The Hard Stuff

by Susan Gibson

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credits

released October 4, 2019

Produced by Andre Moran at Congress House Studio in Austin, Texas
Mastered by Mark Hallman, Congress House Studios
Artwork by: Emily Shirley

MUSICIANS:
Susan Gibson: vocals, guitars, hand claps
Fred Mandujano: Drums & Percussion
Alexander Lynch: Bass
Andre Moran: Electric & Acoustic guitars, Synths, Vibes, Clarinet, Organ, Piano, and all manner of things!
Mark Hallman: Background Vocals, Hammond B3
Kevin Flatt: Trumpet
Tony Bray: Tenor Saxaphone
Brian Douglas Phillips: Pedal Steel
Marian Brackney: Violin, Backing Vocals
Jana Pochop: Backing Vocals, Hand Claps
Noelle Hampton: Backing Vocals

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Track Name: Imaginary Lines
IMAGINARY LINES

Went to New York City on a great big plane
Hit the ground running just to catch the next plane
When we got to the station we ran straight for the bus
Half the population there ahead of us
Dallas to New York, Brooklyn to Queens
In the same amount of time
You’re either going 1000 miles an hour
Or you’re just standing in line

Made an appointment with a business suit
Took the underground, took the business route
Scrapin’ the sky in an elevator car
Stuck my foot in door cuz the door was ajar
The contract read like it was War and Peace
And the print was written fine
He wouldn’t give me a handshake til I signed on the dotted line

Imaginary lines
Imaginary lines
Imaginary lines

Grabbed my own set of keys and unfolded the map
Left the rat race, left the cheese in the trap
Maybe I’m crazy for refusing the help
I’m still driven, I’m just driving myself
County roads and interstates, an inch for 50 miles
You get the lay of the landscape when you drive across state lines

Imaginary lines
Imaginary lines
Imaginary lines

All these places I’ve been driving around
Are more than dots on a map, they’re my new hometowns
Plenty of folks I call my next of kin
They take me as I am and they take me in
All these man made boundaries can’t possibly define
Who we make our families by drawing our own bloodlines

Imaginary lines
Imaginary lines
Imaginary lines
Track Name: Antiques
ANTIQUES

Back in the day Jeanie turned a lot of heads
She was built like a Chevrolet
Black hair, green eyes and red, red lips
She could work like a man all day

She did the Schottish and the Waltz and the Cotton-Eyed Joe
The Two-Step and the Western Swing
She kept her dance card filled while Barnie caught his breath
Until he gave her a diamond ring

Getting older ain’t for the weak, it only happens to the strongest ones
They aren’t useless they are precious antiques, you better treat ‘em like one

Well, they said “I do” in the year of ‘62
With a baby on the way
And in the blink of an eye the only time he’d ever cry
He gave that little girl away
Now that sweet baby girl has a baby of her own
& they live a couple states away
Everybody’s working so they talk on the phone
They visit but they never stay

Getting older ain’t for the weak, it only happens to the strongest ones
They aren’t useless they are precious antiques, you better treat ‘em like one

Don’t save the bottle til it’s past it’s prime
Celebrate the victory of the passing time

Now the world is spinning 1000 miles an hour
No wonder he feels left behind
Everybody else is rushing around
It’s the cruelty of all man kind
He gives a brand new meaning to a firm handshake
He’s unsteady on his feet
He lost his hearing and his license and his wife of 50 years
But he’ll never admit defeat

Getting older ain’t for the weak, it only happens to the strongest ones
They aren’t useless they are precious antiques, you better treat ‘em like one
Track Name: The Hard Stuff
THE HARD STUFF

Every 7 years your black cats and broken mirrors reach their expiration date
Every 7 years you get a brand new body cuz your cells they regenerate
Every 7 years you get the 7 year itch cuz you need a little change of scene
Don’t just scratch the surface, gotta dig a little deeper, see you’re living in this world like its a pinball machine
Who’s it gonna be? Who’s gonna push your little buttons send you rocketing into the abyss?
Cuz when you’re gone you’re long gone, honey, and you don’t leave a trace or a change of address

If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough
Quit looking for loopholes to get through the hard stuff
If your excuses don’t kill ya I guess you’re strong enough
To stick it out. I guess you’ll stick it out

You can run away if you want to but you know that you’ll never really make an escape
Not even if you walk a mile in Hermes tennis shoes or borrow one of Superman’s capes
Cuz that’s the funny thing the tragic thing about our fear we take it with us everywhere we go
You gotta turn around and face it, face to face, you gotta grab it by the collar, smack it smack dab square in the nose
Confrontation, resignation, sweet salvation, Hell, Damnation either way it’s difficult
But if you keep doing the same old thing, you’re gonna get the same result

If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough
Quit looking for loopholes to get through the hard stuff
If your excuses don’t kill ya I guess you’re strong enough
To stick it out. I guess you’ll stick it out

You’ll never get anywhere leaving well enough alone
Nothin’ lifts a heavy heart like some elbow grease and a funny bone
Between the worry and regret, you’re stuck there in the middle
You can’t take it anymore, I guess you gotta give a little

If you’re gonna be stupid, you better be tough
Quit looking for loopholes to get through the hard stuff
If your excuses don’t kill ya I guess you’re strong enough
To stick it out. I guess you’ll stick it out
Track Name: Lookin' For A Fight
Looking For a Fight

Here he comes, he’s got his trouble by his side
Maybe he could shake it off if he only tried
Some would call it arrogance, he just calls it pride
He don’t need a reason cuz he is sanctified

There he goes again looking for a fight
Clench his fists until his knuckles turn white
The chip on his shoulder, yeah, it’s leaning to the right
And he’s daring someone to knock it off tonight

Hey Jack you got something to prove
You think your dirty looks will make the mountains move
“Outta my way!!” that’s your attitude
there you go looking for a fight

Drink a couple down before he heads out to the bar
Get his courage up before he gets into his car
It’s not fun and games until somebody gets hurt
Tears on her face and tears in her shirt

CHORUS

Maybe mama didn’t love enough
She may have a suffocating kiss
Did daddy say real men are tough
Did daddy show his love with a fist?

He doesn’t have a conscience about how he leaves his mark
Blood in the water for the great white shark
He’d rather go blind than have to look in the mirror
Cuz bullies are agreed of their own damn fear

CHORUS
Track Name: The Big Game
I've tried every single word in the book
Like love and hate Like now and wait
Anything to get you on that hook
It's not a trap Just cuz it's bait

Maybe I need a websters dictionary
Something to expand my vocabulary

I got a million tricks up my sleeve.
My slight of hand Don't need a wedding band
If only I could make you believe
The smoke and mirrors They ain't contraband

Maybe I need some tips from Penn and Teller
Or the spell to turn me into Cinderella

I want my way with you
Do what I want you to
Why you gotta make it so hard
For me to be easy

You got me holding out a little hope
your saltwater smile You little crocodile
You're in the crosshairs of my scope
Ive been holding my breath for quite a while

I tend to shoot before I aim
Maybe I wasn't cut out for the big game

I want my way with you
Do what I want you to
Why you gotta make it so hard
For me to be easy
I need a little dignity, I need a little grace
But the only thing I know of love is the thrill of the chase
I want my way with you
Do what I want you to
Why you gotta make it so hard
For me to be easy
Track Name: Diagnostic Heart
DIAGNOSTIC HEART

I have a diagnostic heart, cold and analytic love
I see the symptoms read the charts, sterile hands in rubber gloves
Been too long in quarantine. I need some intensive care
Disconnect me from machines. Let’s have a messy love affair

This terminal immunity from your infectious laughter
It’s a patient kinda privacy that kills happy ever after
I begged do not resuscitate. I didn’t want your life support
But your heart didn’t hesitate to heal my diagnostic heart

According to Hippocrates, first do no harm
Casual affairs yield casualties, the first to go,
My diagnostic hear

A miracle, a paradox, it takes two different heart beats
Kinda like a pair of socks will warm a pair of cold feet
Circulation is the key. Pressure builds and tears apart.
A surge right through my circuitry, bypass my diagnostic heart

According to Hippocrates, first do no harm
Casual affairs yield casualties, the first to go,
My diagnostic heart
Track Name: 2 Fake IDs
2 Fake IDs

1 was 16 years old my first trip outta town
We broke down on the outskirts of Plainview
We were looking for trouble and that's what we found
Cuz trouble was hiding in plain view
We hitchhiked our way into Lubbock T X
I did my makeup while you did your hair
In a Volkswagen hatchback we were hotter than checks
That we'd write for wine coolers and beer

We went drinking and dancing & we shut the place down
I held the money & you held the keys
On our high heeled blisters we stumbled around
We were flashing our two fake ID's

We lied to our parents and we lied to ourselves
We were just old enough to know better
On Avenue Q, in a rundown motel
Once again, you were my babysitter
Three in the morning, a knock on the door
No music, just red and blue lights
The men scattered like roaches but they busted the whores
And we cried as they read 'em their rights

We went drinking and dancing & we shut the place down
I held the money & you held the keys
On our high heeled blisters we stumbled around
We were flashing our two fake ID's

It wasn't the first time and it wasn't the last
I pretended to be someone else

Washed off the lipstick & threw out the heels
A child in adult camouflage
Tired and hungover, we made a deal
Snuck in through unlocked garage
We straightened our story, the last of the lies
Suspicious, but they had no proof
How did we do it? Look 'em right in the eyes
& swear we were telling the truth


We’d been drinking and dancing & we shut the place down
I held the money & you held the keys
On our high heeled blisters we stumbled around
We were flashing our two fake ID's
Track Name: Hurricane
Hurricane

It starts like a depression on the radar screen. Maybe it’s a seasonal storm
You know, a little rainfall can wash you clean but deadly clouds are starting to form
Expand the walls around you, that’s the first defense no one can look in your mercurial eye
If you’re always under pressure any disturbance and you can kiss your ass goodbye

You can’t keep it all in~ this turbulence Waiting for the wind to change

Right now you’re somewhere over the ocean
Spinnin’ around tryin’ to change your path
Right now you’re just churning up the water
But someday you’re gonna hit land

There’s a thousand angry voices swirling ‘round in your head And they’re squalling at you most of the time
Words you wish you could take back, words you wish you’da said, an unapologetic paradigm

So you keep it all in~ this tempest Waiting on the wind to change

Right now you’re somewhere over the ocean
Spinnin’ around tryin’ to change your path
Right now you’re just churning up the water
But someday you’re gonna hit land

Better pray that the levee holds
Hunker down when the wind starts blowing
Better yet, evacuate the coast
They’ll feel the fallout out in west Wyoming

Right now you’re somewhere over the ocean
Spinnin’ around tryin’ to change your path
Right now you’re just churning up the water
But someday you’re gonna hit land
Track Name: Wildflowers in the Weeds
WILDFLOWERS IN THE WEEDS SG 3/3/18

Terri thinks she is cursed or the fruit of unlucky genetics
Cuz there are laws of the Universe that govern the earthly and etheric
All she needs is one clean break in her heart of her bad habits
To really hunger for something before she reaches out to grab it

As above, so below. Terri reaps what she sews
40 seasons since she’s planted any seeds
in between winter and spring hides the secret of every living thing
And she’s looking for the wildflowers in the weeds

It’s the law of polarity, every action has an inverse reaction
Terri believes in posterity but not the law of attraction
so she keeps them to herself, all her dreams and her desires
Of love and luck and health afraid of the action faith requires

in her backward little town east is west and up is down
Gravity, it is the only constant creed
Prayers move slower than the speed of sound, fall from her lips straight to the ground
Where they germinate like wildflowers in the weeds

She looks at the classifieds. She looks at the internet.
if only changing was as easy as changing the channels on her TV set
She looks at her horoscope. She looks at the almanac
She looks at the Bible and the Big Book, looking for a needle in a haystack

Terri’s looking for some roots. She digging down below the surface
Solving for the absolutes, she goes to work with a purpose
Terri buys a piece of land. A quarter acre is more than she needs
to feel the soil in her hands. She waters the wildflowers in the weeds
Track Name: 8 x 10
8x10

In the still and silent morning, that’s when I miss you most
Cardinals welcome in the sunrise, it sounds so sweet I’d spread it on my toast
I put syrup on my cornbread. I like cheese on apple pie
It’s the way you always did it. I never thought to ask you why

Lick your thumb to thread a needle. Thin to win when cutting cards
Find that thing that you love doing. Then work hard, you work real hard
Take the 3rd when singing duets. Take the 5th if you need to lie
It’s the way you always did it. I never thought to ask you why

I miss your cool hand on my fever
Your voice a long distance call
Trying to remember every single lesson
I got your picture on my wall

8 x 10 happy memories under glass inside a frame
There’s a candle lit beside you, your eyes dancing in the flame
There you’re staring at the camera with your Mona Lisa smile
It’s the way you always did it, I never thought to ask you why

I miss your cool hand on my fever
Your voice a long distance call
Trying to remember every single blessing
I got your picture on my wall

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