Against All Flags

Against All FlagsIRS/MCA IRSD-42209
Written, arranged and produced by
Mikel Rouse
EXITMUSIC RECORDINGS

-NEW YORK TIMES Pop Album of the Week

Against All Flags would be Tirez Tirez’s final release (although there was one more full length LP recorded and never released). The band were at the peak of their powers, exploring song structures that were just too complex for pop audiences to grasp. The critics loved the album and upon it’s release it was the New York Times Pop Album of the Week (the same week that Rouse’s chamber ensemble Broken Consort’s A Lincoln Portrait received an A- Pick Hit from the Village Voice). But the schizophrenic days of fronting both a chamber group and a pop band were coming to an end as Rouse was discovering a new writing technique that would allow him to blend both worlds together.

(Scroll down for lyrics)

Lyrics © 1988 Mikel Rouse
All rights reserved
Published by Club Soda Music (ASCAP)
Used by permission

1. Missouri
2. One Way Down
3. Leap In The Dark
4. The Receiver
5. Never Begin
6. Unless I Miss My Guess
7. When Pilots Came
8. Against All Flags
9. Right As Rain
10. See The Living

MISSOURI

I’m swattin’ flies on the river
If I think hard I’m delivered
Back up a tree where you found me
Under the skies of Missouri

Under the town I was born
Stubborn and waiting for more
Followed me ‘cross the state line
Now I know that was a time

Playin’ for fries on the pinball
Slippin’ a coke at the Deer Run
How many times did we notice
All the commotion around us?

Under the town I was born
Stubborn and waiting for more
Followed me ‘cross the state line
Now I know that was a time

Everyone’s got his own time frame
I slipped a rope ‘round a fast train
Caught up in times that astound me
Just out of reach of Missouri

Under the town I was born
Stubborn and waiting for more
Followed me ‘cross the state line
Now I know that was a time

ONE WAY DOWN

Tennessee suit
A tidal wave
Riders on earth
Which ones get saved?

Turn back the clock
For those who see
Just one way down
God as can be

One way down
One way down

Visit to Mars
Possible life?
There is no change
I think that’s right

Tennessee suit
A tidal wave
Riders on earth
Which ones get saved?

One way down
One way down

LEAP IN THE DARK

Deep in big-time
Sittin’ on top of the world
Hard to believe
Jumbled up bolts and nerves

Leap in the dark
Baby’s got a way to go
Leap in the dark
Put a stop sign in the road

Into his head
Howlin’ and raising Cain
Crossing your legs
Cross yourself just in case

Leap in the dark
Waiting for a time bomb
He’s ready to walk
Walk the plank forever
He’s burning a bridge
A bridge he never crossed before

Just out of range
Living in the age that grooves
Kissing the earth
Kissing anything that moves

Leap in the dark
Tell it to the mailman
He’s ready to work
Workin’ on the railroad

He’s splittin’ the ties
Knock about Charlie
He’s countin’ the miles
The distance between them

Leap in the dark
A little bird told me
He’s ready to walk
Walk the plank forever
He’s burning a bridge
A bridge he’s never crossed before

THE RECEIVER

Now you’re even
Made yourself up for the day
And the heathens
The people that never believe

What’s your calling?
You’re coughing up fire and steam
What’s your motive?
Reality out of a dream

Can you see the world’s waiting
A mind for the taking
The mind’slike a merry-go-round

The Receiver is waitin’
His body is shakin’
And rollin’ all over the ground

It’s the headlines
A myth that makes up for a life
And the power
Of knowing exactly who’s right

Now you’re tuggin’
Pulling the political arm
And they’re budgin’
As Gabriel sounds the alarm

Can you see the world’s waiting
A mind for the taking
The mind’s a m-merry-go-round

The Receiver is waitin’
His body is shakin’
And rollin’ all over the ground

In the clearing
Pressing the flesh for a fee
There’s a preacher
A preacher caught up in a dream

Now he’s calling
He’s down on his hands and his knees
And we’re watching
Watching the beast on T.V.

NEVER BEGIN

I can’t keep lookin’ at Virginia
I can’t keep lookin’ at the south
I got my fill of paranoia
I got my fill so I got out

See so much faith in combination
See so much hatred you could swear
That man who’s screaming in the pulpit
Paid any price to keep him there

And you never begin
And then you never begin
You never begin

Too much time workin’ on the mainframe
Too much time workin’ out the knots
I got a message from my baby
She says she can’t connect the dots

Begin by looking in the mirror
Begin by looking past the doubt
Burn the daylight over the creator
Then grind the organ, throw it out

And you never begin
And then you never begin
You never begin

UNLESS I MISS MY GUESS

Unless I miss my guess
You took a shine to me
Something was in your eye
You couldn’t say goodbye

Unless I miss my guess
We liked to tie one on
Rocking from side to side
Taking me for a ride

Unless I is my guess
You had a question mark
Stretching from ear to ear
You cut right outta here

Unless I miss my guess
Our time has come and gone
Something was in your eye
You couldn’t say goodbye

WHEN PILOTS CAME

The roof fell on me
Come by anyway
The dam burst today
Come by anyway

Roadwork, thumbscrews
Unnailed, unglued
Come by anyway

Side arms, woodshed
Tight fit, instead
Come by anyway

You recall at a faster pace
Plastered on someone else’s face
Lines inching over time and frame
Movies of you when pilots came

Following flight paths overhead
Dreams in the sky alive or dead
Life mimics art and shows the same
Movies of you when pilots came

The moon shot T.V.
Come by anyway
Divided city
Come by anyway

Treaty, unsigned
Relax, unwind
Come by anyway

Port call, suitcase
Drum roll, no trace
Come by anyway

You recall at a faster pace
Plastered on someone else’s face
Lines inching over time and frame
Movies of you when pilots came

Following flight paths overhead
Dreams in the sky alive or dead
Life mimics art and shows the same
Movies of you when pilots came

AGAINST ALL FLAGS

I got a reason for acting this way
My little baby won’t see me today
We’re having problems, I guess it’s my fault
Something I told her, it sure set her off

I got opinions and I got a right
She keeps me waiting through most of the night
How many sermons do you have to see?
How many people are waiting like me?

I got a memory
A memory of you
Marchin’ out on Flag Day
And out of the blue

I knew we were different
I knew from the crowd
The need to feel bigger
The need to feel proud

It’s nothing against you
Well, how could it be?
The loveliest creature
I ever did see

It’s just all that waving
Is kind of a drag
Remember I’m neutral
I’m against all flags

Old time religion, it’s gotta go
Civilization can’t take it no more
Sendin’ a message over the wire
Put up or shut up that talk of hell-fire

Gotta be ready for what is in store
From mixin’ the message, they’re upin the score
See I got opinions and I got a right
I may lose my baby, I won’t lose my life

RIGHT AS RAIN

Read the daily news
I’m sorry
Take a pleasure cruise
And worry
You’re depressed for time
An island
Where you can unwind
And decide

Open up your eyes and see that
Life is one big crime and maybe
Two heads break the ice in your veins
Once in every life, right as rain

I got some big right
I know it
Takes a lonely night
To show that
Misery is free
And baby
It loves company
Come shake me

Open up your eyes and see that
Life is one big crime and maybe
Two heads break the ice in your veins
Once in every life, right as rain

If you want my name
Then take it
I won’t ask again
Don’t make me
In this world of rage
This world of pain
When you come of age
Right as rain

SEE THE LIVING

Desperate living
Is for the desperate folks
In times of feast or famine
On the edge of hope

What a city
What a great big town
It’s got a new hotel
It tore some buildings down

A three martini man
He’s got a diamond wife
You meet the nuclear family
On the street tonight

Just look and see the living
See the living
See the living
See the living

Desperate living
Is for desperate folks
In times of feast or famine
On the edge of hope

Uptown, downtown
What a nighttime dream
You get a choice of drinks
And more time to be seen

A walk around the bodies
Walk around the block
To that there new hotel
In time to freshen up your drink and

See the living
See the living
See the living
See the living