by Rory Strong

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released May 28, 2019

track 1, 2 and 6 recorded by Jeff Bowler in Huntington Beach, California. Ryan played harmonica on OJ and mandolin on SEE.
Track 3 was recorded on a cell phone on Peaks Island, Maine.
track 4 was recorded by Joni Elfers in a chapel near Baltimore, Maryland.
Track 5 was recorded by Elias Schwartzman in Costa Mesa, California.


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Rory Strong Santa Ana, California

pic by simi

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Track Name: All Afternoon
the fever broke that summer
when all of the basements went cold
but there's still a box of clothes that you brought me
when i lost all of my own.

we broke into my house on your last night in town
and we kicked a big whole in the wall
and we found a stash that belonged to my dad
must've been a couple years old

and you know that i'm hungry
but i don't want to leave
i want to fall asleep hungry
i want to want in my dreams

and that was one hell of a bender
you could say we had a pretty good run
between pinpricks and saucers if no one's the wiser
i guess we had the going for us

and so i left that hall back to my own four walls
they sway and they swell like a tide
and i said fuck it, man, threw some ash in the can
remnants of some long burning fire

so it's true i'm still hungry
but i've got things to do
so if i sleep thru the morning
i've got all afternoon
i've got all afternoon
i've got all afternoon

the fever broke that summer
when all of the basements went cold
but there's still a box full of things that you brought me
Track Name: Song for O+J
the weight it is staggering and the cost of the whole thing's astonishing
i've become a stranger who brings bad news to your family
and i know you're pissed off but you should probably know people care
you say, "i know that that's true but there's no one who can keep me anywhere."

the last time i saw you
you hit the trailway
the last time i saw you-oo-oo-oou
was the driveway
i saw you in the driveway

and it's ugly and repulsive. the disease is comes in a full swing
the glossier the eyes, the louder the songs that we used to sing
saying, "i know you're fucked off but you got options besides staying out there."
you say, "i know that that's true, good insurance it will take me anywhere."

the last time i saw you
you were getting in the backseat
after a hospital room where you were little more than a bedsheet
Track Name: Julie's New Windowpane
Julie’s got a brand new window pane
Hanging out with me at the end of the lane
And I got a brand new set of strings
A couple new songs I’ve been trying to sing
And she says, “Could you sing that song for me?
The only someone else wrote ‘If It Makes You Happy?’”
She says, “But if you’re too tired then it ain’t no thing.”
She says, “It ain’t no thing at all.”

And all my friends were talking about places they were staying
And I was in the kitchen when the band had started playing
I maybe should’ve listened to all that you were saying when you said it

Maybe nobody means to be a heavier stone
We just get all caught up in these weights of our own
And if I’d spent last time digging up crushed bones
Maybe I could belay it

But still you said, “Hey girlfriend, put your dancing boots on
We’ve got another five minutes before they shut it down
And if you ask the band real nice if they know our song maybe they could play it.”
That’s when the band started playing

Alright so Jim’s got the same bad habits as me
That’s how we all ended up here on Christmas Eve
He even introduces me to his family
And his kid says she’s gonna give a gift to me
So she gives me this crystal hanging from a string
To be honest I don’t really believe in that sort of thing
But I’m never as right as I’d like to be
No, sometimes I’m not write at all

So when she took that necklace and she placed it ‘round my collar
It was all that I could do not to lose my shit and holler
When really I know I should just say “Hey thanks for the offer”
I still have that necklace somewhere

That’s when you said “Hey girlfriend, don’t you know you’re not special
At least no more and no less than anyone else is anyone else is special
So stop trying to make yourself some kind of exception and maybe start living your life for once.”

So I went to to the gazebo for the last time that night
And I stayed up way too late and I almost missed my flight
It’s Nick says, “Don’t you know you can be just as strange as you like
But don’t be a stranger.”
No, I don’t want to be a stranger.
Track Name: Angel of Light
this song will never be finished
Track Name: My Boy
my boy is like fire
burning on his own
i wanna be his desire
i wanna be there when he gets home

and i never meant to love a man
i never meant to love no one
when he pushed down on my hand
and he burned me like the sun

and i was making noise in the backroom with that boy
and a whole bunch of trouble on my mind
he might be the one i don't think about it much
i really don't have the time

my boy is like water
flowing from the cup
i might ask for a bit longer
i might ask for another one

and he might be the missing leaves
of a fruitless fig tree
and i know he ain't know religion
but i still get down on my knees

and i was making noise in the backroom with that boy
and a whole bunch of trouble on my mind
he might be the one
Track Name: Someone Else's Eden
In a past life we had all that we needed
that's not our paradise, that's someone else's eden
and i keep my hands tied to work on my breathing
i walk to the store, i walk home

now we're on guilford and east 23rd
i do not mean to argue but are you so sure?
between hell in my handbag and the gun in your purse
and always and everywhere the word
always and every the word


i heard he was a sailor before he went gray
but the tides do not shine like they did in his day
and before there were mirrors a smooth glass display
in the water caught the look on his face

and he kept a guitar 'round for when the house croaked
and he'd sing all the old songs that his old friends wrote
he says "alright, maybe it's true and the center can't hold
what would it mean if we even could know?
what would it mean if we even could know?"


and in a past life you had got the right treatment
that's not what it's like and this sure ain't no eden
still i marvel at the strength that you found in believing
that all that might rise might converge

now i still have dreams of a hospital room
where you're talking to me and i'm talking to you
and the whole thing's so lifelike it's hard to know what's true
i leave a note for myself in the morning
that's just something that i carve in the door

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