Record Body Count
by Martin Tielli

Joey pulled himself to his feet,
Hauled his body back up the bank
And looked back down there.
He said the water was not that deep;
"But I almost drowned there."
You can drown in a bathtub so they say.
"Someone in class called me a loser,
So I decided to skip the day...

I tried to look casual sneaking round the back,
Past the shotput across the track
And to the gate beside the portables.
But a red tie and school gray slacks
Doesn't blend in with the grass
As the teacher was changing class.

He chased me halfway through the park,
Till I ran into the woods;
And I'm very good in the woods.

So I was an Indian,
Built a fire by the creek
And dried my eyes there."

There's a record body count this year.

Joey stepped up on a block of ice,
Put a rope around his neck,
And fell asleep before he died.

Aliens (Christmas 1988)
by Martin Tielli

They came down 1988:
Thousand spacecraft like petals on the earth,
And they had big eyes,
And they watched like spies
Till they found someone who no one would believe.
There you were in your underwear,
All alone drawing comics for your church.
And we took you up, and we put you under:
Placed you on a table for observation.

Give me a deep kiss, I am longing for distraction.
Let me touch your tits, and keep you occupied.
If this comes as some surprise, I am an Alien.
To observe you I must keep you stoned.

There you lie with your doped up eyes.
Staring past the one who could love you like a Christ.
You see, that's just the way that it is up here,
But I cannot meddle, I will not interfere.

Meet me in the park some time after the night comes.
You will see a star that shines like silver,
Smells like gold.
Follow it through fields and hills and to the landing pad.
You will giver birth to an alien like me.


Northern Wish
by Dave Bidini and Janet Morassutti

Wake up, raise the curtains
From your deep provincial eyes.
Speak up, for I am certain
That it's no disguise.
'Cause soldiers stopping traffic
Couldn't keep these wheels at bay;
Their guns smoked, then the sun broke,
And we hauled away.

And mothers of the country take two flags and make a sail.
We'll sail the big dominion.
This song is falling...

And did you get my message
On the People's Radio?
I wrote it in Alberta
Across the prairie spine.
And I'd rather jump the borders
That trail from east to west
And get the booking agent
To find another band.

I built my rocket in a shed.
I'm going to launch it at the sun.
I'm going to launch it from my pad.
Oh, could I get this?
It's my northern wish.

Meanwhile in the forest
In a parliament of trees,
The ink will crack and dry all up,
But the compass will swing anyways.
And we don't need mathematics
And we don't need submarines
To tell how far that the land does go...
Till it hits the shore.

Wake up, raise the curtains
From your deep provincial eyes.
Speak out, for I am certain
This song is over.

(Land ho!)

by Dave Bidini and Martin Tielli

The moon hung high... in the canopy of sky.
Home, Caroline, home.
The coastline neared... and the deckhands cheered.
Home, Caroline, home.
The mast stood tall... like the best of us all.
Home, Caroline, home.
I thought of the clear light on your hands and on the wood
In a church in Saskatchewan.

On the shore appeared men... like a welcoming parade.
Banners, flags and arsenal.
But they were not what they appeared to be... as their white flags fell.
Banners, flags and arsenal.
I looked up at the moon... and at the water down below.
Home Caroline home.
I tried to remember things... that the pastor used to say.
In a church in Saskatchewan.

Everyone raced onto the deck.
I tried to shoot but I just wretched.
We must wrestle back what we had sown.
We must wrestle back what we had left.

I could not fire, and I don't know why.
Then I knew the truth.
I felt I got what I deserved.
Then I knew the truth.

I lay on the deck... as the cannonballs soared by overhead.
Home, Caroline, home.
The hull gave in... water came rushing in across the deck.
Home, Caroline, home.
I thought of the farm... and the work to be done.
Home, Caroline, home.
I thought of the clean light... and the places that we'd hide
In a church in Saskatchewan.

Everyone raced onto the deck.
I tried to shoot but I could not.
We must wrestle back what we had sown.
We must wrestle back what we had left.

by Dave Bidini

Word came down and it crashed through my door
From the twenty-first floor.
I was thinking about leaving early for lunch
When he told me to shut off my press.
His face turned green and his white shirt was wet
Like he'd just seen an accident.
We threw our masks into a pile.
The trucks pulled away for good.

Holy Mackinaw Joe.

A bus pulled in, and I waved at it,
Before I knew what it was.
We ran in its tracks, chasing its tires,
But the gates had been riveted shut.
I looked for the foreman: His number was empty.
Up to Red Deer to stay.
We gathered some signs and we sparked up a fire.
Gordie got burned on the high-voltage wire.

Holy Mackinaw Joe.

The first thing she'll ask me is: "How did it go today?"
And I'll tell her.

I thought there was strength in a union.
I thought there was strength in a mob.
I thought the company was bluffing,
When they threatened to chop us off.
Ah, these guns will wilt, the winter will seize,
And all the bonfires will go out.
The company knows when they can afford to be bold.
I wish I could, I wish I could, I wish I could.

Holy Mackinaw Joe.

We are the horses...

by Martin Tielli

On a cold road
Somewhere in the south of Ontario
There's a crackle in the air
As they're putting up the very last telephone pole.
Now I'm standing here... where my grandfather stood,
And he chopped wood.

When I was a young boy
I used to take trips
With a bike for girls and my best friend Chris
From the big town into the countryside.
We used to take trips.
We used to take trips.
And now I'm standing here, where I used to stand,
Hand in hand, in a land that was so big.

Do you believe it... in it?
Can you believe it... in it?
Do you believe in it?

There's a mouth on a phone
Somewhere across the ocean blue.
And I know it's you, Christopher Columbus
(Ocean Blue)
With your tie-dye sails
(Ocean Blue).

Chanson les Ruelles
by Tim Vesely

J'ai decide d'ecrire
En francais pour cette chansons.
Ce n'est pas les mots, c'est la melodie
Qui parle avec clarte.
Dans le pays ou il y a deux langues
Il y a beaucoup de gens avec des guitars
Dans sous-sols d'eglises et les arriere-cours
Sur la radio et aussi dans les bars.

Peut-etre nos vents souffrir aux Etats-Unis
Nous chantons pour nous-memes
De tout facon.

Laisser les jeunes etoiles du rock s'en aller sud
Ils oublieront et nous aussi
Ce n'est pas son faut; c'est en fait de le monde
J'espere que la frontiere ne dispairaitre pas...

Lying's Wrong
by Tim Vesely and Martin Tielli

Oh well, I could not believe
The misfortune that beset me
When you came to my door and said "No more."
No more fun, no more believing.
No more comrade in this war.
I knew you'd become sick of me anyway.

Because I never change... I am always the same,
Because I don't believe in things I can't see.
Because I never change... I am always the same,
Because I don't believe in things that are not true.

Well, it's back to the creek
With these things and their reflections,
And there is nothing here that says it's not here.
No more words, no contradiction.
No more hypacrylic dreams.

And mother said, "Lying's wrong."

(Biblisong #1)

And if your right hand makes you stumble...
Pluck it off and throw it from you,
For it's better to have lost one.
If your right eye makes you blink,
Pluck it out and throw it in the kitchen sink,
For it's better to have lost... one.

by Martin Tielli

A train moving out of the station, somewhere south of it.
A satellite making connections somewhere over it.
One makes a long lonely howl, one is silent.
A new design waits to be launched somewhere west of it.

Calling all cans on the go,
This is mission control
Somewhere built below it.

Pass that cup over here; this is boring.
And I don't even do this anymore to believe
The nonsense I'm hearing.
A certain amount of booze is all it takes to relax me.
Then it's back to my parents' home in a taxi.

Back to the place I belong,
To the place I belong.
Somewhere built below it.

I am a science boy.
I grew up on dinosaurs,
A million different species of birds, and aircraft.

This is the science of truth,
Is the science of love,
Is the science of it.

When Winter Comes
by Dave Bidini and Martin Tielli

I read about your band in the entertainment news.
Struck me how you sounded so cynical.
For every Ocean Ranger and penny-poor reserve,
You're wasted in a tavern with other wasted birds.
What about The Band? What about the Guess Who?
The day they made the charts in Billboard magazine...
All the Irish armies couldn't teach you
Of independence, peace, and brotherhood.

I hope I'm never bitter, and I hope I never change.
I hope I have a reason to be concerned.
For all the wounded divers and all the sunken crews
Wouldn't know the secrets of the deep had they waited on board.
Ah, someone wants a contract and someone wants a crumb,
Some will dress in greasepaint on Video Hits...
All the Irish armies couldn't keep you
From standing there, speaking sabre-toothed.
Do you get the urge when winter comes?

All the laughing scarecrows and all the cocaine dogs
Couldn't bark me down my fence into the middle of your yard.
Someone wants a contract and someone wants a crumb,
Some will sing in greasepaint on Video Hits.
All the Irish armies couldn't keep you
From hiking like an injured, aimless mule.
Do you get the urge when winter comes?


In the blue Canadian winter, I'll follow your trail
Till your love becomes a snowbank hardened by gael.
When ice appears on matchsticks and the salt trucks fail,
And coalmen hibernate through their alarms.
In the blue Canadian winter an iceman roams,
Building railroads made of iron, sweat, and skin.
When you become thawed-out your love will swamp the tracks,
And my heart will be restored with virgin blood.

Warm, your warm, Victoria.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on, from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitchee Gumee.
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.
With a load of iron ore, 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty,
That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed,
When the gales of November came early.

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin.
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and a captain well seasoned.
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms,
When it left fully loaded for Cleveland,
And later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feeling?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound,
As a wave broke over the railing,
And every man knew as the captain did too,
Was the Witch of November come stealing.
The dawn came late; the breakfast had to wait,
When the gales of November came slashing.
When afternoon came it was freezing rain,
In the face of a hurricane west wind.

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck,
Saying, "Fellas, it's too rough to feed you."
At seven pm, a main hatchway caved in,
Said, "Fellas, it's been good to know you."
The captain wired in he had water coming in.
The good ship and crew was in peril,
And later that night when its lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind them.
They might have split up, or they might have capsized.
They may have broke deep and took water.
All that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives, the sons, the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice water mansions.
Old Michigan steams like a young person's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her.
The iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
At the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral.
The church bell chimed till it rang twenty-nine times,
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitchee Gumee.
Lake Superior, it is said, never gives up her dead,
When the gales of November come early.

You Are Very Star
by Dave Bidini, Martin Tielli, and Tim Vesely

He is very star.
He is in a car.
It is on a road.
It is very warm.

It is very fresh.
It is very psyched.
It is so beautiful.
It is in a car.

He is very fresh.
He is bump-a-head,
Sleeping in the bed.
Sleeping in the bed.

Copyright (c) May 1996 - Feb 2005 by The USA Rheostatics Page