Greg MacPherson


There are sounds when you hear them, makes you believe

Everything’s different now and maybe we should leave

Fighter jets screaming, a scaffolding collapse

Your mama stops breathing, the ice you’re on cracks

I was standing at attention

In the service of the crown

But there was nothing in my heart

When the chips finally came down

Some kinda trouble in a far away land

With strange looking lives led by strange looking men

From the boats out in the channel

To the pictures on the wall

Electric eyes sweep for dissention

But they’ll never get it all

Hanging out on night shift, smoking by the fence

I was watching on closed circuit when the big black cars rolled in

Up stairs there’s a row of clocks hanging in a room

Power grids, GPS, cellophane balloons

I can see it on your face, I can’t trust what you’ll do

You’re telling me it’s them, I know just as much it’s you



Mama sat and waited for a change to come

Helpless to survive her husband and her sons

Winter and the sunset so red and low

Days so short, nowhere for her to go

Like a submarine under the ice

Can’t see anything, just the engine lights

Air so thin, a test there to control yourself

even worse controlled by someone else

Sing to herself, “doo, doo, doo, doo…”


Johnny has a brother who’s 35

Seen the trouble coming all his brother’s life

Boiling up and over such a violent time

Kept the family hostage and terrified

Nothing can explain, it’s just the way it goes

Too hard to contain, too big for all his clothes

Interesting to note that mama waited

While her husband and her sons walked that awful line

Singing, “doo, doo, doo, doo…”


The Country

In the country, they got a sideways stare for your big city hair and your clothes

But it’s pretty l,ike Sofia in the movies with her red lips biting a rose

We’ll fly over the ocean if we get too hemmed in

But I’m already tired of the places we’ve been

I got a taste for the solitude, secrets and sin

In the country things will be good

For a good time, stay home under the birch trees

Laying on the roof with the stars… celestial spheres

Those knuckle-draggers here shoot whitetail deer from their cars

When the snow falls, hard enough to block the roads

We’ll drink cognac and stay warm by the stove

We’ll live here alone, forever in love

In the country things will be good

I’ll go out and chop some wood

You start shovelling, probably somebody should

We’ll ski into town when we run out of bread

Paint the whole place lipstick red

They’ll write songs about the things that we did

In the country things will be good


Summer Haze

That summer time haze it gets in your head

It feels like a stranger and tears at your bed

It takes you to places you never should’ve been

You wake up and see it and you feel it on your skin

She took it and waited and asked for the rest

Was it her used to taking or me used to less?

Just her reflection, even then I knew that  

To see her and want her and get nothing back


A face for the ages in all the right clothes

A week in Morocco with sunsets and gold

That one story that never gets told

Is the one story that never gets old



Born to be victorious

You should see how we’re living

I guess the rich lost that spirit of giving

and all the horrors I’ve seen

I hate to complain but you know what I mean

Hey, someone’s standing out there…

See them gasping for air

Until that face turns blue

All I can think about is you


Born to be victorious

A hundred stabs… still airtight

Another little sister went missing last night

And there’s the colour of your skin…

What kind of trouble are we in?

Yeah, you should see how we’re living

Too many strikes to eat down at the mission


Born to be victorious

After the murder mama never had a chance

See her slumped over the keyboard in a protestant trance

Sleeping in St. John’s confessional

He’ll be dead in a week if they send him back to mexico

And there’s the colour of your skin

So pale in the moonlight

A hundred stabs and still airtight

Born to be victorious



Everybody’s so calm but the plane’s going down

We’re making out in the bathroom ’cause it’s been a long time

I flew down to Singapore to bring you back home

And you look so good in your Singapore clothes

And your strange new accent saying so many things

In your Chinese shoes and your white gold rings


Making out on cab ride, making out on the train

Making out in the airport lounge, and now again on the plane

And everybody’s so calm but I’m burning up

Cause you look like someone famous and I can’t get enough

We’re going down like the truth

Your lips like justice, your hands on the proof

Up over Japan, a technological achievement, and you’re a great looking man


Spring Thaw

The winds of springtime and change bring folly to the whimsical heart
Smashing tall-ships up on faraway shores, breaking old lovers apart
Tormenting people like us
I’m tracing your face with my mouth
Dreaming so deeply of dangerous things we could neither live with or without  
It’s so warm, the river is….
There’s no harm in saying that I want to take you down to the water
Somewhere there’s no people, yeah
Hold you up against a tree in the forest
Do things that we’ll both regret
It’s so warm

We woke up that morning alone on the ground
Our limbs hurt from something we’d done
Some old woman’s face, somebody’s eyes…
My head clouded over and drunk
The ice on the river is breaking and soft
They’re dragging it down at the locks
There’s months of bad luck and malice down there
Frozen in translucent blocks

The ice is breaking up in pieces
Jesus waking up and calling home
New perspective, strange diseases, old dictators overthrown
That outfit that you bought last summer
Too small, too tight to wear
Local people coming out of hiding
Up from the basement everywhere
It’s so warm



The coffin ain’t even closed yet

Your mouth still twitching and smiling

Some of here are dancing depressed

Or sitting in the living room crying

They’re living it up down at the cultural bar

Screaming at the colour TVs

Someone caught the measles or cancer or smallpox

Or some other terrible disease

Brother’s got money, got kids of his own

But your swinging in and out of this life alone

You can pay for a doctor and a royal parade

Numbers come up on their own I’m afraid


Live yourself out of it brother

Take some money, maybe go on a spree

Change your luck now for the better

Nothing here’s at all how it seems

They’re laughing and forgetting themselves down there

Echoing loud off the tiles

Apparently living out in the open never really goes out of style

Sister saved her money from working so hard

She bought a place by the water and then she retired

She got a Cadillac car, yeah she got it made

But numbers, they come up on their own i’m afraid


Black shirt white tie

Silver dollars on our eyes

Purple lights, limousines, traffic stopping on a green

Big Youth, a pair of tens walking with some Russian Prince

Let’s just try to celebrate… dance until this all makes sense


Call Me Up

Call me up sometime

I’ll take you out somewhere the music’s good

Leave your workweek alone, forget about home

Things there, well they ain’t so good

I’ll take you out dancing, I’ll show you things

You know I’ll be a gentleman

Yeah, sometimes


Living with your fears and all the coming years

Who knows who you’re gonna be then

End up on our own or make us all a home

Nothing that really matters in the end

We could be the kind of guy to lose all track of time

Never quite get where we’re going

Life’s easy to lose, be careful what you choose

Try not to pick something boring


I been a liar, set things on fire

You know, it’s hard to be good

I tried to make living, asked to be forgiven

But you do what you can, not what you should

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