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Whisky Rabbi

by Geoff Berner

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03:31

credits

released August 12, 2005

Layout, Design – Annie Wilkinson, Backyard Design
Mastered By – Craig Waddell
Painting [Cover] – Tanya Tagaq
Percussion, Vocals – Wayne Adams
Producer, Arranged By – Diona Davies, Geoff Berner, Wayne Adams
Recorded By [Assistant] – Sheldon Zaharko
Recorded By, Mixed By – Steve Dawson
Violin, Vocals – Diona Davies
Vocals, Accordion – Geoff Berner
Written-By – Geoff Berner (tracks: 1 to 3, 5 to 8, 10)

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Geoff Berner Vancouver, British Columbia

Singer / songwriter / accordionist / novelist Geoff Berner's music combines klezmer, punk, political satire and Balkan dance rhythms. He writes sharp, literate songs that make you want to weep, laugh, grind your teeth, or kick out a window - often all at the same time. Having built a cult following with his weirdly compelling stage presence, G.B. has a strange ability to create fun chaos. ... more

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Track Name: Whiskey Rabbi
You've all been worshipping a false messiah.
I pray to God that I got here in time to guide you.
I came to bring you hope, I came to bring you joy,
So I've got to stay alive and drunk and unemployed.
I've got to stay alive and drunk and unemployed.
I've GOT TO STAY ALIVE AND DRUNK AND UNEMPLOYED!
Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi, Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi.
I came to destroy all the false piety.
Most of all, the false piety of smug sobriety.
I sneak into town, and I'm gone in a flash,
Spreaking my wisdom around like a rash,

I'm spreading my wisdom around like a rash,
SPREADING MY WISDOM AROUND LIKE A RASH!
Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi, Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi.
Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi, Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi.
I sure hope she's gonna be sympathetic,
'Cause she's a hot little Catholic paramedic.
I've got to leave in the morning, 'cause they're coming to get me,
But first I need you to aid and abet me.
I need you to aid and abet me. I need you to aid and abet me,
I NEED YOU TO AID AND ABET ME!
Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi, Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi.
Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi, Here comes the Whiskey Rabbi.
Track Name: Lucky God Damn Jew
I'm a lucky God damn Jew, Lucky God damn Jew,
I'm a lucky God damn Jew, Lucky God damn Jew.
Got some food, got some booze, women who will sleep with me,
I'm so lucky wanderin' round, scrounging off the bourgeoisie.

I'm a lucky God damn Jew, Lucky God damn Jew,
I'm a lucky God damn Jew, Lucky God damn Jew.
Thank you! Thank you! Everyone! Your generosity makes me shout,
Thank you, thank you, everyone for not completely stamping us out.

I'm a lucky God damn Jew, Lucky God damn Jew,
I'm a lucky God damn Jew, Lucky God damn Jew.
Lucky! Lucky! All the time! Now I've got my own country,
Where I am free to persecute people with less luck than me.

Lucky lucky lucky lucky God damn God damn, God damn,
God damn lucky lucky lucky lucky, Lucky lucky lucky lucky God damn God damn,
God damn, God damn, lucky lucky lucky lucky.
Lucky lucky lucky lucky God damn God damn,
God damn God damn lucky lucky lucky lucky,
Lucky lucky lucky lucky God damn God damn,
God damn God damn lucky lucky lucky lucky.
Lucky lucky lucky lucky God damn God damn,
God damn God damn lucky lucky lucky lucky,
Lucky lucky lucky lucky God damn God damn,
God damn God damn lucky lucky lucky lucky.
Track Name: Song Written in a Romanian Hospital
I wonder, is this the last time, O Lord?
I wonder, is this the last time?

The Lord will let you fly in an aeroplane
But only for so many times
The Lord will let you fly in an aeroplane
But only for so many times, O Lord, Only for so many times.

Because people without wings, in giant metal things
Were never really meant to fly
So every time I fly in an aeroplane, I wonder, is this the last time?
O Lord, I wonder, is this the last time?
And then I just put it out of my mind
Young people, I drink to put it out of my mind.

The Lord will let you kill a whiskey bottle,
But only for so many times
The Lord will let you kill a whiskey bottle
But only for so many times, O Lord
Only for so many times.

Because whiskey on whiskey on whiskey is risky!
(Try to memorize that rhyme.)
So every time I kill a whiskey bottle, I wonder, is this the last time?
O Lord, I wonder, is this the last time?
And then I just put it out of my mind
Young people, I drink to put it out of my mind.

The Lord will let you lie with a pretty lady
But only for so many times
The Lord will let you lie with a pretty lady
But only for so many times, O Lord, Only for so many times.
Because you might break her heart
Or you might not get hard
No matter how hard you try
So every time I lie with a pretty lady, I wonder, is this the last time?
O Lord, I wonder, is this the last time?
And then I just put it out of my mind
Young people, I fuck to put it out of my mind.

The Lord will let you check into
The Infectious Disease Unit in Brasov
But only for so many times
O Lord, only for so many times.
Track Name: Drunk All Day
Well if I had my way, I'd stay drunk all day
Wouldn't have to work and have the bills to pay
I'd spend my money on women and wine
Spend my time getting high, getting by
If I had my way, had my way, had my way
Had my way, I'd stay drunk all day.

Sometimes I feel like shit
Sometimes I look like it
Well, give me a bottle o' wine
Give me a bottle o' beer
Have to give me a hand, have to give me a chair

Well if I had my way, I'd stay drunk all day
Wouldn't have to work and have the bills to pay
I'd spend my money on women and wine
Spend my time getting high, getting by
If I had my way, had my way, had my way
Had my way, I'd stay drunk all day.

I've got to get up and go to work
Hate bad luck, hate my job and my boss is a fuckin' jerk.
Spending all my time doing somethin' I don't like
To work all day and sleep all night
I wasn't born to punch no clock
And I sure as hell wasn't born to work no job

If I had my way I'd stay drunk all day,
Wouldn't have to work and have the bills to pay
I'd spend my money on women and wine,
Spend my time getting high, getting by
If I had my way, had my way, had my way
Had my way, I'd stay drunk all day.

I'm dreaming of that big green leaf. (Mmm... )
Pot and booze is my belief (Model C.)
I do what I like, and I sure as hell like what I do (I don't like that.)
Well, if you don't like it, fuck you. (Oh!)

If I had my way I'd stay drunk all day
Wouldn't have to work and have the bills to pay
I'd spend my money on women and wine
Spend my time getting high, getting by
If I had my way, had my way, had my way
Had my way, I'd stay drunk all day.
Track Name: Unlistenable Song
Thank you for sending me your new recording
It was so kind of you to think of me
Not a single track is boring, it's executed perfectly
There's just one song I would forget if I could
I gues that you could say it's just a little too good
I have to skip it. I just can't listen
I just can't listen to that song.

First time I heard it, I remember, I was driving
From somewhere to somewhere else
I had to pull over 'cause I just started crying
As if I couldn't help myself
As if something that I thought was over and done
Was something that I'll never really quite recover from
I have to skip it. I just can't listen
I just can't listen to that song.

That song reminds me of someone I used to know
She needed help and protection
And that's about as far on that subject as I like to go

So be sure to tell me when you're coming through town next
I'll try to make it out. Maybe we could have a drink after soundcheck
There's lots we could chat about
And with your setlist, don't change a thing
Just give a little warning before you begin
I have to skip it. I just can't listen
I just can't listen to that song.
Track Name: The True Enemy
Why did God put Evil in the world, God damn it?
Was it just an accident, or did he plan it?
Well, the fact is that God made the world to entertain himself.
And to keep things interesting, he took a little Evil off the shelf
But to do God's work, evil's got to be set free
To fight Boredom, the true enemy.

Boredom is the true enemy
With all the bad things put away
Life's just a boring little play
And Boredom is the true enemy.

What made Eve and Adam fall so fast?
A snake in the grass? No. Boredom.
What made Pontius Pilate shrug and wash his hands?
Clerical demands? No. Boredom.
What made Mohammed Atta wanna visit New York City?
American foreign policy?
No, same reason as anybody: Boredom is the true enemy.

Boredom is the true enemy
Now before you start to answer
Remember: it takes more lives than cancer
Boredom is the true enemy.

What makes the local teenagers so vile?
The latest music style? No. Boredom.
What makes the Vancouver Police beat up the harmless protester?
Are they products of incest, or...?
Well, yes. But that's caused by Boredom.
What makes genocide flare up with such tedious frequency?
Some kind of evil flea? People, honestly.
Boredom is the true enemy.

Boredom is the true enemy
So it's really not that nice
To want to wipe out every vice
When boredom is the true enemy.

Songs about cars and angels and the rain
Must be disdained. They are the enemy.
A thousand books chock full of Chicken Soup
For the Souls of the stupid enemy
Stories and plays that come with a Happy Ever After guarantee
Now that's a goddamn tragedy
When Boredom is the true enemy.

Boredom is the true enemy,
So join me in consensus, you're either with us or against us
Boredom is the true, go ahead and sue
But applaud when I am through
Because Boredom is the true enemy!
Track Name: And Promises To Break Before I Sleep
I put this deal together
With everything I have left
Every last feather
I'd saved to make my nest

If you look in my basket
That's all of my eggs
If I drop it, I'll be lucky if they only break my legs
Drop it I'll be lucky if they only break my legs.

It's a long shot
But it's my only way out.
It's a long, long shot
But it's my only way out.

At my accountant's suggestion
I stole this car from a thief
The pills I'm ingesting
Are meant to bolster belief

That the string will stay strung
For at least a little while
That the chewing gum will stick it for at least another mile
Let the chewing gum stick it for at least another mile.

It's a long shot
But it's my only way out.
It's a long, long shot
But it's my only way out.

God bless the lies I told today
God keep them strong, don't let them fail
And God bless every God damn day
That they keep me out of that Belgian jail.

All them people with money
Say they don't pay it no mind
I wonder what they think about
All of the time

Cause I'm so used to this nightmare
That I'm frightened to awake
I've got miles to go, and lots of promises to break
Miles to go, and lots of promises to break.

It's a long shot, but it's my only way out
It's a long, long shot, but it's my only way out
It's a long shot, but it's my only way out
It's a long, long shot, but it's my only way out.
Track Name: The Traveller's Curse
I have been libelled as a wanderer
This is not the case
I have a home, it's just that
It's an inconvenient place right now.

"None is too many of that kind,"
I overhear you say
You make some markings on the page
And stamp and seal my fate.

I regret now to inform you
Who refuse to aid my plight
Bad luck will come to those who deny
The travellers their rights.

All of my pity upon you
All of my pity upon you
My luck can only get better
Yours is bound to be worse
Now I see it upon you: the Traveller's Curse.

Who can deny your moral right
To prosperity and order?
You fell out of your mother's cunt
On the correct side of the border.

And your cuntfall gives you all of this
And power over me today
But there are forces in this world
That can make all that fall away in a second.

All of my pity upon you
All of my pity upon you
My luck can only get better
Yours is bound to be worse
Now I see it upon you: the Traveller's Curse.

Don't be misled and think this curse
Is mine to make or lift
You put it on yourself
It's not my place to bend and sift

Your conscience or your character
Your luck is all your own
Good luck with that, I leave you now
But you'll never be alone.

With all of my pity upon you
All of my pity upon you
My luck can only get better
Yours is bound to be worse
Now I see it upon you: the Traveller's Curse.
Track Name: The Violins - Al Kamanjaat
The violins weep with the Gypsies heading for Andalusia,
The violins cry for the Arabs departing Andalusia.

The violins cry for a lost time that will not return
The violins cry for a lost homeland that may yet be regained
The violins burn the forests of the far darkness
The violins wound the horizon, and smell the blood in my veins.

The violins are horses on a string of phantoms, and water groaning
The violins are a field of wild lilac that move forward and backward
The violins are a beast tortured by the nails of a woman who touches and then move away
the violins are an army that build a graveyard of marble and melodies
The violins are the anarchy of hearts picked up by the wind on a dancer's foot

the violins are flocks of birds seeking shade under an incomplete banner.
The violins are the complaints of the curled silk on a passionate night
The violins are the effect of wine denied to an earlier thirst
The violins follow me, here and there, to avenge me
The violins are searching to kill me, wherever they find me.

The violins cry for the Arabs departing Andalusia,
the violins weep with the Gypsies heading for Andalusia.
Track Name: Volcano God
Every song is a kind of prayer
Every prayer is a kind of advertising jingle
Every jingle is a kind of epitaph
Song-prayer to the Volcano God.

They say he has an invisible hand
That builds up the wealth of nations
But the hand that I see every day
Takes away 'til nothing good remains.

Volcano God, Volcano God
Which one of my treasures will you take from me today?
Volcano God, Volcano God
Praise you with my screams as I watch them fall away.

And when Spartacus was up on the cross
I betcha he had no illusions
What he was an advertisement for
As he sang his last song-prayer:

Volcano God, Volcano God
Which one of my treasures will you take from me today?
Volcano God, Volcano God
Praise you with my screams as I watch them fall away.

Volcano God, Volcano God
Your appetite grows stronger with each morsel that you're fed
Volcano God, Volcano God
Praise you with my screams 'til you decide to make me dead.