We Already Have Birds That Sing

by Life in a Blender

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1.
Tongue-cut sparrow in the nest don’t sing Tongue-cut sparrow in the nest don’t sing Too young, too pretty. Too young, too pretty to sing much of anything Tongue-cut sparrow you should know your place Times are tough and there’s no time to waste You better stay inside your shell There’s no time to think about yourself We already have birds that sing Tongue-cut sparrow Now they’re all inhaling her White Shoulders She’s older and shimmies cross the stage Grandma gives a smile and wonders how she’s, how she’s Got such pretty legs Here’s she’s coming with her chi-chis out Here’s she’s coming with her chi-chis out You should hear them howl. You should hear them shout From her painted brow and her pretty mouth And you should watch her wiggle when you look down south Tongue-cut sparrow She’s adored by all the men Even Sinatra says he’s a friend Most of her family don’t understand But grandma’s in the audience giving her a hand Tongue-cut sparrow now you’re singing Tongue-cut sparrow you’re a human being What you’re doing’s not obscene Ostrich feathers are a sight to be seen In the Forbidden City you’re the Queen Tongue-cut sparrow
2.
03:45
Slipping back to Falmouth off the cape Haven’t had a drop but feeling great And I heard the news that your chips were down And you’re getting yourself straight Can you bust a move like I bust a move? You know I’m feeling great ’Cause when you’re in the dance You gotta dance And when you stop for a breath You hope the room won’t be spinning Immovable luck can tip your way And if you give it a chance you know that things can just Be beginning---like flowers, like flowers, like flowers, like flowers, If you stick around We can work things out Get some chicken and talk things over We’ll get some tickets to the roller derby Calling out her name as she smashes in the wall It doesn’t matter Slipping back to Falmouth off the cape When I got your call I filled the tank And I packed the trunk with your weathered ball And your record crates With your Killer Queen and your Aerosmith You always had good taste You always said that snakes Shed their skin but they’re still snakes underneath Will you answer when I’m buzzing Immovable luck can tip your way You can’t stop me, can’t stop me from coming With flowers, with flowers, like flowers, like flowers
3.
The usher should have told me to avoid the saddest part The villagers surrounded him as he’s clutching at his heart He accidentally killed the girl; begs forgiveness from the mob It’s sad for him, it’s sad for me It’s sad for everyone involved Not from a womb delivered, a revived rotting heart From a grave assembled, from mismatching parts Clearly a mistake’s been made Now he’s walking through the yard The girl has got him by the hand I try to warn her from the dark Come play, come play with me by the lake Come play, come play, oh, it’s not too late Take a flower, take a flower and see how it floats Take a flower, take a flower and see how it floats See look, see look, there’s your little boat See look, see look, there’s my little boat Oh no! Oh no! They’re all out of boats Oh no,! Oh no ! Oh no! I did all I could to warn them I waved at the screen The father carries her through town Oh, it is a bad dream He accidentally killed the girl Begs forgiveness from the mob And I’ll keep coming back again To see if it cannot be stopped Don’t play, don’t play with him by the lake Don’t play, don’t play, oh, it is too late Don’t take a flower, take a flower and see how it floats Don’t take a flower, take a flower and see how it floats Don’t look, don’t look at his little boat Don’t look, don’t look at your little boat Oh no! Oh no! They’re all out of boats Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!
4.
03:38
The cherry stone The marble rolls The ashtray stains consume me Zero percent on all my mail Ooooh . . . they see right through me My tattered vest My Sunday best The Lord will have to approve me My pants are creased I’m tucking in my tails I can’t afford to ruin these The pencil shavings The sourballs The paperclip dispenser They cheer me up I know they’re always there I know they won’t desert me Oh, I’m looking fine I bump and grind Right here in my apartment Come on in. You know the pears are ripe We’ll take them from the parchment And I said shards The Big Wheel’s in the yard Grown over in the weeds We should clean up one day And your son Standing among the ruins Look at all he’s done We should meet up one day And I said scarred The blue rabbit tattoo Still jumping for the clouds Oh, how much did you pay? Starred Your name inside my book We always understood Things could get strange this way And I said shards The Big Wheel’s in the yard Grown over in the weeds We should clean up one day
5.
02:49
Landed back in LAX Tired and wired and drained Inserted my last cigarette Before I set foot off the plane Found myself a titty bar Where the dancers couldn’t care less Wave my twenty like a flag Oh, this is my S.O.S. Can’t you see? I’m good company Couldn’t tell night from day Just needed to get some rest I had squandered my good will and I had no will left Bourbon and a powdered cheek That’s my therapy Since there’s no one in this bar Hell, the next drink’s on me Can’t you see? I’m good company Mamanama Oooh, when happy hour’s reached You know it’s time to leave Catch the bus to Venice Beach Dr. Feelgood set me up Pushed me out toward the waves Lay my coat on down the sand and had to catch a ray Teenagers offered me a cup of vodka and juice I said, “Lend me your boogie board Kids, I gotta cut loose!” Can’t you see? I’m good company Mamanama
6.
02:46
Freedom of speech—good answer Freedom to do what’s right—good answer Freedom to move it all around—good answer Good answer, good answer, good answer, good answer I’m willing to compromise I’m willing to do what’s right I’ll go with the status quo I’ll go with what you want to know Good answer, good answer, good answer, good answer The hem of Scalia’s robe—good answer Some cheap men’s cologne—good answer We’re going to get granular with this—good answer Well liked by his peers—good answer You in the back please lower your voice Keep up with the rest of the boys You’ve all been given a choice You’ve all been given a choice Good answer, good answer, good answer, good answer Atom Bomb James Bond Freedom fries Snorting bath salts Manifest Destiny Archduke Ferdinand Edward Snowden Pepperspray cop I’m willing to compromise I’m willing to do what’s right I’ll go with the status quo I’ll go with what you want to know Good answer, good answer, good answer, good answer
7.
The clock has come to tell me; it’s time to pull off shore and drift It’s time to pull up anchor; it’s time to feel the cosmic shift Even the holes in the hull seem to call us, to call us to starfish below We’ll welcome the ocean to come in and join us and see if our vessel can float Break the waves, set the sail, check the compass, get the pail Leave the tuner in the galley, I’d rather just sing off key One hand is in the water, one hand around my Ring-Bo–Ree We’re stocked with strong cheeses and marmalade toast, don’t bother to wipe off your chin. We’ll follow the gull with the star on his tail, here’s your pillow, relax, let’s begin Cast the rope, crack the bottle, pet the dog, away we go. The sky at night will shower you in jewels A seaweed shirt will warm you when it’s cool I know your worried look Comes when the breeze goes dead I’ll see it disappear When I raise the paddle . . . above . . . my head

credits

released April 13, 2014

Produced by Kenny Siegal and Life in a Blender

Don Rauf: vocals
Dave Moody: guitar, cello, backing vocals
Mark Lerner: bass, backing vocals
Al Houghton: guitar, backing vocals
Ken Meyer: drums, cymbals, sound effects
Rebecca Weiner Tompkins: violin

All songs © 2014 by Don Rauf/Life in a Blender (Stingy Brim Publishing/ascap)
Recorded at Old Soul Studios, Catskill, NY by Kenny Siegal on a crisp fall weekend in 2013.

Mixed by Matthew Cullen and Kenny Siegal. Additional engineering by Al Houghton. Mastered by Scott Hull/Masterdisk. Executive producer: Dave Moody.
Cover photograph by Stephen Lewis. Fig photograph by Marc Kjerland.
Graphic design and other photography by Mark Lerner at Rag & Bone Shop.

Otto Hauser: additional percussion
Kim Nicholas: trumpet
Sam Newsome: trombone
Bill Ylitalo: alto sax and former plumber at CBGBs
Brian Dewan: organ on “Frankenstein Cannot Be Stopped” and shouts
Horn and string arrangements by Mark Lerner

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Life in a Blender New York, New York

For over 30 years, Life in a Blender has been the canvas for singer and songwriter Don Ralph's blackly comic landscapes. The group has released 9 albums ranging from screaming punk to orchestrated chamber pop, and has brought the high theatrics of its live act to stages from Berlin to Austin to Toronto to Brooklyn and Seattle. ... more

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