Lamentations

by Half Pagan

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about

We like to complain.

credits

released March 20, 2018

Editor B — vocals, sistrum
Dr. Homan — everything else

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all rights reserved

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about

Half Pagan New Orleans, Louisiana

We're a rock duo based in New Orleans. Sometimes we do songs about cemetery picnics or the mythology of ancient Babylon. We're Half Pagan.

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Track Name: Half Pagan Theme
HALF PAGAN THEME

I’m a Pagan, I worship the earth.
And me I believe in the virgin birth,
I like to meditate under a tree,
And I’m a professor of Theology

So some simple math will help you understand
There are two people in this band,
One’s not Pagan, though the other one is,
And we often argue about Jesus (Dionysus)

It's our first album, a litany of lamentations
But here in New Orleans even funerals are celebrations

Half Pagan, Half Pagan, Half Pagan
In Mid-City New Orleans
Track Name: Louisiana's Theogony
LOUISIANA'S THEOGONY

The Enuma Elish is from ancient Babylon,
A cuneiform poem about how all the gods were born
It starts off with Primordial Apsu
Enuma Elish la na-bu-u sha-ma-mu

That just means that when the heavens
Were not named the fresh waters of Apsu
Mingled with the salt water of Tiamat
And the gods were born

If a Louisianian wrote the Enuma Elish,
It wouldn’t be that different ‘cept for the crawfish
Babylon and Louisian’ share sad histories
Of slavery, and tyrants, and murders in families

And estuaries so full of life
where fresh river water empties into the sea
If the Enuma Elish were set in Louisiana
It wouldn’t look that different to me.

Apsu wanted to kill his noisy children,
But his wise son Ea learned of his intentions
And wound up murdering his father Apsu
Reminds me of death on the bayou

And as our soil washes away
I think of Tiamat’s decay
After Marduk created the world from her craw
He should respected his meemaw

(Chorus)

In ancient Babylon, the purpose of humans
Was to dig canals for the gods, and to serve them
Just like we serve our oil gods
And suffer from pollution and put up with fraud

I hope Louisiana can find a way
to preserve our fragile estuaries,
Cuz the civilization of ancient Babylon
Came to an end in 539 BCE

(Chorus)
Track Name: Laika
LAIKA

(dope space noises)
Laika, she was a happy dog.
With her tongue hanging out she would jog along.
Wagging ---her tail and barkin’ bow wow wow wow wow!
Running all along the streets of Moscow.

Then scientists put her in a cage,
And taught her to be disengaged,
They forced the spunk from out her will,
So she could fly in Sputnik’s sequel.

Laika never said “Poyekhali!” (Russian for “Let’s go!”).
When men in lab coats launched her into space.
She just ---wanted to be a good dog,
And not to leave the earth without a trace.

Man’s best friend got a rotten deal,
For fidelity and a gelatin meal.
And I’m so sorry Laika!
Khoroshaya sobaka (Russian for “good dog”).

Now on the fate of Laika the scientists lied.
Cuz they said that after six days she was euthanized.
But that’s not ---not what really happened,
When to the top of a rocket this dog was strapped in.

The first orbit sailed over seas,
The next one raised 100 degrees.
The capsule’s temperature increased,
And by the 4th orbit all her vitals had ceased.

Laika’s corpse haunted space for months,
She made 2570 orbits.
But the dog and her capsule disappeared,
On the fiery reentry to earth’s atmosphere.

Laika never shouted “Poyekhali!”
When men in lab coats launched her into space.
She just ---wanted to be a good dog,
and not to leave the earth without a trace.
Man’s best friend got a rotten deal,
For fidelity and a weightless meal.
And I’m so sorry Laika!
Khoroshaya sobaka
Khoroshaya sobaka
(dope space noises)
Track Name: Fall-Down Flowers
FALL DOWN FLOWERS

When I was a young girl
Living down in New Orleans
Every autumn when the wind changed
My daddy always said to me

Let's have a cemetery picnic
And we could just hang out for hours
And I could paint a picture
And you could pick up fall-down flowers

You know those artificial flowers
People put them on their family tombs
And the wind whips them around so
The lawn is covered in blooms

Let's have a cemetery picnic
And we could just hang out for hours
And I could paint a picture
And you could pick up fall-down flowers

He said you know there's nothing sadder
Than a fallen plastic blossom
It's like everything it stood for
Has been lost and then forgotten
But when you pick it up
It's like you've got a magic power
You're rescuing a memory
With every fall-down flower

You know my dad was kind of crazy
But always in a friendly way
Now each autumn when the winds change
I just wish that he was here to say

Let's have a cemetery picnic
And we could just hang out for hours
And I could paint a picture
And you could pick up fall-down flowers
Track Name: Ulnar Nerve
ULNAR NERVE

When my brain sends a signal for my fingers to curve
A shock bursts down my arm through my ulnar nerve
But when the nerve is blocked and its glide is disturbed
They cut your elbow open free the ulnar nerve

Ulnar nerve
From the brachial plexis to the ulnar nerve
Ulnar nerve
Funny bone's not funny it’s the ulnar nerve

When your ring and little finger a numbness observe
Then you’ve got a problem with your ulnar nerve
Your hand claws up like a crab hors d’oeuvre
Best to cut your arm open shake the ulnar nerve

Ulnar nerve
From the brachial plexis to the ulnar nerve
Ulnar nerve
Funny bone's not funny it’s the ulnar nerve

The ulnar claw so damned bourgeois
It’s the hand of benediction but this is an affliction
The hand muscles constriction
Then there’s this malediction:

The closer to the paw, the worse the claw
Track Name: Like a Fetus
LIKE A FETUS

I never really heard it but there’s something in my ear
I never could explain it but it’s all become quite clear
The fire in my stomach burns the lining of my lungs
My skull case cracks in two when the epilepsy comes

Like a fetus with a thousand umbilical cords
Cut myself off but there’s always one more, one more, one more
Always — always — always
One more, one more, one more

I never really saw it but there’s something in my eye
I never could explain to you the thousand reasons why
Don’t even understand the words a-coming out my head
About a thousand things that would be better left unsaid

Like a fetus with a thousand umbilical cords
Cut myself off but there’s always one more, one more, one more
Like a fetus yeah yeah, like a fetus uh uh uh
Like a fetus yeah yeah, like a fetus uh uh uh

I never really felt it but there’s something in my throat
I never could expel it but it’s making me to choke
I disconnect from each and every thing that I have known
Gnawing at the wound where another one has grown

Like a fetus with a thousand umbilical cords
Cut myself off but there’s always one more, one more, one more
Always — always — always
One more, one more, one more

I never really knew it but there’s something in my brain
I never understood it and it’s making me insane
Eliminate all feeling and eliminate belief
Eliminate connection with razor sharp teeth

Like a fetus with a thousand umbilical cords
Cut myself off but there’s always one more, one more, one more
Like a fetus yeah yeah, like a fetus uh uh uh
Like a fetus yeah yeah, like a fetus uh uh uh
Track Name: Public School Widower
PUBLIC SCHOOL WIDOWER

We love our wives, don’t get us wrong,
But we felt the need to write this song
Because of the unfortunate feature
That we got it bad, we’re hot for teacher

Years ago, we behaved like fools
and married girls, who teach in public schools
She has no time, to show me her love
cuz of assessment goals, and learning outcomes

The house is quiet and my heart is lonely
She’s thinking of her students only
It’s like living alone and I sure do miss her
I’m a public school widower

June and July are great for sure
But on August first she’s moving classroom furniture
And hanging posters of policies
For some stranger’s kids are her priority

The bounds of our love remain unknown
Hey teacher leave those kids alone
Leave behind the testing tension
And bring us back your undivided attention

(Chorus)

She gets home from school at 6PM,
By 8 she’s passed out from exhaustion
She dreams of paper, pencils and books
And terrorizing kids with dirty looks

Then long before the sun will rise
She wakes in a panic and starts to cry
She’s off to her desk to assess and grade
And weekly lesson plans need to be made

Occasionally I get a letter from her school thanking me for my sacrifice. They say they know that it’s difficult to be married to a teacher. Yeah whatever, the letter’s a nice gesture, I suppose, but if they really valued my sacrifice, if they really valued my wife’s quality of life, they could ask less of her instead of giving her more and more work to do every damn year, and while I’m on the topic, how about paying her more and the administration less? You know what? Screw your letter and screw your school. Give me my wife back.

(Chorus)
Track Name: Spring Is Falling in New Orleans
SPRING IS FALLING IN NEW ORLEANS

“Aaaaaggghhhh” she screamed in agony
as my daughter cried and pointed at her knee
welts were rising on her tender flesh
a buck moth caterpillar clung to her dress

I knocked it down and stomped it ‘neath my shoe
And it exploded with a greenish goo
The poisonous venom in its prickly spines
Had reached the caterpillar train’s end of the line

Spring is falling in New Orleans
Things are dropping from live oak trees
Arboreal pollen orgasms of yellow
Buck moth caterpillars stinging your toes
Old leaves make way for new leaves of green
Cuz Spring is falling in New Orleans
Spring is falling in New Orleans

“Aaaachhoooo” I sneezed in misery
and rubbed my eyes till I could barely see
The pollen count was the highest yet
As the oak debris formed a yellow blanket

I wheezed and coughed and tried to breathe
I closed the windows and turned on the AC
It’s gonna run till November at least
Cuz it’s a hot ass swamp down in New Orleans
Track Name: Mid-City
MID-CITY

Get on my bike at Banks Street Bar,
I’m cruising down South Alexander.
Red street car reflecting the sun,
There’s a library going ‘cross from Blue Dot Donuts.
Jump on the trailhead get on the greenway,
I cross Carrollton by Massey’s and Rouses.
I lock my bike in front of Brocato’s,
Get a single scoop of mint gelato.

I’m cruising up and down Mid City,
The Lafitte Greenway is sure gonna make it easy.

There’s a volleyball game on the grass at the Bayou,
See a yoga girl on a paddle board.
Migrant workers with their feet in the water,
Laughing and chillaxing with cervezas.
The tree where my daughter got her name,
Where Indians dance on Super Sunday,
Their bright colored suits with beads and feather,
My big chief got a golden crown.

I’m cruising up and down Mid City,
The Bayou Saint John is sure looking so pretty.

Can’t tell pothole depths because of the rain,
So my bicycle adventure isn’t all fun and games.
Will two trucks stop on Carrollton,
After I press the crosswalk button.
The hat on my head got knocked away,
by a low hanging branch on Jeff Davis Parkway.
Glad to see someone dressed his statue,
With a t-shirt that says Black Lives Matter.
The heart of New Orleans got a vibrant beat,
So many cultures harmonizing my streets.

I’m in Mid City, cruising on my bicycle,
I feel the wind in my hair and the sun on my face,
And I’m so glad to be alive, I’m so glad to be alive.

There’s probably more dogs than people,
I see my neighbors out with leashes and poop bags.
Soccer fans drumming at Finn McCools,
It’s probably the coolest pub in the world.
And I’m a big fan of Biscuits and Buns,
But their customers park blocking my driveway.
Swing by the Shrine of Santissima Muerte,
leave a satsuma and remember the dead.

I’m cruising up and down Mid City,
The Bayou St. John is sure looking pretty,
I’m in the heart of the city,
I’m bicycling in Mid City,
Wearing my hat and feeling witty,
I’m pumping my pedals my handlebars are sweaty.

I’m in Mid City New Orleans,
It’s where I love to live and I live to dream,
In Mid City.
Track Name: Obscure Complaint
OBSCURE COMPLAINT

O Earth, unchain yourself
And tell the Sun farewell
For this circle-walking Hell
Is far too bright and certain

Throw off all your forests
And your oceans, shake them off
Like prison clothes, and doff
Your polar cap of glaciers

And when you’re bald and naked
And walking all alone
Take each moment for your own
And try to fashion something

And if in your new freedom
Your works are half as lovely
As these that you’ve made dumbly
As a slave of all creation

Then I will reach down in me
Where my pumping organs float
And pull them out my throat
And turn my skin-side inward

But till then I’ll remain
A jailed jail inside a jailer
And cunningly I’ll tailor
My complaints to be obscure
Track Name: The Inglorious Death of Enkidu
THE INGLORIOUS DEATH OF ENKIDU

Farewell to you, sha nagba imuru
I’m sad you’re seeing me slowly decay
Remember Gilgamesh, our glorious past
When we journeyed to forests so far away

We cut down Humbaba, that cedar villain
And together we slayed the Bull of Heaven

To the land of no return and darkness
I will soon face Ereshkigal
Remember me with a smile, and you’ll join me in a while
Gilgamesh, I’ll miss you my friend

When we first met we fought for days, Uruk’s walls crumbled away
You said I smelled of sex, & beer, & bread
We joined forces, a dynamic guild, undefeatable on battle fields,
Twas no sword, but disease killed me instead

Damn that cursed goddess Ishtar
And the somber light of her evening star

To the land of no return and darkness
I will soon face Ereshkigal
Food makes me vomit, I can barely see, this cursed illness is killing me,
Gilgamesh, I fear I’m wasting away

You know I never took a wife, I’d like to think somehow my life
Gave more meaning to your story
Remember dear Gilgamesh, this outer shell of bone and flesh
Should have met its end in epic glory

Enkidu breathed his last
His land of living time had passed

To the land of no return and darkness
Enkidu stood before Ereshkigal
For days and weeks Gilgamesh stood vigil over his friend’s flesh
Till a maggot dropped from his companion’s nose

Gilgamesh, with his best friend’s death, contemplates and comes up with a scheme,
To avoid dying, he’s now trying, to sail and find Utnapishtim
Farewell Enkidu, Fare thee well to you
Gilgamesh he mourns you Enkidu

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