Empty Vessels

by Isaac Graham

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Empty Vessels - A new LP from singer-songwriter Isaac Graham. Featuring the tracks Photographs And Histories, This Old Town and Gold And Steel. Think The Mountain Goats cross Billy Bragg cross Against Me!

If you enjoy Empty Vessels and feel like donating, you can donate directly to Isaac by clicking the link shown above, or just send money via Paypal to contact.isaacgraham@gmail.com.

Isaac Graham is a member of netlabel Copyleft Records. If you are interested in checking out some other artists with free music, visit our website: copyleft-records.com

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released 01 December 2009

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Track Name: Photographs and Histories
My blurry eyes look at the trees
They took my watch and they stole my keys
Some people just do as they please
I hope I never catch that disease
And I'll escape toward the open seas
Leave my chances to the ocean breeze
Awake at night in bed I freeze
With photographs and histories

And I'll wait for you on both my knees
Through tidal waves and killer bees
I'll fight them all and I'll win with ease
To hold on to these memories

No more wasting opportunities
Straighten out all of my priorities
Like a dog that just can't shake its fleas
I'll fight against my maladies
And they say that good things come in threes
Well I've never kept track of inventories
And I'll think of you in Februaries
When I flick back through old diaries

And I'll wait for you on both my knees
Through tidal waves and killer bees
I'll fight them all and I'll win with ease
To hold on to these memories

I'll never listen to my contemporaries
I want major chords, I want harmonies
But all I'm hearing are these zombies
It's all brains and no apologies

And I'll wait for you on both my knees
Through tidal waves and killer bees
I'll fight them all and I'll win with ease
Just to hold on to these memories
Track Name: Gold And Steel
Well I was shaking and sweating like I normally do
I walked the long way there just to calm my nerves
My heart in the back my throat
Played the beat of that song that I was whistling
And you were shaking and sweating
Like I normally do
You locked you keys in the car, my heart in the boot
I was waiting and pacing up and down on the streets
With my hands in my pockets
Oh God, we were trapped in gold and steel
In the darkness of the evening
And the sky was freezing over
To the darkest shade of black
It bled out against the stars
That blazed bright for our attention
We just stood there and we listened
To the wide Pacific Ocean

And we were young and innocent
Like a couple of kids
In the backseat our tempos would always skip
In the humidity our chemistry started reacting
And I believed her every time that she
Told me she loved me
But these days I'm finding it harder to believe
Sometimes I wonder why
She never came home for me
Oh god, I am trapped in gold and steel
And I don't know what I'm feeling
But the sky's still freezing over
And it's turning into black
But I know that I'll get through this
And some day I will return
To stand proudly and just stare out To the wide Pacific Ocean
Track Name: Karl Marx And The Reds
Oh me and my best friends
Are going to start a skiffle band
We've learnt to play guitars
And we've got teachest bass
Oh we're going to rule the world
With our catchy three chord songs
And all of our girlfriends
Will be singing along
Slicking back our hair with wax
In the studio we're cutting tracks

We're taking all our trousers
To the tailor on the corner
So we can undermine our parents
With that hot new stovepipe look
Oh we're waiting on a call
From the major record label
So we can cut a single
Watch it climb up through the charts
Pretty girls and car chases
Meeting all these famous faces
And people ask us who we are and we say
We're Karl Marx and the Reds

Oh me and my best friends
Skip school to make rehearsal
We practice every day
In the basement of our mum's house
Last night we played the school dance
And caused a great commotion
The only way to stop us
Was to turn off that P.A. system
And if they drop that bomb tonight
Well I know that it will... it's gonna be alright
And people ask us who we are and we say
We're Karl Marx and the Reds
Track Name: This Old Town
Well this old town is bruised and broken
Swollen eyes and softly spoken
It's final legs are long forgotten
But I can still remember them
And the marching traveling through the streets
The drummers kept a steady beat
The soldiers could not stand long on their feet
They too are worn and weary

And the ships they returned to many new births
Although some had different coloured hair
And the ladies they cried
Handkerchiefs by their side
And the children knew not what was wrong
And I've slept on these cobbled stones
I've walked these streets all on my own
But I'm still out there searching for my home

And if I knew my way back eastward
I would travel as fast as I could
To spend my final days with you
Would mean everything to me my love
But the sun is setting down that river
I hope that this darkness does not last forever
Well I could not drown at sea
But I can drown my own liver
In every pub in Sydney

And the ships they returned
To a town that was burned
Down by pirates before I departed
And the ladies are tired, from working the night
And I know them all by their first names
And I'll sleep on these cobbled stones
Until the flesh disappears from my bones
Because I know that this will always be my home
This will always be my home
Track Name: Empty Vessels
It was an explosion
Of people, sweat and tears and their emotions
An hour of unstoppable commotion
A whirlwind of limbs and extremities
Some things were said
We told ourselves that we would never forget
Another moment frozen in a snowstorm
A clash of understanding and confusion

And at that moment,
The tide rushed in quicker than I predicted
The stars are looking lovely from this angle
And I wonder what it is that you are thinking
We paid for this but you will never own it

And then it ended
As sharply and abruptly as it had started
Hearts and eardrums beating fiercely still competing
Our bodies sodden, dripping slowly
With sweat and liquor
Pumped by the heart
The blood fashioned its way through empty vessels
Down different streets rejuvenating muscles
Well I will not sleep tonight that is for certain

And at that moment
The tide rushed in quicker than I predicted
The stars are looking lovely from this angle
And I wonder what it is that you are thinking my love
We paid for this but you will never own it
We paid for this but you will never own it
We paid for this but it will never be yours
Track Name: Superglue
When I grow up I want to be
Traveling with you next to me
With bad tattoos and a calloused throat
We’ll be singing to keep ourselves afloat
And we’ll play wherever they’ll take us in
I’ll play guitar, you play mandolin
And when the barman puts away the seats
We’ll take it out onto the streets
Like we used to when we were twenty-one

And on Tuesdays we’ll go to the laundromat
With the money that we collect from the hat
Jam the coins into the washing machine
Rinse and spin, extra dirty, cold wash clean
And as we wait for our clothes to dry
I’ll sing for you a lullaby
You can rest you weary head on my lap
I’ll drive tonight you just take a nap
In the backseat, because baby I’m alright to drive

We must have traveled this Pacific Highway
A thousand times by now
But every time I do I notice something new
And I’m not ready yet to settle down
With the house and kids and debt
I hope I never ask myself the question
Has my life even started yet?

And we’re holding hands on the side of the road
Superglue, I hope it never gets old
It’s raining hard and we’re broken down
Waiting for a tow to the nearest town
But I don’t really care about the inclement weather
I just want to make sweet music together
Traveling the coast without a destination
Even if we are without transportation
We’ll catch the train home
Wherever that may be tonight

We must have traveled this Pacific Highway
A thousand times by now
But every time I do I notice something new
And I’m not ready yet to settle down
With the house and kids and debt
I hope I never ask myself the question
Has my life even started yet?
Track Name: Columbus
And everyone's just looking for
That little bit of something
Just to get them through 'til Christmas
And into the New Year
And I am just another weary Christopher Columbus
I'm sailing this blue ocean with my head held high
And all these currents are leading me astray
Taking me away from the places that I am seeking
And all these currents are leading me astray
Because I am just a drop
Amongst the waves we are making

And everyone now and then
I stop and think about the future
And I listen very closely for slice of reason
It’s hidden in my headphones
And If I turn them up loud enough
I can hear all the ugliness and beauty inside
And all those lyrics were lying anyway
Those sinking ships
Were safely moored in Botany Bay
And all those lyrics were lying anyway
The city lights faded when the morning came

And I don't know where you are from
But my God I would like to know

And the blood in my capillaries
Is flowing with a vigour
That I haven't felt for years now
And I'm enjoying it again
Hunting oxygen that dances
Through the streets unprotected
I am part of every moment I am every fingerprint
And all those voices were keeping me away
Telling me that I will never be what I can be
And all those voices were keeping me away
But I'm learning not to listen
To anything that they say

And I don't know where you are from
But my God I would like to know
Track Name: Heat Exhaustion
I don't want to dance to your nostalgia
In your crowded sweaty rooms
But I’m moving to the music with your dying bodies
That I will one day own
It's just another phase of evolution
Albeit in the wrong direction
Those disco lights are always twice as bright
As the people in the room

And I'm gonna die of heat exhaustion
Unless I take this jacket off
But I feel safe inside, it's not that hot in here
I swear I normally sweat this much
And please won't you
Give me another chance dear
I won’t mess things up this time
I’m gonna prove to you, that I can do normal
Did I embarrass you too much?

And it's gonna take another litre
Before my guard is on the pavement
Well these cobbled streets spell another defeat
Perhaps I should just go home
And I always was the death of the party
Even those that were held for me
I feel that sometimes I might not be alright
Do you ever feel the same?

And I'm gonna die of heat exhaustion
Unless I take this jacket off
But I feel safe inside, it's not that hot in here
I swear I normally sweat this much

And please don’t listen to me
When I make suggestions
‘Cause things can only turn out for the worst
And please don’t tell me
That this bridge can open up
I don’t want to fall into the dark
Water!
Surrounds me and a ship is sailing past
Another night spent soaking in the harbour
And I don't have to explain anything to you
But to tell you the truth
I’m having a really good time

But I'm gonna die of heat exhaustion
Unless I take this jacket off
But I feel safe inside, it's not that hot in here
I swear I normally sweat this much
And please won't you
Give me another chance dear
I won’t mess things up this time
I’m gonna prove to you, that I can do normal
Did I embarrass you too much?

And I’m gonna die of heat exhaustion
Unless I take this jacket off
But I’m not going to do that
On my knees, this is what I look like apologizing
Won't you give me another chance dear
I won’t mess things up this time
I’m gonna prove to you, that I can do normal
Did I embarrass you too much?
Track Name: Hurricane
It was Saturday night at Kelly's On King
A surprise birthday party
Good times and good friends
And I kept on saying to all that I spoke
It's only a fortnight until she's coming home

Then on Sunday evening you delivered the news
That you were staying for Christmas
And you weren't coming home
And in that split second
I felt my heart break in two
Now there's a ghost in my stomach
That won't leave me alone

Now this train doesn't stop at this station no more
It just passes through town like a hurricane
It sucks passengers and luggage
Right onto the tracks
And I watch as the lights fade away

Then on Monday night I was so depressed
That I drowned all my sorrows
With some of the best
And I knew at that moment
That you would not be impressed
But I don't have to worry about
Impressing you anymore

And as I flew through the air
And my weight hit the ground
From the bicycle catapult
That launched me straight down
Well I knew at that moment
It was time for a change
So I packed up my things
And I moved home right away

Now this train doesn't stop
At this station no more
I've been waiting for it all of my life
And the platform attendant
Smiles at me and he says;
"Keep your ear to the ground
I can hear one coming in"
Track Name: When I Find Gold
He was born on the steps of the rum hospital
As the rains flowed down veins of Macquarie Street
His mother, exhausted, died in her sleep
It was September fourteen eighteen twenty-eight

And on George Street that evening
As John Brodie was born
Three men dug a tunnel into the Bank of Australia
A considerable sensation was excited in town
John lost his mother while the bank lost its pounds

When he was twenty-three he moved to Ballarat
Looking for the gold
And a pretty girl to have his children
But all he found was bureaucrats and taxes
Well they say we need a license to be rich

They sent the troops from Melbourne
With their sniders
They aimed their guns at good men and decent folk
And when that bastard Bentley
Killed Scobie in cold blood
We kept warm that night from the ashes of his hotel

You could feel the hate and greed in the miasma
I heard that they killed that boy
That played the drums
But on Bakery Hill the Southern Cross flew high
But John Brodie lost his life
Before he could see the blue flag fly

His heart skipped a beat when the bullet hit
And the blood spilled from his chest onto the ground
And as he lay in agony he stared up at the clouds
And he whispered to himself as he died

He said when I find gold
Oh I'm gonna be a better man
When I find gold
Yeah, we'll settle down and buy some land
When I find gold
I'll put a ring upon your hand
When I find gold
Oh I'm gonna be a better man for sure.