A Collection of Unfinished Sketches

by Aaron J. Shay

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released January 1, 2013

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Aaron J. Shay Seattle, Washington

Sci-fi inspired banjo rock and literary ukulele. You're probably gonna like it.

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Track Name: Your Hometown
When we were young, our world was no bigger
Than the foot prints that we made
The years have gone by and now we call them "history,"
But still here you have stayed.
And I'm sure you've got your reasons
For watching the passing seasons
As they all fall down,
But you've got to leave your hometown.

There was a time I thought I knew nearly everything
That I could expect to know,
But the further from home my poor feet have carried me
The smaller I seem to grow.
There's so much that I have seen,
Some of it sacred and some obscene.
Don't you let yourself down;
You've gotta leave your hometown.

You gotta leave your hometown
Leave your hometown
Leave your hometown
Leave your hometown
You don't have to leave it for long
Just leave it by far-
Catch a ride on a passing ship,
Follow someone else's star.
Just a thousand miles away…
Pack a bag, let's leave today,
Leave your hometown!
You gotta leave your hometown.

If you come with me, we'll find ourselves a place where
Nobody knows our names
You and I will learn a few new ways to choose family
And kindle a couple of flames
We'll attend many grand occasions,
And meet strangers of all persuasions
Wearing suits and gowns,
Who all left their hometowns.

You gotta leave your hometown
Leave your hometown
Leave your hometown
Leave your hometown
You don't have to leave it for long
Just leave it by far-
Catch a ride on a passing ship,
Follow someone else's star.
Just a thousand miles away…
Pack a bag, let's leave today,
Leave your hometown!
You gotta leave your hometown.

And then someday, when you've had your fill
You will finally return
To the streets you wore so thin with walking, to the
Good things that you've earned.
Maybe nothing will look the same…
And maybe this ain't the place you came
From, but nothing's torn down:
You left your hometown.
Track Name: Another Nail In The Coffin
Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin
Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin

Winter, winter, come away
Come again some other day
Don't raise the wind, don't rock the sea,
Don't take my love away from me.

Say your prayers to the moon
Nighttime's gonna be here soon
Say your prayers to the sun
Daytime won't tell anyone

Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin
Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin

She takes a step towards her love
He says "one step ain't good enough"
She cries out, "Won't you come to me?"
He says, "What kind of love would that be?"

The temple has come crashing down,
Let's rebuild in another town
And when that temple's set aflame
We'll learn to play another game

Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin
Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin

Wisdom comes, wisdom goes
Wisdom asks what madness knows
Demons play while angels sing
You and I dance in the faerie ring

Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin
Put another nail in the coffin, love
Put another nail in the coffin
Track Name: Tonight Will Be Different
Don't you know the road that we are walking?
We've been this way before.
This valley has watched our passing through
A thousand times or more.
Maybe, when the planet turns to night,
We'll end up somewhere new
No more habits slowing down our hands
We've got too many things to do.

Tonight will be different
Tonight will go up in flames
New rules remain to be written
And we'll use different names
If Yesterday finds us
Get ready to run
If Tonight doesn't change us,
Yesterday will have won.

Is there something you've wanted,
But you didn't dare to request,
Or maybe you weren't certain,
Or you wanted me to guess?
I'll drop my last pretensions
If you follow my lead
We'll start getting what we want
Because it's more than what we need.

And, Tonight will be different
Tonight will come crashing down
New stories are gonna be written about
Our victories of renown.
And if Yesterday finds us,
Get ready to fight,
'Cause if Tonight doesn't change us,
Yesterday might.

It's a new moon tonight

Tonight our flesh will bear a different mark
Tonight will be our candle in the dark
Let's make our stand at the top of the hill
If Tonight doesn't change us, tomorrow never will
Track Name: Anywhere But Here
I'd rather be anywhere but here,
This place where land mines are
Scattered like confetti,
This place where all the
Joyful nights be-
-Come so cold and
Sharp, just like a
Knife left in the snow,
Where friendship turn its coat at the drop of a hat,
Where love turns on a dime,
Where sour tastes await inside
The finest of meals…
And if I had a leg to stand on, I would walk away.

I'd rather be anywhere but-
Anywhere but here,
This place where footsteps
Threaten to become thunder,
This place where a dark and empty room is
Better than one brightened by a
Fierce and blinding anger,
Or the gray and lonely sadness that follows behind,
This place where hearts become still,
Where tiny scabs are picked at
By unwelcome and unwashed hands…
And if I still knew the way out, I would open a door.

I'd rather be anywhere but-
Anywhere but-
Anywhere but here,
This place where silence is the
Best that you can hope for,
This place where all the
Monsters in our
Closets they have
Crept into our mouths, and now
They only come out
When we choose to talk,
This place where no one's happy but there's no exit,
Where skin is fragile,
Where the echoes of songs we used to sing
Have almost totally faded.
And if I had a leg to stand on, I would walk away.
And if I still knew the way out, I would open a door.
And if I still had wings, I would've flown a long time ago.

But instead, here I sit.
But instead, here I wait.
Here I wait, for the fire to come.
Track Name: Things I Left Behind
It's all right, it's all totally fine
It's not as if I wish you still were mine
It's not as if I want you back at all
That's now why I had to call.

The breakup was so diplomatic, after it all,
What a lovely change of pace!
There were some boxes, there was a moving truck,
Now I'm alone in my own place,
Alone with the memories
And the canceled plans,
And the empty spaces
Where something ought to be, like
A water color painted by a mutual friend
A tattered coat you will never mend
A couple of letters I will never send
Because I'm much too kind
A couple of records by The Doors
A Tom Baker scarf I left on your floor
A notebook full of so much more
Of the things that I left behind

It's all right, it's just totally fine
It isn't that I wish you still were mine
There's just something missing from my wall
And that's why I had to call

Some of my favorite neckties never made it out
But it's no problem! I've got so many.
Some of my books are still there in your shelves,
But not one of them cost me a penny.
But, you know I hate it when
Good books just become a decoration.
Will you please try to read them once in a while?
A water color painted by a long lost friend
A vintage shirt you will never mend
A few dozen letters I will never send
Because I'm much too kind
A couple of records by The Shins
My great grandfather's rolling pin
A notebook listing all of my sins and
All of the things I left behind

It's all right, it's just totally fine
It isn't that I wish you still were mine
There's just something missing from my wall
And that's why I had to call
It's all right, it's just totally fine
It isn't that I wish you still were mine-
I don't need anything from you,
I don't need anything at all,
I don't need anything I can't replace
Track Name: (You Are) Coming Alive
Feel the carpet under your feet
Feel the cold and feel the heat
Feel the texture of the stairs
Voices vibrate in the air
Feel the tiny hairs on my hand
Now you can
Now you can

Feel the chill of concrete
Hear the noises of the street
The flash of lightning in the sky
Hear the planet as it sighs,
Will you come to understand?
Now you can
Now you can

You are coming alive
You will open your eyes
You are coming alive

Do you hear it?
Do you see it?
Do you feel it?
Do you? Do you?

Flex your fingers, lift your arms
Feel the sun, face the storm
You were made to be young
Without heart and without lung
You may struggle and strive
But you are coming alive
You will open your eyes
There's no better time to arrive
You are coming alive
You are coming alive
You are coming alive
Track Name: The Astronaut's Song (In Response To Amanda Palmer's "Astronaut")
It's not enough to have some love,
Be it great or be it small;
The size of wing won't mean a thing
When the engine starts to stall.
It's not enough to have some love:
It won't seal what has been cracked.
All the parts of this crooked little ship
All come from older, crumbling wrecks.
These days, my feet have grown so uneasy,
Especially near the place you stand.
There is no safety on the ground anymore, but
Who says I ever have to land?

Yes, my darling, I'm your astronaut,
Fueled by a cold ambition;
Where I go, you cannot follow, so
Take control, and hit ignition!

Weightless living for so long
Makes it easy not to care;
From where I float and look around,
You wouldn't know that Earth is there.
But no matter how far away I fly,
This vessel's hardly even mine.
You are the engineer, I'm just the pilot;
I float away by your design!

Yes, my darling, I'm your astronaut,
Blinded by the blast behind me!
Jettison is not an option, I
Go where my momentum takes me!

You don't have to watch me as I follow my trajectory,
But as my travels split the sky, I'll hope you're doing well.
Motion makes me sick, but so does stillness, stillness in excess;
Even if I burn, I'll leave behind a tale to tell!

Yes, my darling, I'm your astronaut,
Blinded by the blast behind me!
Jettison is not an option, I
Go where my momentum takes me!

Yes, my darling, I'm your astronaut,
Flying towards the night before me!
Watch as I approach the speed of light,
Never aging, always falling!
Never aging, always falling!
Track Name: Where The Cottonwoods Grow
There's a place I know
Where the cottonwoods grow
And every summer,
A blizzard of cotton drifts down
It's there in the pocket
Of a tiny big town
Just a little old house on a hill
Where the cottonwoods grow

There's a place I've seen
Somewhere in between
The little old farmhouse
And the streets where the high-rises climb
It's there in the pocket
Of some other time
Just a little old house on a hill
In a state evergreen

And don't look too close at
The cracks in the pavement
Or the hedges all grown too tall
Think of the cities and
Kingdoms we dreamed of
When our visions were grand
But our bodies were small
Try to remember it all

There's a place I know
Where the cottonwoods grow
Yes, they've outlived the orchards
Where the plum trees once sheltered the quail
Though my body is aging
Though my memory fails
There's a big quiet house on a hill
Where the cottonwoods grow.