Unreleased songs: S – Z

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Table of contents

Saigon Shrunken Panorama

The last vestiges of empire were crumbling
Daisies were pushing through the ground
And I saw a crane disappear beneath still water
On the day when you came back around
And though time remembers meaningless gestures
Your goodness will not be forgotten while I am still alive
It was the eighteenth day of May in 1975 1

And I asked if you could last a week or two
And you said you thought you could
You came inside then with the light trickling behind you
It was fine and it was good
And so gleams the single moment
Before we heard the officers arrive
On the eighteenth day of May in 1975

Hey

Scavenger Babies

not yet transcribed

[Shield My Eyes Against the Glare]

not yet transcribed

Shower

not yet transcribed

[Sliding Down the Right Pathway]

not yet transcribed

[Slip Away from Me]

not yet transcribed

Something Blue

not yet transcribed

Song for Black Sabbath's Second North American Tour

not yet transcribed

Song for God

not yet transcribed

Song for Greg Valentine

not yet transcribed

Song for My Stepfather

You have got that look in your eyes
In the pinprick place where kindness goes to die
I'll be 6 years old next year
You erase me

You'll be sorry, you always feel sorry later on
When you come around to say so, I will be gone
And in my place, meet my letter-perfect body double
You erase me

And a few years later
I set out on my own
Learned to take the reins up all by myself
Dug the spurs in clean down to the bone

But all that comes later, now there's only you and me
And the replica where my body used to be
You can go ahead and hit him, he feels no pain at all
You erase me
You erase me

Song for Roger Maris

not yet transcribed

Song from the Shoreline

not yet transcribed

Stable Boy Song

Here come the times of changing tide
Here come the days of light and grace
Here come the hours of wordless wondrousness
Light, light will fill this humble place

When you come, the stars will shine brighter than spun gold
When you come, the world will seem shiny and new
My mom told me that someday someone like you would come to set things right
'Til you come, I'll keep this place ready for you

I saw them riding up the road
And I swept and scrubbed the stable twice
Filled it with golden yellow straw, sweet and clean
I did my best to make things nice

When you come, the stars will shine brighter than spun gold
When you come, the world will seem shiny and new
My mom told me that someday someone like you would come to set things right
Until you come, I'll keep this place ready for you

Standard Bitter Love Song #1

not yet transcribed

Standard Bitter Love Song #5

not yet transcribed

Standard Bitter Love Song #6

not yet transcribed

Sure Do Love You Baby, But I Can't Do 60 No More

not yet transcribed

Tampa

not yet transcribed

That Hippolytine Feeling

not yet transcribed

Tribe of the Horned Heart

not yet transcribed

Tulsa Imperative

Your momma's failed wheat field
Was a good place to lie down together
Three weeks deep into the guts of summer
We sweat like hogs and I felt light as a feather

I saw a disk-like object
Reflected in your eyes
And the noise grew louder
As we looked up to the skies

And the sleek silver body had lights along the side
And the sleek silver body had lights all underneath
I remember the warm air blowing in our faces
I remember the heat running through me

There was no one worth telling
There was nothing we could do
And I was real quiet as I lifted the keys from the kitchen table
I was looking right at you

And your hand brushed against mine
And it shook me inside
As all along the night sky
I watched our futures collide

And the car's new headlights cut through the darkness
As the oil dripped silently to the pavement underneath
I remember the warm air burning our faces
I remember the heat running through me

Warm Lonely Planet

not yet transcribed

We Shall All Be Healed

not yet transcribed

[Whon]

not yet transcribed

Wishing the House Would Crash

not yet transcribed

Wizard Level

Wake up and recite the lost formula
Scrub my face with cold water at the basin
Sketch forgotten trees inside a little notebook
Commit their names to memory
Trying to get up
Trying to get up to wizard level
Trying to get up
Trying to get up to wizard level

Go walking out behind the house by moonlight
Collect dry stems and leaves and small green pinecones
In a muslin bag I got down at the hardware store
Blessings on the hardware store
Trying to get up
Trying to get up to wizard level
Just trying to get up
Trying to get up to wizard level

Not everybody gets there
Very few can find the path
Go to sleep and dream these holy dreams
Scatter to the wind each day at sunrise
Always catch the sunrise when I can
Held in my heart through trying times
Trying to get up
Trying to get up to wizard level
Just trying to get up
Trying to get up to wizard level

You Were Cool

This is a song with the same four chords I use most of the time
When I've got something on my mind
And I don't want to squander the moment
Trying to come up with a better2 way
To say what I want to say

People were mean to you
But I always thought you were cool
Clicking down the concrete hallways
In your spiked heels
Back in high school

It's good to be young, but let's not kid ourselves
It's better to pass on through those years and come out the other side
With our hearts still beating
Having stared down demons and come back breathing

People were mean to you
But I always thought you were cool
Clicking down the concrete hallways
In your spiked heels
Back in high school

You deserved better than you got
Someone's got to say it sometime cause it's true
People should have told you you were awesome
Instead of taking advantage of you

I hope you love your life now
Like I love mine
I hope the painful memories only flex their power over you
A little of the time

We held on to hope of better days coming
And when we did we were right
I hope the people who did you wrong
Have trouble sleeping at night

People were mean to you
But I always thought you were cool
Clicking down the concrete hallways
In your spiked heels
Back in high school

Yeah, yeah

You're in Maya 3 4

He hit me right in the face
I drove the Falcon 5 uptown
Hung out in the library parking lot
The swelling will never go down

Pint of Hiram Walker 6 in the lining
Of my father's old corduroy coat
Big, big plans hatching in my brain
And a big ugly lump in my throat

I drove up to Harvey Mudd 7 and I played pinball
'Til I didn't want to kill anyone
Polished off all my cheap whiskey
And stepped out into the California sun

Singing bainne na mbó is na gamhna
And the juice of the barley for me
Singing bainne na mbó is na gamhna
And the juice of the barley for me 8

My thirst carried me up the coast
Where it only got sharper, goddammit
In a small room that got even smaller
A block away from the Willamette 9

There was nowhere I needed to go
And nowhere I wanted to be
And my window looked out upon nothing
And nothing looked right back at me 10

I had a couple of things on my mind
A couple of problems to think through
And I drank 'til I couldn't see straight anymore
Until there was nothing to drink to

Singing bainne na mbó is na gamhna
And the juice of the barley for me
Singing bainne na mbó is na gamhna
And the juice of the barley for me

Credits

Thank you to Austin Campbell, who transcribed and annotated Saigon Shrunken Panorama and You're in Maya, and transcribed Wizard Level and You Were Cool.

As always, thanks to the superlative Caliclimber, whose Flickr pages provided essential information and release details, and to Andrew Fazzari, who transcribed Stable Boy Song.

Footnotes

  1. This date is shortly after the Fall (or Liberation, depending on your point of view) of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975. 

  2. Also sung, "... with a more complicated way". Chapman University, Orange, November 12, 2010 

  3. "It's called 'You're in Maya', which is a thing that the Hare Krishnas say to one another when they're saying that you're too caught up in thoughts of the world, right. 'Maya' is the energy that constrains us all here and keeps our mind on material things." — Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, California, October 23, 2002. See also Crossing Border, Amsterdam, October 9, 1999 

  4. "This is a song that is extensively autobiographical. It is probably the only one in my whole corpus like that." — Crossing Borders, Amsterdam, October 9, 1999

    Although this may have been semi-true at the time, it has long since ceased to be so. 

  5. The Ford Falcon is a classic American compact car produced from the 1960s through the 1970s. 

  6. Hiram Walker is a whiskey distillery and brand. 

  7. Harvey Mudd College is one of the Claremont Colleges in Claremont, California. John attended Pitzer, one of the other 4 undergraduate colleges in the consortium. 

  8. "The chorus is in Irish Gaelic, and I pronounce it badly, probably. It's 'bainne na mbó is na gamnha', which means the 'the milk of the cow is all right for the calf'." Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, California, October 23, 2002. 

  9. The Willamette River passes through Portland, Oregon. 

  10. Likely a reference to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's famous quote, 'He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.'

    Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil. Aphorism 146. Archived by Project Gutenberg. Retrieved July 24, 2019.