Shame a Politician

by Eric Blowtorch

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about

Recorded straight off the vinyl, mastered by George Horn.
Originally released as Bopaganda! BOP LP 001, August 1990.

credits

released August 1, 1990

Recorded at Cornerstone Studios (engineer: Dave Siebauer),
Art Sound (engineer: Art Sound), the Candy Store (engineer: Brian Wooldridge), & the kitchenette of Farwell & Irving Manor (engineer: EB)

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Eric Blowtorch Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Singer/guitarist/songwriter Eric Blowtorch sings, plays, and writes reggae, ska, rocksteady, soul, rock 'n' roll, funk, Latin, disco, hip-hop, Anglo-Afropop, and jazz songs with rhythm, melody, passion, and original comic timing. E. B. plays solo, in duos and trios with selected stars, and with a trio, Eric Blowtorch and the Inflammables. ... more

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Track Name: How to Turn a Slow Boil into a Quick Burn
Microchips taking us over
Some action is necessary
The kids crave action
and we get it week after week

When will you understand
they did not kill that plant with too much love?
You killed it with too little
When will you understand?

When will you understand, you thick-skulled twit?
When will you understand you cannot love too much?

One day, I swear to G_d,
a better time, the jobs not all run out,
the love not so far away,
and me together

OK, Blowtorch not meant to thrive
Instead a match thrown out into the gutter
Pathetic, alone
How you gonna pay the rent?

You know you shoulda thought about that
on your way out of my good graces
You shoulda thought about that
I guess you screwed up
Track Name: E Pluribus Boyfriend
The shyest side of the shiningest eyes
shone bright like an neon Open sign
Look down at the hands of the doctor
Look up at the hands of the clocktower

This is a story of love never ending
It’s new enemies you’re befriending
The happiest days were spent waking and walking
The happiest nights were spent drinking and talking

You got me through a terrible time
You drew me over and over but you didn’t draw me over
All our friends wondered who those two were
and we wondered too

Train lines and bus lines
Chicago: carried you ‘round the block
Some buy candy and flowers, some stay in bed for hours,
some dance ‘til they drop

When we said goodbye
it was more like a cry
of “I love you”
I loved you

When we shook hands as if just friends,
mother called to make sure and make damn sure you were alone but
we had to stay for one last happy ending
We had to smile and to try not to cry
Promise me you will try and always try

This is a story of love never ending
and, if I die, I was not pretending
Track Name: Cheap Labor
Once, when you wanted out,
men would come after midnight in your home
Change your name and change your name
and, whether you approved or not, it was work

Baby-boiling bombs or the mail tray trip
How deep do you dive, dick, and do you mind a fight, dick?
These concerns are really just a check
to maybe take you on a fortnight, take you on a fortnight

What’s to account for this change of behavior?
Feel this back so badly bent
Do we feel like a little cheap labor?
We could make back that trifle we already spent

Last night I met the man with the cigar
always checking me out across that bar
You know, neon signs, mirrored plaques saying
Commie sympathizers keep out in case of attack

He believes there was no reason for the trouble
or the steward who kept pushing for double
His troubled face was soon replaced
and he was shipped from the city in the middle of the night

Why did I meet the one I said I wouldn’t?
I looked in the icebox while you were asleep

What’s to account for this change of behavior?
Feel this back so badly bent
Do we feel like a little cheap labor?
This month we even might make rent
Track Name: The Fools
The clown was down, he would take you to town
You took each other to heart
The man had a plan if you let him down
He ran drills in private parts

Who’s being fooled and who’s the fool? He’s the latter
and it just doesn’t matter, just doesn’t matter
Who’s the smile? Who is vile? He’s the two you try to reconcile
Forget it, girl, ‘cause it ain’t worth your while

‘Cause he never did nor did he ever know
what time it is, was, or will be
‘Cause he never did nor did he ever know
what time it is, was, or will be
What a time it was, time it was

And then there’s Jabo Starksky – never knew what he had
You would’ve been glad but he drove you mad
The fool – I’d’ve been proud if I’d o’ been allowed,
if I’d a been allowed

Sometimes, when the moon shines onto my covers
and it’s cold in the empty kitchen, I sing,
La la lala la, la la lala la, la la lala lalala la la
La la lala la, la la la

I’d speedwalk 26 miles for one of your smiles
I’m not counting on my guile to guide me
The fools, the fools, the poor stupid fools
I’m ashamed I live in this city
I’m disgusted I feel this pity
Take a look at yourself and see how pretty
Take a look at yourself and see how beautiful you are
Are you ready? You’re lookin’ like a rock ‘n’ roll star
Are you ready? You’re lookin’ pretty ready

Let’s go rocking in Jackson, Elmore James on the mic
Let’s go rocking in Jackson, Sonny Terry on the motorbike
Track Name: Wake Up!
The girl was spent
She was tired of being rent
She couldn’t read your mind
but you kept pushing like a president

She gave you inside and outside
and it stripped her of her pride
She went upstairs, you went downstairs,
and then she cried

You never appreciate freedom ‘til you’re in chains
You never think about the sun until it rains
You never thanked the girl for labor pains
She saved you a lot of discomfort

Someone has to rise to command
You’re familiar with the upper hand
Your best friend you left behind
for new ones unconfined

by charity or morality
You’re endured for now – yeah, for now
Put your best to the test,
walk more rigidly than the rest

Recite the pledge with your chest
out front and burn it into the brains
of the young initiates

You never appreciate freedom ‘til you’re in chains
You never think about the sun until it rains
You never think about from where you came,
from where you got your name
from where you got your name

Some people, some people, some people standing in an awful long line
Some people do their brother and doing fine
Some would drive ‘cause they cannot walk in style
Blowtorch sees ‘em like he calls ‘em: infantile

He couldn’t hide it as such: she was better than a fist
She didn’t like it this much, still she didn’t resist,
wondering all the while, Why, why was I born?
Blundering in style – this style has my scorn

Now maybe you heard of the brother named Lee,
Cutting the film, cutting reality
Early on ’88 come the big, big break
Larry Fishburne said it first: wake up

Too much truth for Saturday night?
Women treated like shit? What’s the matter? They might
fight back – somebody laughed when somebody cried
and I felt that something deep down – it died

Spike’s in the right if the truth be told
Black people catching hell all over the world
and, like he shows you in his previous works,
too many women sticking to egotistical jerks

Come the big revolt you all might remember
black and white men and women got to get it together
No struggle’s too hard, no cause too great
that women can’t input/output – wake up
Track Name: Airport Blues
And you will not be all right
and you will not lead a normal life
Don’t take it personally
It’s in your mind and you can’t kill G_d
Track Name: Remember
You’re older and you’ve seen how sad you can be
and how alone you can be
but, Tracy, now please see,
please run free, jump

Remember you are the chosen
and it doesn’t matter who chooses
What matters is you and only you
Remember, Tracy, remember:
you don’t get any younger

Tracy, you don’t get any younger
Stacy, you can’t go on forever
and it just doesn’t matter whom you do your dancing around
for you will always have love to go around

Remember you are the chosen
and it doesn’t matter who chooses
What matters is you and only you
Remember, Tracy, remember:
you don’t get any younger

But you know I can’t know so I sing
for you have always seen through us all
and now, Tracy, I look at you in awe
Track Name: Defenestrate
You, you authoritate
You stand upon the state
You never tolerate
You’d better abdicate
You, you, you

Lest we defenestrate
because you stand upon the state
and you step on everyone

Hey there, candidate
Hail thee, good and great
Joke about the flaming fate of mankind

Call out the press
Babble like a madman
Threaten first strike
Get out of my sight

Lest I defenestrate
because you stand upon the state
and you step on everyone

Now I’m so glad there is a right-wing party
for our misfits to suck each others thumbs
but we don’t need two, said we don’t need two
I changed my mind: we don’t need one

Sleaze is the word or so you have heard
above the propellers’ propelling
You make the argument for Yankee parliament
strangely compelling

Abdicate
lest we defenestrate
Abdicate lest we defenestrate
Track Name: His Excellency Ska
There he goes, there he goes,
two napkins up his nose
He’s looking for a plate of them Greek gyros
Nobody knows what the rude boy knows

What’s his line? Where his mine? Who’s his future wife?
What’s the story of his life?
I hope his troubles don’t run rife
Still nobody knows what the rude boy knows

His Excellency is here, is here, is here
Forget you ever felt this bad
When you meet him you will be glad

He is a real person and he really cares
If you were imprisoned for those hideous flares
he’d march his straight legs up 30 flights of stares
and hai karate your abductors unaware

He’s heavily conversant with the Harlem Renaissance
He took his trousers off at the Homestead High School dance
He has a clothier who says he hails from southern France
When he says he loves his uncles and his aunts, believe him

His Excellency is here, is here, is here
He is a soothsayer and a seer
When you meet him you will be glad

He has more friends than enemies, he has plenty of these
He is the Titan of Trash and the King of Compassion
He will lend you his surfboard, his records, his car
His light is on, he might be home
Track Name: Keys to Your Heart
They say love can move a mountain
Love's gonna bring down trees
It's on this that I'm counting
Cause for your heart

I found the keys, keys
The keys to your heart heart
Yes, I got them on a chain chain
When the doors come apart, part
and we'll never be the same, same

I used to be a teenage drug-taker
I used to hate the taste of cheese
I was gonna be an undertaker
Until for your heart

I found the keys, keys
The keys to your heart heart
Yes, I got them on a chain chain
When the doors come apart, part
and we'll never be the same, same

They put me up in a court of law,
pleading to the judge and the jury who saw
big blue policeman, little black book
wrote it down but he didn't look

I changed the lock on your heart
and I got the keys
Call that a crime?
[unknown]

Now you know I done cracked the lock
It's no use shaking at the knees
Don't leave the lock unlocked
for your heart

I found the keys, keys
The keys to your heart heart
Yes, I got them on a chain chain
When the doors come apart, part
and we'll never be the same, same
Track Name: Best Wishes
When saddest times befall
and you think to yourself, That’s all
and dearest friend become bitterest foes

think of me
I know how true, how bad, how funny, how sad
Darling, walk between the raindrops

So we think it’s over and done with,
all our energies wasted,
all our ever-tumescent fluids flowing down the drain

It’s so vital, this one pursuit we got
We got it
But we’ve lost it, lost it all for good now

I seen you crying here, I seen you crying there
I want to see you better but no
I swear I’ll write, I’ll call
Goodbye for now, that’s all
It was a shame, you know, that I believed in us
Track Name: Late Night Convenience Store
Lonely
Libidinous
Fishnet – fair game

Night time
Right time
See her in the theater
See her and you

weep for the heroic father you never knew
and weep for the daytime life you lost
and wander through lonely ledgers across your great country

Register, radio
Late night convenience store
Missing someone very far away

Cry, cry for her
Try, try to call her
Try to reach her
Spell in the service should teach you and you

weep for your teenage malcontent
What once was titled Sir is now known as Spent
and wander through deserted drags across your great country

Try to go to sleep tonight,
wishing you knew what was at the back of the minds of
all your dearest friends, not always our friends
Try to go to sleep
Track Name: The Bubble Done Burst
Let’s take a trip in time down a thin yellow line
down Highway 1973
Let’s dive under the big bus shelter built by bloodsucking bats
without doors or seats for you and me

Anger grows, blood flows from the heart to the hand
to the pen to the paper, to the microphone stand
I’m coming ‘round at dawn to make my demand
Where do you stand? Where do you stand?

How is the national health?
How the hell is the national health supposed to be?
I hope you’ve no illusions about greed
It’s a big casino; hope it don’t come in between-o

It might prick the indignation, 700,000 homeless every night
and your government cuts you free at a frozen traffic light
It might fire the imagination: 100,000 children homeless every night

40 million American live with no insurance
The Fortune 500 are testing our endurance
Our unions powerless, workers misrepresented
Direct action by inertia and pride prevented

How long will the 500 stand as the first?
How long until mere water will not slake that thirst?
How long ‘til the poor rise up and pull a Patty Hearst?
The bubble done burst and we’re busted
Track Name: You Can Depend on Me
Though you say we’re through, I’ll always love you
You know you can depend on me
Though someone you’ve met has made you forget,
you know you can count on me

I wish you success, loads of happiness, but I must confess
I’ll be lonely, I’ll be lonely, I’ll be lonely
If you need a friend, I’m yours until the end
You know you can count on me
Track Name: What Now?
So what’ll it be this drought, this famine?
Women would cross themselves and not examine:
Man created God and God created man
A man, a plan, a canal

Will we run laughing to hug each other on Sunday,
On that free green stretch we saw together?
Will you make love to me and will you only see
my face when it hurts and it rains?

The NSC sees you and me and they all must agree
that to be young and so trapped is too bad

What now of our lives? you say
as you clutch me close and swear the whole thing off anyway
and Let’s play our parts better than they
and Let’s close our eyes and let’s hope it away,
close our eyes and wish it away

So what now that we must face that we’re wrong,
our unknown neighbors shrieking high overhead
As we ducked in the ditch you kissed me so hard
Now why, now why was that?

The men in the trees still will kill you and me
for even acting or thinking this way

What now of our lives? you say
as you clutch me close and swear the whole thing off anyway
and Let’s play our parts better than they
and Let’s close our eyes and let’s hope it away,
close our eyes and wish it away

Dead on the field, you were right
Like bananas gone black in the sun you were right
but it was said that you were not right

What now of our lives? you say
as you clutch me close and swear the whole thing off anyway
and Let’s play our parts better than they
and Let’s close our eyes and let’s hope it away,
close our eyes and wish it away
Track Name: That Was the Modern World
He was a teenage Tacitus,
self-made strumaholic
He was a very good dancer
and a legend and a fool
He lived by the rock and rule
in his parents’ house
He was my friend
and that was the modern world

Garages full of speakers
and tightened up strings
We were all artists and love was just
one of those things
Eating like bugs
and walking on springs,
we were 17
and that was the modern world

We sang Take me back to Trenchtown
if you can set me on the freedom track,
stayed up late waiting for the future
We were the future – no future

Futurism failed and we hailed
cabs everywhere for a while,
looking like gangsters
in the white hot Chicago sun
Points of view at the top of your lungs,
hints of health in the drunken weekend
Clean-shaven, sober,
we loved the college girls

Nigel Scott ruled the airwaves
and that was the modern world

Last saw him on the platform
What an afternoon
Passport in his hand
The past could not command him
I was so proud
He blended in with the crowd
The train pulled away and I never saw him again
Take me back to Trenchtown
if you can set me on the freedom track,
stayed up late waiting for the future
We were the future – no future

Blood is thicker than catgut, brother
Friendship never dies
You can hit the market on Saturday morning
and cleanse the crud from your eyes
You can sing the blues, Layton
You can run away alone
but the Sounds from the Street
and Police and Thieves
will always remind you of home
Track Name: There Is Hope
We are the targets of a million shells,
walking through living hells,
but throughout the valley something smells
Something burns and that something is hope

At the vice for 15 years is vicious,
an early retirement not so pernicious,
freedom no slavery, ignorance no strength
but I have to work ‘til I die

But my true love understands
Evenings my breaking back is under loving hands
and she translates the hungry grandchildren’s changing plans
Sometimes I want to die at the end of my rope
but she’s my ears and all she hears is hope

Stop catching hell from the bosses, demand respect
If you can’t catch love in a net, catch wreck
From your finest hour to your last paycheck
you will learn to protect your neck – that’s my hope