Raw Story

by Plucky Walker

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03:55
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credits

released August 8, 2010

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Cover image by Mikko Luntiala.
Licensed under Creative Commons.

Beats jacked, respectively, from
01 Chanes
02 Jon Phonics
03 Oddisee
04 Glen Porter
05 Black Milk
06 Bronze Nazareth
07 Paul White
08 Jake One
09 Thes One
10 Diverse
11 Dr. Who Dat?
12 Beach House vs. 808.

All vocals and bedroom lore performed by Plucky Walker.

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about

Plucky Walker Asheville, North Carolina

Plucky Walker is a lost island of rap, a freestyle savant whose hunger for improvisation and contrary disposition has led to a bitter lack of recorded output. A sworn enemy of swag, focused on vibrant storytelling
and armed with a dizzying array of styles, his story is one rife with near-death experience, drug abuse, larceny, heartbreak and incarceration. In many ways, the story of rap itself.
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Track Name: 01 Put on Earth to Speak a Song
Well I never get a moment to sit alone/
Spitting on tracks/ leaned back/ get a little gone
I don't really know why/ the seasons blow past so fast/
Where'd the passion and feeling go?

Got flooded in the rain/ they put it in my brain early on
I was put on earth to speak a song/
Now I'm getting old though/ I should be spitting gold/
Instead of holed up in house with a stick of dro

But it's tricky, yo/ Trying to navigate the feeling
That you'll never blow/ even with a hella flow
You gotta let it go/ all of the burdens
On your bones and your heavy throat.

Monsoons/ when they come/ wash you
How soon/ will they come?
Track Name: 02 Lamping at Mama's House
Crashing at Mama's house/ mashing up on the couch
Flipping the television/ checking Obama out
Heavy with all the doubt/ that come/ from living broken son
Smoking some/ Rolling the tongue along the mouth

Yeah papa’s out/ so I’m here/ the coast clear
Old fears/ trickle away and wander south
I saunter out/ in the yard/ sit with the dog
Scribble a song/ riddle it raw with marking out

Erase/ Chase grace/ and then chase the old ball around
Til I’m falling down/ go back into my fallen crown
Dream of calling out to crowds/ hollering back
Before all of the camps/ food stamps and dollar sacks

And all the lack/ that I’ve mapped these past years
The black spoons/ baboon backs/ and tracked tears
I follow back/ and unclasp these trapped years
The glass spheres/ snowglobes cracked in black beards


I’m crawling out/ from under the rock and the rubble
Speech/ shuttling over beats/ the heat subtle
A solemn mouth/ hauling the body behind her
With mama out/ calling reminders

I’m crawling out/ from under the rock and the rubble
Speech/ shuttling over beats/ the heat subtle
A solemn mouth/ hauling the body behind her
With mama out/ calling reminders
Track Name: 03 Take Some Bread for the Road, Son
///My pops said/// Take these shells/ + little rocks
They’re protection spells/ for the walk/ through the hell
You done made yourself/ now take yourself/
from the house where I raised you, praised you, son I’m dazed you

Couldn’t pull your ass up a little further
Smashed up, raising a glass/ losing the fervor
You used to have it in church, but now you lost it
Tossed in the dirt/ shit it hurts to be your father

Why bother/ sacrificing to see/ half your life in a seed
I pray every night/ in the afterlife I get peace
These years tore me apart/ string by heart-string/
Darkening rings/ under my eyelids

Never could sleep without silence
Every ambulance that passed by/ blaring a siren
I saw your body inside, purple with violence
And when I could sleep/ I would dream visions of dying

I’m trying/ but I can’t look you in the eye
Same nose as me/ same shoulders and acne
Same filthy mouth that made your mother cry
Time after time/ boy, crime after crime

[Chorus]
Go son/ Take some bread for the road, son
Now I heard that you wrote some
Sad songs for me/ But I can’t stand to hear you sing

///Every day pops I work on my craft
Out on the park bench in Pritchard/ just birthing a raft
Building an ark from the dark of the past/ Trying to float
In a paper boat/ maybe I’ll crash/ maybe I won’t///

I don’t give a damn, son/ it’s all gravy
Your ramshackle singing and dancing don’t pay these bills
Mama’s ill, and the more you’re around
Stealing pills/ It’s just dragging us down

///I understand but it’s different now/// How is that
///Dad I’m clean/ I’m a different man/// You’re clean for now
But you’ll crash on the couch, spend cash on a pouch
Once a fiend/ always a fiend/ son, get out my house

///How can I change when I can’t even get a chance?
Just washed the windows and the floors and then did your sedan
Cooking you meals and you can’t look me in the eye?///
Take your broken wings and just fly

[Chorus]

///Trying to get back onto my feet here, pops/ A couple days
up in my old room/ eating/ it’s hon’ be cold soon
I need to put on some weight/ sit at the Eighty-eight
That gramma left for me in her wake/ playing some soul tunes///

Stop right there/ proceed with caution/ I’ll slap you
Right out of your chair/ rocking a cold stare
Keep your grandmama’s name out of your mouth
I’ll drag you under my truck/ straight out of the south

You killed her ///No I didn’t daddy I healed her
Or tried to/ Sitting beside her/ singing haikus///
But then you’d dig in her pockets/ Looking for rock hits,
Right til her cold eyes rolled back in their sockets

///I was broken then, pops/ smoking and hopeless
A shell of a man/ selling plasma/ having coke fits
I never meant to cause anyone else pain/ I’m saying
Can I just get some help?/// Go help yourself

[Chorus]
Track Name: 04 Syllable Spill
Well I go on the lam and I never come back to the land that I left behind me
So-so/ chewing on no doz/ composing new flows in a cold climate
Far gone from the Carolina Highlands/ Far away from the Baltimore skies
Get high/ push through the darkness/ kinda blissing/ just swerving wide

From the land that I once knew back on the east/ I'm a beast for the get-and-go
Grab all of my shit and just blow/ nothing on hand/ anything goes
Anything rolls off of the tongue/ Put it on tape for the people at home
Reaping that song/ time and again/ put it on vinyl and climb in the bins

Well I land in the bay and I feel the wind blowing on my tongue with a taste of the sun
And a man say, “say hey, son, do you wanna blaze one, and I say, are you cray son?”
then he pulls out the beauteous fruitiest, smelling all stank/ bootyous gluteus
And I take one draw and break raw and take off on a song and a tune it gets

Lodged deep in the brain and the same song follow me around till I scrawl it down
All the sounds that I hear falling from a tongue/ spilling from a lung in the park/ in the plum dark
Spill into me/ build over illy beats/ still/ just reeling me back to the source
Doing work in a cipher circular/ pulling me back to them raps on the porch

Think of passing the torch to the little ones/ Sitting them down/ just fiddling around
And the reason I rapped in the first place/ doing this sound for the kids and the crowds
See I never gave a damn for the rat race/ all the fake-facing and chasing of crowns
All I wanted to do was just chew on this language/ tangling/ wrangling sound

No matter what I try to do/ I can't find my way back to you
And I can't find the reason why

Nothing really holds me now
I'm feeling cold/ and down
I lost my hold

And syllables spill/ vermilion wets my soul
It's killing me slow/ so ready for death/ these million debts I owe/
So close my eyes and let the skies convulse and pulse their purple light into the cold
Til lead is turned to gold/ and letters turn to heat

I burnt my scroll/ so desperate/ nothing was left/ I needed to eat
To warm my frozen feet/ Now I'm mourning the loss of these songs
Rolling along in a freight and holding my flint to a stone of a beat

Until it sangs, man/ And it's so strange, ain't it?
A world of flames, man/ and we got pain in it
We just gon' lay it down/ til we find some way around
The hard effects of living in this world before it weigh us down/ before it lay us out.

Pushing the pieces together/
the puzzle of painting the walls of a prison with paintings of wide open spaces
and chasing the odd liberation of waking with strangers &
shaking the fears of a traveling man and the tears of a clown that's unravelling
battling all of these harrowing maladies/ dressed up for Halloween
rattling candy around in their cavities

Nothing really holds me now
I lost my hold/ somehow
Track Name: 05 Snowblind
Open up them flagons of whoa/ The winter winds're blowing
Tits cold/ it’s eighty below/ Keeyon’s dick froze
We huddle up under the underpass/ thick coats
Boots beaten in by the wind/ beyond sick so

We gon’ set these fires in black barrels
And hack carols up like lungs/ and wax careless
And pass wine/ pass time/ into the night/
Til fires fade/ and we all shade/ right outta sight

It’s all white/ shuffle up and cut through the snowdrift
Cold lips/ blue in the face/ pain in my rolled hip
Slip a pill in my throat/ the last one
And sing so slow/ spilling smoke like ash lungs

A fast tongue/ only gets you so far, son
You gotta roll deep/ packet of old souls and geeks
Creep solo/ they're gonna catch you close to the earth
find you face down/ sleeping alone/ under the dirt

God works/ so damn mysterious here
He hardly come round/ yeah, he disappearing and shit
I look up/ to the ominous clouds and shout flows
He drops down buckets of snow

Up in my army coat/ seeking asylum
A clue like an igloo/ something to clutch/ no one’s an island

Walking up in churches hurting from the inside out
Fingers purple from the winds I bout

Sleeping on heat grates/ heaping up meat/ free plates/
And nap while the priest say his piece/ could sleep weeks straight

But can’t get down with these curfews and work boots/ see
I gotta live free/ rolling with these cursed few

I eat moss off rocks in T. Weaver
The park warden shining his light/ that Ward Cleaver
He can’t maneuver like me/ it’s tomfoolery
Could peel the jewelry off his wrists/ he stay cluelessly

Running under the bridge/ hunting my kids
These dark figures rolling through snow/ holding to fifths
So/ golden and blissed when we slip from his grasp
For another night/ sleeping on grass (glass)/ far from the past

God works/ so damn mysterious here
He hardly come round/ yeah, he disappearing and shit
I look up/ to the ominous clouds and shout flows
He drops down buckets of snow
Track Name: 06 Streetsleeper
Beaten under bridges where I live/ with my kids
Trash lids open/ on the lam/ out the pen
When I ran shit/ never thought I’d see the damn clan spit
On the old god/ with his odd gold teeth
And his raw-soled sneaks/ now it’s all so deep

Protect your nest/ projects infect the best
And reject the rest/ caress the flesh so patient
Then leave your head meshed with the pavement/

In Laymen’s/ terms I been spurned by the turned back/
Burnt black/ dirt-nap/ taking bird baths latched tight/ in
A rest stop stall with my raps so black
And my last thoughts scrawled on the cracked white walls

I miss my moms/ I kiss the picture in my palm
This system’s making victims of us all
I listen for your call but it never crawls underneath my sheet
To shake me from my penance in the street/ it’s deep
Track Name: 07 Dream Sequence
I want it all/ white wings/ bright green/ until my flight leaves
Taking off/ filled with light beams/ in all the tight seams
Floating over the ocean/ holding a whiskey water
Moving hocus pocus and focus upon a frisky daughter

Shake it back to the land/ turn off the bright lights
Set the stage/ bed down for days/ until the night’s bright
Colors are coming in/ swimming along the walls
Take her to the waterfall/ naked under the stars

Daily killing it/ filling a moleskine with lyrics
Room full of instruments/ building with illy friends are brilliant
No jobs/ mortgages/ rob stores and get off/ Ladle
Every bit of life in a box/ label it rock

Lock down/ till beats knock and blocks drown/
Godzilla foot/ sweet spots get knocked down
Drums under my thumbs/ Humble the dumb
Crumble all of these/ buildings that breed

I want it all/ solar everything/ living off of the map
Just cat nap/ and wake up and rap/ and make a fat snack
Lamping back in the yard/ dreaming of rat packs revisited
Rocking on stages til my liver gives

With my brother beside/ so uninhibited
Take off the tux/ rocking in socks and black chucks
Wrapped up/ bottles of bourbon and fat blunts
And the last words outta my mouth is Rap Sucks
Track Name: 08 Sex Fire & Death
I’m on the street sweeping cigarette ashes/ having flashes
Of leaving this life/ just skip up a couple classes
The magic of purse-snatching/ lurking/ nagging
Work rabbits under my hat/ it’s old habit

Like old fabric/ comfortable/ Gloves fit/ fuckable
Run swift/ dip in a dive and roll high
When I stroll by pockets to pick/ I’m Cliff Huxtable
Blend in with any of them/ many a men

Housed within a single body/ on a given night
Silver might slide in your room/ bare in the ribbon light
Hiddenite/ jewels and gems/ slip to the dresser
Professor Lex/ tools and tims/ speak confessions

Under my breath/ mumbling sex, fire, and death
A choir kept/ roaring its hex/ firing my chest
In the highest clef/ stumbling back into the passage
Fumbling/ handles of doors/ trapped on the third floor

A child wept/ sirens arose/ I a-froze
Till quiet crept over me calm/ speaking a psalm
Fly through the windows and blinds/ as vines snap
Laugh/ airborne like passion/ wings massive

Never come back to the land/ feeling release
As some peeps on the balcony stand/ watching police
scurry round and round/ wringing their hands beetles and ants
Float above/ loaded and dance/ holding my only chance

Hit the ground running/ a hundred and ten
With jungle gym/ vertical bars spun in my head
And another bid looming/ I zoom/ lucid maneuvers
& lose ‘em while a necklace hang/ reckless/ dang

Slang/ pawn windows in shame/ Faking my name
Julio McGooley/ schooling the game/ fool in the flames
//Spill out the other side/ wallet is waterlogging it
Pockets ripped/ slip in the bar/ playing the optimist

Tomorrow morning be hollow back to a couple dollars
Hollering/ Back at the sun/ rattle a ragged lung
Slung low// fallen from riches hit a couple kitchens
Head to the goodwill and get a shoe and a fitted suit

Then to a neighborhood hid/ up in a stolen skin
Spy/ with my eye on a benz/ violet lens
Mens/ and women walk past/ waving and laughing
I’m looking class/ jacket and pants/ shoe shine: glassy

Splashed/ with sample cologne/ ambling/ stoned
Slash through the damp on the lone/ flashing a phone
Through vile clones/ making notes to dialtones
When night falls, I’ll be back/ jacking these homes/ blown
Track Name: 09 Escaping into the Pages
Sipping on shitty tea/ sweetened without a lemon &
Eating a meaty meal you wouldn't feed to your beagle &
Reading on some remedial media featuring Jesus &
Feeling greedy for something to hold/ something old

I need to read a novella/ compel a fella to
elevate from a cell and get well away from a hell of pain
Sail away/ on a tide of vitally verdant/ internally burning
words that get turning/ learn to dispel the gray

The walls of my cell are falling for real
I'm crawling to the top of the hill/ with Alighieri
Carrying with me a Merriam's Dictionary-Thesaurus
And various books of western philosophy/ getting lost in these

Words/ and getting found again/ and beginning to spin
My own mythology/ if you follow me then you heard
How I've rewritten my own autobiography
An audiopsychologist rocking until I'm gone

Until they kill all the lights/ I'm gonna fight
Writing letters home on a metal desk in the heavy quiet
The elegant LMNOs and elemental inventions
of a man at the edge of a legend on instrumentals

Taking it day-to-day/ pray I don't fade away
The halogens that rattle me/ painting my battle gray
Always/ lying awake and night and day we escaping
Into the pages that shape our imagination and breaking away

Shaking my head/ quaky, aching in bed
Until I took a dip in an archaeology text
Open a paper sarcophagus and get lost in the foreign marks
On the ominous ark/ anonymous art

Holding my history glistening in my hand like an automatic
Til all of the static fall off a fallen planet
Rustle pages/ a hustle, shuffling cards/
As mathematics assemble to crumble stumbling blocks

Until they kill all the lights/ I'm gonna fight
Writing letters home on a metal desk in the heavy quiet
The elegant LMNOs and elemental inventions
of a man at the edge of a legend on instrumentals

Ain't incidental I need a pencil to blow/
Sickest sense of the flow/ through the fences I go
I need to dig on a classic and find some magic/
Lost in a thorny grove/ a story carried me home
Track Name: 10 Threnody
It's the end of the night and I'm packing away the books
Looking out of the littlest window to overlook
The city full of graffiti galore/ stories of pity and war
Littered with gritty people that pour

White liquor over their livers until they're warm
Throwing bottles into bodies that shiver/ winter the storm
Sleeping in doorways/ their families ran away
Panicky little animals/ loss of humanity

I cannot cry mama, my eyes have been dried in
A life that leads me alone, out to the highlands
So insular, but no island/ peninsula
One minimal limb just holding onto a pen

And when I wrote it I floated over it high
Built a hideaway faraway from the day-to-day grind
And when I spoke it, it floated into the night
Running through empty gutters and spilling into the quiet

I shudder under the weight of it all/ cover the cross
and mutter paeans to beings/ bring on the fall
I cannot flip within walls that collar me in
A scholar can bend light/ but not when he's inside

And all this reading is just feeding a need to get up
And out of under the lock and key of the cops
It's gotta give/ summon the water and let it fall on top of us
Solomon's seal/ calling the

Tidal messiah get higher/ bury the spires and telephone wires/
scraping the sky and making it cry out
Mama Tsunami/ Come on and call through the walls of the
crumbling prisons/
humbling visions/ run with the fishes

Pound me/ crown me/ drown me/ ain't no difference
Just take me from this prison of inches/ this shit's ridiculous
I'll never bend a knee/ send me into the sea
And wash the curse of man from the land/ birthing the beast

Let go
Let go

Everyone here's looking for some kind of escape
From drugs to the hunger for paper/ none of us safe
Another day/ another devil we can't escape
Chasing revelry/ painting over the pain

Reins/ let go/ overlord Gepetto
he can't make me a marionette/ his silhouette folds
Behind a curtain of clouds/ tumbling down over ghettos
Thunderous sound/ sound echoes

Settling over the bleak meadows of oak ripe with broken defeat
Til the alchemist laugh and shackle the gold from our teeth
Crack-speckled vernacular/ rapped
to cast a hex into Dracula's back

We so immaculate/ leak passionate speech/
til the last of us/ pass through the teeth of old/ smashing it
Put to the lash/ we been pushed to the back
Now the waters rise/ swallowing skies/ it's all black

Fall back into the sea/ O my enemy
I sing while I'm spinning this venomous threnody
In the wings/ Spilling these little syllable seeds
And we fly on the backs of these thieves/ hatching so free

Let go
Let go

Tidal messiah get higher/ bury the spires and telephone wires/
scraping the sky and making it cry out
Mama Tsunami/ Come on and call through the walls of the
crumbling prisons/
humbling visions/ run with the fishes

Pound me/ crown me/ drown me/ ain't no difference
Just take me from this prison of inches/ this shit's ridiculous
I'll never bend a knee/ send me into the sea
And wash the curse of man from the land/ birthing the beast
Track Name: 11 The Phenomenon of Crime
Raised in the Orchestra/ Hazed by the dozens
Mom worked door-to-door/ Pops was a plumber
Tried to pull me up by the thumbs
But I land in the slammer every time/ the phenomenon of crime

Sang in the autumn/ Did plays in the summer
Moms looking for a sign/ Pops going under
Tried to pull me up by the thumbs
But I land in the slammer every time/ the phenomenon of crime

I used to sing in the choir at church
Bells rang when I hit high notes/ in my throat
You would sit in the back/ and just clap/
Your wild hair pulling stares/ everyone there/ laughed behind your back

Til they smacked my last nerve/
Slashed tires, sugared their tanks, and scratched words into paint/
Smashed stained glass windows and cursed
I went berserk, Mama, cause I was hurt, (I never meant to hurt you)

They took me all the way/ To state on holiday
A juvenile/ so damn small and faraway
In the tank// learned how to spar & flow hard
But once I did my time I was addicted to crime
And never could arise out the demons in my mind
Fiending for the grind/ That phenomenon of crime

Bombing all the lines/ With a racked can of Krylon
Nylon/ stretched over my head with some pipe bomb threats
Don’t cry mom/ I’m coming home to see you
Once I get outside of this evil cathedral

Raised in the autumn/ & blazed in the summer
Moms worked all the time/ Pops crunched numbers
Tried to pull me up by the thumbs
But I land in the slammer every time/ the phenomenon of crime

Slang in the autumn/ Did plays in the summer
Moms looking for a sign/ Pops going under
Tried to pull me up by the thumbs
But I land in the slammer every time/ the phenomenon of crime


You put your dreams on me/ and set free
Every passion I chose/ basketball to the dance hall
Sacrificing your own/ so I could grow
So fat/ so fast/ & such an asshole

Who never really knew all the little things you’d do
But when I’d see you crying in the middle of the room
I’d scribble little lines, a riddle or haiku
To brighten up your eyes for a minute or two/

Eventually/ I’d fall back in the dirt/ Remember you
calling to work/ faking ill just to pick us up
Robbing liquor stores/ Fuck it, liquor trucks
Or getting beat half-dead, exchanging fisticuffs

Eighteen, angelface, Mama’s little man
Strangling bank clerks, and wrangling sedans
These hands/ used to paint/ beautiful scenes
Of you and me/ Now they break so brutally

Mama see/ You’re a saint/ I seen the halo
It fades when I come round, though/ it’s just a gray glow
I apologize for the drama all the time
I’m trying to leave behind this phenomenon of crime.

Raised in the Orchestra/ Hazed by the dozens
Mom worked door-to-door/ Pops was a plumber
Tried to pull me up by the thumbs
But I land in the slammer every time/ the phenomenon of crime

Sang in the autumn/ Did plays in the summer
Mom's looking for a sign/ Pop's going under
Tried to pull me up by the thumbs
But I land in the slammer every time/ the phenomenon of crime

[[[ I was the one/ Inspired/ the son
Baby brother running beside/ we like one lung
til we turned tired from the firing of blunts
Shotguns burning our throats/ crumbling coke/ into

One too many as your sons grew skinny
You’d sit at home/ all alone and rub pennies
Til the face fell off/ and sell off/ your last links
To get my ass out of the clink/ Just think ]]]

I shoulda brought the dream/ to our family
Working on the clean/ have you living like a queen
Instead I fell/ deep under the spell of the streets/ had you
Pulling strings/ out in the sleet/ New Year’s Eve

Hat in your hand/ begging help from the neighbors
With Dad on the lam/ Yeah, he couldn’t stand to stay there
“Say there, could you spare a buck or two for bail?
My boy’s in jail”/ They just stare/ you’re so frail

And pass a party hat ‘round the room/ while balloons
Escape toward the sky while you're shaking in your shoes
Never meant to make you cry, mama, that’s the truth
They closed the door on you/ left you out under the moon

I miss you bad, Mama/ Swear I’m coming home soon
Make the bail somehow/ And vow that I’ll do
Anything/ to bring/ harmony back in your mind
And finally resign the phenomenon of crime
Track Name: 12 Let it All Fall Away
I wake late/ in the afternoon/ and play spoons
Into a bowl filled with oat milk and spilt Os
When it hits home, panic/ a fit with spit blown
Her message’s been rattling my phone/ spelling I’m late

I pull on some drawers/ splash on my face, and then escape
Through the barred doors/ hop in a car with scarred floors
And put on a tape—maybe that latest Utility Fog/
Maybe that Finale dub from 2008/ now we’re on our way

Look out the window/ watch the tenements slide by
The tenants mute/ the symptoms of drive by
The boarded facades—the gutted houses hidden from God
And underneath it all—a sense of the deepening fall

We slide/ past the derelict blocks and then we stop,
At a house of cards/ calling her name/ she’s in the yard
with her shoulders out/ I’m swallowing hard,
Girl—get in the car, we’re headed down to the reservoir

Take me to the water’s edge/ watershed/ shedding
The grit of the city/ skinny dipping/ bodies get waterfed
Just float/ let it all fall away/ Wade into the reservoir/
Shake it off/and we’ll call it a day

Follow your bobbing head out to the island
The sun is swallowing the sky/ your laughter like a siren
Pealing off of the trees and boulders/ spilling over me
Indigo water holding me tight/ just like a cloverleaf

Light/ tickles across the water/ skips like a stone
Until it sinks and we slip out for home/ follow behind you
Find a door in the gathering fog/ in the lathery dark,
Laughing in starts, blind/ we feel our way back to the car

Back in the center city/ cigarettes litter the curb
The club’s aglitter and I’m flipping legitimate swerve
Outside just spitting/ then head in for a spin and a serve,
Sit for a gin and a word/ spilling back onto the curb

The stars are far away, and God’s on holiday,
There’s nothing shining in the sky besides the color grey
I wanna call you up right now and hear the water play
Across your tongue, pick me up Sunday/ it’s time to escape

Take me to the water’s edge/ watershed/ shedding
The grit of the city/ skinny dipping/ bodies get waterfed
Just float/ let it all fall away/ Wade into the reservoir/
Shake it off/and we’ll call it a day