Vandaveer Music
 

Grace & Speed (2007)

All lyrics by Mark Charles Heidinger

01 however many takes it takes.

go swimming in the deep end… find out where your faith begins… you’re waiting for an answer that’s acceptable… but the current sweeps you out to sea, and it keeps you guessing helplessly… you’re praying for a savior who’s exceptional… someone who’ll lift you from your knees, salve your wounds, hand you the keys, and offer you the kingdom of your dreams… but nothing’s ever as it seems… you find yourself farther downstream, alone, save for the echoes of your screams… honey, fairy tales are prone to tease… // candles burn, you’re warm and safe… lock your doors, you control your space… curtains drawn, you think that you’re impenetrable… but demons, they don’t live outside, they burrow deep where they can hide… inside a safe, you will still feel vulnerable… you draw a bath and pour some wine, you drink yourself into another time where you feel truly free… but the water’s rising overhead, you wake to find yourself in bed…… you’re gasping for a breath that’s hard to breathe… honey, dreams are rarely what they seem… however many takes it takes… // step outside into the sun… let it dry your eyes and run around… feel the warmth underneath your skin… the clouds will soon move in again, you can’t expect to always win… you’ve got to take it as it comes… the marching bands and beating drums play familiar songs for the alum… we’ve all got scars, but we don’t like to show them… sometimes it’s better to be strong… we’ve all got to be moving on… you’ve got to walk a million miles… honey, go walk them with a smile… however many takes it takes…

02 marianne, you’ve done it now…

marianne, you went and lost your head… outside the gates they found you dead… you’d been cut up, you’d been cut down… your shoulders lost their precious crown… // marianne, you’ve done it now… // marianne, who cut you down to size? who slashed your throat, plucked out your pretty eyes? who drew your blood straight from your heart and spilled your name on the ground with a cursive mark? // marianne, you’ve done it now… they buried marianne six feet under… // marianne, you came upon the scene… you sold your soul for the silver screen… you got them marquee roles, and you sang them marquee hits… but, marianne, you knew the cost… it was a temporary fix… // marianne, you’ve done it now… they buried marianne six feet under… if you listen, now and then, you’ll hear her favorite tune whistling in the wind… // marianne, you aimed for the highest peaks, the brightest streets… gonna be a star with a beautiful voice… you’re such a pretty thing… but, marianne, what good is a corpse if it cannot sing? // marianne, you’ve done it now… they buried marianne six feet under… if you listen, now and then, you’ll hear her favorite tune whistling in the wind…

03 grace & speed.

i want a shoebox big enough to fill with stars… so i can tell my age from any point in space and say with certainty that you’re only as old as you choose… long as you spin you’ve really got nothing to lose… i drew a picture for an architect in bloom… asked if he could build a tower big enough to poke through the atmosphere… so i could climb in record time up to the moon and see the earth from a different point of view… // you came along and asked why the world’s so blue… and all i could offer up were theories i could never prove… when science fails we ask ourselves what good is truth if it’s not true? and still we’re only as blue as we choose… // i’ll pick a planet, and you can choose a star… we’ll plot our points together, we can travel very far… our paths are winding… we can’t rewind, but if we move with grace and speed we can watch it all again from depths we’ve never dreamed… // i wrote a story, and i put it to a tune… and all the words were easy, and the movement, how it moved… it really moved me that it moved you… i saw your tears… we may be aging, but we shouldn’t count in years…

04 the streets is full of creeps.

harold walked the streets nonstop… routine’s the life for an old beat cop… old harold had seen enough by now… he cast his last line from the bow… the streets is full of creeps, he’d say… hard work robs and violence pays… then he slipped into a fit of rage… pulled his piece out from its cage… downtown was full with friday night… the sidewalks packed, the lamplights bright… he fired quickly from his side, and he took the town folk by surprise… the streets is full of creeps, he proclaimed… honor fades, but fame remains… he sprayed ‘em fast… he shot ‘em dead… and he put the last one in his head… he cast his spell, harry cast his fate… he set the stage for a swift debate… all the people damned him straight to hell while coffins marched to funeral bells… // but what they didn’t understand… oh, the demons in that dead old man… he paid his dues, he’d served his time all before his heinous crime… locked up for years, he’d long since died… his heart had stopped, he’d lost all pride… harold walked the streets nonstop… the life sentence for an old beat cop… the streets is full of creeps, he’d say… but if i’m their king why won’t they obey me? he sprayed ‘em fast… he shot ‘em dead… and he put the last one in his head… he cast his spell, and he cast his fate… he won and lost his last debate… the city damned him straight to hell while coffins marched to funeral bells…

05 out past the moat.

got my guns, i got ‘em both… now’s as good a time as any… tell my brothers i love ‘em both… mama told me to say so… one for papa, one for ma… one stuck in the middle of it all… now i’m no outlaw, i’m no saint… just a boy with too many complaints… i’d count my blessings if i could count the days… but i can’t find my fingers through the foggy haze…… i’d keep it simple if i could keep it sane… but i can’t keep my pictures inside their frames… so i storm the sidewalk with a lump in my throat… can’t steer my ship out past the moat… i got my guns, i got ‘em both… now’s as good a time as any…

06 crooked mast.

i take stairs two at a time… you only take one… we both say things i don’t understand… why can’t we just have fun? but the tears come down like a mountain spring… and the cold wind’s blowing and biting… the words don’t match, numbers don’t add up… i’m only good at dividing… // she said, why can’t we stand on the same side? there’s an ocean in between… we want what’s best, we both want the same things… we should play for the same team… but the lightning strikes, and a terrible storm throws us both against the reef… and as the rain comes down i start to drown… i always sink before i speak… // let’s build a boat, and we’ll sail the seas for a month-and-a-half waiting out the disease… we’ll wait out the floods, and we’ll wait out the wrath… we’ll steer our ship with our crooked mast… and when we run aground we’ll hear the sound of a million children singing in the morning… the sun will rise as we step in time… yes, the beat of harmony’s rewarding…

07 different cities.

i live in a different city… i have friends in other cities… i’m not searching for pity so much… no, it’s just that they’re a good bunch… if i could pick them up and set them down, i’d drop them gently in my new town… // washington, dc… home to congressmen and wealthy senators full of hope, full of pride, full of everything i cast aside… if i could pick them up and put them down, i’d send them packing to their hometowns… // i’d call my friends, and throw a party… we’d toast our lives and our good fortunes… we’d sing songs, we’d tell stories… we’d set up camp and start a new country… if i could ring them up and invite them down, we’d talk all night and watch the sun rise… // i live in a different city… i have friends in other cities… i live in different cities… i have friends in so many cities…

08 2nd best.

it’s 4 o’clock, and i’m short on sleep… nothing’s showing on cable tv… the diner food is taking its toll… it ain’t taking its toll for free… 24 hours on my mind… gonna celebrate tonight… my baby will be back in my arms… smack-dab where she belongs… soon after we’ll hit the road… we’ll hit the road, she and me… we’ll talk about the summer and how we spent our time apart… i know the different between love and something second best… // we fit… you’re cute… honey, i don’t want to see you walk away… ‘cause i know the difference between love and something second best… yes, i know the difference between love and something second best…

09 parasites & ghosts.

wealthy is just another word… kingdoms are royally absurd… if you hold your hands up high, and you push all your chips in, sooner or later you will win… beatniks and preachers can be friends… presidents and kings are only men… cast your weapons and your words… toss your toys in a trash bin… you’ll end up just the same in the end… // dungeons and castles are only walls… prisons and palaces will fall… despite the possessions that we boast, we’re all parasites and ghosts… and our planet’s just a temporary host… // funerals give pause to fallen friends… enemies and hearts make warm amends… for a moment you can see how love comes easily when you realize your heart is all you spend…

10 roman candle.

rev your engines, cross your hearts… we’re sailing off to mars… we’re travelers from afar… past castaways on shipwrecked stars, dark and empty bars… we have light years on this cruise… wait half your life for a brand new start… you learned your lines, you earned your part… you gathered up the perfect clues… // you always had a roman candle for a heart… now you’ve got a firm grip on things for a start… i suppose that’s a part of growing old… we’re growing old… // you ricocheted, then you marooned your spaceship on the moon… you left town with a sonic boom… but gravity pulled you back home, down to earth and all alone… you cast vitriol and stones… but soon you mellowed, soon you broke… with a softer voice you spoke of progress beyond reproach… // you always had a roman candle for a heart… now you’ve got a firm grip on things for a start… i suppose that’s a part of growing old…… we’re growing old…