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Grant Lee Phillips
Virginia Creeper - 2004


1. MONA LISA

You're the last of your kind Mona Lisa
With a wink of your eye make it all right
Oh there's more left to life Mona Lisa
Let me take you along for the ride

Ain’t nothin’ that stays the same
Won't ask it a’ you
Just that burgundy smile you wore yesterday
Say you won’t ever lose

I been down I been worse Mona Lisa
Came in last came in first
But it all gathers dirt Mona Lisa
‘Fore ya bathe in the light

Ain’t nothin’ that stays the same
Won't ask it a’ you
Just that burgundy smile you wore yesterday
Say you won't ever lose

Oh ya taught me this much Mona Lisa
I done set it aside
For when you need the same magic touch
For when you need remindin’

Ain’t nothin’ that stays the same
Won't ask it of you
Just that burgundy smile you wore yesterday
Say ya won't ever lose


2. WAKING MEMORY

Shippin’ off to the country
Where the tales are tall
You'll come back with a story
Or ya won't come back at all

Tom-tom rumors are pounding
Rustling in the leaves
Nothin’ you wanna spread around
Like Johnny Appleseed

Always
In my waking memory
Always

Some new plague in the making
Best not bat an eye
No sleep for the living
When you're in a fire fight

Always
In my waking memory
Always


3. LILY-A-PASSION

Hey she’s a piratey soul full a' vinegar and glitter
She is a song of her own from down the wrong end of the river
Wild like the lily-a-passion have you ever had the honors
Oh no no no no no no

Hey when your carnival rose sows the kiss of belladonna
There ain’t no takin’ it slow for the avalanches’ daughter
Wild like the lily-a-passion have you ever had the honors
Oh no no oh no no oh no no no no no no

She is the lily-a-passion
She is the lily-a-passion
She is the lily-a-passion
She is the lily-uh huh

She is a canary royal save the curse a' Desdemona
And bright bright bright is the blush of her smile like the apples a' Pomona
Wild like the lily-a-passion have you ever had the honors
Oh no no no no no no

Hey she’s the fork in the road when the road has come to splinter
And she’s the spark in the coal come the bitterness a' winter
Wild like the lily-a-passion have you ever had the honors
Oh no no oh no no oh no no no no no no

She is the lily-a-passion
She is the lily-a-passion
She is the lily-a-passion
She is the lily-uh huh

The lily-a-passion
She is


4. DIRTY SECRET

[Two three four]

Casanova broke ya just like china
He was smooth as southern Blue Bell Cream
‘Cept he never meant to share that diamond ring

And so you take up to the roof-top pining
Aim to touch the moon a' golden white
Lord the air is damp the stars are teary eyed

And here’s a little secret love
And everybody comes undone
And here’s a dirty secret darlin’
Everyone

From the ballroom you can hear them laughing
Pretty maidens and your own Don Juan
And ya tell yourself they’ll miss you when you’re gone

And here’s a little secret love
And everybody comes undone
And here’s a dirty secret darlin’
Everyone

Cross yourself by Jesus
Now your head is all a blur
Questions don’t come easier
Oh the answers they get longer

And here’s a little secret love
And everybody comes undone
And here’s a dirty secret darlin’
Everyone


5. ALWAYS FRIENDS

Always friend always friend
Still some fences we may never mend in our time
Broken hearts broken lines
Every now and then ya spring to mind and we are

Always friends

Always and forever thick or thin
Push it away before I let you in
And make the same mistakes twice and dim the lights
Such is hell hey and such is life and we are

Always friends

Broken hearts broken lines
I pray there never comes a second time
Because it’s such a court such a crime
I find the strength to leave the past behind and we are

Always friends
Always

Push it away before I let you in
Commit the same wrongs twice
Such is hell hey and such is life and we are

Always friends


6. CALAMITY JANE

Drunk on the blood of a hero’s welcome babe
Ringin’ in the year with a ticker tape parade
While the motorcade is stretched from First to Main
Calamity Jane shootin’ off that mouth again

Pin all your sins on your Man of Sorrow then
Stroll through the crowd with a black mantilla friend
While they’re whisperin’ like locusts in the grain
Calamity Jane hit it on the nose again

Calamity Jane

Washed in the tears of the revolution babe
Born in the back of a Studebaker American made
Ah but girl have you no shame
Calamity Jane honey take heart and take aim

Calamity Jane


7. JOSEPHINE OF THE SWAMPS

Oh the slough winds all serpentine
Full of black delta peat
Yellow bronze grapes of muscadine
Growing wild and sweet

On the shore Lady there ya were
In your robes of a queen
And your lips sang a heron’s song
In my hour of need

And I feel I wanna crow
Howlin’ in my sleep
Churning in my soul
Josephine

Oh the wasteland is plenty wide
Far as I ever seen
And the swamp she’s a full of moonlight
Full of mangrove trees

And I feel I wanna crow
Howlin’ in my sleep
Churning in my soul
Josephine

Pity darkness to follow me
With its crocodile leer
For the hatchet of Josephine
Of the swamps might appear

And I feel I wanna crow
Howlin’ howlin’ in my sleep
Churning in my soul
Josephine


8. FAR END OF THE NIGHT

Buddy some Topeka night
When it’s just you and the road
Seen no taillights there for miles and nothin’ much
But static on the radio

Wasn’t lookin’ to the left
Wasn’t lookin’ to the right
Just kept walkin’ like Virginia to the surf
Towards the far end of the night

And time hangs like a noose
Before me
And time stills to a crawl
And grinds so slowly

Heard my own beloved cry
I heard my one beloved moan
What’s the use in all the ache we must endure
And I had no good reason why

Time hangs like a noose
Before me
And time stills to a crawl
Grinds so slowly

Not a rail to grasp ahold
Nor a savior there beside
Just kept a walkin’ like Virginia to the surf
Towards the far end of the night

And time hangs like a noose
Before me
And time stills to a crawl
Grinds so slowly

Time hangs like a noose
Around me


9. SUSSANA LITTLE

Sussana Little Sussana Little gone ‘fore I ever arrived
Questions that stream through my own Creek blood the odyssey of your life

A motherless child you were torn from your home by decree of the county affairs
Good Christians they gave you a lily-white dress and shorn back that Indian hair
Told ya study your Bible be silent and still and take to the ways of the whites
Nothin’ they offered could break down your will for you ran for the gates one night

Sussana Little Sussana Little gone ‘fore I ever arrived
Questions that stream through my own Creek blood stories that keep you alive

Your daddy Joe Little had woes of his own drink was much stronger than greed
But some in the city felt native red hands were no place to let rest a deed
Oklahoma was rich with the stench of black oil and the men who came there to drill
In the sun baked clay of Indian lands there in the desolate fields

Sussana Little Sussana Little gone ‘fore I ever arrived
Questions that stream through my own Creek blood songs that’a keep you alive

Mysterious crimes oh they swept through the county waving the finger of blame
Eyes turned to Joe Little a couple too many of acres of land to his name
No one would have heard the lone shot in the night they never posted his bail
Big Joey Little he never walked out of Sheriff Stanton’s jail

Sussana Little Sussana Little gone ‘fore I ever arrived
Questions that stream through my own Creek blood the odyssey of your life

For all of the lives you had lived this far no part of you could have known
The evil hearts of the men who would fetch ya one night by the side of the road
The moon it grew dark and the frost would form before ya finally were found
Chained to a log in a torn white dress shakin’ wild eyed on the ground

Sussana Little Sussana Little gone ‘fore I ever arrived
Questions that stream through my own creek blood such were the trials of your life

Yet in the years to come you took a man raised five of your own
And for a spell it was as almost as though the light of justice had shown
The hand that had written this part but for you and made it all plenty hard
Gave you a gusher a well spring of oil there in your own back yard

So pile them kids in the plush back seat ridin’ shotgun in the Packard to town
With your man Tom Fisher one hand on the wheel the other on your knee now

Sussana Little Sussana Little gone ‘fore I ever arrived
Questions that stream through my own Creek blood the odyssey of your life

Sussana Little


10. WISH I KNEW

Ain’t nobody there to step on the brakes
Lit up like Tijuana city carnival lights
Mmm why somebody better pull up the shades
Hey hey hey second time ya had to kiss her goodnight

Outside the motorcycle devils rev for the cruise
Mmm Buddha's in the alley working the Rue
Ping ping-a-rain a comin’ down the edge of the roof
Thinkin’ I’d be a little mystified too

Wish I knew

Mmm drop another silver plug for the damned
Don’t forget to make it a wish
Mmm yellow thunder bolt a' shazzam
Isn't very likely to miss

Shutters on the window beatin’ like wings
Smoke a’ backin’ up and up in the flu
Hounds are in the gutter startin’ to sing
Thinkin’ I’d be a little mystified too

Wish I knew

Sooner or later gotta live in your skin
Sleepin’ in the very bed that you make
Some walking dead behind the Wayfarer lenses
Hangin' by the skin of your teeth

Motorcycle devils rev for the cruise
Soldiers in the alley working the rue
Little bitty pretty one what’s got into you
Thinkin’ I’d be a little mystified too

Wish I knew

Better than ta do as I please
Better than ta skin up my knees
Better than a fallin’ for you

Wish I knew


11. HICKORY WIND

In South Carolina there are many tall pines
I remember the oak tree that we used to climb
But now when I'm lonesome I always pretend
That I'm getting the feel of hickory wind

I started out younger at most everything
All the riches and pleasures what else could life bring
But it makes me feel better each time it begins
Callin' me home hickory wind

It's a hard way to find out that trouble is real
In a far away city with a far away feel
But it makes me feel better each time it begins
Callin' me home hickory wind

Keeps callin' me home hickory wind
Callin' me home hickory wind