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Mischief

by SJ Tucker

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1.
2.
3.
03:46
4.
01:53
5.
6.
06:19
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11.
04:56
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credits

released 16 July 2010

Tracks 1, 2, 6, 11 recorded at Eagle Audio, on the road
Tracks 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12 recorded at Monkey Brains Studios, Seattle, WA
Tracks 5, 9 recorded at Flowinglass Music, Oakland, CA
Mastering by Mark Yoshida, AudioGraphic Masterworks
All songs and this recording copyright © S.J. Tucker 2010 except "Salad of Doom" copyright © S.J. Tucker & Betsy Tinney 2010

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Track Name: Ravens in the Library
One flies in to case the joint,
boldly struts around.
Two fly in to make it three,
laugh a while and knock each other down.
Four flies in with a frowning walk
gains a laugh from out a squawk
but it's five who owns the place
and proves it with a look, stopping
six and seven in their tracks from
smuggling a book.

Words within our grasp--do we let go?
Do we fly heavily with the weight of what we know?

My friend bids me come and see
the ravens in the library
setting quiet pages free.

One for fiction, two for truth,
three for bikes and bathing suits
four for scifi/fantasy
five loves art and ancient skulls
six eats periodicals
seven lives in poetry

(One for sorrow, two for joy,
three for girls and four for boys,
five for silver, six for gold,
seven for a secret never told!)

One hangs out on the drama shelves
but keeps the monologues to herself
two and three are studying jewels
Four reads all about the Huns
five won't share the shiny ones
six and seven label molecules

(One crow sorrow, two crows mirth
three a wedding, four a birth
five crows silver, six crows gold,
seven ravens, curious and bold!)

Words within our grasp--do we let go?
Do we fly heavily with the weight of what we know?

hours of study flying by
words soaked up by beady eyes
long debates into the night
pages flying everywhere
seek the language word by word
like the black and clever bird
never let it bring you down
all the things we haven't figured out

My friend bids me come and see
the ravens in the library
setting quiet pages free
(knitting up the 'raveled sleeve of care
pages flying everywhere)

Seven reads about the gods,
chuckles to herself;
to the rest, she never lets on.
Try to catch a glimpse of them
bickering like mortal men-
feathers on the sidewalk.

If you heard a raven say such horrible words
as the ones you may have heard in your day to day,
would it make you choose your own more carefully
around the ones you love?

my friend bids me come and see
the ravens in the library
setting quiet pages free.
(Knitting up the sleeve of care
pages flying everywhere.)
Track Name: Cheshire Kitten (We're all mad here)
I grew up seeing things a little differently, appearing,
disappearing, hardly innocent, nor
tied down to the ground.
I learned to roll and tumble with the punches,
glory in my stripes and spots
walk by invisible and never make a sound

But heavy is the crown that's always hidden
tender is the heart you never see
hard and fast shines the grin that we flash, but there's a vulnerable stripe or two on me.
Maybe any place outside of Wonderland
is not for me, my friend.

If I leave my grin behind, remind me
that we're all mad here
and it's okay.
Sun up, sun down the shadows hide me down in
Wonderland, Wonderland, nobody knows the way,
but if you find it in your dreams, you can
find it at your dayjob
somewhere south of Hell
Take the path to left or right with
just your gut to guide you
the story is not for anyone else to
tell.
Go down the rabbit hole and out the other side
you can't go home in the middle of the
magic carpet ride
you gotta greet the sun before his
lovely daughter moon
you can't forsake the journey for the
safety of your room
until you learn your lesson well.

I have learned to see and hear
everybody loud and clear
but the truth comes out in riddles that are
safe enough to share
that's how it is in songs, you see,
and stripes always look good on me
whether or not I'm really there (smile hangs in the air)
But heavy is the burden of the wise ones
when no one understands a word they say
the Jabberwock never bothered anyone,
but nobody believes him to this day
and why should they?

If I leave my grin behind, remind me
we're all mad here
and it's ok.
Sun up, sun down the shadows find me out in
Wonderland, Wonderland, nobody knows the way
but if you find it in your dreams,
you can find it at your dayjob
somewhere south of Hell
Take the path to left or right with
just your gut to guide you
the story's not for anyone else to
tell.
You gotta go down the rabbit hole and
out the other side
you can't go home in the middle of the
magic carpet ride
you gotta greet the sun before his
lovely daughter moon
you can't forsake the journey for the
safety of your room
until you learn your lesson well.

Is it the stripes or the spots you see?
Was it hearts or diamonds, baby, led you here to me?
Darling, you know better than to trust a pack of cards!
What have we learned,
the world is never as mad as it could be.

If I leave my grin behind, remind me
we're all mad here
and it's ok!
Track Name: Were-owl
Look long enough into the eyes of any creature,
there's no knowing what you'll find.
We all seek the light one way or another,
mostly flying blind.
Everything flies at the mercy of the moonlight,
lovers more than most at times.
You've sought the light where few have ever found it,
captured deep in tawny eyes.
Little one seek and ye shall find.
Take care what you find
in the tawny eyes of a hunter by night.

Who, who, who is it dares
to find these feathers, stroke this skin?
How, how, how can you dream of
the night he spreads his wings to hold you,
shows you all he knows and lets you in?

I've heard it said none but fools will ever count on
shifting shapes and flying dreams.
Foolish the heart that lights upon a love who's
never what he seems:
Shows one face at dawn and another in the twilight,
kings have worn his shape before
(kings have worn his wings before).
Lord of the evening, so handsome in the sunlight,
leaves you wanting so much more.
Child, death is a dance on the forest floor!

Who, who, who is it dares
to find these feathers, stroke this hide?
Why, why, why set your sights on
the night he spreads his wings to hold you,
shows you all his heart and bids you fly?

shifting shapes and flying dreams
love is never what it seems
wears another skin by day
be his love and not his prey

Who, who, who is it dares to seek the sun
and still want more?
How, how, how can you trust that he'll
open up his wings to hold you,
leave you brighter than you were before?
Track Name: Love Lies
love lies downwind waiting
patiently to be found
all day east wind howling (wailing)
angel don't make a sound
unless
you are the one i have been waiting for

i've been downwind waiting
for you to come around
all night west wind wailing
angel don't let me down
i know
you are the one i have been waiting for

there is no one soul that will swallow me whole
and let me out shining and beautiful, no
(spit me out, turnabout's fair play)
in love there is loss of control
but like the rivers i roll
(just the way it goes/we go)
are you in for the ride?

shifting on the thermal and gliding (riding)
where will you sleep tonight?
love lies, downwind waiting
with the silence of tigers
and a hunger burning bright
with a heart song shining bright

desert star, shine a light
shine a light

(love lies downwind waiting)
(where will you sleep tonight?)
Track Name: Don't Get My Hopes Up
Lately I'm a little bit prickly.
Everything hurts when you fall in
love hard enough, rock bottom doesn't feel so bad.
I wouldn't quite call this bitchy--when I am on
my best behavior I'll fool you like a
grown-up little girl who didn't know how good she
had it before.
When desire walks through your door
and all hell breaks loose times four, you'll understand and maybe you
won't pull smooth maneuvers on your suitors anymore.
Oh
(chorus 1)
Don't you go getting my hopes up, girl.
You'll be sorry and so will I.
Last thing either one of us needs is
yet another reason to cry.
I know that I'm your last in line.
I oughtta know better than to call you mine.
Say a flat out "no" to my face, that's fine,
but don't get my hopes up, girl.

Lately I'm a pretty good swimmer--
so far up the creek cuz I fell in
love hard enough hot water doesn't seem so dire, no.
I must've quit paying attention, baby,
I have to tell you the line is
blurred pretty bad between the frying pan and the
fire.
When love sneaks up on you and fries your
circuits through and through you'll understand and maybe
forgive me my trespasses, for I
know not what I do.
Oh,
(chorus 2)
Don't you go getting my hopes up, boy.
You'll be sorry and so will I.
I'm not one for second chances
once you've made me cry.
My dance card's full, my waiting list
is too backed up for shit like this.
Go ahead and pretend that I don't exist,
but don't get my hopes up, boy.

When desire walks through your door
and all hell breaks loose times four, you'll understand and maybe you
won't demand good manners from your lovers anymore.
Oh,
(chorus 3)
Don't you go getting my hopes up, love.
You'll be sorry 'til the day you die.
I see you wishing on your star
and wishes cannot lie.
I make 'em too, or haven't you heard,
waste a few on you cuz I never did learn.
I know courage is harder to show than concern,
and you can't steal fire and not get burned.
I will try to hold out and wait my turn,
but don't get my hopes up, love.
Track Name: Neptune
Years ago I came to you
down beneath your ripples
submitting to the mystery
of life beneath the waves.
Years I floated near you
swimming in your subterrain
rocking in the opium embrace
of Triton's tomb.

Time I lost just fussing over
every little thing you asked for
let myself keep fading
silver fishes through my skin.
Somewhere I stopped breathing
but I missed the kiss of air
cut the waves and left you there
and ne'er returned again.

Someday in my castle keep
where rumors fly and questions creep
they'll say to me, what of the lord of the deep?
I'll say I knew him once but he was asleep.

There's no light where you are, my Neptune
To the mountains I will fly, away from you
Free from the waves into new love's arms
back to the realm of the sky.

Years ago I came to you
in love and doomed to drowning
beholden to the mystery
of life beneath the waves
Years I floated near you
I will never see again
how I could tarry in the opium embrace
of Triton's tomb

Time I lost, just fussing over
every little thing you asked for
let myself keep fading,
silver fishes through my skin.
Somewhere I stopped breathing
but I missed the kiss of air
I cut the waves and left you there
and ne'er returned again.

Someday in my castle keep
where rumors fly and questions creep,
They'll say to me, what of the lord of the deep?
I'll say I knew him once, but he was asleep.

There's no light where you are, my Neptune.
To the mountains I will fly, out of this gloom,
free from the waves into new love's arms,
back to the realm of the sky.

Years ago I came to you
in love and doomed by what I knew
and though I miss the mystery now
of life beneath the waves
Thin air's as sweet as water
when your body begs to breathe
and so I leave when I must leave
don't weep for love I couldn't save

All of us who dare to love are brave!

There's no light where you are, my Neptune
To the mountains I will fly, away from you!
Free from the waves into new love's arms
back where I belong!
There's no light where you are, my Neptune!
To the mountains I will fly, out of this gloom,
free from the waves into new love's arms,
back where I belong!

Someday they will ask me (going back where I belong)
and I will say
Someday they will ask me
they will say, what of the lord of the deep?
And I will say, I'll say I knew him once
but he was asleep.
I'll say I knew him once.
I'll say I knew him, I knew him,
I knew him once...
Track Name: Girl with the Lion's Tail (Lucia)
Don't look for home in me between the lines of this,
our fairytale
Man cannot follow the monsters.
It's simple for you love but never for me
Nothing can be as it once was.

Call me a beast as you've always done
but one which can no longer love you
Look for me not, lover, I am long gone
how can you hope to follow?

You're meant to crawl
upon your knees
not steal my soul
or talk to me
nor beg me to come home with you
the last thing i would ever do
I am the place where air meets ice
escaping from your paradise
the girl with the lion's tail!

I don't want to be the girl you tame
an oddity locked away somewhere safe
I don't want to be the girl you tame
your one-heart menagerie, lonely

Give me back the girl I was, the beast I used to be
shedding the skin of this creature
You were never cage enough to keep the light inside
deny me the sky and I'm running.

A lion must keep something back for her own
if she's been let to live.
I'd sooner run that waste away at home
You already have all that I had to give.

Give me back my broken heart,
the dress I wore in Ostia,
everything you took away
and soul-self replaced;
take away your holiness
your pleading and your crying eyes
and bring me back the girl I was,
untamed.

Go cry your Ave Maria my love
cry me a river to hell
hell or home its all much the same
your script, your sain, your cell.

I don't want to be the girl you tame
an oddity, locked away somewhere safe
I don't want to be the girl you tame
your one-heart menagerie, lonely
(Ave Maria, gratia plena)
your one-heart menagerie

Ave Maria, gratia plena, dona nobis pacem, amen
(If you don't feed what you have tamed
how can you ask it to love you?)
(Give me this!)
(I don't wanna be the girl you tame,
your one-heart menagerie, lonely)
Your one-heart menagerie...
Track Name: September's Rhyme
green and black
yellow red
rub your belly, pat your head
corners, edges
middle part
close one eye before you start
nine times backwards
sideways 'round
opens doors you've never found
key flies in without a sound,
key flies in without a sound
leopard whiskers
colored coat
let the lie escape your throat
circus dances open roads
seal the spell: there must be blood
fly through kisses
don't be rude
to latitude or longitude
solve the puzzle
turn the key
bleed a bit and then fly free

hold your courage, pumpkin dear.

one shoe off

the way is clear
Track Name: The Truth about Ninjas
Paragon of dignity
untouchable and lethal
but there's more to life than shuriken.

sudden death comes easy
when you practice every day
you'll think you're ten feet tall and bulletproof
until you pass my way
and you will never see it coming
no one's sad to see you go
within my eyes you'll glimpse a wisdom
you were not prepared to know
In fearing what you cannot see
you fall beneath my hand
this is a ninja thing you wouldn't understand

you will never know I'm here
until it's far too late
it is a ninja's way to pass unseen
and not to storm the gate
Moving quieter than kitten
circumnavigating law
tiptoeing merciless as nightfall
until I pounce and disappear again
you'll never hear a thing
the soul has always been corrupted
but the heart and hands are clean
Sworn enemies fall lifeless
though they never see my face
the game is glory but I take my joy
in leaving not a trace
My actions quick as lightning
unintended to hurt you I'm only
doing what a ninja's gotta do

Following the way
creeping night and day
I won't say life is hard
but I must restrain my urges to run naked through my yard

No ninja goes out streaking
it just simply isn't done
my career would shrivel up and die
but damn would it be fun!
To see the neighbors eyes
as big as saucers peeking from their doors
I'd pirouette beneath the moonlight
days of skulking, hiding, sneaking,
and assassinating enemies no more!!

Just one streak of brightness
in a world of black and blue
I'd just be doing what a ninja's gotta do
wouldn't you?
go skinny-dipping like a ninja's gotta do!
Track Name: Salad of Doom
Beware the Bleu Cheese of Redmond
and the honey-mustard of gloom
Be careful how you stick your fork into
the Notorious Salad of Doom

An army of croutons comes crunching
while sinister spinach doth creep
invading the heart of your luncheon
and stirring your belly from sleep

Tempting and colorful veggies
seek only to draw you in
and learning your fate, you'll find it's too late
as dressing drips from your chin!

iceberg lettuce
will come to chill your soul
don't say we didn't warn you
as you blindly fill up your bowl!
Oh, HEADS OF LETTUCE WILL ROLL! Ho!

Dress it in flowers and clover,
but it consumes you still!
In leather and lace,
past the bounds of good taste,
this salad is dressed to kill!

The popping of cherry tomatoes
resounds throughout the land!
Innocence lost when the salad was tossed,
but Dave was just feeding the band!!

Iceberg lettuce
will come to chill your soul
don't say we didn't warn you
as you blithely fill up your bowl, oh,
heads of lettuce will roll!

Oh, Health nuts, seek other nutrition!
Vegans, best run from the room!
Be careful how you stick your fork into
the Notorious Salad of Doom

Woe to the grazers of green things,
whose stomachs will growl all too soon!
We'll lose all we love in the tastiness of
The Notorious Salad of Doom
Track Name: Witchka
Sweet sixteen and bold as love
the danger I've been dreaming of

Sweet sixteen and here she comes; I see the
candlelight from her window.
She just bought her first book of spells--
one step further from the wishing wells of
childhood. She's a woman grown.
I tell you, girls, if I had known,
I'd do it all over exactly the same.
She walked into my life and I sang

Witchka! Where have you been?
Tell me 'bout the trouble you've been in!

Twenty-six and mad as hell,
who'd'a thought that I would fall for this
turned-around, pouty-lipped Tinkerbelle?
One step further from the wishing well, but
what's her coven gonna say?
All I know, when I see her face, she makes
every little fairy princess fade away.
Here she comes, and I say

Witchka! Where have you been?
Tell me 'bout the Mischief....oh, Witchka!

Book of shadows and a lock of hair,
she holds me there, she does not care.
Witchka!

From her little pointy boots to her pouty lip,
you can tell she's thinking herself the shit.
Well, who am I to teach her to watch and wait?
A witch decides a witch's fate.
She's gonna learn the hard way--that's all right.
She says she likes it hard some nights.
Keep a close eye on her witchy ways.
She'll surprise us all one day!

Say, Witchka! Where have you been?
Tell me 'bout the trouble you've been in.
Witchka, my, how you have grown--
time to make this world your own!
Witchka! What have you done?
Everything from raising hell to having fun!
Witchka! Where have you been!
Tell me 'bout the mischief....oh

Book of shadows and a lock of hair,
she holds me there, she does not care (2x)
Sweet sixteen and bold as love,
the danger I've been dreaming of (2x)
Witchka!
Track Name: To My Valentine
from far away I'm coveting your white violet skin
and missing the fall of your hair
worlds away I'm courting your everything
and giving you all that i dare
i long to stay but the road has my number
still i don't have to miss you for long
little did I know, all these new thoughts of home
come Tuesday or Wednesday I'm gone
never had such Valentines as these on my mind
all the faces i've seen, the places i've been
they don't stack up, even at the same time
to you and your white violet skin

how can one claim perfect love, perfect trust
and not know the wonders I know?
dreams are all well and good, but mine live and breathe
who knew? you came true, i suppose.
if wishing on stars ever falls out of fashion
we'll move to the Pleiades with no backward glance
maybe between worlds and blackness
I'll get up the nerve
to finally ask you to dance
there'll be space for you always in my harmony
though i never knew this before.
every note, "i love you," no matter the chord
that's all any love song is for

the wild foxes danced when you laughed in your cradle
the magpies fell silent when you learned to sing
Imagine my luck, to be part of your fable
where you hold my heart like the fruit in your hand
the mockingbird sang when I lay in my cradle
the pipers all played when I rose up to stand
I'll walk all the roads 'til I'm no longer able
and treasure your heart like the song in my hand.

just to say i love you in well-hidden ways
that's all any song says, each note when it's played
this one's too honest, but you're smiling, i pray.
i am wide open, only a little afraid.

from far away I'm coveting your white violet skin
and missing the fall of your hair
with just a laugh you rearranged the world as it is
spoke your heart, gave me leave to care
i will ever long to stay but the road has my number
still i won't have to miss you for long
little did I know, all these new thoughts of home
to tether me when I am gone
never had such Valentines as these on my mind
all the faces i've seen, the places i've been
they'll never stack up, even at the same time
to you and your white violet skin
Track Name: Digital-only Bonus Track: D&D
It started long years ago
weekends, weeknights, when the lights are low
the word goes round to those in the know:
the D&D game is going down
Time set aside to play it hook or crook
millions of gamers a-heading for their books
Gather round lads, forget the funny looks
everyone's dungeon bound
Come bards from the north, elves off the moor,
Gamers off work get down to the store
Scratch your neighbor, what's underneath?
A wizard or a cleric or a thief!

Generations since Gygax
rolling their initiative and scarfing down a snack
it's fun to fill the form in if you roll some awesome stats
you can always earn a couple more
next week comin' back for more
Come gnomes from the north, orcs off the moor
Freaks and geeks get down to the store
Scratch your neighbor, what's underneath?
A paladin, a fighter, or a thief!

Five and twenty halflings
silent in the field
never held for ransom
never made to yield
half-elven lady
known to be a spy
rollin' her charisma
while the gentlemen go by

Come bards from the north, elves off the moor
Gamers off work get down to the store
Scratch your neighbor what's underneath?
A wizard or a cleric or a thief!

Human, half-orc, play the one you like
bust a couple heads instead of studying for psych
long sword, short sword, scimitar, or bow
Everyone's a gamer, don't you know!
Come bards from the north, elves off the moor
Freaks and geeks get down to the store
Scratch your neighbor, what's underneath?
A wizard or a cleric or a thief!
A paladin, a fighter, or a thief!
A wizard or a cleric or a thief
Playing D&D!