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God's Footstool

by Kyp Harness

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1.
GOD’S FOOTSTOOL It’s an open and shut case, it’s a lowdown dirty deal With an airtight lock and a foolproof seal You come in on your head, shrivelled-up and red Go out on your back in a cemetery sack See the angels sing, hear the sirens ring See the serpent in the shelter of a tree, slithering You go back to try the door that you came in before But all you do is find that it ain’t there anymore And you know you might be very big, it’s true But there’s always something in this world that’s bigger than you And the world ain’t nothing more than God’s footstool Prisoners and pensioners, businessmen, gurus Monkey, horses, polar bears and kangaroos All boilin’ in a pot with an iron lid on top Waitin’ in the dark for the other shoe to drop You’ll never understand the hand that orchestrates the dawn Nor what lurks behind the curtain the sky is painted on The only thing you know is that there’s nothing you can know Still you’re determined just to push it all as far as it can go And you know you might be very big, it’s true But there’s always something in this world that’s bigger than you And the world ain’t nothing more than God’s footstool Churnin’ and a-whirlin’, you’ve been burnin’ with a yearnin’ to be learnin’ why it all keeps turnin’ Round and round, round and round, round and round Collisions and catastrophes, bones and accidents Flesh and blood tragedies fillin’ up your pants You go crawl beneath the moon, the ivory moon But you’re always too late, or always too soon You go down to the crossroads where there’s no sanctuary Where the wind won’t lay down and the dead don’t stay buried You search through your pockets and sift through your sleep For the voice that is yours, but never to keep And you know you may be very big, it’s true But there’s always something in this world that’s bigger than you And the world ain’t nothing more than God’s footstool Churnin’ and a-whirlin’, you been burnin’ with the yearnin’ to be learnin’ why it all keeps turnin’ Round and round, round and round, round and round.
2.
WON’T BE LONG NOW The councilman and the local priest were Havin’ dinner with a big entrepreneur Speakin’ in voices loud as money: “Can I have a little more sugar, honey?” Joyfully discussing all the deals they’d make When the priest choked on a piece of steak As he fell to the floor he was heard to hiss: “Lord God, don’t I deserve a better death than this?” Rome burned down while Nero fiddled The stars up above were non-commital Everybody else was out collectin’ debts Went home and got fried to death in their beds Now they’re sellin’ tickets, empires collapsin’ It’s the end of the line, democracy’s last gasp, it’s Like an accident on the highway Don’t wanna stare but you can’t look away “And it won’t be long now,” said Black Elk to Geronimo “It’s been a long, lonely road, but it won’t be long It won’t be long now, no.” A media conglomerate man named Tim With a network of slaves workin’ underneath him Sat up in his office late one night Where the money is green and everybody is white Sayin’ “People, people, people can ya help me on this We need an image that’ll hit’em in the face like a fist We got the riot footage, got the cannibal case Got the blind woman cryin’ at her daughter’s grave We wanna work’em in a rage and keep them in cages Livin’ in fear every minute of the day” When in through the door came the answer to his dreams A charismatic candidate named Dean Sayin’ “What this country needs is a mind like mine Cut away the deadwood, see the bottom line!” Talkin’ ‘bout a world where everybody’s free Sounded more like Germany in 1933. “But it won’t be long now,” said Black Elk to Geronimo “It’s been a long, hard, lonely road, but it won’t be long It won’t be long now, no.” It was on the side of town where no-one hangs around Unless they plan on stayin’ for the rest of their lives Or on leavin’ feet first when the morning comes around Pennies over top of their eyes Still no-one could believe it when the bottom dropped out Till they seen it on the news You know it took a years to build that fire Took a match to light the fuse And the cops all think it’s just one big joke If brains were money they’d all be broke Sayin’ “Let’em fight it out, they don’t need our help Give’em enough time and they’ll exterminate themselves” While another well-known patriot Says “You know, I ain’t no racist, but – ” Bombs and explosions, governmental slaves Tatooing numbers on newly born babies As the whip came down, and the screams filled the night And the ship foundered once, then sank out of sight “And it won’t be long now,” said Black Elk to Geronimo “It’s been a long, hard, lonely road, but it won’t be long It won’t be long now, no.”
3.
(TAKE ME TO THE ) LIMIT OF LOVE I wanna live love, right to the limit If you can take it I can give it, honey, I don’t care You gotta give love if you wanna live it Take me to the limit of love I wanna know ya, oh I wanna show ya What I’m gonna do when the lights go out I’m gonna touch ya, just enough to Take you to the limit of love I don’t know why everybody’s cryin’ When heaven’s right within our reach No, b-b-b-baby baby I ain’t lyin’ I wanna thrill ya, I wanna fill ya With the ever-lovin’ fury from the other side I’m gonna hold ya, in my arm enfold ya Take you to the limit of love Well I tried and I tried till I could not try any harder Makin’ love’s so much more fine if you have a partner I wanna feel love, oh I want a real love Not the kind of junk that you get for free Don’t wanna miss it, wanna feel it every minute Take me to the limit of love
4.
THUMBELINA FAREWELL Farewell Thumbelina, your dream has come at last It was all you ever wanted, now it’s all you’ll ever have Many loved your beauty, many loved your grace I loved you for the courage that you showed in a lonely place And the longing that was yours to bear You bore it oh so well Farewell Thumbelina, Thumbelina farewell. Farewell Thumbelina, standing half-undressed Beneath the yellow circus spotlight, before the hungry audience You were surrounded by shadows, each one battling for control You fed upon their dark promises they fed upon your soul; And you loved them like you’d love a lover And they loved you like they love something they sell Farewell Thumbelina, Thumbelina farewell. Now the circus is deserted where once you thrilled the crowds They’ve packed away the tents, there is no audience the spotlight’s been turned out Many say you were a hero, many say you were a victim of fame Nobody wants to see that you were just another one on the losin’ end of a losin’ game As for me, I’ll do my best to keep your secret well Farewell Thumbelina, Thumbelina farewell
5.
BRUNSWICK AVENUE BLUES Everybody wants to be a big star Everybody thinks they’re gonna go far Just a pretty face and a guitar is all you need to score Everybody wants to be a big name Everybody knows the game’s insane Still they go ahead and play it anyway but no-one knows what for Everybody’s talkin’ about Jesus Everybody’s tryin’ to feed their egos With their Bankamericards and their Visas and a bucket full of fruit Everybody’s searchin’ for the garden Everybody’s waitin” to be pardoned With a suitcase full of the blues and a hard-on in a blue seersucker suit Everybody’s lookin’ for protection Everybody needs some direction Everybody believes they’re next in line for the big time Everybody wants to be the big man Everybody’s tryin’ to get sun-tanned Listenin’ to their own fan club screamin’ in their ears Everybody wants to get a medal For bein’ such a clever little fellow Everybody wants a Lincoln Continental with the trunk full of cold beers Everybody’s tryin’ to get to heaven With a holy bible and a nuclear weapon Shoved down their pants with the president”s blessing lubricated with a bottle of tears Everybody’s lookin’ for connections Everybody needs some direction Everybody believes they’re next in line for the big time Now everybody’s thinkin’ ‘bout money Still everybody still goes to bed hungry Everybody says they think that’s funny but no-one’s laughin’ much Everybody’s lookin for another Way to get some bread and butter Everybody’s lookin’ for their mother or an inexpensive crutch Everybody’s always in a hurry Like they’re runnin’ in the Kentucky Derby Everybody’s nervous as a turkey on Thanksgiving day Everybody knows their days are numbered Still nobody even stops to wonder Till they’re buried six feet under in a silk upholstered crate Everybody lookin’ for protection Everybody needs some direction Everybody believes they’re next in line for the big time
6.
(DON’T FORGET THE) COMPLICATED CHILD Don’t forget the complicated child Don’t forget the complicated child She sits so still inside somewhere that you might forget she’s there Don’t forget the complicated child Pay tribute in your breathin’ everyday Pay tribute in your breathing everyday She don’t ask for much no not for much, just for your touch Don’t forget the complicated child Oh have you ever seen the sun shine so bright? Everything’s in transit to a place beyond our sight Fallin’ and arising, immaculately guided Everything has been provided for a life of luxury But don’t forget the complicated child Don’t forget the complicated child You may not see the sense of it but everything depends on it Don’t forget the complicated child Midnight on the mountain, there’s a man upon a throne He’s rulin’ with an iron fist, his heart is made of stone Everyone’s preparing for the great unveiling As those mighty ships so sailing through the green hypnotic sea But don’t forget the complicated child Don’t forget the complicated child She sits so still inside somewhere that you might forget she’s there Don’t forget the complicated child
7.
Butcher Shop 03:31
BUTCHER SHOP You been completely disconnected you been lost amongst the throng You been hearin’ it and tellin’ it and sellin’ it for a song Everytime you’ve been alone you’ve been wishin’you were with them Everytime that you’ve been with them you’ve been wishin’ you were alone But mostly you’ve been wishin’ that you were a stone a-sleepin’ at the bottom of the ocean And after awhile, it gets hard to tell the difference between yourself And that book upon the shelf or that guy out in the street Or some bloody hunk of meat hangin’ in the window of a butcher shop You’ve been hangin’ in the window of a butcher shop You spend your days in schemin’ payin’ off your demons But you know they’ll never leave ya don’t make no mistake about it You know you got a mind because you’re always tryin’ to blind it Half the time you’re thinkin’ you’d be better off without it And mostly you’re just lookin’ for a hole to disappear in Some quivering mindless mass of flesh for you to throw your fear in You’re at the wheel, Boy Wonder, but you’re not sure how to steer it So mostly you’re just lookin’ for a hole to disappear in And after awhile it gets hard to tell the difference between yourself And that book upon the shelf or some guy out in the street Or some bloody hunk of meat hangin’ in the the window of a butcher shop You been hangin’ in the window of a butcher shop So you go dress up in your suit but you’d just rather grow some roots And hang around inside the forest till someone comes along and cuts ya You know you got a heart ‘cause you’re always trying to outsmart it It might as well be made of wood for all the good it does ya And mostly you’re just lookin’ for a mirror to see yourself in Your love is blind but your hate has got the memory of an elephant You heard the Sermon on the Mount but you failed to see the relevance So mostly you’re just lookin’ for a mirror to see yourself in And after awhile it gets hard to tell the difference between yourself and that book upon yourself Or some guy out in the street or some bloody hunk of meat Hangin’ in the window of a butcher shop You been hangin’ You been hangin’ You been hangin’ in the window of a butcher shop
8.
DREAMS FOR SALE Tangled up in limbo, sendin’ messages of distress Drop it in the bottle, throw it in the water, Special D. to my address And this time I won’t lie to you and say that I did my best As the wind song still calls your name Down in Paralytic City everybody’s someone’s guest In dark hotels blinded by the light of too much hope or hopelessness They’re makin’ love to memories they curse, then finally bless As the wind song still calls your name ‘Dreams for Sale’ says the sign on the window ‘Body for Hire’ reads the words on the road To the church where the parking lot sign says ‘No Free Parking at Any Time’ “We come from different worlds,” she said, “our paths will never meet We can accept this and move on, or stay and prepare for our defeat But it won’t be the flames that win this time – no, something more fatal and discreet” As the wind song still calls your name ‘Dreams for Sale’ says the sign on the window ‘Body for Hire’ reads the words on the road To the church where the parking lot sign says ‘No Free Parking at Any Time’ Now they search for explanations like they once sought for the Grail But you know they’ll never turn around to face the mirror until all else has failed Till then we’ll just have to contain ourselves while the lumberjacks prevail And the wind song still calls your name Oh I’m sorry darling if I seem to clip the wings Of the plans that we’d agreed upon and the good you’d hoped they’d bring It’s just a sentimental love I have for all these broken things But the wind song still calls your name And the wind song still calls your name
9.
POT FULL O’MONEY There once was a man and he lived all alone Because he believed that he suffered from the greatest pain ever known Anytime anyone would come and try to lend a helping hand He’d always say “Don’t bother, you could never understand” There once was a woman and her name was Sue Who had all the time in the world and nothing in particular to do So she joined forces with a guy named Dan And from that time onward neither one of them was ever seen again Oh my darlin’! Oh my honey! I’m gonna get you a pot full o’ money Oh my sweet thing! Oh my plaything! You mean everything to me There once was a man who believed he could speak with the dead Through a mechanical apparatus which was attached to his head He took what they told him and he made it known far and wide And never once suspected that they only told him lies; There once was a guy and his name was Jim Who always wondered why the joke always had to be on him Till he met a very wise man said one day who said: “You know, it wouldn’t hurt If every once in a while, Jim, you changed your shirt” Oh my darlin’! Oh my honey! I’m gonna get you a pot full o’ money Oh my sweet thing! Oh my plaything! You mean everything to me There one was a boy and his name was Yawn Who spent his time tryin’ to figure out what the hell was goin’ on But everybody that he asked just said “Shut up! Get out of here, kid!” So one day that’s exactly what he did Oh my darlin’! Oh my honey! I’m gonna get you a pot full o’money Oh my sweet thing! Oh my plaything! You mean everything to me
10.
Allison 03:25
ALLISON I’ve never been one to philosophize I just take it as it comes or let it go by A new world is born for each old one that dies and the weathervane rotates on the chapel By the mad ruthless hunters the meek are pursued But it’s not need nor not hunger that’s pullin’ me through Just the way that the sky takes its colours from you and the way the sun feeds on your shadows Allison, I love the way that you move out of time with this world Allison, and how you keep hangin’ on the way you keep hangin’ on From a prevous lifetime I was out on parole Sent to a strange kingdom to gain back my soul Where the angels get caught in nets cast by the trolls who stand on the top of the mountains; I saw you alone in a gathering of men Each one of them wanted to be more than your friend They all looked to you, but you looked beyond them and I knew then and there that I’d found it Allison, I love the way that you move out of time with this world Allison, and how you keep hangin’ on the way you keep hangin’ on Now the sun’s comin’ up and I’m on my way To where I hear your voice callin’ from far ’cross the waves Each moment’s in flames, every movement’s engraved on the eyes of the unseen observer And the true faithful heart that you sought on your quest Did I happen to mention I found it last? It’s yours for the taking, you don’t have to ask just tell me where you want it delivered Allison, I love the way that you move out of time with this world Allison, and how you keep hangin’ on the way you keep hangin’ on
11.
LITTLE DOGGIE Little doggie on the street Smiles at everyone he meets With his furry coat of white and brown With his “Woof woof woof!” and his “Bow wow wow!” Little doggie on a bright summer day Playin’ with somethin’ someone else threw away Sniffin’ through the garbage pail With his big long nose and his little short tail Little doggie runnin’ around Lookin’ for the kids at night in the ol’ playground Scratchin’ and a-sniffin’, barkin’ at the clouds Runnin’ down the pavement with his tongue hangin’ out Little doggie, ooh-ooh Little doggie, ooh-ooh; Little doggie sleepin’ in the sand Don’t need no job for to pay his rent ’Cause he’s got no pockets for to put money in He eats his food then he wonders where it went Little doggie, ooh-ooh Little doggie, ooh-ooh Little doggie, look my way I’m so happy I ran into you today You reminded me of something I forgot Little doggie, thanks a lot Little doggie, ooh-ooh Little doggie, ooh-ooh
12.
HOPE I DON’T HAVE TO TELL YA There’s a madman in the castle there’s poison in the well You need a glove to touch your love and a drug to calm yourself Somebody repossessed your future when you were sleepin’ in your chair You can laugh or cry or paint a sign but things’ll never be the way they were It’s all been confiscated it’s all been bought and sold Is there nothing we can do but sit around and watch it all unfold? And I hope I don’t have to tell ya I hope I don’t have to tell ya I hope I don’t have to tell ya What’s goin’ on; Everybody knows it’s a democracy everybody knows they got a voice Everybody’s free to be exploited by the tyrant of their choice Mightier is the pen than the sword mightier still is the buck A hundred thousand dollars a year does amazing things for your luck Well it’s one step closer to chaos my country right or wrong Where everybody’s equal if they stay where they belong And I hope I don’t have to tell ya I hope I don’t have to tell ya I hope I don’t have to tell ya What’s goin’ on It’s either you or me now it’s either them or us It’s already been decided it’s already been discussed There ain’t no good or bad guys just subtle shades of grey Nothing is disgraceful if it’s the business of the day But somewhere there’s a sky that’s crumblin’ somewhere the roof is cavin’ in Somewhere there’s a door that’s closin’ that’s never gonna open up again And I hope I don’t have to tell ya I hope I don’t have to tell ya I hope I don’t have to tell ya What’s goin’ on
13.
SING THE SONG Sing the song that you are born with Sing it long and loud and strong and clear You always used to wonder where you were goin’ But now you know that you are here Here among the broken and the battered Here amongst the lost and the diseased You always wondered what it was that mattered Now you’re wonderin’ when they’ll let you off your knees So sing the song wherever you are layin’ In the ditch or in a brass four poster bed Atop the Taj Mahal with both arms wavin’ Or in Alaska travellin’ on a sled Well there’s not too much goin’ on in the Red Square tonight And there’s not too much goin’ on in Bethlehem There’s not too much goin’ on anywhere tonight Just that the spectacle of life keeps changin’ hands; You always thought that you were such a failure All because you found there was no guarantees You always idolized the sailor You never tried to love the sea So sing the song for all the ones you murdered With good intentions or by accident Sing the song just to tell her that you heard her Even though you still don’t know what it was she meant Now everybody’s so afraid of what they’ve made you In that place where self-awareness is a sin You tried to hide your past but it betrayed you Like a broken bone protruding through your skin So sing the song that you may someday foster That peaceful calm that enables you to smile When they tell you you’re a monster And they treat you like a child And sing the song though both your jaws be broken Sing the song from your wheelchair on the beach Sing the song for the door that never opens For that distant star forever out of reach Now you’re feelin’ so much older, so much poorer And you’re prayin’ for someone to guide your way Like some neo-Nazi mourning for Der Feurher Or some little test tube child on Mother’s Day But you cannot get to heaven on the go-bus And you cannot rebuild Eden on your lawn Because your king got crucified down in Las Vegas And his bones are on display in Washington So sing the song for all the ones who’ve vanished Sing the song for the ones still yet to come Sing the song in Spanish or sign language To be translated by the deaf and dumb Now the militiamen from Hades are invading To destroy the truths that make them seem so small They’re tearing down the temples and replacing All your favourite childhood haunts with shopping malls But still some morbid fascination sends you wanderin’ Back to that dark place where your memories lost their names Where time is not remembered nor forgotten And everything’s unfinished or in flames So sing the song from deep in the heart of nowhere Let it echo through your vault of stainless steel For the crippled Christ who hobbles through your nightmare For the ladybug you crush beneath your heel Now you’ve heard the rumours that all these changing seasons Must someday lead all living things unto their end And yet you find you’re quite content for no good reason Except for the fact that you are quite content So sing the song to serve as a reminder Of what it is to love in vain For you know someday maybe when you’re blinder You’ll be singin’ it again And sing the song because it is forever Sing the song as the morning sun grows dim Sing the song for after all there’s nothing better Sing the song then stop, then start again Sing the song then stop, then start again Then stop, and let the silence start again

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released October 5, 2014

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Kyp Harness Toronto, Ontario

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