Come Away From the Light

by The Scarring Party

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1.
02:49
2.
3.
02:54
4.
5.
01:41
6.
7.
8.
02:30
9.
10.
01:33
11.
01:57
12.
03:44

credits

released March 15, 2008

Daniel Bullock - vocals, accordion, guitar, wurlitzer
Isabella Carini - tuba, glockenspiel
Willy Dintenfass - banjo on tracks 5 and 12
Blayne Greiner - banjo on tracks 1-4, 6, and 8-11
Dan Fisher - clarinet, bassoon, bass clarinet and contra alto
James Burzelic - percussion
Chris Roberts - drums on "After the War"
Cathy Kolb - violins
Crystal Rausch - cello
Hannah Rose - double bass

engineered by Mike Lust
mastered by Trevor Sadler
all songs written by Daniel Anthony Bullock

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about

The Scarring Party Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee "end timey" quartet blends music hall and early American roots music to draw macabre character sketches with accordion, banjo, tuba and unorthodox percussion.

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Track Name: Revelator
Revelator

The laces of his ribs caged
A heart blue as a robin's egg
Abandoned like a boat half full of water
Kept from sinking by its tether to the harbor

Like a willow spilling downward
Or a hand to holy water
His back bent like a reed against the storm.
He shrank until he wasn't there at all.

Tell us what you saw, John
Drinking wormwood water from a brandy glass
Oh, John, won't you tell us what you saw

I saw a beast with bright red eyes
Eyes as bright as a liquor store sign
I saw a beast, tall and wide
Tall and wide as the water tower's high
I swear… I swear that's what I saw

His tired eyes had narrowed
Sullen, sunken, lined in shadow
Like a flower bending to a setting sun
John wondered if his time had finally come

His kudzu veins had hardened
Ever since the drinking started
His life had been a quiet passing storm
John sought to leave his mark upon the world

Tell us what you saw, John
Clutching a pen in your trembling hand
Oh, John, won't you tell us what you saw

I saw a beast with seven heads
A head for every emperor of Rome
I saw a beast with a crown of horns
A crown of horns and a chandelier of jaws
I swear… I swear that's what I saw
Track Name: After the War
After the War

With a switchknife he cut his lip
And gave me a rubella red kiss
His hands sway with my hips until we're both too drunk to dance

I thought maybe in another life
I could have been the misfit's wife
And when his ghost moves on, he'll come back as a wild dog

One year later, he was gone
He never came back from the war
Oh my my, never came back from the war

Love is nothing you can hold or have
Like a secret whispered in my hand
Still I carry a piece of him
Saved all his letters in a reefer tin

Kept a switch knife in my winter coat
And when I walk from the train alone
In the palm of my sweaty hand
I hold that knife and think of him

A few letters and his ghost
He never came back from the
He never came back from the war

Stepped off the train into the evening air
The creak and clank platform the stairs
A stranger's steps fell close behind
I felt a hand clasp my arm tight

I twisted out my switch knife
It caught the blare of the street lamp's light
Before I thrust it in that stranger's throat
I heard a wild dog moan low

The warm kiss on my knife and wrist
It's like you came back from the war
It's like you came back from the war
Track Name: Flat
When the world was flat
Before smoke filled the air, trees shadowed the land
When the world was flat
In fire and rain, god spoke onto man
There were no whalebone ships
Or slaves below deck
When the world was flat

When the world was flat
Noah's ark sailed on a dinosaur's back
When the world was flat
There were no broken bones or illness at all
Oceans spilled across maps
like a tipped champagne glass
When the world was flat

Round as a wrecking ball
Chained to a crane
Swinging lead-heavy here to there
With its nose in the air
In a clumsy pirouette
Making rubble of this and that
Now all of the magic has gone
From blue bejeweled world that was

When the world was flat
Empires crumbled, rose and changed hands
When the world was flat
Miles stretched farther across water and sand
Men were quite small
Only six inches tall
When the world was flat

I met a man who walked the world's edge
Stood where the oceans poured into the black
When I asked him why
He replied back:
"Everyone has a line in their path
that they can't toe around or step past.
It took years to find mine,
but you'll find yours in time
just as I did
when the world was flat".
Track Name: Leslie Ann Merrimac
Leslie Ann Merrimac had bruises all around her neck
And a silver trail of latch-hooks down her back
Strings of pearls tied to each
Tethered to her husband's reach
She seldom felt a slack upon her leash

As a child he
gathered critters large and small
Built devices
for dismembering them all

It began in '91, when Leslie Ann was rather young
Her father had passed on and she moved out to Bloomington
Feeling desperate and alone
She thought she had found love
In the strong but silent, somewhat violent preacher's eldest son

He was a monster
With a ghoulish overbite
Raised a hand to her
To keep her wandering eye in line

Leslie Ann Merrimac dressed head to toe in funeral black
Never shared her loving husband's bed
Slept in corners standing upright
As he gripped the pearls tight
Pains splashed down her spine throughout the night

He would beat her
As his father had done to him
With a leather strap
Left rosy welts across her chest

Leslie Ann Merrimac woke to find her husband dead
One winter's eve he passed on in his sleep
Rigor mortis had set in
And while struggling from his grip
Bent a hook and in her spine, broke off a pin

Pearls rained down
Bounced along the hardwood floor
A frosty numb crept in
And her eyes fell closed once more

On a cemetery hill
Along a row of pines
She was buried by her loving husband's side
Track Name: See Evil
It ain't the missiles we build
Foreigners killed
Capitol hill or the morning-after pill
It ain't the nuclear bombs
Absent gods
Oil in the ground or the penny and the pound

No, people are the evil of the world
People are the evil of the world

It ain't the smog we breathe
The blood in our meat
Atrocities of poverty or starving in the streets
It ain't the price of gas
The elephant or the ass
The privileged rich or the ruling class

No, people are the evil of the world
People are the evil of the world

You may pray for redemption
But your god is just an invention
There's no heaven, near as I can tell
Just an earth, we've slowly turned to hell

It left Berlin in two
Iraq in ruin
Haiti and Sudan in the warlords' hands
It fills mass graves
Trades in slaves
Left Paris in flames, bombs trains in Spain

No people are the evil of the world
People are the evil of the world
Track Name: Left Hand Tied
Press your Cheshire grin
To my blistered lips again
Even a guillotine
deserves a second chance

To kiss your egg white throat
And your winter brittle bones
I've seen the flock of eyeless hungry birds
Under your wool coat
Poking through the button holes
They sang above your every whispered word

As a boy, I knew wrong from right
As a boy, I was humble, I was shy
I was silent, obedient and kind
Back when my left hand was tied

From the warmth of our wet kiss
Trickled, dripping from my lips
Thinking of it now, I swoon and sway
Like the birches in the thinning wood
Between the wicked and the good
In firefly blood, I've written both our names

As a boy, I knew wrong from right
As a boy, I was humble, I was shy
I was silent, obedient and kind
Back when my left hand was tied
Track Name: Everything I Touched Caught Fire
The tender breathing belly of an orange under-cloud
the scrutiny of a streetlamp over me
Drew a breath of smoke from the heavy autumn air
just outside the courthouse finally free
Pawned a driftwood clarinet and a silver chain I had
bought a greyhound ticket heading west
Underneath the blanket of a lost and found box jacket
My head against the window trying to rest

Gonna scar my face
in a different place
or maybe wear my hat down low
Pull a stick-up job
on some five and dime
Keep slithering town to town

I shuffled along the shoulder of an unmarked road
stopped to catch my breath outside Des Plaines
slipped into a Laundromat to grab some baggy clothes
then slept out on the ashtray by the lake
The very next evening in some half-deserted bar
some black-eyed Molly bought me watered drinks
a couple hours later, swapped stories in her kitchen
while waiting for leftovers to reheat

Gonna change my ways
Try and be some place
Gonna fight the urge to go
Find an honest job
at some nine to five
and maybe stick around

Early the next morning,
she called a friend of her late husband's
a foreman at a plastics factory
Got me some shit job for under the table cash
just until I got back on my feet
I could picture Molly through two black eyes crying
even though I hadn't wronged her yet
Every time I'd ever managed landing on my feet
I'd be looking for a cozy place to sit

Cut my fingers trimming flash, burned both of my hands
the foreman came to ride me about the rate
The hopper wound up jammed.
I over-filled the press.
The foreman sent me home for the day
I couldn't face Molly, so I walked around for hours
before I started fixing to leave
a day or two later, I read in some paper
about a fire at that factory

Gonna scar my face
in a different place
or maybe wear my hat down low
Pull a stick-up job
on some five and dime
Keep slithering town to town
Track Name: Anywhere
It's a beautiful world
if you've been lied to
by parents and priests
the vain and the tired
somehow we live here
this Babel of flesh
every man standing
on another man's back

Let this be a call to arms
at the changing of the avant garde
Nothing in this world is beautiful
anywhere ever

We're all on tv
It's the world's excuse
for being disfigured
and lying to you
The program is unending
The channel is unchanged
The lucky retire
to an earlier grave
Track Name: Follow It Down
When I walked on my hind legs
Snow-covered roads and frozen lakes
Temptation came and took my hand
I went into the woods with him

When the Lord took him from me
Birds rained dead and fish bellied up from the sea
Like candle wax, my fallen tears
Dried on my cheek and lingered there

Cast my heart in hell's wired jaw
Slick my hide with open cuts
I'll crawl through and follow it down

The road has melted with the thaw
My tender fate in mercy's claw
The storm door whine of years gone by
Send me your flood, famine and fire

Cast my heart in hell's wired jaw
Slick my hide with open cuts
I'll crawl through and follow it down
Track Name: No More Room
She's got oxblood boots and a carney's laugh
a silver spoon with a razor's edge
Veins as fine as rabbit hair
her blood runs cold as gravel in there
She wears a derby hat and a black pea coat
stands on the stern of a cap-sized boat
In a world washed a-flood with sin
She cries out through a fang-lined grin

There's no more room in hell, boys
no more room in hell
Ain't a plot of ground to keep a dead man down
There's no more room in hell

There's no more room in hell, boys
no more room in hell
Our souls we keep while the devil sleeps
there's no more room in hell

We paddled across a sea of ash
sweat and blood and outstretched hands
My eyes met with others there
some were strangers' others friends'
Drowned others just to reach that boat
our savior in the black pea coat
her marrow-fair hand wrung my wrist
leaned to an ear and whispered this

There's no more room in hell, boys
no more room in hell
Ain't a plot of ground to keep a dead man down
There's no more room in hell

There's no more room in hell, boys
no more room in hell
Our souls we keep while the devil sleeps
there's no more room in hell
Track Name: Eye
Some god said thou shall not kill
for only he takes life
But we believe in justice
more savage than the crime
Take a bamboo reed or pull a switch from a tree
beat your killers 'til the break of night
Take a cordless drill or a soldering iron
and an extra set of pliers

Give us an eye
Give us an eye
We're taking what we came for and we will not be denied

You must confess your every sin
and take a stone from the pile
Form a line and cast your judgement
of any standing trial
Electric chairs leave a sulfur stink
and injection's far too quiet
But a thirsty rusted razor could
lick the brine out of an eye

Give us an eye
Give us an eye
We're taking what we came for and we will not be denied
Track Name: Monsters
Why yes, Henri, I do believe in monsters
Not the kind with leathery scales
bloodshot eyes or lizard tails
not the ones with razor claws
yellow fangs or gaping jaws
No, I don't believe in those monsters at all

Why yes, Naheed, I do believe in monsters
Not the kind beneath your bed
waiting for your sleeping head
to roll past your mattress edge
so it can pull you by the hair
helpless to your bedroom floor
where it climbs upon your chest
hold a paw across your mouth
so you cannot cry for help
while your parents, panicked frantic
pound outside your bedroom door...
No I don't believe in those monsters at all

Where do all the lost dogs go
kitchen knives and vanished pills
soldiers' severed legs and arms
a joker from a dirty deck of cards
unmailed checks and unpaid bills
and all of the missing little boys and girls

They go down... down... into the monster's mouth