Human Interesting

by Jim Page

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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 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: Fundamental Frenzy
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
Track Name: On the Street Again
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


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


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


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

Track Name: An Old Pair Of Shoes
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
Track Name: A Long Way Home
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

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
Track Name: Anna Mae
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
Track Name: Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette
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
Track Name: Moron
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
Track Name: The Medicine Show
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
Track Name: When the Russian Came to Town
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
Track Name: I Wonder If I'm Loving You Right
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
Track Name: Mister Grouter
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
Track Name: Valdez
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.
Track Name: Mister Ondo
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
Track Name: Didn’t We
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
Track Name: Whose World Is This
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
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

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