Headlong

by Larry Hirshberg

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1.
Right from the start I knew what I was doing Right from the start It was wrong Right from the start It wasn’t there and I knew it Right from the start I was gone Yellow rose on a lilac Blue apple in a tree An acorn falls from an old white pine Because you say it doesn’t mean it will be Right from the start I knew what I was doing Right from the start It was wrong Right from the start It wasn’t there and I knew it Right from the start I was gone An offer tendered for the future A chance for that emptiness to fill Replace that space with a solid rhythm Because it might doesn’t mean that it will The obvious is broken What was clear is now obscure I took a step in the wrong direction This time the outcome was assured Right from the start I knew what I was doing Right from the start It was wrong Right from the start It wasn’t there and I knew it Right from the start I was gone Yellow rose on a lilac
2.
Time, keep away or I’ll kill you, don’t waste your blessings on me. Time, keep away or I’ll kill you. You’re making me squirm can’t you see. Run out to the highway and into a car, where some driver’s enjoying his drive. Stand still in the throat of the singer of rock, a place where nobody can hide. Time, keep away or I’ll kill you. Me and my TV are strong. Time, keep away or I’ll kill you. Save yourself – don’t be here long. Wind down to a bedroom, wind up in a bed, embracing two lovers asleep. Pass into the forest – or is that where you’re from: the source of the silent and deep? Time, keep away or I’ll kill you, don’t waste your blessings on me. Time, keep away or I’ll kill you. You’re making me squirm can’t you see. If I was a house and you were the wind, I’d do you a favor and not let you in. If I was a flag, I would be red. I’m trying to warn you; stop here and you’re dead… I held you one summer when I was a boy. The sun took forever to set. The song of a thrush was unending, descending, it may still be twirling down yet… Time, keep away or I’ll kill you. Me and my TV are strong. Time, keep away or I’ll kill you. Save yourself – don’t be here long. Time, keep away or I’ll kill you, don’t waste your blessings on me. Time, keep away or I’ll kill you. You’re making me squirm can’t you see. Time, keep away.
3.
03:58
Drifting apart as if we pushed off like we were in space Our eyes desperate under visors keeping out the sun’s pain Tension in our space suits smells like Fear is it fear is it fear that makes us this way? One foot in my door And now it won’t close I can’t push any more It gets harder and harder and harder To say no Next verse: we grit our teeth on the couch the TV is on Work sucks on our love like disease - it’s a sickness - keeps us apart gives us the blues One foot in my door And now it won’t close I can’t push any more It gets harder and harder and harder To say no Finally she says “peace fuck” I say “peace fuck?” She says “peace fuck” - We lie down and move on Chorus: One foot in my door And now it won’t close I can’t push any more It gets harder and harder and harder and harder To go
4.
I dream I'm almost drinking The glass begins to tip I know I’m only dreaming Because nothing wets my lips I smell the whiskey warming The glass it slowly turns I know I must be dreaming Because my throat remains unburned There is no room around me Just the glass and what it holds Somehow the whiskey’s found me Somehow my mouth stays closed And when the sun comes shining Burning down the sky Beer and gin and tonics Don’t materialize And when the band is playing The blues and other lies Shots of good tequila Never cross my mind… I dream I'm almost drinking There’s my hand: it holds the glass I dream the dream is over And I can have a drink at last I dream I'm almost drinking There’s my hand: it holds the glass Forever is a long time I just wait for it to pass
5.
04:57
Why am I so mad? Why is anger all I ever have? This world is made of sugar, but it tastes a lot like lead. A part of me’s gone bad must be why I'm always mad. Why is nothing ever right? Different trouble every single night. This world should be my lover, but instead we always fight. A part of me’s gone bad must be why I’m always mad. It’s never enough to just be in love. It’s always going wrong, going on and on and on…
6.
HEADLONG RUSHES TOWARDS YOU HEADLONG WANTS TO HELP HEADLONG RUSHES TOWARDS YOU HE DOESN’T SLOW HIMSELF THE OPPOSITE OF HALLMARK GREETING YOU TOO FAST YOUR BALANCE IS A MEMORY HEADLONG RUSHES PAST JOKING LIKE THE CATSKILLS LOOKING IN YOUR EYES SHOUTING THROUGH YOUR SILENCE HEADLONG GETS A RISE STANDING TALL NEXT TO YOU YOU TRY TO LOOK AWAY HEADLONG WANTS TO HELP YOU ALL YOU CAN DO IS COMPLAIN
7.
04:50
All day the snow turned to water We lost our blanket in the rain The ceiling’s dripping in the kitchen My friend that’s not the way You’re on some silly little sailboat High atop a booming wave Watchin’ the wine bottle rolling My friend that’s not the way You’re losing money while you’re sleeping You lose your friends when you’re awake You’re getting done by your business My friend that’s not the way She left and took all the pepper The flavor’s in another state Sugar’s nice but kills you slowly My friend that’s not the way
8.
15 letters written by Roscoe Butters My hometown buddy’s yard sale booty Left in an attic by Butters’ lover We didn’t know what a lover was….. Between the wars, at the shipyard We’d listen for the whistle, race each other to the gate If his case was open when you got there you were late On our Schwinns, Water Street was all downhill Of his guitar, we never heard our fill….. Between the wars, at the shipyard Some folks played and sang where the subway stopped Others on the corners where the ladies always shopped Roscoe sang his pictures, played his sorry tales To the empty workers and their tired lunch pails…. Between the wars, at the shipyard Now when I go home to see my family and friends I often wonder why things continue and things end Of course, they haven’t launched a ship since Saigon fell And Roscoe’s letters, when you read them seem to spell… Between the wars, at the shipyard We didn’t know what a lover was.
9.
Gone is the gutter, away the leaves Gone are the old folks and the birds that they’d feed Gone’s the fence broke and mended And the argument that never ended Not so long gone Gone’s the song about the highway Gone’s the highway and the cup Gone’s the flavor of confusion Gone’s the bitter waking up Not so long gone Gone’s the blade, gone’s the blood Gone’s the edge that cut the flood Gone’s the tongue that tore the words Gone is the shouting, gone is the urge Not so long gone Gone’s the judge and the trial Gone’s the cake and the aisle Remember all that high-priced rent Remember where that shadow went Not so long gone Yesterday you drove away And time began to stretch and yawn Like a dog I’m waiting here…. You’re coming home, there’s nothing wrong
10.
04:57
Old friends, they know Your trouble comes and goes Like the guitar and the song Play and sing it, then it’s gone But you play and sing it and it'll come again Then you pass it on to some old friends Old friends, they help you work it through New friends can do that too… So tell me what scares you today Will a kiss keep those fears at bay? Show me what you’re running from Will my hand help to get you home? Old friends, they know Your trouble comes and goes Like the guitar and the song Play and sing it, then it’s gone But you play and sing it and it comes again Then you pass it on to some old friends Old friends help you work it through New friends can do that too… So why did your last lover go? What in your room makes you love it so? What’s that growing in your garden there? What’s that sweet smell all through your hair? Starting out like children then What we said and what we meant You never know much about the end Starting out with your new friend So tell me what scares you today Will a kiss keep those fears at bay? Show me what you’re running from Will my hand help to get you home? Old friends, they know Your trouble comes and goes Like the guitar and the song Play and sing it, then it’s gone But you play and sing it and it comes again Then you pass it on to some old friends Old friends help you work it through New friends can do that too… Old friends New friends Old friends help you work it through New friends can do that too…
11.
12.
If you were a town Would you show me your best face Before I left Would I think you’re the best place Would your river run cool Would your beach be of sand Would your signals be green And would you dance to my band? As the morning turns gold There’s a train by the road Together we roll Another Sunday unfolds Night before last Seems so far in the past Another summertime bar I still don’t know who you are…
13.
02:21

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released June 2, 2004

Drums - Travis Yost and Bill Hoffman (track 11)
Mastering - Dave Beaudin at Run8Records
Cover image (elevator) - Kathleen (Bleecker) Donaldson
All songs, singing, instruments and recording - Larry Hirshberg

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Larry Hirshberg Missoula, montana

The years reveal what the moments are made to conceal.

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