Vanish Line Lyrics

I don’t normally do this, but few people have asked if I would post lyrics on our site.  So here goes: these are the complete lyrics for Vanish Line.  I might follow up with the lyrics for Clean Slate and maybe even a dedicated lyrics page soon.  Who knows…



Beyond my own thoughts are strings of cacti lined along a vanish line,
Streaking past periphery as they blur into the mile marker signs,

We are bristling with youth and hurtling towards tragedy and scars,
As the desert air surrounds and we recount aloud how we each received ours,

We’ll meet the horizon where the sun goes down and deify the turnpikes’s twisting lines,
No thunderclap or man could remove our kingly crowns,
We are drinking dandelions,

Beyond all I know is a serenity of houses, farms and wives,
And everlasting souls arranged in pairs and moving through each other’s lives,

We may not be men but we are armored, we are shielded, we have pride,
We race around concentric circles burning all the homes where we reside.

Matter of Fact

Let it wash all over me,
Put the honey soap down,
I’m clean enough as you can see,
You’ve not enough to go around,

It comes as a matter of fact that she wasn’t mine,
It comes as a matter of fact that your tone’s out of line,

Let the sun rise up again,
I’m sorry Honey I’ve got to go,
You are the notion I’m swimming in,
You’ve more than just my word to know,

In spite of all of my answers and all of my reasons,
In spite of all of our fault lines I am alive,
And when you come up to my town you know that I will settle down,
In spite of all of your reasons I am yours,

The mountain carries my words to you,
Thrown around from time to time,
It’s not as though I wanted to,
My words don’t always speak my mind.


Stand tall and spend it all
I can spend the winter in high boots and overalls,
I’m down in Oxford Town,
There’s a hole in my pocket and I’m spinning like a cannon ball,

If that river were whiskey,
Baby, I’d be a diving duck,
All my friends would come by,
We’d sit down here and drink Firewater,

Scythe high at harvest time,
Bleed, sweat, and leave it out on the line,
And all my family ties will,
Join in as the day slips into night,

Find the levee and burn it down.

Northern Town

I followed my love to a northern town,
And she dressed in delicate gowns,
We were hanging around a northern town,

Shimmy she wobble on cobble stones,
Ripped up and carefully thrown out,
On the ground in delicate mounds,
Hanging around a northern town,

All my worries are fading away,
With each waking of a Canadian day,
I breath in and soak the chimerical rays,

I followed my love to a northern town,
And we kissed as the fireworks sounded,
We were hanging around a northern town,

Je suis heureux j’adore votre pay,
Vous etes le peuple du soleil,
Hanging around a northern town.


Before all the changes, I walked straight and upright,
With all of my faults in a line,
I gathered my essence to pour out like water,
And begat a hole in time,

My heels wore through feeling, painful and easy,
Waisting one step at a time,
Through meandering rivers of asphalt and concrete,
Begetting holes in life,

Encased in an island, hollow and sterile,
With spirits and walls intertwined,
If I had the power to wish straight through stone walls,
I’d beget a hole in mine.

I Am Not Your Friend

A year on my own and I was thinking that I’d bring the hammer down,
A better life had passed you by and gone while you were not around,
You can give me a phone call, drop me a line,
But I am not your friend; I’m your lover despite our lack of common ground,

All I want is for you to say it hurt,
But all I hear is the singing of a bird,
Preambles and non-sequiters and glibly stated artifacts,
I am yours, but I am not your friend I’m your lover,

An invitation to the ocean state for the weekend to relax,
I left the house with a couple of knives and a feather quill stuck in my back,
I told you before I came, I told you twice,
I don’t think I can do this again and keep my bleeding heart intact.

Drunk at the Library

Please don’t leave me right now,
I gotta get home and right now I don’t know how,

The top of the post was reachable only by air,
As the alarms cried out and the rebel ride jumped on the fare,

Lord don’t go anywhere,
The street is moving and I can’t breath in the air,

The curves of his face were etched out in black and white,
As the band packed up and the smoke rose up in the light,

I got a helmet; I got your back,

I’m alright in the light,
The alley is calling and I can’t put up a fight,

The square was pulsing and the courthouse was shining bright,
And my blood was calling from the very ground.

Juke Joint

We were coming around the levy and you were hanging on my arm,
We were hoping things were starting on time out in the barn,
Just when we arrived, they rosined up the bow,
We were standing closer as the band played out real slow,

I moved close to where you were, hoping to see things better,
I hung on your every word, stringing them all together,

You smiled soft and knowing as the fiddle played its part,
And the gut-bucket filled the low end with the beating of my heart,
And the racket from the washboard soared into the air,
And mixed with all the voices singing out in prayer,

The sound of the mandolin rang like bells in winter,
You looked on with innocence for the rest of all us sinners,

Bring out a tin pail and put it in a spot where everyone can see,
And we’ll fill it with kerosene to the top and light it to the beat,
Shadows dance around us and move along the walls, circling the flames,
Feet pound on the floorboards, lift the working dust, shake the shadow’s names,

I felt it down in my bones and moved a little closer,
We danced in the bucket’s glow and almost knocked it over,

As walked out of the ramble the stars rose in the air,
As if they heard the voices singing on in there,
I drove towards the highway and you promised we’d return,
As you looked out of the window at the kerosene fire burn.

Ordinary Ways

Come and tell me everything,
Everything you wanted to hear,
Say it slow and say low this time,
All the words that would endear,
If I could say them clear,
If I could say them twice,

The streets are running red with hope,
Emptied out and cobblestoned,
The windows glaring shadows of your face,
Love and violence all intoned,
In a single word you’d throw,
Claiming to entice,

I won’t stand for another trial,
No matter how it’s worded or phrased,
Footprints are stretching on for miles,
I am walking around in sort of a daze,

Everyone looks familiar
when you haven’t seen a friendly face for days,
And I’m still stuck in my ordinary ways,

Better leave it left alone,
Streaming out over the wire,
Fingers dancing nimbly to and fro,
Responding to a world of liars,
And they’re dancing on a fire,
Burning through the ice,

My breath is floating on top of the air,
It’s colder here than I can recall,
My feet are sore and soon to go bare,
I am walking around for the hell of it all,

Everything looks familiar
when you’ve walked for miles and found you’ve lost your way,
And I’m still stuck in all my ordinary ways.


When I was young I kept my tongue in my pocket,
And a spoonful of cold molasses stuck in my mouth,
But my mind was racing like a solid fuel rocket,
With ideas of love and romance running around,

I spent my days applying varnish and laquer,
But my mind was stuck inside my head like a jar,
My heart shot skyward like a lit firecracker,
When we met on the train inside a passenger car,

I’ve been stammering for forty years,
But it’s coming easy on the 4th of July,
I am grounded by the sound of your voice,
But I am flying from the look in your eyes,

Across the tables in the car we would stare on,
I couldn’t tell you how it happened or why,
But when you asked me if I might like to share one,
Out came an eloquent and witty reply,

We watched the fireworks clime up in the heavens,
And light up all of the midsummer sky,
We fell asleep about ten of eleven,
In each other’s arms as the country went by.

As I Expected from You

Hang on the walls in an old white picture frame,
Sun from the morning seems to call your name,
Light sing down the hall, though I’m not sure how you came,

I’m not bleeding anymore,
We can make love on the floor,
I hear you weeping through the door,
And I’m not sure what I wanted you for,

Sleep through the morning & don’t show me your eyes,
Stains on the bed sheets seem to sever the ties,
Keep the tears from forming at the edge of our compromise,

I’m not screaming your name,
Visions of your art will remain,
I’ve stopped believing in the game,
I’m sorry for my part in making you cry just the same,

I’m not leaving too soon,
I’m not sure what I’m clinging to,
I’m not breathing like I used to,
Things haven’t gone quite as I expected from you.

Leave a Comment