by Blackbird Raum

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released October 31, 2008



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Blackbird Raum Santa Cruz, California

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Track Name: Valkyrie Horsewhip Reel
our master's gone, we've stole our master's horses
and stole away, running
if we return, we shall be drawn and quartered
at tyburn cross, hung
the ladies fair who ride the skies above us
will come to swing their whips
to lash the backs of all the painted gentry
who have burned runes black
if I cross the river will you cross the river
or drown in this desert, this empty cup we're drinking from
if we are beasts, are we not beasts of burden
so ride alone, or ride with many others
just ride away as fast as you can
Track Name: California Fetid Adder's Tongue
"I am slain by that traitor knight that rideth invisible" -Sir Thomas Mallory

wake in the morning, the hold of the anchor
the walk of the cunning, the hole in the ship
it's easy to be firemen in a house made of brick
spit the pus from your mouth, you bastards
you ruin my dress when you talk
given a sentence, laid on a plate
shake hands and eat the shit
the acquitted were hard wrung through a dripping cloth
it's good sense, not superstition
so heed that old hag when your mirror is broken
it could be seven long years
laugh like an empty can with a string
seven times you wrap your craven tongue around a torch
swine they wallow, the scuttle there, a paradise of muck
hens they cackle, they love to talk, they love their suffering
Track Name: Rubicon Drawn
"fight on, my men, sir andrew says, a little ime hurt, but yet not slaine; ile but lye down and bleede awhile, and then ile rise and fight again" -Ballad of Sir Andrew Barton

look, there's no survival here
I've been trying to tell you
this is just the lag time, waiting for the other shoe to drop
when do we draw the line
if not when the river's dry?
I'd like to burn off the hat and mustache
of the clown who runs the show
the illusionist and the whisperer,
presiding over cardboard cityscapes
the storm is just a sheet of tin
the grain is eggshelss
this is not music
it's doomy fanfare
it's just bloodless
escape artist
well I'm not one
rubicon drawn
if not when the rivers dry if not when the oceans die
Track Name: Silent Spring
the silent, the severed, the path of raven, the words are dead
one thousand ladies in ribbon all adorned
underneath the sun, underneath the earth
underneath an awful banner
and golden trumpets they're braying like clockwork mules
in a time of plague, in a time of war
the poisoned landscape, defiled by the factory pipe
the sickened land, the sickened sky
cold eyes are spying from the top of the pyramid
the government thug, the government snitch
but I want something much more different
not these factories of prisons
I wish that the earth was green again
I wish I had a gun in my hand
someday I will come back in from the cold
Track Name: Witches
"and I to whom a great vision was given in my youth -- you see me now a pitiful old man, who has done nothing. For the nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer and the sacred tree is dead" -Black Elk

in others' mouths, a scraping of rocks
who walk a rope, run along the ground, into the basket
whither the sky is fatted of ice
come as the earth grows richer of blood
the doe is in season
we pull our teeth out, laying down in easy places
we thicken the air with talk, but cover our eyes up with our hands
they're shooting the wolves from helicopters, can you believe that
out in the wide world, the wildest ones are vanishing quickly
out in the wood, a passing of hours
in the jailhouse of limb, a passing of years, into the casket
I will not crouch, polluted with law
no traitor to witch, not traitor to wolf, judas escariot
now the white wool is twisted round the land
the cowering altar and matricide borne, the stones they are screaming
I could call them men but they are not men, faces like blood rags
yet dressed to the fines, chariots surround us
but it won't be the witches that are burning this time
Track Name: Greymare
sinking like the sickness says, "sickened while the sinking stay"
civilization is a train speeding towards a tunnel
painted on the side of a mountain
I will watch it sink into the earth like an empty suit of armor
I can hear the engines grind like screams of horses in a fire
doing what the master said, at least until the master's dead
I saw them drag her in the street;
the cops on pavement broke her teeth
she was screaming like a horse inside a fire
Track Name: Story from Strawmouth
burn wounds, legless dolls
houses charred and empty
flood lights, uniforms
haul off our families in trucks
what are those hills we see so far
those are the hills of the homes we left
I miss my little sister so, can't we go back and look?
sorry, your sister's gone for good
see that tip of land, she said, that is where me must walk
and there find a passage
out to the sea
I'm so very cold, can we not light a fire?
no we can't light a fire, they'll see, they will come for us
it's a long, it's a long way, coming down the mountain
it's a black, it's a rabbit black, coming down the mountain
Track Name: Woodwose
each colder day, with stones in the kettle to last until may
gathering the damp wood to spark in the rain
when summer's gone she lay with the grey queen
huntsman walks ragged of cloth, ragged of war
in the winter dark, the shatter glass dog, it fell by the side
slower to take, walk with the old ones the edge of the lake
push through the dead leaves and left to decay
Track Name: Shot Coplifting
imI'm amused by your distaste, it's because you're ankle deep in waste
I did not run because I was afraid, I just ran to get away
parasite in a dim light
every day is social war, the rich drink blood while we eat sawdust
and you defend your bullies it's fucking depressing
you kept your master's lies alive, while I was stealing to survive
you're on a treadmill climbing higher, while I'm setting mine on fire
I've come to know the policeman's club
the bastards defend their territory
and you defend your bullies it's fucking depressing
Track Name: Unregistered Firearm//Ravachol in Valhalla//Crom
colors of such that our eyes were burned
and gold boughs from which to hang oneself
we've got reasons like the seasons ringing
we've got weapons without name
mirthless though dressed up in comedy
the screen's glow is hiding the mammon beast
it's cauterized the senses that allowed us real life
the carrot is how we avert our eyes
and in time we're willing to lick and to contrive
spending in digital atmosphere
smiling as we've learned to love the stick
choking back emotions into character armor
the wizened paw of crom is a-hanging off his leg
his ribs are sticking out like a leather birdcage
he's aged so many years in the past few days
oh crom you're such a good dog
ease this pressure, lay down weaker,
gasp and shudder and never stand up again
cannot feel them, cannot feed them, cannot hear them,
as the dogs they bale and whine
I am weak we are all weak, but I'm not as weak as you;
with a dead dog in your arms
with a needle and its tip to suck the life and starve the dog,
the boy is lying on the floor,
raise him colder to the sky
Track Name: A Rat in my Dream
under heel, under yoke, breathe the gas to cough and choke
bleach out the oceans, castrate the wind
sterilize the blood so we die while we live
what we fear is what we pave, so bury the planet in a concrete grave
say your prayers, cast your vote
place the predator's hand around your throat
Track Name: Still Sick (Years After the Draft)
on the catapult you're still alive, the tar rests deeper inside
a gift, a wound that's wrapped and proud
the highlight of your tour
the end came quickly with war
we're left with billions of open sores
limbs gone, infections, addictions, injections
made babies born blind and weak
melting in the sweat of agent orange every day
the hook is horse and threats, now being sentenced to a field
and short were the changes in air
like stacks that are rising through cases of stairs
the lights in the city reflect on the levy
phrased illness you know once again
and the guards were yelling our names
as we pushed their hands away
we're cowards, we're dead if we don't
kill the ones maintaining the waste
Track Name: Honey in the Hair
I fill my mouth up with air, honey in the hair
I fill my life up with time, asleep in the vine, whiskey and wine
who makes the wind blow, I don't care, my eyes roll back in my head
I'm just walking in circles I see the lines in chalk on the ground
one day this will all come down
someday this will all come crashing right down
so go on with your life we will bring you down
Track Name: Coal
the pillars of the world were shaking like the legs of a drunk
hot winds ripped the hats off all the ladies all about town that day
then they caught us ran us ragged beat us bloody put us in a dirty cage
now we're screaming bloody murder we are starving won't see the ocean side again
continents and mountain ranges boats out in the harbor,
rivers clouds and cities all aflame
the sun went out the sky went red the horses our dancing in their skins
the taste of ash and sulfur on our lips
Where is my boy, where is my son. I seem to have lost him in the crowd,
he was holding to my hand just a moment ago
I know he cannot find his way he is so small he is so lean he looks like
a scrap of paper on a branch
I am flesh and you are pale, I am sleeping you are dead,
we're all playing cards as the ship goes down
We're living as if we are not, hanging from a precipice,
shuddering and lurching off the edge
but someday this will all be gone, as fast a match can be struck,
take warning for the veil is very thin
the signs aren't difficult to read: we tread so heavy on the ground
and one day the ground it may give way.
I see you gilded gentlemen, I wish I'd set a torch to you while I still
had the freedom of my legs. I do not trust you with my life,
I do not trust you with my past I do not trust your hands upon the world.
but now I'm sunken in the ground, all my strength to move is gone and
screaming is the last recourse that I have, you've left us with a barren
earth, we know we are the aching land,
a scorching waste with all the life of coal
Track Name: Germinal
see how fast I can run
a window is closed in the cold
race up the stairs with a friend
sit in the hall, stare at a wall
the words that you said by my hospital bed
on my back and bent at my knees
were talked through air were talked through teeth
through a pain in my stomach and blood on my sheets
the one with the cold metal hands
up on a table undone
a tube in my womb all again
the breath and the clothes of a friend
close my eyes, a placenta dies
Track Name: Everyone Up to the Wall
matching shadows with a coward
don't move slowly, dark the tower
the longer that we wait
in the cage in which we wallow
keep the promise singing
without the words that we cant swallow
stopped the car miles from the border
outnumbered from the beginning
mouth full of blood
radiated rust