5 Years on the B​-​Side

by Thom Dunn

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released April 1, 2018

Everything That's Musical + Marketing Branding Stuff: Thom Dunn
Photo: Conor Olmstead

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Thom Dunn Boston, Massachusetts

Thom Dunn is a Boston-based writer, musician, & new media artist. He enjoys Oxford commas, metaphysics, and romantic clichés (especially when they involve whiskey), and he firmly believes that Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" is the single greatest atrocity committed against mankind. He is a graduate of Clarion Writer's Workshop at UCSD & Emerson College. thomdunn.net ... more

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Track Name: My Life as a Weapon (Song for Hawkeye from the Avengers)
This looks bad
You can blame that on my dear old deadbeat dad
But I'm not mad
Until the arrow that I've notched becomes my last

One more shot to break this carny from his cage
Even a low-life like me can break and save the day

So I'll stay on target
'cause it's all I know how to do
Just as long as I'm next you

And I know that this looks bad
But the quivering is all I've ever had
Like some Nomad
Or a Ronin dressed in black to hide the past
It never lasts
So I'm giving it the only shot I have

Draw the bow back; breathe; one moment of control
Once it flies, you never know

So I'll stay on target
'cause it's all I know how to do
Stay on target
While I'm fighting my way through
Stay on target
'cause it's all I know how to do
Just as long as I'm next you

Not like this:
When the silence sings, my sight's my only bliss
But I won't miss
Because I'm going out in style with my greatest hits

I'm not Giant Man, but I won't give up the fight
Until my violet violence takes flight

So I'll stay on target
'cause it's all I know how to do
Stay on target
While I'm fighting my way through
Stay on target
'cause it's all I know how to do
Just as long as I'm next you
Track Name: I Take Your Love For Granted
I take your love for granted
You don’t know it, but it’s true
I hate to say I can’t repay
For all the things you do.

I take your love for likely
Like it’s a thing that’s always there
a faith in me that comes for free
’til I neglect my share

I forgot the way you were
without me in your way
I’m afraid of who I’d be
without you in my days

I take your love for granted
You don’t have to say the same
So when you leave I know I’ll be
the only one to blame.

I take your love for granted
I won’t admit it, but it’s true
I hear it every day in the way
that I say that I love you

I forgot the way you were
without me in your way
I’m afraid of who I’d be
without you in my days

I take your love for granted
You don’t know it, but it’s true
I wish I knew a better way
to say how I love you
Track Name: Don't Break a Window
Whatever you do, just make sure that you don't break a window
'Cause when your outrage smashes the glass, it lets them know how the wind blows
Not those black kids who died before the March
Or the women and transfolk who want control of their own parts
It's the shattered shards of pane they see —that's where the "real problem" starts

You can take to the streets just as long as you don't punch a Nazi
Exercising rights is like the gays: It's fine as long as no one has to see
A way of life that doesn't fit
Into the narrow view controlling it
But reality's a one-way road that you can't just quit

And it won't go away
Just 'cause the man upstairs said, "Make America Great"
Change won't wait
For a convenient space in your Outlook calendar
Lives mean more than corporate property

Do I have your attention now that I've mentioned violence?
Well it's funny how that works, and they should know—they're the ones who came up with it
They make a profit while they're promising rights
Keep ordering never works when we're fighting to survive
Justice only comes when we rage against the dying light

Don't get me wrong, I still believe non-violence works
But now that the rules of the game have been changed, things are bound to get worse
Now that our truths are free of facts
How else were the people supposed to react?
You can't expect them all to keep the peace when you broke your part of the pact

We've heard it say
Justice and truth are the American Way
Change won't wait
For a convenient space in your Outlook calendar
Time is right to do what we're gonna do
Okay well technically the time that was right is now way overdue
But it all has to start with those same self-evident truths
Track Name: Your Love Won't Save Me
Is that all you want from me:
a lonely lover’s only reason to bleed
in late night bites that try
to bring me to my knees

If you'd slay away the cravings of this dream
I'll find a grave and sleep the lifetime in-between

CHORUS
Why would you think that your love could save me
when you know that if it did I would die?
But every time I come back to life I see that look in your eye
and I fight

I cant turn and walk away
from all the trials, tribulations, and pain
that I’ve reaped for centuries
left in your wake

You can feed the beast, but it won’t be your prey
or a stake you claim until your dying day.

CHORUS

I won't wake up one day like an angel —
free of all that I've done and seen


Because our passion is just the fashion of your woe
And this heart will never beat before it goes
(But I'll still haunt your home)

CHORUS
Why would you think that your love could save me
when you know that if it did I would die?
But every time I come back to life I see that glint in your eye
And I smile

So why do we lie when our love still runs a-
round the shadow town of a soul
and happiness is only a hole at the end of it all?
Track Name: Violence is the Question
Dan went into Walmart with a gun
He wasn't after trouble, wasn't trying to hurt no one
But then some kid cut him off in Aisle 4
So Dan, he drew his gun and blew the kid's brains across the floor
Grabbed himself a Snickers bar, and he walked right out the door

Shayna went to Synagogue that day
Said Shalom to Rabbi, she got a siddur to pray
She heard somebody Heil'ing down the hall
Screaming "Blood and soil" as the bullets hit the wall
They blamed it all on mental health that God had missed her call

But if violence ain't the answer
Then it's the question of our time
Is it right to have a right to take a life?

Deon left his pistol in the car
He didn't have a seatbelt on, but he wasn't going far
The cop who pulled him over had a scare
When Deon tried to tell him there's a weapon over there
They caught it all on camera but the jury didn't care

Violence ain't the answer
But it's the question of our time
Is it right to have a right to take a life?
There's nowhere left to go
So tell me where to draw the line
When the only life that matters here is mine

The one thing that we're told (our hearts are cold)
From all the blood we've sown
Is that it's worth the price of sacrifice
Just to say that we can take care of our own

Gabby and her girls went out real late
She didn't call her man
She knew it was something he would hate
He hit her twice as soon as she got home
Then Gabby saw the gun there on the ground where she was thrown
Now she's in a prison cell — alive, but all alone

Violence ain't the answer
But it's the question of our time
Is it right to have a right to take a life?
There's nowhere left to go
So tell me where to draw the line
I guess you can take a life, as long as it's not mine
Track Name: Diagnostic Neuroatypicality (ADHD)
When my head won't stop and
Thoughts keep coming 'til they suddenly drop
Mid-spot
Then pick up in another time and place

I run around a while and try to see it straight, but
My brain burns fast to concentrate
I can't wait
I'm frustrated, but there's no place to escape

Everything, everything is on my mind
That's why I'm running and running in it all the time, and why
I never learned how to live in one line, and that's why

Then I prime the engine just to give it a start
Until my thoughts churn forward and drag my heart
Now I'm flying too fast, but I ain't crashed so far

Kicking this cognition into overdrive with
A mania that makes the most of a life
It's dangerous, but it's the only way I'm all right
At least, most of the time

Everything, everything is on my mind
That's why I'm running and running in it all the time, and why
I never learned how to live in one line, and that's why
Everything, everything is on my mind
Now I'm running and running in it all the time, and
I never learned how to live in one line, and that's why
Everything's on my mind

When I've wandered way too far for me to find
And I've made my way around the synapses inside
I don't mind that I get lost half of the time
Until you come to me, and then suddenly…

Everything, everything is on my mind
That's why I'm running and running in it all the time, and why
I never learned how to live in one line, and that's why
Everything, everything is on my mind
Now I'm running and running in it all the time, and
I never learned how to live in one line, and that's why
Everything, everything is on my mind
That's why I'm running and running in it all the time, and why
I never learned how to live in one line, and that's why
Everything, everything is on my mind
Now I'm running and running in it all the time, and
I never learned how to live in one line, and that's why

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