Backs To The Wall

by Gillen & Turk

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credits

released April 1, 2008

Recorded by Fred Gillen Jr at Woody's House, Croton -on- Hudson, NY
Produced by Gillen & Turk
Mastered by Carl Saff, Chicago, IL
Cover Design by Jeffry Braun

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Fred Gillen Jr Peekskill, New York

NYFA grant recipient Fred Gillen Jr has released nine full-length albums, and has toured all over the U.S. and Europe. His songs have been featured on ABC's "All My Children," NPR's "Car Talk," CMJ's Comp, and in 2012 his version of Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home" was featured on "Pete Remembers Woody," a collection of Pete Seeger's spoken stories about Woody Guthrie. ... more

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Track Name: These Nameless Streets
you took Johnny Walker red instead of a flashlight
on your walk down memory lane
and now you wonder why the pain is all that's left for your efforts
and why nothing can dull the shame
of the stain that you left on her white sheets
and the memory of your walk down her street
going anyplace in the world but home
these nameless streets
they don't seem to lead anyplace but back
trying to get out of town
you can't keep your feet so you go back
or you go down

the streets don't have names in this place for a reason
and their numbers don't add up to anything worth repeating
so you turned the car and you left town
thinking you'd be gone for good and you would have been
if the nightmares would have remained on those nameless streets
but they followed when you tried to leave
these nameless streets
they don't seem to lead anyplace but back
trying to get out of town
you can't keep your feet so you go back
or you go down

how far are you willing to go these days? (BRIDGE)
you used to go all the way
but it's a long way down memory lane
and there's no one left to take you back
SOLO on CHORUS

Now johnny walker's left you for dead
and you're stuck down memory lane
with only the nightmares that you carried around
and there is no help to be found in this place
the phones are all dead and there's led in the paint
and you've taken all that you can take
these nameless streets
they don't seem to lead anyplace but back
trying to get out of town
you can't keep your feet so you go back
or you go down
trying to get out of town
Track Name: Black Hills
In these hills there is a power you will never understand
you can carve your politicians faces in the land
but the earth is too strong to be stained by mortal man
Black Hills
I went down to the rez and saw our country's greatest shame
the cardboard shacks and broken glass of my people stripped of home and name
but the heart of these great warriors nothing you can do will change
Black Hills
at wounded knee I felt the force of thousands of brave souls
martyrs with no statues to them anonymous this hill they hold
biding their time in silence until their drums again will roll
Black Hills
it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost
the quest for gold can not out weigh the quest for truth without a cost
protect us oh Great Spirit help us seek the shining star
Track Name: Fall Down
Malcolm said the chickens would
come to roost and now there's proof
the farce election hit home with
the dust in New York City
they heard the echoes ringing
in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan
but they're accustomed to the din
whereas we've lived in sin
we all fall down
we always hit the ground
some hit running some just hit
but we all fall down
I grabbed my gun and hit the street
'cause there's no glamour in retreat
false honor calls the sleeping
as prayer calls the righteous
the bombs arrived before the ink
had dried on any paper
paving the way for endless war
a one-way road
we all fall down
we always hit the ground
some hit running some just hit
but we all fall down
how far will we go before admitting our mistakes?
when the ashes of our brothers
make it hard to see our wake
the road we've paved leads us away
from fixing what we've broken
and now that path's not safe because of
the beast that we've awoken
Track Name: Killing Machine
They decorated me ceremoniously, the governor was there and 3 generals too
I got my medals, I was on TV, but now what am I supposed to do?
‘cause there is no job for a killing machine back here in civilization
the army said they’d train me and give me a skill,
then they gave me a gun and sent me to kill
and now I’m home, but there is no home
for a newly retired killing machine

and nobody wants to hear my story
now the war is over and they want to forget
but how can I forget the people I killed and the friends I’ve lost?

So I walked into my bar unceremoniously, I was a regular here not so long ago
But now to some I’m a bit of a celebrity and to the rest I’m just a jar-head, a G.I. Joe
I buy a couple rounds but it ain’t the same, I’ll never again be one of the guys
So I sit at home and watch TV and try to forget what I know I can’t
There’s no escape, and no reprieve
For a newly unemployed killing machine

and nobody wants to hear my story
now the war is over and they want to forget
but how can I forget the people I killed and the friends I’ve lost?

They arrested me ceremoniously, they read me my rights like a reading at a mass
I’ll get 3 square meals and an orange jumpsuit,
but at least I will no longer be out on my ass
I’ll make dog-tags and license plates- the irony, I’ll take orders again like I did before
They say I can take classes and learn a trade, I’ll lift weightss and drink cool aid
But there’s no honor to be had in this place
For a newly incarcerated killing machine

and nobody wants to hear my story
now the war is over and they want to forget
but how can I forget the people I killed and the friends I’ve lost?

Killing machine
I guess I’ll always be a killing machine
I don’t want to be a killing machine
Track Name: Three
Three

Oftentimes the voice of truth is silence
through the clamour and hussle
for power and glory
a stillness arises
unremarked by the masses
struggling to survive
but the truth is not a luxury
it will be known in time
if no one listens it will bite
if the bite is ignored
infection occurs
amputation ensues
by doctor or guilotine
poison is removed
or death takes all
winners losers
the evil and the righteous
truth is ultimate authority
a gram weighs a gram
a mile is a mile
one plus one equals two
no matter how many
television sets say three
Track Name: This Town Is Our Song
over there is the chair where we sat
in the coffee shop that night we met
the hill that we walked up and the way back down
are our neighborhood now
we fell in love all around this town
so it's wonderful living here now
some couples have a song which they call their song
this town is our song

there's the bookstore where I bought you that book
songs of innocence for the darkness you took
away from my eyes to be banished for good
and now again I see light
we fell in love all around this town
so it's wonderful living here now
some couples have a song which they call their song
this town is our song

of course I don't know if it will last forever
but then again I must admit I never
dreamed that this town could look so beautiful
as it does since we fell in love here
we fell in love all around this town
so it's wonderful living here now
some couples have a song which they call their song
this town is our song

and now some of our neighbors are people who stared
as I ran my fingers through your hair
in front of the theatre where we saw Casablanca
let them stare
we fell in love all around this town
so it's wonderful living here now
some couples have a song which they call their song
this town is our song