Fish from the Sky

by E.G. Phillips

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    Decorated with whimsical acrylic paintings inspired by the lyrics of the "The Fish Song" combined with with E.G.'s "Ducks With Pants" "theme" and accompanied with an illustrated lyric booklet, this CD and its packaging are a reminder as to what's been lost in the digital age -- a chance to create something that is artful, expressive and also tangible to go along with the music we create.

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about

This album, my first, is a motley collection of songs I've written and performed over the years while living in San Francisco and haunting the various open mic venues in coffee houses and bars that the city makes available. "Eclectic" is probably the catch all word. "Whimsical" is a close second. There are elements of rock, jazz and folk blended into the mix, but of all the words in the world that I'm interested in using in any particular context, the genre ones for music are pretty far down the list. Duke Ellington said "If it sounds good, it is good." Sound advice, that.

Below are some more words I wrote for the CD booklet:

Somewhere along the line I was sitting in Bazaar Cafe one evening during the open mic at a table (the one behind the ledge supporting the collection of toy dinosaurs) with Shawn Byron as we awaited our turns up front. For reasons lost to memory, vaudevillian Joe Penner’s catchphrase “wanna buy a duck?” sprung to mind — the success of which rested largely on the inherent but inexplicable funniness of the word “duck” — and I thought about the potential power of combining inherently funny words. “Pants” seemed like an obvious candidate for this experiment, based on a meme floating around the Internet some years prior (back before memes were even a thing, really). So I proceeded to amuse myself drawing little sketches in my notebook of ducks and pants in various absurd combinations and then showing them to Shawn to provoke some laughter on his part, undoubtedly to the consternation of whoever was performing. This is likely as good an insight as any that I can offer into the well from which this motley menagerie of songs I’ve written and performed over the years ultimately springs.

- E.G. Phillips

credits

released February 7, 2017

E.G. Phillips - vocals, acoustic guitar
Ryan Clark - drums, electric bass, vocals
Brendan Getzell - keyboards, vocals
Rory Cloud - lead guitar
Matthew DePasquale - trumpet
Shawn Byron - accordion, vocals, whistling
Maya Hall - vocals
Adam Thompson - upright bass

produced and recorded by Ryan Clark
mixing, mastering and drum engineering by Steven Glaze at Tone Freq
artwork by E.G. Phillips, design by Joshua Johnson www.joshings.com

all music and lyrics by E.G. Phillips (ASCAP)
© 2017 E.G. Phillips / Ducks With Pants Music, all rights reserved

www.duckswithpants.com


Thank you to the talented individuals that participated in the process of creating this work for their dedication, patience and guidance, especially Ryan who embraced the music wholeheartedly • to the staff and patrons of Bazaar Cafe, Cafe International, the Hotel Utah, and Doc’s Lab as well as the open mic hosts Josh, Clyde, Brendan, and KC — and of course Les • to the folks at Balanced Breakfast and the SF music community in general • to all EGPhest’s performers for the love you gave my songs • to Sarah and Elz for clamoring for “Sugar Mama” • to Balaji who’d occasionally gleefully sing the refrain to “The Richmond Line” back me • to anyone who came up to me after a set and told me they liked my songs • to Jon Willeke, Gina Harris, Brent Shinn and Anthony Ty • to Melissa for worrying that the dishes were clean • to Maya for her beautiful voice • to Vaughn Wilkins for also being in the mix • to Mr. Dylan, Mr. Ellington and Mr. Lehrer and all those other influences • to San Francisco, chilly as you may be at times • to MUNI and BART • to all those that served as inspiration for these songs, even if you don’t know it — apologies and condolences as well

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Track Name: Tall Girls In Love
Betsy Ann can’t find dresses
In her size
None of the boys will dance with her
‘Cause of her height

CHORUS:
But when she’s with me
Even I can see
Tall Girls Also Fall In Love

The boys are intimidated
They hafta look up to see her eyes
She gets tired of their excuses
And their little white lies

[CHORUS, break, CHORUS]

People give me a hard time
‘Cause of my heavy sighs…
Can’t seem to hold a conversation
No matter how hard I try

But when she’s with me
Even I’ll concede
Shy Boys Might Just Fall In Love
With you…
Track Name: Sett'n My Own Pace
2. Sett’n My Own Pace
I’ve got no obligations
And nothing on my plate
I can jump the gun
Or be late out the gate
Forget touching base
Let them keep their rat race
I’ll face my isolation
As something to embrace

CHORUS:
I’m Sett’n My Own Pace
I can walk with grace
Or I can schlep
I’m Sett’n My Own Pace
I’m in a one-man band
Not a string quartet
I’m Sett’n My Own Pace
There’s no one else to motivate and
There’s no one to impress

I’ve got no one to placate
And there’s no one I need to please
There’s nothing to negotiate —
I’m free as the breeze
I’m nobody’s bellwether
And nobody’s black sheep
I’m not henpecked or hogtied
Or made to beg upon my knees

[CHORUS]

I do wish it could be a duet
Have someone to keep up with
But for some reason
That hasn’t happened yet
I must to maintain my stride
Nonetheless

I awake in Marrakesh where I’ve
Booked a room with a kitchenette
I hear the call to prayer,
Echoing from the minarets
Oh no, I’ve slept all day —
Oh well… So what?
That's okay with me and
I'm the one who calls the shots!

[CHORUS]
Track Name: The Richmond Line
Wake up late
Still I gotta try to catch the Express
But I know it’s gone
Before I’m even dressed

It doesn’t really matter all that much
That bus never gets downtown on time
Always seems
Just to miss
The Richmond Line

So it’s the 38
Go down Divis on the 24
Caught the Limited
But I had to fight my way onboard

The driver, he’s shouting
“Move on back”
But no one pays him any mind
All this work
Just to catch
The Richmond Line

Get downtown
Hop off between 3rd and Montgomery
Swim up stream, through the crowds
All them people want to go
Some other way

Stick in my ticket, run down the stairs
See two red lights from behind
Always seem
Just to miss
The Richmond Line
Track Name: Sunday Is Made for Loving
Sunday is made for loving
My dear — Some say
The day is holy
Well, it does make me feel whole

But I don't go
To a church
And sit in some pew

Instead I spend
All morning in bed
Making love with you

One day we won't be together
I fear — It’s clear
Our love has limits
And this must come to an end

It's not enough
I need more
It's hard to explain

It's just not fair
To keep you here
So I’m gonna have to cause some pain

Years pass, I learn she's in Alaska
With child — Meanwhile
I've felt so guilty
And things don’t seem to work out

Here all along,
I thought I’d done her a wrong
It's me I haven't spared
Love might be blind
But just one time
I’d like it not to be impaired

Sunday is made for loving
My dear — Some say
The day is holy
Well I do feel a slight hole
Track Name: I Need a Sugar Mama
I Need a Sugar Mama
To take care of me
And if I had a sugar mama
Life would be so sweet

Yeah a nice old sugar mama
That would be a treat
Some high class spendthrift biddy
That’d be right about my speed

Because when it comes down to it
Love’s not what I need
I just need to be taken care of
So I can do as I please

I need a Sugar Mama
Oh, honey please
I gots myself a real sweet tooth
That I gots to feed

Because when it comes down to it
Love’s not what I need
Just give me a short bread cookie
To go with my coffee

Because when it comes down to it
Love’s not what I need
I want to take a bite
Of a nice ripe peach

I’ll take a hot vanilla
And a chocolate biscotti
But I really need my Sugar Mama
I really want my sweets

I Need a Sugar Mama
To take care of me
And if I had a sugar mama
Life would be so sweet

Life would be so sweet
Life would be so sweet…
Track Name: Girls Who Don't Get the City
She shops union square
Once tried Folsom Street Fair
Since then she’s never ventured south
Of Market Street

Confuses Bush with Pine
Likes pier 39
And some mediocre Italian joint
In North Beach

Some Girls Just Don’t Get The City

She tours Alcatraz
And she has to have
A little red buddha and some
Finger cuffs

Rides cable cars
Crawls Marina bars
She thinks it’s so weird that
It’s pronounced “Goff”

Some Girls Just Don’t Get The City

Those that do
Just won’t seem to do
Why couldn’t you
Just get the city?

[break]

Some Girls Just Don’t Get The City

Those that do
Just won’t seem to do
Why couldn’t you
Just get the city?

Uber down JFK
Tea garden, beach chalet
Never realized how much there was
In between

It’s Its, Three Twins
Bi-Rite and Smitten
But Ben and Jerry’s at
Haight and Ashbury?

Some Girls Just Don’t Get The City
Some Girls Just Don’t Get The City
Some Girls Just Don’t Get The City
Track Name: The Mystery and Milieu of You
Scraping fingertips
Along grooves of grout
On a brick wall
I’m dancing with
The shadow of a doubt
As dusk falls
Sashaying back and forth through
The Mystery and Milieu of You

Pedaling so hard
Down the Great Highway
Towards the Sunset
To Skyline Boulevard
Or some place untinged
By regret
Or should I swerve right into
The Mystery and Milieu of You?

Take the ferry
To Angel Island
Then Tiburon
Might as well be
Out on the windswept
Faralons
Can’t seem to solve or improve
The Mystery and Milieu of You

Scraping fingertips
Along grooves of grout
On a brick wall
I’m dancing with
The shadow of a doubt
As dusk falls
Sashaying back and forth through
The Mystery and Milieu of You
Track Name: The Fish Song
They'll try ‘n cram platitudes in a man
Just jam 'em in — he's a tuna can
Like "There are many fish in the sea" ‘n
”God has touched each grain of sand"

Well, it sounds to me like someone has
Too much time on His hands
And I don't want to have to spend
All my life as a fisherman


If I catch a fish, should I
Draw her from her waters?
Watch her flop about my deck,
Before I cut and gut her?

Cook her up in olive oil
And serve her up for supper?
And once I have consumed her,
I should have to catch another?


Soon the seas shall be empty
For all men will go fishing
Until appetites are satisfied
And that's just wishful thinking

They're polluting all our rivers
With their lines and constant angling
They'll cast a net around the world
That's as choking as entangling


If you feed a man a fish,
You'll fill his belly for a night
But if you teach a man to fish,
He's famished but he's occupied

Me, I’m so sick of baiting hooks
With fancy lures and worms and flies
I'd rather sail on aimless-like
And hope that fish fall from the sky


Perhaps I ought to dry my skin
'Til it flakes and scales
Shed my forelimbs for some fins
And spin myself a tail

Hold my breath ‘til I develop gills
Or the blowhole of a whale
Then I can make some plans
To join all those fish in the sea…

…if they'll have me
Track Name: Lover for a Day
Lover for a day
Lover for an hour
Lovers through out the night
Lover's in the shower
Lover in a field of wheat
Lover picking flowers
Lover who loves her sweets
Lover whose love's turned sour

Lover of the moment… Lover of my life
Love her in an instant… Lover becomes a wife

Love her to the bone
Lovers in the marrow
Lover turned to stone
Lover's lost her sparrow
Lover in a picture
Lover in a tower
Lover with her liquor
Lover whom I'll devour

Lovers in the heat… Lover in the cold
Lover I've yet to meet… Lover who's grown old

Lover of the moment… Lover of my life
Love her in an instant… Lover becomes a wife

Lover in the parking lot
Lover on the bus
Lover kept a secret
Lover we don't discuss
Track Name: The Light in Sylvia's Window
I don’t have a star
To navigate by sky
But I have a light
On which I feel I can rely
Its source is not the sun
Nor the force behind the tides
It’s just a humble lamp
In the house where she resides

And when it’s late
And I get home
I know she’s up
And on the phone

But it is past the hour
I can knock upon her door
So I must be content with the
Light In Her Window

She is like a child
Full of mischief and delight
And she is like sage
Or perhaps rosemary with insight
She feeds me shish-kabobs
And gives me lots to drink
She’s the one I love,
But I can’t let her know what I think

And when it’s late
And I get home
I know she’s up
And on the phone

But it is past the hour
I can knock upon her door
So I must be content with the
Light In Her Window

And now it’s dark
And she’s not home
She’s been gone so long
I feel alone

But it is not my place
To ask her where it is she goes
Still I keep an eye out for that
Light In Her Window

I don’t have a star
To navigate by sky
But I have a light
On which I think I’ll keep an eye
The source is not the sun
Nor the force behind the tides
It’s just a humble lamp
In the house where she resides

The light in her window…