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Todd Washko "gone" Lyrics

SACRAMENTO - for Keith Case

Jesus runs a bar in Sacramento
      smokes a lot of Camels to pass the time
These are difficult days to be a savior
      it's hard when everyone just expects you to shine

He says "they used to call, they used to pray,
      used to ask me what they should do
Now they find that spirit in different ways,
      it don't make them happy, but it gets them through

      And the ground is tired of holding up the sky
      Heaven gave up long ago
      You do your best and I will do my time
      And stick it out here in Sacramento

He says "I see Reverend John preaching on the corner
      throws the gospel like bricks at the passersby
Now I walk the other way when I see him
      it's hard for me these days to look him in the eye

Cause he's right to say my eyes have wandered
      but I don't think I'm the only one
We all want to punch our clocks in heaven
      then slip out the back door and have some fun

      There's a spirit in my pocket, it's a pocket full of change
      Blowing through these houses of cards I've carefully arranged
      The sound of the buildings falling is beautiful and strange
      Because I can't wait to see the new ones rise
Then Jesus stood up just a little straighter
      Said "I feel something, I think it's near
I'm dreaming but my eyes are open
      Awake for the first time in too many years

      The ground is rising up to meet the sky
      Heaven smiles and says hello
      I still got the bread and I got plenty of wine
      And this is still my Sacramento

MOLLY'S AT THE MARKET - French Quarter, 1999

The candles are burning on the table
      And I am dressed to the nines
I told Molly I'll cook the dinner
      If you stop by the market for the wine
Knock on the front door, there Molly stands
      In her ripped blue jeans, yesterday's t-shirt,
No bottle of wine in her hands

Shocked I was, she must think of me as only a friend
      And I needed some time to think
So I thought that I would send

      Molly to the Market again, buy us a bottle of wine
      I don't know what was going through her mind…
      But I'm sure she'll get it right this time

So I thought back to our conversation, didn't think I'd left any room
      For doubt about my intentions,
But you know what happens when you assume

Now I'm playing the situation over and over in my mind
      And the more I think about it,
The less I like what I find

Because you know I think I saw her looking twice at the guy in the grocery store
      Now my feet are pacing a path of worry
Across the living room floor

      Molly's at the market again, buying us a bottle of wine
      But one thing keeps going through my mind
      She's been gone an awful long time

      All these thoughts go swirling around my head
      Give me a silver lining and I'll bet I can find a grey cloud instead

Now I'm hanging up my good suit in the closet, putting on my old blue jeans
      I've been here enough times
To know just what this means

It is hard to pretend I'm happy that I've found yet another friend
      Blowing out the candles on the table
Looks like this is the end

But then a knock at the door, it's Molly, in her best black dress and high-heeled shoes
      A bottle of wine in her hand,
And I must have looked confused

Because she said "my clothes were still at the cleaners
      And they didn't have the wine I wanted at the first store
Now I'm back and I'm ready to eat, so dinner better be
      Ready or I'm walking back out the door

      She's back from the market again
      Light the candles and let them shine
      Dinner's still warm on the table and everything's fine
      And you know, she's got very good taste in wine

IN THE END - Music by Mo Leverett; lyrics by Mo Leverett and Todd Washko

Bring my soul to be martyred
      Sell my every ounce of freedom to the slave
Let my crooked hand put the poor man into the water
      Let the dust of my flesh bring flowers to the grave

      And I know that I'll be somewhere wild and free in the end

Bring your soul to the altar
      See my heart's petition ascend to the throne
Let the poet's pen and the dark sword of the psalter
      Separate the flesh and the sinew from the bone

      And I know that I'll be somewhere wild and free in the end

      I'd sacrifice these arms for a pair of wings
      Leave the details to the devil, I hear he's good at those things

ALL RIGHT - for Brian and Angela

I got half a tank of gas left, still between the lines
      Got one eye on your picture and what I leave behind
Got half of my mind tied behind my back
      That's the half that thinks of you, the half that's losing track

      But we'll be all right…though it's years before we'll sleep
      We'll be all right…I don't make promises I can't keep
      The sky is angry at the wheels of this machine
      That keeps you there and me out here, and the miles stacked between

Stumble into a Waffle House in Montgomery, gust of warm air through the door
      The coffee's awful, but the waitress smiles and gives me a little more
Strength to make it to the next town, and step onstage again
      Tell me how far to the next town, how long till a time when
We'll be all right
            And the lights go up…
My clothes this morning are full of smoke from other people's cigarettes
      My head is full of last night's beer
My arms are empty around the place you should have been
      Tell me how far to the next town, how long till a time when

We'll be all right


I first saw you on the corner of Camp Street
      With the echoes of the second line ringing in my ears
The swirl of the green, purple and gold, chill of Endymion night
      You threw me your name as you disappeared

I was running on flat broke after a string of false deals
      An apologetic face was all Fate could muster
But you turned it around, turned my luck upside down
      Picked my heart up, restored its luster
      Don't' let me down, come run with me in the rain
      There's mud on your gown, but I love you just the same
      Let's leave all these players and their games
      You'll be the morning star when this night's glory fades
      You'll be the queen of hearts to my ace of spades

Don't ask why, don't give it a second thought
My cards are already on the table
I don't ask why, don't give it a second thought
I'm gonna run as long as I am able

Let's go down tonight to the corner of Camp Street
      And catch whatever the masked man will throw
I'm no longer afraid of coming up empty-handed
       My hand is full of yours wherever I go


"You are adequate…on a good day," you say to me
      you got a way of pushing me down
It's in the tone of your voice when you say my name
      In the way you talk about me when I'm not around
      Nobody needs to know
      We don't have to go the places your friends go
      Just look for me in the moonlight by your back door
      Nobody ever needs to know

You slip your fingers into mine when you think that no one's looking
      You know what people might say
You walk a balance of pushing me just hard enough to keep me convenient
      Without pushing me away

      These are the things I tolerate in the name of love
      You know I hate it when you hesitate to kiss me
      But I am tired of walking around on all these eggshells
      You know I don't think that I care if you miss me

      Nobody needs to know
      We never went the places your friends go
      Don't look for me in the moonlight by your back door
      I'm gone…and nobody ever needs to know


I traded pants with a prophet on Magazine Street
      He said "man, I got nothing to hide"
His head was like the shiny pink dome of a cathedral
      With a choir of voices singing inside

He said he was St. Christopher, but I could call him Chris
He stood there at the bus stop with change clenched in his fist
And his clothes fit me about as well as my own skin
Hanging loose off my bones

(he said)       We're all going somewhere
      We're all looking for something new
      Me I'm going somewhere
      It's about all I know how to do

You know his clothes smelled like highways and cigarettes
      And his face looked beaten by time
His words they just chase each other round in circles
      In the back rooms of my mind

He says there's always a bus that's headed someplace else
I just throw my bag up above me on the shelf
And I sit down by the window, lie back and enjoy
What I see on the ride

      As I slept on the bus I dreamed of car crashes and things on fire
      A crooked cross on a church spire
      And when I woke and looked beside me he was gone

Somehow now my skin feels a little better on me
      And I'm all right with being alone
And I'm all right with being a drifter, 'cause it seems like these songs
      Are the only place I could ever call home

And I know I sing too loud, but it makes me feel all right
I know I ain't pretty when you see me in the good light
But I got this feeling someday soon
These pants are gonna fit me just fine

DOROTHY - for Angel

Red goes my face as I hear the word go round
      I've heard the way they use her name
Red goes the sky as another day crumbles down
      Red is the color of pride and shame

      She's got a heart-shaped stain on her sleeve
      Thinks about it more than she would like you to believe
      Used to wear it proud through the laughter and the shame
      What once took the place of that heart-shaped stain

The angel lives up in the attic because she gave up on this place
      Stays drunk till sunset, then she comes out to roam
She has tattoos of sin she covers with a garment of grace
      The vampires are running scared, it's a long way home

      She dances in the wheatfields where the tornadoes play
      I'm out there with my lasso, trying to keep the storms away
      But any fool will tell you, you cannot rope the wind
      As she floated past all she could say was "thanks, you've been a fine friend"

Ruby-red slippers muddy on the front porch
      More weather coming, so says the radio
There's no place like anywhere but here
      This sure as hell ain't Kansas anymore

And all her trains are coming off the rails
      There's tension in the telephone wires
Her hands they always fail as she strains
      Like Sisyphus against all the boulders of desire
Now she's picking up her needle and her thread
      'Cause the ties that used to bind are no longer as strong
Time to gather up the voices in her head,
       Time to sew her heart back in the place where it belongs


There's a long line of people here
      One by one, standing alone
Get out their best clothes, dress up their worst fears
      Dig in their pockets for spare change, buy their tickets home

      Send me a postcard when you get there
      You might as well be on the other side of the moon
      Send me your address so I can write back
      I don't think I'll be that way anytime soon

You kept one jar for pennies, another for lies
      Another for all the hearts you had owned
You threw the words at me like sand in my eyes
      By the time I could open them again, I was alone

      My train is running five minutes too late
      I hit the ground just as she's walking out the gate
      I hit the street just as she's driving away

Met a new friend in the empty train station
      Her name's Solitude, we grow closer each day
First in the line, five minutes too late
      Woman at the ticket window says that's the last train today

PROMISED LAND - words and music by Todd Washko and Jonathan Riggs

She sits in the shadows cast by all those unpaid bills
      Holds onto her strong black coffee to fight the chill

      She's a few drops short of her cup running over
      She don't know how long she can last
      In this land of milk and money
      When honey, it all dries up so fast

Her diploma wasn't quite big enough to hide the cracks in the plaster of the wall
      Sometimes she wonders if it's good for anything at all

      These years go by, outside her door
She hardly notices anymore
      Clinging to the frayed ends of her rope
She could use just a few words of hope

You're a few drops short of your cup running over
But I think maybe you can last
In this land of milk and money
'Cause honey, you know these things will

Pass you by and leave you to find
Strength in your legs to stand, and give it just
One more shot at finding your way
Back home to your promised land


You float in and out of my mind
      But I am tethered to a dream of something more
I tell you I'll be just fine
      I'm not even fooling myself

And I think I'll be halfway to breaking through
      By the time I'm halfway to the bottom of a bottle of wine
To tell the truth, that's why I can't let you in
      Or anybody else

      Tear it open, strip it down
      Smash this half-empty bottle on the ground

      Tell me, tell me what I've got to do
      Tell me, tell me, I'm so in love with you
      Let's leave this tired old scene, find a place to get my cluttered mind clean
      And tell me what I've got to do

On a page covered in coffee stains
      My thoughts run from my fingers
I am all scratch marks and shifted blame
      Good at walking straight on crooked lines

      Do you think that I would be worth one more chance?
      I just need someone to remind me how to do this dance

Dear Elizabeth, it's raining in Nashville
Did you finally find a place to lay your head?
I don't like myself now, don't think I ever will
Maybe I could just be someone else instead


High up in the air, on the twenty-second floor
      You need two keys to get in and out of the door
The nurse keeps them in her pocket, haven't got mine yet
      But if I'm good she'll give them to me soon, I'll bet

      I can see your window from my room
      I can see you combing out your hair
      They say that I may be well soon
      When I am, I'll come and see you there

Each day the same old questions, "tell me are the voices gone"
      I say "no, thank God, 'cause then I'd truly be alone"
It was quiet in my room the day she slammed the door
      But with these people in my head I ain't lonely anymore

      I can see your window from my room
      There's a man I don't think that I know
      I ask them will I be well soon?
      'Cause I think I'm ready to go

He's got a clean white coat and short-cropped hair
      Asks questions, pretends to listen and to care
Scribbles down notes, a smug smile as he leaves
      Me with my short temper and long velcro sleeves

      But I don't think he's noticed the change in my mood
      'Cause today's the day I slipped the powder in his food
      If he weren't sound asleep I'm sure he'd be quite displeased
      How easy it was to duplicate the nurse's keys

      And the velcro on my sleeves is several months old
      I haven't told them yet, but it no longer holds
      Me away from the closet where I keep my ID
      And the white coat and the change of clothes that'll set me free

I'm coming home…leave the light on for me

AGAIN - for Samuel Cooper

Got a letter two days late
      In my mailbox today, it said things are OK
Those letters always seem to come when I've got nowhere to go
      You always seem to know
And it seems like you always say

      I will see you again
      I know right now time is not our friend
      I will see you again
      This is only the beginning, this is not the end

I remember watching in your workshop, my eyes open wide
      As you took pieces of wood and found beautiful things inside
You said you used to play the clarinet
      You were pretty good, I bet, 'cause you were good
At nearly every single thing you tried

Now your workshop stands empty except for these ugly wooden blocks
      And your clarinet is silent because there's no one to make it talk
Your letter's still on my kitchen table
      I would read it again if I was able
But I'm not, 'cause I know that it would only say

      That I will see you again
I walked into your workshop today
      I took out your clarinet to teach myself how to play
I'm not quite sure where all my fingers go
       And it makes some strange noises when I blow, but I know
Someday you can help me learn to make it speak the things I want to say

      When I see you again
      You know time will be our best friend
      When I see you again
      There will be no beginning, not end
      When I see you again