The Last of the Great Gourmets

by Galen Hartley

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credits

released February 25, 2019

Written, composed and produced by Galen Hartley
Guitar and voice - Galen Hartley
Recorded by Luis Mazzoni
Mixed by Martin Horn
Mastered by Harris Newman, Grey Market Mastering
Original art by Charlie Devier
Graphic design by Rouge

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Track Name: charlie's house
I like the way you build a house. As if around the edges of a prayer, as if you might have been high. All that pastel neon in the miracle of night calls us inside. How did you come to understand a sign? A kindhearted lady or a man with a gun? What wild initiation is still ringing in your mind while you wander in the sun? I’m not selling a myth, I’m only bearing witness to a spark of genius tumbling from the fire of your life.
Track Name: don't stop me now
Don’t let go, don’t stop me now, let the wee hours ride into winter light and impossible pride. Lo and behold! Three seasons of trouble, and all for us. It’s our own little country with anthems and flags and one crazy cop. Did we take too much?

I still feel alive, I still want to stay, that’s the law above all laws today. Coming down a mountain of cocaine, smoking in bed, oh boy. They don’t know, they don’t know the joy.

Break us both. Hang me with my rivals, let me measure a night without you, let the sun come rising, and tell me “no.” I’m afraid but my mother raised me right, and my father did his part, and, I must admit, so did my first wife.

How will we know which burden to bury, which promise to break, by the side of road when we’re too far away? How will we know? I don’t know, I’m loyal to our nest of crumbs. Short sharp breath, my whole body bent to a harvest I never thought would come.
Track Name: the last of the great gourmets
I left a little blood and all my friends behind, but I don’t think I’ll turn around. I brought two bowties, I don’t don’ know why. I been kicked out the bottom of a bucket of grief, been promised ruination, but I’m still sweet. Oh, darling! I’m a good old dog. Let me struggle beside you all day long.

Let us be lovely now, and as long as we want. Let us belong. Why seek relief? I’m honored and ardent and I got a table at the hop to haunt. And if I’m too weak to wink and thus outbid, send me two cheap beers and a plate of chopped squid. Oh, darling! I’m the last of the great gourmets. That don’t mean a thing when you’re away.

It’s a legitimate thrill running up that hill, but those little fish just won’t bite. ‘Cause that’s my job and I do it right.

I woke up jealous, I woke up rich, I dodged a bullet, I was unkind. But I won’t be ruled by whatever you had to do to get on out of that ditch. Let your heart spill static on a pale sky, there’s no kind of shelter and the ink’s run dry. Oh, doctor! There is no cure. It’s a good life, but it sure ain’t pure. It’s a good life, but it sure ain’t pure. Oh, tell me, tell me everything. Let us speak of desire, no, let us sing! Oh, doctor! There is no cure. It’s a good life.
Track Name: rouge
Real, real, our love is real, it’s real to me, so real to me. Sweet, sweet, bittersweet, you treat me so right then set me free. I got a grin like Noah’s dog, down by the river in a wooly fog. I’m no celebrity hot tub devotee, but I’ll come if you call to me.

Russian red and pink grapefruit, don’t mean a thing if it ain’t rouge. Gone, gone, gone again, I can’t quit but I just can’t win. I got rhythm and the will to live. Nobody here’s got more to give. I bend at the elbow, bend at the knee and I’ll come if you call to me. It’s not my diamond, but I can’t resist. I’m a humble motherfucker with a big old dick. Call me hotdog or hambone if you please. Oh, honey, just call to me. ‘Cause Russian red or pink grapefruit, don’t mean a thing if it ain’t rouge.
Track Name: not my monkeys, not my circus
Hand to hand all our money left a trail through a hole in the fence into some kind of jail. Every wrong-eyed guest and broken nest, make a monument of whatever we left and bury it with us. That’s how they work us. Those aren’t my monkeys, that’s not my circus.

Heard a rumor, heard my old mother tongue, heard the police whistle while a lullaby was sung. Mind the empire and patch that tire, everybody knew it would end in a fire. It usually does. It always ends. In the right kind of heat every rule bends.

I can’t help myself, I won’t be turned away. Though I may suffer the laws of your labyrinth and pay the price of each glorious day. I can’t help myself, I’m still a fool, still thinking I can find a way. Suffering the laws of your labyrinth and paying the price of each glorious day.

What did you lose on that hot road of thorns? How much were you given on the day you were born? Godspeed, my little tumbleweed. If this is all that’s left then it’s all that we need. I remember walking away from a dream. It’s never as easy as it might seem.

Find the kids and say some kind of prayer. What difference does it make if you born nowhere? Oh it’s a fine caprice this bread and grease, but I wish we could have all found a little more peace. Go to sleep little baby, go to sleep wicked beasts, go to sleep failed pilgrims and false priests.
Track Name: who says we both have to win?
Promise no peace to your heart and don’t make a deal. Don’t tell another joke or take off your clothes or be held as a witness at his heel. Who says we both have to win? Anyone can just leave. Oh, I wish I could have let you help make a fool out of me.

A wilderness of wandering stars in every love and laughing heart

Always in danger, always a free furious thought. Go on, protected by the charm of your bicycle bell, I’ll just learn to love what I got. Mercy! I saw what I wanted and rolled up my sleeves. As if I could beat the devil to my bride. As if I’d be the same once she had her way with me
Track Name: something sweet on the wind
I saw you in my dream, my comrade making coffee, singing something sweet. I saw you and I woke as a pale day rose, your little tune ringing out like something holy.

You won’t be home for a long time, you won’t be home for a long time. Are you veiled in wind or a foreign sound? Have you gone too far to turn around?

Our friends are getting married. I got myself a new tattoo. And when the sun sets in my city another world rises up around you.

Sometimes I feel it when I close my eyes, sometimes it’s there when I close my eyes. Something sweet on the wind, just a little sign that you’re alright, that fate’s been kind.
Track Name: green and golden
It’s a green and golden day, as simple as the pleasure in our bare feet. It’s your best friend’s birthday so we set the table in the street. And we’re dancing too. Oh, what am I gonna do?

Every time you touch me I just get lost in a little dream. It’s a night of wounded rapture and when everybody leaves each of is the other’s fool. And you fall into my arms and I want to fly away with you. Oh, what am I gonna do?

What a gift, what a strange and sudden gift. A change in the air, a little swagger in our hips. And I do believe in trouble and charmed lives. I want to give you what you want tonight. Whatever you want to do.
Track Name: good dreams
Is it skin on skin, or skin between teeth, sharp teeth? Is is skin stroked by fever or just a square jaw shaved close and clean?

I can't get relief. Can't stop pretending that I don't feel a thing and a doubt is worth defending.

It's as easy as it seems, it's only strange love and good dreams. Oh, gentlemen, of course we'll be sorry and prized and pursued by fanfares and glory.

I'm stuck in a crowd at the top of the stairs. Just fingerprints and shadows and dust in a bright white glare.

I don't know the words. Don't like to wonder if I'll get what I want. You used to have the strength to hold me under.
Track Name: christopher
The son of a pilgrim clown and a patient woman. He is my oldest friend and I want to add something sweet to his fiery legend. His hobo sign is “demons” with “bad debts” rising. He is pony-fresh, persisting in some new myth, and he’s taking himself out dancing.

I don’t know how he survived, but I’m glad. I’m even jealous of his grace as he comes wandering through the ash of old, old sorrow to be sent of in style. As once I was before from those fair and fabled isles.

Our alibis are nonsense, although our love is endless. We jive in a dream with crusts of bread and weird duets. We pass into a darkness. I don’t know every reason for a man to be ruined. I suppose you only need one to make a go of it, and the full moon shines through him.

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