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Mecca Normal LYRICS by Jean Smith






The Observer

Kill Rock Stars,
April 2006

David Lester: guitar
Jean Smith: vocals, piano, keyboard, synth, percussion, sax, guitar


1. I'm Not Into Being the Woman You're With While You're Looking for the Woman You Want
2. Attraction is Ephemeral
3. I'll Call You
4. Quick Shuttle
5. 1922
6. Fallen Skier
7. His Own Madness
8. The Dark Side of Maria
9. Arsenal
10. The Caribou & the Oil Pipeline
11. The Message
12. The Observer


I'll Call You

I want cold and impersonal sex
during which I'll be pretending I'm with someone else
I only care about my satisfaction
I will jerk you around
to get as much for myself as I can
If you object -- I'll be on my way

If you dare to communicate with me after I've let you know
where you stand
I will belittle you
I will disrespect you with comments
that I call 'joking' -- if you don't get it
you need to lighten up

You will play by my rules
and I'm not into telling you what my rules are

I'll call you
I'll call you

I'm very highly evolved
I'm very attractive
I have a lot of options that I am keeping open
so don't expect me to treat you as if
you're someone special
-- you're not

I'll call you
I'll call you

I'll let you know when it's your turn again
until then, let's be friends

I'll call you
I'll call you


Attraction is Ephemeral

"I'm intrigued by you," he says. "You're beautiful. Beautiful."
"Thank-you," I say, wondering if this is just another line. Just another game. Wondering how much recent deception informs my reaction. We connected right from the start. You can't make this happen. You can't make this happen. Can you? Someone wouldn't be able to make this happen. It gets chilly. We step inside. I make more tea, plain tea. Cheap tea. He says, "I love a woman who adorns herself with jewelry. I like a woman who has lots of variation in her wardrobe. I love good shoes on a woman and beautiful lingerie." He suggests I visit a website of Austrian designed underwear. "It's expensive, but it's beautiful, it's beautiful," he says.
I stand there by the stove, in my slutty outfit, the total of which probably cost me $15, including my $1 panties and my Value Village bra.

"What do you wear during the day, when you're working here alone?" he asks.
"Old levis cords, a t-shirt, paint splattered hush puppies with holes in the soles." I guess I could have said, "Prada, darling."

Adornment. He's an architect of many things. He's going to bring his grand piano out of storage. In bed he tires to put the condom on. He curses. I try to see what he's doing, but I'm pinned under him. I hear him stretching the condom like he's making a balloon animal. He gives up and I lie there under him. Two hundred and thirty pounds. He says, "Am I crushing you?"
"Sort of," I say. He gets off of me. In his deep, sexy voice he says, "I want to please you."
"You do please me," I say, as one does.
"I mean really please you," he says.
"OK," I say, and then we both laugh, me 'til I cry.
He says, "We have time. Don't warn me. Don't warn me. Don't warn me about yourself."
"OK," I say.

Does that include not telling him that I'm too cheap to take the bus so I walk twenty minutes to get to the store and that I carry my groceries home in my packsack -- which is fine with me -- and I don't buy crackers and cheese and pickles and cookies because they are too expensive. I know the prices on almost everything in the little shops -- if oranges are 59 cents a pound here and the same ones 49 cents a pound across the street. I will cross the street to save whatever it is on my 2 oranges -- and brag about.

He says, "We have time. He's going to bring his grand piano out of storage.
We have time and you're beautiful and you're intriguing." And I say, "Thank you." Wondering if this is just another really long line, another really long and complicated line. He's the architect of another really long line. Another really long line.


The Observer

I close one eye
to lose my depth of field

I am so limited
to the infinite unravel of the universe
hinged to meaning
in patterns and code

I am thirsty -- so thirsty
someone near the front of the bus says,
"Thirsty."

The woman in the shawl
teal and sepia shawl
stands up to exit the bus
she slings a cloth bag over her shoulder
knitting needles poking out

The little boy behind me says,
"Why sideways?"
The boy's father says,
"Do you mean what is sideways?"
"No," the boy says.
"Why is it called sideways anyway?"

I am so limited
to the infinite unravel of the universe
hinged to meaning
in pattern and code
cold cold code

Young drunk guys
with wrap-around sunglasses
sit near me
at the back of the bus
stinking of booze
speaking maybe Greek
I look out the window
water so blue

I close one eye
to lose my depth of field
I am so limited
so limited
to the infinite unravel of the universe
hinged to meaning
in pattern and code -- cold cold cold code

I am thirsty -- so thirsty
someone near the front of the bus says,
"Thirsty."

During World War II
men wrote home
to women
waiting

One man's elegant hand
on paper wrote,
"What I miss most
is talking with you
about the beauty
of everything."

Everyone gets off the bus
before I do

I am so limited
so limited
to the infinite unravel
ravel, unravel
of the universe
hinged to meaning
in pattern and code -- cold cold code

Everyone gets off the bus
before I do


The Caribou and the Oil Pipeline

You're in your car
You're running out of gas
You pull in to get the gas

3000 miles north of here
100,000 caribou are heading for the sea
Bears and ravens follow

This is where the US wants to build an oil pipeline
It will disrupt the caribou migration

You see it on TV -- there's nothing you can do
You can't change the world so you change the channel
but in your mind, one fact stands alone:
A 6 month supply of oil versus 20,000 years of migration

In a dream you see the caribou crossing an icy river, exhaling steam
they dream themselves up and over steep and barren hills

I didn't think I could write a hit
about the caribou and the oil pipeline, but I had to try

You're in your car
You're running out of gas
You pull in to get the gas

What if?
What if?


I'm Not Into Being the Woman You're With
While You're Looking For the Woman You Want


I forget
I forget
if his eyes are green or grey or blue or brown

So we get together
get together

He tells me a woman he used to be with was really funny
He looks at me to reiterate, "I mean really funny."

Haven't heard him laugh yet

Says he hasn't found what he's looking for yet
So we get together
get together

I'm not into being the woman you're with
while you're looking for the woman you want

Says he's looking for a like-minded woman
after he's met me

I need to figure out how to get his CDs back to him

I'm not into being the woman you're with
while you're looking for the woman you want

Crass and insincere


The Message

Mother Africa walking along with Stephen Lewis
the dancers are dancing towards the camera
hips moving real fast

A young woman in a school uniform
is singing in front of the choir
singing a song perhaps she wrote
for this occasion this television opportunity
make no mistake it's directed at you and me.

She sings, "Why me, why him, why her?
Why me, why him, why her?"

But the real question underlies the theme.
We know you have the drugs
you keep them under lock and key
in the west away from us.
And you choose who lives and dies.
Why him, why her, why me?
Why her, why him, and why do you choose?"

Mother Africa takes off her large lens glasses
and wipes her eyes
Stephen Lewis doesn't look he's going to cry.
He takes the message back
back to where it's heard.

Why me, why him, why her?
You choose who lives and dies.
Why do you choose who lives,
who dies?

Who dies?

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