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Surprises

by Disappearing Ink

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1.
I used to sing sweet melodies. I never had to wait too long To find the next note. Sometimes the note came to me. Now I can try all through the night And all I get are aches and fears. They ring in my ears And settle inside of me. All these flimsy shells of who I used to be— I keep them hoping something will remind me who I am. I’m an old dog, teach me new tricks. Everything I thought I knew was just a self-serving scam. Water on a hill, rock in the sea: When looking back means looking up, There’s no slowing down. Where are you, Eurydice? Blue phlox in bloom, thrushes and bees. The wind took down the tallest trees. At least I can see The valley in front of me. Children talking—listen how they notice things, The world’s so gripping they don’t even realize you’re gone. Maybe it’s because they’re so close to the ground, I think I’ll lie down. Now I can carry on.
2.
Surprises 04:04
CHORUS We were singing in harmony And you changed the key You wanted to surprise me I don’t like surprises baby I was a person before I met the person who is you You don’t know what I’ve been through Don’t let it keep you up at night Just bum my smokes and laugh at my jokes And everything will be alright. CHORUS When I’m driving the car And you fall asleep I take you through the backstreets And each turn is a change in my mind It’s a chance I take, and when you awaken Everything is always alright. CHORUS You are my Poseidon, and I am your Medusa It’s a shame these days, you know, They don’t make love like they useta If you’d have been there, you’d do just like I do I’m saving you! Why don’t you want me to? We split the bar at three a.m. And spill onto Avenue C And you turn to look at me You wanna see something that’s true Keep on walking, just because I ain’t talking Doesn’t mean I ain’t thinking of you. CHORUS
3.
What to Say 04:45
Look in my eyes. I am capable of all I despise. Will I hurt you Again? Well, that’s the last thing I’d do. How can you know for sure, Is what you ask of me. I asked myself that, too, And I’ll ask it everyday. And I’ll answer it, too, I will show you In a million ways. Still I don’t know what to say. My words won’t do. Words just move the air in front of you. You can hear what’s true, But you’re gonna need to feel it, too. How can you know for sure, Is what you ask of me. I asked myself that, too, And I’ll ask it everyday. And I’ll answer it, too, I will show you In a million ways. Here’s what I have to say. I’ll say it loud, I’ll scream and shout. I’ll do it till you feel it in your bones. I’ll show you everything I’ve got, I’ll let you take your best shot. Hit me where it hurts the most, till nothing’s left unknown. Till you know I love you, till you know for sure. Look in my eyes. I am capable of reaching the skies, And so are you. There’s nothing we can’t do. How can you know for sure, Is what you ask of me. I asked myself that, too, And I’ll ask it everyday. And I’ll answer it, too, I will show you In a million ways. That’s what I had to say. I guess that’s what I had to say.
4.
Two Towers 04:07
Two towers tall and thin Blinking at the sky: I spent so much of my life Beneath their loving eyes. Who, who will watch me now, Eleven, thirteen, and forty-five? Who will tell me nothing’s changed? Who will tell me I’m alive? I’ve seen them from the north. I’ve seen them from the west. They’ve seen everything I’ve done, At my worst and at my best. Walk a circle around them: They embrace then part as friends. Once they are out of sight, I start my life again. What is old Once was new. Some will go And make you blue! Where we are meant to be Is never where we are. And if that wasn’t true We’d never get too far. But look at us right now, Heads tilted back and standing still, Searching all around the sky From atop the highest hill.
5.
All of us Some of us None of us
6.
Your Face 06:46
There is a mole On the corner of your chin, or, no, Now it’s closer to your left ear, sorry, but Your face is blurry. It had two hairs. One was wiry, one was angel-thin. They would tangle with my stubble when I Kissed you goodnight. Goodnight, goodnight. Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so lonnnnnnnnng. And you, you would curse me When I passed you on my walk to work, Lunging, growling, “Try me, motherfucker,” While shadow boxing. Each time I forgave you, But I never did forgive myself For looking askance, hoarding pity, fearing While your eyes spilled mercury. Mercury… Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so lonnnnnnnnng. What face is this? Mother, father, brother, sister, friend, Shape and features shifting, spinning, diving Like a Picasso. A crescent descends On the forehead, sinking past the nose, Curtain falling, darkness like a casket, Darkness like a womb. Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so lonnnnnnnnng. In the darkness, Wet and throbbing, I would feel around And clutch if I thought I felt a nose or ear From the only face I’d known Which had faded At the moment when my halves crashed whole. Now I see it fading back into view All these years later. All these years… Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve seen your face. Oh, it’s been so lonnnnnnnnng.
7.
Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore No, Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore It wasn’t Louie’s when they first opened the door and now Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore. There’s a man in shackles and a Johnny Cash t-shirt On the front page of the New York Times on the Fourth of July. Well, there but for the grace of God go I. He burned his brief Babylonian lover And now he’s gonna fry Under the watchman’s eye. Well, his momma’s gonna cry And I’ll probably just sigh. Cuz Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore No, Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore It wasn’t Louie’s when they first opened the door And now Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore. Well the old redneck’s house in Hampden is a handbag shop now. But five rebel flags fly from a crane over Interstate Ninety-Five. There used to be just one, there must be somethin’ going on. But I ain’t figured it out in the time that I drove by. I’m just gettin’ my toll money out with the A/C on high And staring at the storm clouds in the west wondering how I’m gonna die And I ain’t even got a flag to fly. Cuz Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore No, Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore It wasn’t Louie’s when they first opened the door And now Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore. Well Johnny puts on a grey suit and ties up his brown shoes Every morning around 7:15 While I’m still in a dream about Hidin’ in a latrine while the bullets scream, Mmmmm. But Johnny used to put his fist through a plate glass window Just because he could, And I never understood then But I do now. And now I wake up around 9 or 10, But I can still remember when Johnny’d look me in the eye And we’d think the same thing, he and I And everything was worth a try And days were years and I knew that I…oh, well… But Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore No, Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore It wasn’t Louie’s when they first opened the door And now Louie’s isn’t Louie’s anymore.
8.
Je dis ce que je veux dire…it seems. How did I get here? Leaning out the window, Blowing smoke on the Champs de Mars, I watched the tower blink itself to sleep. Tu dormis, Paris, same for me. Tomorrow’s more than just another day When you know that you can’t stay. That’s the thing about fantasies. When they become reality, They’re just future memories. The present’s so bright I gotta wear shades. I got it made – got it made for a while. I’m so high, it looks all downhill As far as I can see. Tu dormis, Paris, same for me. Oh, what have you done to me? What have you done to me? Oh, what have you done to me? What have you done to me? Paris? Oh, who will come along with a siren song? Who’ll tempt me to madness? And I wonder what I can dream In the city that never sleeps In the city that never sleeps…
9.
Cop to your id The truth is not about your ideals Or even what you did Your darkest thoughts Say more about you than your heart Or something that you bought You think you’re better than them What if you’re not? What if they know how far they’ve fallen And you think that you still have a shot At being good Or at least doing better Than the worst ever could? You watch them fall Your aim is true, you close one eye You stand so tall
10.

about

The second album from Disappearing Ink, recorded at home by Lawrence Lanahan.

credits

released July 27, 2020

All songs by Lawrence Lanahan except "You Can Have It All" by Harry Wayne Casey and Rick Finch (EMI Longitude Music: BMI) with a debt to Yo La Tengo's version on the 2000 album And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out.

Recorded and mixed by Lawrence Lanahan at Last Session Studios, Northeast Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Mastered by Alan Jones at Laminal Audio, Kitsap County, Washington

Mark Brock-Cancellieri: Yamaha CP-30 electric piano on "Sweet Melodies," "What to Say," and "Future Memories"

Lawrence Lanahan: vocals, Yamaha CP-30 electric piano, bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitar, drums, electronics on all other tracks

In performance, Disappearing Ink is Lawrence Lanahan, Mark Brock-Cancellieri, Odell Norman, and Kevin Corbin. Thanks, guys, for many nights of music, joy, and camaraderie.

Thank you: Andrea Appleton, John and Liz Berghofer, Joe Bernstein, Alan Jones. Love you Andrea, Emil, and Theo.

Front cover art: Emil Lanahan
Back cover art: Theo Lanahan

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Disappearing Ink Baltimore, Maryland

Disappearing Ink is a Baltimore band: (L to R) Kevin Corbin (bass), Lawrence Lanahan (guitar, vocals), Odell Norman (drums), and Mark Brock-Cancellieri (keyboards, vocals).

New EP: "Recount." "Surprises" released 9/28/20. "There Is No Time and Nothing's Been" released 2014 with Lawrence Lanahan, Joe Tropea (bass), and Bob Wagner (drums). Lanahan released a self-titled EP in 2004.
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