Defender

by Bird Of Youth

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04:33
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06:44
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credits

released May 24, 2011

beth wawerna: lead vocals, rhythm electric guitar, electric piano
clinton newman: harmony vocals, lead electric guitar, hammond organ
johnny north: bass on 2 and 4
ray ketchem: drums on 2

brian beattie: upright bass on 8
charles bissell: lead electric guitar on 5
scott brackett: cornet
matthew caws: harmony vocals on 3 and 5
tara chase: violin
bryan devendorf: percussion on 1 and 7, additional drums on 2
lauren gurgiolo: banjo
peter hoffman: bass on 5, 6, 10
sonya kolowrat: backing vocals on 10
travis nelsen: drums on 1,3,5,6,7,8,9,10, percussion
a.c. newman: footstomps! 6
phil palazzolo: sampler, bass on 3, additional electric guitar on 2
patrick pestorius: bass on 1,7,8,9
will sheff: additional harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, casio, additional electric guitar
justin sherburn: accordion 

produced by phil palazzolo and will sheff. 
track 2 produced by ray ketchem, phil palazzolo and will sheff. 
all songs ©2011 beth wawerna, beth metal music (ascap)

recorded by phil palazzolo at seaside lounge and the vivarium, brooklyn, ny; charles burst at seaside lounge, brooklyn, ny; ray ketchem at orange road recording, montclair, nj; and will sheff at crystal snifter studios, brooklyn, ny; additional overdubs recorded by tom beaujour at nuthouse recording, hoboken, nj. 

mixed by phil palazzolo at the carriage house, stamford, ct. 

mastered by drew lavyne at ALL Digital Mastering, NYC.

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Track Name: Right On Red
last night, i fell

ask why and i won't tell

i make no sound

spilled upon such storied ground

this pin-striped man

with his thin light hand

was asking me to dance

i took a breath and i took the chance



a wrong turn, another

someone's thinking of her

this night's not for lovers

it's for slips and others

good friends, questions

the singer not the song

i don't play fair, i just play along



i see better parts of me

but you saw them first, take heed

this leaking pen, this shattered lens

is a sign you've seen the worst in me

the better driver, the bigger fool

you saw more then what the rain
washed off, i knew

what you brought as an afterthought

means our hands can't bear the weight
of a cough



i saw different

lines carved in cement

names on graves and

barn doors and last stands

brothers with no others

to make this life a home

with furrowed brows they spit and moan



too tired to sit we heard a call to arms
up on the highway strip

and through the blinds, they could see,
but it hurt to look

i don't run for trains, i'm too ashamed of
the faces as the doors shut

i'm sad and mad and shook



i see better parts of me

but you saw them first, take heed

these 10-cent actions
are a sign there's nothing left to see

the better driver, the bigger fool

i saw more than what the drinks
washed off, i knew

what you brought as an afterthought

would stain our hands after the rain
had stopped



you say i sleep

but not then, oh don't you see

never tired, a bad liar

i won't take the wheel this night

my map, this path

if you would please cut the lights

what a great summer night
Track Name: When My Wings Hit The Shed
one day soon while the doe-eyed girls swoon

at the floor where your feet sit

i'll throw you a fit

and i'll start throwing stones

and say "my, how you've grown,

i just can't believe it"



turn my face to the crowd

and i'll laugh right out loud

as they spit, yeah, their teeth they just grit

on the sharp bits of sand

that i pulled from the pit

where those cold days lay limp



you can't live with these bones

turn them into a home

rolled off the slim fingers of

a young girl who will roam

so you paint the walls red

and as your face hits the bed

what will you dream of
what will you dream of

my first love



i cannot be this clone you want

nail-biting debutante, screaming
"i want, oh, i want,"

no these words have flown

oh you should have known

you fucking savant



you cannot love these bones

that cannot be alone

rolled off the slim feathers of

this unfeeling dove

so you love that instead

and as her wings hit the shed

what will you dream of?



you're pulling strings, you're pulling stunts

your lips are preening
in the dungeon where

you built the ship that sails

among the tallest tales

between your teeth and wails

over the tines and scales

that bind your feet with nails

you're stuck in time

you can't go back, my love... my love...



and this limp bird can't roam

as your mouth fills with foam

rolled off of your slim, tender tongue

so you swallow the dread and

it fills you with lead

and as the ground holds your head

what will you dream of

your limbs have bled dry

and the days won't be kind

they will be peaceful in time

when you speak your last line
Track Name: The Great Defender
won't you come back to me

take me anywhere and let me see

what it meant and who you are again

after you let the phone fall from your hand
and make no mistake, old friend

you can cheat me, beat me, i'll pretend

all the trysts and quips at my expense

did not cut and grind me
bruise and bind me



these days have tumbled down

now they're nicked and scraped,
they shout out loud

and in these early moments, unsuspecting

i plant my feet but you took my swing away

there's nothing left to see

all my friends are fakes and
there's no good leads

it's just the last man standing in the reeds

unjust rewards, no prisoners freed

and i remember we were kind

but you had something else in mind

i looked back, the screen went black

and i never saw you cry



these prying eyes they flexed

and they heaved and opened up this prize

as i held it close up to my chest

i thought, "is this where big girls go to rest

or rise?" and are we blind or blessed

sailing words across the great divide

and the seasons changed with your confession

i came undone, and you came undressed
and on the shore you breathed a sigh

of hallowed pauses, reasons why

you made no sound,

i stand my ground,  
that was no kind of goodbye



we've worked the room for years

now our guests are tired

some are moved to tears

this never was my style

so let's rest a while

and then reappear

with somebody new



now on my mark get set don't go

will we ever forget

those final blows and those dying throes

and epithets and late-night threats

if i were to stand and say yes

demand that we both dispossess

break me, mend me, great defender

take me, send me, i surrender

can we agree, it's time to say goodbye
Track Name: Sex Blood & Fire
who will star in this love song

the night wind grows tired

who will star in this love song

with sex, blood and fire



will you take this small hand

though it's cold, weak and worn

do you dare strike this cheek

with hot tears it's been torn



who will star in this love song

a bed long since cold

who will star in this love song

with a firm touch to scold



will you look into these eyes

though they're bitten and blind

do you dare brush these lips

with deep lashes they're lined


best laid plans rot in tin cans

so meek and so stale

with long-faded suntans

and rusty old pails

it's yours for the taking

awake and it's shaking

lay claim and this time you won't fail


you will star in this love song

and prove me a liar

you will star in this love song

your kiss hard and dire



you will hold this fine frame

with a rule brave and bold

you will dare lay it down

and taste each breath he stole



like stains on a fine dress

it's time to put down

cast off this sublime mess

instead rip this gown

for once take the long road

this story's been foretold

you fell, but just look what you found

so get down on your knees and

thank each god you see then

look up, love, wrap your head around



you will star in this love song

my hands at your feet

you will star in this love song

the crowd takes their seats



you will take what was lost

and with faith in due time

you will beat a new life

in this tired heart of mine
Track Name: Bombs Away, She Is Here To Stay
bend to thrill

this wasted, tortured will

guards stand down

she will shoot to kill



talk out loud

when the troops, they rally round

love, hold on

you're hurt but you've done no wrong

and when they sound the horns

you know i'm so damn proud



these nights lend a sympathetic ear

some moments walk too soft to hear

the cold floor lends a warm embrace

bombs away

she is here to stay



stop, don't run

though your face is hung

on your knees

no shame
s
peak your pleas

and you can shine your medals

when the morning comes



we all know you didn't come to die

don't play to win, just say you'll try

temptation leaves a sour taste

bring the fight

she will move to strike



i'm calling out loud now,
you answer with goodbye

your throat is so closed and
it's silent and frozen

just open up wide,
in the crosshairs, don't hide, hands up high

take four steps, fall two back, learn to cry



the lions cracked the cage, paw over paw,
they're eyeing low

the hawks can sense your rage,
they know you're raw, they're circling slow



sound the call

she won't hit the wall
Track Name: Stop Staring
you only walk straight when it's dark outside

pretend you gotta catch your ride

on top of you, it's just like jumping a fence

it hurts like hell, this dancing



but if i climb down there's nothing to sell

between the evening and all the church bells

hey man, at least you did it all by yourself

you hang and you bang and you
still got your health



your boy calls, says he needs a friendly ear

but all i want's a beer

and 20 minutes with your hand down there
be hard, be fair, stay near me



you left an old matchbook on my window sill

but it was empty and you've had your fill

i throw it away and i reach for a pill

you're thumbing right through
that old withered show bill



the last word starts right here, you know

it's got nowhere to go

the last song ends, the lights fall low

but we've got nothing to show



and i'll just lie here huddled in my lack
of afterglow, you stole

when you peeled your body off mine
like a sticker on a new wine glass
you got wet
so it'd come off nice and fast



the names were misspelled
but the faces they fell

you act like a sellout, but it's just as well

let's take this road show back to the hotel

turn on a news show
let's feel the ground swell



i take a long, hard heavy sip

and a drag from your last cigarette

and it's almost as stale and limp

as a soft, cold kiss from your lip



the last word starts right here, you know

but it's got nowhere to go

the last song stops, the lights fall low

but we've got nothing to show
Track Name: The Sound Of One Name Dropping
i went out tonight

and met some people i already knew

i touched the wall

and i asked what should i do

you cave, and kill the lights

relive all the fights, learn your moves

then craft some cutting comments
for the evening news



you've run your mouth right down

into the ground and it shows

quit your fakin, you're makin sure

that everybody knows

that boy don't make a sound

as you drag his name through the ground

but your bragging and your baggage, man,
it's so damn loud

y

eah he could've been a father

he's every woman's son

look at all the tricks he taught her

ain't she pretty, ain't this fun

you'd best put on your brave face

cause you're staring down the sun

those aren't weapons,
they're just broken little toys



tonight....



i see comedy in the fact that
we're both winning

hey, you scored, when the seasons changed

and you stepped out of the ring

i see fallacy in the fact that
we're both shilling

but what you're selling comes so cheap



you're lying tangled in the corner

they've gone and placed their bets

and all that lies upon the table

is another cigarette

you see a last ditch move to strike now

it just sounds the same

as all the kids out back
with skateboards makin noise



tonight...

tonight...

i'm gonna give this street
a whole new name



someone played a old song

you were out there playing games

and the choice of conversation

it was looking rather plain

now your bridges are all burning and

you're dancing in the flames

and you'd like to think
you never had a choice



tonight...

tonight...

tonight...

we're gonna let you win at your own game
Track Name: Spearfish
signs with carved warnings fill the spaces
in the hills, surrounding portraits of the past,

and the excuses i played

one day i got angry so i wrote them all down
and filled a notebook
with the pieces of the mess i'd made

spearfish in the spring, it's just like climbing
everything, it's just like rusty silver rings
and black gold shaped like blades

i like liquor too, and i like street names
and tattoo flames, i need people,

i hate pennies, sometimes i can't behave



she left the old book in new york

the pages were bent and words didn't work

and she couldn't argue with that

then she stripped down to the skin

just to see what it felt like to say that she'd sinned

now she's talking in her sleep

and this blank page goes out to you



her name was sasha, yeah, or was it now,
she's not allowed a language with to share
just rooms, cut cold from her mind

this happened and then that, was it paris,
was it painful, was it london,
was it laughing, places bound in exile

walking down the streets,
how all the days just turn to drink
s
and all the spaces seem to shrink
until the morning reclines

this tiny room, it scares her
and it dares her to be lovely

and to tear herself from living,
"ain't it quite like old times?"



i left the old book in new york

the words were a blur and the pages were torn

and i couldn't argue with that

then i slipped down to berlin

just to see what it felt like to say that i'd been

now i'm talking in my sleep

and this blank page goes out to me



60 years later, in the sequel it was safer,
so she said...



what did you tell your friends

did you say you were pretending

did you think you were so wounded

your tail clipped, your ego spoon-fed
by the girl
you thought you'd broken

did you say she was a token

of the lie that got you moping

feeding lines you wrote with your pen

did it cross your mind that maybe

she lied too when she was waking up

to red wine in a hotel cup

and messes she could not clean up

she didn't mean a thing to you

but hey, she never wanted to

don't take the credit you're not due

cause we all knew full well it wasn't true



and i didn't know her, but i saw the pages
where they broke her down

on paper it played out
like stories cut from the vine

in the plane, these words are falling
from mountains, so i grab ahold

and i never, ever want to get off this ride

we both spend too much time putting
out fires, but if we just let them burn,
then maybe, yeah maybe,

we'd have something to keep

today i stood propped up on a wooden fence
over a country years and volumes
in between the places she and i sleep
Track Name: A Boy Well Dressed
there's a cynic in the washroom

dropping hints in the basin

while the mirror plays a 4-star matinee

left her minder in the booth outside

sucking whisky off his child bride

as some waitress is dropping her tray



there's a fire in her eyes tonight

entertaining a redress

but his hand slaps her pie-eyed reverie

before snapping all the buttons on her dress

the barback feigns indifference

a patron's spilling catcalls

and she's listening through concrete walls

for the protests of a single petty witness



there's a girl out there
where a woman should be

keeping still in filthy company

of a boy well-dressed but
dressed up like a man

in her porcelain cell, this immaterial girl

thinks of a soft spring night when she was sure

'til the bare, bald light brought
claws across her skin



behind closed doors the mistress

holds her own hand in a vice grip

just waiting for the next rag doll and sloppy sip

she tells herself, “i've nothing to confess”

marys crack like little misses

night's end isn't gentle kisses

just mending a tattered dress

these are not your ordinary stitches



she smelled of sleep
as the sheets were torn

under this shining man in uniform

closed her eyes and thought,
"he must be asking me to dance"

how do you tell the child that
her lover's a fighter

or worse, she thinks,
as the hostess retires

tell a lover that she's
gonna have to fight



nine birds dance in the driveway

she counts them laying sideways

a metal cot, it touched her face
a thousand different ways

it was then she thought,
one golden shot,
and this i shall replace

with visions of a marching band

the roses will cut up my hand

and this look resting on my face

will fall down over this
broken promise land



these fighting words are craving
new mouths to feed

and as this pen is writing
my blue face will breathe
Track Name: One Hand Able
one more time

one more time before you go

one more time

one more time and then you'll know



i recall

ruby flowers on the wall

i recall

gilded frames all down the hall



you stole the show

sitting pretty, tall and proud

in the front row

as i lingered in a bow



every trace

every note and light and page

lives on your face

as you move to take the stage



nights and hours at this table

pinning seams, you're one hand able

i climb trees, i know
you'll be there watching



i used to walk

all across the parking lot

we used to talk

of a war that you had fought



a blue oak frame

near a window facing east

a box of games

much too young to wait and see



set the brush down on the table

with this scene, you're one hand able

i dream high and
you were right there watching



at the desk you proved a fable

making stitches one hand able

tell me anything at all
i'm waiting



there were cushions on the chair
they sank real low

when you put them there, i had to go

dreams of love, you heard, you did

i didn't think to ask where you once lived



one more time

one more time before you go

one more time

tell me please how will i know



when it's time

if it's time just tell me so

and when it's time

say goodbye before you go