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Circle Round The Signs

by Al Scorch

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1.
I remember the last time ever watching them go Steady growing smaller rear view mirror rear window Faintly fading backwards in the middle of the road Every time it got weird every time it got bad Every emptied out hollowed out feeling we had In our our minds we can always go back to Our thumbs out on the side of road Shoulders under heavy load Out running the night On the Pennsylvania Turnpike I remember sleeping skin to stars in a stand of pines Close in love as we were to the Alabama Florida line The gulf drinks the Delta the pain fades each passing tide Don’t the Allegheny, Susquehanna, Fox, and Illinois Flow into the ocean carrying blood and rust and soil They carry a trace of every place they’ve been on their way to the sea And so the love we gave was not in vain it joins all the love that ever was and will be so it will be
2.
02:12
When you were lost out on the water at the height of the storm I couldn’t help but recall a time when we were both just baby boys And the stripes on the road struck by a streak of light from the east Shimmered and changed in dawn’s glimmering haze from yellow to pink When I heard of the wreck my heart left my chest tears came rolling down The same sun shone through the window I thought of a world without you around And i will not lie my dear friend it was the lonesome-est sound Then i picked up the phone and they told me that you had survived And i fell down on the floor and continued to cry
3.
Everybody out the place is hot Some blue nosed bastard blew the spot We got to get going or we’re gonna get got Let’s go ah yeah let’s go Bust the hoop on the barrel, dump the hooch and the gin Any moment that door’l come bustin in But the excise man ain’t gonna get no grin from me Oh yeah he’ll see When the government dog comes snooping around We throw the dog a bust for the run run around He thinks his head in the sand is his ears to the ground But he’d never know It’s a Kentuckiana man running the real Mcoy With a fiery fellow under his employ And he’s from Galway Bay he ain’t no Boston Boy Watch his convoy roll Every time they close another bottle shop We whoop up the ponies move it down the block We sell to the priest’s, politicians, and cops That’s just how it goes So you can break every barrel you can crack every pot You could shut down every still that you think we’d got But we’d still stoke the fires stoke them burning hot Watch them glow yeah watch them glow they glow low So all good people won’t you make no mistake Every bossman is on a another bossman’s take There’s no free human except the one that you make Let your true light show
4.
03:15
Still awake and it’s sunrise my eyes are blue and black like the skies Luckily I’m unemployed I can watch night as it turns to morning Birds sing in ignorant bliss I’m feeling lucid No sleeping cause i'm a mess Only my guitar to caress I toss and i turn in my bed every night I’m sober but my mind is high as a kite And even these pills don’t bring no rest for me New day beginning seems like a night that’s never ending People are going to work in ties sport jackets suits and shirts Productive cogs in the machine really need their beauty sleep But no no not me i’d rather be ugly I toss and i turn in my bed every night I’m sober but my mind is high as a kite And even these pills don’t bring no rest for me I toss and i turn in my bed every night I’m sober but my mind is high as a kite And even these pills don’t bring no rest for me
5.
04:52
I woke up this morning and my mind was wracked with pain My bed a set of railway tracks and i’m fresh hit by a train Should i even get up or should I just remain Sprawled out on these cold hard tracks never to rise again But I strain And I pull And I pull myself out of, out of the lonesome low The lonesome low, lonesome low, that keeps you ten times low You keep it in the low and lonesome low that is lower than low Lonesome low, lonesome low, lonesome low Lonesome low, lonesome low, lonesome low The ugliest thing we all ever did see Was a man swinging by his neck from a tree And we kept that all our lives and we keep it in tow And we keep it in the lonesome low The lonesome low, lonesome low, that keeps us ten times low We keep it in the low and lonesome low that is lower than low Lonesome low, lonesome low, lonesome low Lonesome low, lonesome low, lonesome low There’s a dead snake hanging on my old man’s fence And he’s the only one who knew what it meant I’m just a boy and it don’t make sense so I keep it in the lonesome low The lonesome low, lonesome low, that keeps us ten times low We keep it in the low and lonesome low that is lower than low Lonesome low, lonesome low, lonesome low Lonesome low, lonesome low, lonesome low The prettiest thing I ever did see was little clear eyed curly headed bouncing baby And she had a smile cause she didn’t know, about that low and lonesome low The lonesome low, lonesome low, that keeps us ten times low We keep it in the low and lonesome low that is lower than low Lonesome low, lonesome low, lonesome low Lonesome low, lonesome low, let it go
6.
01:36
When I want one i will take one When I need two I will take three I’ll eat a red one when I’m feeling blue now I’m to jacked up where’s my green? Shake shake shake Rattle and roll My pockets go when I move my feet That tiny little bottle feels big empty and hollow When I get to the bottom I am incomplete There was this one time Where I was so high That I thought i had died And passed out in the street
7.
04:05
Every single day is a ballet in the streets and everyone's a dancer light and lively on their feet twinkle-toes all stand in rows where roads and sidewalks meet and then they leap, how they leap to a symphony of crashes, brash and harsh and loud makes the city seem a place where sleeping simply ain't allowed when the day is over and the heads are hanging down eyelids heavy all around, dreams falling from the clouds you hear a most peaceful and beautiful sound Feel the city heave a sigh hear it start to softly sing itself that concrete lullaby it's Sleep little city, do not cry Glass and granite canyons, never go abandoned They just gleam with the lights of those who live the life demanding and when their electric lights drive off the night they are still standing strong weary and strong Now feet pound on the ground downtown and the rhythm of that step is the living city's heartbeat and air inside it's heaving chest and when the sun again sinks below buildings in the west, we cease our work and seek our peace ourselves and souls to rest in the comforting cradle of the city's sooted breast Feel the city heave a sigh hear it start to softly sing itself that concrete lullaby and it's, "Sleep little city, do not cry."
8.
02:09
Have you ever seen a hangman tie a slip knot Have you ever seen a hangman tie a slip knot He winds and he winds and after 13 times He’s a got a slip knot, he’s got a slipknot Tell me will that slipknot slip, no it will not, Will that slipknot slip, no it will not. Slip around your neck, but it won't slip back again The slipknot oh that slipknot Tell me who makes the laws of that slipknot? Who makes the laws for that slipknot? Who says who will go to the calaboose? Get the hangman's noose on a slipknot. I don't know who makes the law for that slipknot. I don't know who makes the law for that slipknot. But the bones of many a men are whistling in the wind, Because we tie our laws with a slipknot
9.
Black country girl Mississippi White boy big city hillbilly Doesn’t matter your race just your class Send you to college and on top you get paid The fight for freedom pays more than minimum wage But if you don’t make it through as one of the proud and the few Who don’t come back battered and tattered or shattered sick or insane The trauma deniers and tuition check signers can say all that we did was ask And that’s the hell of the poverty draft They say it’s just like a video game. They’ll disassociate you, frame by frame When comes the real pain you just might break You took the job for the money Took the shrapnel for your country Took lives so that others might live Brother that we forgive Live or die that was it But when you close your eyes Fire lights up the skies And the screams and the cries are some hellish refrains Dark demons still haunt you Uncle Sam he still wants you to get on the big airplane again And back home to a war without end He says young woman look how you’ve changed An army of one strong with a warrior’s brain Your friends and family seem strange You have no first name and the cycle of sickness remains
10.
We climb so high just to fall so far and it’s always the good ones that die And when they leave it gets so damn dark like the lights fell out of the sky I wish heaven was train we call could ride Together forever, my dead friends and I We would sing as we crossed the great divide I love you ‘cause you’re perfect and the only thing I’d change Is that you could come back to me and we could be together again I love you ‘cause you’re perfect and the only thing I’d change Is that you could come back to me and we could be together again It hangs around, a thick dark cloud It’s enough to make a grown man cry Everytime I think that it’s alright It begins to tear my eyes The cloud did not appear until you died But it's not the only thing you behind And when i think of that the cloud is pushed aside And it is bright And it’s time, time, time, time and again We clutch to the living and weep for our family and friends Who’ve met their end is this really the end? Will I see you again? I don’t know

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released May 13, 2016

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