& the Art of Revenge

by C. Willis Carden

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An EP of songs written and recorded as part of an as-yet-unreleased documentary film involving love and death.

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released June 9, 2010

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C. Willis Carden Utica, Kentucky

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Track Name: In Time, You Will Sell It All For Nothing
i sold my heart to my lover
i was almost as foolish as she was to buy
all around my hometown, where they know me by name
they say "boy, what'd you think you were getting for that?"

between the bars of the morning and night
a person could want for all sorts of things
not me, no i had my heart set on one
and her name was,
i've forgotten her name

"in time, my boy, you'll sell it all for nothing
in time, my boy, you'll sell it all for scrap
in time, my boy, you'll sell it all for nothing worth keeping"

i'm hopelessly tied to this guitar
a pretty old darling on which to rely
for the night, i'll sit and drink of my whiskey
in the morning, on down the road go i

where the old trees keep watch on the hillside
by the house i grew up in, a boy in the grass
where the air smells clean, a constant reminder
i come not from nothing, i come not from nothing

"in time, my boy, they'll sell it all for nothing
in time, my boy, they'll sell it all for scrap
in time, my boy, they'll sell it all for nothing
they'll sell it for nothing"
Track Name: New American Stain
let's pretend the future isn't only in our heads-
we could be brilliant one day
let's pretend the money that we spent was money saved
and we'd be fine, and not worry about ever-increasing interest rates
i bear an american stain

in between these fantasies, like pages in a magazine
i linger too long
and for all i want to be the bottle's all that speaks to me
i'd break my back just to get the demons off of me
i bear an american stain

when the houses our grandfathers built
are worn to dirt
and the last man breathes the last man's breath
what was it worth?

smoking your last cigarette
you'll wonder where the feeling went
and stumble, far gone

searching for a ghost in between faces that you know
and you'll find nothing
where you thought that something was and

(let's pretend the future isn't only in our heads)

bear an american stain.
Track Name: Parade
they say that time is passing
but i don't get that feeling anymore
it's more like a parade
circling round outside my door

the bitter teeth of distance
tear my skin and then bear unto you my soul
and it's just like a parade
makes a man think he's deranged

in the middle of the wedding party,
wearing the finest suit you had to wear
shaking off looks that say he's drunk again
but what do they care?

in the middle of the wedding party,
mouthing off at the faces so absurd
shaking off looks that say "you're drunk again"
what have these people heard?
Track Name: All These Things Are Mine
i know you from when you were crazy
i know you from when you were okay
i know you drunk on a sad song
two times, three times, four times, every time
every time

if a person paid attention to the words of his mouth
he couldn't have ended up
the way you've ended up
if good intentions took a man straight up to heaven
you'd still be here on earth

i know you from when you were married
i know you from when you were alone
how subtle time has robbed you of vict'ry
two times, three times, four times, every time
every time

faded is the color from the dresses that she wore
gone is the ribbon from her hair
before the night is over she'll be old and
altogether missing all of what you knew

i know you still-born and buried
i know you from the church where she prayed
i know you, frozen and muddy,
and all these things are mine
Track Name: Ghosts In This House
there are ghosts
in this house
making coffee
walking down the stairs all the time

laying brick
playing records
taking notes
remembering all the things i said

i remember a time when you were mine
our lazy legs would roll in the dark
by the afternoon, a different tune
you'd leave me where i lay in the quiet

there are ghosts
in this house
making coffee
and laying down to sleep beside of me

laying brick
playing records
taking notes
remembering all the things i said

there's a denim jacket in the closet
that you wore when you were married
before this house was ever built
patchwork up and down the arms
that wrapped around your baby

oh
my
god you were so young

there are ghosts
in this house
making coffee
and walking down the stairs
in wooden shoes
Track Name: A Habit, A Window
this house has a habit
that i'm falling into too fast
like a bird into a glass doorway

my presence of mind
says "slow up, you'll crash"
oh what a chance, to explode right into a window

all feathers and bones
for all to behold
if there'd been anyone watching,
they'd have seen it coming
and maybe closed the shades
and maybe closed the shades

the givers of wisdom
show up to prescribe stronger pills
and sessions with highly trained experts
a clinical lie, a medical miracle
away from the door we opened as children
all wonder and awe, all mystery and chase,
all replaced with seat belts and bicycle helmets
they won't let you have any fun

this house has a habit
that i'm falling into too fast
like a bird into a glass doorway

my presence of mind
says "slow up, you'll crash"
oh what a chance, to explode right into a window

all feathers and bones
for all to behold
if there'd been anyone watching
they'd have seen it coming
and maybe closed the shades
and maybe closed the shades
Track Name: Golden Stairs
and the king is in his castle waiting
patiently for rain
or the slings and arrows of all his sons and daughters

and the queen is in the kitchen pacing
praying for the same
as all good children learn to love their fathers

once i too was young like you,
my heart out on my sleeve
just a symbol, a token of my belief
in each and every foul and sweaty
perfect human being
who tried to smile, but always turned to leave

the parlor goes on empty, waiting
patiently for me
the wandering boy that never said his prayers
if there is a place for those like me,
i'd love to see it but i'm afraid
i'd never make it up those golden stairs

the king is in his castle sleeping,
drowned beneath the rain
and dreaming of his virtuous sons and daughters
Track Name: The Green Grass Will Grow Over Me Someday
it was twenty and three black birds
went a-flying
up over the trees
to spy something dying
the wind in the weeds
made a sound like singing
"the green grass will grow
over me, someday"

the dog had her pups
behind the barn in the
coldest of months
we wrapped them in blankets and
gave them all names
too long to remember
like "the green grass will grow
over me, someday"

all the girls are lined up
all sweet and pretty
and that one is looking at you
she'll let down her hair
and be gone forever
true love is a vision for dreaming

your grandmother's house
went up for auction,
we threw in a bid
the auctioneer stopped and then
hollered real loud
what all of us were thinking
"the green grass will grow
over me, someday"

my daddy made cupboards
for jelly and keepsakes
and gave them away
it's been years since i've seen them
the lines in the grain
spell out if you're looking:
"the green grass will grow
over me, someday
the green grass will cover my feet"