Why the Grownups Shout

by Geoff Sanborn

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released October 15, 2014

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Geoff Sanborn Northampton, Massachusetts

B. 1965, bred in Maine, mystery to himself.

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Track Name: Division Baby
Every once in a while I remember the song I sang you
The first time that I saw you and held you in my arms
It was “Hush little baby don’t say a word, Daddy’s going to buy you a mockingbird”
And I meant it as a promise, and I meant it as a charm

Because I know what can happen between a father and a child
It’s called division, baby, it’s called splitting time,
It’s called “See you Wednesday,” it’s called “Wave goodbye”

Every night and every morn, some to misery are born
And every morn and every night, some are born to sweet delight
And I think you’re the last kind, and I think that I’m the first
But I wouldn’t bet the farm on being right

Because I know what can happen before you hold it in your hands
It’s called division, baby, it’s called change of plans
It’s called later maybe you will understand

And I don’t know what it means when you look at me that way
Are you thinking something? Is it sinking in?
Are you wishing that this had never been?
Track Name: Here Is Your Child
John, John, John, the dinner's on
We're all hunched here waiting, we'll be waiting when you're gone
And come you do and go you do and everyone is dead
Kitchen knives and startled eyes and hammering in your head

And I don't care very much, I don't care very much
Oh my father, here is your child
Oh my father, here is your child
Oh my father, here is your child
Take him from me

Here is a baby, without breath
Here there is a two-year-old boy struggling in his mess
And here the boy is three years old and here the boy is four
And here the room is empty and the stains have been scrubbed off the floor

Stones, stones, stones along the hill
Who is buried under them, well, only God can tell
And it was all so long ago and no one wants to think
Badly of the man who was and is and will be king.
Track Name: Lame Offers
Here comes lame offer number five
How 'bout I drop you at home and do the shopping on my own?
But something outside has got your eye
I might as well just watch the road

Here comes lame offer number nine
Why don’t I get the stuff for teriyaki and pilaf?
But you keep pushing the cart down the aisle
Nothing I could say would be enough

Couldn’t we . . . couldn’t we . . .
Couldn’t we . . . I guess not.
Couldn’t we . . . couldn’t we . . .
Couldn’t we . . . I guess not.

Here comes lame offer number twelve
Why don’t you turn around and let me rub your shoulders down?
But you just rub them by yourself
And stare at the TV show you found

Here comes lame offer twenty one
Why don’t we give it a day or two before we decide what to do?
But you say real slow, “We’re done”—and like I
Hadn’t heard it the first time, “We’re through”
Track Name: Someone's Sister
You hugged me just a little bit longer than you usually do
You smiled and looked in my eyes, and I looked in your eyes and smiled and thought, “Do I want to?”

We can’t have everything that we hope for
We can’t spend our whole lives alone
But I keep waiting for someone’s sister, someone’s sister to be
Drop dead gorgeous, a published poet, who votes the same way as me

If this were a test you would be doing fine, but it’s not a test
Somewhere there’s a button and either it is or it isn’t pressed

I know I can’t have everything that I hope for
I know I can’t spend my whole life alone
But I keep waiting for someone’s sister, someone’s sister to be
A great musician who don’t like shopping and never turns on the TV

I won’t have everything that I hope for
I won’t spend my whole life alone
But I’ll always be waiting for someone’s sister, someone’s sister to be
A real good kisser who likes long car trips and reads herself to sleep
Track Name: Why the Grownups Shout
Well it's not the time to tell the kids
About what the grownups did
But the mother cries and the father screams
And the other man pitches his bottles into the street

Do they think they're all asleep?
Do they think that they can't hear?
Or that they only hear what their minds can hold?
Little pitchers overflow.

But the kids they drink up every drop
Every slap every kiss every curse every time that the clothes come off
And the water is wine is piss is blood
And it chokes them in their sleep and they taste it waking up

Carrying around a book you can't read
A face you can't see, a body you can't feel
And it won't sink in, and it won't come out
And this is why the grownups shout

It won't sink in, and it won't come out
And this is why the grownups shout
Track Name: We Must Be Innocent
Somewhere there's an air traffic controller bringing planes down like they're children that he's calling in for dinner,
And on his way back home he whacks a bird with his headlight, only realizing later that he sped up when he saw her.
In my town a mother is unloading a dishwasher, it's like music every morning to her girl who's back from college.
The noise stops and the daughter lies there not wanting to get up.
She only loves the mother that she doesn't have to deal with.

If we can't be blamed, we must be innocent,
Innocent as children in the snow
Innocent as Christ in those Renaissance pictures
Innocent as the pope.

There's a guy outside the store I go to near my ex-wife's condo--oh no this won't turn into another song about the homeless,
Those bodies beneath stinking blankets that we always walk around and feel maybe for just a second that we have betrayed them,
No I wouldn't be that obvious, I just wanted to say, there was this guy who looked like Kurt Cobain, his hair, his eyes, his cardigan.
I could see that what he wanted was the same thing that I wanted, to change into the body of a boy who can't be blamed.

Stop the war, save the whales, don't let them drill in Alaska.
All of those innocent caribou, all of those innocent protesters.

If we can't be blamed, we must be innocent,
Innocent as children asleep
Innocent as friends at an intervention
Innocent as trees.
Track Name: Do You Know Where Your Child Is?
In the sky over San Jose, hills like charcoal, like camel's hair
Old man beside me, two tubes in his nose, closing his eyes, and he's mumbling a prayer

Do you know where your child is? Do you know where your child is?
I'm wondering what's next, but I'm not wondering hard
The ground's coming up and it's glittering with cars

In a lighted pool with glass on the bottom there's a girl who's too drunk to do anything but smile
She needs a piano player for an audition. Planes with red lights like taxis in the sky.

Do you know where your child is? Do you know where your child is?
No one uses writers here anymore, they got cameras in the walls, people fucking on the floor.

A mangled seal is stinking up the beach, the wind's too high to hear what anyone's saying,
Six guys with baseball bats are trying to get our beer, the radio's in the fire, but it keeps on playing

Do you know where your child is? Do you know where your child is?
One thing leads to another but I don't know how
Orphans breeding orphans, disappearing into crowds
Track Name: Sharp Edge
When the plane goes down, when Mars attacks, when the island blows sky-high, and rain turns into ash
When love grows cold, and you do too, and sleep goes far away, and whiskey silence blooms.

Then I see that what I crave is just a sharp edge somewhere.

It's the German blimp, it's the cameraman, it's the aviator's view, the idiotic plan.
It's Adolph Rupp, it's the middle school, it's the jackbooted United States, stupid, smug, and cruel

That makes me feel that what I crave is just a sharp edge somewhere.

Everytime I say goodbye I'm wondering if it's going to be the last time.
Everytime I start a sentence I'm thinking about how it's going to end.

When our nuclear dreams have all come true, when riches have turned to rags and people kill for food,
We'll know God's in heaven and all's right with the world and we'll gather around and sing as the sky begins to burn.

Because all it means by Judgment Day is just a sharp edge somewhere.
Track Name: D.O.A.
When all my love is gone, when nothing can ignite inside me, you come with your wet matches, and we stand face to face so sick at heart as you strike and you strike and you strike and you strike and you . . .

D.O.A. . . .

It isn't only you, I feel it in the crush of crowds, I feel it inside bars, in my car, in my kitchen, in the shower, at work, in the middle of the night, in the morning hour,

D.O.A. . . .

At night I touch my scars, and do you know the Eastwood movie? he paints the whole town red, and then he rides away and they cut to the grave and the name is his, he is three years dead,

D. O. A. . . . .
Track Name: Mercy Killing
You won't be holding the door for her, you won't be touching her leg
You won't be wondering if she hears a single thing you say
You won't be taking the high road and she won't be finding the low,
And you won't be sleeping beside her anymore

Sooner or later your hatred of being cruel will be cruel
Sooner or later the one you've been shielding will beg you to shoot
God Almighty knows you don't want to be the one
So call it a mercy killing, a mercy killing, and get it done

You won't be kissing her goodbye, you won't be folding her clothes
She won't be talking to you like you are someone who she barely knows
You won't be locked behind your book and she won't be locked on the phone
And you won't be sleeping beside her anymore

Sooner or later your hatred of being cruel will be cruel . . .

You won't be ten years younger, she won't be your bride
And you won't be wondering where your bride went night after night after night
You won't be with her in sickness and you won't be with her poor
And you won't be sleeping beside her anymore

Sooner or later your hatred of being cruel will be cruel . . .
Track Name: Fold It Up
Walk away and don't look back,
Walk away and don't look back,
Make a habit of losing track,
Walk away and don't look back

Give a little push and let it roll,
Give a little push and let it roll,
Start a family and then leave home
Give a little push and let it roll

Fold it up and put it away,
Fold it up and put it away,
The picture of the girl who wishes you would stay
Fold it up and put it away
Track Name: Like Right Now
It's just about the sex, and that's because the sex is making horses twitch inside my mind, there is no time
And talking is like dreaming, and dreaming is like punching, and everything's arriving in disguise, there is no time

Like now, like right now

Every room's a car,, and every floor's a mattress, and everything we do is like a crime, there is no time
And walking is like kissing, and kissing is like drinking, and this is like a psycho valentine, there is no time

Like now, like right now

It's almost like I know you, it's almost like I had you as a neighbor when we both were five, there is no time,
And looking is like touching, and touching is like asking for something you just learned how to provide, there is no time

Like now, like right now
Track Name: This Is My Hand
Come find me out behind the house that I don't live in,
I haven't lived in it for years
I'll wait for you outside your dorm in Ohio,
I'll hold your place till you appear
And I don't think it's an illusion, and I don't dream of total fusion
This is my story, that is your story, listen to what they sound like now

Come lie with me in the bed of my father,
Come to the room where he will die,
I'll lay my head on that place in your belly
Where I can feel your father still alive
And I don't think it's an illusion, and I don't dream of total fusion
This is my father, that is your father, what could they be thinking now?

Come meet me out on the grass in your new dress,
With everyone we know watching from chairs
And underneath the sky that ruins everything beneath it,
Let's say the best things human beings say
And I don't think it's an illusion, and I don't dream of total fusion
This is my hand, that is your hand, look at what they're doing now
Track Name: Like A Song
I was a girl who had nothing but time, and I mean nothing
I went to the city and started to fill up with something

And now there isn't anything in sight that isn't bright with what I'm feeling,
People on the street make me complete and every barroom is a stage
Just lifting up my arms makes me feel like everything is starting over
And it's like a song, it's like a song, it's like a song, it's like a song

I went to work, met a man, had a girl, bought an apartment
I started to hear where the tune would go next, and what the words meant

And now a neighbor from the elevator's coming to my kitchen for some coffee,
Someone's talking to me half asleep in the middle of the night,
Someone's looking at me like she knows me and she needs me and she loves me
And it's like a song, it's like a song, it's like a song, it's like a song

I'm no judge but it sounds like what I heard in Indiana
Underneath the covers, whispering to myself,

"I am gonna be the queen of Rome and the princess of Chicago
I am gonna have the biggest parties that the world has ever seen
I am gonna meet a knight who takes my hand and lifts me up behind him,
And it'll be like a song, it'll be like a song, it'll be like a song, it'll be like a song, it'll be like a song"
Track Name: Didn't You Want My Name?
I was thinking about how to break the news to you
Cherry blossoms pink and green and black
Richmond's bricked up like a Sunday morning
I stripped the blossoms off and brought them back.

Didn't you want my name? . . .

Lonely like a studio in Davis
Lonely like a house up in a tree
Beer and Uncle Tupelo and light like rain
Blossoms in my pocket you can't see.

Didn't you want my name? . . .

You cover it and cover it and cover it with paint
And when it falls to pieces only colors will remain

Didn't you want my name? . . .

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