We Have Zero Maids

by Jerome Rankine

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1.
All the things left unsaid Start to burn in his head And it goes off like a bottle rocket All the words there on tap Never poured, never drank Are the ones that you can never forget Maybe there’s just ice cream is his songs. Maybe there’s just lightning in his bones. Or are you in it for the cloak and dagger? My my my (whistles!) But his heart’s filling up With the sparks from the drums Took the two to make one And the knot’s come undone So why are your shoulders Covered in soldiers Relax just a bit Maybe there’s just ice cream is his songs. Maybe there’s just lightning in his bones. Or are you in it for the cloak and dagger? Cloak and dagger Stabbing you senseless with his rapier wit He steals the spotlight while he’s hiding from it My my my
2.
Gun Science 03:11
We were waiting for help to arrive The fox he told me we’d run out of time The signs we were waiting on Had all been kidnapped for ransom The science of a loaded gun Is just to point it at someone It’s not fair. The night’s afire with hard lullabies The fox, he sings as the hawks toe the line The signs we were waiting on Had all been kidnapped for ransom The science of a loaded gun Is just to shoot it at someone Who’s right there. While we’re waiting for lies to unwind The fox distracts us with his sleight of hand The signs we were waiting on Had all been kidnapped for ransom And the science of a loaded gun Is to shoot bullets through someone I’m not scared.
3.
Kisser 02:40
Got the arm 'round you Pulling close on you Nice and soft and that's all that you want From me Bus is not coming The mall is closed, honey And it's raining. One's all that I want. One is all that I want from you, girl. It's getting late for it. Still we wait for it. Pregnant pauses. That's all that you've got For me Sweat it out, let it in. Say the words and we both win. When I want you, that's all that you want. That is all that you want from me. You got the feel of a soul feeling so in doubt Giving the raindrops something to cry about You know the drill, you're too old to be holding out Let's just go home if you want to be so devout You want to say that you know what it's all about You'll turn to me with your chin up and eyelids down Got it right in the kisser.
4.
5.
The Gears 03:36
For seven years she’s settled For the hollow man She’s digging out from under With her own bare hands She’s been holding her breath for all that time Why should she trust one When the last one Painted rivers on her cheeks For all to see? The spoiled and ruined promise Made for fertile ground She plants her flowers on it As the sun peeks out She’s been under this cloud for all that time Maybe the next one Will be someone Who can cure her soul’s disease For all to see And she’s back at the polls again Crawled in the old machine with her hammer out We knew she’d be Back in the gears of it The flaws and the old belief That’s been hanging on for all that time For all to see
6.
Mt. Penitent 02:25
When you say that in front of me it just leaves me all scatterbrained And you ask if I'm falling out But I'm not, I will stick around Why react with uncertainty? Get wasted! Stagger out, stumbling. And it's such a simple thing We're making out of us. All the hours we flicked away When we switched to imported tastes Why react with uncertainty? Get wasted! Tumble 'round tumbleweed and you plant your flag over it but you won't stay too long 'cause it's all for the dogs all the trite sentimentalists crying from iron lungs they're all going to rust And it's such a simple thing Zipped the coats and then started up Polaroids of us on the crown Took a drink and then started down Why react with uncertainty? Get wasted! Stagger out stumbling
7.
Every day you decide To put red in your eyes But you do it in style alright And it’s easy to say that experience pays But you’re running away alright The cyclone tears right through Your fine tuned defense And the ladders we climb Going side to side But we do it in style alright And the skeptic in me Can relent and believe If you tell me that we’ll be alright The cyclone tears right through Your fine tuned defense The long shot, the sweet spot Do these not exist? The cyclone It tears your defenses right through The cyclone it tears through it The sad song you make do with You say that the screen’s too big and (You say you want it you ought to come get it) You say that the summer’s slowing (You’ve got to show that you always come through in the end) You want to be De Beauvoir then go do it (The cyclone it tears through us) You write a song and it always sounds better to you (The cyclone it tears through us) You say you want to be set up, and compensated (You see the dollars and cents, so come get it) You say you want to be the luckiest man alive (You’ve got to take it my friend; they won’t give it to you) Good luck
8.
Loosen your lips This is a safe ship With all the mirrors faintly askew Man with a gun Looking for someone Else with a gun who looks for him too. Spare me the grief tonight The people have lost their minds And as We were holding you down You were laughing yeah Look at the graph Whoever laughs last Laughs well beyond the point that feels good City of rakes All of the same faith Closing their eyes and praying for you We’re on our knees tonight Scanning the clouds in flight And as You were plummeting down We were watching it I didn’t think you’d burn so fast The fires were going straight through your hair I hope it doesn’t hurt so bad We will massage your bones And write you poems That make you want To be our Valentine. Spare me the grief tonight And close all the curtains tight Because We are turning around Flowers spring from your mouth We were watching it
9.
What did I ever do To bring you back again? What did I say to you To make you laugh again? Was it the honest truth That brought you back again? I fought, but they pushed you down the stairs. I watched, watched them switch your brain with theirs. I had to tell you twice for you to trust yourself Follow your own advice: Don’t interrupt yourself. Slipped and fell through the ice Perhaps you pushed yourself. You couldn’t hear me at all. The medicine was in your head. Screams rose from my chest but wouldn’t come You chose to forget what you had done Fighting a secret war With all the sound turned down. Kicked through the boarded door To find they’ve shot you down. Lying there on the floor With all the walls burned down. You couldn’t hear me at all. The medicine was in your head.
10.
Hush Hush 03:38
You may be right four-eyes It’s hard to believe Cause I’ve been crazy until now I turn out the lights And hope for the best Cause I’ve been mystified by life so far Your secret is safe if you let me jump in ‘Cause finally it seems I’m good at something I’m living it up while I’m winding down The begging for more Messed me up Cause I’ve been lazy until now What were the chances I’d find The words to snare her Cause I’ve been mystified by life so far We live in the age of the gorgeous machines We live and we die by what’s under our sheets We’re living it up while we’re winding down. Said ‘I don’t care about the things you used to be now baby. You’ve got an honest face.’ Said ‘I don’t mind the fact that you won’t let me down there baby’ You’ve got an honest face.’
11.
I’d like to rip a hole In the earth And climb in And I would let the wound Heal around me And the scar would be my headstone. I’d like to build a tower to the sky And climb up And there I’d let my friends Eat with me And the clouds would be our bread.

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It's all for the dogs

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released November 20, 2008

All words, music, instruments and production by Jerome Rankine
Recorded at The Den in New York

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