Floating Opera

Burning Lighthouse

Crushed Velvet

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

There she lies
on the other side
of the midnight curtain
there she lies, there she lies
Her hands filled with crushed velvet
on the other side
of the midnight curtain
there she lies
This is how she looked that day
on the side of the road
with so much make-up on her face
that the rain sat like pearls
on her cheeks and on her forehead
There she lies
on the other side
of the midnight curtain
there she lies, there she lies
Her hands filled with crushed velvet
on the other side
of the midnight curtain
there she lies
The coyotes howl in the scrub at night
beneath the Hollywood sign
The pale moon spills the milky light
on a game so rough
that we can't say when it's over
There she lies
on the other side
of the midnight curtain
there she lies, there she lies
Her hands filled with crushed velvet
on the other side
of the midnight curtain
there she lies
Not waking up, more like coming to
you're high and gone
Not waking up, more like coming to
you're high and gone
Not waking up, more like coming to
you're high and gone
high and gone
high and gone

Ocean

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

Sharing everything is just short of joy
I cut my hand to feel it all the tricks did I employ
Something shifting in me like I'm this brand new bed
This thing inside me trying to get settled but just aching all night instead
In Flagstaff Arizona I mailed all the letters I wrote on the bus
While people snored around me, their hats over Cheshire eyes
Their cowboy shirts they fall and rise
I just wanted to feel the ride
I just wanted to feel the ride
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
but it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean
The post office smells like mothballs, people smell like breakfast
The coffee's on somewhere in the back
The postmaster coughs and yawns, shuffles through the mail
The sound of papers rustling in the back
Sharing everything is just short of joy
I cut my hand to feel it all the tricks did I employ
Something shifting in me like I'm this brand new bed
This thing inside me trying to get settled but just aches and pains all night instead
instead instead
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
but it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean,
it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean

Palookaville Moan

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

At night the fireworks bleed down the sky
veins are red, arteries blue
The stars stand aside, and limp through the dark
while the fireworks bleed down the sky
I fought the Big Mick down in North Platte, Nebraska
Lost concentration somewhere in the ropes
She stiched up my eye with a bent safety pin
And washed my bruises in reagent grade alcohol
Don't you hear Palookaville moan boys
Don't you hear Palookaville moan
Every valley shall be raised up
Every hill shall be struck low
Don't you hear Palookaville moan
I trudged through her rooms till the walls started talking
Till I could hear myself starting to think
Every time she opens her mouth I see daggers
I miss the ringing in my ears
At night she leaves a little money for me
I walk out in the streets, whistle a tune
'bout days long gone by, swing my fists in the air
Don't you hear Palookaville moan boys
Don't you hear Palookaville moan
Every valley shall be raised up
Every hill shall be struck low
Don't you hear Palookaville moan
I'm sure this heaven is a scrub woman's dream
I'm sure it's a gold plated cloud
And I'm sure I can walk right out the door
and Palookaville will moan no more
Don't you hear Palookaville moan boys
don't you hear Palookaville moan
Bvery valley shall be raised up
every hill shall be struck low
Don't you hear Palookaville moan
Don't you hear Palookaville moan

Arbus

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

A picture of her
so nervous it shakes on the page
the deep end look of a child
half her age
she's part of a strange light
that falls and skips
falls and skips onto the lens
Is that a come-on, is that a look meant for someone
Is that a come-on, is that a look meant for someone
A picture of her
so tired it hangs off the page
the weekend look of a stepchild
out of his cage
she's part of a white light
that worms it's way
worms it's way onto the lens
Is that a come-on, is that a look meant for someone
Is that a come-on, is that a look meant for someone
The bloody smear of the flashbulb
in the bathroom
the rusty plug for the bathtub
dangling at her feet
the ferris wheel churns in the dark
till the summer creaks around
down the valley, where the midway sleeps
down in the valley, where the midway sleeps
down in the valley
(instrumental)
She's part of a white light
that worms it's way
worms it's way onto the lens
Is that a come-on, is that a look meant for someone
Is that a come-on, is that a look meant for someone
other than me

Shakespeare Machine

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

Spent the night working at Shakespeare Machine
Down where the streets are named for prettier things
The streetcars they rattle overhead in the night
And the buzz saws they whistle they whistle and they whine
Whistle and whine, whistle and whine
Goodnight to Alberta our lovebirds entwined
Inside the old birdcage with the nightshade behind
Goodnight to Belinda who whispers the names
Of the prophets in order while she watches it rain
Watches it rain, watches it rain, watch it rain
Goodnight to Sylvie who sleepwalks and sighs
Who waters the flowers without opening her eyes
Opening her eyes, opening her eyes
Roll back the bedsheets and the sun starts to shine
I'll fall into bed and cover my eyes
Roll back the bedsheets and the sun starts to shine
I'll fall into bed and cover my eyes, cover my eyes
cover my eyes, cover my eyes, cover my eyes
Spent the night working at Shakespeare Machine

Beliver

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

I was watching quietly as the drink left the bottle
I was watching quietly as the drink left the bottle
The gulp of his throat like a rusty old throttle
He was so thirsty, every ounce of the devil
He crowed through the night like a forgotten child
I am not a believer in any sense of the word
I am not a believer in any sense
But I saw you last night, in a new suit of clothes
In a tie that you swiped, from Montgomery Wards
A shave and a haircut, a shiny new dime
The scent in your pockets of roses and lime
I was tearing down cities and watched them bleed neon
Down a dozen dead roads drove straight through the sun
There all the shadows were dazzling brilliant
And the back of the sun like a forgotten child I am not a believer in any sense of the word
I am not a believer in any sense
But I saw you last night, in a new suit of clothes
In a tie that you swiped, from Montgomery Wards
When another life goes by we meet at the end with the wink of an eye, like we've seen the other side and more

Doorways

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

If I could have one touch I'm sure your skin would rain down on me
If I could run inside
If I could run and hide
I'd stand hunch shouldered in the doorway
Hunch shouldered in the doorway, in the doorway
I saw him standing in the doorway in Metamoros
Looking like a smudge on the surface of the night
I could tell just by looking that his head was filled with cobwebs
But they looked like halos, at least they did to me in a flicker of the light
I saw her running through the alleys in Ludigree Texas
A scratch of vermillion on the surface of the night
In a flicker of the light
I could tell she was sleeping, but she ran with a mission
She ran like an animal, she ran like a demon
She ran like she had nowhere better to return to
She ran like she couldn't see the lights back behind her
She ran till she saw the light
If I could have one touch I'm sure your skin would rain down on me
If I could run inside
If I could run and hide
I'd stand hunch shouldered in the doorway
Hunch shouldered in the doorway, in the doorway

Agnes In Furs

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

I hear the Longine Symphonette
101 Strings never rest
In the basement the hot wheels run
The need for speed already owns me
I hear the bedsprings, clumsy beestings
In the basement Mad magazine
The need for shock for which the world's not ready yet
forever owns me
Agnes in furs is this coming apart
you wished for Agnes in furs
Fingers sliding down your bare back
Agnes in furs, Agnes in furs, Agnes in furs
It's not easy listening anymore
The Doris Wishman film rattles through the smoke
cat eyes on fire beneath the glowing drink,
another new sensation, indestructible
the brittle porno of his imagination reigns tonight
Agnes in furs is this coming apart
you wished for Agnes in furs
Fingers running through her rumpled hair
The night slides down her back
The night slides down her back
The night slides down her back
I hear the Longine Symphonette
101 Strings never rest
In the basement the hot wheels run
The need for speed already owns me
I hear the bedsprings, clumsy beestings
In the basement Mad magazine
The need for shock for which the world's not ready yet
Forever owns me
Agnes in furs is this coming apart
you wished for Agnes in furs
Fingers sliding down your bare back
Agnes in furs, Agnes in furs, Agnes in furs
It's not easy listening anymore

Burning Lighthouse

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

The way you sit down half on fire
at the table
the way you lay your knife and fork
on the anvil screaming
"I won't have another sleepy hollow sunday,
you will not lay another ice cube on my forehead."
Another headstrong ghost
to keep me company
another shotgun voice
when it rains and thunders
another face in the glass
the lightning etches out at random
a burning lighthouse in another world
Shagging pitches, stumbling backwards
into childhood
where I'd slumber in the heatwave
with my bible dreaming
"you will not replace me in this world
you cannot give me death
when I won't pay attention."
Another headstrong ghost
who won't be silenced
another shotgun voice
crying in the tall trees
another face in a dream
the lightning snatches from me
a burning lighthouse in another world
I can't make you come into daylight
I can't walk you through the fire in my head
I can't stay away from sleep just to hide you
I can't talk you through the fire in my bed
in my head, in my bed, in my head

Resignation Day

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

A package of gum in a hospital gift shop
Making a face at the children
Bored with the bedside
They giggle and run through the halls
Clanging pipes and the heat blur
Stagnant in air
And the nuns close the curtains around you
Shouting out something in Gaelic
And the bed squeaks as they push you onto the guerney
Change the sheets, and start up the razor
Wheel you back behind a screen
Shave you where I've never seen
I think of a dirty joke, quite by accident
And choke it down with shame
Shame
Shame
And the nuns whisper something in your ear
Whispering something in Gaelic
And your back hurts as they roll you off of the guerney
Close the door, and turn out the lights
You squeeze St. Necklace as hard as you can
Ask me to read you the paper
Ask me if Richard Nixon has been impeached
No, he's just resigned
Resigned
Resigned

Shapes I Brought Back With Me

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

Jennifer added to ghosts in the spring
She lived like a bump on the nightstand
Wesley made up his life in a diary
He left open for the nurse
Who wiped the sleep from his eyes
And I'm an old man now
And the wind along the floor
Rushes up my bones
Like a magnawave's roar
And the blue light's on, behind the cellar door
And the rope's in knots, next to California pinup cards
This life is a dream
I wake up clean
All around me daylight
This life is a dream and I wake up clean
All around me, All around me, All around me, All around me
The shapes I brought back with me
I brought back with me
Jennifer took me by mane in the spring
And led me through the thicket
Where the sandburr's sting
Wesley lied about the day
That his father came home
Kicked at the dirt, rubbed his face on a stone
And the blue light's on, behind the cellar door
And the rope's in knots, next to California pinup cards
This life is a dream
I wake up clean
All around me daylight
This life is a dream and I wake up clean
All around me, All around me, All around me, All around me
The shapes I brought back with me
All around me, All around me, All around me, All around me
All around me, All around me, All around me, All around me
All around me, All around me, All around me, All around me
The shapes I brought back with me, I brought back with me

Ocean (acoustic)

Lyrics by Charles Lieurance

Sharing everything is just short of joy
I cut my hand to feel it all the tricks did I employ
Something shifting in me like I'm this brand new bed
This thing inside me trying to get settled but just aching all night instead
In Flagstaff Arizona I mailed all the letters I wrote on the bus
While people snored around me, their hats over Cheshire eyes
Their cowboy shirts they fall and rise
I just wanted to feel the ride
I just wanted to feel the ride
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
but it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean
The post office smells like mothballs, people smell like breakfast
The coffee's on somewhere in the back
The postmaster coughs and yawns, shuffles through the mail
The sound of papers rustling in the back
Sharing everything is just short of joy
I cut my hand to feel it all the tricks did I employ
Something shifting in me like I'm this brand new bed
This thing inside me trying to get settled but just aches and pains all night instead
instead instead
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
I think I came to see the ocean
but it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean,
it's nobody's ocean, it's nobody's ocean