Kissing Buddha's Daughter

by Steve Beck

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A collection of 13 amazing, fun, thought-provoking, lyric-driven, beat-supported tunes that is a must-have for all lovers of great singer-songwriter material.

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released December 23, 2011

All songs by Steven Beck

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Steve Beck Vancouver, British Columbia

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Track Name: Quite Well Known Here
Quite Well Known Here © Steven Beck 2009

Mr. So-Called Clean, you know he's got a bloody nose,
Tried to play it safe, but instead he caught a dose--
Now he's bleeding from his membranes,
His stomach hurts, his innards squirt.
He tried some herbs, they didn't work
He's feeling quite morose.
Now he's escaping town with Baudelaire
On a syphilitic horse.

She tells me I'm living in my own world.
She says it's kind of weird.
I say that's all right dear;
I'm quite well-known here

Eugene and Luigi were playing musical chairs
Waiting for Godot to let them know who put them there.
The music stopped, a chair was lost;
One fell off, the other got soft.
Now they're both flat broke and living in a loft
You can see them in the village square
Eugene grinds his organ
While Luigi dance bare.

She tells me I'm living in my own world.
She says it's kind of weird.
I say that's all right dear;
I'm quite well-known here

Every time I turn around I run into this guy
I try to side step him but he just looks me in the eye
Says what mine is yours, what's yours is mine
Then he winks and blinks, the lights go out. I'm back here one more time.

Jack, he wore a suit and tie, some call it a ball and chain.
Then one day the mirror cracked-he ain't never been the same
Went up the hill, couldn't find Jill
Came back down, gave away his crown
Went to the mall bought a burger and fries
Took 'em on an airplane flight
It rained all night the day he left
Suzannah, don't you cry.

She tells me I'm living in my own world.
She says it's kind of weird.
I say that's all right dear;
I'm quite well-known here.
Track Name: One Bad Barrel
One Bad Barrel © 2011 Steven Beck

Gonna hold you to ransom.
Gonna shoot my own foot.
Gonna cut off my nose to spite my face.
Gonna go down to the harbour, dump it all in the bay.
Make sure those fat cats win the day.
I'll do anything just to get in your way.

Chorus:
Hey, hey, what do you say?
Hey, hey, what can you say?
How do you like them apples babe?

Matches, power, gonna set the world on fire.
Push it right to the edge, toss it into a spin.
Give credit.
Credit's due.
The bankers laugh, the devil grins.
And the one who says he's willing to pull the trigger wins.

Chorus

How do you like them apples babe?
How do you like them apples babe?
How do you like them apples babe?
How do you like them apples babe?
Track Name: Duchess
Duchess © Steven Beck 2011

She works in the factory all day long,
Over a hundred still going strong.
She shimmies and shakes putting those labels on
The Duchess dances to African songs.

Forged in Toledo 1903
State of the art cast iron labelling machine.
They christened her the Duchess and painted her green,
Shipped her to Chicago to label baked beans.

Farmers left Mississippi for the northern factories,
Leaving the share crops and poverty.
Played music all night, worked the factories all day,
Taught the Duchess to sway.

They taught her the blues and then painted her the same,
Shipped her up to Canada, she headed our way.
Did a stint in the Okanogan fruit canneries
Until she became a victim of modernity.

We found her in a warehouse, neglected an unused.
Got her for a song and were happy to
Have her label our asparagus pickle jars.
She was so old and had come so far.

I'd get there in the morning about half-past five,
Plug her in, watch her come alive,
Grease her up, lube her up, tighten her belt.
Put the glue in the pot and watch it melt.

Graceland blasting on the stereo.
Feed her a jar, look at her go.
Put it in the case quick there's another on the way.
Oh the Duchess is dancing today.

Whoo hoh shake that thing.
Ohh Duchess going to make you sing.
Whoo hoh come on take a chance.
Duchess going to make you dance.
Track Name: Unknowable Blues
Unknowable Blues © Steven Beck 2010

He packed his ideas in a matchbox and headed on down the road.
Looking for something to lively up his soul.
Leaving everything he knew for the unknown.

He'd known his mother's love but he'd never been on his own
He'd known puppy love but he'd never known jelly roll.
When she kissed him in the corner, man he'd never felt like that before.

Well he loved his jelly roll; he loved his fun.
Something somewhere called to him, it kept him on the run
It wasn't fear or desire, not the father, not the son.
It was the unknowable, haunting everything he'd ever done

He knew his thoughts, but he did not know his mind;
Didn't know how people could sometimes be so unkind.
You know that finding out some things just ain't worth your time.

He travelled world around again and again,
the wind of the unknown always blowing him round the next bend.
But it was the unknowable that got him in the end.
Track Name: More Potlucks
More Potlucks © Steven Beck 2011

Met a young guy on the bus, on my way back from a gig
Looked at my guitar case and asked me what I did.
Said he didn't play, he was a dj,
And just mixed up the music that other people make.
He was kind of drunk, nostalgia setting in;
As he began to reminisce about when he was a kid.

Chorus:
He said, I was raised in a place where old hippies go to die
He said it with a smile.
There's plenty good to be said for that country life-
Lots of shared meals around the campfire at night;
Guitars, violins and more and lots of good wine.
Now I don't do that so much.
It seems the world is going to hell- what we need are more potlucks.

He grew up on an island off the Washington coast.
Back-to-the-landers mixing with the local folks.
Everyone knew everyone; everybody knew your name.
Winter night around the fire, long lazy summer days.
Friends would just stop by with instruments and food.
Only took one hat to drop to get in a party mood.

Chorus

I asked him how he came to be here
He said politics in my country's kind of weird.
This is a different kind of free
And if they start bombing North Korea
I've got a Canadian girl who'll marry me.

I suggested he invite his girl and a bunch of friends
over for a meal, maybe start a new trend
He said but they're all dj's and though I'd do my best
they'd all play their music loud at once and it would be a mess
Maybe I should think about just my girl and me;
find some hippy haven,and raise a family.

He said, I was raised in a place where old hippies are still alive.
He said it with a smile.
There's a lot of good to be said for the country life-
Lots of shared meals around the campfire at night;
guitars, violins and more and lots of good wine.
Now I don't do that so much.
It seems the world is going to hell- what we need are more potlucks.
Track Name: Glory
Glory © Steven Beck 2011

I've seen glory shining in the evening and morning sky;
I've heard silence spilling from the stars in the dark
Over valleys wide and mountains high.
I've felt the wind touch my skin,
Before blowing right thorough my insides.
Tasted the fruit of the tree, smelled the forest and the sea....
It's great to be alive.

And I remember this when I smell the piss
In a doorway in the downtown eastside.
And our governments build prisons
Instead of dealing with addictions;
The real addictions are the prisons of their minds.

I've got not much use for gods and all those gods sure don't need me.
God of east and west, of penitence
fame and advertising;
Consumerist reality TV.
Give me compassion, human dignity.
I can live with mystery.

I'm not saying that senses are all that is;
The heart knows things the senses never get.
Like how in the midst of disaster, starvation and injustice
Love and Beauty still persist.

I've seen glory shining in the evening and morning sky;
I've heard silence spilling from the stars in the dark
Over valleys wide and mountains high.
I've felt the wind touch my skin,
Before blowing right thorough my insides.
Tasted the fruit of the tree, smelled the forest and the sea....
It's great to be alive.
Track Name: Buddha's Daughter
Buddha's Daughter © Steven Beck 2011

Went to bed.
It was late; I fell awake.
Don't know dreams from higher states.
Gonna go down to the woods camp by the lake.
Take some time to meditate.
Wouldn't that be great?

Chop wood, carry water.
Making love with Buddha’s daughter.
She's the finest thing I’ve seen.
Wears orange panties; tastes like tangerine.

Came to the city
Got off the train, felt the rain
Wash the scales away from my eyes,
Penetrate the world's disguise,
To the light that shines inside.
What a grand surprise.

Chop wood, carry water.
Making love with Buddha’s daughter.
She's the finest thing I’ve seen.
Wears orange panties; tastes like tangerine.

They say mountains are mountains,
Streams are streams;
'Til you're in the world
Of Schrodinger’s uncertainty.
Open the box, take a peek, what do you see?
Mountains are mountains; streams are streams.

(What did you expect?)

Went to bed.
It was late; I fell awake.
Don't know dreams from higher states.
Gonna go down to the woods camp by the lake.
Take some time to meditate
Wouldn't that be great.

Chop wood, carry water.
Making love with Buddha’s daughter.
She's the finest thing I’ve seen.
Wears orange panties; tastes like tangerine.

Chop wood, carry water.
Making love with Buddha’s daughter.
She's the finest thing I’ve ever, ever, ever, ever seen.
Wears orange panties, tastes like tangerine.

Chop wood, carry water, making love with Buddha's daughter
Chop wood, carry water, making love with Buddha's daughter
Chop wood, carry water, making love with Buddha's daughter
She's the finest thing I've ever, ever, ever seen.
Wears orange panties; tastes like tangerine.
Track Name: The Loathsome Death of Robert Dziekanski
The Loathsome Death of Robert Dziekanski © Steven Beck 2010

Robert Dziekanski was an a Polish man,
An ordinary fellow who left his homeland
To come to our country and start a new life,
But he was killed at the airport on an October night,
Brutally tasered, left to die on the floor,
After wandering in the airport ten hours or more.
“How could this happen?” we cried.
His own very last word was “Why?”

It isn't our fault said the airport authorities.
We did what we could; we're appalled that this happened.
It isn't our fault said the border service agents.
We did what we could; we did more than the book.
It's no one's fault he was lost to the cameras;
It's no one's fault for no Polish translation;
It's no one's fault that his mother was sent home
To Kamloops, being told that he'd never arrived.
No one's to blame that he slipped through the cracks,
An invisible man.

And he died so far from home,
all alone, an unknown, in an in-between zone.
He was flying into a new life,
But he was killed before he ever arrived.

It isn't our fault said the police spokesperson
for the four cops who killed him—they were doing their duty
He didn't speak the language; he could have been a danger.
He was holding that stapler you know how that scares us.
If you weren't in their shoes well how can you judge.
Paul Pritchard's video doesn't give the whole picture.
In the first 20 seconds they had to be quick,
So they tasered him five times and knelt on his neck,
And the whole world witnessed his death.

And he died so far from home,
all alone, an unknown, in an in-between zone.
Nobody knew his name, but his two minute death
bought his bought his unfortunate fame.

It isn't our fault say the taser apologists.
Tasers don't kill; they're safer than guns.
If he didn't die the second it hit him
Then you can't say he was killed by the taser,
And he didn't die till a minute and a half later.
There's no cause and effect and they knelt on his neck.
It must have been his own damn fault; he was crazy or
Sick with a syndrome that some people have—
A syndrome that makes them die when they get tasered—
Such folks should avoid getting tasered.

And he died so far from home,
all alone, an unknown, in an in-between zone.
Nobody knew his name, but his sad loathsome death
brought our whole country to shame.

An inquiry was held to get to the truth of it;
Sixty-one days, ninety-one witnesses.
Commissioner Braidwood weighed all the evidence,
Made it official—it never should have happened.
Partly the fault of the airport authorities;
Partly the fault of the Border Services Agency,
Death largely caused by five shocks from the taser,
But mostly the fault of the four cops who killed him;
Rundel and Bentley, Robinson, Millington,
Acted despicably, lied to evade it.
Three years later they were still being paid.
Robert Dziekanski lies in his grave,
Justice denied, through justice delayed.

And he died so far from home,
all alone, an unknown, in an in-between zone.
It was his first airplane flight.
He didn't deserve to die,
And be dishonoured by police lies.
He was flying into a new life,
but he was killed before he ever arrived.
And his last word was "Why?"
Track Name: Derivatives
Derivatives © Steven Beck 2011

Over yonder, there's a man in a tower
Got some money, and what passes for power;
Flick of his wrist, the lights go out.
Crooks his baby finger and it's bye bye bank account.
He likes to gamble with other people's money,
Calls it managing his risk.
He's got pockets big enough for the whole damn government.
But things aren't really as he thinks they are,
It's all just a house of cards.

House of cards, fell so hard,
Biggest crash the world has ever seen.
The broker lost the heated seats in his limousine.
His eighty million's only worth seventy.
Somehow the king and queen fall out on top,
It's the deuce's money is lost.

Over yonder, couple of jokers in the basement.
Shouldn't be there, but they're part of the foundation.
Built an empire through people buying dreams.
Then they sliced them up and diced them up, sold them all upstream.
Everybody got greedy,
Except some folks were just trying to live a good life.
Those jokers like widespread larceny; it means everyone's got something to hide.
But the deals all stank and the whole thing sank.
Those jokers broke the bank.

House of cards, fell so hard,
Biggest crash the world has seen.
The broker lost the heated seats in his limousine.
His ninety million's only worth eighty.
Somehow the king and queen fall out on top,
It's the deuce's house is lost.

Come on government bail us out; we're too important to fail.
When the taxpayer's money's all doled out,
Make sure our bonus cheques are in the mail.
Oh yes our bonus cheques wilL be in the mail.

Everybody got greedy,
Except some folks were just trying to live a good life.
Those jokers like widespread larceny; it means everyone's got something to hide.
But the deals all stank and the whole thing sank.
Those jokers broke the bank.

House of cards, fell so hard,
Biggest crash the world has seen.
The broker lost the heated seats in his limousine.
His hundred million's only worth ninety.
Somehow the king and queen fall out on top,
It's the deuce's job is
The king and queen fall out on top,
It's the deuce's house is
The king and queen fall out on top,
It's the deuce's savings are lost.
Track Name: Gone On You
Gone On You © Steven Beck 2009

I’ve been long gone, I’ve gone long;
Gone short, and sometimes I’ve gone wrong.
Gone with the wind; gone to Carolina in my mind
Gone so far I didn't know what to do.
But I've never been gone, honey like I’m gone on you.

I've gone fishing, gone astray;
Gone walkabout. I thought i was gone to stay.
Gone to pieces, I've been gone so long it looked like home to me;
Gone to mars, gone over the moon.
But I’ve never been gone, honey like I’m gone on you.

People say I’ve gone crazy I’m so gone on you;
Like five times – pentagon on you;
Six times hexagon on you;
Seven times heptagon on you.
Eight time octagon, nine times nonagon;
It' too limited; it just won't do.
I’m a gonagon, infinitely gone on you.

I've gone wild, gone to town;
Seen what's come around, seen what has gone down.
Read the gonzo journalists; found where all the flowers have gone.
Gone to Venice, heard the gondolier's tune,
But I’ve never been gone, honey like I’m gone on you.

People say I've gone crazy I’m so gone on you;
Like five times – pentagon on you;
Six times hexagon on you;
Seven times heptagon on you.
Eight time octagon, nine times nonagon;
It's too limited; it just won't do.
I’m a gonagon, infinitely gone on you.

Gone but not forgotten
Going going going going gone
Gone missing; I’m a goner through and through.
Gone so for I didn't know what to do
'Cause I’ve never been gone, honey like I’m gone on you
Gone so for I didn't know what to do
'Cause I’ve never been gone, honey like I’m gone on you
Gone so for I didn't know what to do
'Cause I’ve never been gone, dog-gonnit like I’m gone on you.
Track Name: My Back Stair
My Back Stair © Steven Beck 2010

Mud churned up from the ocean floor, by a high wind at low tide.
Magnolias blossoming on the shore; gives me a grin I just can't hide.
Whitecaps breaking all across the bay; sailboats are in, what a ride.
Seven ships in the harbour today. Where've they been?—To the other side.

Spice ocean breezes call to me, in the morning light,
But elude me every night.
Like a black cat slipping down my back stair,
Out of sight.

Poor woman stands by the side of the road; noble face, begging eyes.
Bicycle street man struggles with his load, other's waste piled high.
Sirens echo, somebody moans. Death's taste; the alley cries.
Strangers walking all alone, making haste, just getting by,

I awaken and turn to you in the morning light,
But you leave me every night,
Like a black cat slipping down my back stair,
Out of sight.

Everywhere I go, I go for you.
There isn't anything else that I can do.
Here is where my disguise dissolves into delight.
Like that black cat slipping down my back stair, out of sight

Old man watches young women walk by, looking great in summer styles.
Young woman watches a young man's eyes; “Why are you late?” He only smiles.
Strike up the band somebody calls. Music plays in three four time.
Buildings empty, they begin to waltz, dancing late in the street tonight.

Sunset to sunrise; awake all night.
Everything is right.
Like that black cat slipping down my back stair,
Out of sight.
Track Name: String Theory
String Theory © Steven Beck 2010

I was reading a science fiction story from 1972.
These guys were trying to build two armies of simulacra
To fight the civil war anew.
You could bet on the outcome-who's gonna win at Bull Run?
Now I'm sitting on the porch in the setting sun,
Listening to the fife and drum—
That time-distant fife and drum.

I heard of a guy in Switzerland, jumps out of a plane,
With wings and rockets strapped to his back.
If at first you don't succeed, try again.
He flies through the air for five minutes or more,
Over valleys and lakes like a bird.
I'm climbing high on an alpine trail, up above Lake Lucerne,
Yeah but he's flying over Lake Lucerne.

Anything you can think of. Life's a big—what if?
What if the voice of the ghost of Florence Foster Jenkins
Cracked the arctic ice to bits?

I heard of a guy from Montreal, didn't have a lot to his name,
Except a giant red paper clip. He started making some trades.
He traded this for that and that for this.
In a year he had a house and wedded bliss.
Now he's sitting on his porch thinking—what the heck?
And wondering what comes next.
Yeah he's a-wondering what comes next.

Anything you can think of. Life's a big—what if?
What if the universe unfolds exactly as it should,
You just have to pick a vision and live?

Now we're living in the world that was in 1972.
That guy had a good imagination, but he didn't really have a clue.
There could be billions of creations, ten dimensions in a string.
The future's gonna be stranger than we can think.
I'll sit on my porch and have another drink,
Plucking on my guitar strings—
My six-dimensional guitar strings.