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about

Half In The Bag (No Deal Whatsoever Records) 1993. Produced, engineered, arranged by Chet Cahill in his house in Malden. All these are Berlin's save Everytime I Fall by Michael Holland (one of my favorite all time songs). Who did this? Billie Best (spoken girl in Can't Get It Up), Randy Roos (4 guitars in Man In Flames - true story of a homeless man in Kenmore who burned alive in the basement of Eddy de Syon's apartment building), Chris Mehl (guitars, vocals), Joan Wasser (violin), Jane Balmond (piano on Everytime I Fall), David Barrett (sax on the song Blood of A Poet - about his brother Peter), Eddy de Syon (organ on Blood), Julie Woods (vocals), Nancy Adams (vocals), Brian Olson (vocals), Chet Cahill (everything else).

credits

released June 22, 1993

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about

Rick Berlin (now playing w/ THE NICKEL & DIME BAND) Jamaica Plain

A giant on the Boston music scene. His colorful songwriting + strong stage presence have influenced countless other artists since the early 1970s. He continues to make music w/ intelligence + integrity, building an international reputation around his knotty, singular piano playing, straight-from-the-heart singing and a style of character-based songwriting that's drawn comparisons to Waits + Cohen ... more

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Track Name: Who's That You're With?
WHO'S THAT YR WITH?

Who's that yr with?
He's such an ugly thing
& he's so old
he's got to be impossible

Who's that yr with?
in those dated clothes?
the way he slouches around
& all the beer

I can't believe
who you got tonight
He can't play pinball
& he's so loud

I thought your type
Had long black hair
& such an attitude
He's hardly there

Come on
tell me
who it is
that turns you on
I really ought to know

Someone I can't have
Someone I shouldn't have
Someone who's crazy
Someone who's stupid

Who's that yr with?

Someone I can't have
Someone I shouldn't have
Someone who's crazy
Someone who's stupid

Who's that yr with?
Track Name: Everybody Knows I'm Famous Now
(EVERYBODY KNOWS) I'M FAMOUS NOW

Everybody knows
I'm famous now
Everybody knows
They follow me around

I call up my old friends
Just to turn the screws
Did they see me on MTV?
Did they catch me on the news?

I get all the girls
& the boys I want
They idolize my body
& they listen to me talk

It's fun to be famous
But I wonder for how long?
Andy Warhol was right
But now he's gone

If they take it all away
& my face gets old
Will I look like Bette Davis
Stranded in the cold?

Now that I am famous
I am still fucked up
But no one really gives a damn
They are down on my luck

Everybody knows
I'm famous now
Everybody knows
They follow me around
They follow me around
They follow me around
They follow me around...
Track Name: Don't Talk About Joan
DON'T TALK ABOUT JOAN

Don't talk about Joan
Don't talk
Don't talk about her
I'm in love with her

Don't talk about Joan
Don't talk
Don't talk about her
I'm in love with her

She walks
into a room
She doesn't know me
but I don't care
Love is not always easy
& love is not always kind
But if I get away with this
it'll be a perfect crime

CHORUS

She drives
this old convertible
the sun is warm
in her hair
I look outside my window
& she is at a stoplight
drinking a beer
she doesn't know I'm here

CHORUS

I saw her
yesterday
she was standing alone
in a crowd
Her sunglasses on
her hair pulled back
& she was crying
I was no help at all
Track Name: Love X'd Out
LOVE X'D OUT

So you took a couple of sleeping pills
& your fever is going down
& your heart feels like a parking lot
and the girl in the window she likes you a lot
but something inside you is starting to rain
and it looks like thunder
and it feels like pain

1 strike gone
2 strikes you're out
who made these rules
with love crossed out?

Yesterday morning a suicide
by a kid in a lonely town
everyone liked him but nobody knew
of the love that brought him down
a feeling inside him had scared him to death
he was real good in english
& you know the rest

CHORUS

Remember the famous photographer
the one with the pretty face
he shot what he wanted, he didn't care
if you got his point too late
his bodies were naked, engorged with life
the silence it the galleries
you could cut it with a knife

CHORUS

The best man I know is not doing well
his legs are as thin as sticks
& tho' his body is shot to Hell
his spirit is a strong as a brick
I will love him forever no matter what
I just want him back
the way he was

CHORUS

All I want is you
Nothing else will do
All I want is you
Track Name: Where R U?
WHERE R U?

I woke up
late last night
in the middle of a dream
I had been with this amazing person
who's face I'd never seen
I was so pissed off
when I woke up
it was not nice
cuz every touch
& every look
felt just exactly right

Where are you?
Why have you left me
alone as my day begins?
As I lay me down to sleep
can I be with you again?

We don't use words
it's not important
to analyze
or keep a scorecard
We never know
when our time is up
a vague transition
like growing up
Give me please a miracle
some way to cross the line
between the sleep and waking worlds
so I can have you all the time

CHORUS

I used to want
to stay out all night
but now I'd rather sleep
I'm so exhausted
missing you
who's face I never meet
I do not appreciate
this stupid world
it's all mixed up
I look in the mirror
& I want to cry
the truth is now
I realize
I miss you
I miss you

CHORUS, I miss you
Track Name: Cheap Feel
CHEAP FEEL

Old Man Freud
had a thing about a little girl
Tina is her name
& he'd get his point across
something to do with loss
He'd lean way down
& he'd kiss her knees
just in consolation for her misery
just to get his point across
after all he's the boss

Big deal Baby
I'm old enough to be your father
part of you is willing after
all I ever wanted was a
CHEAP FEEL
das all right
it's just a CHEAP FEEL
in the middle of the night
It's just a CHEAP FEEL
it feel so good
It hardly cost a penny
& I'm only being friendly with you

Big Bad Jerry
had a thing about a little boy
coach him in the Little League
just to get his point across
no matter what the cost
Take him camping
on a summer night
wrestle his pajamas off
examining his body
just to get his point across
after all he's the boss

CHORUS

Poor Aunt Sally
had a thing about a neighborhood
paperboy delivery man
& she invited him in
she'd get her point across
(her legs were so attractively crossed)
She'd give 'em a beer
& she'd hold his hand
shove her hips against his body
as she started to dance
she'd get her point across
after all she was the boss
Track Name: Everytime I Fall In Love (by Michael Holland)
EVERYTIME I FALL (by Michael Holland)

Everytime I fall to earth
I wonder what the game is worth
& I marvel at how much it hurts
once again

Everytime I fall in love
It feels like push has come to shove
& solitude is not enough
once again

& everytime I land in the dust
I swear to give my trust & myself no more
& everytime I land in the dirt
I swear if I'm not hurt
then I just get bored
Everytime I fall
Everytime I fall in love

Everytime I fall from Grace
Aware of all my past mistakes
I only crave that poison taste
once again

CHORUS

I start out flying so high
Then fall so low
Why do I punish myself?
Is it because it's all I know?

CHORUS
Track Name: Can't Get It Up
CAN'T GET IT UP

Can't get it up
Can't get it up
Can't get it up...

You know I want to

I try to think of fantasys
I watch your face in ecstasy
I close my eyes, I open them
I drink a beer & pray a lot
I watch the thing go up & then go
Down it's so embarrassing I
Know you say it's not performance
Only how you feel inside no
Matter what I do no matter
What I do no matter what I do...

CHORUS

I talk to other guys (maybe they
Lie) they act like No Big Deal
They get it up & keep it up
Go on & on for days & days &
They don't need no psychiatric
Accupuncture needlepoint
& they don't need no help at all
They stud for love I must be queer
Matter what I do no matter
What I do no matter what I do...

CHORUS

They say that Hemingway he had a
Problem couldn't get it up &
Monty Cliff was small he was the
Joke all over Hollywood
It's not like sex is bad no way it's
Fun it's just to be a Man re-
quires does it not a certain
Shall we say Condition & no
Matter what I do no matter
What I do no matter what I do...

CHORUS

OK..hold it...it isn’t DOing anything...
It’s doin’ something, I...
It isn’t even moving...
I mean...you put all this attention on it
I thought you said you liked me
I like you all right...of course I like you
CAN'T GET IT UP...con't.

What do you mean it isn’t me...of COURSE it’s me

...you’re a terrific person
It’s ME!
No it’s not!
I’m sorry...about this

CHORUS

I’m gonna turn the lights...down
I’m really really sorry

CHORUS

But...what am I supposed to do?
I dunno. SOMEthing.
Wha...Why are you putting your clothes on?

CHORUS

Ah...I think I should go home...
Er...you don’t have to do that.
...now.
Ah...it’s...everything’s gonna be fine...
Track Name: Blood Of A Poet
BLOOD OF A POET (for Peter Barrett)

The blood of a poet is on my hands
even if I don't show it I need this man
The blood of a poet sinks into the sand
how quick I lose sight of the vision he had
The blood of a poet is on our hands
even if we don't know it it's destroying our friends

All he did in the middle of a daydream
was love somebody

The blood of a poet is on my hands
even if I don't show it I believe in this man
The blood of a poet who tells us the truth
like a match to explosives he changes you
The blood of a poet is on your hands
even if you don't know it it's destroying your friends

All he did in the middle of a daydream
was love somebody

The blood of a poet is on my hands
even if I don't show it I love this man
The blood of poet is so weak that it's strong
you can hear his heart breaking in every song
The blood of a poet in on our hands
even if we don't know it it's destroying our friends

All he did in the middle of a daydream
was love somebody

I first knew him
when I was young
We were so naive
& so highstrung
But a man like him
can changed your life
with a simple look
from his radient eyes
Track Name: (I Feel So) Lucky
LUCKY

I'm calling you, babe
from Sax 5th Avenue
outside at a chilly payphone
There's this thing that happened
to me last night
when I left you asleep at home
A man was lying
on a subway bench
outside it was 30 below

And I felt so lucky
that I had you
and I was not alone

Well that man on the bench
was all covered up
his eyes were closed but
he was not asleep
Babe, I felt so bad
that he had no friends
except for the cold and lonely streets
I looked at him
and I thought of you
and the way we get to be

And I feel so lucky
that I have you
and you for sure have me

There's a little boy here
and he's staring at me
he must think I am out of my mind
Cuz I'm crying and laughing
my story out loud
to you just one more time
Well you wouldn't believe it
the way he smiles at me
while his Daddy turns the other way

oh I feel so lucky
that I have you
to hear what I have to say

solo

Oh don't you know it
when I have so much
I always want more, you see
But tonight I'll remember
when I look back
what love is really meant to be
Track Name: Man In Flames
MAN IN FLAMES

I looked outside my window CHORUS
& there was fear in the air
& I was talking on the telephone His hair was on fire
to my friend who could not be there His body was in flames
& I opened up the doorway He was reaching out for Glory
& stepped out into the hall like a blindman gone insane
a little punk kid passed me by & I really tried to help him
he was bouncing off the walls But I knew it was too late
& the smoke was like a sandstorm so I ran back to my bedroom
& the fire alarm blared &I think I might have prayed
& I pulled my coat around my ears I hope he's OK
as I tiptoed down the stairs I hope he's OK
& the smell was really scarey I hope he's OK
& the light was really weird I hope he's OK
& as I turned the final corner I hope he's OK
I saw him really clear I hope he's OK
I hope he's OK
He was comin up the stairs I hope he's OK

I had a hard time breathing
I had not slept for days
The Citgo sign was blazing
& a scream formed in my brain
& my door was still wide open
& the building groaned with pain
I picked up the phone, dialed 911
"Get your ass over here right away"
& the cops were so efficient
as they scraped up the remains
& they asked us a lot of questions
as they stretched their yellow tape
His leg was gone & half a hand
& his face had disappeared
& he never let out a single sound
least not that I could hear

CHORUS

I looked outside my window, & I saw the saddest thing
That punk kid who tried to save him was standing all alone in the street
& he'd tried to beat the flames out now he just stared up into the sky
threw his shirt in a trashcan & then he started to cry
This man brought us together
This man who was dressed in flames
Our whole apartment building
& we never learned his name
The building superintendant
I saw him the other day
Complained of all the destruction
As he swept the mess away
Track Name: Two Drunks Dancing
2 DRUNKS DANCING

One with a cigarette One with a cigarette
hanging out hanging out
The other his shirt-tail's The other his shirt-tail's
flapping around flapping around
Drinking all day Two drunks dancing
& drunk all night what a wild sight
Just met each other Forgetting the world
breaking up a fight they dance through the night

One with a black eye
& a bloody nose
The other with a fat lip SOLO
is dancing on his toes
Put a quarter in the jukebox
make a trip to the head
Sing out country western
or the Grateful Dead

Ready, set, go
1, 2, 3
Come on my brother
it's just you & me
Ready, set, go
Can't you see?
Come on my partner
Come dance with me

We're two drunks dancing
side-by-side
holding each other
'til the day we die
Two drunks dancing
out of our minds
holding each other
'til the day we die

They been up & down this dirty old town
Whiskey & Guinness they suck 'em down
& now best of friends they couldn't care less
Hugging each other ignoring the waitress

Could be young but they're probably old
Stories like lines on their faces grow
One with a family he left behind
The other for robbery did some time

CHORUS
Track Name: Joey
JOEY

I'm too short I'm 14 makes it
hard to reach the pedals of this
car I stole this afternoon a faggot
left it running in a parking lot
in P-town where I was after escaping
from the nuthouse back in Amherst
where they put me with this other kid
who has a man outside someone who
hardly noticed me I could not hide when
they were sleeping in the bed so I got
dressed and fled I think about the accident
I could have if I jerked the steering wheel
real sudden but the man beside me touched
my leg he said he knew about some school
they make kids better take this letter ask for
Michael Weaver he has blue eyes he'll recognize
your face because the place you're in he knows
about it love is still just waiting for you Joe
I took his hand off of my leg I was not rude
I sort of liked this man besides he gave me
money put gas in my car he says goodbye when
he gets out I says goodbye he says take care
of yourself Joey don't kill yourself there's
too much going on so long I looked nice at him
I think but I says nothing.
Track Name: Glass Menagerie
GLASS MENAGERIE

small things
made well
silence
felt
tears fall
no one calls
a broken
heart

she
lives
in
a
glass menagerie
where her injury
is felt
not seen

she
plays
with
a
glass menagerie
tiny glass
figurines

an old girl
in a young dress
a silent
parade

the boy she loved
went far away
a thousand years
ago
today

chorus

outside
children play
voices
chime

a smile begins
on the saddest face
she decides to take
her life
Track Name: Wheelbarrow
WHEELBARROW

There used to be an orphan who was my friend
He played a nice piano but in the end
A little plaything in the dust, well
You turn it on its belly just to see the rust, well

I will send you my sorrows
in a wheelbarrow
made of stone
cuz I drive an ordinary car
won't go far on its own

I ride the railway on my train
Mile after miles and I feel no pain
A pint of whisket and I'm feeling swell, well
Dollar after dollar cuz my Daddy rings the bell, well

I will send you my sorrows
in a wheelbarrow made of stone
cuz I drive an ordinary car
won't go far on its own

He read the letter that his boyfriend wrote
When all was said and done their hearts they broke
You'd think that after all these years they'd be
togerther not apart but there's an end you see, well

I will send you my sorrows
in a wheelbarrow made of stone
cuz we drive an ordinary car
we don't go far on our own