Box Elder

by Larry Hirshberg

supported by
/
1.
2.
04:16
3.
04:28
4.
5.
6.
04:07
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
04:21

credits

released January 1, 2009

All songs written, performed and recorded by Larry Hirshberg, with help from Travis Yost, Brandon Zimmer and Greg Grossi on drums, Ricky Drake on background vocals, and Bill McDavid on electric guitar on Handful of Dirt.

Skeptical Records 006

tags

license

Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

about

Larry Hirshberg Missoula, montana

The years reveal what the moments are made to conceal.

contact / help

Contact Larry Hirshberg

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Settling Down, Obviously
Won’t you come home now
This house is shutting down
Domestic darkness abounds
So won’t you come home now

All the websites have gone dark.
And how many times can I walk the dog around the park?
I’ve watched all the episodes of BSG
And trust me baby that the sink is dishes-free.

Won’t you come home now
This house is shutting down
Domestic darkness abounds
So won’t you come home now

Even my pen is getting light.
There are no more metaphors to fill the wordless night.
The poem that was a puzzle to everyone but me
Is in a barrel on some sinking ship way out at sea.

There was a boy one time
Who had a song like mine
His lover, she was gone
And he cried on and on:

My pillow indicates the way.
I fall through years of dreams and science fiction getaways
A glass of water doesn’t neutralize or wash away
This overbearing sense of missing you and so I say:

Won’t you come home now
This house is shutting down
Domestic darkness abounds
So won’t you come home now
Track Name: Faded Stain
Faded are the stains
You and you, you radiate, your love remains
I’m looking out a different face
How the days have changed

How the days have changed
Skinny Santa Fe
In Eugene under the rain
85 Flathead mistakes
Atlantic stones inside the waves
What we did down at the lake
Brighton paranoia shakes
Driving west we weren’t afraid
Drinking drinking while we played

Remembering the mess I made
And now it all begins to fade…

Faded are the stains
You and you, you radiate, your love remains
I’m looking out a different face
How the days have changed
Track Name: Driver On
Charlie never learned to swim
The water whispered “don’t come in”
She never could ride a bike
Two wheels less than she would like…

Through the years there was one thing
That horned her honk and belled her ring
Behind the wheel she’d feel so strong
Gassing up her driver on

Driver on…

Charlie is now 89
Hard to say what’s in her mind
She’s still sure there’s nothing wrong
When she gets her driver on…

Childhood then childbirth
Cigarettes and groceries
Turn the key, the engine roars
Opening her one good door.

Smiling in a parking lot
All the other cars are gone
Son and mother sitting there
Slowly get their driver on…
Track Name: Nothing To Her
Everything that ever meant a thing to me
Was nothing to her for a half a century

When the moon was rising – a slow butterfly
She complained that there was something in her eye
And if a record played like the true gospel lie
She would talk about some thousand-dollar high

Everything that ever meant a thing to me
Was nothing to her for a half a century

If my heart was like the moon in ‘69
Landed on and not alone for the first time
She might light a cigarette and make the bed
And if I shared she never heard the things I said

Everything that ever meant a thing to me
Was nothing to her for a half a century
Track Name: On The Other Side of The Mountain
On the other side of the mountain
Where I came to rest
On the other side of the mountain
What I left is to the west
On the other side of the mountain
Where I can’t get no sleep
On the other side of the mountain
Despite the funk it’s still not cheap

On the other side of the mountain
It still rains and it still snows
On the other side of the mountain
It’s a bitter wind that blows
On the other side of the mountain
I’ve lost a little something here
On the other side of the mountain
The roof will leak, that much is clear

On the other side of the mountain
There’s a dog and there’s a fox
On the other side of the mountain
There’s a chicken and there’s a hawk
On the other side of the mountain
The trucks they rumble all night long
On the other side of the mountain
Within the dark there’s still a song

On the other side of the mountain
You’ve either lived there or you will
On the other side of the mountain
On the other side of the hill
Track Name: Orange Lion
Orange Lion, I can never see your face
Orange Lion, swingin’ in the baby’s space
Green and blue plastic pachyderms
Your four faces kinda make me squirm
Made in China, couldn’t be less wild
Who designed ya, knows how to make a baby smile

In the middle of the burning veldt
Wildebeest runs like hell
Behind her, the jaws of death
Giant feline, bloody breath

By a cradle in Johannesburg
There’s a window through which sings a bird.
On a table in the USA
There’s a baby sheltered from the day.

Orange Lion, I can never see your face
Orange Lion, swingin’ in the baby’s space
Green and blue plastic pachyderms
Your four faces kinda make me squirm
Made in China, couldn’t be less wild
Who designed ya, knows how to make a baby smile

From the trees where there used to be more trees
40 jumbos rage onto the streets
Orissa’s dangerous today
Screaming people run away

Cradle rocking just outside Mumbai
India is breathing – hear her sigh
In America a baby grows
Sleeps with what she doesn’t know

Orange Lion, I can never see your face
Orange Lion, swingin’ in the baby’s space
Green and blue plastic pachyderms
Your four faces kinda make me squirm
Made in China, couldn’t be less wild
Who designed ya, knows how to make a baby smile
Track Name: Handful of Dirt
No amount of soap’s gonna get it clean down where it hurts 2X
Below the blues, just a handful of dirt.

When you go down like that, I know exactly what it’s worth 2X
Below the blues, just a handful of dirt.

I got a dark heart diggin’ like a worm down under my shirt 2X
Below the blues, just a handful of dirt.

It’s a grave situation if you’re smart you're gonna try to avert 2X
Below the blues, just a handful of dirt.
Track Name: The Untimely Death of Iggy Levine
Did he get out of bed, distracted by what she said?
No, chances are it was the bank: his statement said his money stank.
At the sink, the water hot, he thought about what he was not.
And then that razor slipped, and he lost that chunk of lip.

The untimely death.
He saved his money, lost his blood.
He spent his heart like it was under arrest
A trickle killed him, not a flood.

“Big shaving accident,” was what he said and what he meant.
He scared us all on day one, when we saw his lip was undone.
On day two the blood still flowed, I think it was Modesto.
Though he was insured and he was rich, he wouldn’t pay to get it stitched.

The untimely death.
He saved his money, lost his blood.
He spent his love like it was under arrest
A trickle killed him, not a flood.
Track Name: Billy Pilgrim's Epitaph
When nature takes its course
She might reproduce on you
Probably get some juice on you
The seasons will come out in force
When nature takes its course

When the world becomes itself
You might walk with burning feet
On the sand of no retreat
The spider’s hiding on the shelf
When the world becomes itself

When the fuel begins to light
Balance wavers in the fumes
Children cry in bluish rooms
Centuries and seconds fight
When the fuel begins to light

Unexpected, un-elected
Your lips, tulips, how we wreck it.
Toxic shadows, we’re not mad, though…
Then we go again.

Echoes in a paper mine
Billy Pilgrim’s epitaph
Vonnegut sleeps on that path
Everything’s unstuck in time
Echoes in a paper mine

When nature takes its course
She might reproduce on you
Probably get some juice on you
The seasons will come out in force
When nature takes its course
Track Name: Childhood At The End of Time
Childhood at the end of time
All the things that were so small
Now are giant sized
All the holes dug in the ground
Stadia for flies
Shining water won’t come down
All the skies are dry…
Childhood at the end of time

Childhood at the end of mine
Baby steps, then big shoes
We speak and then we write
All the things I did not do
Didn’t even try
All that time I thought I knew
But now I’ve won the prize…
Childhood at the end of mine

Childhood, pretending on the rise
Pennies in the piggy bank
Nickels turn to dimes
Games we play at home today
Such fun ‘til someone cries
Hours born with useless wings
Now go flying by…
Childhood, pretending on the rise
Childhood at the end of mine
Childhood at the end of time
Track Name: Watching Combat
Most of you will not remember
The rest you never knew
Sergeant Saunders’ character
And what that man could do
In ’44 and ’45
On TV, colors bright
He showed a boy, who’s now a man
The hero’s way to love and fight

And now I’m watching combat
Of a different timeless kind
No Germans with their Lugers
It’s the invasion of my mind
D-Day in my mind

From the beach-head of my teens
Where parts of me were killed
Into the France of starting out
With my brothers in the hills

And now I’m watching combat
Who made me dig this hole?
Not Germans with their mortars
Was the Stukas of my soul
Dive-bombers of my soul

I need to be like Sergeant Saunders
But with a Tommy gun of peace
Unwavering cartoon solution
But in my head, not on TV

Because now I’m watching combat
This episode’s the one
No creepy SS psychopaths
Just my mother’s son
I am my mother’s son

And I need to be like Sergeant Saunders
But with a Tommy gun of peace
Unwavering cartoon solution
But in my head, not on TV
Just her memory and me
Fighting inland from the sea
Berlin will soon be free
I’m a sniper shooting healing bullets from the family tree.
Track Name: It Was Music
It was music, it was music
That made him try
It was music, it was music
Just passing by

Was the words, the way they spoke
Descriptions of the ground below
The boxcar wheel, the curving track
The melody that bent his back

It was music, it was music
That made him try
It was music, it was music
That made him sigh

The rhythm slow, almost not there
The line about her yellow hair
And the drums and the bass
And the emptiness about the place

The two AM, The rainy street
Reflections of, echoes repeat
And on a hill, an owl hides
Eventually downhill he glides

It was music, it was music
That made him try
It was music, it was music
That made him fly

Was the night, when he was small
The way the summer gave way to fall
He slept the woods, he walked the sky
Uncomfortable, not knowing why…

It was music, it was music
That made him try
It was music, it was music
That made him lie
It was music, it was music
That made him try
It was music, it was music
That made him try