Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals

by Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals

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credits

released 03 October 2013

All songs written by Rob Anderson
and arranged by Day Laborers & Petty Intellectuals
© & ℗ 2013 Robert Anderson
Recorded at home in Georgetown Heights
between January and July 2013
Mixed by Don Farwell at Earwig Studios
Mastered by Levi Seitz at Black Belt Mastering
Band photographs by Sam Smith

We are grateful to Alice Pedersen, Daimon Eklund, Gray Pedersen and Anabel Cole, and all of our friends, family, and supporters who made this record possible. Thank you.

Rob Anderson - guitar, lead vocals
Jessie Kindig - flute, piccolo, glockenspiel, vocals
Tim Thomas - bass, percussion, vocals
Kirsten Snyder Eklund - violin, cello, vocals
Alex Hoeplinger - drums
Peter Jordan - trumpet

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Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals Seattle, Washington

Day Laborers and Petty Intellectuals is a five-piece folk-apocalypse band from Seattle, WA, featuring piccolo, flute, cello/violin, bucket drumming, and five-part harmonies, not to mention heartfelt songs about love, life, and the end of the world. DL&PI has been bringing their cacophonous blend of indie rock, folk, punk, country, and jazz to the barrooms and bedrooms of the Puget Sound since 201 ... more

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Track Name: What's the Meaning of this Magic?
Woke up early this morning, tied the laces on my shoes
and I was out of the apartment before the sun arose
Didn’t stop to lock the door or turn off the t.v. news
We’re like the ghosts of men nobody knows
In the street the wind is blowing, I can hear the trees a-sway
They creak and groan as if lamenting leaves they’ve long since tossed away
And we float and flutter down across the neighbor’s alleyway
Like the ghosts of men who walked here yesterday

What’s the meaning of this magic?
Don’t you know we live in times so tragic
wizards have no power here
and spirits flee from ghouls?
What I know of modern science, she replied,
could fit into a small appliance
powered by the minds of preachers, lords, and fools.

Running blindly through the forest
came upon a chain link fence
Wolves circle in the darkness
Helicopters overhead
Thirty seconds wasted scaling
I tore my hands on the barbed wire
Sharks smell blood in the water
Helicopters smell blood in the sky
And I am learning how to tie my own shoelaces
I am learning to say thank you and say please
I am reenacting violence in small spaces
I am shouting at the sun in Japanese
And we will build a fence around the garden
And we will line our windowsills with salt
We will drive two sharpened stakes into the lawn outside the doorway We will mount the skulls of buffalo to ward off the occult
And Jesus saved the sinners
and Lincoln freed the slaves
and I don’t know about you, I haven’t got much more to say
except we’ll never to come to nothing but the things we are today
We’re like the ghosts of men who walked away

So pull me from the barroom, baby, point me toward the hills
Sell me to the sorcerers and run me with the bulls
Tie me with a tightrope and throw me to the wolves tonight

What’s the meaning of this magic?
Don’t you know we live in times so tragic
wizards have no power here
and spirits flee from ghouls?
What I know of modern science, she replied,
could fit into a small appliance
powered by the minds of preachers, lords, and fools
Powered by the minds of preachers, lords, and fools
Track Name: Irene, Goodnight
Got our kerosene lamps and our painted tin cups
An old two-stroke cycle we’re gonna fix up
Got our cast-iron skillets and our faded blue jeans
We get our quarterly magazines.

Got our wool flannel shirts and our oilcloth jackets
We use only rye whiskey to make our old-fashioneds
We buy local organic, we reuse and recycle
We ride fixed gear bicycles.

We don’t drive a car, we don’t own a t.v.
Got a literary bent and a keen grasp of irony
We don’t trust the government, don’t believe in religion
We drink Pabst Blue Ribbon.

and sometimes we live in the country
and sometimes we live in the town
and sometimes we take a great notion
to jump in the river and drown.

And we scribble our lyrics in serifed italics
Got a paranoid streak and a strong sense of nostalgia
We’ve got Ginsberg and Kerouac on the bookshelves
We built those ourselves.

Got a mistrust of wealth and a distaste for decadence
We sing old folk songs and play acoustic instruments
We might raise our own livestock or cobble our own shoes
We’ve got between 3 and 7 tattoos.

And we’re well-versed in matters of wit and intelligence
declaim on a wide range of subjects with eloquence
We won’t fit the pattern, won’t do as we’re told
We are twenty-seven years old.

and sometimes we live in the country
and sometimes we live in the town
and sometimes we take a great notion
to jump in the river and drown,

singing Irene, goodnight,
goodnight, Irene, goodnight
Good night, Irene
Good night, Irene
I’ll see you in my dreams.

We got our kerosene lamps and our painted tin cups
An old two-stroke cycle we’re gonna fix up
Got our cast-iron skillets and our faded blue jeans
We just don’t know what it means.
Track Name: Sixpence
It’s five o’clock in Budapest
last night the moon rose in the west
you can probably guess the rest
I'm pretty sure the world is ending
on Saturday in Aberdeen
the king will call upon the queen
to go and fetch the guillotine
but she is busy mending
the tablecloth he set alight
in the wee hours of their wedding night
and oh! it gave them both a fright
to see that table burning
and as the smoke rose to the east
the servants set upon the feast
and ate the flaming wildebeest
for which they had been yearning

So sing a song of sixpence, pocketful of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds and it’s ten to one you’re gonna die
So light you up a cigarette
and use the match to light the coals on fire

It’s five o’clock in Istanbul
and with their giant bellies full
my enemies are dying wool
to match their blackened spirits
and rigging up on hidden wires
a plot to bring down fake empires
a paper moon is set on fire
but no one will go near it
and as it rises to the west
your lover calls from Budapest
but you dare not answer lest
the neighbors overhear it
and soon the firemen will come
and find that match, that smoking gun
but by that time the deed is done,
there is no need to fear it

So sing a song of sixpence, pocketful of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds and the oven’s turned up high
And they’re packing up your winter clothes
they’re asking who you knew the most
they’re talking to your lover and they’re calling her a liar

It’s five o’clock in Tel Aviv
and my colleagues there cannot believe
the circumstances that surround
my sudden leave of absence
They heard about the arson scene
and something ‘bout the king and queen
but then it all gets quite obscene
and slipped into the past tense
and so my enemies remain.
The queen will go out in the rain
and cut the rope, to free the blade
and watch the structure crumble a
nd the ashes of that great device
she rubbed upon my forehead twice
and kissed me with those lips of ice
that were once heard to mumble

Sing a song of sixpence
Pocketful of rye
Four and twenty black birds
Never gonna fly
Track Name: In the Beginning
In the beginning there was light
God made it out of darkness
It was good or so they say
And all the people fold their hands
Rest their heads on one another
Yes and they begin to pray
In the beginning there was cold
There was emptiness and loneliness
It stretched into foreverness
Where nothing really was
Until nothingness receded
And something else came into being
And the story goes: that it was: love

In the beginning there was you
There you were all by yourself
And I heard that it was true
You didn’t miss having anybody else
In the beginning there was sorrow
There was scorn and there was fear
We were thrown out of the garden
so we held each other near
And we tied ourselves together
and we held each other tight
and we stared up at the light

In the beginning there was music
These were the songs that you would sing
As I sprawled across your bedroom floor
and the world began to spin
There was rain upon the window
There were clouds across your eyes
There were creatures in the oceans
There were birds up in the sky

And so you sit down at your desk to write / this tragic tale, this hero’s plight / on through the never-ending night / the march goes slowly forward / And the narcissistic daily plot / newspapermen had nigh forgot / for seeing only what they sought / the truth went unreported / And the atavistic conqueror / who sought to settle every score / knew not what nature does abhor / and promptly was escorted / And my demons too were exorcised / The hounds of hell are euthanized / and all of us have alibis / the soldier’s sons retorted / And onward paranoia creeps / we pray the lord our souls to keep / and count the electronic sheep / the shepherd will be bringing / And drink from the forgotten cup / but cannot blur our minds enough / to let our souls be covered up / while to the earth we’re clinging / And gravity will be recalled / the ground will rise, the sky will fall / we’ll climb up on the highest wall / and hear the bells a-ringing / And our lungs fill up with pesticides / our synapses electrified / my tongue has been anaesthetized / and still I can’t stop singing

(Nobody knows where I am)
Track Name: What the Hell Happened?
Well I said I had work to do / I could not accompany you
To your girl friends’ to-do in Duluth
So you took off alone / And I unplugged the phone
And I took down the gin and vermouth
In the space of three days / I wrote seventeen plays
Twelve were tragedies, five were romantic
Plugged the phone in on Monday / hungover and hungry,
It took seventeen rings ‘til you answered / and I said,

What the hell happened to us? We used to be perfect together
And what the hell happened to you? You went and you changed
And what the hell happened to life? It used to be better
And what the hell happened to me? Well I’m still just the same

Soon as we got off the phone ya caught a case of pneumonia
And didn’t come home for a month
So I drove up to see ya / brought a jar of tequila,
And I sat on your porch and got drunk.
Your friends said you had gone out / they did not know your whereabouts,
Nor whom you were likely to see
Said you were looking quite well / they didn’t know you were ill,
And they’d never heard you talk about me
So now I don’t go to work and I don’t go to church and I
Don’t hardly get out the house
But I been writing these letters to my elders and betters
I see fit to deliver myself / And they say,

What the hell happened &c.?

So now I’m on the phone with my lawyer / you’re out in the foyer
I can hear you stomping your boots
But I won’t come out to kiss you / or tell you I missed you
Cause what is the point of the truth?
And when one thing is over / another begins
It’s the second one this song is for
And so starting today I wrote seven more plays
But I guess that you’ve read them before
Cause they say,

What the hell happened &c.?
Track Name: Jericho
Sat on the porch / Watched the telephone wires
Throwing sticks in the yard / I’d like to light the whole place on fire Made me a drink / Now I’m watching the ice cubes dismember
If this city burns down / I wonder if I will remember I lived here

Built me a wall / I’d like to hide out behind it
Break my guitar / Put it where no one can find it
And when the war begins / I’ll be up high in my tower
Contemplating original sin
Throwing sticks o’er the wall at the top of each hour

And watching the masses / Huddled below
Darling young lasses with faces aglow
As they gather the willows / Tie them with lashes
Lighting the torches to burn me to ashes

And if your name was Woodrow / And my name was Katherine
Would we still be sitting here / Hopped up on aspirin?
And smoking our cigarettes / Drinking our whiskey
Each wondering, will the good lord e'er forgive me

When the walls, when the walls come tumbling down
When the walls, when the walls come tumbling down
When the walls, when the walls come tumbling down
When the walls come tumbling down
When the walls
When the walls come tumbling down

And if I told you I loved you
Would I be a liar?
And would you light the match
For my crematory fire?
And if you had a trumpet
Would you raise it to your lips?
Would you blow?
Track Name: Everyone Makes a Mistake or Two
Everyone makes a mistake or two
I don’t mind waiting for you
You be the hammer, I’ll be the nail
Everyone’s got a secret to tell
Some of them happy and some sad as hell
I’ll be the raindrop / you’ll be the pail

I’ll be the bird flying over the city at night
if you’ll be the electrical wire I will land
I’ll be that old pocket watch
Tucked away in the drawer that is locked
Trying to find how to get myself back in your hands

Everyone can’t sleep at night
The sky is a flickering light
I’ll be the kettle if you’ll be the flame
Everyone’s got their ear to the ground
I’ll be here when you come back around
You be the steam engine, I’ll be the train

I’ll be the bird &c.

On the day before the day I go
I will sit with you beneath the falling snow
You be the hourglass, I’ll be the sand

On the day before the day we part
You will lay your head on my beating heart
I’ll be the ocean if you’ll be the land

And on the day before the day I die
Won’t you take me down to the riverside
Let that cool water run through my hands