Balmville Motel

from Burying the Dead by Richard McGraw

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I always thought Chelsea Hotel #2 was one of those perfect concise songs. My re-write is neither of those things, but I like it. Andrew Spencer Goldman's (Fulton Lights) production and Jay Foote's string arrangements really take this to a new place.

lyrics

I remember you well in the Balmville Motel.
Neglecting me was what you did well.
Gave to my friends your charms without end.
And to me you gave nothing but hell.

And those were the reasons and that was
Newburgh, I was thin I was nothing I was flesh.
And you were a beast whose flesh did not cease,
for tyrants to rule slaves to say please.

And those you have saved lie still in their graves
with stories dirty and true.
Those you have hurt, well they found their worth
in stories they did not choose.
Cruelty of taste, was it my face?
Cruelty of sin, was it my skin?

I remember you well in the Balmville Motel
like the future you could not foresee.
Me unemployed in song and in void,
and you gave birth to someone like me.

I took the guitar that your father once wore
and I laid my songs down at your feet.
And what did I win, your heart without skin?
Is that something you’d feed to boys who say please?

And those you have saved lie still in their graves
with stories dirty and true.
Those that you hurt well they found their worth
in stories they did not choose.
Cruelty of taste, was it my face?
Cruelty of sin, was my body too thin?

I’ve been focusing well on the things I must sell.
After ten years you learn to be fierce.
Like an old Balmville tree you might never see
me. And after thirty or more we’ll be no more.

credits

from Burying the Dead, released January 15, 2010

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Richard McGraw Jacksonville, Florida

A record on Leonard Cohen's kitchen table and one in Lou Reed's hands.

A few loyal devotees have kept this man's art afloat for over 20 years.

"He is an unknown legend in his time."
-Neil Young
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