HAT CHECK GIRL
TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY


all songs © Annie Gallup & Peter Gallway. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

1 Drive
2 Kill The Lights
3 Currency
4 Beauty
5 This Kind Of Money
6 Black And White
7 To Texas From Here
8 CJ
9 Loving A Drunk
10 Someone Like Me
11 Remember

 

DRIVE
Canada is a long way across and I started
Where my French stumbled into Quebecois
I don’t know if I was leaving or if I was going
Only that there was someplace I figured I might become
Someone I had not yet been

Sometimes you drive to clear your mind
Sometimes you drive to get away
Sometimes you drive just to drive
For the feel of the hand-grooved wheel
And the broken line bleeding into the sky

It feels good to be alone out here under the stars
But I miss my sister, half-wish she was here with me
We are all that’s left; all we have is each other
And for that, for the leaving I feel bad
Only for that

Sometimes you drive to clear your mind
Sometimes you drive to get away
Sometimes you drive just to drive
For the feel of the hand-grooved wheel
And the broken line bleeding into the sky

I’m glad my sister isn’t here; the road’s getting tricky
And the night is dark and cold
The turns are coming quick, what if I lose control
Give myself to the ice ahead
It wouldn’t be so bad and I know you’ll be all right . . .
Sometimes you drive to clear your mind
Sometimes you drive to get away
For the feel of the hand-grooved wheel
And the broken line bleeding into the sky

Just look up, just look up, just look up and there I will be . . .

KILL THE LIGHTS
I dreamed my brother was driving cross Canada
In his famous blue van, famous big hands on the wheel
by the green dashboard light, in the mountains east of Fernie
I dreamed my brother met me on his journey
Time, he was saying, the passing of time
I remember thinking time would always go by
My brother, in my dream, just the way I used to see him
before time stood still

Kill the lights and stop the car
the sky fills up with stars
show me which one you are
show me which one you are

Our headlights opened a path through the dark
As we passed through it closed behind us
Some things break, he was saying, they get mended, or heal
Some things break and they’re broken for real

Kill the lights and stop the car
the sky fills up with stars
show me which one you are
show me which one you are
show me which one you are

I dreamed and I woke
by the green light of the clock
the spinning globe, traveling on
circles back, dawn to dawn
You’re here and you’re gone

I dreamed my brother driving across the great divide
and I was by his side
past Morrissey and Fernie, past Hillcrest and Crow’s Nest,
My brother on his journey

Kill the lights and stop the car
the sky fills up with stars
show me which one you are
show me which one you are

CURRENCY
What you’ve been given and what you’ve got
Is the way you will move in this world
With everything taken and everything lost
And the relative blessing and relative cost
The bottom line is currency

Your beauty was with you wherever you went
It followed you down to the corner store
Your beauty was currency you could spend
How did you know what beauty was for?
What would you get for your given grace
Everybody had an eye on you
What treasure’s hidden by your pretty face
What would you do?

What you’ve been given and what you’ve got
Is the way you move through this world
What you’ve forgiven and what you forgot
And the relative blessing and relative cost
Possibility is currency

When you found the most beautiful boy
Everyone said – you’re the perfect pair
Beauty for beauty the consummate choice
Of anyone breathing that rarified air
What could I give you anyway?
What haven’t you heard a thousand times before?
Why should you trust anything I say
But what is worth more?

What you’ve been given and what you’ve got . . .
 
Maybe I’ll never stop being amazed
By the relative value of currency
Past all the flattery and the noise                   
Is something that words will never explain   
Beauty depreciates, you said
Oh but I have to disagree
The beauty in you is so much more true                                                 
Than currency

What you’ve been given and what you’ve got
Is the way you move through this world
With everything taken and everything lost
And the relative blessing of what it cost
How do you count your currency?
It’s the way you move through this world
The relative blessing and relative cost
The beauty in you is so much more true                                                 
Than currency

BEAUTY
Here’s a picture of me when I was three
Already wise to the power of beauty
This is me at seventeen
Everything came easily
Here I am at twenty four,
On the day I drove off in a borrowed car
with a sleeping bag, a book of poems
and a Pentax SLR
I set out to see the world through my own eyes
not hiding behind the beauty I wore as a disguise
Protecting me
Beauty is free

Here’s a picture I took on the great divide
of a black crow landing against the weather
so close to my lens that you can see
every windswept feather
Here’s a flock of wooly sheep
Mirrored above by a flock of clouds
And here’s the curving rows of earth
Where the fields were ploughed
I watched the full moon rise high on a hill
over the lights of a city
On the first day in my life
nobody told me I was pretty
and tried to conquer me
Beauty is free

This is where the roads divide and I chose sunrise at my back
Homeward, as the highway raced the river and the railroad track
I didn’t know if you were waiting there for me
But I knew it was you I longed to see

Here’s the field along the road
Where we turned to face the wind
and watched the whitetails grazing there
and the redtails circling
Here’s a picture of your hands
As you unbutton your good wool coat
As if opening your heart to me
in the language of a poet
If love, like the poets say, is not looking
into each other’s eyes
But instead in the same way together
you and I are the weathervane’s feather
Beauty is free



THIS KIND OF MONEY

His first picture was so good
he scared himself reading the press
forever after he was hooked
chasing his past success
Success, he says, the thing about success
I was never taught
you think it’s out of reach but no
success wants to be caught

This kind of money won’t stand still
It takes on a life of its own
You can trust me
You can trust me
This kind of money
has a life of its own

He wanted to be famous
even more than he wanted to be smart
Smart comes easy, he says
but famous comes from the heart
The heart can always find a way, he says
to dodge the blame
He moved to California
and the hills went up in flames

This kind of money won’t stand still
It takes on a life of its own
You can trust me
You can trust me
This kind of money
has a life of its own

He says “I’m not scratching, clawing, battling, brawling, dueling, feuding, fighting for survival
Well, if he’s not scratching, clawing, battling, brawling, dueling, feuding, fighting it’s because
He has no rival

You remind me of my sister, he said
Innocent and unfazed
and that’s what drew me to you, he said
that and all the hell we raised
We raised a little baby
she had no trouble making friends
but chose instead to see herself
through his camera lens

This kind of money won’t stand still
It takes on a life of its own
You can trust me
You can trust me
This kind of money won’t stand still
It takes on a life of its own
You can trust me
You can trust me
this kind of money
it has a life of its own

BLACK AND WHITE
I was always drawn to the flickering screen
Black and white illuminating the darkness
I walked the tracks when I was first allowed
To sit in the children’s section and live through
Someone else’s life

Black and white and sepia tone
And saturated Kodachrome
You can look back in hunger and dream of love
Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart
Black and white and Sinatra light
Is worth more than all the money in the world

I always knew it was what I would do
The eye of the lens would pull me through
To magnify and understand, to kiss a girl
And become a leading man

Black and white and sepia tone
And saturated Kodachrome
Burton looked back in anger and dreamt of respect
Saturday night and the working classes
Black and white and backlit smoke
Is worth more than all the money I ever saw

And the money it drives everything it’s crazy what it costs
But so far the Greeks and Sheiks they write the checks
And I still get to be boss . . .


I saw you with the dresser and knew at once
You could do so much more than read the script
We went on to serve the story in seamless continuity
To our house in the hills above the grid of lights

In black and white and sepia tone
And saturated Kodachrome
I still look back impressed at the danger of love
Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles
Black and white, shadows and light
Black and white and a Shanghai night
Black and white is worth more than all the money in the world

TO TEXAS FROM HERE
My town has had a heat wave now over a week
Unheard of so far north so late in the year
Yesterday’s weather map had a red streak
Stretching all the way to Texas from here
So I thought about you and me, there in your summer kitchen
stringing jalapenos, tossing corn to your chickens
Waiting for rain, for the gumbo to thicken
Are you there?

Remember that joke that always made me laugh
About a speedo and a potato… the one CJ liked to tell
And the other joke I’d never get, about a mosquito and a calf
Even though she told it well
And I guess I was surprised to hear the two of you lost touch
In a backwards way I hoped she’d be the one you loved too much
To cast off with the others, or at least well enough
To stay

So much depended on music and words
Your bare feet, your blue streak, my faded little shirt
Your careless unkindness, did you know how much it hurt?

Too hot to sleep tonight so I walked the river road
Moonlight on the water was beautiful and sad
And my heart was full and sad, or sad and hollow
Or just sad
Who said hold your enemies close? Was it CJ?
The truth is I lost interest in what you had to say
and anyhow I never ever wanted you that way

CJ
Why is it I can’t seem to get away fast enough?
Then I look back it’s the worst mistake I’ve ever done
Why do I want these things that I haven’t got
And why were those North Texas nights so damned hot?

You were the one if there is such a thing
You were the one and I was mistaken
To think I could know anything of chance or fate
Then I kissed your friend, we called her CJ

Road songs are timeless road movies are too
They’re such good machinery for telling a story
Hope and Crosby, Kerouac and Dean Moriarty
Everything that is, ever was or could be

You were the one if there is such a thing
You were the one and I was mistaken
To think I could know anything of chance or fate
Then I kissed your friend, we called her CJ

There are choices I’ve made at every blind turn
Whether I knew it or not, whether I knew it or not
Sometimes you do sometimes you don’t
If you’re lucky you give it the best that you’ve got …

All the stories are true I was such a fool
CJ was kind I was upset with the music and the rhyme
Then she lost her head, turned her back on you her best friend
And I was deaf dumb and blind

You were the one if there is such a thing
You were the one and I was mistaken
To think I could know anything of chance or fate
Then I kissed your friend
You were the one if there is such a thing
You were the one and I was mistaken
To think I could know anything of chance or fate
And then I kissed your friend, we called her CJ

LOVING A DRUNK
What I liked best about loving a drunk
was the slow, sweet start to the day
He’s be dead to the world and sleeping it off
I would open the windows and empty the ashtrays
and watch sunrise glittering on the grass like broken glass
What I liked best about loving a drunk
was the lonely part of the day

What about you and the horse you rode in on
Where did you go?
Are you still the butt of your father’s opinion
Almost half a lifetime ago?
All the things I don’t know about loving you drinking
I’m mostly at peace not to know

Saturday morning, boring as hell
Have you seen my keys, pass the salt
Saturday evening I slept where I fell
but my dreams were nobody’s fault
Sunday I woke at dawn to birdsong, cactus wren and pinyon jay
What I liked best about loving a drunk
Was flying away

What about you and the horse you rode in on
Where did you go?
Are you still the butt of your father’s opinion
Almost half a lifetime ago?
All the things I don’t know about loving you drinking
I’m mostly at peace not to know

SOMEONE LIKE ME
Days blend into nights, nights fade to black
I jolt awake in twisted sheets you’re breathing quietly in the dark
I’m not sure what I did tonight but someone’s bound to tell
It’s private and it’s personal and I wonder if I’m going to hell

Someone like me with his heart on his sleeve writes a story every day
Someone like me will find some dignity when my thirst begins to fade
You’re patient and you’re beautiful, your hands are something to see
And I wonder why or how you put up with someone like me
Someone like me

How we came to this desert with the dust and the debris
Escapes me now but it’s perfect, perfect for someone like me
Do you remember back in school when our pictures and words were king?
We made a pact and swore an oath we would remember everything

Someone like me with his heart on his sleeve tells a story every day
Someone like me will find some dignity when these words begin to fail
You’re quiet and you’re patient, your eyes are something to see
Oh I wonder why or how you put up with someone like me
Someone like me, someone like me . . .

And yes I’ve forgotten more than I know, forgotten all that was true
Or maybe I’ve turned my back for now and will spin back around
Spin back around, spin back around . . .

Well it’s the time of the morning when perhaps I’ll begin to believe
I will bring to you your coffee and try not to say anything
As the gray gives way dawning lightening the shafts of sky
The birds fly past the highway over the lights

Someone like me with his heart on his sleeve writes a story every day
Someone like me will find some dignity when this thirst begins to fade
I’ve been foolish and impossible but I remember everything
And still I wonder just how you put up with someone like me
Someone like me

REMEMBER
I remember you
(I remember you)
half a lifetime ago
(on the river road)
Too hot to sleep
(Every blind turn)
opening the window
(every windswept crow)
rolling
(over)
over
(and over)
the bed
(you said)
pillows tossed
(let’s get lost)
I remember you
(I remember you)
I remember you