Trains Across the Sea

by Trains Across the Sea

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about

The debut album.

credits

released July 14, 2008

On this one, the following people helped me out:
Drums: Jeremy Voltz, David Rose
Bass/Tuba: Deepak Bal
Backup vocals: The gang, celebrating my birthday in my basement.
Art: James Quarles
Promotional photos: Nick Wise
Various shows: Jason Dutton

-

And now, the words:

HOW NOT TO WRITE A SONG:

Well…
If you're young and in a band and you're
Tryin' to be a rock star
Yeah you're trying to be a rock star
And you want to make it big
Yeah if the idea of playing on
A rotating drumset
In front of a thousand screaming drunk guys
Is your idea of fun, well then
Your songs better not include such words as
The tyranny of Clear Channel
A song about the tyranny of Clear Channel
Won't get you on the radio
And few will clap and sing along
If you mention the trail of tears
Because a song discussing the horrors of a capitalist system
Won't do the trick
...Hypothetically

And if it's sex and drugs you seek
From playing rock and roll
First you'll have to write that song
And make that sexy video
But know that there are rules to writing songs
For the lowest common denominator
They do not enjoy singing along
To "The horror! The horror!" of war,
Nor! do they like any references
To the novels of Joseph Conrad
They'd much rather hear a song about
A boy that likes a girl
Where the girl's too cute and the boy's too shy
And it makes the singer scream or cry
And everybody's all hung up on love
So they ignore the poor and take some drugs
...Hypothetically

So if you want to give the masses
Exactly what they want
Make sure your words are easy and short
So everyone can sing along
And don't say words like "government"
And especially not "universal health care"
And never ever stop supporting our troops
And question the concept of war
Because!
War is needed and God's on our side
So all you trrrsts better run and hide
Because this is nothing like Vietnam
Why our troops wear brown…
But none of these words belong in a song
Îf you're trying to be a rock star
Because all they want to know
Is if your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard

-

DRIVING:

This song sounds like it should be about driving
Well that's awfully convenient, 'cuz that's something that I like to do
In between carpooling, and bitching about ethanol,
My car can take me farther than any city bus will do

At any given point, on your highway or your backroad,
You can get off, and go pee in the woods
There's a strange freedom I find only at truck stops
Men in flannel, and prison tatoos
Who probably came from Nam, inexplicable Nam
To their hometowns where they were treated as baby killers
And finding no peace in their factory jobs
Just like monks they found their zen on the highway

Pass me the beef jerky
Next rest stop, in 110 miles
Watch the bikers weave the truckers
Halfway between Kerouac and Nascar, we're on the road

'Cuz back at our jobs, there's no quick exit
No getting distracted by a roadside ostrich farm
And out on this tightrope, between the corn and the barely
The yellow line parade stops only if we're tired or hungry
But oh if we're hungry, those sweet sweet diners
Where they call you honey, and they serve you fresh pie
And they point to your maps, and they tell you what's to do
And telling them to keep the change, we head back to our cars

Well the bladders are full, and the needle says "E"
No I mean the bladders are really full
So we'll stop, but just for a minute
To say hi to our trucker friends, and buy more smoked meats

-

SUCH UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIRS:

Socks on our feet
Wooden floors
I slide farther than you
When you're upside down
Chandeliers
Are uncomfortable chairs
Such uncomfortable chairs for you

Steak on a stick
Tilt a whirl
I'll fool the guesser of weight
Win you the red and the blue stuffed dogs

Ollie ollie oxen free
Ready or not
Here I come

Shuffle our feet
On a brand new rug
Let's go shock the dog
Back of the car
Watching the wires
Dance in and out of our view

We read a book
Earned us a fish
He died the very next day
Right next to his flakes of food

-

THE SEA:

Let's go and buy us a boat and head out to sea
Why, we'll get matching hats and a compass and a map
In a boat made for just you and me
Oh and shiver me timbers, even though we're not swimmers
We will be safe out at sea
Why the fish they will feed us and the sharks will protect us
We'll drift so easy and free

And yo, ho, a pirate's life for us
Yes yo, ho, a pirate's life for us

And when the sun sets well we won't have to fret
When we're alone out on the sea
Why the moon is so bright, he'll be our nightlight
As we comfortably drift off to sleep
And then in the morning when I am done snoring
We'll see the best sunrise of our lives
And as the whales chase the shrimp, the dolphins will all make us
Laugh until we all cry

Maybe we'll find an island
The map didn't say we'd see
You know, I really don't know what is out there
But as I find out I'm sure I would like you to be next to me

And when we return with our rickets and scurvy
From our adventure out there on the sea
Why we'll tell those tales of riding those whales
And what it's like to truly be free
Then they might ask us "Well, what did you learn?"
And "Tell us now, what does it all mean?"
And without a doubt, I'd quickly announce
"Go find your fish in the sea!"

-

THANK YOU HIPPIE GENERATION:

Well long ago, there were a good-hearted few
Who looked around and saw what they had to do
So they wrote some songs, and made some signs
And formed a bunch of picket lines
And pissed off the rest of the country
But by and by their numbers grew and grew
Till they were side by side with My Lai on the news
And when wearing flowers or burning towns
Seemed the only paths we could go down
Well we packed it up and our war went away

So thank you hippie generation
For not quittin' until you knew your voice was heard
Because today we'd like some change from the way it is
And I think you've shown us that it can be done

Because if today I told my friends at work
"By five thirty tonight I'll be at the demonstration
"Yeah, we're marching there to stop this war
"and bring the troops back home."
They'd laugh me right out of the break room
Oh but I refuse to believe I'm the only one who knows
Fuck the weatherman, we could be the wind that blows
But we don't know what's the best to do
So we'll join another Facebook group
And try to drink our war away

So thank you hippie generation
But I'm not sure that a protest is the way
Because today we'd like some change from the way it is
But don't forget, man, the times they have a-changed.

So on a gray day back in February '03
The world got fed up and took its case to the streets
Ten million worldwide marching strong
Broke all those records from Vietnam
And thirty three days later they invaded

So thank you hippie generation
For making protest a dirty word
Because today we'd like some change from the way it is
You've just given us one less option

-

RUNNING WATER:

Pick up my paycheck, my warring country's legal drug of choice
And tonight, between reruns of Law & Order with the sexy special guest
Talking dogs will tell me what to buy
They just put up a Wal-Mart right next to my favorite shopping mall!
Oh, clean and shiny sprawl! Comfortably insured from thought!
And I can't wait to be told what to think

Staring at those diverging paths
Of wives and kids and toys and dogs
Of drugs and sex and rock and roll
Of sports cars parked in corporate spots
And trying to figure out which is worse
Selling fries or buying lies
But there's sure as hell no direction home

Bus my last table, grab the train, watch the people fear the rain
Give the bums some drinking change, my church's offering plate
And peruse the secondhand stores
Dollar menu dinner, I retreat to my underground home
With underground books, and overdue rent
Where we smoke and strain for truth

-

HAPPY TRIBES OF INJUNS:

Well in fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus he bent down to tie his shoe, and when he looked up he thought he had found the back end of the world.
Cuz all he could see were mountains and trees and beautiful rivers and lakes and streams, and it felt great to finally find a place untouched by man.
When from out behind those beautiful trees stepped a man so strong and graceful and lean, and Columbus, not knowing where the hell he was, called this man an Injun.
Not unlike a deer that Injun froze and gave Columbus a look from head to toe, just trying to figure out why a man would put that much
Effort just into what he wore

"Why, those fancy shoes won't help you catch your dinner! Nor will that three cornered hat! And how on earth could stockings that tight ever be comfortable?"
"Enough of that," Columbus yelled, "I'm here on business so show me where you dirty, smelly Injuns keep your gold!"
"What's gold?" The powerful Injun asked, and Columbus let out a hearty laugh. And giving a wink to his thugs he said
"Boys, the gold is ours for the taking."
So the Injun went on about his day and caught some fish while Columbus played in his New World Sandbox where he tried to find
The shiniest rock to bring back to his queen

And after five hundred years
Of searching around for gold
Maybe it's time we asked ourselves
"What else could we do with our time?"

-

Well in fourteen hundred and ninety three Columbus returned to build a colony, as any wise man would know the potential for slave trade here.
And in the name of God and Spain he knew it was time to go and explain to those dirty Injuns the concept of land ownership.
"You see, red people," Columbus began, "What is the true hope of every man is a piece of land to call his own on which no one else can step."
"Why can't we share?," the Injuns screamed, "It's worked for us for centuries!" And Columbus let out a laugh for he knew the Injuns would love it if they would just give it a chance.
For as far as Christopher Columbus could see the Injuns lived in poverty. No marble floors or fancy gowns or other high culture comforts.
"And look how silly they do dance, barefoot around fires in a spiritual trance. Don't they even know a proper, civilized waltz?"
But the Injuns liked their way of life, so much so that they decided to fight. But they fought in the name of freedom and respect instead of God. So they lost.

So Columbus and company have been here for a while and those pesky Injuns have been exiled to those tiny midwestern plots of barren land.
And where once grew those mighty trees with which the Injuns lived in harmony, we've built gray boxes inside of which we sit away our lives.
In front of desks, in front of screens, behind the steering wheels of our dreams. We sit on couches, fat, content, and call this "civilization."
But still we hope for a far off land which appears to us untouched by man, after which we'll learn it's always been filled with Happy Tribes of Injuns.

-

EMPTY NESTS:

Cubes of ice, glass of lemonade
Muggy night, slap the bugs away
Front porch swing, hovers in the breeze
Watch the sun bounce off the moon

Whistle of a train echoes miles away
Screen door slams, you smile as you say
"What a beautiful night," and you lean into me
Let's make this last tonight

Because it's been three years since the kids moved away
And we've changed quite a bit since when we used to date
But we've gone this long, and I know there's still a spark
So let's make this last tonight

You've still got that adorable smile
We wear our rings everyday
I know we can't be young again,
But I still want to grow old with you

-

TORTOISE:

I wanna be your tissue, but not exactly me
Rather my sleeve which has a greater degree of absorbancy
I wanna be your blanket, I want to make you pee
Center my weight on your bladder, you legs kick wild and free

Urban vermin attacking your car
But the left one went out first

I wanna be your retainer, soak all day in Listerine
Helping you smile, but please don't forget me on your lunch tray
I want you to be with me in a tent in a Dakota
Shiver our timbers and brush our teeth by the lake

-

THE PRIME OF YOUR LIFE:

When I was six years old I asked my dad
"When will be the prime of my life?"
I think I was afraid that he answer would be now
Just being six and running around
Because that would be a lot for a six year old boy to take
He'd think that it's all downhill from here
Luckily, that wasn't what he said

"Son, the best years of your life are going to be
those first few years when you get out of college
You'll be in the best physical shape of your entire life
You'll be finally getting your first real paycheck
And you'll have your whole life ahead of you."
Well I asked around, and it seems most people agree
That I'm in the prime of my life

And even though I'm 23
And all that he has said has come true
It's still a lot to take

The prime of your life is now

-

FOR NOW LET'S COUNT ALL THE BEAUTY WE SEE:

Well it's Saturday night and my head's not quite right
There's so much that I still want to do
So let's put coke in our rum, write some stories for fun
Mine search for beauty and yours find it everywhere

You sing la dee da
You sing la dee da

So let's get up and dance, show these punks real romance
You know, when I dip you we don't spill our drinks
And then after last call and we've said goodbye to all
Arm in arm as we laugh our way home

We sing la dee da
We sing la dee da

Sometimes I forget that all we know is now
And if you can't see the beauty
then you just don't know how
Because you might miss the best nights of your life
If you spend them just wishing for more

For now let's count all the beauty we see

-

AM I THE ONLY ONE GOING TO THE WATERPARK?:

Am I the only one going to the waterpark?

Courtyard Inns
At the employee's rate
I think it's like five am

Let's get out the maps
Our bag of brochures
Let's all have McDonald's for breakfast!

Well we've come this far and we're passing through
Maybe there's a lazy river! A speed slide?! Well I'll come too!

You're not the only one going to the waterpark!

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Trains Across the Sea Columbus, Ohio

Trains Across the Sea is the musical output of Andy Gallagher.

He also co-wrote "SEMI FAME: The Truck Route to Broadway."

contact / help

Contact Trains Across the Sea

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Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: How Not to Write a Song (Live)
Well…
If you're young and in a band and you're
Tryin' to be a rock star
Yeah you're trying to be a rock star
And you want to make it big
Yeah if the idea of playing on
A rotating drumset
In front of a thousand screaming drunk guys
Is your idea of fun, well then
Your songs better not include such words as
The tyranny of Clear Channel
A song about the tyranny of Clear Channel
Won't get you on the radio
And few will clap and sing along
If you mention the trail of tears
Because a song discussing the horrors of a capitalist system
Won't do the trick
...Hypothetically

And if it's sex and drugs you seek
From playing rock and roll
First you'll have to write that song
And make that sexy video
But know that there are rules to writing songs
For the lowest common denominator
They do not enjoy singing along
To "The horror! The horror!" of war,
Nor! do they like any references
To the novels of Joseph Conrad
They'd much rather hear a song about
A boy that likes a girl
Where the girl's too cute and the boy's too shy
And it makes the singer scream or cry
And everybody's all hung up on love
So they ignore the poor and take some drugs
...Hypothetically

So if you want to give the masses
Exactly what they want
Make sure your words are easy and short
So everyone can sing along
And don't say words like "government"
And especially not "universal health care"
And never ever stop supporting our troops
And question the concept of war
Because!
War is needed and God's on our side
So all you trrrsts better run and hide
Because this is nothing like Vietnam
Why our troops wear brown…
But none of these words belong in a song
Îf you're trying to be a rock star
Because all they want to know
Is if your milkshake brings all the boys to the yard
Track Name: Driving
This song sounds like it should be about driving
Well that's awfully convenient, 'cuz that's something that I like to do
In between carpooling, and bitching about ethanol,
My car can take me farther than any city bus will do

At any given point, on your highway or your backroad,
You can get off, and go pee in the woods
There's a strange freedom I find only at truck stops
Men in flannel, and prison tatoos
Who probably came from Nam, inexplicable Nam
To their hometowns where they were treated as baby killers
And finding no peace in their factory jobs
Just like monks they found their zen on the highway

Pass me the beef jerky
Next rest stop, in 110 miles
Watch the bikers weave the truckers
Halfway between Kerouac and Nascar, we're on the road

'Cuz back at our jobs, there's no quick exit
No getting distracted by a roadside ostrich farm
And out on this tightrope, between the corn and the barely
The yellow line parade stops only if we're tired or hungry
But oh if we're hungry, those sweet sweet diners
Where they call you honey, and they serve you fresh pie
And they point to your maps, and they tell you what's to do
And telling them to keep the change, we head back to our cars

Well the bladders are full, and the needle says "E"
No I mean the bladders are really full
So we'll stop, but just for a minute
To say hi to our trucker friends, and buy more smoked meats
Track Name: Such Uncomfortable Chairs
Socks on our feet
Wooden floors
I slide farther than you
When you're upside down
Chandeliers
Are uncomfortable chairs
Such uncomfortable chairs for you

Steak on a stick
Tilt a whirl
I'll fool the guesser of weight
Win you the red and the blue stuffed dogs

Ollie ollie oxen free
Ready or not
Here I come

Shuffle our feet
On a brand new rug
Let's go shock the dog
Back of the car
Watching the wires
Dance in and out of our view

We read a book
Earned us a fish
He died the very next day
Right next to his flakes of food
Track Name: The Sea
Let's go and buy us a boat and head out to sea
Why, we'll get matching hats and a compass and a map
In a boat made for just you and me
Oh and shiver me timbers, even though we're not swimmers
We will be safe out at sea
Why the fish they will feed us and the sharks will protect us
We'll drift so easy and free

And yo, ho, a pirate's life for us
Yes yo, ho, a pirate's life for us

And when the sun sets well we won't have to fret
When we're alone out on the sea
Why the moon is so bright, he'll be our nightlight
As we comfortably drift off to sleep
And then in the morning when I am done snoring
We'll see the best sunrise of our lives
And as the whales chase the shrimp, the dolphins will all make us
Laugh until we all cry

Maybe we'll find an island
The map didn't say we'd see
You know, I really don't know what is out there
But as I find out I'm sure I would like you to be next to me

And when we return with our rickets and scurvy
From our adventure out there on the sea
Why we'll tell those tales of riding those whales
And what it's like to truly be free
Then they might ask us "Well, what did you learn?"
And "Tell us now, what does it all mean?"
And without a doubt, I'd quickly announce
"Go find your fish in the sea!"
Track Name: Thank You Hippie Generation
Well long ago, there were a good-hearted few
Who looked around and saw what they had to do
So they wrote some songs, and made some signs
And formed a bunch of picket lines
And pissed off the rest of the country
But by and by their numbers grew and grew
Till they were side by side with My Lai on the news
And when wearing flowers or burning towns
Seemed the only paths we could go down
Well we packed it up and our war went away

So thank you hippie generation
For not quittin' until you knew your voice was heard
Because today we'd like some change from the way it is
And I think you've shown us that it can be done

Because if today I told my friends at work
"By five thirty tonight I'll be at the demonstration
"Yeah, we're marching there to stop this war
"and bring the troops back home."
They'd laugh me right out of the break room
Oh but I refuse to believe I'm the only one who knows
Fuck the weatherman, we could be the wind that blows
But we don't know what's the best to do
So we'll join another Facebook group
And try to drink our war away

So thank you hippie generation
But I'm not sure that a protest is the way
Because today we'd like some change from the way it is
But don't forget, man, the times they have a-changed.

So on a gray day back in February '03
The world got fed up and took its case to the streets
Ten million worldwide marching strong
Broke all those records from Vietnam
And thirty three days later they invaded

So thank you hippie generation
For making protest a dirty word
Because today we'd like some change from the way it is
You've just given us one less option
Track Name: Running Water
Pick up my paycheck, my warring country's legal drug of choice
And tonight, between reruns of Law & Order with the sexy special guest
Talking dogs will tell me what to buy
They just put up a Wal-Mart right next to my favorite shopping mall!
Oh, clean and shiny sprawl! Comfortably insured from thought!
And I can't wait to be told what to think

Staring at those diverging paths
Of wives and kids and toys and dogs
Of drugs and sex and rock and roll
Of sports cars parked in corporate spots
And trying to figure out which is worse
Selling fries or buying lies
But there's sure as hell no direction home

Bus my last table, grab the train, watch the people fear the rain
Give the bums some drinking change, my church's offering plate
And peruse the secondhand stores
Dollar menu dinner, I retreat to my underground home
With underground books, and overdue rent
Where we smoke and strain for truth
Track Name: Happy Tribes of Injuns
Well in fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus he bent down to tie his shoe, and when he looked up he thought he had found the back end of the world.
Cuz all he could see were mountains and trees and beautiful rivers and lakes and streams, and it felt great to finally find a place untouched by man.
When from out behind those beautiful trees stepped a man so strong and graceful and lean, and Columbus, not knowing where the hell he was, called this man an Injun.
Not unlike a deer that Injun froze and gave Columbus a look from head to toe, just trying to figure out why a man would put that much
Effort just into what he wore

"Why, those fancy shoes won't help you catch your dinner! Nor will that three cornered hat! And how on earth could stockings that tight ever be comfortable?"
"Enough of that," Columbus yelled, "I'm here on business so show me where you dirty, smelly Injuns keep your gold!"
"What's gold?" The powerful Injun asked, and Columbus let out a hearty laugh. And giving a wink to his thugs he said
"Boys, the gold is ours for the taking."
So the Injun went on about his day and caught some fish while Columbus played in his New World Sandbox where he tried to find
The shiniest rock to bring back to his queen

And after five hundred years
Of searching around for gold
Maybe it's time we asked ourselves
"What else could we do with our time?"

Well in fourteen hundred and ninety three Columbus returned to build a colony, as any wise man would know the potential for slave trade here.
And in the name of God and Spain he knew it was time to go and explain to those dirty Injuns the concept of land ownership.
"You see, red people," Columbus began, "What is the true hope of every man is a piece of land to call his own on which no one else can step."
"Why can't we share?," the Injuns screamed, "It's worked for us for centuries!" And Columbus let out a laugh for he knew the Injuns would love it if they would just give it a chance.
For as far as Christopher Columbus could see the Injuns lived in poverty. No marble floors or fancy gowns or other high culture comforts.
"And look how silly they do dance, barefoot around fires in a spiritual trance. Don't they even know a proper, civilized waltz?"
But the Injuns liked their way of life, so much so that they decided to fight. But they fought in the name of freedom and respect instead of God. So they lost.

So Columbus and company have been here for a while and those pesky Injuns have been exiled to those tiny midwestern plots of barren land.
And where once grew those mighty trees with which the Injuns lived in harmony, we've built gray boxes inside of which we sit away our lives.
In front of desks, in front of screens, behind the steering wheels of our dreams. We sit on couches, fat, content, and call this "civilization."
But still we hope for a far off land which appears to us untouched by man, after which learn it's always been filled with Happy Tribes of Injuns.
Track Name: Empty Nests
Cubes of ice, glass of lemonade
Muggy night, slap the bugs away
Front porch swing, hovers in the breeze
Watch the sun bounce off the moon

Whistle of a train echoes miles away
Screen door slams, you smile as you say
"What a beautiful night," and you lean into me
Let's make this last tonight

Because it's been three years since the kids moved away
And we've changed quite a bit since when we used to date
But we've gone this long, and I know there's still a spark
So let's make this last tonight

You've still got that adorable smile
We wear our rings everyday
I know we can't be young again,
But I still want to grow old with you
Track Name: Tortoise
I wanna be your tissue, but not exactly me
Rather my sleeve which has a greater degree of absorbancy
I wanna be your blanket, I want to make you pee
Center my weight on your bladder, you legs kick wild and free

Urban vermin attacking your car
But the left one went out first

I wanna be your retainer, soak all day in Listerine
Helping you smile, but please don't forget me on your lunch tray
I want you to be with me in a tent in a Dakota
Shiver our timbers and brush our teeth by the lake
Track Name: The Prime of Your Life
When I was six years old I asked my dad
"When will be the prime of my life?"
I think I was afraid that he answer would be now
Just being six and running around
Because that would be a lot for a six year old boy to take
He'd think that it's all downhill from here
Luckily, that wasn't what he said

"Son, the best years of your life are going to be
those first few years when you get out of college
You'll be in the best physical shape of your entire life
You'll be finally getting your first real paycheck
And you'll have your whole life ahead of you."
Well I asked around, and it seems most people agree
That I'm in the prime of my life

And even though I'm 23
And all that he has said has come true
It's still a lot to take

The prime of your life is now
Track Name: For Now Let's Count All the Beauty We See
Well it's Saturday night and my head's not quite right
There's so much that I still want to do
So let's put coke in our rum, write some stories for fun
Mine search for beauty and yours find it everywhere

You sing la dee da
You sing la dee da

So let's get up and dance, show these punks real romance
You know, when I dip you we don't spill our drinks
And then after last call and we've said goodbye to all
Arm in arm as we laugh our way home

We sing la dee da
We sing la dee da

Sometimes I forget that all we know is now
And if you can't see the beauty
then you just don't know how
Because you might miss the best nights of your life
If you spend them just wishing for more

For now let's count all the beauty we see
Track Name: Am I The Only One Going to The Waterpark?
Am I the only one going to the waterpark?

Courtyard Inns
At the employee's rate
I think it's like five am

Let's get out the maps
Our bag of brochures
Let's all have McDonald's for breakfast!

Well we've come this far and we're passing through
Maybe there's a lazy river! A speed slide?! Well I'll come too!

You're not the only one going to the waterpark!