Lydian Water Songs

by Cactus Tractor

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The wind is high. The lights are going out. The shutters slam. The sky is growing dark. The neighbors call. The neighbors bang on the door. You’re feeling high. Your heart is fluttering. You say goodbye. You say goodbye to all your things. You don’t know why, it’s just something that’s happening. You watch it bloom. You watch it slowly blossoming. You’re burning down—you’re burning every single thing. ‘Cause you know i gotta fan the flames. No, I can’t always be this tame. This fever’s rising, and it’s time to let it break. Everybody always looks at me like I'm living such a fantasy, but they’re really watching just to see how much I can take. You’re burning up, you’re burning up in the yard; you’re at a loss, you don’t know where you are. You can’t see straight—you have no thoughts in your head. You’re seeing colors—you’re seeing everything in red. You know that I would never leave you, and you know that I will always love you. It’s just that I am sinking deep, and I need to swim. And I know you want to come with me, but you know that that will just make things worse—just because we’re meant to be together doesn’t mean, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fan the flames.
We’ve been thinking without our heads, holding on to our ideals at night. Little tingles still exist when I think about your lips. But you have to let me go—you say you love me, but, you know, you know, you know. We’ve been pulling out our teeth by trying not to speak. Bloody hands and bloody nose, ‘cause at night to him I go. But I stopped on the street, with a scar upon my cheek. I left you in the middle of the night—you couldn’t find me in the morning. Jumped a train, thinking that I might go to the next town without warning. I said goodbye without a kiss—don’t worry, I won’t be missed. I’ve been dreaming about the lies we whisper in the dark. Holding on till the light shows us who we are. ‘Cause the truth is within, a burning in my skin. We can’t fight this anymore, bleeding red, an open sore, I clench the cliff until you tore my hands and let me fall to the core.
Two ships on the horizon slips to the side, it takes time, I’m caught in nets with you. You cast your nets to the wizened west and throw wide, it takes time, I’m caught in nets with you. Give, give it away. Flex back before you break. Pull under towards, comfort if I go, towards. Two men sleep with their backs to the heat of the sun, and it’s one, more, day from shore. Give, give it away. Flex back before you break. Caught in nets with you.
I don’t want to get hurt by you. I don’t want to get hurt by you again. I can’t take being kissed by you. I can’t take being kissed by you again. I couldn’t escape you if I thought I wanted to, it never even entered my mind; I couldn’t embrace you if I thought I had a clue, it’s just a waste of foolish time. You’re at my door, you’re on my way to school. You’re at my door, you’re on my way to school again. Why when you lose love, do you not lose loveliness? Is one not just the other’s glow? Why is it so hard to stop dreaming of your kiss? You left so little to let go. I don’t want to get hurt by you, I don’t want to get hurt by you—but I’m not gonna stop, I’m not gonna shy away, I don’t care what it does to me. I don’t care.
Are you crazy or what? I’m crazy, crazy! You’re crazy, crazy! I’m crazy for you! Too much wine and too many questions, my mama on the line, and too much attention! Honking horns, and loud trains—it’s cloudy outside, and my mind is insane! Can’t remember and jokes all around, too much caffeine and too much sound! Shrugging my shoulders, dancing a lot, shaking my brain—‘cause I’m too hot! I’m crazy, crazy! You’re crazy, crazy! I’m crazy for you! Thumbs up and butt back, Anthony and butt crack, ice cream and car wreck—it’s crazy, it’s crazy! Birds are crazy, commercials are crazy, my body is crazy, and gruh! It’s crazy! Are you crazy or what? Yo, it’s a Waffluck! So lift your frock up, and put your hands in the air like it’s a toss up what you’re gonna cough up, ‘cause it’s a Waffluck. On our hike, we look for evidence—stuff that’s left behind, like tracks or footprints. True investigators use scientific words like “cumulous” for clouds and “avian” for birds. Hey Rio Rangers! Put on your thinking hats! That poop on the ground—we call it “scat.” Go scat! Birds are crazy… Wha’d you say?
Cold winter days, bless my hands that stay under the hot water too long. Birds’ shadow bent around the shadow of my movement around the room in this place. Gold still touches us. Fires burn, and walls heat up. A crawlspace for your love. A windbreak to keep the sticks and mud safe from secret desert dry breaking earth and setting sun. Winter cold, up through the floor into our soles, out through our breathing mouths that keep the sun from coming out and on.
I don’t understand your rules They’re really rather bland Like reading Chinese Like choosing wine based on the cheese Like feeling poor When opportunity knocks upon your door Like feeling thirst When lots of stranded sailors sure are feeling worse. I don’t understand And if I did it wouldn’t take me by the hand Wouldn’t make me sure And if I were a fish it wouldn’t function like a lure I was a thing in France Purveyor of romance I danced the Safety Dance I am the one whose ants were in his pants. Ooh, my hairy face, My big fat belly Won’t you pass the jelly? A little more… Thanks! Do I sin? (He sins!) Or is I in? (He’s in!) Go is always a go-getter Ego less so, adds a letter. My id is lazy! I tell the truth, it says the sooth. But don’t let me be so uncouth Both of you, please sit in this booth. You say chicken, I say egg. You give your hand, I give my leg. You talk linguistics, I talk linguini. You wax poetic, I wax bikini! You! You hoist the sails! You turn the crank, you! But first—get over here and give me a bite of that jelly donut! Pretty please and thank you! I feel I feel too much, from feeling felt and such And such fantastic feeling felt! I feel I’ve touched a pelt From which comes this such fantastic feeling felt, I melt I melt this pelt to felt, to felt I feel I’ve melted. I pat an eye with a dainty little hanky Won’t you pass me one more jelly donut? Thanky, thanky. Go find a tulip pal! And give a guy your gal. You’ve dropped the pope into the bathtub! Yes sir, señora! In the bath! Oh, Berliner! Gib’ mir deinen Fuß! Gib mir ein’ Kuss! Gibst du mir ein’ Kuss auf meinem Bauch Und mach es laut und süß So dass die Nachbarn hören können Wir werden nicht stören, sondern beschwören. Meine Süße, such für mich nicht langer Nicht mehr suchen, such nicht mehr Ich bin dein Pfannkuchen! Du musst die Füße nicht mehr stapfen Ich bin dein Gelee Krapfen! Not going to do it your way, I’m going to do it mine Not going to butt ahead, I’m going to stand in line Happy backed against the wall, just certain I’m not going to fall. Fall forward, fall behind Not going to do it your way—I’m going to do it mine.
I’ve moved on And there’s no turning round I’ve moved on You can barely hear the sound Of my hooves in the distance As my horse gallops away I’ve moved on And there’s no turning back I’ve moved on You can barely see the tracks As if I wasn’t here As if I never loved you You can believe that if you want Not sure what the future looks like But it doesn’t look like the past And I may be moving there But I ain’t moving fast I’ve moved on You can hear the oceans roar I’ve moved on Hear them crash upon the shore See the washed up rubbish Find a note in a jar And watch it float on by I’ve moved on
Sit my father between sticks and stones. Sing my mother ‘bout the dirt and the bones. Climb my brother down from the treetops. I’ll be in the well, within the pond, under the sky. Oh how far am I she flies. Oh how far am I she flies. Give us the mountain. Hold it open. Be my bridle. Take off by your choice. Walk four steps ahead. Call back your name instead. And sometimes. The sun sets. And I’m so blessed to be found on the side of her. I’ll be in the well, within the pond, under the sky.
Baby’s got the blues, baby’s got the rhythm, baby got the beat, baby got the rattle, baby I love you, but baby got the attitude, baby, baby, baby, baby bye-bye. Baby’s cute, baby’s funny, baby’s always crying; baby’s messy, baby’s angry at his shadow, baby’s always singing the blues. Baby’s got the blues… Baby, baby, pollution, baby, donuts, attitude, baby, baby, baby, baby bye-bye. Baby goes to school, fights baby pollution; baby does good things so that nobody dies. Baby fights crime in the streets with cops, baby hangs out at the donut shop. Baby’s got the blues…
In the canyon I never knew my mother like I knew you. And I never left the ground the way those ravens fall as if they flew. I’ll visit your well, and you will show but don’t tell. Oh, our feet go deeper, in the ground where mother keeps her, in the steps we take to reach her in the canyon. And take mother down, bless her hands with water plants; rain fall down, clear the way to higher ground.


released December 18, 2015

Produced by David Bashwiner

David Bashwiner—vocals, guitars
Christy Cook—vocals, guitar, ukulele, hula horn, saw
Stef Graner—vocals, banjo, accordion, mandolin, charango
Samuel Sullivan—harmonica
Brandon Baca—guitar, ukulele
Paul Hunton—bass
Matthew Tobias—drums and percussion
Matt Breuer—trombone
Jordan Fredrick—trumpet
Orlando Madrid—alto saxophone
Donna Bacon—violin
Ryan Downs—violin
Caitlyn Fukai—viola
Mario Bastea-Forte—cello
Jon McMillan—bass (on IDWGHBYA).

All string and horn arrangements by David Bashwiner (except “Baby’s Got the Blues,” arr. by Matt Breuer).

“It’s Crazy” and “Baby’s Got the Blues” co-written with artists from the Exploratory Arts Program at VSA Albuquerque.

Recorded at Empty House Studio with Matthew Tobias. Mixed by Matthew Tobias (except for “Under the Sky,” mixed by David Bashwiner). Mastered by Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering.

Booklet layout by David Bashwiner and Christy Cook. Photos by Kate Burn Photography.

Cactus Tractor is a proud member of the Humbird label.

© Cactus Tractor 2015. All rights reserved.


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Cactus Tractor Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cactus Tractor is a seven-to-ten-person Bohemian Pop Folk Disco (beau-pop-faux-disc) band based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with three songwriters, toothsome harmonies, and a multitude of fun stringed and unstrung instruments.

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