Human Interesting

by Jim Page

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there’s a crowd outside my window I can hear them in the street it’s the new evangelistics in a missionary heat saviors of the innocent guardians of right it’s the day before tomorrow in the middle of the night they got shine white faces sing a faraway song show you pictures of Jesus as a blue eyed blond riding like a savior on a big white horse with one hand bearing gifts and the other hand to enforce fundamental frenzy fundamental rage fundamental frenzy takin’ us back to the middle ages the devil is a foreigner and he has to be destroyed throughout this great wide world where his demons are deployed in anybody’s country on anybody’s sea when you’re exorcizing evil you invent your own morality in the language of the prophecies they talk about a time when they wage the final battle for the kingdoms of divine and in the valley of the showdown the fires will rage and god’s ferocious hand will turn the final page fundamental frenzy fundamental rage fundamental frenzy takin’ us back to the middle ages now their counting down the hours in the grains of sand as they reach for Armageddon with their eager little hands and there’s an idol on a nose cone triggered to explode and a disappearing future at the end of the glory road now I don’t mind your religion or the cut of your clothes but I gotta keep my eye out to where your shadow goes you want to meet your maker that’s your choice to choose you want to take me with you I’m gonna have to refuse fundamental frenzy fundamental rage fundamental frenzy takin’ us back to the middle ages
(chorus) I’m on the street again I’m on the street again and I ain’t been of it since I don’t know when I’m on the street again Freddie the Miser don’t give me no cheese Fat Alive wants me to say “please” Fingers Louie wants my coat Willie The Noose wants to measure my throat Crazy Alex ain’t all there but he comes out of nowhere swingin’ a chair a mad dog mob got me, tearin’ at my clothes I leave without my guitar, got a bloody nose (chorus) in the hot spot rock house top of the stairs they got animal dancers in their underwear wrestler maidens in sweet perfume jump on you like a kangaroo from clear across the room in Sheila’s Wine Emporium Hotel they hang by their heels with their heads in a well of rot gut, rat cured, Bowery booze burn a hole through your stomach, make you chew on your shoes (chorus) the electric 6-gun romance band make the most amazing sounds without using their hands me, I got my foot caught in one of their wires and it blew me through the roof in an electrical fire I was hangin’ ‘round the hydrant with the Afrikan Kidd when they busted everybody with a manhole lid I broke out the window with a ramrod log landed right in the mouth of a police dog (chorus) now, I may not be too smart in my head but I know enough to sleep when I’m lyin’ in bed if you want to break the law, you gotta be discrete but you don’t need a union card to sing on the street (chorus)
I met a young girl who sat on a step I saw her quite clearly quite early one night I spoke the first words that came to my head she sealed my fate when she answered “all right” she looked quite old though she was younger than I and I asked her how many like me she had seen “I never counted” she said with a grin I looked at my hand said I see what you mean I heard her say as the night was wearing thin and she printed my name on the bottom of her shoes “all those who pass by hey can never win but those who come in they can never lose” there are many fine seas to part with your hand and many fine roads if you know how to choose to some it’s a chance at the ax of the queen but to one it’s a name on an old pair of shoes
as I was out walkin' one cool summer's evenin' the sky was all shadowed and scattered with rain an old gentleman busker I happened to pass with harmonica melodies played in refrain I reached in my pocket for money to pay I knew it was true for he played it that way (chorus) it's a long way home many a mile to a bed of your own it's a long way home weary you've grown on your own oh I stood by the river that ran through the city with waters that washed away off to the sea six thousand miles to the Northwest Pacific a long-distance vision in faint memory sometimes you know it gets so hard to see then somebody tells you just where you should be old Grandmother Angel with baskets of flowers and newspaper packages under her arm she talked as she walked with her friends the invisibles easy to be with they meant her no harm all of the others have moved under ground but she's never alone when her friends are around oh the world it is wide and far 'round its borders from the west to the east it's a long way to go to pick up your roots and to travel all over to take a good look to see how much you know not to get fooled or to let it slip loose but to take it in hand and to put it to use
Anna Mae 06:20
Anna Mae came to the plains I’m told blow Dakota blow from way up east where the weather gets cold and the cold Dakota winds they blow and she said “I hear there’s been trouble down here” blow Dakota blow they said “trouble - we been gettin’ trouble every year” and the cold Dakota winds they blow Anna Mae made a vow by the fire that night blow Dakota blow that she would give her life to the people’s fight and the cold Dakota winds they blow then the voice in the whispering wind did say blow Dakota blow “somebody’s gonna get hurt some day” and the cold Dakota winds they blow in nineteen hundred seventy-two blow Dakota blow trouble in the Pine Ridge settlement grew and the cold Dakota winds they blow in nineteen hundred seventy-three blow Dakota blow the trouble exploded at Wounded Knee and the cold Dakota winds they blow in nineteen hundred seventy-four blow Dakota blow there was a backlash beatin’ at everybody’s door and the cold Dakota winds they blow then the warning passed from tongue to tongue blow Dakota blow that there was trouble a-comin’ with a federal gun and the cold Dakota winds they blow they took Anna Mae off to jail one day blow Dakota blow but just exactly why they never would say and the cold Dakota winds they blow they wanted some facts and they wanted some names blow Dakota blow but Anna Mae wouldn’t tell ‘em a thing but the cold Dakota winds they blow she said “you can kill me dead or lock me away blow Dakota blow ‘cause that’s what you’re gonna be doin’ anyway” and the cold Dakota winds they blow then they said “all right, you’re free to go blow Dakota blow but just don’t say we never warned you so” and the cold Dakota winds they blow Anna Mae went out for a walk one night blow Dakota blow but she never lived to see the morning light and the cold Dakota winds they blow it’s a mystery, I heard it said blow Dakota blow how Anna Mae died with a bullet in her head and the cold Dakota winds they blow the story spread both far and wide blow Dakota blow how another daughter of the people had died and the cold Dakota winds they blow and the people came from many a mile blow Dakota blow to lay her away in traditional style and the cold Dakota winds they blow and the song upon the drum was sung blow Dakota blow and the sky covered over and the storm did come and the cold Dakota winds they blow and the voice in the howling wind did say blow Dakota blow “somebody’s gonna pay some day” for the cold Dakota winds that blow
They dropped the bomb in forty-five to end the world war No one had ever seen such a terrible sight before And the world watched with eyes wide to see where it would lead as the politics of power passed around the seed It was a time to remember that we never can forget They were playin' Hiroshima-Nagasaki Russian Roulette They arose like the saviors of our modern human race with radiation halos that hung above their face with the key to the sure cure and treatment of our ills a hot shot of cobalt and a pocket full of pills Speaking always of the enemy who lurked across the seas while moving in among us like a carrier disease Down deep inside the bunkers of the concrete and lead Einstein's disciples working steadily ahead Building heavy metal power plants to fire the city lights and all you hear is the underground, humming in the night And the walls of tight security circle all around where they spill out all the poison and they bury it in the ground Holed up in the harbors, hidden secretly away the warheads and the submarines await to make their play And the military masterminds improve on their designs while the soldiers get all doped up and stumble through the lines And the leaks in the water get carried by the tide They call it National Security, I call it attempted homicide Governors and statesmen on congressional pay quick to please the hand that feeds, they are careful what they say They call out experts to assure us and to wave their magic wands this is the power of the future, and the future marches on And they gather up their favors and political gains while the spills fill the rivers and settle in the plains I know the minds behind them, they are riddled full of holes They are not to be trusted with their hands at the controls Their eyesight is twisted with the glory of their careers and the heaped praise of flattery is music to their ears And to listen to them talk about how it hasn't happened yet is like playin' Hiroshima-Nagasaki Russian Roulette Those who brought the deaths of millions, for it was their stock in trade they are afflicted with the fallout that they themselves have made they have sealed their own inevitable doom, and it will surely come and not even the moons of Jupiter will be far enough away to run when the world that they've assaulted begins to turn around and the unavoidable gravity pulls them to the ground
Moron 03:50
he may be celebrity he may be on TV he may be the big VP Jesus what a sight to see he’s a moron he may be authority he may have seniority he may be the main event he may even be the president but he’s a moron more often than not he may have been a little boy who liked to play with power toys but he’s old enough to squeal now and all his toys are real now and he’s a moron he may be a college grad a credit to his dear old dad clean cut and well bred pat him on his little head ‘cause he’s a moron more often than not morons on the TV morons on the news I see any more of these morons gonna get me the moron blues just the other day this moron was heard to say “your flag is like a parachute don’t think about it just salute” just salute some people think they’re entertaining but me I find it kinda draining to watch this moron politic walk softly and carry a big stick a big stick wonder what they’re gonna do with it he may be only following orders acting like a human tape recorder a professional automaton soon to be an ex-con but he’s a moron he may be your father’s ghost the movie start you love the most a savior with a six-gun but after all is said and done he’s a moron morons in the white house morons on the news I see any more of these morons gonna get me the moron blues
John the Ball, Louie the Chain the Excelsior Champion heavy in the brain Mary the Wand, Sarah the Wasp name your price, pay your cost they come so high and the go so low you can see them all at the Medicine Show the one-eyed son played a game of lose with a rusty glass against a pair of shoes no one believed a word he said he lost his head and was sent to bed everybody said that he played too slow and you can’t do that at the Medicine Show Sweet June the Innocent came for a treat with her address stamped on the bottom of her feet when the lights went out she began to shout and she never did get out now she waits on tables when the lights are low she’s the white wine mistress of the Medicine Show Drug Store Sam told his right hand man “stash it all just as fast as you can” so he brought it all down in a wire cage left lookin’ funny with his face all changed he had the eyes of a fish, the head of a crow you gotta be careful at the Medicine Show the bar man slinks around the telephone booth while you pay for your drinks with your last gold tooth the man with the hook watches the door while the three-legged pick pocket covers the floor you’ll forget everything you know when you get inside of the Medicine Show everybody knows it when they pass the door some walk for miles not to pass it no more some cover their ears, hide their eyes break to a run when the hear the cries “hey you stranger, don’t you know this is the Medicine Show” everybody warned me not to take a drink but my head just swam, my eyeballs blinked the room came up and clapped my ears they filled my hat with silver spears a bull frog, a black crow they paid me well at the Medicine Show
the Russian came yo America they took him to New York City up the shiny walks of Fifth Avenue where the shops all look so pretty big banker took him by the arm and held him in his grasp glad to see you’ve finally come around we knew you couldn’t last they gave him wine and sandwiches and his own limousine they took his picture in a smiling pose for the covers of the magazine with the statue of liberty so high above his head said how’s it feel to be a Russian now that’s Lennon’s dead all the network heavies on the nightly national news channeled their excitement as they duly took their cues for this historic instant is a moment of renown a way to say I told you so when the Russian came to town flags a-wavin’, summer breeze sunlight shifting silhouettes secret service in the trees a monkey with a cigarette pictures of a world unknown straining at the seams all that can be truly shown is never really what it seems it’s never really what it seems over on the east side up in Harlem, down in Bedford Stuy in places that are rarely seen by the diplomatic eye children of the ancestors so deep and hunkered down waiting for some perestroyka to come to their part of town yes the Russian came to America but what did he really see selected supervisions of a sanitized reality there’s two sides to every coin the concrete and the clover you want to know the value you have to turn it over you have to turn it over
Oh, sometimes I wonder when I'm all a-sea and my imagination gets the best of me I'm feelin' disconnected, I'm looking for a light Oh, and I'm afraid to ask but I wonder if I'm loving you right Everybody gets weary, it's a weary day Oh, and then the words we use aren't what we mean to say Misunderstandings, well they can play you so rough Oh, and then it's times like these that I wonder if my love is enough Tell me, tell me if there's somethin' you need Tell me, so I won't be the last to know Every silver lining has a demon seed We gotta get it out in the open so we can let it go I love to watch you sleeping when the night is so still Oh, and silver moonlight comes in through the window sill Tell me is there room for me in your dreams tonight Oh, and then tell me if I'm loving you right Oh, and I'm a-fraid to ask but I wonder if I'm loving you right
every day early in the mornin’ when the sunlight rises cuttin’ through the fog footsteps slowly sound around the corner it’s Mr. Grouter a-walkin’ with his dog coat collar up warm against the weather got his captain’s cap ridin’ in place daylight brightens and the mist is liftin’ it’s another new day you can see it on his face goin’ back to Louisiana one of these days when I’m able and the weather is clear goin’ back to Louisiana one of these days but till then I’m gonna stay right here never made much money in the money world never learned to read or to write so well never had a vote ‘cause he couldn’t read the ballot but he could see fine just as clear as a bell used to work a job in the ship yard docks when years ago he was a younger man changes came and left him stranded put him out walkin’ with time on his hands goin’ back to Louisiana one of these days when I’m able and the weather is clear goin’ back to Louisiana one of these days but till then I’m gonna stay right here so every day early in the mornin’ with his best friend Curly walkin’ by his side thinkin’ about family relations way down south is a mighty long ride good mornin’ Mr. Grouter tell me how you’re doin’ it’s a mighty fine day with the sun so bright tell me have you got any plans for the future well I’m gonna take a trip if it works out right goin’ back to Louisiana one of these days when I’m able and the weather is clear goin’ back to Louisiana one of these days but till then I’m gonna stay right here
Valdez 03:46
Headlines hit the papers, and everybody heard - black water floatin' full of dead fish and sea birds. Oil spill spreadin' up the north Pacific coast, attackin' Mother Nature in the land you love the most. Cuttin' corners, pushin' profits to the high limit line. Too few people workin' too much overtime. Too many bad moves pushin' to the brink. Is it any wonder that the captain took a drink? Is this the price of our glory? Cost of our fame? Is this the end of our story? It's a crying, dying shame. Power is the hunger, yes, and money is the feed. Oil is what they make it with, though some just call it greed. Empire logic throwing very loaded dice. They come up with a loser and we all pay the price. They said it wouldn't happen and they lied in your face, and they covered up their excess to keep it in its place. Lining influential pockets of the politic machine, suckin' up their fortunes from a can of gasoline. You shoulda seen 'em hustle with the propaganda crews. Apologetic postures on the six o'clock news. The high cost of cleanup is a capital sacrifice, but they'll get all that and more back when they raise the gas pump price. Let the captain be the scapegoat, set him up to fall. Gather up the blame and let him shoulder it all. So while every eye is focused on this solitary man, the real culprits will slip right through your hands. Think about the muscle of the money in their fist - this great corporate bully pugilist. To get away with anything that dollars will decree, to waste the natural wonder for the sake of their economy. Well, something has to happen and it has to happen soon before this good green earth looks like the surface of the moon. Let's put our heads together, let's see what can be done. Let's repossess our future while we still have one.
Mister Ondo 04:34
one afternoon as I came home to the building where I lived alone I met an old man on the stairs as he paused to catch his breath there his face was drawn and pale his hand was clenched to grip the rail he had a long way to go and his name was Mr. Ondo I offered him my helping hand my steady legs to help him stand “my room’s upstairs and straight ahead I’m not feeling very well,” he said we reached the door, he turned the key he turned around to look at me and I saw myself in years to come “thank you” he said, I said “you’re welcome” and we all have so far to go don’t we, Mr. Ondo time passed by and all too soon there came another afternoon when I was home alone once more with some one rapping at my door it was Mr. Ondo looking well holding out a dollar bill as so eagerly he bowed his head “this is for your help” he said I refused but he would not relent and then I saw how much it meant a dollar for the man inside for that was how he wore his pride and pride is all that you’ve got left when they’ve all gone and you’ve been left at home alone in a winter’s chill so I took his dollar bill and we all have so far to go don’t we, Mr. Ondo I never saw him after that the place was sold and that was that we all had to pack up and leave and he’s passed on I do believe but sometimes when all is said and done and I see myself in years to come I think how fragile this humanity I hope some one does the same for me and we all have so far to go don’t we, Mr. Ondo
Didn’t We 06:41
November 30th, ‘99 history walkin’ on a tightrope line big money pullin’ on invisible strings gettin’ into everything so deep, it’s hard to believe it’s in the food and the water and the air you breath and the chemistry, the bio-tech the banker with the bottomless check the corporations and the CEO’s and the bottom line is the profit grows the money talks, you don’t talk back they don’t like it when you act like that but didn’t we shut it down didn’t we November 30th, ‘99 it was a Tuesday mornin’ when we drew the line it was the WTO comin’ to town and we swore we’re gonna shut it down and they stood there with their big police they had the National Guard out to keep the peace with the guns and the clubs and the chemical gas but still we would not let them pass and they raged and roared and their tempers flared and there were bombs bursting in the daylight air and they’d run us off, do us in but we came right back again yeah, didn’t we shut it down didn’t we November 30th, ‘99 millennium passing as the numbers climb and the people came from everywhere there musta been 50 thousand out there there were farmers, unions, rank and file every grass roots has it’s own style there were great big puppets two stories tall there were drummers drummin’ in the shoppin’ mall there were so many people that you couldn’t see how that many people got into the city and the WTO delegates too but we were locked down, so they couldn’t get through yeah, didn’t we shut it down didn’t we November 30th, ‘99 lockdown at the police line and they’re hittin’ you with everything they got but you ain’t movin’, like it or not and they’re tyin’ your wrists with plastic cuffs and they’re loadin’ you up on a great big bus and they’re takin’ you down to the navy base pepper sprayin’ you right in the face try to break you down, try to get you to kneel but you got the unity and this is for real and they can’t break a spirit that’s comin’ alive that’s the kind of spirit that’s bound survive didn’t we shut it down didn’t we the media loves on the glitter and flash and the newspapers talkin’ out a whole lot of trash about the violence of the people in black and how the cops were so tired they just had to attack and the secrets hidden in that deep dark hole that they call City Hall may never be told the mayor’s out doin’ the spin the police chief quit so you can’t ask him well they can swear to god and all human law but I was there and I know what I saw and the visible stains’ll wash away in the rains but this old town’ll never be the same ‘cause didn’t we shut it down didn’t we it’s the greatest story ever told David and Goliath, how you be so bold standin’ up to the giant when the goin’ gets hot and all you got is a slingshot well they tell me that the world’s turned upside down you gotta pick it up and shake it, gotta turn it around you gotta take it apart to rearrange it I don’t want to save the world I want to change it don’t let ‘em tell you that it can’t be done ‘cause they’re gonna be the first ones to run just take a little lesson from Seattle town WTO and how we shut it down yeah, didn’t we shut it down didn’t we
four winds, seven seas relative humanities everywhere I look I see some one looking back at me nation states and border lines divided states of mind politics comes to blows and everybody wants to know whose world is this? First World riding high Second World standing by Third World under fire funny how we all conspire we don't know 'cause we can't see how such a way could come to be riding on a spinning wheel soon enough will be revealed whose world is this? what kind of world will our children receive after all is said and done? what kind of creed have we come to believe that they may never receive one? what kind of world will our children receive after all is said and done? what kind of creed must we come to believe if they are ever to receive one? four winds, seven seas relative humanities everywhere I look I see some one looking back at me
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


Produced by Billy Oskay
at Big Red Studios, Corbett, OR. 2002

All songs copyright Jim Page
Whid-Isle Music, BMI

Archival materials from 1975 to 2001


released June 7, 2002


all rights reserved



Jim Page Seattle, Washington

Named by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as “One Of The 50 Most Influential Musicians In Seattle History.” Originally from 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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