Cormac McCarthy Music Cormac McCarthy
 

Picture Gallery Blues

Picture Gallery Blues CD

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"Picture Gallery Blues" is an unassuming masterpiece..." The Boston Phoenix

Songs:

Immigrant Gangster
Blue Cadillac
Map of Your Heart
Picture Gallery Blues
Light at the Top of the Stairs
That's How It Is
Run Away
Marigold Hall
Last Ditch

Copyright © 2013 Cormac McCarthy. All rights reserved.
All songs published by Rakish Tilt Music.

Light at the Top of the Stairs

 

Scroll down for more video, or select the Lyrics tab to view the lyrics.


Blue Cadillac

Hank Williams Sr. was found dead in the back of his blue cadillac. He was 29 years old. Cormac wrote Blue Cadillac as a tribute to Hank Williams who died broke and broken, thanks to his friends.


 

Cormac McCarthy performed this on the radio show Stay Tuned at WSCA FM.



Light at the Top of the Stairs

The lights went out in the town tonight
I stubbed my toe on a chair
Curses spun out in the darkness
It’s almost funny when there’s no one there
Boiling hot and hopping mad
So little time and so much to do
Always two or three steps behind
And you know that they’re counting on you

When you’ve given all you’ve got to give
You just can’t give no more
Not the man that you used to be
Maybe you’re something more
Take a sledgehammer to the frozen wood
Make a fire so the pipes won’t freeze
Breaking out pieces of maple and oak
That once stood among the trees

I see her walking with a candle
Light sweeping the darkness like a broom
She’s checking on the baby
Three more blankets in the closet in his room

I see a light at the top of stairs
Looks like angels are hovering there
It moves from room to room
As I stand beneath the stars and shiver in the frozen air

The wood pile took a nasty turn
Fell over and it pinned me in the snow
No one seemed to hear me holler
The wood wouldn’t let me go
One log hit me in the forehead
It felt warm though it was covered with snow
After this year I’ve had
It felt like the final blow

I see a light at the top of stairs
Looks like angels are hovering there
It moves from room to room
As I lie beneath the stars and shiver in the frozen air

We were fighting again tonight
Those ugly faces were starting to show
I was getting even with the things I said
I even threatened to go
Soon she’ll come out and find me
She’ll probably laugh to see me lying so
She knows I’d never leave
My God I hope she knows

I see a light at the top of stairs
Looks like angels are hovering there
It moves from room to room
As I lie beneath the stars and shiver in the frozen air

I can’t believe the things I said
She thinks I’m driving in my car
I came out for wood to warm the house
She thinks I’m drinking in some bar
But the town looks so peaceful tonight
Soft and warm as a dove
So beautiful and quiet
It’s like I could see myself from above

I see a light at the top of stairs
Looks like angels are hovering there
It moves from room to room
As I lie beneath the stars and shiver in the frozen air.

Copyright 1986-2000, Cormac McCarthy. All rights reserved.


Blue Cadillac

A glad handing fan from Dallas
Hurt Hank when he slapped him on the back
His praise hurt him more than a whipping
That balding man underneath the cowboy hat
Wild as a whippoorwill as common as sand
Separate the singer from the song
When you don’t recognize your own name on the marquee
It’s hard to shake what your mama told you for so long

You’re no good
You’re as useless as your father was
White trash
You’re nothing but a shoeshine boy

How much money he made, he’d never know
The hand in his pocket wasn’t always his own
With "Cold, Cold Heart" on the radio
His friends went through his wallet, they went through his clothes

The stage lights are as hot as that sun baked town
If they talked to you at all it was just to put you down
So, you get a little drunk just to make it through the show
To hide from the crowd what you already know

You’re no good
You’re as useless as your father was
White trash
You’re nothing but a shoeshine boy

There was something special in that singer
Make a sinner give a damn
A warm blanket on a cold night
The voice that came all the way from Alabam
It takes a lonesome man to sing a lonesome song
And sing it so right it sees you through to the dawn
God gives the gifts and for the gifts you must pay
For everything given, it’s taken away

You’re no good
You’re as useless as your father was
White trash
You’re nothing but a shoeshine boy

Asleep in his car
Knocked out in the back
Boots sticking out the window
Of his blue Cadillac.

Copyright 1986-2000, Cormac McCarthy. All rights reserved.



Marigold Hall

MP3 clip

Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
It’s mostly a good time, there’s rarely a brawl
Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
Dancing and dancing till we hit the wall

Aunt Sue is so sweet, she’s so big and round
She floats like a feather from her ankles on down
Her husband likes dancing but she likes it more
She drags him around like she’s sweeping the floor

Young Reverend Henry sits by the band
His hat in his lap and his heart in his hand
He watches the school nurse dance around with the mayor
And with every twirl he whispers a prayer

Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
It’s mostly a good time, there’s rarely a brawl
Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
Dancing and dancing till we hit the wall

I always see her when she comes through the door
We used to be lovers, but not anymore
I loved her kisses, they gave me a wrench
They taste like wine, they were so cheap and French

There in the corner a figure appears
He’s put on some weight and gone gray with the years
He jokes with his friends as he sings with the band
Nobody says much it’s just Elvis again

Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
It’s mostly a good time, there’s rarely a brawl
Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
Dancing and dancing till we hit the wall

Now, the wrestling coach slips a five to the combo
They play "Purple Haze" as a lysergic mambo
He knots his shirt round his waist, sticks a rose in his ear
Does an interpretive dance with a bottle of beer

The chief of police, now, there’s a man with a plan
Sits by the punch bowl away from the band
He spikes the punch as he sits there alone
Then he pops all the drunks as they try to sneak home

Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
It’s mostly a good time, there’s rarely a brawl
Tonight we’ll go dancing at the Marigold Hall
Dancing and dancing till we hit the wall

Copyright 1986-2000, Cormac McCarthy. All rights reserved.


Last Ditch

The house is warm
It’s cold outside
The rent is paid
Though it’s harder all the time
Your face fades like a wave
In this flickering light
There’s a far away look
In your eyes

I should meet you where the river ends
Where time stands still and the sea begins
Where the questions are clear and we can make amends

The earth is all used up
I make my living from the air
I say I love you
You’re too worn down to care
There’s so much trouble all around
We need a little peace in here

I should meet you where the river ends
Where time stands still and the sea begins
Where the questions are clear and we can make amends

Hard times can take away the work
Hard times can take away the house
Hard times feed on the love that held us so close
Hard times in such a short time made you feel so old
An empty room, a body without a soul

I should meet you where the river ends
Where time stands still and the sea begins
We’ll regain our strength, begin again
Where the river ends
Where the river ends.

Copyright 1986-2000, Cormac McCarthy. All rights reserved.


Small House

I’m too old to be scuffling
It’s too late to settle down
I’d be punching holes in a hotel room wall
If you hadn’t stayed around

I feel sorry for the postman
See him lugging all those bills
I believe he’s coming our way

Shut the shade if you will
Shut the shade if you will

It’s a small house and it’s easy to fill
Fill it up with your love
It’s a small house and it’s easy to fill
Fill it up with your love

Woke up as happy as an Irish dog
Wired and slightly deranged
The perfect picture of Irishman
Quick of wit and slow to change

All these con men, liars, all these hustlers
Put in their overtime
I try so hard to remember that they live in this world
But, you know they live in mine
I try to live in mine

It’s a small house and it’s easy to fill
Fill it up with your love
It’s a small house and it’s easy to fill
Fill it up with your love

I’m too old to be scuffling
It’s too late to settle down
I’d be punching holes in a hotel room wall
If you hadn’t stayed around


Liner Notes

"This album is dedicated to Frank Stone, my first music teacher, who taught me a love for music that has never deserted me even though my technique often has."
Cormac McCarthy

Discography

Picture Gallery Blues

Cormac McCarthy: guitar, vocal, harmonica
David Mansfield electric guitar, pedal steel, fiddle.
Johnny Cunningham: violin, fiddle.
Michael McInnis: keyboard.
Richard Gates: bass.
Bill Conway: drums, skillets and birch log.
Cliff Eberhardt: guitar.
Chris Botti: trumpet.
Patty Larkin: backing vocal.
John McGann: flatpick guitar, mandolin.
Paul Geremia: slide 12 string guitar.
Kent Allyn: bass, organ, fretless bass, electric guitar.
Peter Gallway
Paul Geremia Tom Dean
Carrie Coltrane
John McGann: back up vocals

Press

"Picture Gallery Blues" is an unassuming masterpiece..." The Boston Phoenix


"The writing has such depth and beauty. It's as if the songs are captions for Walker Evans' photos..." – Alex Wright, Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange


"A songwriter of the first order, it was clear that McCarthy loves to entertain. McCarthy's voice is a wonderfully effective instrument; deep and sure, with the measured easy phrasing of a natural storyteller." – Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe


"Without exaggerating, he is included in my list of best songwriters in America. That list also includes Bob Dylan and Paul Simon." – John Derado, Front Porch Music

Copyright ©2013, Cormac McCarthy. All rights reserved.