Hangdogs & Nightcaps

by Conor Ryan Hennessy

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1.
Oh, Henry 02:49
The other day I met an old friend, who lived a bit too long And we talked about our living, and our dying and our faults Do you remember when we robbed a town? Stole a thousand hearts What happened to us Henry? Why'd we never play the part? I see people go to work in tired faces And they always come back home, just as tired as can be And they'll look at you and smile, ask you: "why you hate your job?" And fall asleep all standing up, just dreaming through their teeth I've got brothers, and I've got sisters, who kiss the hand of god Cause it gives them loving feelings, in their aching, breaking hearts But Sepulchral men in ancient garbs, like to pull their strings And my brothers and my sisters start believing crazy things Like to love Jesus Christ before your mother Treat your neighbor like a brother, well unless of course he's gay Sure, faith of course is fine, if it helps you through your days What happened to us Henry, when's the last time that you prayed? Well you have to find a job, like you have to find a church And you gotta vote your hardest, prove to a party what your worth Buy a house, a car and animal, sure probably a dog And wonder why you hate yourself commuting to your job But the money lenders help when you're in trouble There's a percentage for your ailment, boy why you look so blue? Hell, nobody can own you, at 49%, now go and pay your landlord He pays his landlord with your rent The other day I met an old friend, who lived a bit too long And we talked about our living, and our dying and our faults And we looked around in silence to the people at the bar Amongst their mirth and laughter, knew we never did belong
2.
I ain't as stupid as they say, I quit trucking with that church I ain't taking orders from no god But if mercury's in retrograde, please don't bother calling My shaman says my chakra's might get clogged cho. I've been wandering all around, all around my troubled mind I need a firm set of rules to pass my time I need a box to climb inside of, whenever I'm misguided I need a guy to tell me how to live my life I've got an app for horoscopes, and it tells me how to cope Sometimes it tries to sell me discount shoes But that's only 'cause it's free, advertising don't work on me Why, yes, these Doc Martin's are brand new The other day I read Nietzsche, and he told me god was dead I read Freud and he told me god was dad I read the bible and some hippy kept on saying he was God There were plot holes and the ending was real sad Well my psychic raised the rent, and my yogi recommends That I buy a lamp made of Himalayan salt My Reiki Healer got her check, and the palm reader says I should buy that old book about John Galt Well, I have to think on average, we're all smarter than we're told I admit, sometimes I can get confused But it makes me mighty sad, when I see my people buying From hucksters selling yesterday's old news
3.
I hate seeing their faces, on that downtown bus Hearts aching and bleeding, they don't talk very much 'Cause the work day's upon them, or it's just passed them by Man, my people look tired, and I think I know why All them old triple deckers, despite decades of snow Stand sagging there proudly, like the Greek gods of old But unlike old Carthage, or the Colossus of Rhodes They got turned into condo's, instead of good homes cho. And the work day's upon them, or it's just passed them by Yeah, my people look tired, and I think I know why Look all around you, when you're at Faneuil Hall Once the cradle of liberty, is now just a mall With Irish themed dance clubs, light beers in their cups As small as shot glasses, seven dollars a pop Kenmore Square's just a steakhouse, Brighton Ave's a cruel joke Where the wealthy unknowing, learn to pretend to know What it's like here in Boston, they'll stay there four years When asked what it's like here, they say like the show Cheers Have you been to Dorchester? Have you seen Dudley Square? Have you heard about Chelsea? Have you smelled Malden's air? You ain't met Winthrop's sisters, but you love Fenway park Beacon Hill's just like Paris, who the hell's Lenny Clarke? I hate seeing those faces, on the that downtown bus Heart's aching and bleeding, they don't talk very much 'Cause the work day's upon them, or it's just passed them by My people look tired, and I think I know why
4.
There's a rumor going round this town, there's cars in Chandler's pond A friend of mine, he has a friend who stole them after dark In 1982 I think, or maybe '88 No it probably never happened, best forget the words were said There's a gin game down in Union Square inside a little bar I couldn't say the name of it, or tell you just how far They call me Barba Roja when I get funny in the head No it probably never happened, best forget the words were said There's a riddlist there in Harvard Square, or was it Harvard Ave? Regardless of the locale, you can hear his toothless shout "How far the cat run through the woods?" Five dollars was the bet No it probably never happened, best forget the words were said And there's a pool hall in Korea town that sells beers if you're polite The Spanish said inside that place, it isn't very nice There's lots of talk of little dogs, whenever they're upset No it probably never happened, best forget the words were said Well Revere I hear, this time of year, is quite the place to be The gals up there on Fenno street were always nice to me I found some shells up on that beach that used to carry lead No it probably never happened, best forget the words were said East Boston, Malden, Quincy boys have stories you won't believe Mattapan and Chelsea girls steal hearts from worn shirtsleeves But, commuters and the students have headphones strapped to their heads Yeah to them, it never happened, to them, the words are never said Naw, to them, it never happened, to them, the words are never said yeah, to them it never happened, to them, the words are never said
5.
I'm gunna buy me a low-rent feeling so I can understand my fellow man I'm gunna buy me a hunger-pain screaming, I can't beleive it can get this bad And I'll Instagram the whole thing, drive home to the wife and kids And now I can understand, my fellow man I'm gunna buy me a nice education, wonder why more people don't? Straight A's, yeah it's getting pretty easy, especially since I don't work And when you think about it's great, just as long as somebody pays And since I can, I can understand my fellow man My grandpa Jack had a rough upbringing, he grew up in Mattapan Back then, see the neighborhood was different He moved out when the blacks moved in And it had nothing to do with race, it's just the busing went a little too far And now we live in Wellesley and we understand our fellow man I think I know a thing or two about suffering I go to church two times a year I think I know I'm better off than the average American, but it's not my fault You see, they just don't know how to invest, it's so simple that I can't explain Cause that's how I understand my fellow That's why I get to arrest, my fellow That's why I get to tax my fellow That's why I'm against the immigration of my fellow man
6.
Well I just had breakfast, at Cafe Cheapstuff The fat old waitress says I'm cute Well I'm going down market, cause I heard about a card game I hear a lot about card games, I haven't heard about you And I can hear them church bells ringing at St. Kill-joy's Spanish service starts at 9 Yeah I'm going to my own church, the bar around the corner Laughing at the Mass Pike, as the cars go by Well I'm shaking the ashes out of my jean cuffs People shaking their asses at the Model Cafe Yeah there's good old Charlie, smoking rolled-up cigarettes 'Says they ain't addictive, he rolls em up all day And I can hear the door-man bitching 'bout the Bruins Needs another Stanley-Cup, tattoo on his hand Well he's only got the one there, hanging on his left one It's a little bit crooked, but he's a real good man Well there used to be a bar there, that we used to call Red's place He used to let house-cats run around the bar And it only got robbed once, but they put it on the TV He didn't like the attention, that was the end of Red's bar And whenever I walk home, the rats walk beside me Just like dolphins, following a friend Yeah, I don't mind much, they don't ask for handouts Laughing at the mass pike, while I'm walking to my bed If you're ever at the Cantab, there's an old bird Marcy She says I owe her money, but she's just confused She was a pioneer when it came to mixed drinks She can make a rosé, that can cure your blues First you take a house red, then you mix it with a white one Put it in a pint glass, and gin for taste Sure it ain't to pretty, but it's highly effective When you're feeling real ugly, it makes you feel OK And I can hear them church bells ringing at St. Kill-joy's Spanish service starts at 9 Yeah I'm going to my own church bar around the corner Laughing at the Mass Pike, and the cars going by
7.
Well I'm going back to the bar were I left my car last night Say hi to all the folks as I go walking by Heads all full of hammers, skulls on fire Hoping one more cigarette will get you, off my mind Cause I worry big, I think too slow, I'm hanging on I laugh to keep from crying 'round the folks I know And I ain't too good looking I'm just some sweet woman's child And ever since she's left me I've been wild, wild wild And the bar man has a book that he'd like me to read It's a thriller 'bout forensics in the '20's And the Micmac mechanic says I look like shit And I do, it's just the way my face looks, when I'm tired But you ever seen the star's even though it's hard Cause them city lights come on whenever it gets dark And all the cats and rats and street dogs look funny When you drink until everything's all funny And I guess I got a job, some of my friends don't And the bills are getting paid for I'm pretty sure And my teeth ain't to rotten, little crooked that's fine Never seemed to stop me from meeting gals at night 'Till the morning comes and work's a mean old gangster Laughing at ya like a story he just told a friend Even after cars, buses trains and airplanes Take broke down people to their homes Cause after that there really is no going home No, after that there really is no home at all There's just places were we go to get the money To pay for places were we wait to get more money And I'm going back to the bar Where I left my car last night Say hi to all the folks as I go walking by Heads all full of hammers, skulls on fire Hoping a cigarette will get you off my mind Hoping a cigarette will get you off my mind Hoping a cigarette will get you off my mind
8.
cho. Little blue crystals, all on them sidewalks Sapphires and Diamonds all shine alone But life's apricities from all antiquities Are in little blue crystals, not bands of gold There was an old man, who had his cards straight Bought a full house with diamonds flush Now he's resting, up there in Weston Up in his mansion, he'll turn to dust There was an old bird, who had a favorite song This land is your land, this land is mine She used to sing it, all by her lonesome Up there in Marblehead, until she died Take a look at rock salt, all on them sidewalks As it works together, to keep roads dry Yeah just like rock salt, we fade away my dear Don't waste you're time dear, on counting dimes
9.
I remember in December, when the students were all gone And the bars were finally left for all us loners after dark Yeah, it's awfuly big important, to remember all your life When your dreams are dead and gone, god bless, the lefties and the rights We've got good old christian ethics, we've got atheists and sinners We've got people who ain't human, we've got pets who all get triggered We've got people in big houses, teeth bleached brighter than the light When the homeless are all gone, god-bless the lefties and the rights Well a friend went to Afghanistan, and his friend went to Iraq They were given guns and armor, ammunition on their backs Only one of them came back again, with nothing beneath his thighs When he wonders why he fought, god bless the lefties and the rights When we dream about our country, it's got meadows full of green there's a bubbling brook a bubbling, rainbow trout swimming upstream When we wake up, we know better, the world's a burning by and by When the planet's stripped of love, god bless the lefties and the rights Well I wondered in a nightmare all around old Ringer Park And I found an old cheeseburger, quite half-eaten in the dark What was sitting there before me, well I couldn't believe my eyes Some rotten teeth had written god bless the lefties and the rights Now when the workday's over, and the work week not yet done For to meet my family's mortgage I work a liquor store for fun Hey at least I'm still a patriot, for that flag I'll proudly die And when I do, put on my tombstone, god bless the lefties and the rights
10.
I know lawmen, who have families and I know some us law-breakers do too Ain't it a shame that us family men Can't quite get along Ain't it a shame there ain't nothing we can do Lord, lord, ain't it a shame there ain't nothing we can do Last night I had a dream I wasn't 'fraid of them police What a lovely thought, but Jim, that ain't true Yeah a dream is just a dream, like I'm a simply human being And that's the plain and simple god-forsaken truth I know politicians find religion, I know religions have powers they can use Ain't it a shame that them power hungry, typically white old men Happen to be a pack of angry fools, lord, lord Ain't it a shame there ain't nothing we can do Last night I had a dream, church and state had between A separation that was made for me and you But a dream is just a dream, like I'm a simply human being And that's the plain and simple god-forsaken truth Sometimes I ain't good with people, and I sure ain't good at making plans But I've come to know a few things, we can all here understand Keep on drinking beer, eat your red meat, make sweet, sweet love to your lover, and to the passerby, I whole heatedly advice to show some respect to your brothers, and your sisters And if you're looking at me like "Mr. Hennessy, I'm a vegan with an allergy to beer" Well I wish you the best my friend, I only hope you have good luck, cause without at least some booze, you'll probably need it I know plenty of good people, who are just that, and plenty more who should probably be shot But it ain't up to me, it's up to us collectively To change this world by using what we've got, lord, lord We'll change this world by using what we've got, holding hands We'll change this world by using what we've got, using common sense
11.
Xanax bars, Phenergans, Klonopins and Johnnies Benzos, Percs, Buprenorphine, patches to fill the tummy Johhny's singing Clonidine like a newsboy on the corner Getting ripped as he walks the methadone mile Mass Ave's blues have fuchsia hues that come on opaque bottles 80 milligrams to make ya dance, then there's nothing 'till tomorrow The symphony has melodies, the Christian Science jerks hate doctors But you and me kid, we've got the methadone mile MIT and Newbury Street I've noticed ain't much different The cost of entry either way, was much more than I was given Designer clothes that come with holes, hey baby you can keep it Just stay away from me and the methadone mile People dream until they scream at 25 they're puppets Mouthing words they've learned in herds at work or and in college Central Square has empty stares who's names are long forgotten Who hide themselves from you on the methadone mile
12.
Sure you've got your golden thoughts, but could they ever turn a profit That's the way these winds are blowing 'round today Yeah, I've heard you sing your songs, the word were great but just all wrong That's the way these winds are blowing 'round today cho. Yeah, that's the way, the winds all blow To little people who like to loathe what they don't know yeah, that's the wind, we'll march against If only to prove you and I were friends Why don't you work much harder, there's no union here to bother That's the way these winds are blowing 'round today Why don't you like our wars, that peace-time crap is all a bore That's the way these winds are blowing 'round today There's a lot of mean old men, who don't use guns just fountain pens That's the way these winds are blowing 'round today Gutted the country in '08, sure their pension plans were paid That's the way these winds are blowing 'round today Now don't get too dismayed, the winds are changing every day That's the way these winds are blowing 'round today I have a hope that someday soon, the wind will change for me and you That's the way these winds will blow around, someday
13.
Ten years ago it must have been, or maybe one year more My good friend Sonny Clifford, found himself quite mighty bored So he built himself a banjo, and he walked down to the park And he played for anybody till the sun turned light from dark cho. When the sun sets in the west, and the stiffs have all gone home There's a gathering by the river, we named Charlie long ago Sonny Clifford's Flying Circus it's the strangest thing to see But to hear it is to know that there's still hope for you and me Well tell me old boy Clifford, were the gathering is to be By the abandoned amphitheater quite well known to you and me There's a fire-breather coming there's a lady with a snake There's some boys who are bringing bottles, that almost taste like champagne Well Don Mora sang corridos, miss Stoyovka shook her thighs Crazy Mike was giving lectures on how to correctly steal a bike Eddie the riddlist said his riddles, answers to this day unknown And when Marcy brought her wine out, she denounced us all as foes Well before the nudist comic, after the woman who spoke to god The blue-boys from the precinct snuck up on us in the fog And they asked about a permit, and we had to tell the truth: "It's a Marty Walsh fundraiser" and they joined in for a tune Well the cops got drunk and drove home, and then Marcy made her peace Some people were making noises like some feral cats in heat And we all went home with smiles, and we woke up wracked in pain I look forward to seeing you next year, when we do it all again
14.
I've No Clue 01:49
I've heard the songs young singers sing, they always preface them as sad And when asked about a reason for a song like that they'll laugh 'Say "It's fun to know that feelings can be shared 'tween me and you" And I say "I understand" but to be honest I've no clue Cause a hundred dollar jacket, well that's something new to me Never knew that cigarettes were only smoked two days a week Those two days before a Sunday, cause that's when you have your brunch Which I've discovered is just breakfast more expensive served for lunch And I heard through the grape-vine you can get yourself a date Grab a hold of any phone, like and old god's grip on fate And if you're lucky you will have a found a love that burns bright as it is new And in the morning turns to cold, and fades away like morning dew I've noticed people take an interest as to where you've gone to school And they'll ask about employment like it's the only thing you'll do And they'll sing their sad new songs, and go to work with great big smiles And I'll never understand them, hell, at least not for a while Cause I've heard the songs they'll sing, they always preface them as sad, and when asked about a reason for a song like that they'll laugh 'Say "It's fun to know that feelings can be shared 'tween me and you" And I say "I understand" but to be honest I've no clue
15.
What happened to smell the roses? I haven't a single rose to smell You know the grass is always greener, it doesn't help when you can tell In the end if you can't change, the world will help you like it will Fate she's always got a bottle, sometimes she's even got some pills cho. Well I've spent my time in this world, I lend my light to it's dark I'm here to tell you my friend, this place ain't no walk in the park But for right now here today, kid I'm alright and so are you Take your light and keep on shining bright, what else you got to lose I lost on love and won some card games Paid the rend and missed some bills Crashed some cars, and built some houses Killed myself and somehow lived And the mornings they kept coming, and the nights they passed us by I found my hopes of dying early never stopped me living life If anger makes a man, it breaks him, broke me down not long ago Never was much good a fighter, only took two punches to know Some people get their noses broken, yeah and others get much worse You're greatest failures are good stories, you'll tell em all when you get hurt We've all got brothers and we got sisters, we all got cousins, aunts and uncles We all got Grandma's and those old guys that used to beat up on our fathers Yeah, and each and every one, has felt the same since times of old Don't you quit me on your travels you've still got much more world to roam
16.
In between, two tall mountains There's a place called lonesome not sure why they call it that? I'm never lonesome and I've been there See that bird, hanging on my window-sill, he's singing whipper-will All the night through See that brook, running by my kitchen door, well it couldn't talk no more If it was you Up that tree, there's sort of a squirrel thing, sounds just like we when we were quarreling In the yard, I keep a pig or two, they stop in for dinner like you used to do I don't stand, in the need for company, when everything thing I see's talking like you See that brook, running by my kitchen door, well it couldn't talk no more, if it was you Up that tree, there's sort of a squirrel thing, sounds just like we when we were quarreling I bet you think, you left me all alone, but I can hear your voice without a telephone I don't stand in the need of company when everything I see's talking like you See that bird, hanging on my window-sill, he's singing whipper-will All the night through Just whipper-will, all the night through In between, two tall mountains there's a place called lonesome Not sure why they call it that, I'm never lonesome and I live there

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released May 15, 2019

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Conor Ryan Hennessy Boston, Massachusetts

Songwriter. Brighton, MA.

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