Really Fantastic

by Tracy Jean Manuel

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A micro-album of Various Parables of Pre-Apocalyptic Post-Patriotism. Written in between the river and the train tracks in the space of a year's time. Largely live, roughly acoustic, and precisely approximate. With undying gratitude to the village it took.


released September 21, 2013

All songs written and performed by Tracy Manuel
Recorded and produced with Bruce Turgon
After Hours Recorders
Redding, CA



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Tracy Jean Manuel Redding, California

Alt-folk singer/songwritin' for nice people who don't like love songs.

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Track Name: Bootstrap Nation
You woke up in a fever
When you was just a kid
Brought you down to the floor, oh Lord
And you ain't ever been up since

But now you gotta, gotta, gotta find you
Somethin' that can pull you though
'Cause this is a bootstrap nation;
Ain't nobody pullin' for you

Your mama was the corporation
Your daddy love her through and through
Your daddy, he was blind ambition;
Tried to love her as a person too

One day, they sat you down
And they taught you everything they knew
That this is a bootstrap nation;
Ain't nobody pullin' for you

Your name's the only thing they gave you
Before they wrapped you up in fear
And prayed it'd be enough to save you
Before they handed you away down here

But you were born when the sky was torn;
Ain't ever seen it back to blue
And the world don't fit between your shoulder blades
Even if you woulda wanted it to
When them doors swing wide, every woman and child
And man had better know what to do
'Cause this is a bootstrap nation;
Ain't nobody pullin' for you

'Cause this is a bootstrap nation;
Ain't nobody pullin' for you

'Cause this is a bootstrap nation;
Ain't nobody pullin' for you.
Track Name: Porch Light Halo
I guess I been asleep since I first woke up
Must've shuffled out a'neath that street-lit sun
Saw my name spelled wrong on a Starbucks cup
Only thing I had to tell me who I was

I was nine years young and no years old
Watch my neighbor layin' stucco on a house of gold
Coyote lyin' by the side of the road
On a bright green lawn where the sign said 'Sold'

And I said there ain't no way
I said there ain't no way
I said there ain't no way,
No way that I'm from here

So drink from the hose when there ain't no rain
Watch them kids shootin' marbles down a dry storm drain
"Think I need a little somethin', gimme more the same,"
Said the fly-by angel at the drive-in chain

Walk the hallowed ground a'neath the blue-brown air
With a porch light halo in your dip-dyed hair
I think everybody's crazy, but I don't care
It's when they start makin' sense that you should be scared

Sometimes there ain't no way
Sometimes there ain't no way
Sometimes there ain't no way,
No way I'm really here.
Track Name: Really Fantastic
You sweat all day tryna lift your curse
Sunset drip down the back your shirt
Pray to God you hit the fan feet first,
Wouldn't that be really fantastic?
Track Name: Please And Thankya
Let me tell the story how you was born,
Flatbed truck in an electrical storm
Born and dyed in the wool that your mama wore
As she burned her happy memories tryin' to keep you warm

Amen, amen
Lord, won't you keep my child warm?
Please and thankya, amen

And she told you every long day since your birth
Every single little thing her mama told her
She told you how the meek would inherit the Earth
When you grew up strong, oh how you wished you weren't

Amen, amen
Say Lord, I know I got a lot to learn,
Please and thankya, amen

So run and catch the wax fallin' offa the moon
'Till your blood run cold and the wine run blue
In your Sunday clothes, you don't look like you
Don't them miles get longer in your own two shoes?

Well, some got it easy and some got it hard
But someone gotta get out and push the car
Only two kinds of people in this world of ours;
I'll let you know just as soons I can tell them apart

You go around that track or you run in place
Repeat the past or throw the race
Wear a number on your back into her embrace
Between the hand that took and the hand that gave

But your heart beat back what your lips forbade
Same old, same old sad refrain
Say that you and her, you are one and the same
Yeah, each and every one of us was named in vain

In vain, in vain
In vain, in vain
In vain, in vain

Lord, remind me why I came,
Please and thankya, amen.
Track Name: Up In Arms (Darlin')
Your angry blood been boilin' under
Thicker than the news been spread
If it all comes down to guns or butter,
You'd put bullets on your bread

Darlin', how come you ain't told me
How a tender heart turn troubled head?
If I can see whatever's shown me;
Hate to have to feel instead

You tip the scale to keep me wondering
Who's more worth their weight in debt
Plenty who ain't goin' hungry;
Ain't nobody been full yet

Darlin', how come you ain't told me
I'm worth more than my two cents?
Can't be bought for what you sold me;
Won't be bought for nothin' less

Sometimes I'd like a gentler savior,
Superhero, better yet;
Run and find a perfect stranger,
Marry me an architect

'Cause if your love ain't for me only
Your sisters and your fella man
They tell you back what you ain't told me,
Come to you with open hands

I know your love ain't for me only
I'll forgive and you forget
I guess I shoulda let you hold me
Up in arms with the rest of them.
Track Name: Africa
Somebody tried to use
My credit card
From Africa,
I got the call

Guess they must've thought
That I was robbed
And I don't get 'round
Much at all.
Track Name: Well Enough Alone
I'll be the one who's happy
With seein' only blue
I'm the sound of one hand clapping,
I'm walkin' in one shoe
No sugar in the coffee;
Hell, I wouldn't even know
You ain't ever well enough until you're well enough alone

Now you want someone to meet you
At that place you call halfway
But the person who completes you
Would have to be a saint
Hey, you can keep on lookin',
But why don't you just don't?
You ain't ever well enough until you're well enough alone

I hung up the phone and then I taped across the dial
I quit chewin' new words tryna straighten out my smile
I ain't sitting pretty, I don't care;
I don't own no easy chair
And it been that way for a while

Now I'm the one and only
I'm takin' one day at a time
And if I don't die lonely,
You can bet that I'll die tryin'
But I won't owe nobody nothin'
For better, worse, and both;
You ain't ever well enough until you're well enough alone

You ain't ever well enough until you're well enough alone.
Track Name: Burnin' Daylight
Out here every day gets broken down
The air turn gray, the river's brown
So thick to make you fit to drown
In whichever one you please

But some things, they just can't be fixed;
I called for help, the tire's kicked
And I think I felt that my last trick
Done crawled back up my sleeve

Some days I wanna be the gentle type,
Fall into place, I wanna clean up nice
I wanna sit up straight and not think twice
Or very long

But won't you waste you wisdom well,
Ride the welcome wagon back to Hell
Where you sit until you find yourself
Where you left her all along
Wonderin' what went wrong
Coughin' up a lung

In the burnin' daylight,
In the burnin' daylight

A big, big heart's the heavy kind;
It'll break your back or break your mind
Loose cannonfire to last the night
'Till the sun starts comin' up

And you see that every flag been painted white
And love don't bark and love don't bite
It's toothless, dumb, and deaf and blind,
Don't got the legs to run
And it won't sniff you out
If it's breathin' through a towel

In the burnin' daylight,
In the burnin' daylight

I just need some quiet here,
Little empty space in every year
That wasn't filled with hope or fear,
I've come the love the most

So you hold a scarf up to your face
And watch the rest go up in flames
It's cleaner slate and a cryin' shame
To be singin' to that ghost
Singin' to the ghost
Just singin' to the ghost

Of burnin' daylight,
burnin' daylight.