Vain + Alone

by Gregory Hoskins

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05:21
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A collection of new songs written between 2008 and 2017 and recorded at Dead Starling between July 2016 and Feb 2017.

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released February 26, 2017

Fabricated by Gregory Hoskins

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Gregory Hoskins Toronto, Ontario

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Track Name: Shadow
Oh, the wrenching loveliness
Of my crooked flight
The moist morning path
From the door to the car
That takes me away and back again
The truth intact again:

That I am a shadow

Oh, the jarring tenderness
Shown me from all points
I am grateful for it all
For every cut, every fall

I am a shadow
I am a shadow
I am a shadow you will dance with
I am the theory
And the practice

Oh the wrenching loveliness
Of my crooked flight
The moist morning path
From the dark to the light
I am grateful for it all
For every cut, for every fall.

I am a shadow
I am a shadow
I am the shadow you will dance with
I am the theory
And the practice
Of Love.
Track Name: Steal A Kiss From Mary's Lips
Mary, Mary, in the yard
Mother Mary, standing guard
Through the the trees the sunlight slips
And lightly kisses Mary's lips
Through the the trees the sunlight slips
To steal a kiss from Mary's lips.

He waited in rapture
He watched her in wonder
Step from the mouth of the church
Into the dying day
No sirens, no warnings
No voice in the thunder
Prepared his heart for
What was coming his way.

Mary, Mary, in the yard
Mother Mary, standing guard
Through the the trees the sunlight slips
And lightly kisses Mary's lips
Through the the trees the sunlight slips
To steal a kiss from Mary's lips.

As sure as a new day,
The first blush of green on a shock of blue
As pure as the bells from the steeple 'cross town
Love comes for you
As pure as the trill of the chickadee
As sure as the sparrow flies to the hand of Mystery
That makes all it falls on sing!
Oh! Love comes for you!
Get ready, get ready…

Mary, Mary, in the yard
Mother Mary, standing guard
Through the the trees the sunlight slips
And lightly kisses Mary's lips
Through the the trees the sunlight slips
To steal a kiss from Mary's lips.

The birds sing, the sun dips
To steal a kiss from Mary's lips

Yeah, through the trees the sun slips
And steals a kiss from Mary's lips.
Track Name: Pay The King
You cried when the river flowed
Through the forest, not the field
You cried when the fog lifted
And you didn't like what was revealed
You cried when the God you found
You just as easily lost
You cried when love came a callin'
But you didn't like what it cost.

You know we're gonna suffer
It's just kind of our thing
If you want your supper
You know they're gonna make you sing

Pay the King!

Remember when you came to down a well
And it was deep, and it was damp, and it was dark as hell
And how you vowed you'd
Never stumble like that again
So explain yourself
While we wait for help
And the calvary of Saints it takes
To save you again,
To save you again.
Track Name: Witness!
My father is an orphan
He is dying soon
I am reminded one day I'll be an orphan, too
I will be an orphan, too.

The world don't mind
It just carries on
The unrepentant night
The unrelenting dawn.

Witness! what is best left unspoken
And by that beauty be undone
May a thousand times your heart be broken
And may it be remade a thousand-and-one.

My father is an orphan
He is dying soon
I am reminded one day I'll be an orphan, too
I will be an orphan, too.
Yes, I will be an orphan, too.
One day I'll be dying, too.
Track Name: You Took A Lover
You took a lover
That was not me
With the desert heat done
You lay down with the snake charmer's son
You took a lover
That was not me.

I took a lover
That was not you
But don't feel bad
You're the best that I've ever had
I took a lover
That much is true

Oh, I know, I know
I am supposed to be so cool
But if truth be told
The cool become cold, cold, cold
And alone.

So, I took a lover
She took one, too.
The years have been kind,
I am hers and she is mine
Two spoken-for lovers,
Steadfast and true.
Track Name: Useful In A War
I am yours to do your bidding

It’s been this way since the beginning

Now my hair is grey and thinning

Do you need me anymore?

I have watched the burning skies

Through a coward’s eyes
Ignored the battle cries

That are right outside my door.
Stumbled drunk through love and joy

Far too long the mannish boy

But I’m ready to deploy

Make me useful in a war.

Make me useful, useful,
You don't have to tell me what side I'm fighting for.

Purify my ambition

Sanctify my secret mission

Make me Black Ops, cut the cord

Deny that I was even in the war.

Take my head out of the heavens

Take my hands and make them weapons

Hold me to the oath I swore

Make me useful in a war.

Make me deaf to my own voice

I wont question any choice

Coming down from the Commodore

Make me useful in a war.

Throw me in the line of fire

Make me climb the razor wire

Until my flesh is torn

Make me useful in a war.

Take my fear and give it edges

Make me dance out on the ledges

Make me hungry (humble), make me poor

Make me useful in a war.
Track Name: Burden
In the wilderness of your childhood
You seemed to have picked up a heavy rock
You were a slow moving target anyhow
No cock of the walk

You carried that stone everywhere
From the river to the town
Across the valley to the mountains
Without the smarts to put it down

I know
You were born free
And you'll be free again

When you lay it down
Lay it down, lay it down
When you lay your burden down
You'll be free when you lay your burden down.

Every step is laboured,
Every dance looks awkward
Under the weight of what you've been carrying
It's impossible to believe
In joy, or love,
That's yours for the making
Or a harbour to rest in
For the work you're undertaking

I know
You were born free
And you'll be free again

When you lay it down
Lay it down, lay it down
When you lay your burden down
You'll be free when you lay your burden down.
Track Name: Target
The air was thick with lilac
On the day you were born
And crouching there in the corner of the birthing room, The Assassin–
Sworn to messing with your groove.

There will be times you're under fire
There will be times you're under fire
And you'll lose you faith, lose your trust
There will be times you will lock your heart away
Ah, but don't' let the pad lock rust,
Hang the chains loose.

Oh, and if you have to fall from grace,
Fall from grace with style.
You're only dying to yourself
And it's only going to be for a while,
It's only for a while.

In the midst of sweet disorder
Veiled in bricks and mortar
Standing like a coffin
For the gifted, for the fallen,
Is a monument to the broken,
To the icons who have spoken
Through the haze of drink and heroin,
Crucified from thereon in
Through paint, prayer, and poetry
And Polaroid photography
And croaking song,
From the deep, dark, hungry hollow.
Yes, at 23rd and 7th
Ghosts leave chemtrails
For you to follow.

And if you have to fall from grace,
Fall from grace with style.
It's only dying to yourself
And it's only going to be for a while,
It's only for a while.
If you have to be a target, be one,
Be one that can move.
Track Name: Lay At Your Feet
Is it so bad?
Is it not OK?
It takes more than I have
To not say
I feel like I belong
Here with my pauper's song
I want to lay the whole night long
At your feet.

I wanna lay
I wanna lay
At your feet
I wanna lay
I wanna lay
At your feet
Where the air of surrender is so thick and sweet
When I lay, when I lay at your feet.

While my child, while my child, while my child
Lay sleeping above me
And the lady that loves me
Worries the night away
It's alright, it's alright
I will be home soon
When your heart drops its' last bloom
And it lay at your feet.