Respectable Enemy

by Curtis McMurtry

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1.
I've traveled all the world round I've searched the hills and border towns and I've found myself a hole to hide away in I'll keep the barman company until the devil comes for me I don't believe in Jesus or salvation sometimes when it's too dark to see I swear I hear you calling me but I suppose it's my imagination (chorus) you're a voice in my head, you're a ghost in my bed from a place that I left a long time ago and no matter where I run you won't let me go let me go now I share my bed with another and we never make love with the lights on her face never changes and all of her words sound the same she's nothing like you but she loves me and her lips are warm in the darkness sometimes it's all I can do to remember her name so hard to say so easy to miss the things we hide from those we kiss who's to say if I should feel ashamed (chorus) you're a voice in my head, you're a ghost in my bed from a place that I left a long time ago and no matter whose arms I hide in you won't let me go let me go I've traveled all the world 'round I've search the hills and border towns and I've found myself a hole to hide away in
2.
Foxhole 04:22
I saw you shining like a lighter in a foxhole and without delay I put you in my sights for many years I watched you dancing in my crosshairs but I couldn't pull the trigger for my life but then one day I got the stones to take your hand, dear and I won you with a flower and a smile though all I had to offer was a fireplace and a face you learned to love after awhile one day I was called to serve my country and I went because I'd never been away I returned home with a bandage on my forehead and a memory that gets weaker every day and now you never touch me like you used to and my injuries don't even start to heal I was sure right then and there that I would lose you oh how wretched your beauty makes me feel I used to think our love was but a trifle I was surprised it lasted through the month of May but now I am too old to lift my rifle and you're still here to watch me waste away my love I've lost so many friends since we got married and I know that you could say the same to me I believe I was the first to ever catch you perhaps I should be the first to set you free I saw you shining like the sunlight through the window and the truth it started slowly sinking in and I knew when I walked the door this morning I would never see your pretty face again so don't go searching for my body in the cattails just be happy that I've found a place to rest by the time you read this letter I'll be gone dear you know I love you, but this is for the best
3.
Somewhere in the static I thought I heard a prayer in a room of spinning lights I squint and stumble through the glare and Emily's so drunk she's falling down through the smoke I see you turn around I know you think I'm handsome, I don't care a desperate kiss wrapped up in this luxurious despair I've seen enough but I can't bring myself to leave and I can't identify with this misguided jubilee (chorus) I don't want to know your secrets anymore keep 'em to yourself, I dare you don't tell me who you are it doesn't matter it gets so loud that I can't tell which voices are mine oh I get so lonely with all of you here all the time you understand, it's got nothing to do with the lights or your eyes or the drink in my hand oh she looks so good from far away but once you get up close you see the cracks as clear as day I've seen enough but I can't bring myself to leave I just hope to god no part of you becomes a part of me (chorus) I don't want to know your secrets anymore keep 'em to yourself, I mean it don't tell me who you are I don't care I know you're disappointed I don't care
4.
you might as well confess, just get it off your chest I know that red dress you like to wear I know where you've been, I know how this ends I don't know why I still pretend to care I could have made you stay, I let you drift away you just wanted me to say I loved you only you came to me that night, the thunder and the light I didn't want to fight but you provoked me (chorus) and you left me there alone like you did the time before we betray the ones we love for those we love a little more I heard you take the car, you won't have to go far to find out who you are without the ring I never told you lies, I held you when you cried but it's true I never felt a thing and the sky is turning grey as I watch you fade away waiting for the day you disappear and if you don't return it's none of my concern the world turns but I stay here (chorus) and now everything is lost to a few sparks in the wind as I watch our house burn down I pray for rain again go on now, don't you worry about me I'm hurt but I'm still strong go on now, do what you have to just go on now dear run along you say no one is to blame, I wish I felt the same your love only came in little flashes we always were a mess, and though I did my best all that I have left now are the ashes (chorus) and you left me there alone like you did the time before we betray the ones we love for those we love a little more and now everything is lost to a few sparks in the wind as I watch our house burn down I pray for rain again
5.
Despite being noble, you always were sad as a dog that can't find its way home but I saw you smile back when you were a girl promised that I'd never leave you alone we spent the summer at Eleanor's house fishing for minnows and making up words I broke a jar of honey on the kitchen floor and your grandmother smiled ever so politely I wanted to cry but not around you and I can't remember the things that we used to pretend in those days but I hope that wherever you are I'm on your mind always and some say I'm wasting my time here by the windowsill but I never knew better and I don't think that I ever will my sister was chasing your grandmother's cat your brothers were building a house out of sticks and us in the attic learning about lips and you said you loved me or something silly like that and all my new friends are no friends at all and they don't run around in the wind and I still miss you like nobody's business and I don't know how long it's been since we held hands down at Eleanor's house and I promised never to leave you alone and despite being noble you always were sad as a dog that can't find its way home
6.
Boy, don't you look at me like that we both know she's not coming back no matter what we do or say I tried, heaven knows I really tried there were things I had to hide that never really went away (chorus) well I did my best, but I still did wrong and I should have guessed that you knew all along so I tied myself all around your legs so you'll never forget my name we set out with a map and a flag with a gun and a rag with ambitions and dreams we cam home soaked in whiskey and sweat trying hard to forget all the wonders we'd seen (chorus) well I did my best, but I still did wrong and I should have guessed that they knew all along so I left that night and I hid my face but they'll never forget my name boy, don't you look at me like that we both know she's not coming back no matter what we do or say I tried, heaven knows I really tried there were things I had to hide that never really went away (chorus) and I'll roll them dice no matter the stakes I will always do whatever it takes and I swear to you on my mother's grave I will never forget your name
7.
Uncertainty or boredom I'm not sure which is worse I know you burn my letters but I bet you read them first and though it's been forever I still feel the sting darlin I never was faithful but I still wear your ring and I always was a fuck up but this time I'm gonna win since we're down to the wire down to the wire again please don't pretend you've forgotten the night that I gave you that bruise we made love and you asked me to hurt you I wish I could say I refused and I know you never loved me you never even tried I know it's all my fault, Dear I hope you're satisfied but I don't want your mercy I'll take it on the chin since we're down to the wire down to the wire again you hold me when you want to I kiss you out of spite we fight for what we want, Dear not for what is right and for all my grand ambition what have I now to show no matter how I struggled you always brought me low but a beating dog bites harder you can bet I'll break the skin since we're down to the wire down to the wire again
8.
Moriah 04:53
We hold on to each other in the grit and the mud my hands covered with blisters your shirt covered in blood you thought the vultures were angels come to take us away off into the the sunset at the last of the day and I know we won't ever get out of this hole we won't go easy, and we sure as hell won't got slow it should have been simple and I should have been scared I expected a set-up but still wasn't prepared you say you think we can 'em but you can't catch your breath there's a hundred more coming and we've only got two bullets left and I never knew better I guess and if it weren't for me, we'd never be in this mess when the world gets cold we do what we must I gave you my fire, you gave me your trust and all I have now is the smoke and the dust if you knew me at all, you wouldn't love me so much so pull back the hammer stare up at the sky rest your hand on my shoulder we'll pretend we can fly off into the sunset at the last of the day you thought the vultures were angels come to take us away
9.
Ezekiel 04:45
and all your friends they worship you you make them dance like they always wanted and you always were the prettiest dress in the room and sometimes you look so lost and puzzled and innocent and ashamed like a lonely bird with a broken wing on the side of the road in the rain waiting for god or a hungry dog (chorus) we grow, we grow, we grow, we grow, we grow until we don't fit and my father asked me "how do you stay warm with a mouth like that? in my day we only said such things behind our parents' backs" he reminds me of you when he smiles sometimes like he isn't quite sure where he is like a child who laughs when he sees those around him start laughing (chorus) we grow, we grow, we grow, we grow, we grow until we don't fit my father he never knew that he changed when he came home from war and a wounded bird doesn't understand why it can't fly anymore and all your friends they worship you make them dance like they always wanted and you always were the prettiest dress in the room
10.
Chaplinesque 04:04
As we make our meek adjustments we never suspect that we don't understand and we crumple up our passions in the palms of our hands and we mass-produce our fantasies to satisfy demands and there is a place for people like us (chorus) and what a respectable enemy you turned out to be and here I thought you were just a bad friend though none of us chose to be cruel I suppose when we have to we all learn to bend when we trust in constellations we proudly admit that we made a mistake and we muster disappointment with everything we make when the masquerade is over we all put our faith in whatever makes a fragile thing feel safe (chorus) and what a respectable enemy you turned out to be and here I thought you were just a bad friend though none of us chose to be cruel I suppose when we have to we all learn to bend why are you so persistent with me you know I don't want to be saved don't you see that we never grow up we only get better behaved (chorus) and what a respectable enemy you turned out to be and here I thought you were just a bad friend though none of us chose to be cruel I suppose when we have to we all learn to bend and there is a place for people like us
11.
Gulf Road 05:15
Not a hot cup of coffee nor a cold glass of tea ever crossed your lips in my company straight bourbon whiskey was all we'd abide so let's not hold back now we got nothing to hide so much we savored yet so much we missed you know I never meant you to see me like this just a faint distant flicker from the last of the storm now a taste of that liquor could do me no harm (chorus) light me a candle, light me a fire come sit by the window with shades drawn to the best of intentions, to the worst of desires leave by the gulf road in the grey dawn take a short-handled shovel take a long-handled hoe cover my bones when the west wind blows smooth it off even pack it down hard and I'll no more be here, but I'll never be far I'll no more be here, but I'll never be far (chorus) light me a candle, light me a fire come sit by the window with shades drawn to the best of intentions, to the worst of desires leave by the gulf road in the grey dawn
12.
Isabel 03:50
Even though you hurt me I never could take a stand and I still want to kiss you no matter how angry I am I kept on waiting for storm clouds to clear through all the heartache, through all the tears I told myself for so many years that there was nobody but you (chorus) Isabel, Isabel why do you treat me this way Isabel, Isabel I know what I wanted to say every time I think I've escaped you you pull me right back down it seems like you still want me to chase you around well I've had enough I don't want to be friends there's no hope of us ever making amends from strangers to lovers to strangers again god how I wish that were true (chorus) Isabel, Isabel I know that you'll never be mine Isabel, Isabel why am I wasting my time when you had me, I tried to break free for so long and I was sure when you left that I would never want you back but I was wrong, wrong wrong... no matter what happened I always did try to be nice despite all the trouble I only lost faith once or twice and oh what a beautiful burden you are (chorus) Isabel, Isabel why can't I leave you alone Isabel, Isabel Isabel, I should go home but I told myself for so many years that there was nobody but you

about

Songs about villains that think they're victims.

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released August 12, 2014

Curtis McMurtry- vocals, acoustic, high-strung, and electric guitars
Will Sexton- electric and acoustic guitars, bass, percussion
Diana Burgess- vocals, cello
Warren Hood- violin
Taylor Turner- upright bass
Shawn Zorn- drums, percussion
Scott Fennell- tenor saxophone
En Calzada- trumpet

string and horn arrangements evolved through multiple collaborations between Curtis McMurtry, Rebecca Hames, Scott Fennell, Allison Maupin, En Calzada, Amanda Lester, Max Mamis, Jules Belmont, Liam O’Brien, Dominic Boyle, Diana Burgess, and Warren Hood

all songs written by Curtis McMurtry © 2014 except for “Gulf Road” written by James McMurtry © 2002

Produced by Will Sexton

Recorded and Mixed by James Stevens at EAR Studio in Austin, TX

Mastered by Jim Wilson at Yes Mastering

Album art by Megan Anderson

getting released courtesy of Berkalin Records

Huge thanks to: My Mother, Father, Grandfather, Grandmothers, Kellie Salome, and Entire Family, Ben Wolfson, Max Mamis, Jules Belmont, Jenni Finlay, Joe Bensimon, Diana Burgess, Taylor Turner, Scott Fennell, Nathan Calzada, Ari Jones, Megan Anderson, Henry Clay, Rebecca Hames, Allison Maupin, Amy Collins, Amanda Lester, Paul Oveisi, Warren Hood, Ashley Hood, Will Sexton, Amy Lavere, Shawn Zorn, Dipak Topiwala, Lou Demarco, Loraine Fusco, Laura Thomas, Brian T. Atkinson, The Hames, Calzada, Turner, Clay, Maupin, Graham and Adams families, Matthew Kelly, Brad Sharp, Fred Koller, Todd Oxford, Mark Gurgle, Don Haynes, Ponder East, Toby King, Charlotte Price, Eddie Collins, Bill Anderson, Pat Muchmore, Daniel Wohl, Glenn Alexander, and John Yannelli

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Curtis McMurtry Austin, Texas

Curtis McMurtry writes apocalyptic indie folk about the selfish and the cowardly. Influenced by Fiona Apple and Tom Waits, Curtis' music combines sinister lyrics with sophisticated orchestrations. He specializes in sad songs and mean songs, and considers his catalogue to be "music for people that like to read." ... more

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