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Adios

by Cory Branan

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credits

released April 7, 2017

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about

Cory Branan Nashville, Tennessee

Throughout his decade-and-a-half-long career, Cory Branan has been too punk for country, too country for punk, too Memphis for Nashville, and probably a little too Cory Branan for anyone’s damn good.

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Track Name: I Only Know
I was told this road goes straight to hell
But it’s been twisted as the lies a liar tells himself
So don’t ask me how I even got here
I only know I ain’t gonna go back

So what you gonna do with all that youth
Just because it’s brutal doesn’t make it truth
Left so many of ‘em sipping on that venom and vermouth
I only know I ain’t gonna go back

If our past is all we get to be
My old life would have been the death of me
While I find myself alive I might as well see where it gets me
I only know I ain’t gonna go back

I hope you come with me
So we can see what happens
I only know I ain’t gonna go back
Track Name: Imogene
That summer night was freckled with fireflies
You had a look that I was either too young or too dumb to recognize
But I remember that moon, I remember that night
Sure as hell remember that light
That shimmering light, you were hemorrhaging light

Imogene, how couldn’t things be alright?
Imogene, why couldn’t we be alright?

You could say that I was never there enough
You could say that I’m a no account, ne’er-do-well, roustabout,
Detestable, itinerant, execrable degenerate-
Fair enough
You could say that I was a waste of your time
But to say I tried to make you cry
Is just asinine

Imogene, can you imagine me trying?
Imogene, have you ever seen me try?

We poked fun at the pain
We stoked the sun in the rain
You was a runaway train, I was a runaway train
But in the bloom of the wreckage
We were one and the same

This coming night could still do you some good
The sun is setting just as red as when ya used to blush
I know it’s been a while now momma but ya used to could
We gotta act on the embers
Ash won’t remember the way back to fire

Imogene, is there anything you require?
Hey Imogene, name a single thing you desire
Track Name: Blacksburg
She’s been emptying rounds in a dark bar
She’s been getting around in a parked car
You wanna know exactly how she feels?
You gotta walk to hell and back in heels
Baby’s been to hell and back
She never left Blacksburg

These mountain town bars are all bare bones
Hell, a little Phenobarbital and pheromones
Baby just looking for a little release
Love’s the drug that she distrusts the least
But you take whatever takes you back in Blacksburg

There was a time this town could never have had her
Now she never minds
And it never matters

She says this endless night feels indescribably
As empty as them inside of me
But if I can’t feel good again
I’ll be damned if I feel this pain I’m in
You just see who’s standing after the stars collapse
On Blacksburg

That’s her emptying rounds in a dark bar
Getting around in a parked car
Track Name: Yeah, So What
I was minding my own, toasting my health
With my bottle and my table and my heart to myself
Drifting in and out of focus, staring into space
When I caught you noticing me noticing your face
What if I thought I knew ya?
Really, what’s it to ya?

Yeah, so what if I was looking at you?
Yeah, so what if I was looking at you?
What’s a poor boy with exquisite taste to do?
Yeah, so what if I was looking at you?

Just so happens you favor the ocean, I tend to take after the moon
We could pretend we could resist
It’s not my fault we fit like this
I say something funny?
Feel free to confront me honey

Yeah, so what if I was looking at you?
Yeah, so what if I was looking at you?
What’s an overachieving underdog to do?
Yeah, so what if I was looking at you?

You really think you hooked me with that crooked little sway?
You drive past an accident and try and look away
You were smiling like a checkerboard and shining like a shoe
Can’t believe I’m wasting these lines on you
Alright, you caught me red-blooded
You wanna make something of it?

Yeah, so what if I was falling in love?
Yeah, so what if I was falling in love?
I ain’t gonna push it, I ain’t gonna shove
But can’t nobody stop me from falling in love
Track Name: You Got Through
I had nothing when I walked in here
Pocket full of fire and a killer idea
Still had nothing when you walked in
Looking like an Elmore heroine

The air was wet, clothes was too
I got the room key
And we got through

When the last asshole that rented this room
Set the alarm for the crack of noon
And you doused that thing with your flat champagne
I felt a little love in my jugular vein

The air was sticky-sweet, You was too
The walls got paper thin
And we got through

I knew better than to cross that line
But I’ll try anything seven, eight times
It was love all the sudden it was love I cried
But love is a son of a bitch one side

And it was nothing much to you
Could’ve been something
But you got through
You got through
Track Name: The Vow
My old man was young once
Or so the photo album claims
Flip the page the baby jumps
Some twenty years and change

From the cradle to the naval base
A newlywed recruit
Through the boot camp of a family man
In a loose civilian suit

But it was anchors aweigh now singing “Courage, service true”
All them anchors will weigh you down if you ain’t fit for blue

What did I know about it then?
What do I know now?
I have known the kind of man
It takes to keep the vow

I’d say “Well i just thought…” and he’d cut me off
Saying ‘That’s what you get for thinking’
I remember thinking that’s probably not the best lesson for kids
And although that was just something he said
When I see what I get with my thinking
I get to thinking there may have been some kinda genius
In the effortless way he just Did

I learned your word is one thing, keep it if you give it out
But silence fans the fires a man requires to keep the vow

What did I know about it then?
What do I know now?
I have known the kind of man
It takes to keep the vow

I could’ve curled up in one footprint, one giant laugh, one giant hand
Until the sickness and the treatment shrunk him down to just a man
A shrinking man still tinkering with my old busted car
When his wedding ring must’ve slipped into the muddy yard
At least that’s what he figured when he noticed it was gone
I can still see him on his knees digging up that lawn

Now the flag is folded and the numbers are carved
Mississippi is glistening green
Another summer’s softly calling off the search for missing things
But I have found that something kept
To keep me company
On these nights when me and my old man
Go digging into dreams

What did I know about it then?
What do I know now?
I have known the kind of man
It takes to keep the vow

I can only hope as I propose to man the outpost now
I’ll be armed with memories of the man it takes to keep the vow
Track Name: Walls, MS
I can see you ain’t from ‘round here
I’d draw a map if you could use it
But all the lost have ever found here
Is some new way not to get to Walls, Mississippi

You’re gonna need the nickel tour
If you plan on passing through
That black-n-white brochure of yours
Will surely send you smack into Walls, Mississippi

The sky is up, the grass is brown
It ain’t that far to the casino
Every other little town
At least as far as we know is Walls, Mississippi

The school’s all shop class and abstinence
And field trips to the prison
Nothing ever happens but
Life and death decisions in Walls, Mississippi

They put a camera in the steeple
That way someone always sees us
Topped the fence with broken stained glass
Ya’ll can always visit Jesus in Walls, Mississippi

The sky is up, the grass is brown
It ain’t that far to the casino
Every other little town
At least as far as we know is Walls, Mississippi

When all you got is shot or shoddy
Lord, ya hoard a bunch of nothing
Makes it safe to bet somebody
Always up to something in Walls, Mississippi

Can’t be a stranger if you’re staying
We got a little newsletter
Once the neighbors weigh in
You can get to know you better in Walls, Mississippi

But I wasn’t kidding about our starlight
It’ll pinpoint the pain until
The pit of you gets starlit and it’s
Almost like there ain’t no…

About all there is to see
Hope I sure was help to you
If you got nowhere to be
Ya’ll are more than welcome to Walls, Mississippi
Track Name: Cold Blue Moonlight
Tonight the entire moon’s right down on top of you
Inciting them deep blue dreams
Phantom beams fathoming severed rememberings
Whatever, it’s just a dead rock in the sky but it’s
Shining light on all that love you buried alive

In the cold blue moonlight
Bedazzling, bedeviling, bizarre
Jolting you right to the shrapnel
Of an old broken heart
Gonna be a battle getting better
It’s gonna get bad alright
Better let me hold you through the
Cold blue moonlight

Miss Simone moaning some good old oblivion
And sweet relinquishing
But that phonograph spent its momentum an hour ago
And you can’t seem to move from this room where you froze
Like an animal helpless in the oncoming beams

Of the cold blue moonlight
Bedazzling, bedeviling, bizarre
Jolting you right to the shrapnel
Of an old broken heart
Gonna be a battle getting better
It’s gonna get bad alright
Better let me hold you through the
Cold blue moonlight

The sun rises starry-eyed, rising entirely
Like it was nothing at all
I wake up, it’s midnight and Nina’s still moaning low
You’re still dead and I’m still along with a long ways to
Go ’til I can stand to face this painfully clear

Cold blue moonlight
Bedazzling, bedeviling, bizarre
Jolting me right to the shrapnel
Of my whole broken heart
Gonna be a battle getting better
It’s gonna get bad alright
Guess I gotta go through
The cold blue moonlight
Track Name: Another Nightmare in America
You uppity little ghost- don’t you even know you’re dead?
We police the past, your future’s in your head
We’ve hollowed out our bibles to hide our golden guns
We’ve raised a silver gallows in the jewelry of your sons
That tattered flag is crimson with a blood that can’t be wrung
Take one last drag of night air
Cinch that blackness in a lung
As we hoist another nightmare

Look away, look away, move along- nothing to see here
Look away, hey you there- are you even supposed to be here?
We don’t need a reason, keep your dreams where we can see them
Just like that- Aw baby right there
Just another nightmare in America

Ain’t no use praying, there’s no soul there to save
Boy, you’re just the difference between a hole and a grave
And that’s exactly how they’ll mark it, even if a camera sees us
I’ll fill out some paperwork and sleep like baby Jesus

Look away, look away, move along- nothing to see here
Look away, hey you there- are you even supposed to be here?
We don’t need a reason, keep your dreams where we can see them
Just like that- Aw baby right there
Just another nightmare in America

Jury don’t look so sad at me, like conviction makes it right
What you’re calling a tragedy I call just another night
We all pray to fire power and really what did you expect?
If you’ll allow me to interpret the power to protect
I say it’s six in the chest, two in the neck

You look away, look away, move along- nothing to see here
Look away, hey you there- are you even supposed to be here?
We don’t need a reason, these bullets scream for freedom
Just like that- Aw baby right there

Just another nightmare in America
Oh say can you see?
Just another nightmare in America
Oh say you can see
Track Name: Chameleon Moon
He said let me guess kid, the roses were red and her eyelids were blue?
They’re all a soft pink La Brea but a sweeter extinction ya never knew
Then what, she left or let ya push her away? No, she wouldn’t make it so clear
Well the first drinks on me, you can stay so long’s ya know you don’t belong in here

With these nighthawks beneath the chameleon moon
Singing songs of the old salts around the rim of the wound
Mostly it’s just the one tune
How’d it get too late so soon?

Around here they get so brimmed with empty that the whiskey won’t take
You’ll be spilling your black guts and butt ends on some local piece of angel cake
See that mirror there up above my bar? It has never once pretended
You could take a good long look kid, I wouldn’t recommend it

Just might see a nighthawk beneath the chameleon moon
Singing songs of the old salts around the rim of the wound
Mostly it’s just the one tune
How’d it get too late so soon?

I doubt a single wall of this club could stand
If it wasn’t stuccoed up with stickers of these
Long defunct pop punk bands
And there’s little doubt whether I would be here
If not for these three chords, you my dear

And that nighthawk beneath the chameleon moon
Who taught me these old salts around the rim of the wound
Could only teach me the one tune
How’d it get too late so soon?

The roses were red for a while and her eyelids were blue
Track Name: Equinox
I met a man on the equinox
My heart beating like a hummingbird in a box
Bartender, another dark rum on the rocks

He laid his fisherman’s coat on the ground
One kiss and I laid my young body down
And only the weight of his world in my thighs
Kept me from falling straight into the skies with a
Somersault and a sigh

Sorry bartender forgive the schmaltz
Let an old woman recall an old waltz with a
Somersault and a sigh

Occasionally I wonder why he went away
Just up and left all his Gone here to stay
The odd lopsided moon and reluctant sunrise
Are sharing a square in the room where I lie
Where I gotta get up, with no choice but either a
Somersault or a sigh

I know it’s nobody’s fault but mine if I
Lost the key to the vault where I keep my
Somersaults and my sighs

I met a man on the equinox
I look forward to these ever after shocks
Bartender, another dark rum on the rocks
Track Name: Don't Go
I said, I sure had a real nice time tonight
This was my first New Year’s dance
You were beautiful and the band was alright
Shame about your curfew, would’ve liked to had the chance
Just to kiss you into 1941
Then you kissed me, whispering as time and I stood stunned

Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go
I know, I know, I know you gotta get
But don’t go just yet

You said I sure had a real nice time last night
The wedding flowers strewn ‘round the room
I knew that marrying you meant America too
But Uncle Sam sure does plan one crummy honeymoon
Then boom went the bandstand and the warships on the pier
As you burrowed in my peacoat and you choked beneath their cheers

Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go
I know, I know, I know you gotta get
But don’t go just yet

Looking back at fifty years now since that kiss at your door
To those giddy newlyweds, through the weeping and war
At every monumental moment, at all the best of my life
From your doorstep I had known it
You were the rest of my life

I sure had a real nice time tonight
Reliving old New Years with you
Hardly noticed the nurses and these damned machines
All these supposed experts don’t know you like I do
They don’t know that young girl stubborn as the statue of a mule
They know nothing of my woman in the whirlwind keeping cool
We both know what’s coming’s coming
Honey, humor an old fool

Don’t go, don’t go, don’t go
I know, I know, I know you gotta get
But don’t go
Don’t go
Just yet
Track Name: Visiting Hours
We always said we’d die for rock and roll
But you didn’t mean it and I didn’t mean so slow
We thought we’d both go out in some blue fireball of awesome
Not watching moonlight drooling down the wall
Nodding to some pleasant absentminded nurse’s song
Wretched and catchy as a yawn

You were there but you were barely there at all
Like the paused fireworks of the trees in the fall
From the waiting room to the wailing wall
Visiting hours are over in east St. Paul

When I searched your place as per our deal
To burn the stash before your kin descend to steal
I found your letter trying to leave you flying V to me
Drolly addressed to the guitar
My favorite part read “You won’t have to be alone, guitar
Anymore than all of us are”

You were there but you were barely there at all
Like the paused fireworks of the trees in the fall
From the waiting room to the wailing wall
Visiting hours are over in east St. Paul

Not to put a damper on adieu
Heaven knows how much hell meant to you
But go tell Tchaikovsky to tell that old electrocardiogram the news
Doc says he’ll be damned you’re pulling through
You son of a bitch you
You’re gonna pull through
I swear I knew that

You were there when you were barely there at all
Let the paused fireworks loose a blue fireball
Through the waiting room to the wailing wall
Visiting hours are over in east St. Paul

We always said we’d die for rock and roll
Track Name: My Father Was an Accordion Player
My father was an accordion player
And rock and roll did pass him by
He set records on the amateur hours
Known as ‘the boy with the fingers that fly’

That was before I ever came around here
Before the Dewar’s, the Jack and the beer
Now he puts on a black tie and a lapel that’s too wide
And knows that God is now having his jeers

So dream tonight all your sweet dreams
Of the bright lights and the big stage
It get’s hard to ignore a twelve dollar whore
Or the coming of your own middle age
You gotta hold her so tightly she can’t breath
Be thankful she’s waiting home for you
For the old days are gone, except for the songs
And those are all fading too

My mother used to go out with Elvis
And some of his shirts she keeps up in her room
Sometimes I go and try one on, sing one of the King’s songs
In the Ghetto, maybe Blue Moon
I swear to my old man I don’t know the lyrics
I say I can’t sing one of the King’s tunes
He says some pretty, punk kid made it big while he did bar mitzvah gigs
And sweated in the practice rooms

So dream tonight all your sweet dreams
Of the bright lights and the big stage
It get’s hard to ignore that you play on the floor
And the bass player has to pause to change the page
You gotta hold her so tightly she can’t breath
Be thankful she stuck it out with you
For the old days are gone, except for the songs
And those are all fading too

Well, my father is an accordion player
And it’s a truth that some try to refuse
But what they don’t understand is I have seen it firsthand
The accordion play the blues

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