Greg MacPherson

First Class
The train had left the station
Traveling south along the Rhine
She came late to our compartment
And I know why…
I don’t know why she’s even back here
But she’s got me all figured out
I watch her eyes in the glass as Köln slips past
She’ll play me like the hand she’s been playing since I landed in Brussels

The dining car smells of money
From America and France
All the liberal minded ladies
And the vulgar games of chance
I hold her hands and she tells me lies
Not just for my money, no for a good time!
I want so much to believe that she’s the one of us with no soul
When of course we both know that it’s me
I left my provincial Canadian home and I’ve spun out of control

Much to see in so little time
And so much more to know
I don’t like the people and I don’t like the wine
But I do like a woman with a mind of her own

We got drunker that night than soldiers
And still she wouldn’t crack
I woke up lying in some gray French field
I had nothing but the clothes on my back
My god that day was sunny
And the truth came beating down
I walked seventeen hours in Italian shoes
And I met her at the station in the neighbouring town
I’m a bored little man with a lot to lose
Someday I’ll face that fact but not right now

Outside Edge
I slept on the outside edge
In stretched out time
As far away from the engine’s pull
As I could possibly climb
I could see so far it hurt
Hurt my god damn eyes
From the curvature of the earth
To the top of the god damn sky

I woke up in a feverish haze
I was soaked right through
The Captain told me later on I was saying
Something about you
The Captain kinda looks like perfect stranger
Kinda looks like me
kinda looks like someone else anyway
Who’s he trying to be?

Lying there with my eyes rolled back
Like a broken man
Maybe I’ve been touched by a higher calling
But who gives a damn?
Hey sister, give me back my hand
Get me something to drink
There’s so much fresh air in here
I can hardly think…

In the past and the overcast
Not a star in sight
I been asleep since we left Grand banks
Probably won’t sleep at all tonight

Smoke Ring
The summer of descending cloud
A long drop down like a tail feather from a great bird
I started out working and sleeping
Sleeping, working… waiting for it to touch down
That month long pendulum swing
Nobody doing anything

Got an idea we’d all go out swimming
Swim into summer sun and clear water
Wade in up past my thighs
And stand there like the rest of the guys
Watching the gray weather
Like a smoke ring around the world

Set out to get myself drunk
Left my troubles at the door
Piled up by the umbrellas
Oily black and no looking back
Big sky overhead
Flying out into space
Oily black and no looking back

I woke up last night thinking about love
Where it came from and how much she feels
I went out and watched the sun rising
Sitting on the steps in my house coat
Thinking about the way she talks
Hoping that the pressure drops

Traveling in Style
So long, I’m gone for a while
Leaving, traveling in style
The sun’s still down for the moment
Suitcase out in the hall
Sounds like a train in the valley
Moving on

Mr. Invitation
I’ve got two friends
They’re my best friends
Take me to the water and hold me down
Mr. Invitation
Ms. Suffocation
Set me on fire and put it out

Nothing right and nothing’s true
There aint a damn thing you can do
Nothing wrong and nothing’s right
Why don’t you come home with me

He doesn’t know me
You don’t know
Why would he let you go with me?
You’re the real thing
You’ve been over sees
All of your O’s still sound like E’s

Nothing right and nothing’s true
There aint a damn thing you can do
Nothing wrong and nothing’s right
Why don’t you come home with me tonight

Backflow
Everybody knows
But we’re too afraid to say it for ourselves

Friday nights rolling through this steel town
Used to be we’d walk slow, halfhearted
Now all I can think to do is run.

My life’s a Friday night in the summer time and I’m dressed all right
I’ve got everywhere to go but I’m drowning in the backflow.

Old man, starting to understand
This is all just another kind of joke
He’s says, “Home I was well known but those years have disappeared”

Broken Dreams
Sometimes it’s good when your concentration’s blown
You won’t see things how you want to
But you might see things how they are
I’m out in the cold, thank god for the cold
It’ll let me calm down
Not a wall built here in a hundred years
Could keep us from coming unwound

Get out from under these broken dreams outside

I moved as slow as I could
But I was never any good at sitting around killing time
A man stands still long enough…
There’s no telling what he’ll find
The trip from knowing nothing to knowing that you’re wrong
Is a very long ride
Sooner or later you show up, break down or take it outside

She was only ever young
With an open conscience
Her whole life ahead of her
Spelled out with the truth written in the stars
We were only ever young
With an open conscience, our whole lives ahead of us
Spelled out with the truth written in the stars

She said not tonight but someday we’ll do it right
We’ll run, concede, hold each other in our sleep
Then crawl alone, slow along the borders of what’s right
We’ll get out from under these broken dreams outside

Big Skies
I just got back again from where I’ve been
It seems like things have changed
It’s not that anything here got better or disappeared
Something just feels strained

Maybe it’s me; you know I’ve lived on nothing
Had a long run on my own
This time last year I thought that I was losing
I guess maybe I was

I missed the dirt and the backwards time
The sound of metal and the big skies
The feeling of knowing and not where you’re going

I just pulled back into town from a long time gone
Nothing here feels at all the same to me
Not the smell of the river or the burning fields
Or the ghost of something old, down all the streets

Maybe I’m just wearing out from all the work I’ve done
Or maybe its just time I settled down
Maybe I finally lost whatever it was that made me run
And maybe there’s a life here in this town


West End

There’s good in the city you just gotta know what you’re looking for
And there’s freedom in the women on the corners and the passing cars
I’ve known you for a long time now but we’re only just friends
We’ve all packed our bags to leave here so many times
But you always came home again
And I say we’re better because we have you

There’s a sunset coming down from the west end of town on a 21
Up your street there’s a party at the big house on the corner and they’ve got music on
The kids are waking up or they’ve been up all day looking for a place to hide
Night falls fast and nothing ever lasts but the suicides
And I’d say we’re better because we have you


Visitor

The city sometimes is a backhanded invitation
It’s all just sitting there waiting for a man knows where it’s at
But if you want in there or anywhere you gotta be ready to pay for it
And there’s nothing that a poor man knows much better than that

I came up from the east coast following a woman that I’d met back home
She was the kind of girl could motivate a man beyond himself
A long year living in a run down basement suite with nothing
I tried looking for work and then I tried looking for someone else.

The way you’re looking at me…
You never know who you’ll turn out to be until you get there

I did a couple years working nights at a warehouse job I hated
I did a couple more serving drinks to people with more money than sense
I ran up quite a bill down at the bank that I probably should have paid
In a city like this it’s a wonder that I even paid my rent

I fell in with the wrong kind of crowd… who knows, maybe I’d been out looking
It’s hard living without when the good life’s laughing right in your face
It sits there with its long legs crossed saying you should
But you know you shouldn’t
If you stand there long enough you’ll do anything for a taste

The way you’re looking at me…
You never know who you’ll turn out to be until you get there
All along some part of me might have been wrong but I never noticed

This one night I made a call to a woman
Got dressed up and went out drinking
Things had gotten out of hand by then and I was in a little over my head
Someone offered me some money and in retrospect I guess I wasn’t thinking
In a city like this it’s a wonder that I didn’t just end up dead

You heard this story all before and my own version’s not much better
An hour in the spot light, an evening in a road, a minute in a line
It’s not where you’re at my friend it’s who you are there that really matters
I’m going back to Nova Scotia just as soon as I serve my time

The way you’re looking at me…
You never know who you’ll turn out to be until you get there
All along some part of me must have been wrong but I never noticed

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