God Bless The Hunger

by Boy Without God

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about

About money: Pretty much everything I've ever recorded is available here for free. Before this record, it was all recorded by me in my bedroom, except for Your Body Is Your Soul, which was recorded by Nick in his apartment. None of it cost anything except labor, and the labor was a pleasure. But, home recording is restrictive musically, unless you happen to be both a talented musician and a talented engineer. I am not doubly lucky.

This record could only exist with the beautiful space/gear collection and incredible engineering talent of Elio DeLuca at The Soul Shop. It could not have been made in my bedroom, and it could not have been made for free. If you want to find it for free, I'm sure you can and I don't hold it against you, but by buying it here you help me in some small way to make another record, which is really all I want to do, and I assume it's all any of you could want from me,

your humble servant,
bwg.

credits

released 21 June 2011

All songs written & arranged by Gabriel Birnbaum (So Cruel and Oh So Bright, ASCAP)
Recorded at the Soul Shop, Medford, MA by Elio DeLuca (www.soulshoprecording.com)
Mixed by Elio DeLuca & Gabriel Birnbaum
Mastered by Mark Donahue at Soundmirror (www.soundmirror.com)

Brittany Asch - Vocals
David Bentley - Cello
Gabriel Birnbaum - Vocals, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Piano, Tenor Saxophone, Percussion, Handclaps
Elio DeLuca - Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes, Piano, Vocals, Percussion
Mike Fiore - Vocals
Martin Gonzalez - Bass
Will Graefe - Guitar, Vocals
CJ Hughes - Vocals, Handclaps
Siv Lie - Viola
David Harris - Trombone
Danny Mekonnen - Baritone Saxophone
Bryan Murphy - Trumpet
Mickey O'Hara - Drums, Glockenspiel, Percussion
Katie Von Schleicher - Vocals, Handclaps

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Track Name: Of Cowboys & Other Beautiful Men
if i was a cowboy i'd ride out west in the wintertime
if i was a beautiful man i wouldn't worry bout love
if i was a waterfall i would let water fall
and if i was a broken record i would play the same two chords forever

rich men make rich eyes over rich chocolate cake at rich women
rich boys tear up their clothes and do lots of blow
rich girls follow poor boys around for a sense of danger
everyone's a hero baby, everyone's a hero i know i know i know

if i was a better man i would love you like you deserve
if i was a better man i would love you but I ain't got the nerve

if i was a cowboy i would ride out west in the wintertime
if i was a tortured soul i'd make perfect art
if i was a rainmaker i'd make it rain over me
in the middle of the road
over me
you're asleep at home
over me
on the endless streets abroad
over me
you're asleep at home
over me
gone sour and gone weak
over me
you're behind the sun
over me
unmaking my face
over me
you're behind the sun

if i was a better man i would love you like you deserve
if i was a better man i would love you but I ain't got the nerve
Track Name: Reasons
Burning cross of my mind
salivating dogs of my heart
come here and listen to me sleep
come here and listen

I'm not the one who crashed your car
I wasn't led in handcuffs from your dreams
I was smoking on the porch when it all went down
come here and listen

and God has a plan laid out in highway signs
and time is a river of light pouring down my spine
ain't nothing to eat but a spiderweb of bus stop conversation
I will sleep all day like a dog who knows all of the reasons

burning cross of my mind
carnivorous scarlet birds of my heart
I will sleep all day like a dog who knows all of the reasons
come hear the sky break in sympathy

like a dog who knows all of the reasons
Track Name: City Kids
They stayed out late that night like city kids
the music was shining bright in the bar
and he held her hand, told her "I love you"
she said "I love you too"

There wasn't much to do after that
so they both squinted up ahead
at all the dark, unimaginable roads
the worlds one trembling note

and he remembers tall rough green grass and endless sky
and she remembers one look that held all their lives
he says "i'm too drunk from your lips"
she says "Hey let's go home and dance in the kitchen"
radio whispering sweet old songs to guys and gals in the GI hall

They took the bus back home at one AM
and he nodded right off with his head on her shoulder
and going home past the ridge, past the bay
this moment never goes away
and in the night there is love all around
one unending sound
Track Name: Diamond Night
well the bed is like dying but better
and your dusky breath is for me forever
I believe there is more to this world than the things that I see when I turn out the light
side by side in the kitchen with coffee that morning the trees bloomed obscenely and wild
every kiss was a glory so snowflake so starry I could not remember my name
I just want it back I want all of it back though I'm told that it's never the same

I wrestled with demons all night
and alone in the morning believed that I'd triumphed
but now I suspect they slipped my chest with the ghosts of old lovers and kings
to laugh as the heat from my skin ignites each person I love in turn
oh beloved human oh terminal case I can see that you're learning to sing
so punch your voice up through the sky and wait for the echoes to ring

And if someday when you're far away the sky rings with the sound of your wedding bells
the sunlight won't know the name of the trees, the trees won't know that I used to be the one that you came home to
all around us we are outlasted and distance checks forgetful hearts
I may fade like breath on glass but the river never stops and the river never starts
the river just runs

all my faith is flickering like unused attic lights
in a rainstorm in an old wooden church, late on a tuesday night
the eternity I am chasing, just a trick of the light on the eye
but oh to be alive for just a moment before I die
breathing in unison, staring eye to eye
oh the sudden lightness in this world can leave you blind
Track Name: Can't Concentrate
I'm not ready to be truthful with you
I'll keep pretending nothing's rending all my thoughts into tattered pieces
I can't concentrate on books
i can't concentrate on anything but you
anything but you

the awful wildness of the heat that's trapped inside this chest scares me stupid
so i sit silent i write essays on my eyelids because you'll never see them
but when I finally let them go
the words will melt the fallen snow
all the fallen snow

and the trees will drink the icy water
and burst out green with sons and daughters
and under blankets of shade fill our lungs with the sweetest of air that we trade through our fluttering lips

forget the nights so close but never touching
the tv light so blue and cruel but spring will be
a small good thing
at a time like this

I've got no choice but to be truthful with you
i'll face the future with unblinking eyes and I will say

forget the nights
the tv lights
Track Name: Love Letter
Dear Love,

Remember when we were curled safe in the arms of the sand, so small by the water? We walked everywhere in that country like we were waltzing, and you said "there is some sadness in you always" and you were right. I can't keep endings outta my head. Everything that's given must return just like the light ticking through my water glass right now, but we had it for a little while.

but this is our corner of eternal mystery!

This is the only life I get, and I will spend every night of it asleep. With my arm behind your honey neck and yours across my chest.

Love,
Gabriel
Track Name: The Snow Speaks
I got a winter's debt piling up in snowbanks
and I got a family
watch as my silhouette stretches out in street lights
watch as my heart leaps into my throat suddenly

and the snow speaks to me of insurmountability
yeah the snow speaks to me of insurmountability

I was a captain of industry and romance
and I got a daughter who scattered her breadcrumbs across the sea
and on my tired breath, there hangs a frozen song:
I got nothing, I got everything, I got me.

and the snow speaks to me of the sky crashing its fists through my TV
and the snow speaks to me of the sky crashing its fists through my TV

I'll leave the driveway clear and go in to the love of my life.
We'll stand at the window, my hands on her hips as the snow comes down
over all I've done, over all I've loved
making it perfect, making it clean, making it disappear

and the snow speaks to me of the sweetness of laying down laying down in sleep
and the snow speaks to me of the sweetness of laying down in sleep
Track Name: God Bless The Hunger
You are not the moon
and I am not the sun
we are just two bodies in a room, in a city, in a country, in a song

The sun so blinding bright, so often whored in song
leaves us whole as milk every noon
and crying out in hunger every dawn

and I could do this every night and never tire at all
drift in and out of sleep but never ever fall
and in the morning I'll awake and shower myself new
my appetite like sharpest kitchen knives for just a little glimpse of you

and here on the bus pen in my hand
just moments away from your lips
I can feel as it blooms in my chest
and my eyes and my fingers and my toes and my lungs and my teeth
in my veins and my heels
in my skies and my trees
every part of my body that is furthest from my heart
I mean I really wanna see you tonight

you are not the moon
and I am not the sun
we are just two bodies tangled up
in your bed, in your room, on your street, in the city where we live, in a country we're not from
in a song I wrote in the sun on the morning bus as it carried my away with the hunger climbing up my ribs like wild vines
Track Name: Sha La La
every day I take the train to school
and every night I take the train back home
a cup of coffee in the kantine
you've got your rituals and I've got my own
and every morning when I wake up in the firing line
I feel fine
I got a lot of life in front of me so baby it's alright
it's alright

I know you're practically married
far be it from me
to mention possible alternatives
like reinventing the wheel with me
and I can't offer you nothing but a shaky hand
from a shaky man
but maybe we could put our shaky hands together for better
make em steadier

I could drink it away til I'm crying, scare my friends
I could swallow it whole never think about you ever again
but these are lies I want no part of
I won't be broken
I won't be broken
I won't be
Track Name: Only Sweetness
I saw it all in slow-motion
and felt it in the pressure of your thighs
straining past the one they clutch every night
towards the one that maybe someday, maybe tonight
so I wandered home alone
made up my mourning bed
counted all the future dead
and awoke to only sweetness

and at a party up north
where the music shakes my drink and the happy happy people
talk to happy you
and I'm going crazy, crazy in my head
tearing pictures off the walls and spitting poison
I watch you like an airplane taking off
like the negative that light leaves on closed eyes
I wanna take you home and tie you to the bed
and that's exactly what we do
and we barely sleep
and your body keeps
all the bad things away

the golden age is yet to come
I still believe it to be true
I mean, I think I still believe it to be true
I mean, I hope there's still a chance I'll be made new

I still hold out a hope
that if I can put everything that's wrong with me into a song
and play the final chord
I will be made new
slough it off like old skin
send the demons scattering
and be the one you love again
be the one you love again.