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A River of Light  

A river of light cuts through the night 
How deep the depths, how high the flight 
Reclaim your life by losing all you've kept 
There's a ladder to climb one rung at a time 
There's a path to follow however it winds 
A thousand miles start with a single step 

You may be workin' one day, baggin' burgers for pay 
When a voice on the squawk box has this to say 
"How long you gonna be hypnotized, my friend?" 
And you look 'round and stare 'cause no one is there 
You don't see a car, only thin air 
But all at once you know you've reached the end 

"The old way is dead" — that's what the voice said —
"The moon is blue, the sea blood red 
Remember what you long ago forswore 
A pawn must push on to be more than a pawn 
You've lived like a chick, now become a swan 
Do once again what has never been done before" 

[repeat] A river of light cuts through the night 

The Queen of Swords stands by the door 
Wind and water don't dance no more 
The King of Wands is waiting at the gate 
Fortune and Death both hold their breath 
But you know there's no time left 
It must be now or forever be too late 

So throw down your hat and pick up your crown 
Become a verb, stop being a noun 
Put on your boots and head on out the door 
Just follow your nose wherever it goes 
Keep on goin' through rain, sleet or snow 
What else do you think you are livin' for? 

[repeat] A river of light cuts through the night 

A voice from the blue is calling to you 
It only tells you things that are true 
Hear it and heed what it has to say 
Don't try to flee from what you may be 
Even if nobody else can see 
There's more to life than a shabby shadow play 

A river of light cuts through the night 
How deep the depths, how high the flight 
Reclaim your life by losing all you've kept 
There's a ladder to climb one rung at a time 
There's a path to follow however it winds 
A thousand miles start with a single step

- lyrics by Alexei Panshin, music by Joshua Wachtel

Josh Wachtel - vocals and acoustic guitar
Kim Wachtel - vocals and shaker
Ben Wachtel - keyboards

Mardi Gras  

Hey there Mardi Gras
Remember what you saw
The other night before
  You said you were invited
  You were so excited

Hey there Mardi Gras
Pick it up a little more
Get your feet up off the floor
   Then you'll be flying
   All the stars are crying

Hey there Mardi Gras
Take it out and put it on
Sing the dance of the swan
   Then you'll be sailing
   All the whales are wailing

Hey there Mardi Gras
Throw you mask out on the floor
Show 'em what you're fighting for
   The memories are fading
   The skies are cascading

Hey there Mardi Gras
Remember what you saw
The other night before
   You said you were invited
   You said that you were frightened
   But you said you liked it

- music and lyrics by Joshua Wachtel

Kim Wachtel, vocals
Josh Wachtel, guitar
Dave Christopolis, bass
Sturgis Cunningham, drums

Coup D'Etat  

A song about the life cycle of dictators

Triumphantly you mount your steed 
  And parade the boulevard 
The trumpets sound and flowers fly 
  It's the changing of the guard 

Men strew your path with gifts of gold 
  As they pledge their loyalty 
The table's set and the feast begins 
  To celebrate your destiny 

You're the chief now and your enemy died hard
The judge wipes a dagger on his cloak 
Your hands are clean but smoke still lingers in the air 
And liars laugh before you tell your joke 

 

You wave your fist and pledge reform 
  But you give stale bread to eat 
While your mistress soaks in a golden bath 
  Men and dogs patrol the street 

Your mustache and your happy grin 
  Adorn ev'ry school and bar 
But you spend each night in a diff'rent house 
  And need a fleet of decoy cars 

You wear medals just like you Dad before 
He killed a million people in his time 
Graves in the highlands and corpses in the sea 
He never paid a minute for his crime 

 

The wind whispers of a coup  d'etat 
  And you feel a sudden chill 
The stolen ballots have now been found 
  There's guerillas in the hills 

The time has come to wave the flag 
  And send the troops off to war 
But the walls close in and you can't trust 
  Your own brother any more 

The hour is near when the piper must be pad 
The sky is gray and it looks like rain 
The lights are out and your bags are packed 
The plane awaits but will you make the plane? 

-- Joshua Wachtel and Alexei Panshin