Evan Greer - Never Surrender

by Evan Greer

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1.
it's been raining for a couple of days now and my dad's pond is overflowing the orange fish are at the back door the toxic flood-water is glowing and we shake our heads and get in the car forget those things we said making love under the stars stars i go back and forth daily about us-and-them and who's really to blame but i think it's pretty clear who has got the most to gain from a divided up society that's terrified of honesty and we can't discern our enemies so we give them our complicity they make beer, and we buy it they make cars, and we drive them they build walls, we just give in they build boxes that we live in they make gods for us to pray to jobs to give our days to binaries of gender but they can't have our surrender we look at the world around us and everything we see is crazy so we drink and we smoke and we watch the tv they say "don't take your life so seriously" i say this is the only way i know how to be ‘cause we need passion not fashion we need food not lawns we need action not factions we need everyone here to be singing along we need stories not glory we need friends not fans we need guitars not rock stars we need more than just loud drunk straight white male punk bands let's destroy out of love and build out of anger get our heads out of our asses and see our lives are in danger because the world as we know it is not gonna last forever and these could be the last days so lets spend them together and let's never surrender
2.
3.
mrs greer your son acts up in class he asks the questions that you're not supposed to ask mr. greer, it's pretty plain to see your son has got adhd and the doctors say he needs 30 milligrams of amphetamines (go!) when i turned eight years old they put me on the pills one to focus me at school help me follow all the rules and one to keep my tears away cuz little boys should never cry one to help me through my day one to help me sleep at night and i had so few memories of what it was like before that i took those damn pills everyday since 1994 now i recognize the system i see what they're really for i'm not giving you my money i won't take them anymore i was in the dead center of the country when i popped my final pill i sold the rest of the bottle to some kids from chicago then turned toward something new and for the first time in my life i felt at peace with who i was i couldn't wait to share the new world out there with all the people that i loved and i had so few memories of what it was like before the first week i went without them felt like i had been reborn now i recognize the system i see what they're really for i'm not giving you my money i won't take them anymore that's when i got to thinking about this society and how there's something wrong when a kid so young's put on amphetamines at first i blamed my parents then the doctors then the schools but if you wanna fight back look higher than that at the filthy frat cat with the big contract at those puppy killing labs the results come back taking science fiction and calling it fact and if it screws you up they don't give a crap cuz they can still drive home in their cadillacs making money off a game where the decks are stacked and if that's not enough it's bigger than that that's just one of this system's many attacks on you so what are we gonna do? and do i have so few memories of what it was like before that i can write this song with smoke in my lungs and a bottle on the floor? now i recognize those systems i see what they're really for i'm not giving you my money i won't buy it anymore
4.
¡ya basta! enough is enough ¡ya basta! enough is enough you ask why are we angry i say look at history the cause of all our troubles it is not a mystery there are those who's lives are easy there are those who's lives are rough now is the time for us to rise and cry out enough is enough borders enough nations enough corporate exploitation enough racist air pollution enough racist institutions. enough chains and enough cages enough starvation wages enough highways and gas stations enough control by corporations we won't take it anymore yeah, this is class war! we will fight you in the streets and we will dance on your defeat ¡ya basta! i swear to you there'll be a day when the melting pot will boil and you only bring us closer with each war you make for oil each union that you break and each ballot box you stuff brings us closer to the day when we will cry out enough is enough greedy politicians enough gender-role traditions enough hierarchies enough of living on our knees enough gouging of the planet enough destruction of the earth enough tearing of her flesh to see what the insides might be worth and all around the world the people are fighting back each day another shard of the system starts to crack in oaxaca and argentina, with our rage and with our love the people are all crying out enough is enough war and occupation enough propaganda stations enough enforced reality enough police brutality. enough nuclear arms and enough factory farms enough stolen women's choices enough silenced women's voices enough words have been said enough songs have been sung enough protests have been had enough banners have been hung we are many they are few there is so much we can do when we use what we have learned and fight them on our own terms because they need us and we don't need them it is our sweat and labor on which they all depend they need us to drive their trucks they need us to shine their crowns they need us to be the cops who beat our comrades down but what good are all their laws with no one to institute 'em and what good are all their guns if there's no one there to shoot 'em
5.
she's sittin in a bathroom stall with a marker in her hand scribbling down the words to her favorite song by her favorite band and she hopes someone will read them and maybe they'll understand how it feels to care so much it hurts to fight so hard you shake to love so intensely that it scares you to build so much that something breaks she knows that she's not the only one but sometimes it sure feels that way in a little college town in ohio so there's a song that she sings everyday i want something that's better than this. and i'm not sure exactly what it is but i think that we could build it if we try together and if we all sing... and 500 miles away, down I-70 there's a boy sitting in a room full of patches and pcp and the kids all drink the same beer and they talk about anarchy and he wonders if he's the only one who remembers what that used to mean and the punk-rock band plays on long into the night these days the girls with the empty eyes hardly even put up a fight and he watches as his friends give up and slowly start to die sticking needles in their arms because punk-rock boys never cry, and he sings and that very same night kids all across the earth felt lonely and confused frightened and unsure and we're trying to find one another through a system that keeps us apart to match the weapons that we hold in our fists with the passion that we carry in our hearts and we know it's gonna take a long time and we know that we'll fuck up along the way but i've got a feeling that we're winning as i hear more and more and more of us say
6.
02:49
what's the point of fame except to reinforce the social hierarchies we oppose what's the point of a name if it just becomes something that you drop when you feel insecure and you're not sure if everybody in the room will have heard of your band before and you're on tour and haven't seen a friend in at least a couple of days let me count the ways that i abuse the privilege granted to me by this mandolin and my white skin that bought me my first guitar everybody told me boy you're bound to be a star oh yes you are boy you're bound to be a star and like every major threat they somehow find a way to buy it they co-opt what we create while they get rich and we deny it the TV tells us there are stars and fans and there's just one way to make it follow the label's rules use the master's tools and when the big deal comes you take it you're selling hope to angry kids who think that you're the only ones who sing about what makes them sad who understand the way they feel that's just cuz your label pays for multi-colored tour posters so no one ever hears about the kids doing it for real and i'm so tired of these anarchist celebrities selling $10 shrinkwrapped CDs full of paper made from old growth trees and i know that we all have our hipocrisies this isn't about purity or punk rock points it's about taking back what's left of our ideals and trading in our egos for our dreams and if i start to act like them please call me on my shit cuz sometimes i get jealous i'll be the first one to admit i've been brainwashed all my life and now i'm trying to think for myself i think that i might need your help
7.
well my mother never told me what was right or what was wrong she never taught me to play guitar never taught me to write songs but one thing that she taught me i'll remember for all time and that's that you should never walk across a picket line oh i would never walk across a picket line solidarity forever don't mean just sometimes so long live the union! cross my heart and hope to die if I should ever walk across a picket line she took me to the factory where the workers were on strike the company had called in scabs to break the union's might my mom went to the front and she addressed those greedy swine said i dare any of you men to walk across this picket line well one of them came forward and he had something to say: no woman will stand between me and one day's pay i don't care 'bout the others i am taking what is mine and with that he tried to walk across our picket line mom called him a dirty scab and gave him two pieces of her mind she picked up and she threw every rock that she could find and when he called the cops on her she kicked his behind and said that's what you get when you walk across a union's picket line! well to this day i can remember what my mother used to say we're fighting for a better world, not just for better pay and if we stick together then we'll win this fight in time so long as we don't walk across each other's picket lines
8.
the ticketseller’s terrified he'shaunted by his dreams of half-empty trains rolling out from New Orleans and the thousands who came begging but were harshly turned away how many of them died 'cause they could not afford to pay? with three days warning all the suburbs turned to ghost towns second cars left locked in driveways while in the city people drowned because they had no escape from the fury of the sea what happened here was murder not some simple tragedy. good morning america how did you get this way? averted eyes and centuries of chains here comes the story of the hurricane thousands dead in the city by the sea murdered by our greed in new orleans if you’re black then you’re a looter if you’re white you’re finding food i ask myself what i’d have done in any of their shoes? would i have thought about my neighbors in the other part of town would i know any of their names? would i have dared to stick around? you can blame the president or you can blame the sea but they were murdered by the culture of this economy murdered by our fear and our apathy they were murdered by you they were murdered by me we lay in your bed naked and we watched it on tv as the soldiers and the cops marched past the dead bodies they were only there protecting private property i felt sickened by the sight and sickened by my memory of the miles that i’d driven and the gasoline i’d had burned of the love songs that i’d written, and the money that i’d earned how can we go on living our lives the same way?
9.
on the day all the democrats won did you sigh and say our work is done? did you feel at all angry or shocked that all your dreams could fit in a box? on the day that they took back the house did the homeless find shelter at last? was it one man who stole their dignity? or all those laws that the democrats passed? and on the day that they counted the votes did you drive your car to the polls? did you think that the wars would just end if we elected a few different men? when they told you this time things would change did you feel hopeful or mostly afraid? and what made you think it was true after the lies that the last ones told you? if you think this is how history's made that it was lincoln who freed all the slaves then why do you get out of bed if all of your heroes are dead? cuz on the day it comes tumbling down while they're weeping and stumbling around let's hope that we've built something new and that it started inside me and you cuz when the last gears have fallen to rust i'll be reaching for you through the dust there'll be no time to talk right or wrong we'll just wonder how it took so long because on the day nagasaki was bombed kids were singing this very same song
10.
06:22
these past few nights we've slept with skin warm on skin and the sirens in the hours before dawn the weak grey light too much to keep me from thinking your hand in mine enough to keep me feeling strong and if they come for us by morning with that knock knock on the door i'll hold you a little closer as they reach the second floor and if i have to give my name you know i won't be giving yours i'll run my hands through your hair and say it's them who's really scared cuz they know our love is stronger than their bars could ever be that afternoon we sat cross legged in the backyard as the smoke erased our pictures dates and names took just one match to burn this poetic evidence and just one glance to see our fear reflected in the flames and if you called me up past midnight you hear that clicking on the line? i would try to reassure you that everything is fine and if you have to give your name i know you won't be giving mine you'll run your hands through my hair and say it's them who's really scared cuz they know our love is stronger than their bars could ever be sometimes you give em hell and sometimes there's hell to pay but they know damn well that we are not going away we may be lying through our teeth but we'll still sing we are not afraid and friends i swear that i'll keep singing if they take you away when they come for us by sundown black steel glints in vacant eyes we'll shake our heads and link our arms and ask how many more must die? in defense of earth and freedom in defiance of the lies we've been fighting for so long and i just can't believe you're gone still i know our love is stronger than their guns could ever be
11.
okay it's another day get up get dressed get ready to play the game cold coffee and a new cliche it's summer outside and i'm running out of things to blame past couple of months or so i've been feeling like i'm the only one here who cares depression has a tendency to come and go think it's gone turn around and it's right there lately i've seen everybody's looking down there must be something fascinating on the ground or are we just afraid to look each other in the eye what are we afraid to find it's just a couple more weeks til the school year ends i tell myself cross the calender brush and walk out the door i'm afraid to call my friends i'm afraid to do anything at all except sit and listen to the same three bands till you know em so well you think that maybe they're the friends that you lost when you disappeared inside of yourself and traded the warmth of holding hands for cold applause i think maybe i am coming out the other side guess this means that we're all gonna be all right oh i know that this shit will all return but just think how much we've learned
12.
the view from our front porch changes every day they stack bricks on top of concrete and they haul the rest away we wake up every morning to the sound of their machines and i think i might go crazy without you lying next to me i am not ashamed of my sadness or my fear about where we are today and where we'll be in 50 years but it's you who keeps me sane who gives me hope who keeps me clear on why we should keep doing what we do even if the end is near sometimes the sunsets somewhat terrify me they're beautiful and colorful but not the way they used to be when the scariest statistics are racing through my head at least i know when you get home you'll tie me to the bed and i'll forget all about hopelessness and feel hopelessly in love for an instant i remember all the dreams i've ever had it's not escape, it's ecstasy it's never felt so right to me i have so much more hope now that there's someone here to fight with me cuz what the end has in store will be no match for you and i we're not afraid to be afraid or to just break down and cry and we may be overwhelmed but we won't be immobilized and together i think we can touch this world before we die
13.
i got drunk before the show in cleveland and i screamed through my whole set and the audience all loved it but never heard a fucking word i said there's something else that's missing here besides a string on my guitar i never would have started out back then if i thought it'd get this far oh oh oh ohio a wo oh oh ohio on my way ay ay to ann arbor and if i get there things will be fine and the greyhound smells like gasoline as it carries me away from another heart stopped beating rustbelt city u.s.a. and i can't recall a single name of the people i just met if i'm not making friends how am i making folk a threat?
14.
last year my dad got all excited about our house in massachusetts he wanted to make outside of it look real nice real nice like the other real nice houses in massachusetts so he put on a big addition and hired this young kid to come and plant lots of plants around the outside of the house dad watered them every day oh he took such good care of them it looked really nice, if you’re into that kind of thing and in the backyard a little pond by the patio and a little waterfall where the water always flowed up through a little tube in the little pond that brought the water to the top and there were even little fish, i think they were orange but then a massachusetts winter came we got about fifty feet of snow and the plants were all buried, and the pond i think it froze the fish probably died, but i’ll probably never know cuz when springtime comes i’m most likely going to louisiana or maybe pittsburgh i’m not really sure yet i’ll let you know one december morning dad and i got up real early and took the dogs down to the old sledding hill no one else was there so we left our footprints proudly in the snow and it felt just like the old days back when i was half as old oh i was not so old how did i get so old? we stood for a long time, a good long time up there on the hill while the dogs barked and ran around like they were crazy and i could hardly feel it through my big red winter jacket when dad put his arm on my shoulder and he said “look at the way the snow climbs in the trees it’s nice. it’s real real nice.” and if i were bob dylan i’d use that little story as a jumping off point to teach you all a lesson about sharing about caring about the uselessness of staring at all of the things that we collect that we call our wealth but i am not bob dylan, even though i’ve got curly hair and play the guitar and my voice is kind of whiny no i am not bob dylan, but i’m also not too sure who i am so maybe i should just shut up but while i’ve got these two chords buzzing i may as well keep talking see if i might have something to say sometimes i get so scared and i think the world is ending and you and i are the last chance we have left and other times i sit on the ground and i look at things like stars and planets and little tiny bugs and mostly i just feel small and like i shouldn’t think too much at all i definitely think too much these days what a crazy time for us to be alive
15.
04:18
i've been sittin by the train tracks i've been waiting for the train train if one doesn't come soon i don't know what i'm going to do i've got to get back home mama don't you worry cuz i'm coming home mama don't you worry cuz i'm coming home i've been sittin in the school house i've been learning right from wrong but they told me not to ramble and they told me not to sing so i have gone for to travel now i'm riding on the train train watching the country waving bye bye my guitar it has grown heavy while i've been growing thin my traveling feet are tired from all the places that i've been now i'm walking down the highway my troubles are forgotten in my footsteps the rain it starts to fall but i don't mind at all i am baptized by the roadside and i am born again now the sun is out a shining and the grass is dancing round my toes but there's nothing earth or sky like a mother's shining eyes i've got to get back home

about

This was my first full-length release with a full band. I gathered together some of my best friends and some of my favorite musicians to collaborate for a big sound that ranges from pop-punk to bluegrass.

Featuring

legendary labor singer ANNE FEENEY on harmony vocals

popular folk-rock duo EMMA'S REVOLUTION

Boston's renouned hip-hop jazz horn player AfroDZak

NYC songwriter MIMI LAVALLEY

SEAN CHAMBERLAIN of BELL's ROAR

and so many more amazing folks.

credits

released February 1, 2009

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