Until the Words Are Gone

by Amy Kucharik

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1.
Hoarse 04:50
A horse needs a rider like a man needs a gun A siren needs her voice like the earth needs the sun I didn't need you and you didn't need me And we were never all the things we set out to be So we talk about it And we talk about it We talk about it We talk about it ’til the words are gone We shoot the breeze with our weapons drawn And there's no point and we just can't win And the world goes round and it comes up again We only make ourselves, we only make ourselves hoarse Some pay lip service to the higher power Then spit or swallow that communion flour We beg for forgiveness, and pray for our sin But we're only makin' noise, we ain't listenin' When we talk about it And we talk about it We talk about it We talk about it ’til our faces turn blue Never mind the blather and the ballyhoo We missed the point and we just can't win And the world goes round and we do it again We only make ourselves, we only make ourselves hoarse And no-one hears a word that we say… Two politicians on TV They say the same thing but can’t agree One wears blue and one wears red Two faces on the same figurehead And they talk about it They talk about it They even scream about it They talk about it ’til we tune them out We don't know what they're talking about This debate, ain’t got no end Gonna need me a lozenge, need some Fisherman's Friend Gonna need some Chloraseptic, gonna need a stiff drink Gonna need to talk it over with my shrink Gonna need a glass of water, gonna need a new phone Gonna need to call you up next time you're home And we’ll talk and we’ll laugh and we’ll shout and we’ll smoke We’ll cough and we’ll shout and we’ll sputter and choke And we’ll talk and we’ll laugh and we’ll shout and we’ll sing We’ll talk and we’ll sing and we’ll shout and we’ll scream We’ll talk and we’ll laugh and we’ll shout and we’ll smoke We’ll cough and we’ll spout and we’ll utter and choke And we only make ourselves, we only make ourselves hoarse
2.
We got nothin in common 'cept we’re standing on this street I'm just on my way to the laundromat, this ain't no meet & greet But now you've got my attention, I might as well break the news Your so-called compliment comes with the catcalling blues I was minding my own business with my own thoughts in my head Like a song I was writing, or how to get some bread What to do about global warming, or which candidate to choose But you elected me the object of these catcalling blues I know I’m mighty hot I also think you're not I don't want what you got Is this what your mama taught you to hoot and carry on, when you’re rollin’ with your crew And would you like to see your sister get these catcalling blues? I don't mean to sound conceited, but your muscles don't impress And I'm sure there's more to you, like there's more to me than this dress But you failed before you started to pick up social cues So I will kindly say “scat” to you & these catcalling blues
3.
Broken 04:03
There's a clock that tries to tick, but the hands don’t turn There’s a city where nobody lives, ‘cause under the streets, an endless fire burns There’s a zipper that’s missing a tooth There’s a doll with a missing arm There’s a cart with a missing wheel There’s a man with a broken heart And I, I want to fix it I want to make it better I want to mend your heart Put the pieces back together But you’re busy being broken… There’s a moth hole in the sleeve of my favorite sweater There’s a woman who’d vote for president, but the system just won’t let her The rent keeps going up The economy keeps going down There’s a crack in my favorite cup There’s a jack with a broken crown And I, I want to fix it I want to make it better I want to mend your heart Put the pieces back together But you’re busy being broken… Tried to make it up, but my face was worn Tried to dress it up, but the shirt was torn Tried to sew it up, and the needle stuck, Tried to write this down and the ink dried up Lost my voice and couldn’t sing Tried to play for you, and broke a string And I, I want to fix it I want to make it better I want to mend your heart Put the pieces back together But I’m busy being broken…
4.
I’ve been walkin’ round for weeks with no umbrella in the rain Quotin’ Oscar Wilde inside my head to keep me sane But I don’t know what to do to keep from cryin’ over you, today I can look to lonely gurus in the mountains of Nepal I can listen to a frog playin’ banjo in the swamp But I don’t know what to do to keep from cryin’ over you, today You say “rainbows only come after the rain Love will always bring you ‘round again” And platitudes will make the whole world kin, But they won’t bring you back, or ease my pain Oh, lover won’t you sing me something in a different key For the dreamers and the frogs, and Oscar Wilde and me We’ve been singin’ the same love song since before our muses met Arm-in-arm they walk along, I watch the sidewalk getting wet But I don’t know what to do to keep from cryin’ over you, today You’ve been clutching your new lover like a sculptor holds a stone I’ve been picking up the pieces like a dog picks a bone But I don’t know what to do to keep from cryin’ over you, today I know rainbows only come after the rain, And love will always bring you ‘round again, Platitudes will make the whole world kin, But they won’t bring you back Oh, lover won’t you sing me something in a different key For the dreamers and the frogs, and Oscar Wilde and me
5.
I have gambled with high stakes Seen accidents and earthquakes Been in fights and lost all control Picked up a stranger in a bar Went on a spree and crashed my car Survived by the grace of… I just don’t know I’ve seen hard luck, fate and circumstance But sometimes leaving it up to chance Comes out in our favor after all Or I’m better off than I ever planned ‘Cause a friend is there to lend a hand And show me how to get up when I fall So here’s a song for my guardian angels Here’s a song for believing I could change, yeah But I’ll try not to make it so hard Try not to make it so hard Try not to make it so hard They said straighten up and fly right So I stayed up all night Getting high, but didn’t earn my wings And I’m not the kind to take a crutch But you’d still come through in the clutch -- My shield from life’s arrows and slings So here’s a song for my guardian angels Here’s a song for believing I could change, yeah But I’ll try not to make it so hard Try not to make it so hard Try not to make it so hard
6.
I will tell you my life story; it’s a cautionary tale All the years of guts and glory in the belly of the whale How my bitter angels fly while my better angels fail... Oh, my beloved No fire for revenge led me to play the buzzard’s part No feud, no broken promise — just a string of broken hearts And the brokest one was mine, and that’s where my story starts Oh, my beloved But I’d be good if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t I’d be true, say “I do,” but it turns out that I don’t It’s too late to go straight… guess I’ll just accept my fate So listen if you’re willin’ to how I became a villain I was studying the people on the green side of that fence: And it’s not how much you can do, but how many you convince And if your teeth are sharp and white, then they will know you’re talking sense Oh my beloved So I built a shining tower such that no-one could ignore And with your name upon my banner, launched my armies off to war And in only two years’ time, forgot what they were fighting for... Oh my beloved But I’d be good if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t I’d be true, say “I do,” but it turns out that I don’t It’s too late to go straight, guess I’ll just embrace my fate So give me headline billing… It’s how I became a villain I walk the floor all night long Just wondering how I went wrong… And I’d be good if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t I’d be true, say “I do,” but it turns out that I don’t It’s too late to go straight, guess I’ll just embrace my fate The story’s worth a killin’ of how I became a villain
7.
It’s apples and oranges: Which means, you are beyond compare You’re the one I adore While I work up the confidence The words just get stuck on my tongue So I’ll sing you this song: You’re a letter from a mystic shore, A bluebird melody in midair You’re a sunny day and a longing kiss goodnight. You’re a Motown song at Christmastime, An unexpected perfect rhyme Oh, baby, tell me it’s gonna be all right Baby, tell me it’s gonna be This feeling is dangerous Wanna tell you I’m falling head over heels Though my heart, I conceal But I can’t hide the rush Of my pulse when I’m lying in your arms Surrounded by your warmth And I’m afraid the world’s gone crazy Where to go? Just what is true? But I know, I can face it, baby, If I stand right here with you… Cause you’re the treasure map and the lucky sign The coffee cup and the sunset ride You’re the twinkle of a thousand colored lights You’re a Motown song at Christmastime An unexpected perfect rhyme Oh, baby, tell me it’s gonna be all right Baby, tell me it’s gonna be Be all right
8.
Tell me you enjoy my company Such company as I afford Here engrossed in my own thoughts Inside a solitary mood My tall black boots and hood up Mean to block out more than the cold These headphones I am wearing Signal that I'd rather be alone And if I seem lonely I'm just longing for friendlier weather A warmer day I'll let my guard down And we can be alone, together We can be alone, together We can be alone together We can be alone, together We can be alone I hope you enjoy my company Such charms as only I afford Standing here blind in the spotlight Safely behind the microphone And if I feel lonely I’m just longing for a constellation A line between our bright suns burning In the darkness there would be union I would find my kindred spark Your arms would encircle me And leave me alone to dream We can be alone, together We can be alone together We can be alone, together We can be alone
9.
Someone 03:17
It’s still raining. And this could take all night I’m just ready for a drink, and I’m too tired to fight But you’ve got questions, and names you wanna call And I wish that I felt guilty… or anything at all And I could hold you one more time but I'm already in the car And I'm lookin' for someone who breaks my heart “Mr. Right” — that’s what everybody says Maybe so, if you’re into that, I guess And we could try to spin the Earth around the moon But all I was ever after was a Johnny to my June And it’s just the way I am to want everything you’re not And I’m lookin’ for someone who breaks my heart And there's a stone in the left side of my chest And it's cold but I really must confess I do not mind… But every now and then Someone comes around Who swings the hammer down Just swing the hammer down ‘Cause what’s the point in fallin’ if it ain’t gonna leave a mark? Yeah, I’m lookin’ for someone who breaks my heart
10.
99 Bottles 03:04
99 bottles up on the wall Take them down and drink them all It ain’t the beer, but the bottle I need Gotta get a message to my baby 99 days and 99 nights, Been stranded here on this desert isle Jumped overboard, wanted back on, Turned around and the boat was gone Now it’s my own damn fault, I will confess I’m sending out my SOS 99 bottles up on the wall Take them down and drink them all It ain’t the beer, but the bottle I need Gotta get a message to my baby And it’s a cruel joke Leavin’ me stuck here Ain’t got no comfort But the whiskey and the beer 99 bottles wash on the shore Tell him I can’t take it no more Say, won’t you turn this ship around? ‘Cause you’re the best lovin’ sailor I’ve ever found And I would drink all the water in the sea Just to bring my baby back to me 99 bottles up on the wall Take them down and drink them all It ain’t the beer, but the bottle I need Gotta get a message to my baby
11.
It’s warm for November And the war is long over I’m at the Cellar with all the old crew At the scene of the crime And a thousand good times From the years when I came here with you When you walk down the front stairs I slip out of my chair Pay my tab, toss a tip to the band But your smile is a white flag so I stop right in my tracks As you stroll up and offer your hand: Let’s dance one more time, like we used to Just hold me like you did when I first knew you We were so much younger then, and all of us still friends Let’s dance one more time, like we used to Then the music just hits me Or it could be the whiskey Or the memories that never do die Like that night in Montgomery When you told me you loved me That same something behind your green eyes We don’t even care That our friends are all staring At the spectacle out on the floor We turn and we sway And that holds at bay All I still can’t forgive you for But we can dance one more time, like we used to Just hold me like you did when I first knew you We were so much younger then, and all of us still friends Let’s dance one more time, like we used to And on a muted TV The world seems to agree That we’re all headed straight for the end And they’re right and I know it But here in this moment I’ll lean into your arms And try to pretend You laugh as you say We’ll be joking someday At the havoc we left in our path I said we’ll get along ’Til the end of this song I can’t promise you nothin’ past that But let’s dance one more time, like we used to Just hold me like you did when I first knew you We were so much younger then, and all of us still friends Let’s dance one more time, like we used to
12.
I'm tired of talkin' ‘bout romance It’s nothin' but the same old song and dance Don't wanna hear about the one who done me wrong Now, that’s enough about relationships… Don’t even wanna think about your lips Now, how on Earth did that get in this song? Let's talk about German Expressionism Let's talk about your artistic vision Let's talk about whatever became of Michael Jackson's glove Let's talk about really cool guitars, or where we got our scars Let's talk about almost any, everything but love Oh, but with your arms around me I just can't seem to concentrate And all I wanna do is hold you close and stay up late But let's talk about cephalopods Let's talk about the Viking gods Let's recount ancient stories about the stars above Let's talk about Batman, or denim from Japan Let's talk about almost any, everything but love Let's talk about robots And geological hot spots Let's talk about feminism, optimism, and the blues Let's talk about Kermit the Frog or places we would go in Prague Baby, I don't think there’s anything to lose Oh, but with your arms around me, Babe, I just can’t concentrate And all I wanna do is hold you close and stay up late But let's talk about German Expressionism Let's talk about your artistic vision Let's talk about the blue canary and the holy dove Just sing me some Leonard Cohen song, and maybe I'll sing along Let's talk about almost any, everything but love Or we don't have to talk at all…

credits

released June 1, 2018

(C)(P) 2018 Amy Kucharik/Rag Tiger Music
(ASCAP) All rights reserved.

THE FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS BAND
Greg Toro: upright and electric bass
Ariel Bernstein: drums and percussion
Khrysti Smyth: backing vocals, djembe
Michael Valdez: piano and keyboards
Jeremy Valadez: saxophones and clarinet
Tim Lewandowski: trombone
Lang Zerner: washboard
Amy Kucharik: lead vocals, ukulele, guitar on 3, harmonica on 5, french horn, mouth trumpet

FEATURING
Ansel Barnum: harmonicas
Ethan Robbins: acoustic guitar, backing vocals
on “Like We Used To”
Michael Bean: dobro
Steve Latanision: pedal steel
Tyler Hauer: trumpet
Christopher Weatherly: electric guitar
Wes Collins and Daphne Lee Martin,:
backing vocals on “Arrows & Slings”
“Arrows & Slings” Choir: John Borecki,
Dan Blakeslee, Ethan, Khrysti, Ariel, & Michael V.

All songs written by Amy Kucharik (ASCAP) ©2O18 except “Someone” and “Like We Used To,” by Amy Kucharik and Andrew Delaney.

Produced by Ariel Bernstein
Mastered by Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios
Horn arrangements by Tim Lewandowski and Amy Kucharik
Photography by Caroline Alden
Album art and design by Amy Kucharik
Executive Producer: Michele Ligouri

www.amykucharik.com

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