Simple Songs For Dangerous Times

by Number Prophets

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credits

released November 11, 2008

Produced by Mark Erickson and Miles Loretta
Recorded by the genius Eli Crews at New, Improved Recording in Oakland, Calif.
Add'l recording by Miles Loretta, Mark Erickson, Jerome Rossen, David Henning

Mixed by Eli Crews with Miles Loretta and Mark Erickson at N,IR
Mastered by Myles Boisin at Headless Buddha Mastering Lab in Oakland, Calif.

(c) (p) 2008 one bad apple recordings all rights reserved
all songs by Mark Erickson (c) 2008 Wild Asparagus BMI


Mark Erickson: vocals, guitar, piano, electric piano, glockenspiel, synthesizer, bells, organ, megaphone
Miles Loretta: percussion, drums, additional drums, backing vocals
Peter Canton: bass & baritone guitar, beat box, baritone guitar & vibraphone arrangement
Micha Patri: drums & vibraphone
Lisa Redfern: vocals
Nicole Summerwood: vocals
Tom Griesser: baritone saxophone
David Henning: bass guitar
Jerome Rossen: organ, string & horn arrangements


collage art by Mark Erickson
some illustrations courtesy of George Campise
design & layout by Su-Yun Paik/Hand Eye

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Track Name: an american dream
Under American rules you gotta drive to be cool
You gotta keep up with Jones or they will brand you a fool

I need a job to buy a car to drive to work
Getting credit making payments by the first

So I got me a job at the weapons lab
I simulate explosions and the pay isn't half-bad
They say there is no ceiling to how high I can climb
So I'm gonna climb

It's an American dream
They say there is no ceiling so I'm gonna climb

Now it's a tudor on the green an expectorant wife
That I'll refi for a Hummer and a shot at the good life
We'll be living on the cover of a lifestyle magazine
All neat and clean

An American dream
To be living on the cover of a magazine

A highway paved with dollars stretched as far as I can see
My recurring dream

An American dream
A highway paved with dollars far as I can see
Track Name: trash can glitter
Wipe out what's under the sun (shoot a flash bulb picture of the trash can glitter baby)
Wipe off the blood from your gun (wash your hands like Pilate but let me remind you)

You may not live to see the damage done
But you'll be changing your story till the day you're gone
Slow down you'll avoid the wreck
But you know we got rubbernecks
Just the thing to keep us occupied while you steal it

You been scratching your finger since the day you were born
Now you could be an honest man and lay down that gun
A once in a lifetime chance
But you won't give a second glance
To faces of the people you will shoot in the back
Track Name: a secret i'll be keeping
What I saw I will not tell, it's a secret I'll be keeping for a while

The blindfold is stained with saltwater and the cuffs kinda cut my wrists
Are you sure that you haven't confused me with somebody else?
Draw milk from my veins when you want to
You know that drink is outta site
Wire my brain when you have to do anything to get through the night

But what I saw I will not tell, it's a secret I'll be keeping for a while

You can bind me in chains if you want to
You can break my bones as well
Because whatever you do to me you just do to yourself
You jump on my train when you want to
You know I won't put up a fight
The leash on the chain when you have to do anything to get through the night

But what I saw I will not tell, it's a secret I'll be keeping for a while
Track Name: what did you expect?
You used the credit card to buy the groceries and a cash advance to pay for your lease
And the paper said that your neighbor came home in a body bag - oh no

You grit your teeth, swallow nails and think 'what a good waste of a life'
Driving home you see a homeless vet whose shopping cart just capsized - oh no

Now you don't believe anything you read you can tell what's real from what's on TV
And it's no surprise when you dig the roots intertwine

After all you should've never spent so time believing all the lies
The press, their bankers and the government live to pull the wool over your eyes
And do their crimes right in plain sight

What they said is never close to what they meant
But as long as you believe it most of the time
It makes it that much easier
And they deceive you
And do their crimes right in plain sight

After all, what did you expect when trust is in such short supply?
Even priests have lawyers, guns and PR hacks to craft their alibis
What do you have?
What don't you have?

After all, what did you expect?
Track Name: we have no answer
guns don't kill people
people kill people
when people pull the triggers

bombs don't kill people
people kill people
when people give the orders to drop bombs

why? we have no answer...
we have no way to know why

lies don't kill people
people kill people
when people start wars by telling lies

why? we have no answer...
we have no way to know why
but it seems to happen every time
an echo chamber for the party line
an invocation of divine
intervention for our side

but god won't help people
till people help people
and people stop the killing for their god
Track Name: the heart is a machine
The heart is a machine. Machines stop when they're broken. We say "it died" when a machine stop working, and we die when our hearts stop working.

In the end, everybody dies with a broken heart.

It's more than a machine, it's part of the connection to every life and everything that's living. And it starts to die when it stops forgiving.

In the end, everybody dies with a broken heart.

In the end, everybody dies with a broken heart.
Track Name: what sense can one make? / don't hesitate
So of this situation what sense can one make?
Is everyone condemned to such a lonely fate?
Does nothing that we do here reverberate?

If love always ends in heartbreak, is it even worth the price?
Why not a life of luxury, hard work and sacrifice?
Is everything disposable, is the point just to sell high?
Or are we being tested for some kind of afterlife?

Some say that's right
But right here tonight I can feel the light
Burning hot white

So of this situation what sense can one make?
Perhaps we're not condemned to such a lonely fate.
What if the things we do here reverberate?

But secret accounts and warheads, and banks of satellites?
Whoever owns the echo chamber is now patenting the light.
But we're blind so they're boldly doing all of their crimes right in plain sight.
So would you rather boil slowly, or drown putting up a fight?

Tonight's the night, the fire's burning bright.
Boil or fight?
Or does might make right?

Don't hesitate, don't hesitate. Why wait?

Don't you know you're surrounded,
And you're already drowning?

Don't hesitate, don't hesitate. Why wait?
Track Name: what do you think? (about the next world)
You immediately regret ninety-five percent of what you do. But you do not repent, for you will not relent when it comes to you. If you could see you'd know you've got it made - you can join the cosmic grand parade! That's what at night before I fall asleep I pray.

You'll learn how to forget every wrong that's yet to be reviewed. You've got to look inside and get rid of the things you never use... the prejudices that tie you down, that imitation thorny crown that you wear but know would feel better if you throw away.

I know what they say about the next world, I'm only talking about this one.
I don't know what you think about the next world but we're all dying in this one.

What do you think about the next world?

Now sit still for a while, close your eyes and empty out your brain. Submerge yourself in water and watch your fears go washing down the drain. All the things that you should not have said, every bad thought in your head will form a circle of doubt you can walk right through today.

I know what they say about the next world, I'm only talking about this one.
I don't know what you think about the next world but we're all dying in this one.
Track Name: in time everything dies
Everybody's looking over everybody's shoulder
The atmosphere in here is many degrees colder
Than a prison yard where the inmates rat on one another
To buy them some time
On the outside
Where trust's also a lie

Everybody's trying to resurrect a feeling
Or preserve some precious moment they recognize as fleeting
But they never will accomplish with their bargaining and scheming
The freezing of time
And it's just suicide
Even to try

Everybody's living only for their small selves
Enthralled by the illusion they live in their hells

Everybody's praying for some moment in the future
Of redemption or reunion or some other kind of rapture
And they overlook the fact that it is always now, forever
And then they start to die
Because they're living in time
In time, everything dies
Track Name: big strange equilibrium
There's a man with half a leg in a wheelchair rolling up a hill
In an hour he'll be lucky if he makes a mile
He has a sign that says 'Smile'

There's a man with half a tongue in his briefcase chewing on a kill
He gets paid by the hour just to conceal
He thinks he earns what he steals

And each is part of some big strange equilibrium I can't explain
But to each the other is numb just another bum like you see each day

There's a man with half a heart and a broken will rolling around in his head
In a lifetime he'll be lucky to glimpse what's real
He is consumed by what he fears

Everything is part of some big strange equilibrium I can't explain
You could wrap around the sun if end to end you laid out all your DNA