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"The Kennedy Suite" (2014)

Prologue: Original Peace Corps Mischief Makers lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

We’ve got our hearts made of paper
The winds of change are gonna take us
Up above the ashes and the glitter
The torch has passed and we’re purging
From the Delta to the Moon
Freedom’s raging
Roast your wienies over the joint chief’s smarting asses
All you Origami Peace Corps Mischief Makers
Register your vote you freedom riders
Move to the front of the bus, bind with your brother
Though they beat us, hose us down and bomb our churches
Throw us in your swamps, hang us from your trees
We’ll be ornaments of your cowardice, lights for more to see
Send us off to war and try to kill us
We’re still Origami Peace Corps Mischief Makers
Ask not want your country can do, ask what its done [2x]
Come up to the dime-store counter, sit down and eat
March into the colleges, take any seat
If you want to put us in our place
Slash black batons across our faces
If you want to lock us out or in
You’ve gotta tie us to your cotton gin and make us!
Make us!
Make us!
Mischief Makers!

Bullet For You lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

I got a bullet for you
I’m on a black tar rooftop
Pigeons pickin’ bread from the palm of my hand
Pinch their beaks in my fingers
Like a trigger, baby
Lights out with a twist
Not so much as a coo
Unbreathing and still
Dead as a patriot
On a Cuban beach
There’ll be no air cover to save you...
I got a bullet for you
I swung a state for you, Jack
We shared a mistress
Now, every time I take a leak
I got you burning in me
And your brother’s like a bad rash
That keeps comin’ back
Some days I think, “Who do I whack first?”
Dear Mr. Kennedy
Up on Capitol Hill
We are a Fact Finding Committee and
My memory failed me
We only wish the truth
But it’s all coming back at
Eighteen-hundred feet per second
To you
Are you a communist infiltrator?
Dictator Tito’s dancing partner?
We demand full disclosure
and a plain-sight, unobstructed view of your car
I, J.F.K., this is Fidel Castro
Got a bullet for you
Mongoose is a no-no
‘Cause my wife just left me
Let’s go, mano y mano
For a look-a-like Kennedy
Working in a traveling show
I, I’m just a patsy, pay no mind to me
Got a bullet for you
Bringing curtain rods to work, redecorating
If you need me I’ll be
In the break room with a soda
In the Texas School Book Depository waiting for you...
You take the window and I’ll take the knoll
And I’ll be in the headlines before you...
The manhole, the overpass
The fire escape, the picket fence
The stairwell, the parked car
The plaza, the sixth floor....
We got a bullet for you...

Secret Spy Decoder Ring lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

Peering underneath the hedge
At my walkie-talkie on the ledge
Of the open kitchen window frame
Of the trusting Mrs. Paine
She’s taken Russians in
A wife and two small kids
Marina, Rachel, June
Their smirking daddy when there’s room
And now I’m off to history
And I got a front row seat
My Secret Spy Decoder Ring
Says, “Junior, follow me.
Fate is filing up her plate,
The paper route can wait.”
I let the dailies stack un-thrown
This mystery’s bigger than what’s known
The petty events of this world
Yellow on the drive
Until Thursday night at five
When “O.H. Lee” arrives
I sneak out in camouflage
And that night in the garage
A naked bulb illuminates
Sifting through the broken crates
Butcher paper in his teeth
The mousy ex-marine
Lifts from a blanket roll
A rifle with a scope
I caught my breath
As he clumsily drew the bolt action back
He was staring down the barrel right at me
Right at me!
Chased across the road
I burst into the kitchen of the cop next door
But he hardly looked up from his whisky neat, I shouted, “Come and see!”
The cop said, “What’s that thing?
Is that a Secret Spy Decoder Ring?
Are those x-ray glasses hanging from your ears? Don’t you fear.
Your imagination’s wild
I got a motorcade to ride in, in just a few hours
You remind me of my daughter, God bless her soul
Now, get on home…”
The cop got on his motorbike
Waved to the gunman at first light
Walking out of Mrs. Paine’s front door
Package underneath his arm
“What you bringin’ to work’ Lee?”
“Curtain rods,” he said and winked at me
The morning paper hit the drive
Now, I’m off to misery
A kid not to be believed
My secret spy decoder ring
Is wryly mocking me:
“You could save his life
If you were old enough to drive…
If you were old enough to drive…
If you were old enough to drive…”
If I was old enough to drive…

The Dallas Youth Auxiliary lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

My sisters Ruth and Bethany
Are the Dallas Youth Auxiliary
Quote: “Founded when Catholics wouldn’t dream of your job…”
That’s the slogan our Daddy
Suggested for the welcome poster
He tore in two
Then he locked us in the garden shed
Said, “Come out when you’re not communists!”
Quote: “At least you’re not all lesbians like that Quaker next door.”
Ruth said: “How could we be?
When Nixon is the Dick for us three…”
He let us out!
We stole his keys
After Bethany
Took a shovel to his knees
Quote: “Take the wheel, I’ll hit the gas – off to the New Frontier…”
We left Daddy crawling
Across the front lawn - in our side-view mirror
Was the paperboy running mad, calling out, screaming out for a ride
And we’re taking off
While you’re touching down, down, down
Hearts and flags a flutter
Thighs ‘ll turn to butter
at Love Field
We jumped the curb of the parking lot
Ran to the tarmac, cut through the mob
Quote: “Peel that old bag from the fence, she’s not long for this world!”
And there was your smile,
like a gift behind the birthday wrapping
You took our hands
And our saddle shoes left the ground
Young debutantes over the crowd
Horn-rimmed glasses turned reflecting
On a thousand days of waiting
Teenage hearts in palpitation
Coming down from expectation
Cigarettes all ‘round
Then the blue rinse in the floral dress
Tore us off the chain link fence
Shook hands with the President, her fist full of our hair
On tip-toes and waving
Quote: “We hope your stay is breath-taking!”
It sure was for
My sisters Ruth and Bethany
Of the Dallas Youth Auxiliary
Quote: “Founded when misery couldn’t hold down a job.”
Returned to the car to find
Behind a crutch pointed like a rifle,
Our daddy saying,
“Gotcha, girls…
I gotcha girls…
I gotcha girls…
I gotcha girls…

Take Heart (Elbow Room) lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

This late in November
Every thing seems out of kilter
To me
Autumn doesn’t give hope
Elbow room
In your pink Chanel you’re radiant
And your husband is the President
But your black car floats through Dallas like a tomb
But take heart, take heart
I have a confession
My wife died in November
Lost both the breasts that fed my little girl
Sold everything to treat her
But cancer proved the bigger spender
Left us broke and broken
But she’d say
Take Heart, take heart
Take heart
For there are ways to shine without gold
There’s more I didn’t mention
My daughter died in November
Of disappointment that she wasn’t you
Nights I’d wake to find her weeping
Her Jackie hair-do slipping
Yearning for love from everyone but me
And I’d say
Take heart, take heart
Take heart
For there are ways to shine without gold
And riding here beside you
Helps me fight off that nagging notion
That without my family, my usefulness is through
I couldn’t save my wife
And I couldn’t save my daughter
But I may save myself if I can help save you
Take heart, Take heart, take heart
Come on and give hope a little elbow room
Elbow room, elbow room
Right on Houston
Left on Elm…

Parkland lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

Sun through the window like a boogey man
Unfinished curtains on the nightstand
Alarm clock bounces off my head
Phone is ringing beside my bed
My son is dressed and waiting on the step
It’s the head nurse calling from Parkland
I got a kid. His name’s John-John
Born the same day as the President’s son
Today is the day of the big parade
But they’re short at work and it’s double pay
That means a new scooter on your birthday
But the President will have to wait…
Take Public Transit 109
Bounce out at the Parkland sign
Bring him to work and show him ‘round
Grab that bucket, mop, and gown
Towels, bed sheets, blankets and diapers
Wheel him ‘round in the laundry hamper
John was the Prez, a mop was Jackie K.
We were a two-man motorcade
A girl stopped skipping to watch us shoot past
He blew her a kiss and then through the glass
Of the emergency doors we turned to see
Blood and roses, guns and grief
Bring him in and lay him down
John, bring the surgeons gloves and gowns!
Through the black suits darting to and fro
I could see her shaking and alone
“John-John put that bullet back
And offer Mrs. Kennedy your hand
Hold it tight ‘till her cryin’s done
And don’t look back, I won’t be long…”
I brought fresh linen for the President
I watched the doctors pronounce him dead
Then a light voice said, “Is this your son?
He held my hand and my cryin’s done.”
Then John-John said, “You better get along,
You’ve got a birthday to plan when you get home…”
She bent down and kissed my John-John’s face
Smoothed her bloody dress into place
And with her son’s love as her staff
She lifted a nation upon her back
She turned and nodded, we nodded back
As they carried her husband from Parkland… John-John put that bullet back!

Disintegrating lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

In glazed eyes and red stains
I’m thinking this has to be
The biggest case of “I told you so”
I know I’m being petty
But when Nellie turned and said,
“Can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you…”
I almost laughed before you put your hand on my knee
To stop me,
Please stop me
Like I couldn’t stop you
From disintegrating
The young woman you waved to
For that moment I hated you
I imagined you dead and that I was finally free
And that’s when it happened
‘Did I will it to happen?’
Was all I was thinking as I
Held your head in my hands
This is a tight sleeve,
The fucking engines of this plane are shrill
My lips are bloodless
Please, stop me
Please, stop me
Like I couldn’t stop you
From disintegrating
The face of that young aid
Glancing back over LBJ’s shoulder
I heard him say, “I’ve got a sure-fire way to win a second term
Put a hit out on his wife
The sympathy vote would be a landslide”?
You weren’t really thinking that, were you?
Did you?
Were they killing you?
Or were they just missing me?
And if you were in my place
Would you be…Disintegrating?

When Will I Be Mine? (Ruby, Ruby) lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

I don’t feel like myself tonight
I feel like cryin’ all night for real
Like sirens outside my old foster home
Scratch that, it’s just the Dexedrine talkin’
And the President getting his head shot off, here in Dallas for Christ’s sake
I’m a little more like a cold rock
Spinning in the outerspace
Of the black hole that his kids must be sleepin’ in
I feel like being myself tonight
And cutting all these goddamn strings off
I’m like the goat-herding marionette from that Broadway Nazi musical
Getting jerked around all day by children wearing curtains for clothes
Christ, what a way to go…
Although I wouldn’t trade my dogs’ black assholes for those singin’ kids
I’d sell my soul for a handful of their nanny’s ass
But there’s no soul left to sell
I’m mortgaged to the teeth
I’m the biggest whore working in the Carousel
Ruby, Ruby - Ruby, Ruby
Whose dog will you be tonight?
Ruby, Ruby – Ruby, Ruby
When will I be mine?
I once ran numbers for Capone
I’ve got every cop’s home telephone
They know me. I’m colourful! I’m a character!
So, don’t you tell me that I’m a zero
‘Cause they’re in for free drinks all the time
And that includes the fuckin’ FBI
Now give me one last shot
As I untangle this fuckin’ mess
‘Cause nothin’s free and I’m the fuckin’ proof
Here’s to you Lee
Your smirk will soon be
Kissing my fat Jew ass goodbye
And the conspiracy
In setting us both free
Is that I will be mine…
Can’t you read - we’re closed
When will I be mine?

Senior Prom lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

Son, you got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do
Reporters round your neck like a beard of bees
That hit man at the back, he’s got his eye on you
But I’m the one who can take you where I please
So give me your elbow
A flash photo for the folks at home
This is just like my senior prom
The inside of your arm is soft as I lead you, Lee
Like a new-born Marxist colt at the county fair
You’d never know from that thin-lipped little smirk of yours
That the icy hand of fate was between your knees
Speaking of clammy hands
It’s like I’m back in Lubbock with Mary Francis
Working to retrieve that corsage pin that fell into her blouse
And she tried to shoot me too
In a theatre just like you
And it was when I wrestled that gun away
(Just like today) that I looked into her captivating,
Mesmerizing, hypnotizing,
Texas blue-sky, Russian-defecting eyes….
My nose at the back of your neck as the elevator slows
Doors cut in two by the axe of the TV lights
I want to tell the world what we both know is true
When that hit man from the first verse shatters you
Mouth to mouth
Your last breath in mine
Death cutting in
Like an All-State Lineman
Minus the blood
I could swear I was back at my senior prom
If this ambulance were a Fairlane
And your black eye was my school ring
I would swear it was my senior prom…

The Truth About Us (The Ballad Of Lee And Marina) lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

When we rode into town - we didn’t have horses
We had fate by the balls, destiny’s face turning blue
Settled for less
On love’s dusty trail
We wanted something more than just an “o.k.” corral,
Take the skeletons from the closet - put ‘em under the floor
Let’s settle up on boot hill, to the view we adore
The truth about us
You can’t exhume by assumption
You have to work hard - have to get on a talk show
Let the host root around
See where it goes
And if that’s too far we’ll bust a chair right over his nose
Take a bite of the Big Apple while the room is for free
Spit the pulp into the Hudson like it was British Tea
Oh, Marina, Marina, it’s cold and it’s lonely
When you’re pointing a gun at the President
I’m no flunky with a rifle, I’m an N.R.A. golden boy
I’m a genius forging a legend
“Where’s the truth about us?”
You came in demanding
Your scarlet face wrung that old southern bell
My Rett Hoover reply left me hard to peg:
“The truth about us I’ve buried deep in Connally’s leg.”
Pry open all the coffins, there’s only one thing inside,
A pink dress and a pill box hat with Camelot tags
Oh, Marina, Marina, it’s cold and it’s lonely
When reporters are carrying your coffin
Oh, please baby please, let coincidence leave me
A martyr to patriotic negligence
“Should old acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to trial...”
Every girl and boy can grow up to be the President
Or grow up to be the President’s killer...
It’s equal opportunity
It’s the land of hope and glory
It’s a cheap Italian mail-order thriller...
The truth about us
Sailed for Manhattan
What was it hoping to find?
Cheers from Ellis Island?
We turned them back from the shore
Sent them back out to see
How Promise can grow smaller if two sides agree
We sent them packing off to Auschwitz -
When we heard the reports
We wrote, “How dare you!” with their ashes
As if we couldn't have known
You see Marina, Marina,
I’ve learned lessons from my country
About national interest and the “Big Picture”
I’m gonna manifest my destiny
Gonna spread the legs of misery
I’ve got my piece in my hand and I’m loaded
The truth about us
Ain’t hard to figure
It’s adding up to one hell of a toll on us
We had been up all night
When the tympani rolled
Faxed-in paper pledges turned to solid gold
Kids pick up your guns from the thug in classroom “D”
There’s people out there whose jobs depend on our misery
That’s the truth about us

Arlington lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

Come with me
To Arlington…Arlington
Snakes are curling
Around the fragile
Young ankles
Of my country
Look up
Over your shoulder
It was never me
They were after
Put your head down and keep moving
Trust me
I’ve seen this once before
Don’t weep,
Please, just keep moving
To Arlington…Arlington
And lower me
Into the bosom
Of my country

Slipstream lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

It was easy
To be bold
In his slipstream
From hand me down
Tag along
To brother
Cuban missiles
90 miles
13 days
Apocalypse with style
In his slipstream
Was a firefly
Clipped in the headlights
Of a joy ride
Buy an election
Get the girl
While the girls are gone
Have more than one
In his slipstream
Cap a mobster
Have a bombshell
Moan Happy Birthday
And the earth of his grave
Has the scent of hubris
That weighs
On your conscience
Out of his slipstream
There is no shelter
Fixed, dilated as
A starlet’s eyes
Out of the slipstream
Her dream provides
The future murdered
With cameras rolling
A moment caught in time
That was not caught in time
Trapped in the fallout
Of the storm
That Irish eyes
Couldn’t charm
Head in the mouth
Of the Cold War tiger
You had by the tail
In the kitchen
Of a hotel
In California
You as well
Like your brother
In your wife’s arms
Bullet behind your eyes
And it is easy
To be bold
Into starlight
“In my slipstream
Tag along

Reliquary lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

Out of the brilliant sky in Dealy Plaza
Like a spinning taco chip of fate
Into the salsa bowl of cosmic wonder
Dropped a fragment of the head of state
Caught it bare-handed in full extension
Like Willie Mays at the Polo Grounds
Except I didn’t hit the cut off man
I kept it for myself
Now it’s…
In the center of my reliquary
In the basement of my bungalow
Behind the picket fence that leans like crooked teeth
In my scale model of the grassy knoll
Tourists coming through may find me creepy
But fees just love me, this I know
I see bags & bags of money floating in
The formaldehyde of my eyes
I kept the bottom jaw of Ruby’s dog
As a clip for my bolo tie
The paws I had sold at auction
Built the extension on my garage
Where in the rafters curled in 12-gauge plastic
With a red pen behind her ear
Lee Harvey Oswald’s fourth grade teacher
Every fall I give her legs a stretch
In the center of my reliquary
We do a loosy-goosy Skip-To-My-Lou
In my tux with the magic bullet cufflinks
And a blood shot boutineer
Dosey-doe, pop your partner in a limousine
Let their back brace keep them in your sights
Look, there’s bags & bags of money floating in
The cross-hares of your eyes
Sometimes I think, let him rest in peace
Like a collector’s commemorative plate
When I think that I’m really thinkin’
Rest in peace, ya pieces of eight!
Rest in peace, ya pieces of eight!
Rest in peace? Ya, pieces of eight!
‘Cause I have bits of Jack and Jackie floating in
The formaldehyde of my eyes
I see Caroline and John-John floating in
The formaldehyde of my eyes
I see placemats, coffee mugs floating in
The formaldehyde of my eyes
I see t-shirts, hit records floating in
The formaldehyde of my eyes…
In the middle of my reliquary
Got the American Dream in a jar

Epilogue: White Man In Decline lyrics - Cowboy Junkies

White man in decline
With his thorny crown of empties
Wrapped ‘round his troubled mind
Sucking on his radio
Pacified by brainless rhetoric in patriotic code
With his mircrowavable last supper
And twelve of his friends
He lifts his wife up over his head before the Super Bowl begins
“Her body broken for you,
She’ll beat black, she’ll beat blue,
Let’s hope our Cowboys come through…”
World won’t change if he don’t look
He’s got his hand over his heart
And his head stuck up his hole
What does it profit a man
To gain the whole trailer park and lose his very soul?
Humming, “You Ain’t Whistling Dixie,” a distant look in his eye
The little pointed hood in the closet can’t hide the cowardice inside
Now it’s eating him alive
No last rights for naughty boys
Gather round the easy chair
See the white man in decline
Throwing tantrums on the floor
Of the Senate and the House
Holding his breath until he’s blue
“Children of our mighty country, the poor have stolen your futures
Were gonna steal them back for you.
Come gather ‘round the banquet table, see how God is on our side…”
But when they carved up the turkey they found
Only stuffing inside
Pledge allegiance to his flag
Wrap it in a body bag…
See the white man in decline