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Bushwick Book Club presents Mark Twain

by The Bushwick Book Club

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Atrocities beget atrocities, I always say. Our atrocious father made us this way. Everything is according to plan. A life of punishment for every man. I follow the rules I follow God’s law, I’m small and I’m mean.. I follow God’s law, I’m ashamed and unclean. I follow God’s law, I'm slightly obsessed with sex. I’m just as he made me, nonsensical at best. Seems like we don't know how to treat ourselves very well. If life ain’t bad enough, we invent hell. Heaven is like a big open mic with no no end So you can’t escape suffering even with death. Everyone’s idea of propriety is subject to the whims of society any random diseased caprice to give us the means of hypocrisy. With the lies we believe, and the misery we reap still, It’s a wonder we’ve made anything good as a people For miserable schmucks who believe what we’re told, We still manage to make things like literature and rock and roll, Barbara Stanwyck movies, Bollywood and bobophet Every story told, every failed attempt To explain and entertain, to understand and accept Maybe there’s hope for us yet.
Boyhood dream The only dream that never ceased to be - a steamboat man Steam boat man Steam boat man A Pilot navigating -the only truly independent being all men are slaves to other men and to circumstance - even kings answer to a cramped treasury-- if you’re a man who answers to no one then you have to be a steam boat man steam boat man Memorize every landmark, both sides of 1200 miles Mississippi -- read her closely----- instinct knows the difference between the riffles on the water –if its wind or a killer reef hiding beneath River river - read her closely River river - read her close Passengers see pretty pictures Sun painted color shadow on the water the pilot sees a moving story --serious reading matter experience will take away the pretty – mastery took away the majesty Steam boat man steam boat man Crew - call out - the depths - Quarter twain Half twain Mark twain The sweetest sound -to call out (call out) 12 feet, two fathoms deep Just enough to pass this Monster vessel safely Riding the Edge of danger earnestly Riding the edge of darkness bravely (leisurely) Learning by the river quietly
Here's How it Goes If you want to be a pilot better learn more than you ought to be allowed to know Learn every town and every island every point and every crossing every day or so Keep an everlasting measure of the banks of the river twelve hundred miles Alluvial the river changes overnight it’s never the same river twice And it all looks so different from up here Can’t recall the last time that I let go of the wheel Now when the sun sets I don’t see the blood and gold Mastery costs beauty that’s the way it goes Here’s how it goes To get this river set to heart you have to know it just like ABC Read it like the morning paper and learn to understand all that you see And it’s hard to imagine that a day will come when you’ll know what it means When you’ll shut your eyes and trace it from St. Louis down to New Orleans Here’s how it goes You’ll recognize shoal water and the countless crossing marks You’ll know the waterway’s shape on gray nights and in the dark And every shift it makes oh yes you’ll be one step ahead You’ll pilot when you’re sleeping you’ll pilot when you’re dead And it all looks so different from up here Can’t recall the last time that I let go of the wheel Now when the sun sets I don’t see the blood and gold Mastery costs beauty that’s the way it goes Here’s how it goes


Songs performed 11/28/2012 at the Bushwick Book Club performance at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. All songs inspired by the works of Mark Twain.


released December 10, 2012




The Bushwick Book Club Brooklyn, New York

We started in January 2009 playing songs written in response to Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions. We haven't stopped since. We've written & performed songs inspired by everything from "On The Origin of Species" to Dr. Seuss to Raymond Carver. There are BBCs popping up nationwide now. Bushwick Book Club Seattle started in 2010 & is run by Geoff Larson. Our nerdy dare-devilry knows no bounds. ... more


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