The Retributionists

by Mark Lenover

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released August 22, 2011

Written, Performed and Recorded by Mark Lenover
Mastered by David Disher

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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: There is a Town at the Core of the Earth
Bury this monster beneath the old ferris-wheel
under the rats and the transient's dusty heel
Let the dogs at him and cover his wounds with lime
Take all his clothes and jam nickels into his eyes
Take him home to the freaks and the pageantry
Make him one with the worms and the pigeon beaks
Let the wicked sleep
but not to dream

There is a town at the core of the earth
It bleeds up and down through the roots and the dirt
Track Name: The Carnival Ministry
The transient minister piously drifted through town
and his sermons began the moment his bed-roll hit the ground
The carnival children rejoiced at the stories he told
They came as parishioners, religious and marked by the cold
These long-fasting orphans sat, smiling, around him and played
their jury-rigged instruments over stories he sang
Then they'd hang on the carousel praising the Lord for their luck
and they'd clap out the rythm and dance in bare feet in the dust
Then his voice would rise, straining above the sweet, chaotic sound
and an angelic chorus would lift them up off of the ground
They were blessed for their faithfulness
before all the poisonous beasts on earth
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Track Name: Follow Us to Alice
There will be a trial
We've come to melt you into us
You put a hex on us
but the puritans
shall rise again
my friend

Come and follow us to Alice, man
She'd been working as a waitress in the dining car
She was a genius with a hatchet then
but she always had the good sense not to walk home alone
Then she went on an adventure, man
racking up the felonies in a stolen car
Last I heard the cops had shot her down
Two dozen rounds
spun her right around
She was tried as a witch
She put a curse on us
even as she was set aflame

Come and follow us
to the ashes Alice left for us
No she weren't no saint
but that's no excuse
for roasting her like a marshmallow
That wasn't called for at all
Track Name: Rest Easy Rabid Sister
The only girl he'd ever known
had such incurable insomnia
and hydrophobia
She'd been mauled by rabid dogs
walking alone by the old railroad tracks
and he would hold her head
Rest easy, rabid sister
The pillow will catch your head
my friend
The less you know, the better

He'd find her tangled up in wire
out by the loading docks on second street
She'd twist and bare her teeth
when he would reach to cut the snare
that the longshoremen had all put on her
He'd mend her tattered skirt
Rest easy, rabid sister
The pillow will catch your head
my friend
The less you know, the better
Track Name: The Ditchdigger
He wakes up alone and he pours a stiff drink
puts on his work clothes and he tries not to think
of the skulls in the back room that once bore the flesh
of one young man's dreaming, put sadly to rest

He bites the bullet hard, 'till his mouth stinks of rust
He traded his heart, and the heat and the dust
for a ghost world of cold, rotting numbness and shame
A lead weight on his tongue and an X for a name
His future for bones
and a ditch of his own

Though the suns shreds him cruelly, there's ice on his brow
He leans on his shovel and wonders at how
boys with such promise grow into such men
who empty these graves just to fill them again

He picks at his sores, he sets his shovel down
He traded his heart for a hole in the ground
and a ghost world of cold, rotting numbness and shame
a lead weight on his chest and an X for a name
Track Name: The Retributionists
Our town was better then
before the fires ripped through the northern borders
Not a soul was spared
The earth was darker then
The earth was ours before the arsonists came down
on all of this
The world was kinder then
and death was quiet before the lights went out
in the fifth and sixth districts

They don't care for quiet executions anymore
All fire-bombs and bricks,
The Retributionists

I was better then
when I was young I'd succumb to their demands
with a crippling respect
I was kinder then
Now the young runts have turned against the bitch
that spawned each and every one of them

They don't care for quiet executions anymore
All fire-bombs and bricks
The Retributionists
They don't care for order
They don't care to keep the peace
All fire-bombs and bricks,
The Retributionists
Track Name: My Perfect Tragedy
When I was young there'd come a travelling geek show
and from their crates the freaks would act out ancient tragedies
and, though I longed to let them go,
their cramped confinement meant the world to me
I'd marvel at their eloquence
at their poetic circumstance
I'd pay their man to watch them play
out epic torments in a cage
And they all lived, just as they played
beneath the savage flags they'd made

They played it out for me
my perfect tragedy
They wrote it down for me
my perfect tragedy

There is a town at the centre of the earth
and it bleeds up and down
through great rivers in the ground
There is a town at the centre of the earth
and it bleeds up and down
through great rivers in the ground

I'd cry out as they met their ends
and then I'd clap my bloody hands
I'd call for more, I'd pay their man
and then I'd watch it all again
Every time their blood would spill
and I'd collect the ones I'd killed

They played it out for me
my perfect tragedy
They wrote it down for me
my perfect tragedy

Then the show would travel on
and I would turn, strangely empty toward my father's house
Once my surrogates had gone
my nightmares would claw and clamour to release themselves
I held my head
I blocked them out
the ghosts I made still haunt me now
in my dreams, for what I owe
Oh, if only I had known
the wretched truth - each bloody scene
their tortuous ends were meant for me

They played it out for me
my perfect tragedy
And now I die with them
each and every single night
They played it out for me
my perfect tragedy
They wrote it down for me
my perfect tragedy