Prepubescent Homeless Blues

from West by The Restoration

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lyrics

[Narrator: David, 1947-1953]

Polished shoes in dress blues
My face pressed down in the dirt
They were five, I was younger
Wishing I could say it still hurt
But the nuns kept a distance
And the boys hit harder if you resisted

See, when Joe showed back up
—with us prodigal sons
Ruby looked like she'd seen a ghost
Wasn't long before we kicked off
A joint custody tour of the East coast
New York to Carolina
To Florida, Catholic military primer

We stayed with Joe in the summer
Played pilot in a rusted out plane
Got a kick in the stomach
Every time I saw the leaves change
He’d say, “remember who you are”
—and throw our asses out of the car

“Boys pack your bags again
Summer’s over and it’s time to straighten up again”
Yeah, yeah, pack it up again
Visit’s over and it’s time to fall in line again

You haven’t lived ‘til you’ve been pissed on
By a lieutenant don’t know his ABCs
He got a hundred demerits
And they saved fifty for me
You know it’s hard to be good
—when they’re tellin’ you that nobody could

Got a dishonorable discharge
A month after I turned 10
Joe chewed us out the whole ride home
Where I finally saw Ruby again
There were hugs and innuendo
Then Joe got smaller in the rear window
We had a regular family
With Ruby and some dude from up north
Interrupted occasionally when they
—disappeared to New York
So, off to Uncle Ted’s and
—another couple rotating beds

“Boys pack your bags again
Ruby’s got another audition”
Yeah, yeah, pack it up again
Ruby’s leaving for another lost weekend

I’d lay in bed and think:
I was nine years old with a rock in my hand
Hearing Joe saying “pain makes you a man”
Waiting in the moonlight for that boy to be alone
By the time he came to my boyhood was all gone

“Boys pack your bags again
Ruby’s got another audition”
Yeah, yeah, pack it up again
Ruby’s leaving for another lost weekend

credits

from West, released October 25, 2019

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The Restoration Columbia, South Carolina

We write concept albums about the American South.

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