liberty

Moon rises and sets
In the real world
Islands and hurricanes
Wind blows in fort jersey
It floats across the pave
Into the open ocean
It's a good day
To run away
Freedom is a scary thing
Not many people really want it
Me I keep my distance
I'm always near
That's just my way
Cool water
That's just another speckle on horizon
Just another speckle in the sea
Cool water
Cool wind
Statue of liberty
Stands in the harbor
Holding her torch
Hello goodbye
To all the men and women
Who pass through her port
Into the open ocean
Just another speckle on horizon
Just another speckle in the sea
Cool water
Cool wind
Freedom is a scary thing
Not many people really want it

--
11. One Beautiful Evening

One beautiful evening in the garden on Eden
A snake came walking in the twilight
He was leaning on his ivory cane
And he said, let me tell you a little secret about life
There's a certain sharpness to a knife, or a diamond
Come here, Watch it glitter
Oh it's another blue day in a nowhere place
We're singin' hey, hey, nonny, hay
I'm a little teapot short and stout
Tip me over and pour me out
You know when the Egyptians built their steam trains
They didn't have any fuel to burn - no wood, no trees anywhere.
But they did have a lot of old mummy rags lying around
So the gathered up all the rags and burned them in their trains
Yeah, they burned their ancestors for fuel.
Ooo, I'm a crocodile floating down the river
I'm a tree catching my own oranges as they fall from my head
I'm a little teapot short and stout
Tip me over and pour me out
And hello to all the people who sent me on the way
A pat on the back for you.
Have fun, it's your moment now
It's your turn to walk along the runway road
And me?
I sent my better self on ahead.
Your attention, please
It's like at the end of the play and all the actors come out
And they line up and they look at you...
And horrible things have happened to them during the play
And they stand there while you clap and now what?
What happens next?
And the fire dies and there were furious winds where he went
We're singin' hey, hey, nonny, hey
We're singin' hey, hey, nonny, hey
It's another blue day in a nowhere place
We're singin' hey, hey, nonny, hey
I'm a little teapot short and stout
Tip me over and pour me out
Oh beauty in all it's forms
Funny how hatred can also be a beautiful thing
When it's as sharp as a knife
As hard as a diamond
Perfect.

--
12. Life on a String

A summer night the hot the heat
Sit at my desk fluorescent light
Drawing a picture of a perfect moment
I saw it once on a grand avenue
That stretched into the distance
And you and I were walking there
Lost in the moment
Life on a string
Life on a string

Some people know exactly where they're going
The pilgrims to Mecca
The climbers to the mountaintop
But me, I'm just looking
For just a single moment
So I can slip through time
Life on a string
Life on a string.

##
15 - 16 Live in New York [lyrics on previous albums]

--
1. Wildebeests

Tonight I'm thinking about the survivors, Like the wildebeest. You
know those animals, they've got those faces like Abraham Lincoln and
they're the ones galloping in all the prehistoric cave paintings and
there are millions of them and they're running, running, oh yeah,
they're survivors.

And out in the wild west- you've seen this movie before. Four lone
cowboys on their skinny ponies ride the range And suddenly up over the
ridge a thousand Indians rise up around the edge of the plateau like
they came out of nowhere. And there are only four cowboys but the
cowboys look at the Indians and they say: "Let's go get em." Oh beauty
in all its forms and hopefulness too. And John Wayne begat Clint
Eastwood begat Bruce Willis begat Brad Pitt and so
on. OK. Cut. Action.

And you know when people try to help me at the airport I say, "Hey!
Does it look like I need your help?" I'm a crocodile floating down the
river. I'm a tree catching my own oranges as they fall from my
head. Got a light? Got a cigarette? A world where we fulfill all our
illusions.

And hello to all the people who sent me on the way - a pat on the back
have fun it's your moment now. It's your turn to walk along the runway
road. And me? I sent my better self on ahead. Your attention please.

And let's not forget the people who need additional time for
boarding. The glacial family - the ones who are just slow always
dropping their sweaters and other stuff on their way down the
aisle. Or Noah counting his animals secure in the knowledge that
everybody except for him was about to drown. forces came and ground
him down into a fine powder. Seen as an act of God. As in a
contract. Something completely unforeseeable, capricious, unthought
of, abominable. To be God's lover.

The state of the empire, the little smile I wore all day, I don't need
it anymore, the vampires, the umpires, the experts with their
skyscraper depressions and their curious gods, Why wow them now with
yet another lovely sunset? The empire looks like this my former
friends.

We're singin hey hey nonny nay we're singing hey hey nonny nay I'm a
little teapot short and stout tip me over and pour me out.

It's like at the end of the play and all the actors come out and they
line up and look at you and horrible things have happened to them
during the play and they stand there while you clap and now what? What
happens next? And the fire dies and there were furious winds where we
went.

We're singin hey hey nonny nay we're singing hey hey nonny nay I'm a
little teapot short and stout tip me over and pour me out.

Oh beauty in all its forms. Funny how hatred can also be a beautiful
thing. When it's as sharp as a knife. As hard as a diamond. Perfect.
Yeah

##
17 Homeland (2010)

--
Transitory Life

It's a good time for bankers and winners and sailors
With their stories of jackpots and islands of pleasure
They keep their treasures locked in Iron Mountain
Locked in Iron Mountain.
They're sailing through this transitory life.
They're moving through this transitory life.

It takes a long time for a mouse to realize he's in a trap
But once he does something inside him never stops trembling

And grandma in the pancake makeup she never wore in life
Lies there in her shiny black coffin looks just like a piano.
She made herself a bed inside my ear.
She made herself a bed inside my ear.
And every night I hear
We're sailing through this transitory life.
We're moving through this transitory life.

When the doctor says: Congratulations, it's a boy!
Where do all the dream baby girls, those possible pearls, go?
Lorrine and Susan with the brown eyes
And lovely Irene and difficult but beautiful Betty
And tiny tiny Juanita?
They're sailing through this transitory life.
They're moving through this transitory life.

Afraid to breathe, afraid to rise
We run and run in this transitory life.
Tipped off balance we fall like light
We land on water in this transitory life.
We fall like light on water and water turns to ice.
Everything keeps changing in this transitory life.
Everything keeps changing in this transitory life.

--
My Right Eye

Concentration. Empty your mind.
Let the rest of the world go by.
Hold your brath. Hold your breath. Close your eyes.

Rocks and stones. Broken bones.
Everything eventually comes crawling home.
In the night. In the night.

Please forgive me if I fall short of your mark.
But there are things still buried in my heart, pause
Heart pause. Heart pause. Then vanish. Then vanish

Unstoppable time. All the things you left behind.
In the night. In the night.
Concentration. Empty your mind.
Let the rest of the world go by.

And when the tears fall from both my eyes
They fall from my right eye because I love you
And they fall from my left eye cause I cannot bear you.

Rocks and stones. Broken bones.
Everything eventually comes crawling home.
In the night. In the night.

Come crawling. In the night. Comes crawling. In the night.
Comes crawling home. In the night. In the night.

--
Thinking of You

Sky flying birds. Flying over cities.
Flying over mountains.
Sky flying moon. Sailing over wide plains.
Pulling on the oceans.

Snow flies around. Snow flies around.
Snow flies around. It's falling on my little hometown.
Falling on my little hometown.

In the house. In the fire.
In the house. In the fire.

Snow flies around. Surrounds my town.
It knocks us down.
It's falling on the circus.
Falling on my little hometown.

Snow flies around. It knocks us down.
Surrounds my town.
It's falling on the circus.
It's falling on my little hometown.

Can't believe I have such a beautiful baby
Can't believe I have such a wonderful life
Can't believe I have such a beautiful body
Can't believe I have such power and fear and strife.

I was thinking of you. And I was thinking of you.
And I was thinking of you.
And then I wasn't thinking of you anymore.

--
Strange Perfumes

Strange perfumes. Long lost rooms.

That blue day came and it stayed all night
Blue morning. Blue midnight.
The city fell and then you were gone.
What is love but a robin's song?

Ooo these days. These endless blue days.
They're perfect in their own way.
Perfect in their own way.

Ooo those days that come too soon.
Strange perfumes. Long lost rooms.
They're perfect in their own way.
Perfect in their own way.

Where does love go when love is gone?
To what war-torn city?
Ooo those blue days that stayed too long.
What is love but a robin's song?

Ooo these days. These endless blue days.
They're perfect in their own way.
Perfect in their own way.

Where does love go when love is gone?
To what war-torn city?
Ooo those blue days that stayed too long.

--
Only an Expert

Now only an expert can deal with the problem
Cause half the problem is seeing the problem.
Only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem.

So if there is no expert dealing with the problem
It's really actually twice the problem.
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem.

In America we like solutions. We like solutions to problems.
And there are so many companies that offer solutions
Companies with names like: The Pet Solution, The Hair Solution
The Debt Solution, The World Solution, The Sushi Solution.
Companies with experts ready to solve these problems.
Cause only an expert can see there's a problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem.

Let's say you're invited to be on Oprah and you don't have a problem
But you want to go on the show and so you need a problem
And so you invent a problem. But if you're not an expert in problems
You're probably not going to make up a very plausible problem
And so you're probably going to get nailed
You're going to get exposed
And you're going to have to bow down and apologize
And beg for the public's forgiveness.

Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem.

And on these shows, the shows that try to solve your problems
The big question is always: How can I get control? How can I take control?
But don't forget this is a question for the regular viewer
The person who's barely getting by, the person who's watching shows
About people with problems, the person who is one of the sixty percent
Of the U.S. population 1.3 weeks away, 1.3 paychecks away, from a shelter.
In other words a person with problems.
So when experts say let's get to the root of the problem
Let's take control of the problem cause if you take control of the problem
You can solve the problem
Often this doesn't work at all because the situation is
Completely out of control.

Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem.

Now sometimes experts lend you money
And sometimes they lend you lots of money
And sometimes when the subprime mortgages collapse
And banks close and businesses fail
And the crisis spreads around the world--
Sometimes other experts say:
Just because all the markets crashed
Doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad thing.
And other experts say: Just because all your friends were fired
And your family's broke and we didn't see it coming
Doesn't mean that we were wrong.
And just because you lost your job and your house
And all your savings doesn't mean you don't have to pay for the bailouts
For the traders and the bankers and the speculators.
Cause only an expert can design a bailout
And only an expert can expect a bailout.

Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem.

Only an expert. Only an expert. Only an expert.
Only an expert. Only an expert. Only an expert.

And sometimes when it's really really really really hot and it's July
 in January
And there's no more snow and huge waves are wiping out cities
And hurricanes are everywhere and everyone knows it's a problem--
But if some experts say it's no problem
And if other experts claim it's no problem or explain why it's no problem
Then it's simply not a problem.
But when an expert says it's a problem and makes a movie about the problem
And wins an Oscar about the problem
And gets the Nobel Prize about the problem
Then all the other experts have to agree it is most likely a problem.

Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem.

Even though a country can invade another country
And flatten it and ruin it and create havoc and civil war in that
 other country
If the experts say it's not a problem and everyone agrees that they're
 experts
And good at seeing problems then invading those countries
Is simply not a problem.
And if a country tourtures people and holds citizens without cause
Or trial and sets up military tribunals this is also not a problem
Unless there's an expert who says: This is the beginning of a problem.

Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem.

Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem
And only an expert can deal with the problem.

Cause only an expert can see there's a problem
And seeing the problem is half the problem.
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem
Only an expert can deal with the problem

--
Falling

Maybe if I fall. Maybe if I fall asleep.
There'll be a party there.
Maybe if I fall. Maybe if I fall.

Americans unrooted blow with the wind
But they feel the truth if it touches them.

Maybe if I fall. Maybe if I fall asleep.
There'll be a party there.
Maybe if I fall. Maybe if I fall.

Americans unrooted blow with the wind
But they feel the truth if it touches them.
Maybe if I fall. Maybe if I fall asleep.
If I fall.

--
Another Day in America

And so finally, here we are at the beginning of a whole new era.
The start of a brand new world. And now what? How do we start?
How do we begin again?

There are some things you can simply look up--
Such as the size of Greenland, the dates of the famous
 nineteenth-century rubber wars,
Persian adjectives, the composition of snow.
And other things you just have to guess at.

And then again today is the day and those were the days and now these
 are the days.
And now the clock points histrionically to noon. Some new kind of
 north.
And so, which way do we go?

What are days for? To wake us up.
To put between the endless nights.

And by the way here's my theory of punctuation. Instead of a period
at the end of each sentence there should be a tiny clock that shows
how long it took you to write that sentence.

And another way to look at time is this: There was an old married
couple and they had always hated each other. Never been able to stand
the sight of each other really. And when they were in their nineties
they finally got divorced and people said: Why did you wait so long?
Why didn't you do this a whole lot earlier? And they said: Well, we
wanted to wait until the children died.

Ah America! And yes that will be America. A whole new place just
waiting to happen. Broken up parking lots, rotten dumps, speedballs,
accidents and hesitations, things left behind, Styrofoam, computer
chips.

And Jim and John, oh they were there. And Carol too, her hair pinned
up in that weird beehive way she loved so much. And Craig and Phil
moving at the pace of summer. And Uncle Al who screamed all night in
the attic. Yes something happened to him in the war they said over in
France. And France had become something we never mentioned.
Something dangerous.

Yes some were sad to see those days disappear. The flea markets and
their smells, the war, all the old belongings strewn out on the
sidewalks. Mildewed clothes and old resentments and ragged record
jackets.

And ah these days. All these days! What are days for?
To wake us up. To put between the endless nights.

And meanwhile all over town checks are bouncing and accounts are being
automatically closed. Passwords are expiring. And everyone's
counting and comparing and predicting. Will it be the best of times?
Will it be the worst of times? Or will it just be another one of
those times? Show of hands please!

And ah this world which like Kierkegaard said can only be understood
when lived backwards which would entail an incredible amount of
planning and confusion.
And then there are those big questions always at the back of your
mind. Things like: Are those two people over there actually my real
parents? Should I get a second Prius? And you, you who can be silent
in four languages.
Your silence will be considered your consent.

Ah but those were the days before the audience and what the audience
wanted. And what the audience said it wanted.

And you know the reason I really love the stars is that we cannot hurt
 them.
We can't burn them or melt them or make them overflow.
We can't flood them or blow them up or turn them out.
But we are reaching for them. We are reaching for them.

Some say our empire is passing. As all empires do.
And others haven't a clue what time it is or where it goes or even
 where the clock is.

And oh the majesty of trees. An unstoppable train. Different colored
 wonderlands.
Freedom of speech and sex with strangers.

Dear old God, may I call you old? And may I ask: Who are these
people? Ah America! We saw it. We tipped it over and then we sold
it. These are the things I whisper softly to my dolls, those
heartless little thugs dressed in calico kilts and jaunty hats and
their perpetual white toothy smiles.

And oh my brothers and oh my sisters. What are days for? Days are
 where we live.
The flow and then the flow. They come, they fade, they go and they
 go.
No way to know exactly when they start or when their time is up.

Oh, another day, another dime. Another day in America.
Another day, another dollar. Another day in America.

And oh my brothers and oh my long lost sisters.
How do we begin again? How do we begin?

--
Bodies in Motion

We embody the spirit of motion.
We're bodies in motion. We're bodies in motion.

We dig down in the ocean. Swing up to the stars.
We own the moon and the earth. We're masters of Mars.
We're bodies in motion. We embody the spirit of motion.

Our ancestors cowered in caves
Afraid of the dark and the thunder.
Wrapped up in black magic and rage
They were slaves to their hunger.
Now we fly across mountains in planes
We know all about time and big numbers.
We're bodies in motion.
We embody the spirit of motion.

I love you with all my heart. You have my devotion.
I loved you from the start. We're bodies in motion.
We embody the spirit of motion.
Ooo the weight of the world. Eternal spin.
Puts a dent in my shoulder.
A burn in my spin. A burn in my spin.

Some say the future is crowds fighting for water and space.
Chaotic and dark and loud, everything used up and taken.
But I say the future's within the still point of the mind
Where we escape the bounds of earth
And break the bonds of time.

If somebody asked me to design a religion
I would make it all about snow.
No good or evil and no suffering.
Just perfect crystals spinning
In ecstasy ecstasy ecstasy ecstasy.

Ooo the weight of the world. Eternal spin.
Puts a dent in my shoulder.
A burn in my spin. A burn in my spin.

Ooo the weight of the world. Eternal spin.
Puts a dent in my shoulder.
A burn in my spin. A burn in my spin.

We dig down in the ocean. Swing up to the stars.
We own the moon and the earth. We're masters of Mars.
We're bodies in motion. We embody the spirit of motion.
We're bodies in motion. We embody the spirit of motion.

--
Dark Time in the Revolution

The market keeps rising up. The big machines control the sea and the air
Those big machines, they gotta go somewhere.
So we keep calling em up, calling em, calling em up. No matter what.
And then those questions come up.
Like was the Constitution written in invisible ink?
Has everybody here forgotten how to think?
Is this great big boat starting to sink?
Pinpoint Nukes. Ready to fight. Dressed to kill. Sure we're right.
Welcome to, welcome to, welcome to the American night.
We just keep calling em up, calling em, calling em up.
We just keep calling em up, calling em, calling em up. No matter what.

You know Tom Paine wrote the first best-seller at a dark time in the
Revolution when we were losing and all the soldiers were
deserting. Giving up. And the book was called Common Sense and it was
really just a long list of questions. And one of the questions was:
Does it make common sense for an island to rule a continent? And
everybody kind of went hmmm and they signed back up. And today you
could ask: Does it make common sense for a country to rule the world?
But no matter what your answer, no matter what you think, no matter
what you vote for--
We just keep calling em up, calling em, calling em up. No matter what.
We just keep calling em up, calling em, calling em up. No matter what.
We keep callin em, callin em, callin em, callin em up.
We keep callin em, callin em, callin em, callin em up.
And you thought there were things that had disappeared forever.
Things from the Middle Ages.
Beheadings and hangings and people in cages.

And suddenly they were everywhere
And suddenly they're alright.
Welcome to, welcome to, welcome to the American night.
We keep callin em, callin em, callin em, callin em up.
We keep callin em, callin em, callin em, callin em up.

--
The Lake

I walk accompanied by ghosts.
I walk accompanied by ghosts.
My father with his diamond eyes
His voice life size.
He says follow me. Follow me.
And I come sliding where I've been hiding
Out of the heart of a child.
Meet me by the lake. Meet me by the lake.
I'll be there. I'll be there.
If only I had the time. To tell you how I climbed
Out of the darkness. Out of my mind.
And I come sliding where I've been hiding
Out of the heart of a child.
Sunrise comes across the mountains.
Sunrise comes across the day.
Sunsets sit across the lakeside.
Sunsets across the Pyrenees.
Out of the heart of a child.
Out of the heart of a child.
Out of the heart of a child.
Meet me by the lake. Meet me by the lake.
I walk accompanied by ghosts.

--
The Beginning of Memory

There's a story in an ancient play about birds called The Birds
And it's a short story from before the world began
From a time when there was no earth, no land.
Only air and birds everywhere.
But the thing was there was no place to land.
Because there was no land.
So they just circled around and around.
Because this was before the world began.
And the sound was deafening. Songbirds were everywhere.
Billions and billions and billions of birds.
And one of these birds was a lark and one day her father died.
And this was a really big problem because what should they do with the body?
There was no place to put the body because there was no earth.
And finally the lark had a solution.
She decided to bury her father in the back of her own head.
And this was the beginning of memory.
Because before this no one could remember a thing.
They were just constantly flying in circles.
Constantly flying in huge circles.

--
Flow [instrumental]

Douglas Brick / dbrick@kom.net
Sun Sep 24 21:27:49 PDT 2017