Home to Roast

by Jesse W. Johnson

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1.
Strawman 04:30
I dreamed of you and I And it reminded me you’re still alive There was a glaze over your eyes And a smile that used to satisfy Long ago, when hearts were thawed Before you pulled my last straw A wayward soul only knows Silence can be just as cruel And the last one standing is the fool Cause who then will he hang around When everyone is in the ground Dead oh dead? We are two dogs fighting in a field Two old dogs that never learned how to heal One lights the fires that burn the best And the other one doesn’t have many bridges left A wayward soul only knows Silence can be just as cruel And the last one standing is the fool Cause who then will he hang around When everyone is in the ground Dead oh dead? They say smiles are for forgiving Tides are made to turn Here is to the two of us, never having learned
2.
It was a shrill dark cry in the middle of the night That woke me up, and I know it’s not all right Like a thousand knives it cut to me It sounded like some cold, calculated machine “There’s no delaying, only waiting for me” It was like the drugs you were denied Looking out your window at the same sky When I saw you smiling through the pain I knew that things would never be the same “There’s no delaying, only waiting for me” The cold coyote screams “You'd better go and say goodbye,” Someone’s calling out tonight “You better go and say goodbye,” Someone’s calling out tonight “You better go and say goodbye,” Someone’s calling out tonight “You better go and say goodbye,” Someone’s calling out tonight “You know you better go and say goodbye,” Someone’s calling out tonight “You better go and say goodbye,” Someone’s calling out tonight
3.
Jennifer Green saw a snow white bunny Digging a hole into her brain The children would laugh, but it wasn’t funny And oh how that hole, it has remained Jennifer grew up without emotions Each time she’d strap on a smile For all of the boys, they’re just like fish in the ocean Of them she grew tired after awhile She got her degree from a women’s college After the crash in ‘29 That’s where she learned, to the best of our knowledge The quiet art of cyanide The silent art of saying goodbye Jennifer Green In her blue scrubs and gown She’s making her rounds Jennifer Green With a smile on her lips A syringe in her fingertips Jennifer Green She’s got blood in her eyes She keeps it all so well disguised (bring it all over the town) She was a sweet angel of mercy She was a black angel of death A tiny mark on each of her victims One little kiss on the back of the neck Where a needle would stick A hole in the neck
4.
You were talking bad about the big production Can’t relate to the constant cast reduction You don’t want to be the only one who loves you more Or you will lag behind to stay ahead of course And in the morning when you wake up, drink your coffee I read your novel cover to cover and every copy Wander into the restaurant like a fool Stare out at the waitress until she sees you drool And If you taste another penny in your pocket Don’t you waste another moment as the prophet When you see them out there on a new horizon Let the willows fall and let all the widows weep ‘Cause like an out paid actress you could play someone exciting Or like a pillow you could put me right to sleep And If you taste another penny in your pocket Don’t you waste another moment as the prophet
5.
When I’m feeling good And in control Of the many ghosts That’s about the time I go back home About the time I go About the time I go back home Home to roast, home to roast She said it’s no secret that I am Tortured like a vulture in the clouds With a taste for your human skin And no way to come down Home to roast, home to roast She said it’s no secret what we had And it’s a shame it’s all decaying now When I think about who we used to be I can only let you down About the time I go About the time I go About the time I go Home to roast
6.
The Pills 02:58
Walking alone in the dark I found somebody to love Helping myself to a lie That no one wanted to give me And oh, I hope it goes down easy Oh, I hope it brings you back to me For it all wasn’t a ride that I Would like to take that often But it was another chance to try For someone that I loved And oh, I hope you go down easy Oh, I hope it brings you back to me 'Cause tomorrow I might not be there To hold you in my arms Taking the pills I find laying around Just to get out of my mind And oh, I hope they go down easy Oh, I hope it brings you back to me The pills, the pills, the pills, the pills The pills, the pills, the pills, the pills, the pills, the pills
7.
Supply and demand Put the power in their hands Tonight my light is not shining You can read them the news By the light of the moon The Detroit River is smiling Do you wanna know the truth? I’m thirsty for you Uncork the barrels And fill up my glass Tonight my life is worth living So holster your guns boys And forget the pact For this my life ain’t worth giving Do you wanna know the truth? I’m thirsty for you Do you want to know the truth About my moonshine shoes? She was a growing trade Goodbye my bootleg She was a growing trade What gave her away? She was a growing trade Goodbye my bootleg She was a growing trade What gave her away? Do you wanna know the truth? I’m thirsty for you
8.
Forty Below 04:16
Somewhere a young man pulls his car into a station He’s got a secret tied up in his eyes somewhere Where it all went wrong he just can’t say for certain But it’s sure looking like a cold one way out there A girl is trying hard to undo the ropes across her hands While he’s in the station paying for the gasoline He was running traffic lights, she was screaming bloody murder Like “What do you want with..?” and “Where are you taking me?” On the cold stone, sleep alone It’s forty below and counting Oh no, you’re gonna need warmer clothes It’s one long ride up that mountain She was a restless one who went from friend to lover Like a giant jumbo jet, a rocket in the sky Tonight is a different trip ‘cause she is going under She’s praying hard for wings, yet still she cannot fly From the cold stone, sleep alone It’s forty below and counting Oh no, you’re gonna need warmer clothes It’s one hell of a ride down that mountain
9.
The Hermit 04:33
When I came home, after the dawn Only to find you stammering on Well it broke my heart, it was something profound To see you in tatters, sewn into the ground If you leave it to me, don’t hurt all your pride Lemme take you in, take you inside Leave it to me, but did I leave you to die, Put a gun to your head, or overfeed you with lies? How did you find me after so long? I was a hermit, I was as good as gone And how did this happen after we left? I could not remember what not to forget
10.
Upon this single mattress Floating somewhere out in space With a most uncertain state I had a grand illusion Of myself once, as a king I was struggling with the reins Can you face the strain? You’re in a most uncertain state Can you make the change, oh With what little that remains? oh, oh, ooooh I was left out here to pasture In this field of pollen grains And I was left out here to graze Tried to turn my knowledge of the history books Into a living wage For beyond the final page Can you face the strain? You’re in a most uncertain state Can you make the change, oh With what little that remains? oh, oh, ooooh Now I won’t apologize Don’t think that I am vain My only wish remains To put all of my pennies In a pickle jar remains My only wish remains

credits

released April 10, 2010

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© & ℗ 2010 Jesse W. Johnson

Jesse W. Johnson – vocals, guitar, harmonica
Clint Dodson – bass, drums, hammond B3
Genevieve Knoebel – viola
Yoo Soo Kim – acoustic guitar, viola, vocals

Recorded at Pogo Studio and Old Fire Studio in IL

Mixed & Produced by Jesse W. Johnson, Mark Rubel (1-5, 7-8) and Yoo Soo Kim (6, 9-10)

Artwork by Angela G. Pestano

Photography by Alexa Johnson
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Jesse W. Johnson Chicago, Illinois

"Hooky-yet-dark rock and roll, with the tiniest little twinge of country twang"
- Nasty Fancy

"Little slices of life at its darkest moments of despair amidst upbeat tempos and vibrant sounds of Americana/Folk Rock"
- Southside on the Town
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