Rotten Tooth

Songs on Rotten Tooth, stick with you like a gnawing ache that befits the title. There’s a constant twinge and occasional wince as you get carried into stories of people screwing up and figuring their lives out. As with his previous albums, he continues to paint character sketches based of the people he encounters on his travels and around his studio, The Big Muddy, in Lanark, Ont.

  • 01

    Rotten Tooth

    I’ve got a spider tattooed onto my left shoulder
    It makes me jump every time I see myself in the mirror
    You know that “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” is my middle name
    And that I’m one part Judas and another part Cain
    The first step I took led me to the wrong side of town
    And I’m the only rotten tooth in my family’s mouth
    Ya, I’m the only rotten tooth in my family’s mouth
    I’ve got a chip on each shoulder and a monkey on my back
    I’m the only regret my Daddy has
    Every step I take lands on a crack
    My Mamma’s always bitching about the pain in her back
    The day that I was born it rained like hell
    And I’m the only rotten tooth in my family’s mouth
    I’m the only rotten tooth in my family’s mouth
    Take more than pliers just to pull me out
    I’m on the shady side of my family tree
    That crooked little branch that wouldn’t grow straight
    The little grease fire that you can’t put out
    Ya, I’m the only rotten tooth in my family’s mouth
    Black clouds fill the sky wherever I travel
    My footsteps sound like a judge’s gavel
    Hell spit me out and heaven don’t want me
    Because I’m mean as a rattlesnake and twice as ugly
    Won’t you write this on my stone before they lay me down
    That I’m the only rotten tooth in my family’s mouth

  • 02

    Day Before Tomorrow

    I’m pacing down the hallway
    The telephone’s been ripped off the wall
    I guess it don’t matter anyways
    It’s probably too late to call
    Stumble back to my empty room
    And drink down my last swallow
    Good Lord I wanna see ya
    The day before tomorrow
    Can’t tell if this is living
    Or just running around
    I feel like a rat on a tread mill
    Or just some wine drunk clown
    I sing my throat raw
    But the words still sound hollow
    Good Lord I wanna see ya
    The day before tomorrow
    But I slit tomorrow’s throat
    Living each day like it’s my last
    Always a hole in my pocket
    Always a hole in my glass
    I went fishing for yesterday
    And I reeled in empty bottles
    Good Lord I wanna see ya
    The day before tomorrow

  • 03

    Don’t Forget To Grow Old

    I can see it in your eyes
    I can taste it on your lips
    You’re leaving in your mind
    It’s just your body hasn’t yet
    And there’s nothing I can do
    Just something I’ve got to say:
    Don’t forget to grow old with me
    I can walk you to your car
    And put your suitcase in the trunk
    I can wave till my arm gets tired
    And I can watch you driving off
    I can call you on the phone
    And I can tell your machine:
    Remember, don’t forget to grow old with me

  • 04

    Chicken Bones

    You got your chicken bones, you put them in a pot
    You stir them all around until it’s piping hot
    I know what I am and what I’m not
    Come on in, supper’s ready
    It’s a perfect day for a thunder storm
    And everything that mattered just don’t anymore
    Roll down the window’s babe, I can feel it coming on
    When it rains like this, I just don’t wanna do nothin’
    My baby, my babe she’s twice as pretty as yours
    And she suntans nude out there in the yard
    My neighbor tore down his fence and she don’t do it no more
    That son of a bitch ruined it for the both of us
    There’s a dirty old dog lying neath a shade tree
    He don’t bark at nothing that he can’t see
    But he’s twice as good looking and twice as lazy as me
    I guess he’s got it all figured out
    Yesterday you were born and tomorrow you’re old
    It all passed right by ya, while you were poking at your cell phone
    When your pretty little smile gets full of pretty little holes
    Princess what you gonna do when you’re ugly like the rest of us?
    Out on the porch there’s a rocking chair
    I nearly busted both its legs from going nowhere
    But with the right kind of eyes and the right kind of head
    Kingdom Come is wherever I’m sitting

  • 05

    I’m Goin’ Fishin’

    Word to the wise, if your Mama ain’t taught ya:
    Don’t stand in front of a man and a fish he ain’t caught yet
    There’s too many rat’s in the race, too many cook’s in the kitchen
    Honey, if the world calls me tell them I’m fishin’
    I’ll trade you 10 city blocks for a country mile
    And for the great big money I’ll give you all my time
    But come the end of the week I’ll be pacing and a twitching
    And trying to give it all back for a little bit of fishin’
    Where am I heading?
    Where am I heading?
    Where am I heading?
    Wouldn’t you like to know?

  • 06

    Dreamland Motel

    They’ve got criers and screamers they’ve got laughers and teasers
    And lonely men in lonely rooms staring at lonely T.V’s
    They’ve got rock n’ roll bands and they’ve got one night stands
    You can pay by the hour, the night, or the week
    The spiders wage war on the roaches as the morning approaches
    And I can’t put a name to that smell
    I’m tossing and turning, praying and cursing
    Down at the Dreamland Motel
    The radiator’s hissing and the bible has gone missing
    And the telephone don’t do long distance calls
    And if that couple next door keeps at it I’m sure
    That headboard is coming right through the wall
    There’s a stain on the bed in the shape of Napoleon’s head
    And the word “vacancy” on the sign is misspelled
    Anyways it’s assumed that there’s always more room
    Down at the Dreamland Motel
    I ain’t ever stayed in a place like this before
    The toilet is talking to the sink about the blood on the floor
    And if I make it through the night I swear on my skin
    That it’s Travel Lodge baby from now on in
    The owner’s got a tattoo of a tear and two feet of beard
    And a lady in the back and she’s singing in Italian
    He walks with a limp and has some shrapnel in his hip
    He says: I was ziggin when I should have been zaggin
    He tosses you the keys and with a cough and a wheeze
    He says: Good luck buddy….sleep well
    And all transactions are final and if you’re suicidal may I recommend
    The Dreamland Motel
    My baby is probably curled up in a ball with television still on
    Or she’s dreaming about whatever angels dream about
    While I’m climbing the walls watching my skin crawl Waiting on the morning to come and show itself
    In another week or so I know that I’ll be walking through that front door
    And this will all be something time has chewed up and spit out
    Till then I hope and I pray that she don’t ever have to stay
    In a place like the Dreamland Motel

  • 07

    Sending Strange Weather

    Listen up all you people all you talking heads
    I’ve been speaking to the lord and he’s seeing red
    SO let me have your attention cause this can’t wait
    You best listen in to what I’ve got to say
    He’s sending strange weather
    He’s sending strange weather
    Could be lightning, could be thunder
    Could be sleet, could be snow
    He’s sending strange weather
    And told me to let you know
    Now all you boys cutting up on Saturday night
    With your drinking and your fussing and your fight, fight, fights
    Best run for cover when those clouds go black from white
    He’s got a righteous right hook coming from the sky
    He’s sending strange weather
    He’s sending strange weather
    That ain’t thunder
    That’s the big man clearing his throat
    He’s sending strange weather
    And told me to let you know
    Now this ain’t Big Brother talking or the F.B.I
    He’s been watch, watch, watching with his all seeing eyes
    He’s had it up to the brow with your gluttony and crime
    You ain’t gonna wriggle off the hook this time
    He’s sending strange weather
    He’s sending strange weather
    I’m only telling you once
    Then you’re on your own
    He’s sending strange weather
    And told me to let you know
    Now I’m more sinner than saint and I know that’s true
    But I was in the right place at the right time now I’m telling you
    If you’re wondering why I’m not shaking in my boots
    He said he’d cut me a deal if I just spread the news:
    He’s sending strange weather
    He’s sending strange weather
    Good luck, nice knowing ya,
    Now I gotta go
    He’s sending strange weather told me to let you know.

  • 08

    Where Words Mean Nothing At All

  • 09

    Ever Since You Left Town

  • 10

    There Will Always Be Right Now

  • 11

    Roman’s Farewell