Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead

Produced by David Seitz and JWH

Basic tracks recorded by JWH and The Minus Five, produced by Rob Seidenberg, at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR:
JWH – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar and Kazoo
Scott MacCaughey – Bass
Peter Buck – Rhythm Guitar
Bill Rieflin – Drums
Kurt Bloch – Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Robert Lloyd – Keyboards, Mandolin
Frederick Chalenor – Upright Bass

Overdubs recorded in New York City at Shelter Island Sound, New York City:
Mike Viola – Harmony Vocals
Kelly Hogan – Harmony Vocals
Earl Slick – Guitar on Sick Organism
Jim Brunberg – Banjo
Steve Berlin – Baritone Saxophone
Sycil Mathai – Trumpet, Piccolo Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Ben Herrington – Trombone
Ken Lovelett – Percussion

Strings on My Favourite Angel, Oh! Pandora, Love or Nothing and Daylight Ghosts, arranged by Deni Bonet:
Deni Bonet – Violin, Viola
Stephanie Winters – Cello
String Quartet on Sleepy People, arranged by Asi Mei:
Olivia De Prato – Violin
Zach Brock – Violin
Lev Zhurbin – Viola
Mike Block – Cello

Recorded and Mixed by David Seitz, assisted by many people, most notably Jim Brunberg and Asi Mei

Arranged by John Wesley Harding, except where noted.

Mastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge, NYC

Design, Art and Lettering by Abbey Stace, Saltbox Studio

All songs by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Music, Inc ASCAP), except 2, 9, 10, by John Wesley Harding and Mike Viola (Plangent Visions Music, Inc ASCAP/Urban Birdsongs ASCAP)

This record couldn’t have been made without Jim Brunberg, who generously offered his recording studio, Mississippi Studios in Portland; Peter Barnes, who thought it sounded a good idea; David Seitz, who generally offered his dedication, hard work and patience. Particular thanks to them, to Cathy Hendrix, and to Thaddeus Rudd and Julie Sparling.

Alternative titles for this album included Disagreeable Hymns, Late Style, Dilettante’s Inferno and My Little Saboteur.

“Who was Changed and Who was Dead” is a novel by Barbara Comyns, published in 1955, about an deadly outbreak of ergot poisoning in a small English village.

Career: Cathy Hendrix (cathyhendrix@mac.com)
Gigs: Mike Leahy at Concerted Efforts
Law: Loren Chodosh, NYC
Press: Sacks & Co, NYC
Money: Diane Schroder at Kolbrenner, Pagano and Schroder, LA

The first 2000 copies of this album included a live album, Don’t Look Back Now, recorded live at Union Hall, Brooklyn. JWH was accompanied by Robert Lloyd, Chris von Sneidern, Deni Bonet and Josh Ritter. The track listing was:

1. Kiss Me, Miss Liberty
2. The Person You Are
3. The People’s Drug
4. Still Photo
5. Top of the Bottom
6. Negative Love
7. Monkey and His Cat
8. Kill The Messenger
9. The Truth
10. Our Lady of the Highways
11. Window Seat
12. The Devil In Me

My Favourite Angel

You were beautiful, intelligent
You understood every word I meant
You were full of charm, a little la-di-da
I called you my morning star
My bright one, my light one
Always welcome in the private room
My right hand man, as good as,
Till you got a taste for the razzmatazz
The knife twists, you couldn’t resist
You put yourself top of the VIP list

And it’s strange how things change
You were my favourite angel
I can still see you shining in the sun
And remember how I spoke of you to everyone
I love Lucifer

It cut deep, you couldn’t sleep
Those dreams do not come cheap
You learned from me, turned from me
You were your own worst enemy
Not a word, no goodbye
Like lightning falling from the sky
Change your name, give it spin
You have shed your original skin
Your dark noise, seductive voice
All my creatures spoilt for choice

And it’s strange how things change
You were my favourite angel
I can still see you shining in the sun
And the hollowed out Bible where you kept your gun
I loved you Lucifer, I loved you Lucifer

You loved yourself much more than me,
You could no longer call me sir
But I loved you the most, my little saboteur

Strange how things change
Now you’re my favourite danger
I can still see you shining in the sun
And it’s strange how it surprises almost everyone
How I loved you Lucifer,
I loved you Lucifer
And I need you Lucifer
I love you Lucifer

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Love Or Nothing

The birds are all fish
The skyscrapers rocks
And the cities are lost like Atlantis
But the sun’s still the sun
And the moon’s still the moon
And your broken heart cannot be mended
So fill me up full of gasoline
The fields are sky blue and the sky is sea green
I’ll take you to a place I’ve been

Where it’s always love or nothing

The clouds are the cliffs
And the land is the sea
And the trees are all plankton and algae
The rain’s full of salt
And the fault lines are waves
And the planes are all climbing like ivy
So top me off with some ice and snow
What flies above you lies below
I’ll show you a place I go

Where it’s always love
Where it’s always love or nothing

Oh we’re down where
It’s so up in the air
But it’s turning around
It’s turning around
Get your feet on the ground
It’s so up in the air
But it’s turning around
We’re out of the roll
And we’re back in control
And the sun king surveys his horizon
But nothing’s the same
A particular plane
And I never knew it existed
So close your eyes and trust my voice
You’re dizzy now with the heat and noise
But, darling, you made your choice

It was always love
It was always love or nothing

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding and Mike Viola (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP/Urban Birdsongs, ASCAP)

Oh! Pandora

I know your secret and I promise I’ll never tell
I’m under its magic spell
I’ll try to keep it to myself
I know you have a terrible vow to keep
How do you get to sleep?
It must possess you every waking minute
Wondering just what is in it
There it is in front of you
I know that you want it too

Don’t be shy, Pandora
Pandora, don’t be shy
Sister, you just can’t resist, neither can I
It never hurts to try
Just admit, Open it
Oh! Pandora

Perhaps you’re right, you’re happy the way you are
It’s better this way by far
But can you handle never knowing?
And what if you’re wrong, just denying yourself
the best
Maybe that’s how you fail the test
Don’t you have a life to live?
Have you no initiative?
Quick before we both decay
Baby, are you made of clay?

Don’t be shy, Pandora
Pandora, don’t be shy
Sister, you just can’t resist, neither can I
It never hurts to try
You can’t win, Just give in, Pandora
It’s no sin, slither in
Oh! Pandora

How can you sit there in silence
With the rest of us forming a line?
Do us a favour, Pandora
Anytime today would be fine

Don’t be shy, Pandora
Pandora, don’t be shy
Sister, you just can’t resist, neither can I
It never hurts to try
It’s my turn, you don’t learn, Pandora
Stand aside, Let me try, Pandora
Give it here, disappear,
Oh! Pandora

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

A Very Sorry Saint

A very sorry saint I am, I am A very sorry saint I am
I don’t even do the best I can
A very sorry saint I am, I am

I try so hard to be grateful
For each day I’m alive
But all I can manage
Is a grudging high five
But someone up there must like me
I continue to thrive

I know it looks like I’m praying
Owning up to my sins
But I’m just starting to wonder
When the orgy begins
All the souls that need saving
The identical twins

A very sorry saint I am, I am…

There are two Marys
One is a tart
The other’s a virgin
I can’t tell them apart
And there’s a book called the Bible
I should know it by heart

A very sorry saint I am, I am
… I’m no good at please and thank you, ma’am

He’s a jealous king wants unconditional love
And when you come empty-handed, it’s him you’re unworthy of

I know I look holy
But it’s all sleight of hand
Cos I doubt and I worry
And he laughs at my plans
But my halo’s so charming
And my churches look grand

A very sorry saint I am, I am, A very sorry saint I am
This isn’t even blood, it’s strawberry jam
A very sorry saint I am, I am, I am.

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Sleepy People

Sleepy People - look what you done
Look what you didn’t do
Sleepy people - are you up with the sun?
No, you just slept right through

Out in the rain
They are taking the strain
On the rope of the shapeless new day
At quarter past seven
They’re banished from heaven
But there’s no complaint
From the latter day saints
Or the raincoat and umbrella girls
Who open their shoe stores
And there’s no excuse for

Sleepy People - look what you done
Look what you didn’t do
Sleepy people - are you up with the sun?
No, you just slept right through

Back in the gloom
Of a bedroom that’s baffled
A tomb that is soundproofed and still
Until a half past
When there’s movement at last
Oh, you faked us all out
With that little about turn
That shifting upon your right side
It’s just eyelid flutter
A groan and a mutter from

Sleepy People - look what you done
Look what you didn’t do
Sleepy people - are you up with the sun?
Maybe the world dreams you
Sleepy People - When I’m jumping the gun
Oh how I envy you

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Daylight Ghosts

When I was young and beginning
I was afraid of the dark
As I got older, I learned to
Put it in quotation marks
Now I’m not afraid of the shades and the shapes
Cos the shadows know what I fear most
Is the daylight ghosts
Was it a dream that I saw you
My inexplicable friend
I must have forgot that you’ll never
Darken my doorstep again
I looked once more at the shapes in the rust
on the door
But they didn’t come close
To the daylight ghosts
Lock me away in the darkness
Play me your nightmarish dreams
I’m not afraid of your vampires
And your vampires aren’t afraid of me
My guests smile and wave as they head to the graves
Where they’ll feast on a more generous host
A mirror reflecting nothing
A curtain about to be drawn
The smell of damp newspaper
Please hold the doors on the dawn
I’m not afraid of the choices I made
But the voices know what I fear most
Is the daylight ghosts
No, I’m not afraid of the shades and the shapes
Cos the shadows know what I fear most
Is the daylight ghosts

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Featured track—hear the whole thing

The End

It’ll end with a bang
It’ll end with a gun
It’ll end with a chorus
Then another one
It’ll end in ten minutes
And too many beers
It might struggle on
To the end of this year
It’ll end with the credits
And a copyright sign
It’ll end with a ticket
That leads to a fine
It’ll end with a trial
An arrest by the cops
It’ll end in a sentence
And then a full stop
It’ll end with a whimper
Or maybe a thud
It’ll end with a headstone
Your name will be mud
It’ll end with a coin
Placed on each eye
It’ll end with all children
Chanting Goodbye
That’s how it’ll end

It’ll end with a chance
Of a sequel for sure
It’ll end with the pitiful
Hope of some more
It’ll end with an inquest
A chance to resign
It’ll end with a word
That is twice underlined
(It’ll end with a word
That is twice underlined)
It’ll end with a cookie
That comes with the check
It’ll end with a chase
And a high-speed wreck
It’ll end when you didn’t
Expect that it would
And once it is gone
It’ll be gone for good
It’ll end with a war
It’ll end all wrong
It’ll end with a new
David Bowie song
It’ll end in tension
It’ll end in tears
And it might struggle on till
The end of this year
That’s how it’ll end

It’ll end with a high sign
End in a flash
It’ll end with the promise
Of bags full of cash
It’ll end with a man
All alone in the snow
Searching for something
That he’ll never know
It’ll end in an instant
Good luck and nice try
It’ll end with a simile
Like a goodbye
It’ll end in ten minutes
And too much wine
It might struggle on
Till the end of all time

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Sick Organism

You’re a sick organism and you’re living on the edge of town
You’re gulping for breath, hoping that you’ll be found
You’re a dying breed and I hope that you don’t drown
You’re a sick organism and you’re living on the edge of town

You’ve got a beautiful surface, wonder what it really hides
You sent an invitation but I think I’m gonna stay outside
The sun is shining and I hope that you don’t get fried
You’re a sick organism and you’re living on the edge of town

You’re a sick organism, all your natural functions stalled
Like a fish out of water, you wait to be recalled
I hope the tide comes in or you won’t get back at all
You’re a sick organism, all your natural functions stalled

You fade in the daylight, colour drained from your wings
Your beautiful song, you no longer can be bothered to sing
Best offer yourself as food for some living thing
You’re a sick organism and you’re living on the edge of town

You’ve got a beautiful surface, ailing on the chaos within
If it’s all skin deep then I’m glad you had perfect skin
If the best survive then it looks like you won’t win…

You’re a sick organism and you’re living on the edge You’re gulping for breath, hoping that you’ll be found
You’re a dying breed and I hope that you don’t drown
You’re a sick organism and you’re living off the edge of town

You’re a sick organism You’re a sick organism
You’re a sick organism You’re a sick organism

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Congratulations (on your Hallucinations)

You always surprise me
With the way you use your eyes
I mean the way you see things differently from me
And I am green with envy
How you see a glass half-full
When it’s just one gulp away from empty
I’m pleased you think that everything is nice
Ignorance is bliss so don’t think twice

Congratulations (on your hallucinations)
Congratulations (on your hallucinations)
They bear no relation to the truth

Everything’s improving
Or is that all too confusing for you?
Either you’re completely crazy
Or you know something I don’t
And my guess is that it’s something I don’t want to
What gets you from A to B?
Does it start with a Capital G, O, D?

Congratulations (on your hallucinations)
Congratulations (on your hallucinations)
They bear no relation to the truth

Is it the X files or the kung fu?
Have you got a guru
Who’s shown what you what your money’s worth?
Is it all down to the homegrown?
Baby, please phone home
We miss you back here on planet earth
I know that this is water off your back
But tell me what it is that makes you quack!

Congratulations (on your hallucinations)
Congratulations (on your hallucinations)
They bear no relation to the truth

(I’ll have what you’re having. Make mine a double)

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Featured track—hear the whole thing

Top Of The Bottom

I started playing guitar by the town memorial
All my songs were singing editorials
And when I’d done the Sermon on the Mount
I counted my change, put it in my bank account
I didn’t wanna work at the local abattoir
So I left home and expanded my repertoire
Did some gigs, no one booed
Got free beer and drank it with gratitude
Once I started, couldn’t stop

That’s how I got from the Bottom to the Top

A businessman with a very young dolly bird
Talked through the set, liked what he thought he heard
Dropped some names he claimed to represent
Asked me if I had any management
Two weeks later, I’m signing on a dotted line
Offered some drugs, at first I declined
Lots of parties where the spread’s incredible
Don’t get close, cos the food’s inedible
I became a spinning top

That’s how I got from the Bottom to the Top

Got a big deal and moved to America
I fell in love with an heiress called Erica
Started out smart, soon got silly
A party by the pool, an arrest for necrophilia
News travels like electricity
A bad mugshot is good publicity
I laid low for a month or two
And spent my dough building a recording studio
And that’s when it all went pop

That’s how I got back from the Bottom to the Top
of the Bottom

The label and payola got me in the charts
My new management had me by the private parts
Went on strike, took the initiative
Forgetting that I didn’t have a single chip to bargain with
Lost my nerve, and my fall was glorious
The lawsuit was eternal and laborious
My new material was only fair-to-middling
Rome was burning and I did some fiddling
And finally, I was dropped

That’s how I got back from the Bottom to the Top
of the Bottom

On the way down, people tend to leave you where you fall
I tried to stand up but I didn’t have the wherewithal
I nearly died in a cab one day
So I swapped my bourbon for a bottle full of Perrier
There were rumours about my sexuality
The video star was killed by reality
Next thing I know, I’m on my knees
Begging the camera: Vote me off the island please
But the world forgives a flop

That’s how I got back from the Bottom to the Top
of the Bottom

All that exposure and the phones start to ring again
I experience the strange urge to sing again
Not long ago, I was a boy with a dream
I reacquaint myself with a razor and some shaving cream
Look at me, I’m ripe for rediscovery
All I need is Mary to mother me
On the tenth green, I was way over par
My partner offered me a tour of Jesus Christ Superstar
And that’s when the penny dropped

That’s how I got back from the Bottom to the Top
of the Bottom

Toured all over the States of America
I got a picture of my son from Erica
My parents wrote: "Since you disappeared
Hard to believe, but it’s just been one year”
Now it’s back to ale and cakes again
Wonder if I’ll make the same mistakes again
Hope that you enjoyed this tutorial
There’s another busker playing the memorial
I’m getting bored of talking shop
That’s how I got back from the Bottom to the Top
of the Bottom to the Top of the Bottom.

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Someday Son

My father lifted me upon his shoulders
So I could see the whole of our street
The wrought iron gates of all the tiny empires
That marked where their dominions were complete
Their bicycles, their dirty Morris Minor
Their garages with automatic doors

And he said:
“Someday, son
Someday son,
None of this will be yours”

The Devil, well, he took me for a picnic
And showed me all the kingdoms of the earth
He pulled me up a spreadsheet of their riches
And calculated what each king was worth
And when I knew I could resist no longer
Like the little boy who asked for more

He said:
“Someday, son
Someday son,
None of this will be yours”

None of the money and none of the sun
None of the honey, you’ll only get stung
None of the pleasure, none of the fun
None of the fun

Now I wake up laughing every morning
Guess I finally managed to adjust
I’ve done away with fear and disillusion
Hopelessness, corruption and disgust
Now I have a child in New York City
Crawling cross the carpet on the floor

And I say:
“Someday, son
Someday son,
None of this will be yours”

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding and Mike Viola (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP/Urban Birdsongs, ASCAP)

Your Mind's Playing Tricks on You

Only our weirdest predictions come true
Turns out that the world don’t revolve around you
It’s all feels familiar, it’s all deja vu
You just need to know who’s who in the zoo
Your mind’s playing tricks on you
Telling stories that were never true
You think the devil’s got a fix on you
Your mind’s playing tricks on you

You put all your faith in the powers that be
They look divine, but they’re not Gods to me
Act like you’re not guilty, maybe it’ll come true
You’ll never be her, she’ll never be you
And your mind’s playing tricks on you
Telling stories that were never true
You think the devil’s got a fix on you
And your mind’s playing tricks on you
Yes, your mind’s playing tricks on you
Gets too dangerous to think things through
Till you think I’m not in love with you
That’s your mind’s playing tricks on you

Empty your mind, meditate on me
I’ll be your mantra if you want me to be
What now looks shabby will soon seem sublime
Tomorrow will finally come and last a long time
And your mind’s playing tricks on you
Telling stories that were never true
You think the devil’s got a fix on you
Your mind’s playing tricks on you
Yes, your mind’s playing tricks on you
Gets too dangerous to think things through
But if you think I’m not in love with you
Then your mind’s playing tricks on you

Music and lyrics by Wesley Stace (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP)

Wild Boy

Beautiful little wild boy
Cute in your suit of corduroy
Once the playground had no bars
Do you remember when?
Beautiful little feral child
Out on the concrete running wild
All of the servants call you sir
Now that your nails are clean
Do you remember fun in the jungle?
A little rough and tumble with your friends?
Do you remember back when you were happy?
Before they tried to civilise you again

Why don’t you come and join the circus
Come and join the circus
Come and join the circus, wild boy?

Beautiful little wild boy
What is the thing that brings you joy?
Playing with the mongrels in the yard
Under the midnight moon
Pitiful little wild child
Posing for portraits with a smile
Closing your eyes and pinching yourself
Won’t make it go away
Do you remember blue sky above you?
The monkeys loved you like you were their own
Oh just look around you, the real world has found you
And frowns when you chew meat off the bone
No wonder you feel so alone

Why don’t you come and join the circus
Come and join the circus
Come and join the circus, wild boy?

Do you remember endless days of pleasure?
Now nothing measures up or can compare
I’ll take you where you’re free, my untamed treasure
I promise you we’ll both be millionaires

Why don’t you come and join the circus
Come and join the circus
Come and join the circus, wild boy
Come and join the circus
Come and join the circus
Come and join the circus, wild boy?

Music and lyrics by John Wesley Harding and Mike Viola (Plangent Visions Inc., ASCAP/Urban Birdsongs, ASCAP)