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GENERALS

by The Mynabirds

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03:43
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03:00
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04:05
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credits

released May 29, 2012

2012 Saddle Creek

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about

The Mynabirds Los Angeles, California

American singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn is a shape-shifter who can’t sit still. Since 2010 she’s worked under the moniker The Mynabirds, releasing three critically acclaimed and stylistically different albums on Saddle Creek: What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood (2010) and GENERALS (2012), both produced by Richard Swift, and Lovers Know (2015). ... more

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Track Name: Karma Debt
Here we are in the orchestra
A bullet in our breath
We hold our horns like credit cards
And hope to pay the rent

But when the war is done
And we’ve finished all our songs
Will they offset the colossal karma debt?

The ebony and the ivory
Talked politics again
Then they sat and chewed the scenery
Til there was nothing left

But will all their peace accords
Amount to something more or something less
Than wasted breath?

I’d give it all
For a legacy of love

Here we are in the orchestra
A bullet in our breath
We hold our horns like credit cards
And hope to pay the rent

But when the war is done
And we’ve finished all our songs
Will they offset the colossal karma debt?
Track Name: Wolf Mother
Don’t do much these days
Keep the wolves at bay
Don’t do much to ease the pain

Heaven’s hell, I say
It gets in the way
If we’re never gonna reach the top
Why would we even try?

Oh we’re tumbling down
We’re tumbling down
Cause your ideal is not mine
Yes, we’re tumbling down
We’re tumbling down
Tumbling, tumbling

I wanna know
Who lets the wolves in
And can I see him tonight
I wanna know
That man in sheepskin
Cause I owe him a fight
In the valley below
Oh a red river flows
It ain’t right
I’m gonna add him below
To that river of souls
Tonight
Track Name: Generals
I need a political job
In a blue collar town
So I can pay my rent
When the music is on
I get my best blood drawn
But I haven’t made a dollar yet

Haven’t I paid my dues yet?

Calling all my Generals
My Daughters
My Revolutionists
We got strength in numbers
And they’re gon’ to pay for it

We burn the money in our homes
Oh our books and bones
Are breaking down so fast
But they keep putting all our cash
Into the next bloodbath
Honey, tell you I am sick of it

Haven’t we paid our dues yet?

Hey all my sisters [YEAH]
What you want [LOVE]
And all my brothers [YEAH]
What you got [LOVE]
You wanna fix it [YEAH]
Or fuck it up
Come on fix it
Cause it’s been fucked

Calling all my Generals
My Daughters
My Revolutionists
We got strength in numbers
And they’re gon’ to pay

Get your black boots on
Beat your marching drum
We’re gonna make ‘em run
We’re gonna get ‘em on the run
So get your warpaint on
Let ‘em know we’re out for blood
Track Name: Radiator Sister
She’s a radiator sister
Oh boys, I’ll tell you what I mean
Her mind’s a nest of firecrackers
She needs to blow off some steam

I’ll tell you right now
You will get burned
So watch out

There’s a poison in the harbor
It’s looking deadly in the seas
And yet they’re handing out blue ribbons
To the killing companies

I’ll tell you right now
You will get burned
So watch out

Yes I’ll tell you once more
You have been warned
Oh watch out

Radiator
Radiator
Radiator
Watch out

You’re a radiator brother
You know exactly what I mean
You see ‘em dying in the breadlines
But turning profits on the street

They build the walls around each other
And keep the suburbs clean
But they cannot burn the bridges
Between you and me

I’ll tell you once more
You have been warned
Oh watch out

Yes, we’ll tell them once more
Karma comes round
Oh watch out

Radiator
Radiator
Radiator
Watch out
Track Name: Disaster
Hold on hold on hold on
Just a minute longer
I got I got your back
I promise to keep you from going under

The walls the walls caved in
And the sky came tumbling after
And the minute we thought we were out of the wreck
Came another great

Disaster, collision
All of the world is tearing at the seams
Disaster, division
What we’re turning into
I cannot say
I cannot say

The sky the sky turned black
And the sea the sea turned blacker
But I got I got your back
I promise to keep you from going under
Track Name: Mightier than the Sword
You’re not alone in anything
So listen up, my love
A tiny town can tear you down
But the right word can build you up

I know their razor blade names
Cut into your arms
And opened your veins
And you think,
There’s nothing you could do
They haven’t already done to you

It’s hard enough in your bedroom calm
To fend off the hungry birds of prey
And it’s a fresh assault when the news comes on
Another one gone today

You study the lines in his face
He looked just like you
Your story’s the same
Is there anything I could say
To make you stay

Love who you love
No matter what
No matter how hard it may come
And I promise
You’ll be loved, my love
No matter what
You’re mightier than
Their sword sharp tongues

Oh I promise
You are loved
Yes I promise
You are loved
So don’t give up

When you forget the words
I will sing them for you
When I forget the words
Will you sing them for me?
When you forget the words
I will sing them for you
Track Name: Body of Work
Before you get out I want you to know
You get so many lives in just this one
Sometimes you’re a roller
Sometimes you’re the stone
Sometimes you’re an avalanche in whole

But you can be wild horses on that hill
You can be wild horses
You can stop at will
And you will

Before you get out on your one way
I’ve got a ticket waiting for you under any name
You can be holy or a roller, oh anything
But whatever you choose — stay

Yesterday happened just exactly as it did
You can’t go back and undo it
You’re not a knot you’re not a dead end
Don’t ever forget
You’re a living thing

“Freedom is what you do with what
With what’s been done to you”

Before you lay down in this place
Remember you can see a blackbird
A thousand ways
You can be a soldier
You can be the snow
Under the boots of an army with miles to go

And you can be white horses on that hill
You can be white horses
You can carry heaven until

Yesterday happened just exactly as it did
You can’t go back and undo it
You’re not a knot you’re not a dead end
Don’t ever forget

You are a body of work — Edit it
You are electric — So sing it

“Freedom is what you do with what
With what’s been done to you”
Track Name: Disarm
My baby does so much panicking around
And lately I cannot talk her down
My love, what are you fighting for?
My love, you’ll never even the score
Cause there’s always one more

War in the waiting
War in the waiting
With your arms up
War in the waiting
War in the waiting
Give it up

My love, aren’t you tired of arguing?
My love, you won’t surrender a thing
By disarming

My baby, there’s so much panic in these days
Enemies made out of brothers down the way
My love, you and I are a siamese form
My love, so what are we fighting for?

War in the waiting
War in the waiting
With your arms up
War in the waiting
War in the waiting
Give it up

My love, I’m so tired of arguing
My love, we won’t surrender a thing
By disarming

If you can’t remember
The good in your brother
Ask another, ask another
Track Name: Buffalo Flower
So we go down to the red to the river
Dig our hands deep in the banks of the sand
Loose all the black of the souls buried there
Forgive every man

Moving uptown, gonna clear the air
Moving uptown, then we’ll go everywhere

Buffalo flower
My queen of the plains
When the bully winds
Push on your shoulder
You show them who’s king

Oh the man of the hour
Is another pretty young buck
Pinstripes and a tongue
Like a fresh cut flower
Promises sure to wither up
Oh my man, your hour’s up

So we’ll march up out the road out the valley
Build a town tall at the top of the hill
If we don’t start one foot in front of the other
We never will

Can’t change the weather
But we sure can change our shoes
Can’t change what we weather
But we can change what we do

Buffalo flower
My queen of the plains
When the bully winds
Push on your shoulder
You show them who’s king

Gonna do what I can
Right where I stand
I’m gonna do what I can
Track Name: Greatest Revenge
All along the avenues
The soldiers make their way
While lovers reap the revenue
Of a cold September day

Kiss me, darling kiss me
Like we’ll never kiss again
And love me won’t you love me
Like it’s our greatest revenge

No one knows how much it means
The pundit wars, rag magazines
Battle fronts and beauty queens
Making love in the headlines
I feel for all their progeny
How will they know what freedom means
When it’s forged to every cause and claim
On the fear assembly lines

Oh the American machine

What happened to our chivalry
Now pork is fed to the fattest beasts
And the women and the babies
Are starving on the ship
And the water’s coming in so fast
It’s hard to know how long we’ll last
When you take in more than you give back
Oh you’ll drown under the debt

Oh the American greed
Oh the American greed
It’s not me
I’m gonna give what I can

Come, come feed the promise that’s inside of me
With a little love, we’ll raise a brand new army up
Of the surest doves with the hearts that gleam like golden guns
With nothing in their arsenal but love

I’d give it all for a legacy of love