Lyrics & credits for When I Pretend to Fall

Jump to:
Blue Diamonds | Scared Straight | Shapes | Cinnamon | Bride and Bridle | Blanket Hog | It’ll Be a Breeze | Stupid | Prom Night at Hater High | New Girl | The Sound of Coming Down | Nora

 

BLUE DIAMONDS

So you can sell yourself on blue diamonds
Call Vice, it takes a day to explain the crime
You laugh at what the LA Times says about us
But delight at my first try at being sly
Finished the third page
Time for a break
You make a gang sign framing your face
Time for the hard light
Time to get dressed
Good luck, God bless
It feels like this is happening in tree time
I stand up and toast the TV for getting it right
God willing and the creek don’t rise
I’ve got two thousand dollars
And a bulls-eye between my eyes
These chickens are fish in a barrel
And the tall one is gonna be for sale

‘Cause you’re so good at waiting
(It’s about time we took a ride)

I’ll be seeing you

  • Mixed by Ken
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Mike Simpson: french horn
  • Ken: backing vox, ghost piano
  • John: Rhoads, guitars, tambourine, vox

^ back to song index

 

SCARED STRAIGHT

Washington’s on the one
I’m in the middle of speaking
And you’re under the gun
Seething, leave it to the lone nut
It’s unappealing in someone so young
Plaintive, you’re feeling so washed up
And you mean it when you say you’re done
Five lanes of freeway
But it’s all gone dark
You called to say you’re gonna run
Well,  Can you wait?
Can you stand it?
Are you brave or are you scared straight?
She didn’t want you to:
         Speak right, be strong,
act nice, take so long
Call time, seem tired, leave mad, get so wired
Maybe you belong to someone
Maybe you have finally met them
Maybe smoke belongs in the sky
Maybe I hate it when you cry
You were hurt so you got hard
You were cursed and scolded and scared
You were searched for, then ignored
You want to burn the liars?
You’ll set us both on fire
You’re faking, so I’m pretend sleeping
Waiting for this to be fun
It’s true little miss mean mini-bar guard
We’re gonna have to try something new
Let me breath fire down on you

  • Mixed by Ken
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Chris W.: acoustic guitar
  • Jon Auer: fuzz guitar
  • Ken: backing vox
  • Dave Carter: trumpet
  • Craig Flory: tenor sax
  • Steve Scalfati: alto sax
  • John: Wurlitzer piano, Vox organ, guitar, vox

^ back to song index

 

SHAPES

Rice won’t grow at home
And the Moon doesn’t favor girls
Giant fork and spoon
Is a sign that the game is on
You know Karate now?
From a show?
When two of the raiders come
I’m counting on you to throw more than shapes
Men now don’t fight with swords
But I would be good
I’d cut you not just with words
Cut you not just with words
So you melt chocolate hearts
Well I can forstall the Sun
When two of the raiders come
I’m counting on you to throw more than shapes
Angels, Russians, where I fear to tread
Secrets, secrets, damn your secrets
So you melt chocolate hearts
Well I can forstall the Sun
When two of the raiders come
I’m counting on you to throw more than shapes
Just so you know
It’s all I’m waiting for

  • Mixed by Kip
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Sean: organ solo, backing vox
  • Blake Wescott: tambourine
  • Chris C.: piano
  • John: guitars, Juno

^ back to song index

 

CINNAMON

Sun through the curtains, I gave you a sign
The birds all were quiet, you were so quiet
Some hear a call, some are the messengers
I thumb through the pictures and know them all

They said, “Do you remember when you saw her last?”
I said, “Her skin is cinnamon, her skin is cinnamon.”

I have too many stories, keeping it serious
Some are collectors, keeping it straight
It was a hospital, I was delirious
I clung to the stretcher, I drew them a heart
Two gondolas to carry us
Grand Via was hilarious
St. Paul was ther to marry us
We lied, “We’re already married!”
‘Cause, here’s proof:  we have suntans
And I spoke up with my new hands
Listen to my car
What’s it telling us?
Start…please start…please start
Is it Spring where you are?
I waited all Winter, chasing the lamp cords back to the wall
It’s a plausible scenario:
I clung to the stretcher, I drew them a heart

  • Mixed by Kip
  • Michael: drums
  • Ken: bass
  • Christa Wells: backing vox
  • Stephanie Wicker: backing vox
  • Bart: organ
  • Peter Buck: mandolin
  • John: guitars, vox

^ back to song index

 

BRIDE AND BRIDLE

I came back on the trail of a man
Things are the same as when I left
Well I so wanted to say hey
But I know you think my sentence was too light
Now time should have put this behind us
Some things I won’t soon forget
Bride and bridle are too close in a man’s mind
And I know you think my sentence was too light

You, you weren’t true
But I can’t blame a woman who changes
Three thousand, six hundred and fifty-odd days I waited
Time, I did my time

Now I long since quit feeling my hands
Still, three men have a date with me
I could have found them all before now
And I know they think my sentence was too light
Your father bet ten years against this day
He wed his girl to a better man
But he stands here now with his hat in his hands
And I know he thinks my sentence was too light

  • Mixed by Ken
  • Michael: drum
  • Eric: bass
  • Sean: backing vox
  • Scott MacCaughey: Boomerang harmonica
  • John: guitars, lap steel, Juno, vox

^ back to song index

 

BLANKET HOG

Do you believe it’s day?
Roll us into a ball
All of your darkest smiles
Tempered by your sleeping eyes
Show me all your scars
Hold me by my arms
Burrow into a spot
My little blanket hog
Now that a year has gone
See how the blanket’s worn
All to myself
All to myself
Do you believe it’s day?

  • Mixed by Kip
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Ken: piano, Kurtzweil
  • Nathan Harrison: cello
  • Kerry Downing Johnson: viola
  • Katrina Cordi: violin
  • John: guitars, vox, loops

^ back to song index

 

IT’LL BE A BREEZE

This fall I don’t know if I survived
I woke up still on fire
Are you saying I’m still alive
I hear you whispering to me
These are pieces I didn’t know I had
Each a different shade of blinding
These are pieces you left behind
Not the pieces that fit with mine

It’ll be a breeze
Is it your kisses I’m feeling?

I am a tree
Build a nest in my hair
Your voice appeals to me
It’s exactly how I feel
I’m fading in and out
And I don’t mind
I try to let you know I’m fine
And I can hear you crying

  • Produced and engineered by Chris
  • Mixed by Ken

^ back to song index

 

STUPID

She has no idea she could make me do anything
She acts like it’s the simplest thing for me to be there
You tell me no
That I’m a fool to go calling her, and calling her
You can call me stupid when she tells me it has to end

Stupid, you could call it that
Stupid, but you have no idea
How stupid I would feel
If fifteen years from now I see her
And she says why didn’t it happen between us, stupid?

New York soon will hum
The electric car has come
She laughs when I pretend to fall
You call me out
Let her down easy please, can’t you see she believes?
My friend, you called me stupid then, but you’re the one that doesn’t
see

  • Mixed by Ken
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Blake Wescott: tambourine
  • Ken: backing vox
  • Sean: backing vox
  • John: guitars, Juno, vox

^ back to song index

 

PROM NIGHT AT HATER HIGH

Sitting there where you buried your pets
Get up!  We’ll dig graves for your invisible friends
Now I can’t stand to hear another thing explained
Your trip to Spain
Your childhood pain
So won’t you quit talking down to your girlfriend
Oh, I see, you’re not fighting, you’re flirting
Well I hope it’s exciting
These kids are my age it’s strange to say
Look up!  Every star is singing in space
But I am motionless on this tiny strip
My conscience is clean
I can see everything
Well, the girls meet to dish the dirt but it’s them!
I heard their conversation it made me laugh
They talk about the magic man
Like they ever had him

Jet City won’t let you go without a fight
You see the pod people on prom night
At Hater High
Don’t stay up late to cry
You’ve got a big trip to plan
Say goodbye to your old friends
Say goodbye, goodbye Jet City

She showed up for our date five years late
She said you’re so sexy and so great
Aren’t you gonna show me where you sing your downtown song?
I said, “Downtown’s gone!  Downtown’s gone!”
Now my only ties to that old scene
Are the same mean people in pre-owned jeans
I used to love them all
But they burned me up, Goodbye.

  • Mixed by Ken
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Sarah Standard: viola
  • Bart: organ, piano
  • John: guitars, vox

^ back to song index

 

NEW GIRL

American schools called you Starlight
In fourteen point type
10x10 and then
Your most brutalful smile
You were looted
You opened wide
Gave props to the knives
Props to the cheating wives
Be kind to the new girl
You erased so many mistakes
By sitting up and smiling
Your solo show
I hope it never closes
It was the ride of my life
Twice you burned your life’s work
Once to start a new life
And once just to start a fire
Be kind to the new girl
Uh, no, you are.

  • Mixed by Kip
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Bart: piano
  • Jen, Megan and Gloria: backing vox
  • Sean: backing vox
  • John: guitars, Juno, vox

^ back to song index

 

THE SOUND OF COMING DOWN

Quit hiding that you’re trying to get close to me
I believe it’s the one thing you said without smiling
It’s dubious or it’s cruel
I’m losing my homemade cool
Are you fueling the loose ends?
Are you cooling your jets?
You hide in my bed and I’m hiding in my bed
I can’t face the cold grey cold
You can’t play nursemaid and be the crazy patient

Hey, you know nobody’s chasing us
This is the honest sound of coming down

Press your lips against the cool glass of my face
Bear down on the lost art of having skin
One false move came too late
To save your favorite place from the silent sin
Are you needling me for not knowing the date?
Can you see me better for all this finger-tracing
At least we have blankets in our cage
The last time you remembered to put out your fire
You said: Hey!

  • Mixed by Ken
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: bass
  • Chris W.: guitars
  • Chris C.: Juno 106
  • Sean: backing vox
  • Blake Wescott: tambourine
  • John: guitars, Farfisa, Juno, vox

^ back to song index

 

NORA

Nora says I don’t love her
the way she wants to be loved
Nora knows I love trouble
but she wants stable trouble once
No one holds her to her story
If she says she’s done it, she’s done it
O.K. she’s done it
Lord knows I owe her so much
I’m just who she said she was
Nora
Nora
Now I don’t feel she feels
the same way about me
She wonders if I’ll ever be
Who she dreamed I’d be
But she never says I love you
Til I say I love you
Like we’re exchanging hostages
I guess it’s all for the best
She knows what she wants
And I know what she’s gonna get
Nora
Nora
Now I don’t feel she feels
The same way about me

  • Mixed by Kip
  • Michael: drums
  • Eric: Juno bass, accordion
  • Sean Ripple: vibes
  • John: guitars, vox

 
All songs by John Roderick (c) + (p) 2003 Beats Working Music (BMI) Except “Shapes” by Roderick/Horning (c) + (p) 2003.
Lyrics reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

 
» More info about When I Pretend to Fall

^ back to song index