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Togetherness (Control Songs, Vol. 2)

by David Garland

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This Is Love 04:23
This Is Love I’m at home every evening.
 Home sweet home, hang your hat.
 Watch TV, read a book,
 change the channel, turn the page. I can speak, I can listen.
 With my mouth, with my ears.
 Spoken words—please repeat.
 Please repeat spoken words. What’s your name, what’s your number?
 Is it Sue, is it five?
 So they say, so they tell me,
 so I’m told. What’s your name? I’ll invite you home.
 You can walk on my stairs, you can eat my food. Place your hand in mine, face the music.
 Move closer. Make a wish, the time when dreams come true is here. What is this? This is lovely!
 This is love, this is love.
 All grown up, wearing outfits—
 brand new shoes and a tie. In the end human frailty
 does us in, in the end.
 In the sky: nice bright sun.
 On the wind: tiny birds. Everything has its season:
 Mosquitoes and snowballs.
 Never late or on time:
 mosquitoes and snowballs. They will smite you down.
 But then I will come by and I’ll pick you up. You just looked at your wristwatch.
 Never mind, I’ve got time. Take the lamp from the shelf, bring it near and turn it on. Dim the light, how romantic!
 You sit here, I’ll sit there.
 I can breathe, my heart beats.
 List the things that you have done. I once rode on the subway.
 I have read several books.
 I can cook. I can swim—
 and there’s more, there’s still more. Tiny birds fly by.
 They’ve gone south, and I guess I’ll be going too.
 Hear the thunderclap, see the lightning.
 Find shelter, look alive! The rain is pouring in the cracks.
Under the Blanket He wears his wristwatch,
 she wears her jacket,
 under the blanket.
 They’re never naked.
 They’ve almost forgotten how. She’d like to touch him.
 Yeah All of a sudden,
 they’re hearing music!
Hah, hey!
 He’d like to touch her under the blanket.
 Yeah His wristwatch has wound down.
 Her jacket is empty.
 And under the blanket it’s so warm.
Almost 04:24
Almost Seeing my surface I witness the contours;
 each imperfection is structured just right.
 In my reflection wrinkles criss-cross my face,
 then slip through the surface and dart to and fro. There’s an expression embedded in tangles,
 so convoluted, submerged in the deep.
 “It’s well protected,” the explainer explained.
 Blue daytime and black midnight drift back and forth. Just barely—quite vaguely—nearly—almost. Almost, almost, almost, but not quite.
 Almost, almost garbled, but not quite. Dark in the evening, with trees near the water;
 everything’s quiet until it’s disturbed.
 Splash in a pebble or shake a tree, shine a light;
 quiet returns, but it’s not quite the same. Under my surface my real face is calling,
 ooo alla ay alla eee alla ooo.
 “Almost forgotten,” the complainer complained.
 White winter, green summer, ready or not.
Happy Ending 04:05
Happy Ending George is a hipster,
 and so is Marge, who’s his sister.
 Will they find some clothes to wear?
 I don’t know. George drives a blue car,
 but he drives to a place which is too far. Will he find his way back home?
 I don’t know. (chorus:)
 For a happy ending,
 you should see a movie,
 and hope that dreams can still come true.
 I sure hope so. I have a yearning
 to increase how much I’m earning.
 Will I make the move to Easy Street?
 Who can say? When you’re in the mood to eat some tasty food
 and you go down to the store,
 will you find the perfect dish?
 Who can say? (chorus)
‘ cause even I can see that reading the newspaper isn’t an end in itself. Sometimes I feel uncertain
 about that final curtain.
 Will it fall with grace, or with a punch in the face?
 I don’t know. George is a hipster,
 and so is Marge, who’s his sister.
 Will they find some clothes to wear?
 I don’t care. (chorus:)
 ‘cause even I can see that reading the newspaper isn’t an end in itself.
My 2 Hands 03:00
My 2 Hands My two hands, my one mouth, my arms
my heart.
 Hold me tight, don’t let go;
 I’m afraid I’m floating away. I’ve got one heart, and it’s all I’ve got.
 One face, and it’s mine, like it or not.
 Meanwhile you’re there, just waiting.
 I’m here, you’re there,
 but there’s something more.
 We’ve got something on our minds,
 something that’s on our lips. My two lips can form the word
 that your one heart has long preferred.
 “Love” is the word you hoped you heard,
 but that would be absurd. I’ve read the forecast
 and I could tell you all about the rain,
 but I’m sure that you’d prefer to know the temperature
of our four lips
 and twenty fingertips. My two hands,
 my legs, and between my thighs.
 My two arms,
 my one mouth, my heart, and my eyes
 are my only answers.
 They are my only weapons.
 They let me say “I love you.”
Late One Night I went out to walk along a darkened street,
 late one night.
 Someone whispered, “You are not alone out here.”
 That made me afraid of what might happen next.
 There was broken glass to cut my feet, and there were people who might break more glass.
 Well, I survived and dared to walk the street again,
 late one night. There, I whispered, “You are not alone out here.”
 I’m not sure who heard me, but he ran away.
 There was broken glass to cut his feet, and I ran after him to break more glass.
The Golden Years Place a ban on blandishments,
 please banish blandishments today for all of the remaining years. Platitudinarians
 are exiled to the hinterland
 for all of the remaining years. Blandishments are banned, they can’t be brandished by the folks who try
 to coax you over to their side. Platitudes are pulverized,
 and euphemisms vanish in
 the dawning of the Golden Years.
 —The Golden Years! The Golden Years will be a time
 when no one needs to work or eat
 and everyone has everything. The Golden Years will bring about a harmony unheard before,
 where dissonance is gone for good. The Golden Years will vindicate
 our dream of finally founding a Utopia right here on Earth. Our first step in making all our dreams become reality
 is simply to begin the ban. Place a ban on blandishments,
 please banish blandishments today
 for all of the remaining years.
The Best of Both Worlds The beam is broad and comprehensive,
 circling ’round our spheroid globe. All are seen, and all are listed by the omnipotent amoeboid probe.
 What’s the source of all this spying? Who is eyeing the whole complex?
 I’ve got an inkling it’s more than a sprinkling of investigative rays from Planet X! Planet X! Planet X! Planet X is still not satisfied.
 They’re still yearning to learn about a few of us, get a message through to us, break across their boundaries, and make a few friends.
 A lot like I do, but with different means to ends. If I could only go there and visit for a while, I’d be cosmic-politan in a truly far out style.
 I’d have the best of both worlds.
 I’d be reading Chaucer in a flying saucer;
 I could do what’s practical, while doing what’s galactical.
 I’d have the best of both worlds.
 I could drive old-fashioned cars across the red canals of Mars.
 I’d have the best of both worlds.
 I could sit and sip some tea on the rocks of Mercury.
 I’d have the best of both worlds.
 I could dream of Earth-bound days while getting tan with cosmic rays.
 I’d have the best of both worlds.
 I could sing a really hep tune in the liquid air of Neptune.
 I’d have the best of both worlds.
 With the girls of Planet X, I could have some wonderful—
 I want the best of both worlds.
 I would study daily in a class taught by an alien.
 He would teach the human race how to live in outer space.
 And in return I’d teach him all of what I know about the Ridgewood Mall.
Poor Me 02:54
Poor Me I think the floor won’t hold my weight.
 I think I better not lean on the walls.
 As I shuffle down the street, the friction of my feet sets the road on fire. My hands can no longer fit through doors.
 My knuckles have become as large as my knees.
 As I wave good-bye,
 I knock over objects that are precious to me. I think my slouch is more than a posture problem.
 It’s a result of these exhausting times.
 I need a change of scene,
 but my eyelids are blocking the view. On the shelves around me are endless books and objets d’art.
 Uncompleted projects dot the landscape near and far. If I had a moment, I ‘d try to think my problems through,
 but my time is taken listing all the things to do. If I lift an eyelid,
 and see what look is on my face,
 then I might discover
 how I got into this place.
Play Within a Play They’ve lifted the curtain. The stage has grown dark.
 There’s only one player, and the scenery’s stark.
 The footlights glow like burning coals. The actor advances, and, turning stage right,
 he gestures to someone who turns up the light.
 And now an actress is revealed. And they speak.
 He: I thought you had gone and would never return.
 She: I came back to see if our love could still burn.
 He: I made my mistakes, but I’m trying to learn.
 Then they both say together: The curtain is velvet, the moon is on high, and the play has begun. A backdrop of arbors descends from above,
 creating a setting for a story of love.
 The playwright hopes to melt our hearts. And they speak.
 He: My family wants, my job wants, and you—
 She: I want to be best at whatever I do.
 He: My personal past forms my point of view.
 Then they look at each other: This is no love scene! The pulse in our wrists has much more to say.
 C’est finis! The curtain comes down as the lights start to fade.
 The last act is over, the parts have been played.
 The audience laughs, the clap, and they rave.
 Then they say to each other: We have the encore!
 The pulse in our wrists has much more to say.
Blame 05:58
Blame Caught by the tide
 the boat was pulled out to sea.
 Tossed and capsized,
 now there’s a wave where the boat used to be. Ooo, ooo, the moon creates the tide.
 From way up there
 it’s shaping the shore.
 Ooo, ooo, I can’t really blame the moon.
 But it seems kind of sad for the capsized boat. (chorus:)
 When I cry tears from my eyes,
 that’s what I’m thinking about. Poured from the clouds,
 the floodwater drenched the ground.
 And add to this the tears of the people who would cry
 when they saw what the flood
 had done to the things they owned. Ooo, ooo, the air creates the storm
 with temperature changes
and colliding clouds.
 Ooo, ooo, I can’t really blame the air,
 but it seems awfully sad to be lost in the flood. (chorus) A cough and a sneeze
 might mean you’ve gotten ill.
 With fever raging high,
 you can’t be sure if you’ll ever be well again. Ooo, ooo, germs can bring disease,
 which vaccinations, antidotes, and care
 can’t possibly stop.
 Ooo, ooo, I can’t really blame the germs,
 but it seems hardly fair
 to be stricken that way. (chorus)
Family Stories The stories of my family are fewer,
 now that fewer are left to tell them.
 The family’s bookbinding dries out,
 as pages are torn out,
 or they get worn out by disease.
 There is a garland of lost stories
 all torn to pieces, spoken of vaguely,
 forgotten by degrees. It’s my turn to tell new stories,
 With my parents gone, and a new family forming. It’s my turn to tell new stories,
 and this is my first: Once upon a time,
 the stories of my family were fewer,
 back when fewer were left to tell them.
 The family’s bookbinding dried out,
 as pages were torn out,
 or they were worn out by disease.
 There will be a garland of new stories
 as my family grows,
 and we tell to each other
 all that we know.
Almost Again 01:47


(Control Songs, Vol. 2)

This version of “Togetherness” includes all tracks from the original 1999 Ergodic Records CD, gently re-mastered in 2010. Cover art by Richard M. Powers, painted in about 1955.


released September 1, 1999


David Garland: vocals, acoustic and electric keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, accordion, vibraphone, flute, theremin, bowed saw, rebec, whistling, ocarina, percussion.

Guy Klucevsek: accordion on “This Is Love” and “Play Within a Play”

Kate Light: violin on “This Is Love” and “Late One Night”

Bobby Previte: drums on “This Is Love”

Brian Dewan: electric zither on “Happy Ending”

John Zorn: alto sax on “The Best of Both Worlds”

Mark Dresser: double bass on “The Best of Both Worlds”

Jim Staley: trombones on “My Two Hands”

Carl Parens: cello on “Late One Night”

Anne Garland: vocals on “Blame” and “Almost again”

Kenji Garland: vocals on “Almost again”

All music and lyrics by David Garland. Arranged and produced by David Garland.


all rights reserved



David Garland New York, New York

Composer/singer/multi-instrumentalist David Garland has been steadily shaping songs in new ways since 1980.

"Like many great songwriters before him, Garland pushes the limits of acceptable harmony and dissonance, yet never at the expense of beauty. If it's not possible for popular music to reach the heights of the great classical masters, it seems no one has told David Garland."
--Sean Lennon
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