This City

by John Pippus

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    "This City" in jewel case. Album design by Five Stones Creative.

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about

Stuart Derdeyn, Province newspaper music critic says:
"This disc is varied and impressive. Pippus is a refined tunesmith with serious pop hooks."

Shelley Gummeson, Earshot music critic says: "It's beautifully raw and makes you feel like you're eavesdropping. Throughout these songs there weaves the smooth and expressive guitar playing of John Pippus."

Soundproof Magazine calls "This City" "...a folk roots gem".

credits

released June 6, 2009

Album design and photos: Allan Wong at Five Stones Creative
Mastered by: Dwayne Harder

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about

John Pippus Vancouver

"He has a gift for making us believe that he's been down the road and around the block, and is still kickin' it.” Shelley Gummeson, Earshot Magazine,

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Track Name: Some Days
Circling, looking for a place to land
Safe harbour from the coming storm
Forget about the scenery
Does the weight of it all
Make you feel small?

Some days – you don’t feel safe in your own skin
Some days – you’re back to being brave again
Some days – you close your eyes and then
Breathe the morning in and it’s another day

Fell hard on your innocence
Betrayed by what you thought was true
It left no mark, you see no scar
Does your memory
Tell you how it will be?

Some days – you feel the sun upon your skin
Some days – it’s like you’ll never win
Some days - you close your eyes and then
Imagine the world on another day

It’s just the way that it is
The way that it goes
The laughter and the pain
That everybody knows
There’s no shame in this
It’s the price of being here
We smile and we know
We'll get beyond the tears

Some days – you don’t feel safe in your own skin
Some days - you’re back to being brave again
Some days – you close your eyes and then
Breathe the morning in and it’s another day
Another day
Another day
Track Name: My First Mistake
There’s poison in the water
And the air ain’t fit to breathe
There are changes in the seasons
All the prophets can agree
Man is so resilient
Always finding something new
I read it in the papers
So I guess it must be true
I can see now
That was my first mistake

Barbed wire at the borders
Cannot keep the hungry out
The line of least resistance
Leaves our future in some doubt
Wars are coming steady now
The marches and parades
I only followed orders
I admit I was afraid
I can see now
That was my first mistake

Lying in my bedroom
With the tv on
Watch the world imploding
We waited far too long
Fifty ‘keys’ of rations
And a loaded ‘44
Is going to have to hold me
There’s a pounding on the door
I can see now
It was my first mistake

I can see now
It was my first mistake
Track Name: Sweet Regret
Many words are spoken
To help us forget
The chances we’ve been given
And let slip through our grip
But my life’s not over
No I'm not done yet
There’s still a little time
For sweet regret

My first was Suzanne
With her long brown hair
I asked her if she dyed it
Coming up for air
It was so long ago
Funny how we met
And when I think about her
I have sweet regret

Life is made of moments
Some better than the rest
Hold her in your arms
Tell her what you love best

My conscience is not in the clear
I’ve made my mistakes
And been the cause of too much tears
When I couldn’t find the brakes
But when it comes to living
I got my feet wet
And when the party’s over
I’ll have sweet regret
Track Name: Oh Oh Oh (with Nat Jay)
One and one is two
And that is something that I know is true
Are you lonely? Miss me only?
Maybe you and I should sing

Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh

Hear you laughing, see you smiling
That’s the love I see in you
It’s enough to make me realize
You’re the only one I need

Oh oh oh oh oh….

Eighty miles to Portland
Got Hank Williams whining low
Half my life’s spent in this rig
That’s one more thing I know

Ordinary’s not the way
I want my precious life to be
Diamond oceans, Spanish sunsets
Making angels in the snow

I want to do everything in this world with you
I want to spend my whole life with you
Oh oh oh oh oh

Are you waiting at your table?
With the light on, patiently
Will you open up your door?
And let your love fall down on me

Oh mama, oh mama, oh mama oh
Oh oh oh oh oh
Track Name: Doing It For Us
I’ve got to get direction
I’ve got to take you on
Not hide behind the details
Of who was right and who was wrong
I’m going to be a better man
But not because you said
I’m doing it for us instead

I’ll give up half the drinking
But not the necessary lies
I’ll show you where my heart is
And I’ll look you in the eyes
I’m going to be a stronger man
But not because you said
I’m doing it for us instead

Your silence tells me more than I need to know
If I call I’m scared you won’t pick up the phone

I’m going to be a wiser man
But not because you said
I’m doing it for us instead

I fill all my notebooks
With these fevered, scattered lines
While you fill all my waking moments
And my distracted mind
Not going to be a Superman
Just going to be myself
I’m doing it for us instead
Track Name: Inside And Out
I find traces of you
Scattered through my life
In every corner of my room
I see you
On every inch of my body
I feel you
Inside and out

You don’t think about me
You just take what you want
I would rather be left alone
Than left lonely
On every inch of my soul
I feel you
Inside and out

We know ancient evenings
And distant music too
Love teases and leaves us alone

I travel the length of your body
Kiss every scar
I can taste you even
When we’re apart
On every inch of my body
I feel you
Inside and out

On every inch of my soul
I feel you
Inside and out
Track Name: Going Away
4:09 in the morning
Hits without warning
There are things I could’ve done differently
But sooner or later
I’m going away from this place

I’m pulling for the government
To finally face the news
When you’re organized and want it bad enough
There’s a lot of good you can do
Sooner or later
We’re going away from this place

And it’s one-two-three
No one dancing here but me
Sooner or later
Going away from this place

Sometimes I’m shaking with confidence
Counting all the stars in the sky
I feel so lucky I never want to die
But sooner or later
I’m going away from this place

We are paper millionaires
Driving in our cars
Contemplating Jesus but never getting too far
Sooner or later
We’re going away from this place

And it’s one-two-three
Are you dancing here with me?
Sooner or later
We’re going away from this place
Hardly leave a trace
Sooner or later
We’re going away from this place
Track Name: The Ending
One of you is lying
One of you don’t care
You say that you don’t notice it
But there’s sadness in the air

You’re all alone now
I can see a tear
It’s the ending that you fear
It’s the ending that you fear

You hear the empty sirens
The ladder doesn’t reach
You’re caught up in your scary tale
There’s no one to impeach

You’re all alone now
There’s nothing for you here
It’s the ending that you fear
It’s the ending that you fear

Why not take another step?
You don’t have to walk in chains
You can gather up small miracles
And give them back again

It’s too late for “sorry”
Trust has disappeared
You’re standing in a hurricane
Voices howling in your ears

You’re all alone now
I can see a tear
It’s the ending that you fear
It’s the ending that you fear
It’s the ending that you fear
Track Name: Little Things
There was a night so dark
I could hardly see
You talked to me awhile
Showed me what could be

Little things can mean so much
Like a smile or a touch
Little things can mean so much

There was a time I didn’t care
It was a long and lonely road
Then I found another way
Reflecting kindness shown

Little things can do so much
I’d be lost without your touch
Little things can do so much

Insulated from each other
Standing in a line
We could get a little closer
If we had the mind

Hiding in our shells
Hungry for a glance
We live our lives so carefully
When we would rather dance

Little things can say so much
I’m a fool for your touch
Little things can say so much
Track Name: Yes We Can (Dream)
It’s a complicated world
There’s no one like us
We’re the only animal that makes such a fuss
We got WMDs and Toys ‘R Us
Endless strip malls
Kids named Gus
Life is ‘leethal’ or ‘lethal’
There’s not much choice
Just something to talk about to hear your own voice
Why don’t we make war a ritual, a virtual game
Put the generals in a ring
To the winner goes fame

Chorus, then audio sample ‘I say to you, yes we can’

Sometimes it feels
Like all the songs have been sung
The lights blink off, my work is done
People stay home, afraid to go out
They leave the TV on
They text instead of shout
And dance and sing
And argue and make love
We’ve got a choice, a voice
A chance to be real
But you gotta get up
You gotta feel

Chorus, with audio sample

Forget about tribes, the ‘other’, us and them
The divide that keeps us apart
Find out for yourself
One world, one fight
One world, one fight
Against injustice and hate and mindless greed
Leaders can’t change us
They can just plant the seed
Track Name: Her Love's A Mystery
She is sweet as the morning
Straight up like a deputy
But she’s solo and lonesome
And waiting for someone
Oh lord could it be me?

She can’t conceive of finding happiness
Why can’t she just be free?
I’m dying to know her
But her love’s a mystery

She is lost in the city
Looking for a friend
But the road that she travels
Is so long and narrow
And she’s hardly been around

If only she could see I’m waiting here so patiently
Holding out this well worn crown
I’m dying to hold her
But her love’s a mystery

She is sweet as the morning
Straight up like a deputy
And she’s finding her own way
Staying clear of the cliché
Of an ordinary life

Who would she be if she had never left her family?
She’s dancing to her own familiar song
I’m dying to hold her
But her love’s a mystery
Track Name: Don't Want To Think About That
I’m trying to write a song alone again
I got some chords, some words, an end
But I’m two parts kinda lazy
And one part kinda mean
No I don’t want to think about that

There’s a girl and there’s a boy in love they say
But he thinks about another when he’s away
And she’s lonesome for someone she’s only dreamed
No I don’t want to think about that
No I don’t want to think about that

How can you know it’s time to go?
You can work it out they always say

Love is so fleeting, love is so fair
I reach for the touch of your hand
But I'm falling through air

I’m trying to write a song alone again
I got some time, new strings to bend
But I’m two parts kinda lazy
And one part kinda mean
No I don’t want to think about that
No I don’t want to think about that
Track Name: This City
I moved to the city to leave my past behind
Got caught up paying bills, worn down by the daily grind
I can’t find an honest face with a soul like mine
This city ain’t no friend of mine

I dropped in here like a paratrooper from a plane
I stopped in here like a stranger down from a train
I can’t find an open hand to save my life
This city ain’t no friend of mine

Looking for an answer, turning over stones
Going to carve my fate with my two hands alone
Living in a place where shadows pass me by
This city ain’t no friend of mine

Seven crows around my head whispering my name
Too much time in a basement room driving me insane
How much can one heart stand?
This city ain’t been no good friend of mine
This city ain’t been no friend of mine
This city ain’t been no friend of mine