Apocryphal Blues

by Harrison Lemke

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02:12
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about

four somewhat conjectural songs about our first parents

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released March 11, 2018

written Jan.-Feb. and recorded Feb.-Mar. 2018 by Harrison in the living room and his bedroom

thanks to God, Moses, the scribes, and a pious Egyptian of the 5th or 6th century

thanks also to Magdalene for help of a more immediate kind

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Harrison Lemke Austin, Texas

tape-hiss symphonies to God

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Track Name: Apocryphal Blues
We stood outside his garden gate and cried.
We stood outside his garden gate and cried.
He was firm but kind,
but he wouldn't change his mind.

We threw ourselves from the stony mountaintop.
We threw ourselves from the stony mountaintop.
We got covered in blood,
but it wasn't enough.

We stood in the river for forty days and forty nights.
We stood in the river for forty days and forty nights.
It was cold as ice,
but it would not suffice.

On the day you died, we wept and prayed
and tore our skin and burnt up whatever we could find.
On the day you died, we wept and prayed
and tore our skin and burnt up whatever we could find.
He was firm but kind,
but he wouldn't change his mind.
No, he wouldn't change his mind.
Track Name: Animals
Didn't know we were naked because nobody told us,
felt like nobody could be but in awe to behold us
(we were in awe of everything back then).
But we pull skins around us that aren't even ours, now,
dress up like the animals we know that we are now.
Show myself to you, then cover up again.

It's an instinct, but it's brand new,
'cause I feel you looking at me the way I'm looking at you.

Once we loved all the animals and gave them their names
but now you'd never even know it to hear them complain,
cries that cut like knives when we lie down in the dark.
Our old friends see us coming and remember what we've done,
smell us on the wind and they know they've got to run.
Little eyes like wandering stars that watch us from afar.

It's an instinct, but it's brand new.
Feel them looking at me the way I'm looking at you.
Track Name: East Ends of the Earth
Wept when we saw
the sort of place that it was.
Had you even bothered
to raise anything up
from that dust?

Get hungry and thirsty
and cold when it's night.
Find the dead sparrows,
and wonder what that
must be like.
Track Name: Euphrates River Delta Blues
When the rain comes, it gives life to everything.
When the rain comes, it gives life to everything.
But when it comes, it doesn't stay,
and when it goes, it's a long time away.
When the rain comes,
when the rain comes.

The river swells up like a mother with child.
The river swells up like a mother with child.
The river's wide, the river's deep,
and it's a wonder you don't kill us in our sleep.
The river swells up,
the river swells up.

And at times, I may have wondered what all of this was for.
I admit, at times I've wondered what all of this was for.
Did you forget to come and wake us up
for nine hundred years, or what?
But the rain comes,
the rain comes,
the rain comes,
the rain comes.