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Letting off the Happiness

by Bright Eyes

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released November 2, 1998



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Bright Eyes Omaha, Nebraska

Bright Eyes are the Omaha, Nebraska-based band led by lauded songwriter Conor Oberst.

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Track Name: If Winter Ends
I dreamt of a fever, one that would cure me of this cold, winter set heart. With heat to melt these
frozen tears and burned with reasons as to carry on. Into these twisted months I plunge without a
light to follow but I swear that I would follow anything if it would just get me out of here. And so
you get six months to adapt and then you get two more to leave town. In the event that you do
adapt we still might not want you around. And I fell for the promise of a life with a purpose but I
know that that is impossible now. And so I drink to stay warm and to kill selected memories
because I just can’t think anymore about that or about her tonight. I give myself three days to feel
better or else I swear I am driving off a fucking cliff. Because if I can’t make myself feel better
then how can I expect anyone else to give a shit. And I scream for the sunlight or a car to take me
anywhere, just get me past this dead and eternal snow. Because I swear that I am dying, slowly, but
its happening. So if there is a perfect spring that’s waiting somewhere just take me there and lie to
me and say it’s going to be alright. Its going to be alright, yeah you worry too much kid, its going
to be alright.
Track Name: Padraic My Prince
I had a brother once. He drowned in a bathtub before he had ever learned how to talk. And I don’t
know what his name was but my mother does. I heard her say it once, "Padraic, my prince, I have
all but died from the sheer weight of my shame. You cried but no one came and the water filled
your tiny lungs. Appear, my dear, and sing to me. It was six years ago today that we laid you in
your grave, your sweet young skin was shining then too." And so tonight to celebrate I will poison
myself. Another coughing, shaking fit in a bathroom that is spinning. So I close the door and rest
my head on the tile floor, sickness and sleep turning me cold. I am still not sure, is there some
better place I should be heading towards? Where the selfishly sick and self absorbed are
welcome. I saw the future once. I was drunk in a phone booth. My eyes were wet and red but I
could not tell what was said. And through the screams of the traffic voiced carried saying I am
sorry. On a day so gray its black inside watching churches on TV. In a coma you don’t dream
you just hope that someone sits with you. Babies turn blue when they are ignored like the sky on
summer days, before you turn and walk away it has changed you. So tonight to compensate I will
poison myself another coughing, shaking fit in a bathroom that is spinning.
Track Name: Contrast and Compare
Contrast and compare between the busy ones and the ones that don’t care until there is no one that
you really know. So I drift through these days of appointments and promises made they will all
end up broken and quickly replaced. Weeks are slow, days drag on; even practice and parties seem
long, but I found myself going, I guess there’s nothing to do. Oh well. Group of kids, line of
cars, more will show up after the bars close. There’s this boredom that drowns everything. Bottles
break, music plays, conversations competing for space. I look for a corner or a quieter room.
There’s no heat in this house; I can’t breath with these words in my mouth, but I’m not going to
say them. Yeah, I’ve made that mistake before. On the stairs she grabs my arm, says "what’s up,
where you been, is something wrong?" I try to just smile, and say everything’s fine.
Track Name: The City Has Sex
The city has sex with itself I suppose as the concrete collides, the scenery grows, and the lonely
once bandaged lay fully exposed having undressed their wounds for each other. And there is a
boy in a basement with a four-track machine, he’s been strumming and screaming all night, down
there. The tape hiss will cover the words that he sings, but then they say it’s better to bury your
sadness in a graveyard or garden that waits for the spring to awake from its sleep and burst into
green. And I’ve cried, and you would think I would be better for it but the sadness just sleeps and
it stays in your spine for the rest of your life. And I’ve learned and you’d think I’d be something
more now, but it just goes to show it is not what you know it’s what you were thinking at the time.
This feeling’s familiar, I’ve been here before. In a kitchen this quiet I waited for a sign or just
something that might reassure me of anything close to meaning or motion (with a reason to move).
I need something I want to be close to. And I scream, but I still don’t know why I do it, because
the sound never stays it just swells and decays, so what is the point? Why try to fight what is now
so certain? The truth is all that I am is a passing event that will be forgotten.
Track Name: The Difference in the Shades
Now that it’s June, we’ll sleep out in the garden. And if it rains, we’ll just sink in to the mud.
Where it is quiet and much cooler than the house is and there is no clocks or phones to wake us
up. Because I have learned that nothing is as pressing as the one who is pressing would like you
to believe. And I am content to walk a little slower, because there is nowhere that I really need to
be. I find that life is easier when it is just a blur, with no details to confuse who or what or where I
was, so when the ending comes the full regret will be obscure. But these are days we dream about
when the sunlight paints us gold, and this apartment could not be prettier as we danced up there
alone. This TV is old, the color is fucked, do you see the difference in the shades? But the green
is still close to green, my love, and I believe that we are the same. And we’ll stay like this, all gold
and green; the light collects and projects your heart on a movie screen. And if you close your eyes
we will always be the way we were that night you crawled inside of me. And you slept in my blood
the way you sleep now. The quietist hush has consumed this house and when doctors have gone
and you sweat through the bed with all these pictures and pills that they piled around your head.
Just rest now, and in a moment you will know everything. Was it just a dream? It’s too vague
now to recount. An outline of the one you loved in a life that was that no longer will be stands
above you as you sleep.
Track Name: Touch
Touch, lying on the floor, wishing this could last, but knowing that it can’t, and soon you will
leave. And I will be on the floor, watching the TV, trying hard to find a reason to move. I’m
frozen in one place, staring at the screen, listening to the rain falling on the street. Some days go
on too long, and no one can hang out tonight. Here, where the carpet is cool and soft, underneath
the clock I feel my weary heart is put to rest. You gather around your friends, the connection that
you feel when the night has not yet died. You are new with the promise of a love you will probably
never find, and touch that you can really feel the brokenness inside as hope and less collide. Now
nothing is real. (You are new and near now to someone you used to love when you were young;
when all was gold and you two touched and felt the flutter underneath your skin. You stood in
glowing rooms, the light dripping from both of you. And nothing since has felt as radiant or real.)
And there is nothing more I want than just one night that’s free of doubt and sadness. One night
that I can really feel.
Track Name: June on the West Coast
I spent a week drinking the sunlight of Winnetka, California where they understand the weight of
human hearts. You see sorrow gets too heavy and joy it tends to hold you with the fear that it
eventually departs. And the truth is I’ve been dreaming of some tired tranquil place where the
weather won’t get trapped inside my bones, and if all the years of searching find one sympathetic
face, then its there I will plant these seeds and make my home. I spent a day dreaming of dying in
Mesa, Arizona where all the green of life had turned to ash. And I felt I was on fire, with the things
I could have told you, I guess I just assumed that you eventually would ask, and I wouldn’t have to
bring up my so badly broken heart, and all those months it just wanted to sleep. And though
spring, it did come slowly, I guess it did its part. My heart has thawed and continues to beat. I
visited my brother on the outskirts of Olympia where the forest and the water become one. And we
talked about our childhood, like a dream we were convinced of, that perfect peaceful street that we
came from. And I know he heard me strumming all those sad and simple chords, as I sat inside
my room so long ago. And it hurts that he’s still shaking from those secrets that were told by a car
closed up airtight and a heart turned cold. And I went to San Diego, the birthplace of the summer,
and watched the ocean dance under the moon. And there was a girl I knew there, one more
potential lover, I guess that something’s got to happen soon. Because I know I can’t keep living in
this dead or dying dream and as I watched along the beach and drank with her I thought about my
true love, the one I really need. With eyes that burn so bright, they make me pure. They make me
pure. They make me pure. I long to be with you.
Track Name: Pull My Hair
Is the passion all gone? Or is it still newly wed? If all this heat is doing is making us stick to the
bed then there is no life to revive. But if the hunger is still there, hidden somewhere inside, covered
up by the boredom we’ve been trying to hide. Then dig it up, and devour. And it will be more like
a song, and less like its math. If you pull on my hair, and bite me like that. And the truth is that I
can’t hardly wait, and I don’t care if we stay up too late. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t answer
the phone. And it will be more like a song and less like its math. If you pull on my hair, and bite
me like that. And the truth is that I can’t hardly wait. It itches so bad that I can’t concentrate.
Don’t answer the phone. Don’t answer the phone. And it will be more like a song and less like its
math. If you pull on my hair, and bite me like that.
Track Name: A Poetic Retelling of an Unfortunate Seduction
the language in the dimmer rooms seems to represent its light source well. How soft they speak
and seem to be at peace with the music and the madness that is pulling me in to this. And the
shades of the lamps are woven red. The light, it stains and consecrates anointing all forgotten
forms that swirl and smoke and haunt this place. The girls in gowns all nurse the dark, pulling it
near to their swelling breasts and watch as it seeps to their hearts and beats within their virgin
chests. And here I know seduction breads from wanton hearts that would seduce and grows and
spreads its vine and leaves embracing those who might have moved but now remain to drink the
night from vials black and thick with steam such intoxicating delights would leave you drunk inside
this dream. And you watch them take the light from you. And you find yourself on a velvet couch
tasting the skin of a foreign girl. Her eyes are black and wet like oil and she ties your hands with a
string of pearls. And you tremble like a frightened bird as she closes in and captures you to place
you in a silver cage deep within her poisoned womb. So once your safe inside, she might let you
out to fly in circles around the room. But its always night and there is no moon. And you wonder
if you are alive. And you’re not sure if you want to be. But you drink her sweat like it was wine,
and you lay with her on a bed of blue and its awful sweet like the fruit she cuts and feeds to you.
Track Name: Tereza and Tomas
Let’s sail away past the noise of the bay. Let’s sail away past the birth and death of the day. Let’s
sail away to where the blues and greens swirl into gray. Let’s sail away. Let’s sail away past the
cradle of these waves. Let’s sail away past the tide and its slow decay. Let’s sail away to where the
water goes- some endless open space. Let’s sail away. Take only what you need, my love, and
leave the rest behind. Don’t be afraid of where we’ll go, my love, I promise you will be fine. Now
you are the only one that’s mine. Let’s sail away past the reflections of the light. Let’s sail away
floating weightless through the night. Let’s sail away like a photograph, fading to all white. It’s
finally all right. Forget all the mistakes, my love, they won’t be made again. Leave the photos in
the drawer, my love; we no longer need them. We both know where we’ve been. Let’s sail away
disappearing in a mist. Let’s sail away with a whisper and a kiss. Or vanish from a road
somewhere, like Tereza and Tomas, suspended in this bliss.