Emerald City Blues

by The Commonwealth

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about

Emerald City Blues is The Commonwealth's first full-length album.

ALBUM DETAILS
All songs written, recorded and produced by The Commonwealth at Nottingham Studio in the Spring / Summer of 2012.

The Commonwealth: Patrick Burke / Andrew Kuhar / Nicholas Kuhar
Lyrics written by Andrew and Nicholas Kuhar.
Cover art created by Andrew Kuhar.

SPECIAL THANKS
The Burke Family, The Kuhar Family, Richard Klingshirn, The Koval Family, MAD Amps, Stebal Drums, The Beachland Ballroom, Lydia Munnell of WJCU 88.7, The English Department of John Carroll University, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Scene, Ohio Authority

© 2012 (Burke, Kuhar, Kuhar)

credits

released July 27, 2012

Patrick Burke, Andrew Kuhar, Nicholas Kuhar

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all rights reserved

about

The Commonwealth Cleveland, Ohio

We are The Commonwealth, a group of young men with a Protestant work ethic and a winning smile. We are also grass-fed and cage-free.

(Photograph by Hilary Bovay)

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Track Name: Ichabod
I’ve been running around with my head off.
I’ve been losing sleep for the weeks that I have lost.
I’ve been losing ground with lonely words--
haven’t I told you where honesty has gotten me?

You’ve been kidding around with your head on;
don’t you know I’d run to all the ones
who’ve fled from me?
You’ve been heading out, and done so well--
Haven’t I told you where honesty has gotten me?

I can’t take the wait; my head is already rolling.
And you can’t relate, when my head is already rolling.
Track Name: Emerald City Blues
I've been here once before, but I'm afraid to admit
that once is enough to know where I’m going again.

To give you all the time that I was told to give
would be too long to tell—
And what would it have helped?
And you don't know where I’d stay another day,
but you know what I’d come here with.

Will I work this out before I see you again?

Everyone’s got a rope for hanging off,
everyone's got a road paved for lying along,
everyone’s got their loans—
Hurrah! for scraping along.
Have I got a lover’s pain to show now?

Will I work this out before I see you again?
Track Name: The Mountain & The Hound
Drag me out like a dog—
how did I ever earn your love?
Call me out when you would like, I’ll tag along
to waste my time.

But you don’t mind at all,
and I’m not that crazy.
Hang your head and laugh—
you’ve been mad too lately.

Out of your head I fall—
how could I deny the call?
Let me in, I’m gutter-bound.
You carry on, oh, while I howl.

But you don’t mind at all,
and I’m not that crazy.
Hang your head and laugh—
you’ve been mad too lately.
Track Name: Loud Pop
Hide me in the back of alleys,
where the sun knows no one
besides my shame.
You and me will decide when we're lonely
enough to pray for a day when we're both there at once.

And it brings me down like the hammer
of the gods—I’ll sing, "Heavens, got a lot of work to do."
You’ll sing, “Heaven’s got a lot of work to do."

It gets to me; out of my way, I’m leaving—
no, I can’t get out of here fast enough.
You would laugh at all the ways that I lie—
what I’d give to keep what’s dead
all up, above the rest.

And you would carry me like a god
that you don't need, but I'm not
getting any lighter all this time.
And as it's bringing me down,
like the hammer of the gods,
I’ll sing, "Heavens, got a lot of work to do."

You would say, “You and I, we should both pray.”
But who the hell has bent a knee and found it not to bleed?

Who would lift all the weight
that I left, when you know that holding on will leave you
cold and old?

And you would carry me like a god
that you don't need, but I'm not
getting any lighter all this time.
And as it's bringing me down,
like the hammer of the gods,
I’ll sing, "Heavens, got a lot of work to do."

Hide me in the back of alleys,
where the sun knows no one
besides my shame.
You and me will decide when we're lonely—
oh the sun is out—
love, I’m begging you.
Track Name: Tornado Song
“Hang on” is what they tell me,
while I make shields from debris.
You are all I have known, dear
yet I lost it all at farewell.

But I can’t find you here
amongst all I know.
In love or doubt, Time brings us these gales.
And you hide me here: a fallout for home.
It brings you at once
and it brings me like a tornado.

You I sent down water; you wait out for all my help.
We had all we thought we’d need;
bruising up high on the wrong grief.

But I can’t find you here,
amongst all I know.
In love or doubt, Time brings us these gales.
And you hide me here: a fallout for home.
Oh, please don’t mind the storm
when it brings me to you
like a tornado.

It sure makes this long; it’s a good thing I’m strong.

“Hang on” is what they tell me.
But I need help with all of this holding.
Track Name: Mad Old Man
Drifting by, whiskey poured,                                    
lately I’ve been wanting more—                                   
It’s all I ever do: declare myself the fool.
Getting home, nearly blind,
with a heart so old—
My god, it’s come to this: I sleep on a mess.

Even you want to know
where the drunk and hardened go:
before, when I had it all, oh tell me about those days.
And I like to keep it going, when the evening’s low—
as much as I can get before I’m in the grave.

We all know what I am:
a bitter boy grown old
You’ll be gone by day, and I, I’ll die right here
with nothing more to fail.

Giving you all my wine—
it lets me know what’s on your mind.
I raise a glass, my dear, to all these wicked years.
I’m letting go of hanging lights—help me home,
before I lose my mind, forgetting all this time.

We all know what I am:
a bitter boy grown old.
You’ll be gone by day, and oh, what I’ll owe.

We all know what I am:
a spent old man in robes.
I’ll be mad by day, and you, you’re so tired—
but don’t turn me away.

I am no home.
Track Name: Idiot Middle
I was losing my bold youth
to all these halves—
what a compromise,
sometimes it’s all that I have.
Never having left old lives with strangers’ help,
even now we lie
down in a bed of dead ends.

So by hanging around,
am I telling you all that I know?

Because it’s taken the two of us to lose
when you’re home alone
and I find you lost.

Could I leave this house
whole-hearted and repaired?
It’s taking too much time
and leaves me wondering:
what are you worth
when I hope and tend to relive
all our best-of-times,
fine lines and hearts
still broken.

So by hanging around,
am I telling you all that I know?
Because it’s taken the two of us to lose
when you’re home alone
and I find you lost.
Track Name: Blood & The Night
For all I’ve lost, is it too much
to beg and shout?
For each I love, I give it my all--
but what you’ve had is enough.

You're always here in the daylight,
but where will you be in the dead of night,
when all these stairs creak so loud
and you're nowhere to be found?

Maybe I could try to understand,
what I know is that I’m doing bad.

Knowing me, I'm bringing this home—
with all I've got, I'd tell you I'm not.
If all I am is a little joy
to bring you round, let me know.

Of all my fears I’m living beside,
well it’s you that I dare to find.
For all I’ve got, is it enough
just to know that I’m home?
Track Name: Champion Down
I’m getting old with all these fights.
I want to know where I can hide
when you win this round.

They said we’d all be fine—
I’m often told, “Don’t wonder how.”
I want to know where I can hide,
when you win this round.

You win this round.

I want to go before too long—
Wonder why you’re holding on
when you can handle bouts on your own?
I’ve worn things out.

You win this round.

Yet you’re wailing on,
you’re wailing on,
you’re wailing on!
What are you wailing on?
Track Name: Bitch
We get along,
just like we did while I was gone.
If you could only tell, and let me help, I’d die admired.
For all the pain, she's got her poise—
and oh through all the doors that I was sent, I live alone,
just like I did when I was young.

I sing a bitch's song as if I'm lost.

We crawl along; I take off my ruse for you at home.
No one should know the hell we live my dear.
Tell everyone, tell everyone that I was good
I tell you once, then twice, oh Lord be kind!
I live alone—just like I did when I was young.

I keep your photograph, please come back.

Please, come back.
Track Name: Up Titanic
Take me on board that ship, miles away from this
making-sure-I’m-packed-up,
but everything is behind.

I carry it on my back, so when we drown they won’t last.
I’m gonna sink this boat down.

So take me on board, take me on board.

My room light fizzles out as I taste life,
as it so perfectly goes down.

And maybe I won’t know
why I have just left you dry.
Make it to shore for the night?
As if we’d rely on older times.
If I don’t make it out,
don’t come running to shout:
“I can’t swim anyway.”

“I can’t swim, anyway.”

So take me on board. Take me on board.