Pale Sun, Crescent Moon

Released November 23, 1993


1.Crescent Moon
(Michael Timmins)

Reach a hand to the crescent moon
grab hold of the hollow.
If she sits in the palm of the left
that moon will be fuller tomorrow.
If she sits in the palm of the right
that moon is on the wane
and the love of the one who shares your bed
will be doing just the same.

Won't you come with me, she said,
`there's plenty of room in my iron bed
You're looking cold and tired
and more than a little human
I know I'm not part of the life you had planned,
but I think once your body feels my hand
your mind will change
and your heart will lose its pain'

Out among the fields gently hipped
beneath the corn,
Assiniboine bones beneath the highway
he stood there and he thought of home
A finger traces the path of a satellite
You're drawn to a distant copse of trees
A voice as sweet as Mare's Tail
clings to the prairie breeze

`Won't you come with me', she said,
there's plenty of room in my iron bed
You're looking cold and tired
and more than a little human
I know I'm not part of the life you had planned,
but I think once your body feels my hand
your mind will change
and your heart will lose its pain.

Do I reach for you
when I know you're on the wane?
Do I sense you when I know you're not around?
Do I search for you
when I know you can't be found?
Do I dare to speak your name?

Raise your eyes to a moonless sky
and try to wish upon a rising star.
Search all you want for her blessing
but you won't find her sparkling there.
Now cast your eyes to a part of the sky
where nothing but darkness unfolds
and watch as all around you
she reveals the brilliance of secrets untold.

Won't you come with me, she said,
there's plenty of room in my iron bed.
You're looking cold and tired
and more than a little human.
I know I'm not part of the life you had planned,
but I think once your body feels my hand
your mind will change
and your heart will lose its pain.


7. Pale Sun
(Michael Timmins)

Fifty miles from Dakota territory
Cheyenne scalp hangs from his belt.
Found him alone washing in the Bighorn
a steady aim and he bagged his game.

Pale sun falls without contest.
Here is obedient darkness. He will not return.

White Cadillac, white man at the wheel,
white faces on the mountain,
wounds that will never heal.
Black clouds overhead, old man says
looks like rain.
Thieves' Road winds to the Black Hills sign
says South Dakota, U.S.A.

Grass plains stretch to the horizon,
not a soul can be found on them.
They will not return.

Old rusted pickup and a mad dog in the yard,
purple paint peels but fails to reveal
the bitterness that grows inside.
Cloud of dust in the distance,
strange knock beneath my hood.
Is it better to have words left unsaid than to
have words misunderstood?

Pale sun falls without contest.
Here is obedient darkness. It will return.
I know it will return. It will return.

 


2. First Recollection

(Michael Timmins)

My first recollection is a day in December,
black iron steam engine covered in ice
like some Precambrian monster,
moaning and snorting.
Nothing was ever going to beat that beast
in a fair fight.

I've sat and watched the woodpiles
grow through the summer
now I'm sitting, smelling summer
burn through the fall.
Winter's coming on, days getting dreary
and I'm thinking this is the season
that I leave you all

I've heard a man in crisis falls back on
what he knows best,
a murderer to murder and a thief to theft.
And I don't want you to think that this is
some kind of deathbed confession,
but run is what I did when put to the test.

My first recollection is a day in December,
747 tracing lines through the sky
like some old gypsy curse silently preying
upon the dreams of those who
jealously watch life pass by.

I've sat and watched my troubles
pile through the summer
now I'm sitting, hearing my youngest cry
down the hall
Winter's coming on, days getting dreary
and I'm thinking this is the season
that I leave you all.

I've heard that the son must bear
the burdens of the father
but it's the daughter that is left
to clean up the mess.
And I don't want you to think
that I'm asking for absolution,
but run is what I did when put to the test.


8. The Post

(J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. -Cesstone Music BMI)

Eyed it, dried it, untied it
Chilled it, spilled it, refilled it
Taste it, traced it, erased it

He's my post to lean on
And I just cut him down
So I'm out to land on something
Hopefully a boy will come to me at the ground.

Eyed it, dried it, untied it
Chilled it, spilled it, refilled it
Taste it, trace it, erased it

He's my post to lean on
And I just cut him down
So I'm out to land on something
Hopefully a boy will come to me at the ground.

He's my post to lean on
And I just cut him down
So I'm out to land on something
Hopefully a boy will come to me at the ground.


3. Ring on the Sill

(Michael Timmins)

She placed her ring on the sill,
dishes piled high.
She's on the front porch step
and the air smells like snow.
She's thinking of the siege to come
and how she'll miss those weekends
in the park with the sun on her face
and her book by her side and that
lingering taste that he left on her tongue.

He lifts his glass from the table.
It leaves a ring where it stood.
He sees the light from the window
caress her like he knows he should.
He's remembering the first time he kissed her
and how he'd wake
and immediately he'd miss her,
like a spell, with each breath,
he'd taste her breath like a haunting,
irritating as hell.

Do you remember when you'd pray
to never see the day
when someone would make you feel this way.
'Cause you knew
they would cut right through you
and once inside, you were afraid they'd find
nothing to hold on to.

He puts her ring on her finger,
she brushes back his hair.
He takes a sip from his glass,
she inhales the cold fall air.
And they're thinking of the long road ahead
and the strength that they will need
just to reach the end.
And there in the silence they search for
the balance between this fear that they feel
and a love that has graced their lives.


9. Cold Tea Blues

(Michael Timmins)

If I pour your cup
that is friendship.
If I add your milk
that is manners.
If I stop there,
claiming ignorance of taste,
that is tea.

If I pour your cup
that is friendship.
If I add your milk
that is manners.
If I stop there,
claiming ignorance of taste,
that is tea.

But if I measure the sugar
to satisfy your expectant tongue
then that is love,
But if I measure the sugar
to satisfy your expectant tongue
then that is love,
sitting untouched and growing cold.


4. Anniversary Song

(Michael Timmins)

Have you ever seen a sight as beautiful
as that of the rain-soaked purple
of the white birch in spring?

Have you ever felt more fresh or wonderful
than on a warm fall night
under a Mackerel sky,
the smell of grapes on the wind?

Well I have known all these things
and the joys that they can bring.
And I'll share them all for a cup of coffee
and to wear your ring.

Have you ever had the pleasure of watching
a quiet winter's snow slowly gathering
like simple moments adding up?

Have you ever satisfied a gut feeling
to follow a dry dirt road that's beckoning you
to the heart of a shimmering summer's day?

Well I have known all these things
and the joys that they can bring.
And I'll share them all for a cup of coffee
and to wear your ring.

And I don't know how I survived those days
before I held your hand.
Well I never thought that I would be the one
to admit that the moon and the sun
shine so much brighter
when seen through two pairs of eyes
than when seen through just one.

Have you ever seen a sight as beautiful
as a face in a crowd of people
that lights up just for you?

Have you ever felt more fresh or wonderful
as when you wake
by the side of that boy or girl
who has pledged their love to you?

Well I have known all these things
and the joys that they can bring.
And now every morning there's a cup of coffee
and I wear your ring.


10. Hard to Explain

(Ray Agee - Brother Brown Music, BMI)

If it ain't one thing
I tell you it's always another.
I wonder why
I started treating you like a step-brother.

Love is hard to explain
I know my loss is someone else's gain.

Sometimes love is like a bitter pill
But we just have to take it like it is.
Sometimes life is the sweetest thing
and sometimes it's just naked pain.

Oh, it's so hard to explain
I know my loss is someone else's gain.

My troubles started when I found you
But that's when I wound? my world around you
And now my living ain't so easy
I thought that's what a woman was supposed to do.

You see, it's so hard to explain
I know my loss is someone else's gain.

I went to see my doctor
`Cause I thought I had a hole in my heart
but he said "Girl, you're just wasting my time
Because some man messed up,
went and messed up your mind"

It's so hard to explain
I know my loss is someone else's gain.

Oh, love it's so hard to explain
It'll make you forget your name
It'll turn you upside down
It'll make you wish that you'd never been found.


5. White Sail

(Michael Timmins)

Raise a white sail if you love me
a black sail if you don't.
Seal me up in an impregnable tower
or surround me with an impassable moat.
I've heard all the stories told about love
(unattainable and pure)
but there is one love of which I'm sure.

Your fear as honed as a battle axe,
I'll bear my neck, I'll wear the scar,
and if my nerve should fail the task
I know your faith will not roam too far.
I've heard all the stories told about love
(two souls into one)
but this tale of love is one we've just begun.

Isoldt had her Tristan,
but love potions are not what we need,
and Paris had his Helen but it was infatuation
that was plain to see.
What I desire is your trust to inspire
this love for you which grows in me.

Plant a rose tree on his grave
and on mine plant a vine,
as seasons pass and markers fade
watch them slowly intertwine.
I've heard all the stories told about love
(till death do us part)
but our love is a vow which has been wrought
from heart to heart.


11. Hunted

(Michael Timmins)

Emma's in a part of town
where she doesn't recognize the streets
named for famous native sons
and out of every crevice comes creeping
a threat in her direction.
Lucy's outside her home
heading towards her corner store
she stays on well traveled paths
and is always making sure
that she doesn't develop patterns.

There are trap lines
running up and down Main Street
wire snares thirsting for your neck and feet.

Susan doesn't like the way her curtains
are blowing in the wind.
She swears she locked that window
before she went out dancing
she stands frozen in her doorway.
Judy hears a sound coming from the other room
she knows she should be alone
'cause the kids left at noon
to go visit their father.

Quick to your phone dial 911
invite a strange man into your home
who'll be carrying a gun.

Leslie's working late
she's got a deadline to meet.
In walks her boss,
upon her desk he puts his feet
and says alone at last.
Reanne's got a new boyfriend
and they're getting along
until he locks the door and says don't struggle,
I'm stronger than you are.

Just one question I'm dying to ask, you said,
do you know what it's like to be hunted?


6. Seven Years

(Michael Timmins)

Haven't seen the sun for seven days,
November's got her nails dug in deep.
Haven't seen my son for seven years,
and the chances are we'll never again meet.

If truth be told I don't even know his name
If truth be told he doesn't even know my name.

I spend my spare time with my rosary beads
although I never learnt to pray
but you don't need the light
and it's best to pretend
that you've seen the errors of your ways.

The darkness in here
is as heavy as a judgement.
This darkness, heavy as a judgement.

My dreams are now filled with Gilead trees
and other sights that I've never seen.
They used to be filled
with the fears of tomorrow
and the horror that it might bring.

His eyes felt to me
as cold as a stone mason's chisel
His eyes fell on me, cold,
like a stone mason's chisel.

Strange how a mind can always recall
what the senses eagerly leave behind.
I can remember his face, rage,
disgust and distaste
but to my fear I have grown blind.

Memories are just dead men making trouble
this memory is just a dead man making trouble.

 


12. Floorboard Blues

(Michael Timmins)

Look under his floorboards, Mama,
I don't trust his silly grin.
He's got a beat-up Rambler, Nebraska plates,
and I ain't getting in.
I don't like the way his pinky ring
picks up the dashboard light
or his short little piggy fingers
or the way his belt is cinched too tight.

Check under his floorboards, Mama,
I don't like his suggestive tone.
The way his words drip from his mouth
as he asks can I take you home?
I don't care how many miles I got,
I think I'd rather walk them alone
than to sit in the back seat
as his eyes in the mirror
reduce me to flesh and bone.

Check under his floorboards, Mama,
'cause that razor's not just a threat to me.
He'll be slicing tiny crescents from your heart,
without laying a sweaty palm to your cheek.
Don't accuse me of running scared,
listen to what I'm saying.
It's a fucked up ol' world, but this ol' girl
Well, she ain't giving in.

Please send corrections to Bob
Last update: February 14, 2005
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