Respectable Enemy

by Curtis McMurtry

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about

Songs about villains who think they're victims.

credits

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
Nathan Calzada- trumpet

string and horn arrangements evolved through multiple collaborations between Curtis McMurtry, Rebecca Hames, Scott Fennell, Allison Maupin, Nathan 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 Jim Wilson 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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Track Name: Ghost In My Bed
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
Track Name: Foxhole
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
Track Name: Lonely In The Beehive
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
Track Name: Sparks In The Wind
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
you 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
Track Name: Eleanor's House
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
Track Name: Whiskey Sweat
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
Track Name: Down To The Wire
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
Track Name: Moriah
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
Track Name: Ezekiel
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
Track Name: Chaplinesque
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
Track Name: Gulf Road
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
Track Name: Isabel
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