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Discography

Castaways and Cutouts

Released May 2002

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  1. Leslie Anne Levine

    Leslie Anne Levine

    My name is Leslie Anne Levine
    My mother birthed me down a dry revine
    My mother birthed me far too soon
    Born at nine and dead at noon

    Fifteen years gone now
    I still wander this parapet
    And shake my rattle bone
    Fifteen years gone now
    I still cling to the petticoats
    Of the girl who died with me

    On the roofs above the streets
    The only love I’ve known’s a chimney sweep
    Lost and lodged inside a flue
    Back in 1842

    Fifteen years gone now
    I still wail from these catacombs
    And curse my mother’s name
    Fifteen years gone now
    Still a wastrel mesallied
    Has brought this fate on me

    My name is Leslie Anne Levine
    I’ve got no one left to mourn for me
    My body lies inside its grave
    In a ditch not far away

    Fifteen years gone now
    I still wander this parapet
    And shake my rattle bone
    Fifteen years gone now
    I still cling to the petticoats
    Of the girl who died with me

  2. Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect

    Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect

    And here I dreamt I was a soldier
    And I marched the streets of birkenau
    And I recall in spring
    The perfume that the air would bring
    To the indolent town
    Where the barkers call the moon down
    The carnival was ringing loudly now
    And just to lay with you
    There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
    Save lay my rifle down

    And try one, and try two
    Guess it always comes down to
    Alright, it’s okay, guess it’s better to turn this way

    And I am nothing of a builder
    But here I dreamt I was an architect
    And I built this balustrade
    To keep you home, to keep you safe
    From the outside world
    But the angles and the corners
    Even though my work is unparalleled
    They never seemed to meet
    This structure fell about our feet
    And we were free to go

    And try one, and try two
    Guess it always comes down to
    Alright, okay, guess it’s better to turn this way

    And here in Spain I am a Spaniard
    I will be buried with my marionettes
    Countess and courtesan
    Have fallen ‘neath my tender hand
    When their husbands were not around
    But you, my soiled teenage girlfriend
    Or are you furrowed like a lioness
    And we are vagabonds
    We travel without seatbelts on
    We live this close to death

    And try one, and try two
    Guess it always comes down to
    Alright, it’s okay, guess it’s better to turn this
    But I won, so you lose
    Guess it always comes down to
    Alright, it’s okay, guess it’s better to turn this way

  3. July, July!

    July, July!

    There is a road that meets the road
    That goes to my house
    And how the green grows there
    And we’ve got special boots
    To beat the path to my house
    And it’s careful and it’s careful when I’m there

    And I say your uncle was a crooked French Canadian
    And he was gut-shot running gin
    And how his guts were all suspended in his fingers
    And how he held ’em
    How he held ’em held, ’em in

    And the water rolls down the drain
    The water rolls down the drain
    O, what a lonely thing
    In a lonely drain

    July, July, July
    It never seemed so strange

    This is the story of the road that goes to my house
    And what ghosts there do remain
    And all the troughs that run the length and breadth of my house
    And the chickens how they rattle chicken chains

    And we’ll remember this when we are old and ancient
    Though the specifics might be vague
    And I’ll say your camisole was a sprightly light magenta
    When in fact it was a nappy bluish grey

    And the water rolls down the drain
    The blood rolls down the drain
    O, what a lonely thing
    In a blood red drain

    July, July, July
    It never seemed so strange

  4. A Cautionary Song

    A Cautionary Song

    There’s a place your mother goes when everybody else is soundly sleeping
    Through the lights of beacon street
    And if you listen you can hear her weeping,
    She’s weeping, cause the gentlemen are calling
    And the snow is softly falling on her petticoats.
    And she’s standing in the harbour
    And she’s waiting for the sailors in the jolly boat.
    See how they approach

    With dirty hands and trousers torn they grapple ’til she’s safe within their keeping
    A gag is placed between her lips to keep her sorry tongue from any speaking, or screaming
    And they row her out to packets where the sailor’s sorry racket calls for maidenhead
    And they’re scarce above the gunwales when her clothes fall to a bundle and she’s laid in bed on the upper deck

    And so she goes from ship to ship, her ankles clasped, her arms so rudely pinioned
    ‘Til at last she’s satisfied the lost of the marina’s teeming minions, and their opinions

    And they tell her not to say a thing to cousin, kindred, kith or kin or she’ll end up dead
    And they throw her thirty dollars and return her to the harbour where she goes to bed, and this is how your fed

    So be kind to your mother, though she may seem an awful bother, and the next time she tries to feed you collard greens, Remember what she does when you’re asleep

  5. Odalisque

    Odalisque

    There’s a place your mother goes when everybody else is soundly sleeping
    Through the lights of beacon street
    And if you listen you can hear her weeping,
    She’s weeping, cause the gentlemen are calling
    And the snow is softly falling on her petticoats.
    And she’s standing in the harbor
    And she’s waiting for the sailors in the jolly boat.
    See how they approach

    With dirty hands and trousers torn they grapple ’til she’s safe within their keeping
    A gag is placed between her lips to keep her sorry tongue from any speaking, or screaming
    And they row her out to packets where the sailor’s sorry racket calls for maidenhead
    And she’s scarce above the gunwales when her clothes fall to a bundle and she’s laid in bed on the upper deck

    And so she goes from ship to ship, her ankles clasped, her arms so rudely pinioned
    ‘Til at last she’s satisfied the lost of the marina’s teeming minions, and their opinions

    And they tell her not to say a thing to cousin, kindred, kith or kin or she’ll end up dead
    And they throw her thirty dollars and return her to the harbor where she goes to bed, and this is how your fed

    So be kind to your mother, though she may seem an awful bother, and the next time she tries to feed you collard greens, Remember what she does when you’re asleep

  6. Cocoon

    Cocoon

    This cocoon, caught in Vesuvius’ shadow
    Only the ashes remain
    And I waited there for you
    Why couldn’t you?
    Here we lie waiting for something to startle
    To shake us from gravity’s pull
    And so the sleeping hours are through
    What can we do?

    The tainted election, the low dirty war, it happened before you came to
    But this is solution, and this is amends
    The joke always tends to come true
    But there on your windowsill over the unmoving platoon
    Written in paperback, the key to the quarterback’s room
    Under waning moon

    This quiet serves only to hide you
    Provide you
    What I knew: it’d come back to you

    Take this palm, follow the lines here are written
    And script out the rest of your life
    And feel your fingers falling slack and all folding back

    The sorry conclusion, the hole in the sky
    Command what is tried, what is true
    But without solution, with feet on the ground
    It won’t make a sound ’til you’re through
    So loosen your shoulder blades
    This is your hour to make due
    Because there on the timberline
    Deep cold November shines through
    Soft and absolute

  7. Grace Cathedral Hill

    Grace Cathedral Hill

    Grace Cathedral hill
    All wrapped in bones of setting sun
    All dust and stone and moribund
    I paid twenty-five cents to light
    A little white candle
    For a New Year’s Day
    I sat and watched it burn away
    Then turned and weaved
    Through slow decay
    We were both a little hungry
    So we went to get hot dog

    Down to Hyde Street Pier
    The light was slight and disappeared
    The air it stunk of fish and beer
    We heard a Superman trumpet
    Play the national anthem

    And the world may be long for you
    But’ll never belong to you
    But on a motorbike
    When all the city lights
    Blind your eyes tonight
    Are you feeling better now?

    Some way to greet the year:
    Your eyes all bright and
    Brim with tears
    The pilgrims, pills, and tourists here
    Will sink fifty-three bucks to buy
    A brand new halo

    Sweet on a green-eyed girl
    All fiery Irish clip and curl
    All brine and piss and vinegar
    I paid twenty-five cents to light
    A little white candle

    And the world may be long for you
    But’ll never belong to you
    But on a motorbike
    When all the city lights
    Blind your eyes tonight
    Are you feeling better now?

  8. The Legionnaire’s Lament

    The Legionnaire’s Lament

    I’m a legionnaire
    Camel in disrepair
    Hoping for a frigidaire to come passing by
    I am on reprieve
    Lacking my joie de vive
    Missing my gay paris
    In this desert dry

    And I wrote my girl
    Told her I would not return
    Terribly taken a turn
    For the worse now I fear

    It’s been a year or more
    Since they shipped me to this foreign shore
    Fighting in a foreign war
    So far away from my home

    If only summer rain would fall
    On the houses and the boulevards
    And the side walk bagatelles it’s like a dream
    With the roar of cars
    And the lulling of the cafe bars,
    The sweetly sleeping sweeping of the Seine.
    Lord I don’t know if I’ll ever be back again.

    La la la la dam
    La la la low

    Medicating in the sun
    Pinched doses of laudanum
    Longing for the old fecundity of my homeland
    Curses to this mirage!
    A bottle of ancient Chiraz
    A smattering of distant applause
    Is ringing in my poor ears

    On the old left bank
    My baby in a charabanc
    Riding up the width and length
    Of the Champs Elysees

    If only summer rain would fall
    On the houses and the boulevard
    And the side walk bagatelles it’s like a dream
    With the roar of cars
    And the lulling of the cafe bars
    The sweetly sleeping sweeping of the Seine
    Lord I don’t know if I’ll ever be back again

    If only summer rain would fall
    On the houses and the boulevard
    And the side walk bagatelles its like a dream
    With the roar of cars
    And the lulling of the cafe bars
    The sweetly sleeping sweeping of the Seine
    Lord I don’t know if I’ll ever be back again…

    Be back again,
    Be back again,
    I’ll be back again

  9. Clementine

    Clementine

    You slept in your overalls
    After the wrecking ball
    Bereft you of house and home
    And left you with sweet fuck-all
    So we got in your car
    With our kickabout hearts
    And we hollared out ‘sweet clementine’

    Tell your mom to marry us
    A candle to carry us
    With cans on our bicycle fenders
    So sweet and hilarious
    And we’ll find us a home
    Built of packaging foam
    That will be there ’til after we die

    And, I’ll play the clarinet
    Use clamshells for castinets
    We play with our bags on our shoulders
    My sweet lady lioness
    And I watch as you sleep
    So indelibly deep
    And I hum to you sweet Clementine

  10. California One / Youth And Beauty Brigade

    California One / Youth And Beauty Brigade

    Take a long drive with me
    On California one, California one
    Take a long drive with me
    On California one, California one…

    And the road a-winding goes
    From golden gate to roaring cliff-side
    And the light is softly low as our hearts Become sweetly untied
    Beneath the sun of California one

    Take a long drown with me of California Wine

    And the wine it tastes so sweet
    As we lay our eyes to wander
    And the sky, it stretches deep

    Will we rest our heads to slumber Beneath the vines of California wine?
    Beneath the sun of California one

    Annabelle lies, sleeps with quiet eyes
    On this sea-drift sun
    What can you do?
    And if I said, O it’s in your head
    On this sea-drift sun
    What can you do?

    We’re calling all bed wetters and ambulance chasers
    Poor picker-pockets, bring ’em in
    Come join the youth and beauty brigade

    We’re lining up the light-loafere’d
    And the bored bench warmers
    Castaways and cutouts, fill it up
    Come join the youth and beauty brigade
    Nothing will stand in our way

    I figured I had paid my debt to society
    By paying my overdue fines at the mulnoma county library, at the library
    They said ‘son, go join up
    Go join the youth and beauty brigade’

    Nothing will stand in our way