Never Be Yourself

by Count Zero

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03:55
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03:35
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03:34
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03:27
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04:38
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credits

released May 15, 2011

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Count Zero Boston, Massachusetts

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Track Name: A Cell for Salieri
Nine months afloat in a well.
Never see much past the shell.
Never know heaven from hell.
Got rid of my tail halfway through

Nothing to worry my head
Never’s a word (n)ever said
Never know living from dead
And hopeful that I never do

Safe and sound. I’ll stay right here, hunkered down.
Safe and sound. I’ll stay right here, hunkered down.
Safe and sound. I’ll stay right here, safe inside a cell.

Soon I burst into this place
Chairman of beauty and grace
They shoved it right back in my face
Got sent here to get rid of me

Nurse rings the thirty-year bell
Candles and white clientele
“Back you go into your cell
You’re better when we let you be
safe and sound.
Stay right here and settle down.
Safe and sound. Stay right here and settle down.
Safe and sound. Stay right here. Safe inside a cell.”
Track Name: My Mockingbird
She still gets out
just to see and be seen.
“’swhat life’s about, innit?
Havin fun and livin’ it
up!” She goes towards the mirror,
armed with her best cover-up
and a steely will.

She hears a knock:
“I don’t mean to be mean
but you could use
a little something to make you look more young.”
He shuts the door. Right then, my
mockingbird flies by their windowsill.

My Mockingbird, tell me true:
why don’t anybody sing the blues like you?
Hey, Mockingbird, tell me true:
why don’t anybody sing the blues like you do?

She swipes again
The prim and proper cashier
shakes her head,
“Keeps gettin’ rejected.” So he
grabs his card, says “Never mind!”
And races out the door. The bell chime’s unimpressed.

A pack of smokes.
The prince of paupers lights up.
“Where to now?
What kind of toys can empty pockets buy?”
His head hangs down.
Right then, my
mockingbird flies past, and home to nest.

My Mockingbird, tell me true
why don’t anybody sing the blues like you?
Hey, Mockingbird, tell me true:
why don’t anybody sing the blues like you do?
Track Name: Jeffrey No
Remember Jeffery? He wore that referee shirt every day? We used to tease. But he was no dunce, I hung with him once (we played a few games).
He had a red door with gold locks. It led to his basement. So I asked,
“What you got in your cellar? What you got in your cellar?”

“Why you all wild now? Actin’ all crazy? Jeffery? No!”

I bought a small house a couple blocks from Jeffery’s place.
I’m glad I bought. It’s nice not to pay rent, but I’m a bit spent
(don’t mean to scare you, heh).
But it’s all me. Come down and see! I fixed up the
basement.
And she asked “what you got in your cellar?
what you got in your cellar?”

she transmits
through his dead doll eyes
she transmits

let her be
Jeffery
set her free
Track Name: Cry for Sugar
Last night they done caught me, tryin’ to direct my dreams. I had one where I was writing a book called “Tree Street,” where a man from outer space came and vanished, without a trace. I’d based it on this old unexplained crime involving two good ol’ boys who’d seen this strange dude near their ice cream van. He appears one night on Elm & Oak Street, struttin’ proud, like a hard-up hen ‘cluckin loud in a barred-up pen.
They sauntered up slow, saying, “Stranger? Somethin’ wrong?”

See, ev’ry lick of his lips was just a cry for sugar, and every flick of his wrists meant “My Throat Is Dry!” And ev’ry wink of his eye meant “Heavens help me!”
And in an ice cream van they made our Spaceman cry.

They said “Mister, you don’t come from round here, do ya?”
“Look here, Mister, gonna call you Miss. Understood?”
“Ain’t that you ‘neath the mission bell?”
“Ain’t you cruisin’ the wishing well?”
“Just who do you think you are?”
“You gettin’ scared? Am I sending chills all over your body?”

See, ev’ry lick of his lips was just a cry for sugar, and every flick of his hips meant “Throat Is Dry!” And ev’ry wink of his eye meant “Stars, Come Help Me!”
And in an ice cream van they made our Spaceman cry.
Track Name: Hold Me
I can make you, Tomato,
with my underworld eye
give you forefinger pogo
tell a little lie

you can smile like a billboard
breathe fire when you pout
helps to shine the pointy teeth
in your big mouth

i can buy you libido
tossing rings in my hat
I can kill demon seed
with my laundromat

you can ride the silence
with your libertine scowl
screaming independence
throwing in the towel

baby say you’ll stay
don’t ever run away
just hold me
baby say you will
be mine until
the end of days

forty versions I can choose
never be myself

you can cue a Greek chorus
with the satellites' help
you can hide on islands
never be yourself

baby say you’ll stay
don’t ever run away
just hold me
baby say you will
be mine until
the end of days

the heroine she be doin' the hero in
the hero wins once he be doin’ the harem

baby say you’ll stay
don’t ever run away
just hold me
baby say you will
be mine until
the end of days
Never go away
don’t ever stray
just stay and hold me
never be afraid
my arms were made
for your embrace
Track Name: We'll Get By
Smoke in the sky
It's a word formation
right in the sky
nowhere to hide
Gray plumes
dotting the mountain lines
over and over again
broaching the fault mines
Falling the fall
Failing them all

So many people survive
so many people
what can we do to survive?
We'll get by, by and by
so many people!

Open the door
see the world rotating
up turns around
changes to down
Sand storms
blow in from Al Asad
choking the daydreams
shutting them off
ending them all
Track Name: To Meet the Moon
sitting on a smokestack she rehearses
listening to the echo make it huge
blithely disregarding second verses
swallowed in a sonic centrifuge

all at once the sounds fade
her sleeve is tattering
from a twitching shoulder blade
her arm sprouts a wing

Now she’s flying o’er everything
It’s a mind over matter thing
She’s defying gravity to meet the moon

Pilot points the blips out on the radar
shows them to the junior engineer
wondering what the numbers now displayed are
locks in on the coordinates, and steers near

now they're wondering if they're sane
can't trust a thing they see
she’s afloat beside their plane
in love with levity

yeah she's flying over ...

watch her fly o’er everything
It’s a mind over matter thing
She’s defying gravity to meet the moon
No her heart don’t doubt a thing
it’s a mind over matter thing
Watch her ride through galaxies to meet the moon
Track Name: Radium Eyes
Merry is the man
with money in his hand

with grease between the wheels
and lamps in his latrine

and stacks of fresh towels for his wet hands

counting up all his toys

draining tent fire from the neighbors

sermons from soldier boys

like our young cadet
whose lords require sweat

‘til Spain is on its ass
surrendering Philippines

He‘s stuck in ruts wearing lead pants

buried chest-deep in a Maginot

Wondering when he'll touch flesh again

next chance he gets, he must tell her:
“Oh,
you've got Radium eyes”

He can see his girl
with temporary curls

And a doorbell-fetching maid
pour fêtes a la piscine

but she’s working, changing the bedpans

in cities where none but daughters roam

stretchers fill every cathedral

tarpaulins drip from each broken dome


“You've got Radium eyes”
Day meets night in your eyes

Black turns white in your eyes
Track Name: Slow and Easy
Lying in the lion’s den, so close
Something shakes outside and wakes us both
Your whisper breaks, you sound alarmed
I’ll keep you safe and sound, unharmed
Lay low

Flowers guard our bed with red and gold
The pillows frame your head with red and gold
Our bodies weave a tapestry
we study. And the mystery
unfolds.

Slow and Easy
Woman, we have so much time
and I swear I’ll give you anything
and everything that’s mine
Slow and Easy
Girl, we’ve got the night and more
And I’ll hold you tight until the light
of dawn climbs ‘cross our floor
Slow and Easy

I close my eyes pretending I can’t tell
how deeply you’ve spun me into your spell
The breeze denies the candlelight
We’re blind inside this dark delight-
ful hell
Track Name: Shake
I thought I had you pegged: On the prowl for men who look money. You’d find one, delight his eye. He’d bite, you’d pull the reel in. He’d buy a round of drinks. All your friends would blink in envy.
Instead, you headed straight for me, dragged me gratefully to the floor, and said: “Let’s see you shake!”

Look, I’d believe this if you came here more on your own accord. Not just to win a bet with yourself, or a ring. Not just to seize the tension, or be adored.
See, at 19, to be a wiser boy, I hid beneath the radar’s range. I met sisters who, with hearts destroyed, made all men look like junked John Waynes.
Since no cries of ecstasy have convinced me, I’ve no idea what it’s gonna take to change this mindset I’ve had ever since and can’t seem to shake.

And you replied: “Hell, let’s both un-zip our souls, and run through fields with the goat-hoofed gods, and swim, all star-lit, in lonesome lakes.”
And I said “Right! How long you think the ride there’s gonna take?”

Shake up. Shake down. Shake...somehow.
Track Name: Bright Blue Hole
we finally fell in the bright blue hole today
it was fun now it’s over
in the bright blue hole in the bright blue hole

we see it coming
but we pretend that it’s not there
we all hear the humming

our minds are numbing
scared to step outside
float past the window
in a pitiful disguise

we finally fell in the bright blue hole today
it was fun, now it’s over
in the bright blue hole in the bright blue hole

move over slightly
you’ve invaded my space
the borders between us
have all been erased

we finally fell in the bright blue hole today
in the bright blue hole in the bright blue hole

boy you better get moving
or you might get shot