Collateral Damage

by Jim Page

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All songs copyright Jim Page
Whid-Iasle Music, BMI

Jim Page: voice and guitar
This is a solo album

credits

released May 26, 2003

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Jim Page Seattle, Washington

Named by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as “One Of The 50 Most Influential Musicians In Seattle History.” Originally crom California Page has called Seattle and the Pacific Northwest “home” since 1971. Songs covered by The Doobie Brothers, Christy Moore, Dick Gaughan, Michael Hedges, and Roy Bailey. Utah Phillips: “If you’re ever going to get the message, this is the messenger to get it from.” ... more

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Track Name: Who Are They and Why Do They Hate Us
I never thought I’d come under attack
but now the world has changed and there’s no goin’ back
danger at my shoulder and it’s gainin’ fast
questions I’m afraid of but I have to ask
who are they and why do they hate us

I was raised to believe in this American Dream
all the greatness and glory, the way that it seemed
how god was on our side and god doesn’t lie
so why do all these innocent people have to die
who are they and why do they hate us

every color in the cloth has a history to tell
ships across the ocean and the liberty bell
heroes in the monuments I know them by name
but now their granite jaws are shattered and their eyes are full of rain

my neighbor she’s a foreigner I can’t pronounce her name
when she talks about her homeland her face fills with pain
she says she lost her children when the missiles hit
I don’t know what to say so I just change the subject
who are they and why do they hate us

I see the TV news and they’re burnin’ my flag
in some far away land like it’s just another rag
the looks on their faces, they make me freeze
how in the world did we make so many enemies
who are they and why do they hate us

they tell me there are reasons for unthinkable acts
rage and retribution won’t bring anybody back
justice is alive, so subtle and sublime
I’d like to believe them but were running out of time

I never paid much attention, guess I shoulda known
every far away country is somebody’s home
empires rise and empires fall
the world is big enough, there should be room for us all
who are they and why do they hate us
Track Name: When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again
when Johnny comes marching home again (X3)
we’ll all go out and welcome him
never mind the shape he’s in

we’ll ask him how the fighting went (X3)
and how he likes the president
casaulties are an accident

we’ll beat our drums and wave our flags (X3)
those great and grand and glorious rags
the ones they put on the body bags

and later on when the sickness comes (X3)
from chemicals and uranium
we’ll ring our hands and we’ll all play dumb

see the veterans who did their part (X3)
and came back home with a purple heart
walkin’ around with a shopping cart

where are the legs that used to run (X3)
before you went to carry a gun
I’m afraid your dancing days are done

you have no arm you have no leg (X3)
you’re an armless, legless, chickenless egg
they’ll have to put you out with a bowl to beg

we kill them and they’ll kill us back (X3)
they say it’s always been like that
all for the banker and his money sack

tip your hat and take a bow (X3)
get on with your life somehow
they’re taking your little brother now
Track Name: Long Corner Turning
we used to have elections but we don’t bother anymore
now it’s just backroom dirty deals behind cloak and dagger doors
oil money, family fortunes, slappin’ each other on the back
puttin’ people’s lives in their pockets and watchin’ while the money stacks

goodbye America I’ll say I knew you when
it was a long corner turnin’ gonna be a long corner turnin’ back again

we used to have our liberties, back in the day
but it was for our own good that they took ‘em away
now it’s Homeland Security followin’ you around
Old George cut that cherry tree and it finally hit the ground

‘cause there’s a new George now and he’s got an ax of his own
and he’s grindin’ it real sharp and he’s cuttin’ it to the bone
filet of America, and he’ll feed it to the dogs
all for a bunch of good old boys riding high on the hog

I’m gettin’ used to surveillance, and I’m getting’ used to the cops
I’m gettin’ used to law and order when it don’t know when to stop
I’m gettin’ used to soldiers, I can see them in my sleep
I’m gettin’ used to everything and that gives me the creeps

they say that once we were a beacon and we shone like a star
well, two hundred years later, well here we are
lookin’ out at the wide world through bullet proof glass
followin’ a gunslinger preppie with his head up his ass

we used think we were so superior, we could tell god what to do
we thought we’d last forever and we acted like it too
livin’ in a house of cards, waitin’ for a breeze
and I think I hear the wind blowin’ way up in the trees

so I got my compass and I got my flint rock spark
time is comin’ on, but I ain’t afraid of the dark
I got my eye on the future and it’s all green in clover
so if we make it through this one, I’ll meet you when it’s over
Track Name: There Has To Be A Reason
such a pretty girl, as she walks into the market
with the people all around her and the air so sweet and soft
such a pretty girl, who would ever guess it
that she’s wired with explosives till the bomb goes off

mother did you know her, did she have a big bright smile
was her heart full of love for the life all ahead of her
and did you know them, were they the children of their parents
and will they be remembered for who they really were

and who would ever do a thing like that
there has to be a reason, there has to be a reason
there has to be a reason for that

ignorance is easy when you look the other way
and when you just don’t listen you can say that you didn’t hear
a little voice callin’, like talkin’ to a brick wall
and the pressure is buildin’ year after year

somebody’s got the power, what are they gonna do with it
are they gonna keep pushin’ down with the great big thumb
anybody might snap when they don’t see a future
another little girl, another little bomb

and who would ever do a thing like that
there has to be a reason, there has to be a reason
there has to be a reason for that

you say you got a symptom, you go to see the doctor
you want to know the reason, ‘cause you want to find a cure
well, we have a sickness, we’re shooting at the symptoms
it’s only gonna get worse, I know that much for sure

and who would ever do a thing like that
there has to be a reason, there has to be a reason
there has to be a reason for that
Track Name: Palestine
I’ll tell you a story, make it clear as I can
about the far away troubles in the holy land
pictures of the children etched in your mind
layin' down their bodies on the firing line

the people who live there, they live under the gun
where it was homeland for a thousand years before the soldiers come
surrounded by the armies, airplanes in the sky
everybody knows some one who had to die

(chorus)
O Palestine, there's a hole in your soul
O Palestine, will it ever be whole

talk about the settlers, come from so far away
talk about the money from the U.S.A.
talk about the bullets made of plastic and steel
pictures of a Palestine underneath the Iron Heel

what do you do when they come to your home
and they tell you your land is no longer your own
do you let them take it, do you dare to resist
pictures of a Palestine underneath the Iron Fist

(chorus)
O Palestine, there's a hole in your soul
O Palestine, will it ever be whole

we say we want peace but we pay for subjugation
we say we want a settlement in terms of occupation
we call for human rights but we never say what kind
you can see what it's come to in the faces of Palestine

does it ever make you think about the friends we indorse
the armies of the generals riding on an iron horse
does it ever make you wonder why it always seems to be
such an undemocratic version of democracy

(chorus)
O Palestine, there's a hole in your soul
O Palestine, will it ever be whole
O Palestine, there's a hole in your soul
O Palestine, let your story be told
Track Name: Her Eyes
I saw a woman’s face in the paper
she was from Iraq
I was looking at her
and she was looking right back

her eyes still haunt me
over all of the distance
such a human insistence
demanding answers
asking questions
why have you done this
why don’t you do something to stop it

these briefcase killers
these bureaucrat thugs
these pushers of bullets
and runners of drugs
these colonels and statesmen
these newspaper drones
this idiot system
this heart of stone

don’t look don’t see
don’t hear don’t think
sit back relax
have a smoke take a drink
go to work go home
watch tv watch the game
let them breed dead babies
in your ignorant name

and her eyes still haunt me
over thousands of miles
and millions of agonies
reaching reminding
and tearing the blankness
how can you do this
why don’t you do something to stop it

are we all just pretending
depending on them
to give us excuses
when the going gets grim
to pass resolutions
to make it alright
so that in spite of everything
we can still sleep at night



if we don’t do
what has to be done
we’ll be criminal ancestors
everyone
criminal ancestors
doomed to the dust
and whatever happens
will happen to us

her eyes still haunt me
screaming the silence
all the complicity
of these American hands
I have to answer when she asks me
how can you do this
and why don’t you do something to stop it

I saw a woman’s face in the paper
she was from Iraq
I was looking at her
and she was looking right back
Track Name: My American Name
they could hardly wait to get their triggers loaded
when the airplanes hit and the towers exploded
you shoulda seen ‘em on the TV
it was the first big war of the 21st century

the flames were still burning they already had their man
they said that he was hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan
we asked to see the evidence they said they couldn’t show
this is war they said and that’s all you gotta know

America you’re scarin’ me you’re makin’ me ashamed
you’re goin’ out for blood
and I can’t let you do it
not in my American name

you want to talk about the body count, let’s run it up the mast
5,000 people died in that New York City blast
like the 5,000 people every month that you kill
strangling Iraq for a dirty dollar bill

you want to talk about brutality, alright let’s get it out
depleted uranium now what’s that all about
innocent victims can you even see their tears
irradiated homelands for four billion years

you want to talk about the terrorists and what makes them run
you taught ‘em everything they know, you even gave ‘em the guns
every killer with a grudge is just a tool to be used
then you forget about ‘em until they make the news

America you’re scarin’ me you’re makin’ me ashamed
you’re goin’ out for blood
and I can’t let you do it
not in my American name

an eye for an eye is the justice that you claim
but the numbers that we’re talking about are a whole different game
millions of people with no place to hide
that’s not justice, that’s genocide

I’m gonna have my say and I’ll say it loud and clear
in every crowd, on every corner, wherever I can find an ear
and you can try to shut me up but no matter what you do
I got a right to speak ‘cause I’m American too

America you’re scarin’ me you’re makin’ me ashamed
you’re goin’ out for blood
and I can’t let you do it
not in my American name
Track Name: Collateral Damage
you loved your sweet country for all of your life
like your mother and father before you
the land runs deep, so deep in your blood
your flesh and your bone and your sinews
descendants and ancestors, deep as it goes
a relative circle as far as your eye
it can all be undone in the flash of an instant
mechanical thunder that bruises the sky, bruises the sky

goodbye to my relatives, all of my life
never again will I see
you won’t have a name when they fly the big airplanes
collateral damage is all you will be, all you will be

from a faraway place where the language is strange
they come with their angry machines
and the clouds rain a metal that hurts when it falls
and it shatters the ground, making everything scream
and the children run crippled, old people hide
the babies are caught in the rubble debris
but the strangers don’t know, you are only a number
under-reported on color TV, color TV

goodbye to my relatives, all of my life
never again will I see
you won’t have a name when they fly the big airplanes
collateral damage is all you will be, all you will be

a mother is more than a number to a baby
who now has to grow up on it’s own
and a grandfather blinded and crippled at his age
is more than just a statistical drone
all of these people are human
and humans are more footnote
this cynical language of killing is killing us
caught like a bone in humanity’s throat, humanity’s throat

goodbye to my relatives, all of my life
never again will I see
you won’t have a name when they fly the big airplanes
collateral damage is all you will be, all you will be

so if you see a ghost in the lonely wind blowing
like shrapnel the sound of the rain
and it’s speaking a language you don’t understand
but you know what it means just the same
it’s too late for innocence, all of that’s over now
don’t say that you didn’t know
when they come to collect for the damages owed
the collateral may be your own, may be your own

goodbye to my relatives, all of my life
never again will I see
you won’t have a name when they fly the big airplanes
collateral damage is all you will be, all you will be
Track Name: Over My Dead Body
We are born in nature and in nature we will die
And if we don’t make it, it’s not because we didn’t try

They say they will incorporate the world
Over my dead body, over my dead body, over my dead body, over mine

They have all the money but we have the will
And I would rather be a match than a paper dollar bill

They have all the guns, all we are is flesh and blood
But we will multiply our numbers and drown them in our flood

They say they will incorporate the world
Over my dead body, over my dead body, over my dead body, over mine

They have all the power, that’s what they say
But we will turn those tables, take their power away

We will not be dissuaded and we will not turn around
We will face the barricades and we will tear them down

They say they will incorporate the world
Over my dead body, over my dead body, over my dead body, over mine

You can call me a fool, that’s alright with me
But I will live to see this good round world breaking free
Track Name: The Great Stone Wall
if I could face the day the way the sunlight does
if I could rise with morning mist
then I would know the way that the water-fish swims
I could hold the lessons in my fist
we are dying, say the elders, and we don’t even know
this is only a temporary peace
we’re only waiting for the outcome to show
and the endings to be released

behind the silence of a great stone wall
in the howling of a new wilderness
beyond the distance of a great stone wall
it will change, it will change
it wasn’t always like this

I’ve been to places where the clocks don’t tick
and they laugh at the hard straight line
where history looks through baby’s eyes
and the light of the future is a good sign
some laws are made of barbed wire
and they lean to the privileged few
but reality shoots from behind a blade of grass
and its aim is true

there’s a warfare fought in the bloodstream now
and truth is a thing to be praised
the lie gets mean and it hides in the marrow
and it waits for the stakes to be raised
and the dry rattle breath of exit time
is a wake-up call to your ear
and the feel of a fist at the end of your arm
gives the answer to your tears

there’s a light at the end of the tunnel they say
and sometimes I think I see
like a dissident glint in the eye of a needle
and the glitter of a soul set free
there’s a song they sing in the worst of times
to lift your spirit on the wings and fly
way on the other side of that storm cloud wall
dancing in the clear blue sky