Miscellaneous compilation appearances

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Beat the Devil

Hauling peanut butter crank through Arizona
Gotta keep the glowstick babies fat and happy
Cactus standing taller than Goliath
All the vultures come directly at me

We stash it in between some bales of lumber
On flatbeds coming in from Colorado
I don't know what you're doing back in Memphis
All winter you've been incommunicado

Take a picture
Do it fast
For the good times
For the good times
That won't last

Hot sun peels the paint down to the primer
Overheating engine spits and whines
Try to keep our minds on what we're doing
Try to keep the wheels between the lines

The feeling when the cop car flips its lights on
The near-electric tension crackling here inside the truck
The lack of any word from you in Memphis
The sound of someone running out of luck

Take a picture
Do it fast
For the good times
For the good times
That won't last

Brave

"Chris Knox, this is John Darnielle, out here in North Carolina, sending you all the power, any reserves of power I might have that'll help you up the hill. But I know you can go there, because I used to watch you every night in 1995 while we were in the back of a van together, and think, 'That guy's got some power.' So I know you have it, and I know you will climb up on your two magnificent feet."

Color me red
Color me coal
Wrap me in black
Or a snide acid green

Tell me I'm bad
Tell me I'm sick
Scream out your hate
Be obsessed and obscene

Bind me with love
Tie me with wire
Wrap me in gauze
And then watch as I bleed

Poison your kiss
Kill my desire
Deliver me pain
And ignore all my needs

I will not change
I will not alter

Staple my eyes
Thrill to my shins
Gag me with lead
And tear out all my nails

Razor my tongue
Sew up my mouth
Feed me disease
So my functioning fails

I will not change
I will not alter
For I am man
And I am strong

Do all this to me
I just don't care
Blood is my wine
And fear is my friend

But please do not say
I am not hard
Don't say I can yield
Don't say I can bend

I will not change
I will not alter
For I am man
And I am strong

I cannot sway
I cannot falter
I must be man
I can't be wrong

It's your fucking fault
You and your doubts
Made me like this
Color me man
Color me man

Daniel

Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane
I can see the red taillights heading for Spain
Oh, and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

They say Spain is pretty but I've never been
Daniel says it's the best place that he's ever seen
Oh, and he should know, he's been there enough
Lord, I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much

Oh, Daniel, my brother, you are older than me
Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal
Your eyes have died but you see more than I
Daniel, you're a star in the face of the sky

Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane
I can see the red taillights heading for Spain
Oh, and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

Oh God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
Oh God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
Oh God, it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

Drug Life

Hey, where's my pills
They were sitting on the windowsill
Should have known something was wrong
When last week you took my favorite bong
Now it's gone

You're messing with my drug life
Quit messing with my drug life

Dimebags flash up the Union Square
People walk in serotonin pairs
I remember it was only play
Devils sucking up the protégés

Just shuffle off through the golden mist
Take a number, 'cause you're on my list
And later on Second Avenue
If it comes down to the drugs or you
Baby we're through

You're messing with my drug life
Yeah
Yeah, quit messing with my drug life
Na na na na

Elsa from Rialto

(no lyrics)

Etruscans

"One, two, three, and."

Sift through
The things we had that seemed worth fighting for
Dig through the embers

Seek out
Awitness to the times we used to share
Weed out the pretenders

Go and find
You an Etruscan

Reveal the hidden truth
About the serpent's tooth
Try not to get romantic

Tell tales
About white whales
Way out in the Atlantic

Go and find
You an Etruscan

Seek out his dwelling place
Describe his face
For the record

Seek out the feral child
Head out into the wild
Send word when you get there

I'll wait here day and night
Hoping you'll be all right
Sadly knowing better

Go and find
You an Etruscan
Go and find
You an Etruscan

François Mitterrand

"... is a song that my friend Joel wrote when —
I wrote the music though."

François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on
François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on
François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on
François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on

Keep it up
Keep it up
Keep it up
Keep it up

He's in France, he's a country in France
He's a god and oh, can he dance
He has sex when the lights are down low
There's one thing that I just gotta know

François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on
François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on

Shows love for the people he rules
He knows French, diplomatically cool
He has sex every hour of the day
There's one thing that I really wanna say
Go

François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on
François Mitterrand, do you have the heater on

From the Lake Trials

"One, two. One, two, three, and."

Remind ourselves each day
What we crawled up from and who we are
Clean myself like a cat
Who spent too long beneath a car

Everything goes still
Between the present moment and the dawn
All God's creatures freeze up
When you flip the high beams on

Long live the machines
Long live the machines
Long live these blissful carcasses
With their bones picked clean

Bad dreams, bad dreams
With a panoramic view
Make a list of things to beat the dreams back
Follow through, follow through

Swim to shore, scramble up
Maybe make it through the clearing to the road
All God's creatures hold their breath if they have to
Until their lungs explode

Long live the machines
That never learned to work quite right
Long live the permanent ongoing blink
Of the engine light
Of the engine light

Get Your Mom Some Pie for Hanukah

Won't you give your mom some pie for Hanukah
Your mom would like some pie
With a nice sugar crust and some cheese on the side
Please don't let another Hanukah go by
Without giving your mom a slice of pie

Is this the gratitude your mom gets
You come around here with your little shiksa wife
But you can't be bothered to bring a pie with you
Once in your life

Won't you put away your Tortoise remix records
Get out your Steve and Eydie box set
Bring a lovely slice of pie down to mom's house right now
And have the best Hanukah yet

Won't you give your mom some pie for Hanukah
Your mom would like some pie
With a nice sugar crust and some cheese on the side
Don't let another Hanukah go by
Without bringing your mom some pie

Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Hava nagila
Hava
Yeah

Little Boxes

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky
Little boxes, little boxes
Little boxes all the same

There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses
All went to the university
Where they got put in boxes
And they came out all the same

And there's doctors and there's lawyers
And business executives
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school

And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university
Where they get put in boxes
And they come out all the same

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same

There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same

And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same
Yup

Pet Politics

Guard my bed
While the rain turns the ditches to mirrors
By a vase of carnations from central Ohio
Where the looking machine can't hear us

Deep in the night we dream of positions
There's a line for the phone in the hall
And in the cold places where Spanish is spoken
Most wars end in the fall

You never know when your pet will go
Pet politics

Still wearing last night's mascara
Now that her pet was gone for sure
She was shivering so hard
It looked like there were two of her

I could see through the sleeve on her blouse
The mute plans of her architect lover
A tattoo of a boarded-up house
An ink door that belonged to another

When the rain hits you it hits you slow
Stitch after stitch
Stitch after stitch

Adam was not the first man
Though the Bible tells us so
There was one created before him
Whose name we do not know

He also lived in the garden
But he had no mouth or eyes
One day Adam came to kill him
And he died beneath these skies

I find it so amazing how
I go where I'm led
I go where I'm led
I go where I'm led
I go where I'm led

I suspect we could be losing now
Please guard my bed
Please guard my bed

The Pieman

"This is like the oldest Mountain Goats song in existence."

For days I watched you from my place
A thousand miles away in space
Remembering your body
How it turned me into what I am now
I have not broken any laws
To work toward my stupid cause

I can see you now
From where I am
I can see you completely

I planted hedges of hydrangea
Because you were going to Pennsylvania
And I didn't know what else to do
I wanted to put my hands on you
I wanted to tell you everything
But I ended up here orbiting

I can see you now
I can feel you now
From where I am
I can see you completely

I went into your room
It got so crazy in there the air turned hot
And I saw them but I didn't read your letters
I will never bleed
Like I used to bleed again
I can't bleed like normal men

But I can see you
My heart beats like a magic drum
From where I am
I can see you completely

"Thanks."

Plead Me to a Lesser Charge

"Two, three, and."

Manchester, New Hampshire
Plead me to a lesser charge
New Haven, Connecticut
Plead me to a lesser charge
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Plead me to a lesser charge
Memphis, Tennessee
Plead me to a lesser charge

Plead me to a lesser charge
Overcrowded jails are a fact of life
Plead me to a lesser charge

I've done my time in jails and prisons too
Emergency rooms are nothing new
I've been picked apart by a shrink or two
Probably should do a little time, it's true

Plead me to a lesser charge
Sentence me to time served and plea me out
Plead me to a lesser charge

Dalton, Georgia
Plead me to a lesser charge
Orlando, Florida
Plead me to a lesser charge
Austin, Texas
Plead me to a lesser charge
California
Plead me to a lesser charge

Plead me to a lesser charge
Have your lawyer call mine and work it out
Plead me to a lesser charge

You say I broke the laws in your state
Well, I looked up the statutes and you're right, I did
Supervised probation is the place for me
Charge me with public indecency three

New Jersey
Plead me to a lesser charge
San Diego
Stamp me in the docket and plead me out
Santa Barbara
Plead me to a lesser charge
Chicago
Plead me to a lesser charge

Plead me to a lesser charge
Plead me to a lesser charge
Plead me to a lesser charge

I already did three years in Michigan, you nitwits

Porcile

When I wake up
I crawl on all fours to the kitchen
And I admire myself
In the dish of water on the floor

These summer mornings
They can't last forever you know
There's gonna come a day, come a day
When no one here can stand it anymore

The stench and the overwhelming noise
Pull the truck up to the front
Drive 'em in boys
Drive 'em in boys
Drive 'em in

So when I hear them coming
I try to stand up, but I fall down
I fall down and I smash my nose against the counter as I go
Blood splashes on the tiles

And I want to clean it up
But there is no time to clean it up, is there
Things are bad for us right now
Things are gonna be bad for a while

Yeah, the stench and the overwhelming noise
Pull the truck up to the door
Drive 'em in boys
Drive 'em in boys
Drive 'em in

Predator Eyes

There's terror in Terror City, oh yeah
There's terror in Terror City, oh yeah
Terror in the face of the animal
Oh yeah

The animal who
Is looking at you

There's terror in Terror City, oh yeah
Terror in Terror City, oh yeah
Terror in the face of the animal
Oh yeah

The animal who
Is looking at you

There's terror in Terror City, oh yeah
Terror in Terror City, oh yeah
Terror in the face of the animal
Oh yeah

The animal who
Is looking at you

Seven Hundred Unspeakable Names

I might sail a junk to China
If the wind was right
I might hit up old friends for money
In the middle of the night
I might scale the Chrysler Building
In a lizard suit
I might take up quilting
I might learn to play the flute

But I would not invoke
The seven hundred unspeakable names
No, I would not invoke
Those ancient unspeakable names

I might crash high school reunions
At schools I didn't go to
I might wear a turquoise toe ring
If I could fit my toe through
I might make myself some pancakes
Or I might make a waffle
I might retract my previous couplet
'Cause let's be honest, it was awful

But I would not invoke
The seven hundred unspeakable names
No, I would not invoke
Those ancient unspeakable names

I might take on effulgence and shine
In the black night sky
I might show up in a clown suit
And make all the children cry

I might blame others for my wretchedness
Or I might look within
I might save a lot of money
If I cut back on the gin
I might seek help for my sickness
Or insist that I'm all right
Or stow away on some mysterious junk
To China in the night

But I would not invoke
The seven hundred unspeakable names
No, I would not invoke
Those ancient unspeakable names
No, no, I would not
Because I could not

Shot in the Dark

Out on the street I'm stalking the night
I can hear my heavy breathing
Paid for the kill, but it doesn't seem right
Something there I can't believe in

Voices are calling from inside my head
I can hear them, I can hear them
Vanishing memories of things that were said
They can't try to hurt me now

But a shot in the dark
One step away from you
Just a shot in the dark
Always creeping up on you
All right

Taught by the powers that preach over me
I can hear their empty reason
I wouldn't listen, I learned how to fight
I opened up my mind to treason

But just like the wounded and when it's too late
They'll remember, they'll surrender
Never a care for the people who hate
Underestimate me now

But a shot in the dark
One step away from you
Just a shot in the dark
Always creeping up on you
All right

But just like the wounded and when it's too late
They'll remember, they'll surrender
Never a care for the people who hate
Underestimate me now

But a shot in the dark
One step away from you
Just a shot in the dark
Always creeping up on you

Just a shot in the dark

Un Rêve Plus Long Que la Nuit

On a Wednesday
On the 110
I felt the fever
Rise again
The weatherman east of here
Predicted rain
I hammered the words
Into my brain
That you were all I'd ever needed
To get by

On the Long Island Expressway
At 4 AM
On a Tuesday
Humidity like I'd never known before
And you sleeping like a baby
I could hear the engine roar
Somewhere high up above us in the New York sky
Where time means less than nothing
And no one ever dies
Someone knew that you were all
There was worth needing

White Box

I did it now
Oh, I did it now
The box said
Do not open
Under pain of death
It had my initials there where I
Signed my initials on it
On that white box

I saw initials there
Do not open under
Pain of death
But I opened it anyway
I died anyway
I died anyway

So I come back to stay
Come back to stay
Lord knows I love you anyway
Lord knows I love you anyway
A-ay

Wild World

Hold me up baby, for I may fall
Hold my dish rag body tall
Our bodies melt together, we are one
Post-crucifixion baby, post-crucifixion and all undone

It's a wild world
It's a wild world
La la la la la, la la la la
It's a wild world
Hey
It's a wild world

Church bells ring out the toll of our night
Falling forever forward, forever backward, forever forward, all right
Strophe and antistrophe, strophe and antistrophe, hey
Antistrophe, come on and kiss me tight

It's a wild world, a wild world
Way up here in your arms tonight
It's a wild world
It's a wild world
It's a wild world
It's a wild world

Credits

Thanks as always to the superlative Caliclimber, whose Flickr pages provided essential information and release details.

Footnotes

someday!