Lyrics and Notes

Del Mar, 1976  (Dawson) slide down that pickle weed hill, la la la,  I don’t remember her name but I remember her well, after school by the cinder block wall in the canyon where the pine trees fell – the twins next door were trouble, la la la, one was a pyromaniac and their mother reeked of alcohol, spying on them by the water tower with the girl whose name I cannot remember – the sad songs of the 70’s, la la la, playing soft from a radio at the bottom of our stairs, mama crying up in her bed for hours and hours – down the hill to the race track fair, la la la, I saw Buck Owens once and the Buckaroos singing there, a whole room filled with model trains and behind glass tiny tanks and airplanes – a giant window with a view of the ocean, la la la, splitting the grey between the sea and sky an oil tanker on the horizon, there is nothing moving now I am floating up and out – slide down that pickle week hill, la la la, I don’t remember her name but I remember her well

For A While (Dawson) back in 1965 you were banging a beehive, poking trouble in the eye, you’re lucky to be alive in time to realize it’s only for a while – there are rubies in the dirt, there are lines across your shirt, we have found a way to laugh but it’s happening too fast, but with any luck it’ll last for a while – I wish that I understood anything that does me good, anything that you might like, anything, but I will try – air is cold, blood is warm, we are here inside the storm, it seems impolite to say but I’ll say it anyway, it looks like it’s gonna be this way for a while

Done (Done) (Dawson) even from the very start things were never right but no one could blame us for trying, in a dull computer’s glow you muddled through the night while the world we knew was busy dying – there is a part of me that holds on to hope even though I know I know I know, I should have given up on you a long time ago, a long, long time ago I know I know – across a spinning record where the frequency was wrong, into the grimy bucket of the business, while shallow men sang praises for emptiness in song, you provided for a common distance – now spring has hit the garden but a chill hangs in the air, I see myself and I am disgusted, but in my head and in my heart a burning is still there, to make up for all the time I’ve wasted

Girl In A Well (Dawson) unlock the vault and reveal, she died of thirst down in a well, and we stood stunned and we moved on, praying to God it wasn’t real – now there’s a stabbing in my lungs, but there’s no path to overcome, no breath of air, no small repair, could ever undo what has been done

Walking The Chalkline Again (Dawson) it’s down to the chalkline again, learning how to walk, learning how to stand, learning that I’ll never know, and I’m learning, learning, learning how to let go – seasons are a question again, while the light changes I wander aimless, holding on though it’s wrong, I know, but I’m learning, learning, learning how to let go – I’ve been watching ice melt on the sidewalk, I’ve been watching neighbors change their names, all your advice turned into double-talk, I spread my fingers and change, change, change down to the chalkline again, take another breath, crawl out of the past, face by face, row by row, I’m learning, learning, learning how to let go

Mayfly (Dawson) in the dream the rain is ending, it is 65 degrees, it is very late September, there is yellow in the leaves of the trees, and we are driving on a highway, there is no one else around, you are wearing a blue dress, you’re looking down as you laugh out loud, then suddenly in slow motion, like a row boat on a wave, losing all sense of direction, the wheels give out and we are falling sideways, but we are lucky, and the story is not over yet, yes we are lucky, and I must not forget – in the dream I am a singer, and I play a grey guitar, in some bar I don’t remember, we have traveled here from very far, there are faces in the darkness, not so many but enough, they sing the words as we sing them, my eyes are closed, you are looking up, then maybe for half a second, my body lifts into the air, and I hover like a mayfly, when I look down you are standing there, and we are lucky, and the song is not over yet, yes we are lucky, and I must not forget – in the dream we are old, and our hair has all gone grey, we are living in the same house that we both woke up in today, you are wearing a blue dress, I am making the same stupid jokes, it is early October, the days are warm, but the nights are getting cold, and we are lucky, and the story is not over yet, yes we are lucky, and I must not, I must not, I must not forget

The Milkshake Incident, Part 1 (Dawson, Christiansen, Balletto, Thobe, Bradburn)

Temperamental Complement (Dawson / Christiansen) temperamental complement, bird underneath each arm, moving without incident, no cause for alarm, tc, spooning with a stranger’s dog, no one here is innocent, we’ve all got something to be ashamed of, you wanna run you wanna hide you wanna stay inside you don’t think that you can do it anymore, you don’t even know how you did it before – tc, perceived to be calm, often it’s the opposite, there is a riot going on, tc, talking through your dreams, translation imminent, nothing is as it seems, I wanna run I wanna hide…tc, dervish and the standing stone, no one knows how it’s done, just don’t peer into the microscope, tc, la la la, I don’t want an argument, la la la, you’re gonna run you’re gonna hide…

Saskatchewan To Chicago (Dawson) well, my great grandfather left Saskatchewan for California, for the warmth of the sun and the smell of the ocean – and my grandpa took a job as a teacher in New Mexico, it was the height of the Depression, there was nowhere else to go – when I was 12 my father moved our family up into the mountains, our very first winter we had 6 feet of snow – I’d go fishing all summer in the river that ran behind our house, I was singing to the trees, singing to the water – I went following the footsteps of a friendship that ended in Chicago, I will never understand how that was 22 years ago – well, my great grandfather left Saskatchewan for California

Why Why Why (Dawson) hovering just above the floor, waiting, waiting for the knock upon the door, oh, why why why, why why why? Twenty-twenty fever in the night, take this old pain and make it right, oh, why why why, why why why? I don’t wanna let this feeling end, I will never feel this good again, oh, why why why…this must be what it’s all about, I’m drowning in a river of doubt, oh, why why why, why why why? Twenty-twenty fever in the night, I’m still leaning toward the light, oh why why why? I don’t wanna let this feeling end, I will never feel this good again

Favorite Friend (Dawson) you were my favorite friend, my favorite friend, I wish, I wish, I wish I could see you again – halfway home, halfway home, past Roman walls and winding roads, I don’t know, I don’t know, but I am grateful for them all – you were my favorite friend, my favorite friend

Thank You (Dawson / Christiansen) again, again, it’s happening again, I wish it could be like this forever – thank you – a song, a song, this is not a song, and you are not really listening – thank you – forest fire marries giant squid, with their friends they spin around the continent – old, so old, five hundred thousand years, five hundred thousand hours will have to be enough – thank you

All songs © 2013 is this the best use of our time music, BMI

Steve Dawson: guitars, vocals, organ, mellotron
Diane Christiansen: vocals, organ, melodica
Mark Balletto: guitars, vocals, lap steel
Mike Bradburn: bass, vocals
Matt Thobe: drums, piano, vocals, percussion
Zack Kline on violin on 5 & 9

Recorded and mixed by Steve Dawson at Kernel Sound Emporium, Chicago, IL. Additional recording by John Abbey at Kingsize Sound Labs, Chicago (2, 8) and Scott Balletto at I & M recording, Minooka, IL (11 & 12).
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering, Chicago, IL

Thanks to: Scott Balletto, John Abbey, Zack Kline, Chris Balletto, Krista Varsbergs, Mika, Tony, David, Ruth, & John Bradburn, Eva Dawson, The Old Town School of Folk Music, SPACE, Jason Boton, Sarah Gross, Bob Andrews, Chandler & Jen Coyle, Mark Caro, Chris Grabau,