Lyrics /

Seven Shades

 

Black specks on white tiled floors

Which cannot be removed

Pass underfoot each day

Like hurried, useless truths

It’s true…

 

You push back

I’ve seen you do it

And that’s below your means

 

Seven shades of seven grays

Or more

And this is how we deceive

This is how we receive

This is how we breathe

Vine St. Dreams, Pt. 1

A man named chase

Has set the pace

When he tells me that everything is out of place

 

A song he sings

About such things

He’s going on about the aces, jacks and kings

 

So he would let me know when he’s home

And he’d rant on and on on the phone

He’d tell me things that have no meaning

I’d close my eyes like i was dreaming

 

A life of pain

A pain of shame

When she told him it was his fault that it would rain

 

A death he craved

Where he’d be saved

And trade this carbon base for dirt to be his grave

 

So he would let me know that’s he gone

And he’d sing on and on and on

He’d sing of things that have no meaning

I’d close my eyes like i was dreaming

Cliché

Just when I thought I had finally found a peace

This cuts me off at the knees

I should have seen it coming

Why did I think it would ever happen to me?

What factors did I see?

I should have been more certain

 

But here's a cliché now:

"You and I were meant together;

But we got lost somehow.

I never planned for things to be this way."

 

Now I ask myself: "Where do I go from here?"

Can I find the answer in fear?

Or rely on liquid courage

 

This is nothing new

This is nothing new

 

Here's a cliché now:

"You and I were meant together;

But we got lost somehow.

I never planned for things to be this way."

Bad Skin

 

She folds her clothes neatly in a pile

I can appreciate that, I'm anal, too

Brown sandals, brown hair, brown eyes...

I can see reflections in the dryer

Like a lifetime of mirrors staring back

With the cold light of day in their eyes

I've got no where to go in that line

 

Glances here, glances there

But i know i haven't got a prayer

With bad skin

 

Some guy looks at me and i swear that he smiles

If he's seen it once before

He's seen it a thousand times

Crossing my legs while fixing a smile

Or dismiss with the wave of my tongue

A lifetime of doubts in the night

Cursing my own brown eyes

 

I will stare, she won't care

I know i haven't got a prayer

With bad skin

With bad skin

 

She folds her clothes neatly in a pile

I appreciate that, I'm anal, too

Brown sandals, brown hair, brown eyes

Brown tees

No Guarantees

The winter sun throws long shadows on the ground

Makes me look like I’m ten feet tall

Beneath a tree carving letters in the bark

My alter-ego casts none at all

 

I know a place where everything's just fine

I've got a map but I've lost my way

And the further I go, the more I’m somewhere else

Maybe I won't go too far one day

 

The life of a cat is nothing to laugh at

No worries, no struggles, just sun on the bed

Like nothing I do, say, or think ever matters

Like whiskey at noon this goes straight to my head

 

Passing time reading books and taking notes

Can make a day seem like an hour

I read a play where everyone was red

No sense of greed, no need for power

 

The life of a cat is nothing to laugh at

No worries, no struggles, just sun on the bed

Like nothing I do, say, or think ever matters

Like whiskey at noon this goes straight to my head

 

No guarantees that she'll want me anymore

No guarantees at all

Never a Teacher

Emily says she’s harried

I gave her this advice

You should forgive them one time

But don’t forgive them twice

Well, who am I to proffer

When words can change my mind

I am an antenna

And you are far too kind

 

Never a teacher, just a mime

 

Truth lies in the middle

Or so I have been told

I’m heading for the deep end

But the water’s much too cold

I’m painting a new picture

Where my true colors show

This panic always finds me

No matter where I go

 

Never a teacher, just a Joe

 

You’ve got something left to choose

I’ve got something left to lose

I know

 

It makes all the difference

When hours melt to days

We spend time together

But see it different ways

Evening soon does beckon

And I will watch you go

You pass front my window

And that is when I know


One Foot Dancing

 

She comes from a life of privilege

Debutantes, and flawless visage

Homogenized streets of Fair-this and Pleasant-that

Where dad’s a tyrant

And mom’s a hypochondriac

 

Trades her talent for art-school chic

Got good grades, had her wild streak

Going to college in the post cold-war

Nothing left to protest

And Amnesty International’s a bore

 

What’s it going to be when it all breaks down?

She had always said she’d leave this town

But one foot’s dancing; one’s nailed to the ground

Small distractions do abound

She will always be around

 

Out in four, now she must pay the rent

Hardwood floors, deems it well spent

Charging up a fortune on her credit cards

Wants to pull the reins in

But self-restraint can be so hard

 

Flying lessons, off-Broadway shows

Has a bar where all her friends go

Living like a cosmo can be such a chore

Knowing less about more than she ever did before

 

What’s it going to be when it all breaks down?

She had always said she’d leave this town

But one foot’s dancing; one’s nailed to the ground

Small distractions do abound

She will always be around

 


I Only Do What I Am Told
 

I am a spineless man

I don't have self control

I only do what I am told

Get up at 5:00 a.m.

I go to my nice job

I only do what I am told

 

I don't initiate

I never make a start

I don't do what I want to

 

My father's a soft man

He just takes orders, too

He only does what he's told to

Cut from a cloth of yellow

Sewn to a heart of gold

He only does what he is told

 

He didn't initiate

He never made a start

He doesn't do what he wants to

It's too late, this was his fate

He let these things pass through

 

When he goes to the grocery store

And buys the same twelve things a week

It's just his colors showing through

A weakness I can relate to

 

I am a spineless man

I don't have self control

I only do what I am told

Cut from a cloth of yellow

Sewn to a heart of gold

I only do what I am told

 

I don't initiate

Don't even make a start

I don't do what I want to

I could try, but I'm shy

Can't let these things shine through

This Is My Fifties

Stories of a time

When everything was mine

Nothing left to find

Or buy

 

Home was far away

And we practiced every day

To find a better way

To fly

 

This is my fifties

I don't want to be let down

But like my kinship

I will stumble to the ground

 

It was on a Tuesday

That we both went out own ways

And on that cold march day

I cried

 

Could it ever be the same

After your release came?

Or would i hang my head in shame

And hide?

 

But this is my fifties

And i don’t want to be let down

But like my kinship

I will stumble to the ground

Past Prime Prodigy

 

It's spring again in his soft mind,

And like a thousand dreams,

Comes floating on a lilted breeze, it seems

Lost views appear like a vacuum

And squander all he sees

Confronted by this latent tragedy

 

Past prime prodigy

That nobody wants to see

Five years so quickly pass away

 

When doors are closed to his patience

And windows pass for keys

He’ll crawl in bed to dream what he can’t see

 

Past prime prodigy

That nobody wants to see

Five years so quickly pass away

Still singing Beatles songs

Not meant for him

But they can’t see the state he’s in

 

It’s spring again in his soft mind

Where there’s a thousand dreams

That tug at him ‘til he’s torn at the seams

New York Over Me Skies

 

At the edge of the world,

Or so it seems-

Only once have I been.

With the height of this steel

Surrounding me,

Only mild can I be.

Monolithic hurled,

Unfurled

Over me skies.

 

From a long way above

We landed here;

Only bright lights are clear.

Then a rail track below

Deposits us;

Only darkness and truss.

Who might take this place?

Great space

Over me skies.

 

I couldn’t wait for this,

Where I’d fashion ties.

I couldn’t tell of this,

Though I squint my eyes,

Tightly.

Cell Biology

 

Today is like any other day

I’m twenty-four, and I watch it slip away

Back down the alley way

With all my days before

 

I know that we’ve all been through some shit

But I’m determined to make the best of it

I know that I won’t quit

Like every time before

 

It’s only cell biology

And it’s nothing we can see

But there is something left to be

 

Today goes by any given name

We’ve died a thousand deaths and still we feel the same

We’ll keep on laying claims

To what’s been done before

 

Chasing dragons while conscious of the time

Leaves me knowing that what I’ve got is not mine

I used to fight this sign

In hopes of something more

 

It’s only cell biology

But if I still have memory

There must be something left to be

Grenadine

 

Figure mine only with grenadine

I don’t need help to describe what I’ve seen

I don’t need words from a clue

 

It could be lost in a memory

Or misplaced with things you no longer see

Boxed up and hiding from you

 

Turn my

Own phrase

I won’t ask quarter from wine

Sold on

This grace

Finding it in its due time

 

You can learn much from a dancer’s lean

Postscript a letter with what you glean

Send it to everyone you know

 

Turn your

Own phrase

Do not ask quarter from wine

Sold on

This grace

You will find it in due time

Scripted

 

Raindrops on my window begin to dance

As I pull out onto MLK

Alone, with you

On my mind

 

Still I can’t keep from smiling about the things

That we said we would one day become

I know that we

Were naive

 

I pine for a homeland, where we could be

But a place where no one knows our names

Somewhere where we’d

Start anew

 

Feels like it’s been scripted

You and me

Me and you

Though space and time have shifted

I conceive

That we’ll still know just what to be

 

The cost is not in dollars, it is in sense

Each is wealth I will never possess

To pay this price

Is obscene

 

Feels like it’s been scripted

You and me

Me and you

Though space and time have shifted

I believe

That we’ll still know just what to be

Credits /

All songs written by Kevin Carlisle
© 1998 Kevin Carlisle, BMI

Produced and Recorded by Kevin Carlisle February - December, 1997
at Eclectic Electric Studios, Cincinnati, OH (Evanston and Clifton)

Performed by:

Kevin Carlisle: vocals; acoustic, electric, and slide guitars, drums (real and programmed), keyboards, and bass

Mike Roesch: drums on 'Cliché,' 'One Foot Dancing,' and 'Cell Biology'
Puck Dunaway: backing vocal on 'One Foot Dancing' and 'Grenadine'
Laura Hollis: backing vocal on 'Vine St. Dreams, Pt. 1' and lead vocal on 'Scripted'
Eric Falstrom: lead vocal on 'No Guarantees'

Anders Griffen: drums on 'No Guarantees'

Dave Roesch: bass on 'One Foot Dancing'

Steve Lay: guitar on 'I Only Do What I Am Told'

Tim Dixon: clarinet on 'My Lost Conscience'

Thanks to Mike Roesch, Puck Dunaway, Laura Hollis, Eric Falstrom, Anders Griffen, Dave Roesch, Steve Lay, Tim Dixon, Rob Geis, Carolyn Mueller, Taylor Fox, Peden Lea, Sharon Vidourek, Steve Carlisle, Bill Wallace, Natalie Lintner, Noel Stafford, Chris Wagner, Greg Long, Eric Fricke, Chris Freson, Pat Osterday, Mark Arlinghaus, Julie McCarthy, Angela Brennan, Jen Nelson, Jon Frey, Kris Brown, Sean Droppleman, Rich Grimsley, Greg Fritz, Dave Williams, and Bill Carlisle.

© 1998 Kevin Carlisle