Craig Rafuse: Promise Land Lyrics

All songs and lyrics Copyright (c) 1996 Mountain Deerfoot Publishing, ASCAP ----------

SWEET SISTER [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

You need him but you don't know why
He isn't the kind of guy
You want if you're gonna fly . . .

You are the sun, the moon and stars
You are a heavenly delight
You are the reason the oo-la-lahs
Tremble when they go to sleep at night.

He's merely a firefly
Flick, flick, flickerin' in your eye
A mysterious passerby . . .

But you are the sun, the moon and stars
You are a heavenly delight
You are the reason the oo-la-lahs
Tremble when they go to sleep at night.

Major obsession and depression
Fickle folly and melancholy
Procrastination, no destination
If I could shake you I would rattle
the keys to your heart.

Sweet sister, it's time to fly
Look up at the clear, blue sky
Sweet sister, my oh my . . .

You are the sun, the moon and stars
You are a heavenly delight
You are the reason the oo-la-lahs
Tremble when they go to sleep at night.

Sweet sister, it's time to fly
It's time to fly . . .


WHAT IT TAKES [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

Still got all my fingers, still got both my eyes
But I ain't got the time of day, now, that ain't no surprise
Still got my integrity and I still got what it takes
But all the rest I've given to them lowdown, dirty snakes.

I'm talkin' `bout the Tax Man
That feller never gets enough
I'm talkin' `bout Workman's Comp
That feller sho'nuff do play rough
I'm talkin' `bout Insurance
On my truck, well it's highway robbery
Talkin' `bout the Lending Institutions
That got me up a tree.

I've got Eisenhower prices in my mind
A Herbert Hoover paycheck in my hand
So, when Robin Hood-in-reverse Ronald Reagan robs me blind
The difference is more than I can stand

Now, I'm not what you might call a minimalist
`Less is more' don't make no sense to me
I am what you might call A Man Who Is Pissed
Sick and tired, yearning to be free.

You know, Jesus was a carpenter
I wonder what he'd a done?
Then again, what would he know?
He quit when he was young
Long before the wear and tear
Of tender joints that ache
Talkin' `bout losin' my hair
Over stuff that keeps me awake!

Still got all my fingers, still got both my eyes
But I ain't got the time of day, now, that ain't no surprise
Still got my integrity and I still got what it takes
But all the rest I've given to them lowdown, dirty snakes.


TRICKLE-DOWN RAG [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

(Trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle)

Even though I never lack the finest food and drink
Being God's not always as delicious as you'd think
As I look around and see how depraved these mortals be
I stick my head into the kitchen sink... BLECHHH!

(Trickle, trickle, trickle)

I haven't got the stomach for Mankind
Uninterrupted up in Heaven, I can wine and dine
Eat my fill and, when I'm through, toss them down a bone or two
And the occaisional watermelon rind.

Oh, let's have a Grand Old Party!
Bring on the National Pie (in the sky)
There's no need to slice, the entirety will suffice
A hundred per cent, you can give it up for Lent
Oh, let's have a Grand Old Party!
Bring on the National Pie (in the sky)
We'll throw down the crumbs for the tummy-tum-tum-tums
And trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle
Trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle down, down, down
Down (Six feet under the ground).

I must admit, it's lonely at the Top
No one likes you when you're Super Cop
Except a handful of police and, well, Edwin Meese
But I would never ever want to swap
'Cause when you're livin' it up on the High and Dry Side
Where everything is strictly Supply Side
With a little Economic Voodoo completely full of doo-doo
You can take the tummy-tums for a ride.

Oh, let's have a Grand Old Party!
Bring on the National Pie (in the sky)
There's no need to slice, the entirety will suffice
A hundred per cent, you can give it up for Lent
Oh, let's have a Grand Old Party!
Bring on the National Pie (in the sky)
We'll throw down the crumbs for the tummy-tum-tum-tums
And trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle
Trickle, trickle, trickle, trickle down.

Yeah!


JUST THE OTHER DAY I... [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

Just the other day I heard them call my name
Righteous pointed fingers and dark clouds of blame
Did begin to sprinkle little drops of pain
Then the heavens opened with a hard, hard rain.

City streets got slippery, playgrounds turned to mud
Two by two God's children soared above the flood
But I'm a no-good sinner, so I'll have to drown
Say good-bye to Jesus when the sun goes down.

Sunday morning finds me harrowed by the night
Begging from the churches rudely locked up tight
Fundamental preaching, Babylon must fall
Well, it's the same old story, as you may recall.

The Book of Revelations scatters flesh and bones
While the Jerry Falwells rapture on their thrones
All the rest of us are burning in the lake
All of God's creation is just a big mistake.

Just the other day I . . .


WISHBONE FEVER [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

Come-a come-a sunny day
Come-a come-a breeze to blow me away

Come-a come-a Cloud Nine
Say good-bye to grey
And the rain slap 'gainst my windowpane.

Come-a come-a moonlit night
Come-a come-a love ever so right

Come-a come-a Cloud Nine
Say good-bye to grey
And the rain slap 'gainst my windowpane.

Clear skies and real eyes
See me, I'm drenched to the bone
Reach out now, and shout
Heart, take me home!

Come-a come-a change of scenes
Come-a come-a field of dreams

Come-a come-a Cloud Nine
Say good-bye to grey
And the rain slap 'gainst my windowpane

And the rain slap 'gainst my windowpane

And the rain slap 'gainst my windowpane.


PARTNERS IN SLOTH [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

You work computers and I work in wood
White and blue collars are up to no good
It pays the bills but it don't clean the house
All the creatures are stirring, even the mouse.

Ashes and ashes, dust upon dust
Cleanliness isn't a god we can trust
The kitchen's `off limits' so no one can peek
`Cause some of the dishes are left from last week.

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous
A butler, a cook and a maid
Someone to wipe off Uranus
Will never be ours I'm afraid.

Lucky for us, spiders abound
Scarfing down roaches and flies by the pound
They make a difference, they make a dent
And that is the reason we don't charge them rent.

Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous
A butler, a cook and a maid
Someone to wipe off Uranus
Will never be ours, I'm afraid.

Partners in grime, partners in sloth
The bedroom is strewn with the clothes we took off
Sweep all the loose ends under the rug
Blow out the candles and give me a hug
Blow out the candles and give me a hug.


HEAD UP IN THE HILLS [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

All of this workin' for a livin' in the city,
It'd like to drag you down
Everybody cussin', fightin' and a fussin',
Runnin' it into the ground
Me? I can only take so much,
Til it zaps my brain
I start to thinkin' `bout the evergreens
And goin' with the grain.

All of this under-and-over-the-counter
Stuff to make you sick
Everybody stealin', wheelin' and a dealin',
Whatever does the trick
Me? I can only take so much
Rock `n roll `n beer
And if it don't get me through the night,
You know, I'm out of here.

Straight for three days straight
I take the Inner State
Leave the mess behind
And start to unwind
Head up in the hills
I listen to the whipporwhills
Thinkin', ain't life great
Straight for three days straight.

Out in the country there's a heaven full of stars
And every time you see one shoot, you get to forget who you are
Now, it ain't at all like that back in the city
Where the air is thick and foul
And the only thing they never ever let you forget
Is how to throw in the towel.

All of these kooky politicians on the TV,
Tryin' to buy the vote
Run of the mill with a hand in the till
And a promise to rock the boat
Me? I can only take so much,
And when they `up' the dose
I change the message on the telephone:
"Adios, muchachos!"

Straight for three days straight
I take the Inner State
Leave the mess behind
And start to unwind
Head up in the hills
I listen to the whipperwhills
Thinkin', ain't life great
Straight for three days (tell the boss)
Straight for three days straight.


LITE YEARS [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

Well, it was twenty years ago today
That I left my home sweet home
Flew off in a rage,
The wide, wide world to roam
Said I'd never look back,
And wished that it were true
But, when I got to wherever it was,
I got to thinkin' `bout you.

I was angry at my father
And I was lite years from myself
Made a big fuss and bother
Due to lack of mental health
There you were with a smile and a wink
And a sweetheart just for me
But I was a doggone stick-in-the-mud,
Blind as a boy could be.

It was a matter of timing, and mine was off
Oh, how could I have been so thick?
Pullin' the plug on the midnight show
When you were waitin' for me to click
With that frizzy head of auburn hair
And those deep, dark, emerald eyes
I may have won the contest
But I never picked up the prize.

Oh, I wish that I knew then what I know now
I'd have said "I love you" somehow...

But, when I was seventeen, competin' with the teachers
And a heart shot full of holes
Competin' with the preachers
And the fire in my soul
There I was on the parallel bars,
Watchin' you cheer me on
But I was afraid to come up with the words,
And then you were gone.

It was a matter of timing, and mine was off
Oh, how could I have been so thick?
Pullin' the plug on the midnight show
When you were waitin' for me to click
With that frizzy head of auburn hair
And those deep, dark, emerald eyes
I may have won the contest
But I never picked up the prize

I may have won the contest
But I never picked up the prize.


IF YOU CARE [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

So, you think it's wrong, wanna make it right?
When you're cryin', lyin' in bed at night
Listen to the wind ticklin' the leaves.

Locked up in your room, you can't help yourself
Come down, come down off of that cupboard shelf
Open up your heart, it's just a wish away.

Reach out and take a hand
One by one across the Promise Land
Breathe deep and let it flow
Make the sunshine grow

Over hill and over dale
Following the rainbow banners trail
If peace could ever fly
Now's the time to try
Flap your wings if you care.


JERRY [listen]

(Craig Rafuse)

Jerry, we will miss you today and forever
Jerry, we will not fade away as we weather.

Thank you for the cup of bliss we sip
Goin' down the road feelin' nice
Thirty years, it's been a long, strange trip
Rockin' and a rollin' the dice.

Jerry, we will miss you today and forever
Jerry, we will not fade away as we weather.

Thank you for the pebbles that you tossed
Those ripples hit me where I live
To remind me, when I'm feelin' lost
This old darkness got to give.

Thank you for your Merry Prankster face
You are the headlight on our train
The gift of sweet, amazing grace
Shine through the cold snow and rain.

Jerry, we will not fade away as we weather
Jerry, we will miss you today and forever.
And forever
And forever

And forever . . .


All songs and lyrics Copyright (c) 1996 Mountain Deerfoot Publishing, ASCAP

REVIEW: Creative Loafing

Singer/songwriter Craig Rafuse travels fertile territory on Promise Land, occasionally plowing up some fresh earth. His version of Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" places the classic American tale of dustbowl drifters to a curious conga drum beat, eventually converging on familiar ground with traditional banjo accompaniment. "Sweet Sister," "Lite Years" and "If You Care" are all smooth pop rendered in a gentle, airy style; and "Head Up in the Hills" chronicles Rafuse's happiness at a hasty mountain getaway. However, this songster's talents burn brightest on "Partners in Sloth" -- an extended, grotesque description of a monstrously messy house in which spiders battle roaches over week-old unwashed dinner plates. The song concludes with the image of the two homeowners, oblivious to the filth, discarding their clothes in yet another heap and tumbling into bed to make love. There are a few cobwebs on "What It Takes," Rafuse's political bandstand grandstand in which he complains that, "Ronald Reagan robs me blind," but the happy ragtime piano break by guest musician Scott Hooker blows much of the dust off this pre-Clinton gem. Similarly "Trickle Down Rag" -- a novelty number with a cute kazoo break -- advertises its vintage with its title alone. On Promise Land's final track, "Jerry," Rafuse leaps up into the '90s with, ironically, a sweet remembrance of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia. "Thank you for the cup of bliss we sip," he croons. "Thirty years, it's been a long strange trip...."

The CD release party for Craig Rafuse's Promise Land takes place at the Seven Stages Theatre on April 28.

-- Gregory Nicoll, Copyright (c) 1996, Creative Loafing


Contact Craig Rafuse at:

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Copyright (c) Echo Lake Records, 1995-2004
Echo Lake Records