Vandaveer Music
 

The Wild Mercury (2016)

All lyrics by Mark Charles Heidinger

01 but enough on that for now

we dipped our toes into the water to see if we would sink or swim… I see myself in my little boy, the same wherewithal within… life is such a temporary thing… such a temporary thing… it is absolutely cruel and beautiful…

we chipped off icicles in the winter cold, went spearing in the snow… I caught up with my past when I couldn’t feel my toes… I was just a little boy again… just a little boy again… it was momentary, but man, it was beautiful…

oh, but I’ve got a long way to go… I’ve got volumes and volumes to show you… but enough on that for now… yes, enough on that for now…

we watched the robins and the crows strip our hollies to the bone… all the branches bled red… you could nearly hear them moan… life is such a symbiotic thing… such a symbiotic thing… it is absolutely cruel and beautiful…

I walked my boy through the cemetery taking pictures in the park… passed graves both fresh and old and a plot where “X” had the marked the spot… the next day it was dug… yeah, the next day it was dug… oh, life is young and beautiful… then it’s lonely and cold…

but you’ve got a long way to go… you’ve got volumes and volumes to show me… but enough on that for now… yes, enough on that for now…

honey, you’ve got to run… you’ve got to run… honey, you’ve got to run…

we carved out lanes through the rubble, found our footing in the dark… I’m teaching you, you’re learning me through the jitters and the sparks… I see lightning in your eyes, I hear thunder in your heart… I know it’s temporary, but man, it’s so beautiful…

we’re filling up every hole, and we’re paving every path… we’re tallying the tolls, but I’ve never been that good at math… It’s just a passing phase… we’re all 1’s and 0’s in waves… we are temporary, but man, it’s so beautiful…

honey, you’ve got to run…. you’ve got to run…. honey, you’ve got to run…

02 a little time off ahead

I need a little time off ahead… climbin’ out of these trenches… a hot bath and a home-cooked meal… a little sunlight would do me right… I’ve been striking out, been striking these matches till my hands catch fire and the sulfur burns my eyes… I’ve been on the road a long, long time… long enough to miss the cut, long enough to dull the rush… enough to make Moriarty blush… enough to make friends and lose touch… well, enough is enough… maybe I finally call my bluff…

I gotta get back… god, I need a little backbeat here… I’ve been strumming this old guitar till my fingers bleed… and my skin & nails have stripped away… they skipped town… they made they’re getaway… they hitched a ride with my wounded pride… they were all looking for a similar way to unwind… a little respite from my worn out mind… a little distance from my worn down side… I can’t blame ‘em they were right to be done with so much wrong…

I need a little time off ahead… around the bend… I’ve been straddling the double lines blurry mile after blurry mile… I’ve got a little angel… just standing in the doorway… been away so long I can’t tell if my boy thinks I am just a friend or a friend of mom’s… maybe I just stopped by to mow the lawn? I gotta fix this quick… he’ll be grown before too long… he’ll be asking things… thinking about right and wrong… well, I gotta sober up… I better pony up… I gotta study up… I gotta be strong enough to be wrong…

03 the wild mercury

ancient astronauts downtown at the arcade, running high scores on Asteroids, all the cool kids amazed… whisperin’ in their ears, “a little fat for you to chew… there’s a little bit of we, yes, in each of you…” it’d be a helluva start, were it straight and from the heart… spinning tales like tires on a getaway car… I ride the brakes, you pump the gas… god only knows, but we all can ask… so we ask and we live and we love…

angels and demons all play the same parts… just smokescreens and snake oil… a little balm for the heart… it’s a charming offensive on a well-worn arc… all patina’d and perfected, an olympian art… from Atlantis to Babylon to the City of Light… we’ve been drowned out, been dammed up, we’ve been blitzed by night… we beg for answers… we pray for proof… we fight for fame, and we bleed for the truth… we all fight and we bleed, and we beg and pray… we bleed, we beg and we pray…

the 20th century’s still got a grip on me… I can’t keep up with the wild mercury… a thousand theories on the quickening pace… we’ve all got stories scrawled in the lines on our faces… the opuses we sing, and the hopefulness they bring… ringing out from the highest mount, every soldier has a king… who’s calling the shots? connecting the dots? the canvasses may change, but blood is a constant… who fired first? brought on the curse? was it just a bang, or was it all rehearsed… god only knows where it goes from here…

where do we go from here? when we come to, if we come to… when we come, if we come to… when we come to, where do we go from here?

04 a little worse for the wear

fired from the kiln of an unskilled clan, he came crawling out on all fours… crusted and charred, he didn’t get very far… he stumbled straight from the banding wheel… round and round… such a delicate sound… he turned, but he couldn’t turn things around… he was a little worse for the wear… a little worse for the wear…

his world came to a halt without warning… echoed like shots reporting… he came face to face with the bottom… then he went all to pieces… cracked and wailing… such a terrible sound… he was tired… tired and aimless… or maybe just tired of aiming… we all need a little reanimating every now and then… he was a little worse for the wear… a little worse for the wear…

but eventually he took stock and rebounded… clipped his dead wings… the edges, he rounded… one deep breath and quietly resounded please… please…

no royal horses… no kingdom of men… no miracles of science… no sleight of hand… I will pick up the pieces… I will be whole again… I’ll make good on my promises… I shall make amends… a little worse for the wear… a little worse for the wear…

a little worse for the wear, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… scars I may bear, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… knives in my back, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… blood on my hands, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… poison in my cup, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… ruin in my wake, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… fire in my bones, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… smoke in my eyes, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… pride in my veins, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear… heavy in my heart, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear…

a little worse for the wear… a little worse for the wear, but I’m standing… a little worse for the wear…

05 holding patterns

it feels like autumn in this gray and listless town… and it seems like a hundred years have passed since we made that pact… we were very best of friends… then we stumbled around the bend… holding hands, holding lines, in holding patterns we designed…

it feels like gambling, like going out on a limb… on a high wire… with clipped wings… so dizzy from toeing the line… you hung me out to dry… i lost count recounting all the time times… we were holding hands, holding lines… in holding patterns we designed…

It feels like a footrace… we’re running right out of time… barefoot and bloody… winded and falling behind… we’ve managed many miles… we side-stepped the finish line… holding hands, holding lines… in holding patterns we designed…

06 love is melancholy, but it’s all we’ve got

shutter your eyes, calm the ringing in your ears… steady your breath, honey, lower your spear… we’ve been over this before, we both know we aren’t at war… the battlefield’s bloodless and vacant… still the belfry tolls every hour, on the hour… it’s getting louder… like some ancient and foreboding harbinger of what’s to come…

what’s to come? just another cumbersome argument over something older than the sun… there’s time left on the clock, but our loom’s completely shot… we’re tied up and tangled in knots… the troubled tales that we’ve been weaving with hidden meaning… they’re a bit deceiving… but i’m under no illusion… love is melancholy, but it’s all we’ve got… yeah, love is all we’ve got… it’s all we’ve got… it might be all you need, but it’s all we’ve got… love is all we’ve got…

skip ahead to the last act, study each and every line… look me in the eye and tell me I’m not left behind… we both knew this wasn’t easy, there are ruts in every road… honey, dancing is delicate & demanding… I can’t shake this nagging feeling that we’re both needing a little healing… i’m under no illusion… love is melancholy, but it’s all we’ve got… yeah, love is all we’ve got, it’s all we’ve got… well, it might be all you need, but it’s all we’ve got… on this magnetic rock, it’s all we’ve got… love, oh love is all we’ve got…

07 to be young, to belong

got an old friend… had a little band together back around ’95… it wasn’t that good, but we had a good time… man, we had big, big plans… we’d get going.. we’d get high… oh, we’d write all night long… but I can’t recall a single song… oh, to be young, to belong…

we found a little house out in the burbs… we wrestled with a record or two… we got burned… we got mad… oh, like brothers do… fought like hell, loved like kin… wouldn’t give an inch… but I wouldn’t trade it for a thing… oh, to be young, to belong…

I moved away… we grew apart… like old friends do… I got a new gang, he found a new crew… and the needle, too… he got high, boy, he got high… high on the pale horse… and when he rode, he did ride… to be young, to belong…

I always loved him… and he loved me too… but I couldn’t be a witness to that poisonous ruse… when he played guitar, man, he really bent the rules… I was happy to have him in my heart & tune… to be young, to belong…

he kicked it cold… he kicked like a mule…he kicked with everything to lose… nothing but love and awe in my heart… heavy, and my brother, too… every now and then we’ll get going… it’s all sons and dogs… sons and dogs and way back when… when we were young and we belonged… to be young, to belong…

I’ll always love him… and he loves me too… I wanna bear witness to our stitched up wounds… sometimes when I play guitar, I hear him too… still happy to have him in my heart & tune… to be young, to belong…

08 the final word 

oh, Josephine, when you were queen where did that leave you and me? well, you threw me to the hungry, hungry lions… like Bonaparte, I was bona fide, I knew how to pick a fight… but I could not hold the line when you denied me time after time… you cast a wicked spell on me… you called it love, I called it devilry… you had a lot of nerve… a lot of gall and nerve… you deserve to be first in the line up to the guillotine… to lose your head for my duress…

oh, Caroline, you were mine, but I never made the time… we could have made it, but we never made it happen… honey, tragedies come in reams, scribbled down so we can read and pretend it isn’t we who lay there dying on the page… I cast a wicked spell on you… you called it love, but it was hardly true… I had a lot nerve… a lot of gall and nerve… I deserve to be wrung by the neck, beneath the blade… to lose my head for your duress…

oh, Annabelle, I might as well come clean and dispel all the telltales I told when we were courting… you do the same and we’ll remain lovers in love, not just in name… we can make it if we really make it matter… oh, my love we cast a wicked spell or two… your best for me, I saved my last for you… it takes a lot of nerve… a lot of gall and nerve, oh, to love… to be loved… and let love be the final world… to let love be the final word..

let love be the final word…

09 absolutely over the moon 

you’ve been mine such a long, long time… been my bedrock, my buoy, my muse… I still remember the first time I saw you… I was absolutely over the moon… you had a toothache, a fever, suitors all eager to wrap their proud arms around you… we talked Beatles, The Meters, Steinbeck & Jesus… on and on, till half past two… honey, I knew from the start that arrow in my heart had bled me through & through…

I trained my eyes on a canvas so wide… took me days to walk end to end… and the brushstrokes were grand… they painted foreign lands… in bold and brilliant hues… I could tell right away… I’d been writ into a play… in a language I’d never known… but it came naturally… it was a hit, I could see by the glint in your innocent eyes… I tightened my belt, stepped into the night and fell over the moon for you…

you’ve been honest & faithful, patient & true… me, I’ve been surly and cruel… I’m a drifter, a shapeshifter, only occasionally a mister… mostly just a boy without a clue… I’m a traveling salesman hocking my wares wherever the wind tells me to… but it blisters & it whispers, changes course without warning… honey, what am I to do? I ain’t no pugilist pulling my punches… honey, I don’t aim to fight with you…

remember that time you broke down way down south? me, I was wearing out at home… ain’t no metaphors here, I’m talking plain, I’m talking bluntly… talking about the ache in both of our bones… brittle and sharp, stubborn and stark… honey, I’m going gray… sitting at here at your piano… fumbling over these keys… waiting for you to stumble through that door… I’ll pick you up… you’ll worry for my back… honey, I’m still absolutely over the moon for you…

10 a pretty thin line 

driving home up through Virginia, morning sunlight in my eyes… listening to a little Jason Molina, not long after he died… thinking about my friends back in Carolina… think that’s a state I might wanna try… stayed up too late the last couple of nights… must’ve been that full moon sitting low in the sky… beyond bright… shining white right in my eyes… when the moon’s so full, it’s a pretty thin line ‘tween nightfall and the morning rise…

I’ve been sitting at home for a couple of days now… fidgeting in my bones… don’t ever really wanna leave… don’t wanna stand still… every thought feels overblown… I hear the thunder clapping all around me … the world, it has caught fire… every gear in retrograde, I’m grinding… must be that big sun sitting high up in the sky… beyond bright… shining white right in my eyes… when your heart’s so full it’s a pretty thin line ‘tween burning and being burned alive…

it’s a pretty thin line… a pretty thin line… I think we might be sinking… just a little more time… need a little more time… honey that’s just wishful thinking… it’s a pretty thin line… a pretty thin line… everything we’ve built is breaking… just a little more time… give it a little more time… we’ve weathered more than quaking… it’s a pretty thin line… a pretty thin line… I burned out my eyes stargazing… just a little more time… give it a little more time… for the afterimage fading… it’s a pretty thin line… a pretty thin line… in a downward spiral diving… just a little more time… need a little more time… through ashes we’ll come rising… it’s a pretty thin line… a pretty thin line…