The Arsonists

by Mark Lenover

supported by
Gary Lines
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Gary Lines I downloaded this album last thing at night and thought: 'Just have a quick listen before bed.' Three hours later and I was still listening. Then, after I had finally slept and gotten up once more, I started listening again . . . Favorite track: Cash Out Spiritual on the Corner of 5th and Falling.
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released September 28, 2012

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Mark Lenover Hamilton, Ontario

Through a distinctive fusion of folk, rock, theatre and electronica, Mark Lenover critically examines pop culture’s ubiquitous influence, its moral philosophy and the potentially devastating effects of drug abuse and mental illness. His recent work frequently challenges an increasingly pervasive culture of celebrity, self-indulgence, distraction and desire.
Mark currently lives in Chatham, ON.
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Track Name: The Least of These
We finished him down by the water
where the sand and the undergrowth meet
We buried him down by the water
on his knees
When a thief in the night finally caught him
as he crept like a ghost across the water
on perfumed feet
The least of these...
I caught quick glimpses of hell as we kicked him
and he passed on with a prayer and a wink
And though he told us we'd shown him the devil
he never blinked
Now he stands in the promised land
and he's calling the crows to heel
He's picking nails out of his invisible hands
as he lowers his head and kneels
Now he stands in the promised land
and he's wrenching me from my sleep
as a rotting apparition underneath the sand
whispers promises up to me:
“Oh brother, my pain will soon be yours.”
Track Name: Once I Was a Lion Tamer
Once I was a lion tamer
Once I was a guest of honour
but the lions turned to dogs
and the honour turned to fog
over the kitchen table

Once I was a great endeavour
Once I was a prized embezzler
but the greatness soon wore off
and the neighbours called the cops
in a fit of conscience

Once I was an entertainer
Once I was a friend to favour
but the clapping turned to rot
staining each and every cot
at the local shelter

Once I was a lion tamer
Once I was a guest of honour
but the lions turned to dogs
and the honour turned to fog
over the kitchen table
Stand if you're able
Track Name: Please Pray For Baby Cain (Part II)
Go soak up the vomit and bring out the beer
Put your eyes to the floor and pretend you're not here
No, you'd better not twitch with that gun at your ear
Daddy's coming home

Creep down the hallway, put your sisters to bed
take each pillow from underneath their heads
'cause if he comes to catch them, they'll be better off dead
Daddy's coming home
Track Name: The End of a Rope
She'd dance on the backs of the mules in the road
She'd dance on the scraps and the stones that we'd throw
She'd throw back her head, and she'd swallow the bones
She danced with the things that she cared about most
So time and time and time again
she danced at the end of a rope

One day we all found her frozen to the road
her eyes, painted porcelain buried in stone
She answered her echoes and died from the cold
She died with the one who had loved her the most
So time and time and time again
she danced at the end of a rope
Track Name: Leave the Lights On
Back when the snakes were still biting at his heels
he'd wake up every morning with the shakes and the chills
He'd say, “Leave the lights on! Leave the lights on! It's dark enough as it is.”

He never grew accustomed to the burns and the pills
and the towering, boney shadows perched like gargoyles on stilts
He said, “Leave the lights on! Leave the lights on! It's dark enough as it is.”

He'd concentrate on the bleached white walls
and the bed would begin to shake
and the ghosts would come to the evil ones
and the fear came in waves

Send up a prayer for the wicked at heart
but don't run out among them or they'll tear you apart
always leave the lights on
leave the lights on
It's dark enough as it is
Track Name: In the Name Of
We are not preoccupied with honourable ministers
malicious public butchery, the violence never stops.
Although our likenesses are marked only
by some policeman's symmetry
It still remains a mystery, how dead men learn to talk
It still remains a mystery, how dead men learn to talk

Although we're fastened tightly to each other, drowning in the rain
we're all bloody, vicious murderers who each and every day
take great pride in cold civility and marvel so incredulously
at our noble ability to dig enormous graves
at our noble ability to dig enormous graves

We've come to check the list
to claim the dead in the name of
the jabbering, white collar monarchy
We've come to check the list
to claim the dead in the name of...
Track Name: We Crush Little Bones in the Dust
When your mother calls, let her in
When your father calls, do what he says
When your mother calls, take her hand
and when your father calls, go with him
'Cause we crush little bones in the dust
We crush little bones in the dust
No, you don't want to fuck with us
'Cause we crush little bones in the dust

When your mother calls, let her in (You'll be safe in here)
When your father calls, do what he says (You will be safe in here)
When your mother calls, take her hand (You will be safe in here)
and when your father calls, go with him (You will be safe in here)
'Cause we crush little bones in the dust
We crush little bones in the dust
No, you don't want to fuck with us
'Cause we crush little bones in the dust
Track Name: Fury and the Mouse (Arsonists Part II)
Fury and the mouse have reached an old compromise
one crawls while the other flies
throwing bricks and bottles toward the road
'Cause somebody told them their inheritance was gone
and that the cops were to brain the lot of them
if they didn't toe the hatter's line
Now the bulls and the hood-rats are drinking to keep the peace
but as the hours pass they spill out into the street
and they form a line on every side
The boys on the bridge are dropping cinder blocks down
onto the highway, without ever looking down
as the cars come screeching 'round the bend

Roma, blessed Roma
the sun shines on your dead
Gladly, almost proudly
the sun shines on your dead
Roma (they burned the roofs above our heads)
blessed Roma (a glowing, bottle-rocket red...)
the sun shines (...explosion lit above our heads)
on your dead
Gladly (the shit-house rats will prove their worth...)
almost proudly (...but if their hell-machine won't work...)
the sun shines (...they'll send their jailers to their deaths)
on your dead
Track Name: Cash Out Spiritual on the Corner of 5th and Falling
Jimmy cracks a coke and he runs back, puffing as he kicks the bottle out of his way
Shoe sales rocket and the Iceman cometh, what his business was he wouldn't say
The New York scene lost its symmetry through Brooklyn's burnt out sieves
Three suits peddle their gold-paint-metal, trying to sell what Jesus gives
Trying to sell what Jesus gives
Look at the burnt out junkie, alto hurricane
Oh, they'll be pleased to meet you, glad to take you home
up to the church of Mother Mary Pay and Play
There'll be a cot to greet you, and a black rotary phone

Laughter is a weapon manufactured in New Jersey
and it's built to grind our churning guts to dust
This great, smirking concoction, it sits winking through the paper
as its early morning hostages adjust
to their shifting points of reference
and their reeking, black excretions
as they match their grinning captor round for round
until the turning tides grow weary
then they rest their heads in dungeons
cut to ribbons, but in dreams they're safe and sound
Yeah, in dreams they're safe and sound
You'll be a first-rate psycho, schizoid masterpiece
once all the pavement gets to grinding down your bones
'till you're a bloodshot, whirling, bug-eyed Hercules
spinning the phone for no one, though everybody's home