Songs My Friends Wrote (Volume 2)

by Jay Ackley

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1.
i could never understand the math that led you down this career path you used to only wear rock and roll t-shirts metal punk and thrash you'd get so angry when guys said you'd never smile you're on the track team running mile after mile oh 1600 candles in a row you're the second richest girl i know you were riding in your best firneds car to the city for some show for all the times you wore your heart-shaped shades on a landfill or a goodwill somewhere half a life away i can't look too long like staring at the sun was my life ever better than in august 2001 what about the orthopaedic shoes you had the leading actess blues your father lied and told us bad things only ever come in twos let's look through magazines and cut out things we see let's watch olympic skating tapes on cathode-ray tvs i can't look too long like staring at the sun was my life ever better than in august 2001 did you get th ephone call the next day did you kow what it waould say did you let it ring 500 times wishing it would go away i could never understand at all spending hours locked in bathroom stalls between the tv and the internet they had you pressed up to the wall you hide your eyes behind your heart-shaped shades i bet, i bet it never fades i can't look too long like staring at the sun was my life ever better than in august 2001
2.
You turn everything into a car crash Your brown eyes a mess of tears suddenly I'm standing right here Mad, sober, sick and sad you think I'm the best you'll ever have Love wasn't made for us, it's made of better stuff! So turn the volume up! Cus I can't stay Tell your friends I suck That I don't give a fuck (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh) Oh if there's more to say Shout shout it out! Don't be afraid I won't be in your way (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh) In the back of a garden I pulled your pants down beg your pardon I was curious to see what you looked like A grown man in his pride you'll be my boy and I'll be your bride Love wasn't made for us, it's made of better stuff! So turn the volume up! Cus I can't stay Tell your friends I suck That I don't give a fuck (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh) Oh if there's more to say Shout shout it out! Don't be afraid I won't be in your way (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh) God forgive me I'll push you away, cus you like to call me baby God forgive me I'll push you away, I never ever wanted to leave But I cannot stay Cus you love me way to much, cus you love me all the time Cus if I break your heart you can't break mine So turn the volume up! Cus I can't stay Tell your friends I suck That I don't give a fuck (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh) Oh if there's more to say Shout shout it out! Don't be afraid I won't be in your way (ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)
3.
We Are Real 02:04
The girls are out tonight short skirts and cigarettes the back of a crowded bar the place where we last met but i barely knew you yeah i barely knew you Now i've forgoten what to say never learned it anyway cuz every time i feel alone can't even bear to use the phone and all the times i've tried to wait i've wound ups tarting way too late and only you can make me feel that we are here and we are real stumble into the night pressed up against the glass the city shines so bright they claim it'be built to last but it doesn't ring ture and i barely knew you Chorus now i'm alone with you and i don't know what to do let me know if you want me to Chorus
4.
Eveything fun is a little bit dangerous Everything dangerous, is a little bit fun It's not trouble, unless unless you get injured It's not messy, until you're covered in dirt it's not fun unless it's naughty it's not fun until you get caught you're hearts not racing until you're being followed it's not a chase until you run. run, run run, run run run everything fun is a little bit dangerous everything dangerous is a little bit fun your heart's not racing until you're being followed it's not a chase, until you run
5.
I know this road turned out less smooth than we thought it would but all these dues we paid are to pay back real good and when i get down feel so stressed out darkest of days, strongest of doubts i know you'll be there when i crawl out that this light never goes out Together we will run and from this pain we'll rise up certain as the stars are shining down on our dreams certain as the sun always brings its light up i know there's a place we were both meant to be we'll go dancing in the stormy weather have a picnic in the city streets throw a party with the weeping willows invite our friends to let their hearts run free when you call out i'll be strong know this fire burns bright and long Together we will run and from this pain we'll rise up certain as the stars are shining down on our dreams certain as the sun always brings its light up i know there's a place we were both meant to be
6.
you poured some sugar in my coffee and you sweeted up my mouth you said so many ways you'd be good to me, that i doid not know about up and down i swore i met you before but it could not be true it was your smile of course, but i wanted more, so i dove deep into you Bottle blonde, bottle blonde tell me whose side are you really on my love for you can't be explained the things you done to be someone now your real self is almost gone i'm sure that i never knew your name playing deboise on a hundred 3 your pianos keys cry rain when it's dry out side, throw that window wide, don't play it down the drain your my chariot why you staying put when your wheels meant to spin i'll slow it down but just stick around and flash that easy grin don't confuse my self with you, what i need with what you do you know you get the same from me well chorus got your number wrong now that dial tone is ringing in my ear don't play it cool and i'll expect a fool, all illusions disappear you make that face you aint' entartained when all my games fall flat how could i know just whete to go if you never draw a map don't confuse my self with you, what i need with what you do you know you get the same from me yeah chorus
7.
Underground 00:59
I dug a hole i turned it upside down i sat about as the darkness fell around i thought i would be safer underground i thought i would be safer underground but in the dark flew 7 fire flies and they formed your face, your mouth, your nose, your eyes and it made me feel so lonesome I could cry it made me feel so lonely that i cried i cried so much i cried myself a sea floated right out of that hole and then i was free and of all things that floated back to me it floated you right back to me
8.
Page #11 01:02
If you stand on a corner long enough everyone that you know will walk by some of these people will give you stuff interesting, that others just say hi Speaking with them i think of the connection that now tenous strand of events which binds us i try to strengthen it, my words sewing thread as we speak but as the fabric tears, the pain increases until i can no longer stand it they leave and i once again, am left alone to wait the next one to deal with myself.
9.
Pollen Path 01:27
Black moon above, stars overhead don't you dare guide me back to my bed the river is frozen, the pollen path's bare don't wait for me darling there's thorns in my hair falconry's cross, many moons dead don't you dare silence this song in my head the flowers are broken, the pollen path's bare don't speak to me darling, till blood blades his hair cause how long, how long, how long was the earth there how long can we say we belong here you say, you say, how long, how long can we stay together Pardon the sky, pardon the earth when will we stop this rain of his words? the stars are all woken, the pollen path's there so sing with me darling, let down your long hair cause how long, how long, how long was the earth there how long can we say we belong here you say, you say, how long, how long can we stay together
10.
Ghost Town 01:27
go and tell them that i'm on my way when i'm walking down the street the only ones i ever meet are the ones i recognize from tv shows new york town is full of ghosts new york town is full of ghosts so surprised to see you the other day you haven't changed at all and i've gone grey then i rubbed my eyes and cleared my head you can't stop time you can't raise the dead it's been 18 years just to be okay new york town is full of ghosts new york town is full of ghosts

about

One of my favorite parts about writing and performing music is all the incredible songwriters I've gotten to meet and befriend.

I took some time during quarantine to learn some of my favorite songs of theirs, and it was really special and wonderful for me to feel this connection with other people's work in an intimate way during a season of seclusion.

And so, Songs My Friends Wrote (Volume 2) was born.

It would mean the world to me if these covers encouraged you to check out any of these songwriters' originals and other work - it's really great stuff that I feel enormously lucky to have been exposed to - here's a little bit more about each of them:

Heart Shaped Shades is a song that for me really captures the feeling of exhilaration and emotional confusion of mixed-gender adolescent friendships! It's by Robot Princess, a band fronted by Beau Alessi that I've had the pleasure of knowing since I first started playing at Sidewalk Cafe back in 2014. You can listen to the original and get the album here:  robotprincess.bandcamp.com/album/almost-always

Turn the Volume Up is a rocking single by Kid Hawk (fronted by Emily Einhorn) that is also just really exhilarating to play (I have never 'oooh oooh oooh'd on a track before) and has a lot of fun energy around mutually destructive romantic entanglements! You can check out the original here:  kidhawkmusic.bandcamp.com/track/turn-the-volume-up

We Are Real is a song off the 2012 album 'Do You Feel It?' by Ghost Hotel, erstwhile project of Sam Paxton, who has been releasing music as Boy Classic and is a member of the Hell Yeah Babies. To me this song really captures the way that close interpersonal connections are the only thing that can save us from the alienation of society! The whole original album is here:
ghosthotel.bandcamp.com/album/do-you-feel-it

Everything Fun is a Little Bit Dangerous is taken from the darkly hilarious play Edgar Allen written and produced by The Coldharts (Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan). It's the story of a couple precocious sociopaths and if you ever get the chance to see it live do not miss it! But also, the audio recording works really well as a radio play!
thecoldharts.bandcamp.com/album/edgar-allan

Together We Will Run has been a really special song for me to learn and play over the last couple months. It is about pulling together to help each other overcome adversity and dark times! Somer kicks ass in Clinical Trials and MNR PLSR and has been releasing some really great solo singles - check it out!
soundcloud.com/somerbingham/together-we-will-run

Bottle Blonde is playful tune about being captivated by a romantic co-conspirator with a shifting and unstable identity. Dan Piccoli of The Fine Machines is a true craftsman of fine songs and the album Distant Shores is one of my all-time favorites. 
thefinemachines.bandcamp.com/album/distant-shores
 
Underground is by Kristen Tivey, who I first met as a saxophone player but was secretly (to me at least) a fantastic solo artist all along. This song is one of the relatively chipper outliers on a song full of gorgeous melancholy that sets a really distinct atmosphere. Check out Purgatory!
kristentiveymusic.bandcamp.com/album/purgatory

Page #11 was adapted from a book of poetry published by Oliver Baer - who is one of the most enthusiastically weird and tentacular people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. By adapting one of his poems into this song I was officially inducted into the hallowed membership of the Conclave of the Baer, an affiliation I hope I never have cause to regret. Listen to some other adaptations here, if you dare:
aconclaveofbaer.bandcamp.com

Pollen Path is one of the beautiful songs that Elana Low has composed with her harmonium. An instrument and playing style that feels totally different than anything else you might hear at the open mic. It hits me in my bones. She released Loam late last year:
elanalow.bandcamp.com/album/loam

Ghost Town is an off-beat little tune by Eric Novak, who I have the pleasure of rounding out the rhythm section with in Lucky Witch & the Righteous Ghost. It's about the bizarre emotional resonance you get from seeing someone who looks like how someone you know used to look. And, you know, New York town is full of ghosts. It's uncanny and I love it. 
eric-novak.bandcamp.com/track/ghost-town

credits

released August 20, 2020

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Jay Ackley Brooklyn, New York

Minnesotan in Brooklyn by way of London; having a sing-song through the dystopia.

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