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Michael Penn... Bunker Hill

Free For All(1992 BMG Music)

All songs written by Michael Penn, 1992 Liafail Music/Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc. Recorded in Los Angeles.

His second album release, Free For All gave us its first taste with "Seen the Doctor". Course, all of these tunes deserve air time. (...Although I have a place in my heart for "Bunker Hill.")

  1. Long Way Down (Look What the Cat Drug In) (3:52)
  2. Free Time(4:12)
  3. Coal(3:33)
  4. Seen the Doctor (3:12)
  5. By the Book (3:46)
  6. Intermission By Patrick Warren
  7. Drained(3:59)
  8. Slipping My Mind(2:36)
  9. Strange Season(3:51)
  10. Bunker Hill (4:39)
  11. Now We're Even (4:55)

Long Way Down (Look What the Cat Drug In)

Running time: 3:52

Oh man,
look what the cat drug in
It's got the dress, tho the color's gone
that I gave my one true love on
Oh man, look what the blew home
Never had this much stimulation
since her low down elevation, but
Oh, don't look in those eyes
bluer than blue
her rule's on the rise
and if I wear apathy's crown
don't call me higness 
it's a long way down

Oh, what terrible things she shows
I'm overwhelmed by rumors this high
and overcome by lows
Oh, what use is it to pretend
that I have the strength for this anymore
This is all in the world that she lives for but...
Oh, don't look in those eyes
bluer than blue
her rule's on the rise
and if I wear apathy's crown
don't call me higness 
('cause) it's a long way down

	Now I would suppose
	that I'm not the only one
	and one never knows...	
	but I got a feeling she's been
	sleeping with the whole wide world

Oh, don't look in those eyes
bluer than blue
her rule's on the rise
and if I wear apathy's crown
don't call me higness 
it's a long way down

Free Time

Running time: 4:12

I won't ever get used to this
A blank spot
temptations
do resist.
The other shoe will drop
just an aftershock
Nice hat; you look like a referee
Nice watch; but why are you timing me?
Its spring has come unwound
I was not out of bounds
This is not out
I drew that line
when I was handed free time.

Bells clang
I guess it's a holiday
Did that rhyme?
Shit!  I'm a poet now.
So give me stuff for free
and if I do somehow
into the soft whites
of beautiful lies
stare down
stare
I don't apologize
I've never been the kind
to close an open mind
so leave behind all that extra free time.

	Picked a lock and hopped some fences
	that won't do 
	Burning these = a bad example
	finding out = a Roman candle

If I'm pale, it doesn't mean something's wrong
If I'm blue, I just held my breath too long
So if you wouldn't mind
just do the deal and I'll be real sublime 
when I get all your free time.

Coal

Running time: 3:33

Who'd of ever thought to
call that coal?
If my hands were warm then I might
I don't know
I keep panning
and in my reach it
	Hangs on
	Water falls down
	There's no gold in this barren town

"Used to be a man could make his way
with a barrel full of this black coal"
half certain you'd say
but in my reach it
	Hangs on
	Water falls down
	There's no gold in this barren town.

Look at every angle 
and draw a square 
find some nut you can instead untighten
Watch me in the corner
with a pair
under certain pressure
ace, a diamond
So run your fingers down my back
you'd make such a cool distraction
cause in my reach it
	Hangs on
	yeah, the walls down
	but there's no gold
	there's a line drawn and crossed
	by the banks.
	By the way 
	water falls down
	there's no gold in this barren town.

Seen the Doctor

Running time: 3:12

I loved a girl once
beyond compare
She saw inside me
and gave me air
She was assisting
my surgery
My heart was opened
as she put a mask on me
I'm breathing
but it's become a chore
"Now that you've seen the doctor
don't call me anymore"

I was impatient
I was not in full arrest
and the symptoms were induced by something
I could not digest
She'd said a mouthful
I'd swallowed whole
My heart starts beating
a capriole,
a murmur,
too different to ignore
"Now that you've seen the doctor
don't call me anymore"
		
	I underwent
	and it smelled
	of a wild goose chase
	Then I saw your face
	upside down
		
He comes in creeping
He is a creep
a samurai
It's not fair peeking
(that is a lie)
Mermaid on Pico
lifts her fin,
demands a towel
And thinking of you 
is not avowal
And over
and over it I pour
"Now that you've seen the doctor
don't call me anymore"

I'm breathing
but it's become a chore
Now that I've seen the doctor
You're just a fucking bore
like Dorothy Lamour
dolled up in Singapore
to meet the Commodores
Don't call me anymore

By the Book

Running time: 3:46

Always been horseblinded
Could never see
Past the two shades on the periphery
I ask you for mercy
And beg clemency
But something I'm feeling is sticking with me

When you're all alone
And I am not around
I know that you think me
As cold as the ground
I don't play accordion, we disagree
But something I'm thinking is sticking with me

	If this ain't by the book then the book must be wrong
	And maybe it is what you hoped all along
	Now you didn't think I would go quietly
	When something about you is sticking with me

This person I've been wasn't me I surmise
You know me too well
You'd see through a disguise
Someone must have cloned a facsimile
And it bears repeating "sticking with me"

They're cutting the bull 
And they're drinking its blood
Show me a patriot
Show me a scud
And that's about all I can get from TV
and there's still this feeling sticking with me

	If this ain't by the book then the book must be wrong
	Can't we sleep in
	You can wake me at dawn
	We'll start us a regular royal dynasty
	So long as you are only sticking with me
I n t e r m i s s i o n   b y   P a t r i c k (Patrick Warren)

Drained

Running time: 3:59

"Here's the car you will be driving. Radio works.
Take the 10 out.  On arriving, detour other road.
Where every sign's a carved design.
stick feather on with glue
and run amok upon the lawn"
The sun comes up and it just dawned on me:
one thing's clear
the times come when all of your love is drained

I've seen this scene
I'll dream this dream and have now and then
I lose my concentration to some twister again
and I point mute in shrunken suit like all your
weathermen
now feeling wet and most alone
into this shelter I am thrown and found dumb?
at least I got this one thing clear:
the times come when all of your love is drained
		
	Crash on the east Grapevine
	and now that the blacktop's dried up
	you'll be tied up and I'll be fine...

Now that I've got your attention,
a toast to the host.
If that's a rope and wood invention
then tie me to its post.
There's a subject to consider
since we both know each other too well.
Forget the plumber, call a priest
the convicts have all been released
and I just screwed this up 
at least I think I have
but you left me with this one thing clear:
the times come when all of our love is drained.
One thing's clear
the time comes when all of your love is drained.

Slipping My Mind

Running time: 2:36

Rats in my jacket
I'm so impressed
I am now seen unclean
Wash me up mama
and give me a suit of gabardine
I had a suit,
by the look on my face,
maybe it's plain to see
that that never stopped what was troubling me
like once, it was Monday out.
And dry?  
Man, it was a drought
but all that is slipping my mind

Cracked like a whip
like a brick coming down
and hit me between the eyes
another occasion I've yet to forget
was I unwise?
Should I remind you that this is the end
of Camels,
and masking tape,
and this demonstration of tripping with grace
and if I need you
I'm intentionally wasting your time
Hey, everything's slipping my mind

Now copper and nickel 
are heads in my hand
I'll bet you your sparest change
that this time tomorrow you'll be miles away
with all trace of Monday out
with deserts to think about
and all of this slippin' my mind.

Strange Season

Running time: 3:51

This story is past tense 
and I did not want my cover blown
Thought well enough was left alone
and who decided you'd rescue me?
Yeah, I do agree
a bent and broken set are we

Up in a tree we're stuck
and the only lights off the wire
are all the moths in the fire
Can't you feel how the air is getting dry
Try, but can't identify
what you start to think
	
My baby won't come out at night
They took apart the Angel's Flight 
For this 
Strange Season

Did you feel it change from cold to hot
With fever, you will have a bout
And all you do is talk about
the meaning of the walkabout...
There I go again
A taste of my own medicine

So shake your head and look around
The leaves don't fall
There's still no sound
to this
Strange Season

Then I start to think
I've seen it through
I saw the sights
They disassembled Angel's Flight.
with this
Strange Season	

Do you want to know that
it comes down to this?
Do you want to hear that
Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss

Bunker Hill

Running time: 4:39

Always thought it was a game with us
Move until enough's enough
into a picture-perfect view
I'd like to rip it up with you
Why would anybody leave this place?
It's overdrawn
and won't erase
And if you're feeling incomplete
the line is stretching up the street

So take a look 
but you might stay until
you have counted every light from Bunker Hill
Take a coat you're going to freeze

My baby sees every sentence with an underline
never uses turpentine
Put out a fleece and build a kite
A siren's going off tonight
Lay your head down
Do you call this chance?
Found the exit
this entrance
Now's the time
(and it is still)
I'm sorry that I kept you waiting here until

Hey, Luanda
do you want a thrill?
We can watch the lights shine up from Bunker Hill
But if it puts your heart at ease
my baby, please...

Try,
but you can't hide
Impossible.  You're lit from the inside
And all I've got to do is
keep my eyes above the ground
to see you move around

The only points of light are fires on Vermont
Somebody must suspect that all we really want
is a tranquilizer gun to fill
It's a free-for-all on Bunker Hill
and everybody wets their knees
on the trapeze...

Now We're Even

Running time: 4:55

Never been to Mexico
It's only half a mile or so
the mission on the bluff, below 
Don't get out much
Crow tastes like chicken meat
And I've heard cats land on their feet
If that's a lie
I want you to delete it

Was mystified
Took a Greyhound for a ride
And by Arcadia
decided I'd be Steven
Now we're even

Please do not take offense
Salute, two fingers, standard squat
Jabbed the bag without a sense
that you knew half what I forgot

One tug-of-war that pulled me in
and furthermore, it tipped the balance
either/or
Was so deceiving
It's best I leave in
Now we're even

	We're caught inside an undertow
	I don't know how to overthrow

Cocks crow and dogs will bark
You are swimming in the dark
On tenderloin a hungry shark is feeding

I'm warm and dry
and as the water table's high
it's pointless to identify
my destination
So anchors aweigh
And if I do my own self say
there wasn't any better way
I was conceiving

Now we're even

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September 29, 1996
Modified on July 22, 1998.


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