People never seem to amaze me

by Sven Curth

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credits

released May 24, 2017

all songs written, performed, recorded and produced by Sven Curth
additional musicians: Lowell Bailey plays Mandolin and Ichabod Gunn plays Accordion on "Last night to get drunk"
mixed by Tom Varga and Sven Curth (thanks Mark Cochi)
mastered at Kevorkian Studios, Inc.
Cover Art by Anders Ahlenius
Album Design by Sven Curth and Margarete Schulte

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Sven Curth Lake Placid, New York

I am Sven.

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Track Name: Get out
Get Out

Every time I go out travellin'
to a different area code
It strikes me that folks there feel the same way I feel when I'm home
It can be kind of tricky, trying to navigate the globe
When no one wants to see you comin', and they're glad to see you go...

They say, "Get out - I don't like strangers. You don't look like me, you don't talk like me
you don't come from where I'm from. Ain't no doubt - your life's in danger. Get on out the same way you got here, and go back where you belong."

Now, the place I choose to hang my hat is sure a pretty part of Earth,
it's got rocks and trees and animals, and rivers, lakes and ...dirt.
I admit I get a bit possessive when too many folks come marchin' in -
it makes me want to grab my rifle, and make them go back home again.

I say, "Get out - I don't like strangers. You don't look like me, you don't talk like me
you don't come from where I'm from. Ain't no doubt - your life's in danger. Get on out the same way you got here, and go back where you belong."
Now, I guess I've been around the block a half a time or two
and it's got me thinking I should change a few things that I do.
And I recall, somebody told me once in a faded memory -
that I should probably try to treat folks the way I'd like them to treat me.
So, from here on out when some funny-lookin' stranger comes to town -
I'll resist the urge to shoot 'em - and turn my frown upside-down.
Of course, it's all for selfish reasons that I'll be acting so nice and sweet -
So as when I travel someplace else those folks wont shoot at me.

I'll say, "Come on in! It's good to know you. You don't look like me, you don't talk like me, say -
where the hell you from? And what's that like? Now let me show you -
why I like it here, now lets have a beer and see if we can get along."
Track Name: You don't walk alone
You don't walk alone

I can see you've been crying - all night long.
I ain't gonna ask, you don't have to tell me what's going wrong.
I'm just gonna sit down - right here beside you
You may feel like no-one out there cares at all
but this is me saying I do.
And I have been lonely, I've been afraid; too tired to keep walking on forward alone
and too proud to save.

And you know it's ok - if you don't say a word.
Maybe we'll talk about some crazy things folks we know have done
Maybe I'll tell you a joke that I heard.
I won't try to make you - dry up all your tears
You've earned the right to every last salty teardrop -
through all your struggles and your fears.
And I know you've been lonely - I know you've been afraid -
but you know that I'm standing right here beside you, no matter what you might face.

When you come out of the shadows
When you weather the storm
You may have lost a few battles - but you're in good fighting form.
Maybe you tested your courage
Maybe you sank like a stone
but as long as I'm breathing
You don't walk alone

And now another gray morning, a hazy light in the east
We've been up all night, I hope it helped to distract you at least
I guess we just got to talking - about the good times and the bad
About everything that made us who we are, both the happy and the sad

And we all have been lonely - we've all been afraid.
We all have lost sight of everything that we cared for somewhere along the way

When you come out of the shadows
When you weather the storm
You may have lost a few battles - but you're in good fighting form.
Maybe you tested your courage
Maybe you sank like a stone
but as long as I'm breathing
You don't walk alone
Track Name: It's our last night to get drunk
It's our last night to get drunk

It's our last night to get drunk
It's our last night to get drunk
It's our last night to get drunk
...till tomorrow

When I was a boy and the world filled with joy,
I had dreams in the stars and a room full of toys.
I had family who loved me and people who cared,
and the good Lord above me if I ever got scared.
But despite all that kindness and laughter and love
and the vigilant gaze of the good Lord above
I became who I am, 'tis a sad tale to tell
Lawless and Godless and thirsty as hell!

So fill your cups to full, now lads
Dwell no more on today
What happens, is what happens
And we'll bear it, come what may
Lay down your fears beside you -
And forget about your sorrows

It's our last night to get drunk
It's our last night to get drunk
It's our last night to get drunk
...till tomorrow

I made my own choices throughout all the years
some led me to laughter and others to tears
But I licked my own wounds and I bore my own pain
You can't break their rules if you don't play their game
And I stand here before you the man I am now -
trying to muster the strength to continue, somehow
But I make no excuse for the shape that I'm in,
I may one day give out, but I'll never give in!

So fill your cups to full, now lads
Dwell no more on today
What happens, is what happens
And we'll bear it, come what may
Lay down your fears beside you -
And forget about your sorrows

So as I take this final sip
...until the next one wets my lips
Having squandered all I've begged, or stole, or borrowed
Let the memory of today fade peacefully to gray

t's our last night to get drunk
It's our last night to get drunk
It's our last night to get drunk
...till tomorrow
Track Name: Better off alone
Better off alone

Well I guess it all goes back to what I've been saying all along
No matter what I try I keep on getting it all wrong
but as long as I stay pessimistic I'll always be pleasantly surprised
I came home from the city back in 1996
left my pursuit of fame and fortune for a life out in the sticks
And ever since I've wondered if I was mistaken and I should've stayed to fight

Silver, patchwork moonlight on the newly fallen snow
The woods are dark and quiet and the air is sharp and cold
Out here I face my disenchantment with the world that I have known
wondering if after all I'm better off alone

You see I've got a mild case of sociopathic disease
Not that I dislike other people or that people dislike me
But I try to keep my distance and my business sealed from any prying eyes
And it's this general mistrust of the entire human race
that make me questionable company and always out of place
But if there's anything I've learned it's that you'd best do it yourself to get it right

Someday I may lapse back into insanity
and rejoin the rat-race and urban calamity...

...But probably not

Silver, patchwork moonlight on the newly fallen snow
The woods are dark and quiet and the air is sharp and cold
Out here I face my disenchantment with the world that I have known
wondering if after all I'm better off alone
Track Name: She may be fat but she's definitely crazy
She may be fat

Well I'm not tryin' to rock the boat or come off impolite
it's just there's this girl that I'm caught up with and she's ruining my life
She's got her good side and her bad side, but now the good one's disappeared
and I am walkin' round on eggshells, tryin' to chase away the tears
I know you'll say that I should leave her
but that just don't feel right
So I guess I'm doomed to suffer through a lonely, bitter life...

Well she may be fat but she's definitely crazy
She's a big ol', batshit, wild and wacky lady
You can't hold her down, you can't fill her up
No matter what you've got she can't get enough
She's got a real mean tooth and a deep sweet streak
She's got a sunny disposition (once or twice a week)
She's a whole lotta trouble, and the trouble is -
She's mine

People often ask me why I keep her around
They say it's clear that she can't stand me
by the way she wears that frown.
And she don't pull her (significant) weight, so to speak,
in our relationship
At best she tries to tolerate me
till she's fed up with my shit
I'd say I got a good thing goin',
but you know that I'd be lyin'...
Because her heart is hard as diamonds,
don't know why I keep on tryin'...

Well she may be fat but she's definitely crazy
She's a big ol', batshit, wild and wacky lady
You can't hold her down, you can't fill her up
No matter what you've got she can't get enough
She's got a real mean tooth and a deep sweet streak
She's got a sunny disposition (once or twice a week)
She's a whole lotta trouble, and the trouble is -
She's mine
Track Name: What a day to be alive
What a day to be alive

Woke up yesterday not feeling great, the sky was closing in - I was alone.
The sun was shining and the world was goin' round but my mind wouldn't let me go.
Don't know why the weight is heavy on me one day and another day it's gone...
Something waiting in the shadows for when I'm looking for the strength to carry on...

It says, "The work's too hard; the road's too far; and nothing waiting at the end".

I often wonder how the people 'round me seem to know exactly where to turn -
I've got no answers, only questions, the more I know the more I know I have to learn.
Some days my doubts command the upper hand and leave me laying helpless in a hole -
Some days it's all too clear: my doubts and fears are mainly what support my self-control.

And then there's you, you're there too... Doubled forces, hand in hand.
Today we say

What a day to be alive
And you're right here by my side
And the trouble leaves my mind...
Everything will be alright

Went to bed last night not feeling right, my mind consumed with worries of the day
The more desperate I am for sleep the more the chances of its coming slip away.
I don't know why some nights I'm wired so tight like everything I've ever done is wrong -
something bleak and dark and hopeless like I'm searching but there's nowhere I belong.

Sinking down, below the ground; cold earth heavy on my chest

As I agonize, eyes open wide, I hear your gentle breathing in my ear
You're sleeping quietly right next to me, your breath the only sound that I can hear.
I reach out silently, assuring me I still can feel the warm touch of your skin
Something light and soft and hopeful, I finally close my eyes just as the dawn begins.

The dark is gone, here comes the sun;
Maybe tomorrow we will say

What a day to be alive
And you're right here by my side
And the trouble leaves my mind...
Everything will be alright
ad our share of fun
Track Name: GDM (Goddammit Margarete)
GDM

You were young and foolish, I was old and dumb
We made bad decisions, but we had our share of fun
We probably should have been gainfully employed -
everybody else seemed to be...
But we just couldn't bear to trade our precious time for currency

Goddammit Margarete
didn't we have a good time?
I was thrilled to be yours
you were reluctantly mine
Doin' whatever we felt like -
long as it sounded fun
maybe causin' some trouble,
but not hurtin' no one.

Now I guess we've got our troubles, and I guess we'll sort 'em out.
And money's tight, but what the hell - we're used to that by now...
We're leaning hard on each-other, it's like the blind leading the blind -
But I can't wait to hear it all unfold from by your side

Goddammit Margarete
Don't we have us some fun?
Laughin' under the moonlight -
playin' under the sun
Never afraid of some hard work;
applying a little elbow grease...
building something worth keeping;
long as it suits our own needs

Now some folks might resent us, cause we don't play by the rules
But we don't pay no mind to them, cause we'll never be the fools...
that live like we're expected - and believe the lies we're told
...when the world's propped up on toothpicks...
and the wind begins to blow...

If we'd rather be lucky than good, as they say,
I guess we're where we need to be...
'Cause I'm lucky to have you
...and I'm lucky to have you

Goddammit Margarete
Won't we have us a ball?
Tucked away in the mountains,
making fun of it all...
We'll be together for always
joined in unwedded bliss
consumed with loving each-other -
busy just trying to exist
Track Name: I'm getting old
I'm getting old

I'm getting old, and that's ok
in spite of my objections I keep waking up each day
One day I won't, and that's ok, too -
at least I will have spent a couple sunny days with you

We all left the farms and deserted small towns as industry beckoned and wealth "trickled down"
We traded our lives for the dollars we made, for generations we struggled, we fought and we paid -
for concrete for our cities and sod for our yards - a couple tvs, a couple of cars
For decades we spent and we built and we grew - constantly upgrading - everything new.
We streamlined our plants and found foreign labor cheap
became accustomed and entitled to the lifestyle we keep
Packaged and processed and plastic and pills -
factory farming, factory fishing, factory thrills.

And now the old mill's shut down, the old plant is closed -
no more paper, no more lumber, no more cars, no more clothes
But we're all still buying - the box stores still thrive
All of the dirt cheap junk we need to survive
And we're pointing our fingers, and we're boiling with rage
But don't the Chinese deserve a living wage?
They're building us exactly what we require
The affordable garbage that we so desire
And we'll use it twice and then throw it away
It'll end up in the ocean, or just trucked away to be buried somewhere -
out of sight out of mind; gotta make some more room
so that we can keep buying.

And now the whole rest of the world wants a piece.
They've all left their farms for overcrowded streets -
their factories filling up to overflow, the same way we did it a century ago
They'll work their fingers down to the bone
their wages are low, their hours are long
They've seen our prosperity and they want to achieve it
and we won't work that hard, but we still want to keep it.

Where's it all headed? Nobody knows...
As we burn through our resources and the population grows
And every single human wants to live like a king
and who is anyone else to deny anyone anything?

But don't ask any questions, keep watching TV.
Turn over your weapons, trust the "powers that be".
Pay no attention to the strange weather outside,
or any other trifling details that don't seem quite right...

Don't worry about diseases, or terrorist threats
or inflating currency, or insurmountable debt
or dwindling freshwater, or rising seas
or nuclear weapons, or corporate greed
or monoculture farming, or patented seeds
or GMO's and pesticides, or what's killing the bees
or epidemic dependence on anxiety pills
or big oil dependence or big oil spills

Just trust your politicians - they've got your best interests in mind...
What could possibly go wrong? I'm sure we'll all be just fine...
Track Name: Of weddings
Of weddings

We're gonna throw us a big old wedding, we'll expect all our friends to be there
We'll do it half way across the world, hope they can save up their airfare
We'll send them a list of nice hotels that they can rent out for their stay
They'll probably decide to make our wedding their vacation and stay a few extra days.
Now we won't do nothing fancy - maybe sixty; eighty grand.
Nothing our folks can't pay off in a decade or two (and we can't forget about the band).
It's gonna be such a magical wedding - flowers and music by the sea
the bridesmaids'll look great in the dresses they bought -
they'll be broke but their drinks will be free

You've got to come to our wedding - don't forget to RSVP;
and FYI your gift should be worth roughly how much you drink and eat
It's ok if you don't have any fancy clothes, I'm sure you'll find some somewhere for cheap
Can't wait to see you looking great at our wedding but please don't look greater than we!

It's gonna be such a wonderful wedding - such a solemn and sacred day
as long as we're lucky and the weather is nice
and we have time to rehearse through every step of the way
The guest list will be fantastic, the dinner nothing short of grand
We'll serve several hundred of the finest selections of chicken, beef, or fish in the land
And just before dinner we'll take a brief pause,
For our friends to extoll us and our guests to applaud
We'll have the requisite dances, father-daughter; mother-son;
And when we throw the bouquet it will be so much fun!
We'll all happily mingle while we wait for our food
And we'll all be in stitches when the garter's removed!

You've got to come to our wedding - don't forget to RSVP;
and FYI your gift should be worth roughly how much you drink and eat
It's ok if you don't have any fancy clothes, I'm sure you'll find some somewhere for cheap
Can't wait to see you looking great at our wedding but please don't look greater than we!

It's gonna be such a fabulous wedding - right from the pages of a magazine
We'll add quirky little touches of personal taste
to those age-old traditions that make weddings so great!
Buying us our gift will be hassle free, as long as you sign up for our registry
You'll be gazing in awe at our significant bling;
That's 3 months of my income wrapped up in that ring!
You'll smile when they bring out our 12 layer cake -
to be violently smashed into each-others face!
We'll have the second-best wedding band there is to be found -
and when they play "Mustang Sally" we all will get down!
We'll be the best-looking couple for miles around,
'cause we'll both have been tanning and lost a few pounds!
I'll look great in my tux - she'll look great in her gown -
It shouldn't be an imposition if you start saving now!
Track Name: I don't like you
I don't like you

I'm gonna try to put it words
that you could easily understand
I wouldn't want to see your confused expression
or anything to get out of hand
It's important you remember one thing fundamentally...
I really just don't like you so please stay the hell away from me
I'd say that you were one of a kind
but that'd be credit where it's really not due
In retrospect I'm really just bored to tears
by everything that interests you
I wonder if you've ever had a thought that was your own
Or if, as I suspect, your mind's a vacant hole when you're alone

When you go away it gives me cause to celebrate
in case it's unclear what I'm saying it's:
Go away please, I don't like you
When you're gone I can appreciate each single moment
I've indulged in here without you
and soon I'll forget about you

It's not that you were really that bad
Nor, certainly, that you were that good
You just managed to divert far too much of my time
from doing things I probably should
I've already spent too much time trying to explain this point of view;
It really doesn't matter - long as I stay far away from you...

When I step back and see the humor in it all
I wonder if I shouldn't try to be accommodating
But when I think back on problems I've already solved -
it seems instead of swimming upstream -
I've been better served by relocating

When you go away it gives me cause to celebrate
in case it's unclear what I'm saying it's:
Go away please, I don't like you
When you're gone I can appreciate each single moment
I've indulged in here without you
and soon I'll forget about you
Track Name: What if all you are is
What if all you are is...?

Morphodite - a follower of Morpheus, Greek God of dreams/dreaming (Morphine, etc...) i.e. a fool, dreamer, idiot, etc...

This is a word that has been commonly used in my family for as long as I can remember... so much so that I casually used it in a song. It has come to my attention, however, that the more common definition of this word is: slang for hermaphrodite. Oops.
I am not a hermaphrodite. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Well you wake up in the morning feeling chipper and unvincible - its friday and you've got the weekend off...
One more day of work and you can disappropriate your time to something more productive, perhaps cleaning out your garage.
Your day is ineventful and your evening is unconsequential: eating taco salad in your second favorite chair...
Tomorrow will be saturday and there's so much on TV - you just can't help but be incited at the passion in the air.

But what if all you are is just a sub-par, junior, member of a silly, little, pugilistic tribe?
A horribly inconsequential, little fly upon the wall, struggling through its wretched life to blindly procreate and die?
Heedlessly consuming all the feculent regurgitations mindlessly presented on TV...
Then vomiting that same, miasmic, dull, misinformation into tepid conversation with some morphodite - like me.

Your weekend passes quickly - packed with titillating hours of social media and junk food and reality tv...
Your avatar is winning - so you're posting and you're tweeting to the world - how great your life is and how jealous they should be.
Your newsfeed offers photos of catastrophes and crises that are unfolding in places you don't know or care exist;
But you're busy pushing papers, crunching numbers and statistics and you don't have time to worry about the headlines that you missed.

But what if all you are is just a sub-par, junior, member of a silly, little, pugilistic tribe?
A horribly inconsequential, little fly upon the wall, struggling through its wretched life to blindly procreate and die?
Heedlessly consuming all the feculent regurgitations mindlessly presented on tv...
Then vomiting that same miasmic, dull, misinformation into tepid conversation with some morphodite - like me.
Track Name: The trouble with Earth is the humans
The trouble with Earth is the humans

You know the trouble with Earth is the humans;
They're everywhere and they can't get along
Everything that they touch turns to shit in the end
' Least they'll kill themselves off before long...

What do you do when you wake up each day and you don't like the person you are
and you don't like your family, and you don't like your friends
and you're bored with your house and your car
and you're sick of your country, but you hate all the others
makes you nauseous to hear them called sisters and brothers
and you've reached the conclusion that the entire species
are contemptible skin-bags of half-processed feces...

Well, you go shopping! You buy some shoes!
Perhaps an electronic gadget that you'll rarely ever use!
Get out in public! Fraternize! Get to know the other members of your hive!
Buy yourself something! Sell it for more!
It's the official, global pastime: Gain and profit; risk, reward!
What's that you're hungry? Why not try food!?
Made up various plants and animals to satisfy your every mood!

You know the trouble with Earth is the humans;
They're everywhere and they can't get along
Everything that they touch turns to shit in the end
' Least they'll kill themselves off before long...

Humans.


Why do we need to "fit in" so badly? Why are we so dazzled by accumulating possessions? What is the nature of our fascination with entertainment, clothes, gadgets, vehicles, preened houses, manicured landscaping, public affirmation, instant gratification and basically everything we concern ourselves with on a day-to-day basis?

And what a ludicrous joke it is to obsessively engage in the pursuit and maintenance of such mundane trivia when we are such fleeting participants in a such a wildly enormous cosmos.

We find ourselves perched, precariously, on a barely stable chunk of gases and minerals that is hurtling around in an incalculably vast universe for a brief moment in space and time...
…and in the face of such humbling enormity here we are, feverishly exerting all of our combined efforts into generating income, marshaling resources, coupling and reproducing, defending preconceived notions and constantly struggling to elevate our social stature. And cleaning. All independently, but in unison.

Of course, many of us are barely just surviving… desperately scraping together the strength and bare essentials to make it through another day - generally forgotten and disdained by those of us more fortunate - but rich or poor, we consume. Every calorie burned, every breath, every step we take is quite literally at the expense of something else.

And of course, every other living organism does the same, or would if it could.
It's the dichotomy of life - to flourish it must consume. And if it consumes too much it ceases to flourish.

So, like a bacteria, humanity flourishes in a very specific environment for a brief moment in time and space because conditions temporarily meet the incredibly narrow margin of criteria that we require biologically to survive.

Like basement mold.

And we will continue to survive in this manner until our environment is no longer able to support us, at which point we will either enter a period of steep decline or cease to exist entirely, just like every other living organism and under the same set of rules. Supply, demand. Flourish, consume, deplete, decline. Live and die.

And yet, we regard ourselves so highly! We have sentience!

We prize our sentience as that which sets us apart from any other living organism, and we accept it as a mandate that grants us the unmitigated and inalienable right to creatively and systematically devour every other organism and resource that our planet has to offer in constantly evolving and increasingly efficient ways.

...And it is our sentience that imparts in all of us an obsessively self-centric "pursuit of happiness"; that ineffable and elusive state of mind which truly is our primary motivation for waking up each day.
And that happiness can be manifested in a multitude of subjective ways, but it cannot be satiated. No matter how much happiness we have encountered, we will always pursue more happiness.

At present, in such great numbers, we exist in a proud new era. Never before in human history have so many of us independently, concentrically, and undauntedly flourished and consumed our way toward SO much happiness.

Surely with all of this happiness abounding, we have much to be proud of? But is there actually anything to admire about humanity, from an objective point of view?

At first glance it appears that we're really all just incredibly busy at pursuing our own interests. We're all just consumed with WANTING and NEEDING. We can't even conceive of not keeping ourselves relentlessly in pursuit of these two initiatives.


So, what is it that we are so busy doing to fulfill these wants and needs?

It would seem that we, and every other form of life as we know it, exist to seduce each other, produce offspring, build ourselves some kind of comfortable life, and then desperately defend it all from each other and everything else. Procreation and survival. Sex and Violence.

Add to that our boundless craving for attention, acceptance and respect from our peers and we've really got our work cut out for us. Blind ambition for the sake of personal fulfillment defined by social approval. It seems a bit silly, at best. Infinitely destructive, at worst.
Given that we are unlikely to evolve out of being a species of violent, sex-crazed, delusional lunatics blindly following rules of our own making any time soon, it is not precisely clear which qualities in humanity as a whole that an objective observer might find engaging. Perhaps entertainment value. More likely as a scourge to be feared and hated.

At any rate, our endearing qualities would most certainly not be our frantic and insane clinging to the desperate illusion of order, structure, and control within our staunchly-defended ideological systems. Nor would they include our mechanized uniformity and hopeless addiction to social affirmation.

We seem to be utterly helpless without the scrutiny of each other. Our lives, pursuits, accomplishments and shortcomings are only worth what others see in them.
And those others' views are only worth how they appear to others yet. And so on to infinity.

Any aberration from the interests and pursuits that society around us considers viable is not "normal".
The perpetrator is then labeled "sociopathic". A hater of society. A threat to the sanctity of the hive.
After all, we're social animals. Like ants. And bees. And Lemmings. And everything alive. So much for sentience setting us apart.

Its nice to think that a truly sentient individual could challenge every precept that human beings revere and pursue as "normal". That every person should and would question, without exception, ALL of our institutions, traditions, trends, habits, customs and protocols. Anything that we do because, "that's just how it's done". Anything that is accepted without scrutiny. Anything that is done because "that's how we were raised" or because "others are doing it". Anything that is undertaken based on guilt, responsibility, obligation, duty, or ideological purpose without any critical thinking. Any truth we take for granted.
But honestly - that's just too much work...

If sentience is our most treasured aspect as a species, it is largely squandered on us. We're too busy going through the motions of what is expected of us. By us. We are completely consumed by admiring or despising some of us and being manipulated by others of us, while rigidly adhering to the examples of those of us who have lived in the past. All of whom did the exact same things as us. We are our only significant predator, and we fiercely defend ourselves against: us.

At the end of the day it's difficult to find any objective redeeming qualities in humanity. Its not that we've possibly got a few things wrong, but that we may have almost nothing right. And maybe that is just what we are. Self-obsessed and destructive. There are no solutions or remedies. We are not good or bad. We just are.

Ultimately, I don't have a shred of confidence that there is the slightest hope for the longevity of our species. Something so vulnerable and simultaneously malignant must eventually destroy itself, or succumb to external pressures. And perhaps that's ok. Enjoy it while it lasts, I say - because as far as I can tell the future cannot, and probably should not, include us.

Although I could be wrong.