SONGS

  1. So Let It Go...........(4:22): listen / lyrics / comments
  2. Emotional Philosophy...(5:58): listen / lyrics / comments
  3. Contradictory Girl.....(3:17): listen / lyrics / comments
  4. Out Of Time............(5:04): listen / lyrics / comments
  5. What Do I Get?.........(2:41): listen / lyrics / comments
  6. Revelations............(5:54): listen / lyrics / comments
  7. Darkness At Noon.......(4:03): listen / lyrics / comments
  8. Another Day............(4:40): listen / lyrics / comments
  9. Blue Steel.............(4:44): listen / lyrics / comments
 10. The Hurt...............(3:51): listen / lyrics / comments
 11. What Is It (You Do)?...(4:13): listen / lyrics / comments
 12. Lullaby................(4:47): listen / lyrics / comments

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So Let It Go (4:23) (listen to a sample)

Music and lyrics by Daniel Lewis
 
A life's a life I hear you say
Enough emotion in a day
We'll never ever really know
So let it go

I can't believe I feel this way
It would be better to delay
And then I'd never really know
So let it go

There were times we could have said
It would be better to be dead
But if it were so we'd never know
So let it go
Let it go

Give me a way to set things free
Give me a way to let them be
Give me a way to really know
So let it go
Let me go

You seem to know just what to do
You stand aside from all the rules
They look at you and want to know
When you let go

So now you're here today
And the road less travelled leads away
Should it stay I don't really know
So let it go
Let it go

Go
Go

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

I wrote this song in 1991 for an old girlfriend.  We finally did let it go but it took a year or so.  I still had fun and I'd like to think she did too.  This iteration of the song came out way better than I thought it would.  Hatfield's vocals power it perfectly as the opening "Energy" song on the album.  We weren't sure at first that he'd be able to sing it (see Blue Steel liner notes below) but in the end he cranked out a pretty rockin' performance.
Commentary from Benjamin:

This turned out to be one of my favorites on the album, but it was a bit of a winding road. (For whatever reason) I had it in my head that Daniel wanted (or had at least green-lighted) new lyrics for this song, which dates back to the early 1990's and which we released a version of in 1994. It was just called "Let It Go" at that time. Thus, I wrote a new set of lyrics and called the song "Goodbye." It was about one of my favorite topics, the idea that there is such a thing as "the good old days," a mythical period when everything was "better" and "as it should be," always before the current time, which is considered inferior to the past. I contend that, though the world is often a crappy place filled with injustice, death, and despair, it is still better than any time in the past. There are still plenty of unhappy, mistreated people today, but there were even more (as a percentage of the population) at any time in the past. Think about it and be honest. Would you really want to have been born in <insert favored year here>? When I sang these new words, it was all Daniel could do to humor me until that time when I was to be given the old words and told to sing them. On the one hand, I miss my new words, but on the other, I really like how this came out, the energy the song delivers. I'll let Daniel have this one.
Emotional Philosophy (6:00) (listen to a sample)

Music and lyrics by Daniel Lewis
 
Give you something, I got a good time for nothing
'Cause you can see what I can see
I and can be what you can be
Don't tell me that I have to read
Emotional philosophy

All my life I've found
When anything, anywhere, anytime ever falls
It makes a sound

Tell me something, I don't know for sure is nothing
I know one thing, I want to believe you're bluffing
'Cause I am here and you are free
And you can be what you can be
You told me what you did to me
In words too plain for me to see

All your life you've found
When anyone, anywhere, anytime ever falls
It comes around

We were something, A long time before we had nothing
'Cause I was you and you were me
I always thought I had the key
In time we might have come to see
The place you always yearned to be

All your life you've found
When anyone, anywhere, anytime ever falls
They let you down

It means something, Those times I recall you loved me
A life of nothing, Has got to be good for something

'Cause you can see what I can see
And I can be what you can be
Don't tell me I don't have to read
Emotional philosophy

All my life I've found
When anything, anywhere, anytime ever falls
It makes a sound

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

I wrote this song in 1991 also, shortly after moving out to New Mexico.  Hatfield will love this next part: the song's main hook is stolen from the soundtrack of "The Omega Man" which happened to be on the TV at my dad's house one evening.  I heard the soundtrack in the background and liked it so much I wrote a Daniel song around it.  I remember playing it for my girlfriend at the time and being all happy with myself for using the reverse gate sound you hear on the drums during the bridge portion of the song.  Her only comment was "I'm learning to listen to music in an all new light now." Which upon experience clarified  hindsight/reflection I'm taking to mean "Your music isn't that great to begin with and the reverse gate drums add exactly zero to it."  Oh well.  I still like my #$*^ing reverse gate drums.  As for the lyrics, of course they're about the D-woman.  Most of my songs are.  Obviously it's a play on the old philosophical question about a tree falling in the forest making a sound.  My own personal contention  is that it depends on your definition of the word "sound".  The songs contention is that of course it does.  And it's usually a cry of pain. :-)
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Commentary from Benjamin:

Yet another old song of ours, this one also dating to the early 1990's and a version of which we also released in 1994 on the same compilation that contained So Let It Go. No confusion about the lyrics here, and I've always liked them anyway, as I have the music. This time the issue during recording was how I sang it. Daniel wanted "more legato" and "less staccato." We went back and dug up the old 1994 version and listened to it. I could see what he meant, but I guess I'm just too damn old. I could not get it the way he wanted it, making it smooth while sounding decent. I actually liked my staccato vocal stylings better, but I gave it the old college try and we switched a lot of bits on the hard drive platters until Daniel finally gave in. Even though I do like the style of singing, I still can't say that this song completely fulfilled my vision of what I thought I could do. We struggled with it over multiple recording sessions, and in the end took the best that I could do, but I don't think I did the song justice. It's not bad, but I wish I could have done it better. I can't lay my finger on why it's not exactly my vision (and no, it's not staccato versus legato), but it's just a little off.
Contradictory Girl (3:19) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield
 
I brought it to you what you said you wanted
I took you places where flags unfurl
You left me standing alone in the doorway
You're the one I call my contradictory girl

Time is an abstraction whenever I'm around you
I've followed you all over the world
Only to find that you're right where I left you
You're the one I call my contradictory girl

You know I need her, oh, you know I need her
You know I need my contradictory girl
You know I want her, my god you know I want her
You know I want my contradictory girl

I got to got to have her, oh, I've got to have her
I got to have my contradictory girl
I think I love her, lord, I think I love her
I think I love my contradictory girl

She took me sailing on wings of my emotions
She dropped anchor said let's give it whirl
Dived into the water in the middle of nowhere
I jumped in to save my contradictory girl

As I look back can't see land on the horizon
Can't see my boat, and I can't see my girl
I'm treading water alone on the ocean
I wake up in her arms my contradictory girl

You take me places I didn't know existed
You let me see the things that make up this world
You take the time to show me how to live
That's why I love you contradictory girl

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

This song went through a lot of work to get to the point that you hear it on the album.  It started out as just a heavy guitar song that I wasn't overly fond of.  I really liked the bridge and that was about it.  Hatfield had some lyrics that he wrote for it that he hated so of course I had to hear them.  It turned out to be that they were very image laden and very Daniel.  In short, I loved them.  So we laid  them down but the song still needed work.  I threw in the extra guitar parts between the verses which  improved the song 100% right there.  Then I took out the guitar right after the bridge giving Hatfield his "A Cappella".  I figured he'd love that, but it also broke up the song in just the right way.  The result is a song that went from being my least favorite to one of the top three on the album for me.   Likewise, Hatfield was originally asking me not to include it in the album, but I insisted it remain (of course that was before I did all the creative additions and mixing on it).  I'll just quote an old  friend and say that "This serves as a reminder not to pre-judge the vision before it happens." or some  sh*t like that.
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Commentary from Benjamin:

I consider this a partial follow-up to A Girl Like That off of the Still Life With Llamas album. It is another of my songs about women who drive you crazy but somehow fulfill you at the same time. Daniel wrote a rockin' tune for this one, and the bits with vocal effects and naked vocals were all his idea - and they add greatly to the final result. I do not have a great rock n' roll voice - I don't have that really hard edge that many rock singers have, so I am not always happy with the results of our "harder" stuff (e.g. Face To Face on Still Life With Llamas), but I am pretty happy with this one, mainly thanks to Daniel's creative use of the buttons on his equipment. I was not initially keen to keep this song on the album at all, but Daniel talked me into it and I think he was right.
Out Of Time (5:06) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

Those nights that you called
I waited for the phone to ring
Those nights that you called
Those nights they meant everything to me
Everything to me

We talked, of life
We talked of life and love and pain
We spoke, of truth
We spoke of things we could not name at all
At all

I wish that I could take your hand in mine
But I feel the fear of stepping out of line
It's clear to me the problem is
The problem is I'm running out of time

Your voice, your laugh
Your breath across a thousand miles
A friend, a sage
But I could see behind your smile
The more we talked the more I felt your pain

You told, me things
The things you did not want to say
We said, too much
Too much to tear ourselves away
Away

You know that you are always on my mind
You know that if you ask I won't deny
It's clear to you the problem is
The problem is you're running out of time

So now, I know
That I must choose to be set free
I can't, believe
That it took so long for me to see
The one your calls have really saved is me

Those nights that you call
I'm waiting for the phone to ring
Those nights that you call
Those nights they mean everything to me
To me

Our lives could not be more strangely entwined
Connected by a web of dotted lines
It's clear to us the problem is
The problem is we're running out of time
The problem is we're running out of time

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

I was trying to write a techno type tune but it turned into a Daniel type tune instead.  The result in my mind is somewhat repetitive with this being one of my least favorite songs on the album.  But it's one of Hatfield's most favorite so it stays.  I like the bridge and I like the "Zing!" sound coming out of it.  Shamwow!
Commentary from Benjamin:

This is (as I write this and subject to change without notice) my favorite or second favorite song on the album (depending on my mood). This is a song about a long distance relationship between two people that is just a meeting of the minds and not a meeting of anything else. Their lives are too complicated and intertwined to throw it all away and do something about it, but they give each other what they need anyway. I really like how this one came together. As I was writing lyrics for it and practicing, I knew this one could be good and it ended up just about where I had it in my head before we ever hit the studio.
Revelations (5:56) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

Left alone
Believing in fate
What can I
Expect to create
Watching the sun
Descend from the sky

I know what I've done before
I Know what I'm searching for
I can see everything
Laid out in front of me
I try not to look behind
Try not to let my mind
Flow down the paths of time
Revealing the tracks of my life

Living in jest
Living in lies
How can I
Expect to get by
Having you here
Reminds me of things
I'd rather not know
Rather not sing
What was is gone
What is will be
Nothing more
Can be expected of me

I know what I've done before
Know what I'm searching for
I can see everything
Laid out in front of me
I try not to look behind
Try not to let my mind
Flow down the paths of time
Revealing the tracks of my life

[BRIDGE]

I know what I've done before
Know what I'm searching for
I can see everything
Laid out in front of me
I try not to look behind
Try not to let my mind
Flow down the paths of time
Revealing the tracks of my life

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

This song amuses me to no end on several different levels.  For starters, it's not actually me playing the guitar.  Or any of the intstruments for that matter.  I suppose I should be supremely concerned that this track has consistently returned as peoples' "favorite song on the album" - and it's the only one that comprises absolutely no musical input from me.  Fortunately my ego's too big to let little things like fan feedback and lack of personal talent get in my way.  A friend at work loaned me his copy of Cakewalk Plasma and seven CD's worth of sound samples for the computer.  I used the ensuing software to create the song you hear on the album.  Guitar, drums, synthesizer and Bass - all soundloop generated.  It's amazing what you can do with a computer these days.  You don't even have to be a musician or have to know how to play a single instrument and you can still write a song and be an  "artist".  Keith Richards is rolling over in his grave and the friggin guy ain't even dead yet.  Then of course there's the witty banter which came about spontaineously during recording so in true "Replacements" form, I kept it in the final mastering.  And last but not least, there's the subject matter of the song itself - Hatfield's obvious bitterness which I'm not sure why I enjoy but nevertheless find vastly entertaining.
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Commentary from Benjamin:

Here is a possible exception to the "my vocals don't do well on hard rock songs" rule. I think this one came out really well. I wanted to sound bitter, and I think it worked. The vocal effects help, but they are more of an enhancement here than the prop they are on Contradictory Girl. The message (like I need to explain the message to anyone who has listened to the song or read the lyric sheet) is that if you are in a one-way relationship where you are doing all the giving, that sucks and you can be bitter about it, but in the end it's your life, so if you want to change it, stop whining and change it. And I am not Hat Dog.
What Do I Get? (2:43) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

Lately, it's occured to me
What you get's not always what you need
I know we've all heard the song
But I think they might have got it wrong

It's not that I don't care, I care for you
But caring alone is not enough, enough to see us through

I'm sorry if this isn't making sense to you, yet
Just let me ask you one thing: what do I get?

I know I might sound bitter
But my plight is my own fault
It's not about being mad at you
It's about my life and what I do

You got everything you want
You got clothes, a car, a home
Someone looking out for you
Someone who would be your fool

From where you sit, I guess things still look pretty good
But take a walk in my shoes for a while
if you think you could

Just let me ask you one thing: what do I get?

I'm not good at conflict
I'm not good at tears
But I don't want to be my father
Holding on for all those years

Sorry if this still isn't making sense to you, yet
But let me ask you this one question
Let me ask you this one thing
What do I get?

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

Another oldie - I wrote this song in the summer of 1988.  1988 was a very good year.  I was 20 years old, Anne had left the country for England for the summer, and I was living by myself in her house and driving her car and working a summer job.  Basically it was my first real taste of 100% Autonomous Living and I enjoyed every second of it.  Of course this song had completely different lyrics in 1988.  I miss them but they probably haven't been relavent since, oh, 1988.  I re-wrote the lyrics in 1989 which was a mistake - I should have kept the originals.  However, since I had already re-written them twice and none of them were really relavent, I just asked Hatfield to do a re-write.  Of course, he didn't. Another song that came down to the wire and had lyrics written on the fly about an hour before recording.  That's ok - they're still better than my second set, and the first set isn't really relavent anymore... Did I mention that already?
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Commentary from Benjamin:

The tune on this one goes back even further than So Let It Go and Emotional Philosophy, all the way back to a release we did in 1989 (god are we friggin' old). At that time, this was called La Rue De L'Echelle (roughly, "the street of ladders"). I actually liked Daniel's original lyrics a lot, but the range and key of the song pretty much put them out of my reach unless I do the guttural Barry White thing (if you ever heard the 1989 original, you would ask that I please not do the guttural Barry White thing), so after bitching and moaning ceaselessly to Daniel over the years, he suggested (brilliantly) that I write new lyrics that follow a different part of the melody and that I can sing. So I did. I'm usually not a fatalistic person, but my goal with these lyrics was to try to write like Daniel, all in metaphors with the concretes only to create images, not to advance the plot line, and all being tilted towards a slightly negative view of life and relationships. You be the judge (or perhaps Daniel can be the judge), but I think I succeeded. Consider this my style parody of Daniel.
Darkness At Noon (4:05) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

Can't you see the world as it's passing you by
As it's passing you by, and you're watching it
From your window at night, can't you see the light
Can't you see that sometimes it's OK

You don't know how I feel
I know you feel alone
For me the pain is real
But that's not all you feel
That's how I feel
It's not all you feel
Joy can be so real

What has gone before is not the only thing
Not the only thing that makes up who you are
What you are today, who you are today
Is all that matters anyway

For me the past is dark
I know the nights are long
For me the pain is real
But that's not all you feel
That's how I feel
It's not all you feel
Joy can be so real

Your life is what you make it
Your future is your own to seek
The time is now to take it
Only you can say what you can be

You know I feel alone
I know the past is dark
For me the pain is real
But that's not all you feel
That's how I feel
It's not all you feel
Joy can be so real

I know that something else, things you could not control
Things that battered your soul, put you where you are
You've gone from framing yourself, to blaming yourself
For all those crimes you did not commit

I don't know how to live
You know how to give
For me the pain is real
But that's not all you feel
That's how I feel
It's not all you feel
Joy can be so real

Can't you see the world as it's passing you by
As it's passing you by, and you're watching it
From your window at night, can't you see the light
Can't you see that sometimes it's OK

You don't know how I feel
I know you feel alone
For me the pain is real
But that's not all you feel
That's how I feel
It's not all you feel
Joy can be so real

Your life is what you make it
Your future sits upon the shelf
Before you can take it
You have to give it to yourself

You know how to live
You know how to give
I know your pain is real
But that's not all you feel
That's how I feel
That's how I feel / That's not all you feel
Joy can be so real

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

The repetitiveness of this song grates on me.  It's broken up somewhat by the addition of Jennifer's vocals which cut through the song like a knife - I really enjoy them, but anyone else hearing the song will probably just think "Wow, what a boring duet repeated over and over again."  I don't know maybe I'm just bitter myself.  The bitterness from the last song has rubbed off on me and is flowing over into  this one.
Commentary from Benjamin:

This is written about someone going through a very dark time in his/her life, a time when all they can see is negativity. If these were Daniel lyrics, the narrator would agree with the protagonist. Since they are my lyrics, the narrator keeps reminding the protagonist that pain "is not all you feel." Nothing is resolved in this song - the protagonist is still depressed at the end and the narrator is starting to sound like a broken record (in another generation, no one is going to know where the phrase "broken record" even came from, because they will never have seen a record - it will just be something people say), but the message is still valid. I greatly appreciate Jennifer adding her vocals to this one. She now has the distinction of being the first female voice on any of our songs (and that means back to our genesis in 1983).
Another Day (4:41) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

Woke up this morning with the sun streaming in
It's yet another day here without you
Just another day here without you
Don't know when you'll be back again
And its another day here without you
My time alone has reminded me of something
Brought back a lesson from my past
That another day here without you
Yes another day here without you
Is one day closer to my last
Closer to my last day without you
Did you think that I would wait forever?
I'm sorry if you came to think I would
Wait another day here without you
Yet another day here without you

I used to think my time here was my friend
Now I know that it only marked the end
Of all my days here without you
Don't care when you'll be back again
'Cause I won't stay here without you
You probably think that I'll still be waiting
Sitting all alone in an empty room

But I think that today here without you
This final day here without you
This day is gonna be my last
Gonna be my last day without you
I know that I cannot wait forever
I know that it's more than I can stand
To wait another day here without you
Yes, another day here without you

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

Great tune.  I love the music in this song - the guitar work, the keyboards, everything.  The vocals took a while to get used to but now I like them too.  This is one of the better songs on the album.  I  submitted it to a music agent and was told that the drum beat was too artificial.  One more thing to be bitter about... :-P
Commentary from Benjamin:

All I could hear in my head when Daniel first sent me the melody was Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves. No, it's not exactly like it, or even greatly similar, but it's such an upbeat melody that I just kept thinking of that song, which is one of the most positive pop songs ever (IMHO). So why did I end up writing about someone left alone by their significant other to the point that the relationship fell apart? Not sure, but in my defense, the message is positive in that the person has finally figured out that their life is their own and they need to go live it. (On the other hand, the poor schlob is still just singing about how he/she is going to break free and how great that is, and the songs ends without having actually done it, but in my mind, he/she follows through).
Blue Steel (4:46) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

No time for all that stuff
Have to do it off the cuff
I think you know why
I'd bet you know why

Time is life
And life is time
If I could find blue steel
Not much else
Is left to do
If I could find blue steel

In the desert of my soul
I no longer have control
I think you know why
I'd bet you know why
Gave it up for all that was
Gave it up to feel the buzz

I think you know why
I'd bet you know why
It's not that hard to say
Wouldn't matter anyway

Truth is life
And life is truth
If I could find blue steel
Not much else
Is left to say
If I could find blue steel

Life is hope
And hope is life
If I could find blue steel
Not much else
Is left to see
If I could find blue steel

Emptyness is all around
A line of footsteps on the ground
I think you know why
I'd bet you know why
Leading me along the ridge
Leading me across the bridge
I think you know why
I'd bet you know why

Love is life
And life is love
If I could find blue steel
Not much else
Is left to be
If I could find blue steel

There was a time I saw the sun
And I was not the only one
I think you know why
I'd bet you know why
Now I see the crystal sky
Filtered through my one desire

I think you know why
I'd bet you know why
A river running through my dreams
And nothing can awaken me

Not much else
Is left to feel
Until I find blue steel
Not much life
Is left to live
Until I find blue steel

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

God I love this song.  It came out really really well.  Thematically it's very similar to "So Let It  Go".  I used to bitch about how Peter Ceterra's tunes all sounded the same - well I can't anymore, 'cause my tunes sure as sh*t do too.  But anyway, of course Blue Steel also has an amusing story behind it.  After a seven year recording hiatus, we got back together and started recording new songs only to discover that Hatfield's vocals weren't as good as they used to be. He started buying all kinds of  expensive designer waters and drinking them between vocal sessions to try and "lubricate his vocal chords" and get back to his original singing voice. Well, one day, Hatfield hit a particularly great performance after downing one specific brand of designer water called "Cool Blue" (which I promptly  started calling "Blue Steel" after the Zoolander movie). We immediately went on a quest for more Blue  Steel water as that was obviously the only thing that would allow him to sing well. We drove all over town, hit up seven different grocery stores before finally stumbling on a lost cache of 13 bottles of "Blue Steel". We bought them all, and then Hatfield wrote an ecclectic song about it. I guess the real humor here is that he was poking fun at my own lyric writing style which consists of using imagery and  emotions to convey a message where Hatfield tends to just come out and say exactly what he means  leaving little to the listener to figure out. I told him I was going to write my own version of Blue Steel and make fun of his writing style where I would just tell the story straight up as I've just done in the last paragraph. I'm sure Hatfield could fit it into a 4:30 musical timeframe so I'll figure out how to do it too.
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Commentary from Benjamin:

What can I cay about this? I wrote these lyrics during the final days of the recording sessions that produced the album. It was late at night. I'll leave it to Daniel to tell the story of Blue Steel, but let me say that this song is not evidence of our use of illegal substances (we don't use any) or the promotion of such use - this is not our Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. However, I did think the lyrics were so funny as I wrote them (remember: very late at night after long day(s) recording) that I literally fell out of my chair and rolled around on the floor. Forget it, you had to be there.
The Hurt (3:53) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

I don't know, I don't know why
Nothing lasts, why nothing lasts
And I don't know, I don't know why
Nothing changes, why nothing changes

You can love with all of your soul
You can give even more than you know
You can believe that it never will go
You can live like you'll keep what you own

There's nothing's wrong, nothing wrong With
Pretending you, can't see the end
And there nothing's wrong, nothing wrong with
Thinking that, time is your friend

You can see without lookin' around
You can walk with your eyes to the ground
You can think that it won't come around
As long as you can stand the hurt

There's nothing wrong, nothing wrong with
Living life, loving life
And there's nothing wrong, nothing wrong with
Holding on, holding on tight

You can try to keep it alive
You can vow that it never will die
There's no reason not to give it a try
As long as you can stand the hurt

Love and life, they ebb and they flow
As long as you can catch what they throw
As long as you can accept when they go
Then you can always stand the hurt

You can love with all of your soul
You can give even more than you know
You can believe that it never will go
Love and life, they ebb and they flow
As long as you can catch what they throw
As long as you can accept when they go
Then you can always stand the hurt

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

Cool piano tune.  Another product of the new drum machine (see next song).  I like it a lot -  especially the chorus.  Jennifer is a huge "Grey's Anatomy" fan so I bought her the first two seasons on DVD and made the mistake of promising to watch them with her - which she then promptly took me up on.  About 300 episodes later, this song came about.  So it's the "Grey's Anatomy" tune - both in  terms of trying to sound like "The Fray", and in terms of the pain of being subjected to that much estrogen.  So the song had the title pre-determined and I sent it to Hatfield like that: music and title.  He did the rest.  The drum solo in the middle is a little discordant.  If I re-recorded it I might do away with it, but I also like how it interrupts the flow of the song in an artistic license sort of way.  Which is bullsh*t author speak for "I'm too lazy to redo it."
.
Commentary from Benjamin:

Now this is a typical Benjamin song. I always come back to something that is a recurring theme in popular music, the fact that relationships often end, but my take on that is that it's OK, that's life. (Read the lyrics to Becky's Song or The Question on Still Life With Llamas, or No Regrets on Petroglyph). We all need to just get over the fact that we are not here forever, that relationships always end (either in death or before) and that fact does not impinge on the value or meaning of the relationships while we have them. ("You learned that things don't always last / Just because you feel they should / Doesn't mean it wasn't good." - yes, not from this song, but it says it succinctly) The next album is likely to have at least one more song with the same theme. It's what I do.
Emotional Philosophy
Emotional Philosophy Album Cover
What Is It (You Do)? (4:14) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

You know she has a golf cart
with mag wheels and stereo
There's an S-class in the driveway
with dual inline turbos
See the jet ski on the trailer
it's fire engine red
I bet she's got a dozen handmade pillows on the bed

When I see you leave the house at a quarter after 4
It's another banner day for some local retail store

When I'm out trimming bushes I see Felipe cut the lawn
Eva's with the kids every day from 7 on
Maid service comes every Thursday afternoon
All the local restaurants
well they think she hung the moon

When I see you leave the house at a quarter after 3
I have to wonder why you bothered to get that degree

Never misses gym class, goes three days a week
Nails get done on Tuesday's
'cause by then they really need it
Friday's at the day spa
where she meets her girlfriend Liz
Not sure she even knows
what her real hair color is

When I see you leave the house at a quarter after 2
I often stop to wonder, just what is it that you do?

The FedEx man leaves the boxes
at the front door in a stack
The pool service man always parks around the back
When Neil cleans the car
she let's him do it in the drive
When the groomer trims the dog
she makes him do it all outside

When I see you leave the house at quarter after 1
I just have to stop and wonder
is it really that much fun?

To live a life of leisure at the age of 35
I'm not sure just how you even know that you're alive
To some I'm sure she's all they ever hoped they'd be
But I don't think a life like that
would ever work for me

When I see you leave the house at a quarter after noon
I just have to stop and wonder
just what is it that you do?

I guess a trip to Nordstrom's is a way to kill some time
Before the next appointment
or the day's first glass of wine
But surely there is something
that she really wants to do
Besides another pants suit and another pair of shoes

When I see you leave the house at a quarter after 2
I just have to stop and wonder
just what is it that you do?

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Lullaby (4:47) (listen to a sample)

Music by Daniel Lewis
Lyrics by Benjamin Hatfield

You lay beside me
Deep in the night
I see your passion
Cloaked by the light

You feel my surrender
I hear your need
We both taste the love
We need need it to breath

I've tried to find the words to write
To tell you how I feel tonight
God how I love you, this is your lullaby

Your eyes shine upon me
Your arms hold me to you
Your lips touch me lightly
Your hands holding mine

My eyes fill with tears
My arms feel so light
My lips are upon yours
My hands hold you tight

When I found you I found my life
Nothing else could be so right
I give you myself, my love, and this lullaby

I've tried to find the words to write
To tell you how I feel tonight
God how I love you, this is your lullaby

When I found you I found my life
Nothing else could be so right
I give you myself, my love, and this lullaby

(c) Ingram Music LLC, All Rights Reserved
Commentary from Daniel:

I got a new drum machine for Christmas 2006 and this is what came of it.  I really like this song a lot too - the numerous musical layers work well and Hatfield's mildly amused lyrics do it justice. The guitar chords are the same as Billy Joel's "A Matter of Trust" which I've always loved and wished that I wrote - so this is my version of it.
Commentary from Benjamin:

This was written about my neighborhood, which seems to be full of women who don't work, don't take care of children, don't take care of their house, don't seem to do much of anything except spend full time taking care of themselves. Now, I am no Neanderthal who thinks a woman's place is with children. My point is just that we should all be doing something with our lives. If you don't have a job, don't take care of your children (but have several), don't cook, clean, etc., then just what is it that you do (other than ride around in your luxury car and purchase personal care products/services)? Whenever it involves work of any kind, they "have people for that." I live in this neighborhood, so in a sense I guess I participate in the "lifestyle" by simply being present, but the last I checked, I have a job (2 actually), mow my lawn, take care of my child (when I'm not working), and generally engage in productive activities to fill my days and nights. And it's also not that "I think there ought to be a law" or that we should raise taxes until they can't afford to live like that. No, it's their right and their money - but I think they harm themselves by living a relatively meaningless existence and I hope they figure that out someday and get something done.
Commentary from Daniel:

I wrote this song in 2000.  I think it rocks as a flat out love song and an endcap to the album.  Saying "goodnight" as it were.  Again, Hatfield's lyrics are the cornerstone that bring it all together.  Discounting the lines concerning physical intimacy, I'd almost like to dedicate this song to everyone in my life that I love - my son Alex, my friends, etc.  I give you myself, my love, and this Lullaby...
Peace and goodnight. :-)
Commentary from Benjamin:

My goal here was a straight-up, no-holds-barred, no-equivocations love song. No dark shadows. No musing about how it will all end someday (but that's OK!). No pain or sadness of any kind. It's the first time I have ever tried to write a set of lyrics like that (which shows what a box I usually live in), and I think I nailed it. This is my other first or second favorite song (depending on the day and my mood, and subject to change without notice). Oh, and Daniel once had a set of lyrics he had written for this (same name, Lullaby), but I'll let him tell that story, should he choose to do so.
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