Phantom Power (1998) Lyrics And Backing Vocals
  Phantom Power (1998) Lyrics And Backing Vocals
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Poets
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Spring starts when a heartbeat's poundin'
When the birds can be heard above the reckoning carts doing some final accounting
Lava flowing in Superfarmer's direction
He's been gettin' reprieve from the heat in the frozen-food section

Don't tell me what the poets are doing (Don't tell me what the poets are doing)
Don't tell me that they're talkin' tough (Don't tell me that they're talkin' tough)
Don't tell me that they're anti-social (Don't tell me that they're anti-social)
Somehow not anti-social enough, all right

(*Paul's monologue: After the first chorus of Phantom Power's "Poets," you can hear Paul delivering a monologue in two parts. The first part ends with: "from the depths of vagueness, am I expected to take this?" It's followed by another line ending with "From the depths of vagueness." If you listen VERY closely, you may be able to hear another spoken-word lyric stretching into the "Don't tell me" chorus. The rest of this monolgue remains a mystery.)

And porn speaks to it's splintered legions (And I, can't find)
To the pink amid the withered corn stalks in them winter regions (The time, To mind
While aiming at the archetypal father (And I, can't find)
He said with such broad and tentative swipes why do you even bother (The time, to mind)

Don't tell me what the poets are doing (Don't tell me what the poets are doing)
Those Himalayas of the mind (Those Himalayas of the mind)
Don't tell me what the poet's been doing (Don't tell me what the poet's been doing)
In the long grasses over time (In the long grasses over time)

Don't tell me what the poets are doing
on the street and the epitome of vague
Don't tell me how the universe is altered
When you find out how he gets paid, all right
If there's nothing more that you need now (And I, can't find)
Lawn cut by bare-breasted women (The time, To mind
Beach bleached towels within reach for the women gotta make it (And I, can't find)
That'll make it by swimmin' (The time, To mind)

Something On
Reference Window

Your imaginations having puppies
It could be a video for new recruits
Just stare into the camera
And pretend that you got the flu
Or dreams of impossible vacations
And get all teary from the wind
Look as though you're standing at the station
Long after the train came in (Came in)
And see how the space tautens (The space tautens)
Like there's something on (Something on)
And you're never more hot then (Never more hot then)
When you've got something on (You've got something on)

Picture a century of water
Bury the pipeline guy right here
Kill the dream of possible vacations
With the sweep of a mapping pioneer
Outside there's hectic action 
The ice is covering the trees
And one of em's interconnecting
With my Chevrolet caprice (Chevrolet Caprice)

Black out to phantom power (Phantom power)
And like there's nothing on (Nothing on)
And hammering the tower (The tower)
And now there's nothing on (Nothing on)

We'll ride the monorail (Monorail)
Rocking gently home on the trail (Home on the trail)
You wanna to show me the moon 

I know you're standing at the station
I know there's nothing on
I know the alienation
I know the train's long gone (Train's long gone)
I can see how your face tautens (Your face tautens)
Like you've got something on (Like you've got something on)
It makes me feel just rotten (Feel just rotten)
But you've got something on (But you've got something on)

Save The Planet

The man 'cross the street he don't move a muscle
Though he's all covered in dust
When constitutions of granite can't save the planet (Can't save the planet)
What's to become of us

With a painted restraint I don't move a muscle (Painted restraint I don't move a muscle)
Though a turbine roars (Though a turbine roars)
If the bathwater's clear and my ear's underwater
It's a tolerant hum from the core (From the core)

Sleep's beckoning from the depths
From the cracks and from the crevices (From the depths)
Join the army of ghosts the murmurs in the mist

That's when the powers of observation (Powers of observation)
Come to the periphery town (Come to the periphery town)
And we'd carry their water we don't make a sound (And we'd carry their water we don't make a sound)

And after gaining our resignation they come through the chainlink fence (And after gaining our resignation they come through the chainlink fence)
Your only enemy's panic your only chance is to start making sense (Making sense)

Sleep plunging into deeper debt
Inter bunkers and black minarets (Deeper debt)
On a geyser of ink a morning voice faint and yet

And it sounds heroincredible
Sound that makes the headphones edible
Awake affiliated and indelible

The man 'cross the street don't move a muscle (The man 'cross the street don't move a muscle)
Though he's all covered in dust (Though he's all covered in dust)
Says constitutions of granite can't save the planet (Constitutions of granite can't save the planet)

What's left to captivate us (What's to become of us)
What's left to captivate us (What's to become of us)
What's left to captivate us (What's to become of us)
What's to become of us

Bobcaygeon
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I left your house this morning about a quarter after nine
Coulda been the Willie Nelson coulda been the wine
When I left your house this morning
It was a little after nine
It was in Bobcaygeon I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves one star at a time

Drove back to town this morning
With working on my mind
I thought of maybe quitting
Thought of leaving it behind
Went back to bed this morning
And as I'm pulling down the blind
The sky was dull and hypothetical
And falling one cloud at a time

That night in Toronto with its checkerboard floors
Riding on horseback and keeping order restored
Till the men they couldn't hang
Stepped to the mic and sang
And their voices rang with that Aryan twang

I got to your house this morning just a little after nine
In the middle of that riot
Couldn't get you off my mind
So I'm at your house this morning
Just a little after nine
Cause it was in Bobcaygeon where I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves one star at a time

Thompson Girl
Reference Window

Thompson Girl, I'm stranded at the Unique Motel
Thompson Girl winterfighter's shot on the car as well
Looks like Christmas at 55 degrees
This latitude weakens my knees, Thompson girl

Grunt work somewhere between dream and duty
Poking through with all them shoots of beauty

Thompson Girl walking from Churchill
Across the icy world with polar bears it's mostly uphill
But when she saw that nickel stack
She whistled hard and I whistled back, Thompson Girl

Grunt work time between dream state and duty
Poking through with all them shoots of beauty
Grunt work somewhere between dream and duty
Poking through with all them shoots of beauty

Thompson Girl we're down at the deadhouse plants
Thompson Girl we've jettisoned everything we can
She says springtime's coming
Wait til you see
It poking through with them shoots of beauty
It's the end of rent-a-movie weather
It's time we end this siege together
Thompson Girl

Membership
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Whether laying yourself down beside it
Or slipping into it's cool and rushing effects
Or drifting on it to where it broadens (On it to where it broadens)
Your admiration for it's more elusive aspects (Your admiration for)

Being drawn along by it (Being drawn along by it)
Carried under carried away (Carried under carried away)
By its long-term membership (By its long-term)

By the time the ice-huts hit the bottom (By the time the ice-huts hit the bottom)
We were already home in bed (We were already home in bed)
The most worthy men and the fiercest architects (The most worthy men and the fiercest architects)
Couldn't fight the current they couldn't save, they couldn't save the sheds (Couldn't fight the current they couldn't save, they couldn't save the sheds)

Bring on the springtime bring on the houseflies (Bring on the springtime bring on the houseflies)
Bring on the butterscotch river overspilling its banks (Bring on the butterscotch river overspilling its banks)
If you got some withering power to amuse (If you got some withering power to amuse)
You'll find its greatest frustration has its entertaining value (You'll find its greatest frustration has its entertaining value)

Ah, River wide (Ah, River wide)
River wonder us (River wonder us)

Fireworks
Reference Window

If there's a goal that everyone remembers it was back in ol '72
We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger
And all I remember is sitting beside you

You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
I never saw someone say that before
You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

Isn't it amazing anything's accomplished
When the little sensation gets in your way?
Not one ambition whisperin' over your shoulder
Isn't it amazing you can do anything?

We hung out together every single moment
'Cause that's what we thought married people do
Complete with the grip of artificial chaos
And believin' in the country of me and you

Crisis of faith and crisis in the Kremlin (Crisis of faith and crisis in the Kremlin) (*Live versions: "Crisis of faith")
And yeah we'd heard all that before (And yeah we'd heard all that before)
It's wintertime the house is solitude with options (It's wintertime the house is solitude with options) (*Live versions: "It's wintertime")
And loosening my grip on a fake cold war (And loosening my grip on a fake cold war)

Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish
When you don't let the nation get in your way?
Not one ambition whisperin' over your shoulder
Isn't it amazing, you can do anything?

Next to your comrades in the national fitness program
Caught in some eternal flexed arm hang
Dropping to the mat in a fit of laughter
Showing no patience tolerance or restraint

Fireworks exploding in the distance
Temporary towers soar
Fireworks emulatin' heaven
Till there are no stars anymore (Fireworks emulatin' heaven)
Fireworks aimin' straight at heaven (Fireworks)
Temporary towers soar (Fireworks aimin' straight at heaven)
Till there are no stars shinin' up in heaven (Till there are no)
Till there are no stars anymore (Till there are no stars anymore)

Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish
When the little sensation gets in your way?
No ambition whisperin' over your shoulder
Isn't it amazing what you can accomplish, eh?

This one thing probably never goes away
I think that this one thing is probably supposed to stay
This one thing doesn't have to go away

Vapour Trails
Reference Window

Titillations been replaced by Interstate brickface and Coffee-Mate
And by a list of phone calls you'll like to make
Where you could sit on the edge of your bed
And you could stare into your own shoes
And in the pools of light there
Go wherever you choose

Just rig up a complication and if it derails (Just rig up a complication and if it derails)
You can throw away the rudder and float away like vapour trails

There's nothing funnier than pride in an utterly confident stride
So I pulled the car on over to give you a ride
Damn this sleepy weather he said (This sleepy weather he said)
As he marched in sopping wet shoes (Marched in sopping wet shoes)
Through rainpools evaporating (Rainpools evaporating)
Says in this sign I'll conquer you (Sign I'll conquer you)

I pulled the car on over to give you a ride
but there's nothing uglier than a man hitting his stride

Past Mexicans all dressed in beige shirts (Past Mexicans all dressed in beige shirts)
Leaning over their hoes (Leaning over their hoes)
Now the morning's over (Now the morning's over)
It's time to let them sprinklers hose (It's time to let them sprinklers hose)

Past hills of chambermaids' dark bare arms
And fields of muscle quilted to the bone
Right now I'm flying over
Yea right now I'm flying home
Where I can sit on the end of my bed (Sit on the end of my bed)
And I can stare into my own shoes (I can stare into my own shoes)
And in the pools of light years (In the pools of light years)
Go wherever I choose (Wherever I choose)

And throw away the rudder float away on vapour trails (Mexicans dressed in beige shirts)
I rigged up a complication totally derailed (Leaning over their hoes)
So I throw away the rudder float away like vapour trails (Now the morning's over)
I pulled the car on over (It's time to let them sprinklers hose)

Throw away the rudder
Throw away the rudder
Throw away the rudder (Float away on a vapour trail)
Throw away the rudder (Float away on a vapour trail)
Throw away the rudder (Float away on a vapour trail)

The Rules
Reference Window

Legs scream at bikes and bikes scream at trucks
And motorists curse their lousy luck
Crossing Guard's not doing his job
And traffic's not about to stop for the first casualty of thought
It's the rules (The rules)
It's the rules (The rules)

Superfarmer's bent on the cover of Time
The Moralists scream he's all mine
So the Bard isn't doing her job
The vacuum night the darkest rites
The small quarantined thoughts
It's the rules (The rules)
It's the rules (The rules)

Salesman said this vacuum's guaranteed
It could suck an ancient virus from the sea
It could put the dog out of a job
Could make traffic stop so little thoughts
Can safely get across
It's the rules (The rules)
It's the rules (The rules)
Guaranteed or not
It's the rules (The rules)

Chagrin Falls
Reference Window

By design by neglect
For a fact or just for effect
When they met where they connect
At the confluence of travel and sex
More a trip than a quest
Plunged into the deeply freckled breast
Where to now? if I had to guess
I'm afraid to say Antarctica's next

Or Chagrin Falls, Ohio (Chagrin Falls)
Where the unknown won't even go (Chagrin Falls)
To Chagrin Falls, Ohio (Chagrin Falls)
Where the unknown don't even go (So falls Chagrin Falls)

Home's solitude with options
Artificial chaos isn't one of em
Return there crestfallen
Chagrin fell out of her apron
No profound sound no special effects
The continent tipped and she just quietly left
Chagrin falls on our heads
Not in a gush but in maddening droplets

Chagrin Falls (In Chagrin Falls, Ohio)
Chagrin Falls (Where the unknown won't even go)
Chagrin falls (Chagrin Falls, Ohio)
So falls Chagrin Falls (Where the unknown don't even go)
So falls, chagrin falls
So falls, chagrin falls

Escape Is At Hand For The Travellin' Man
Reference Window

It was our third time in New York
It was your fourth time in New York
We were fifth and sixth on the bill
We talk a little about our bands talk a little of our future plans
It's not like we were best of friends

That number scheme comes back to me (Number scheme comes back to me)
In times beyond our heartbeat (Times beyond our heartbeat)

We hung around til the final band
Called 'Escape is at Hand for the Travellin' Man'
You yelled in my ear this music speaks to me
They launched into 'Lonely From Rock n Roll'
Followed by 'They Checked Out An Hour Ago'
Closing with 'All Desires Turn Concrete'

Those melodies come back to me (Melodies come back to me)
At times beyond our heartbeat (Times beyond our heartbeat)

I guess I'm too slow yes I'm too, yes I'm too slow
but you said anytime of the day was fine (You said anytime of the day was fine)
You said anytime of the night was also fine (You said anytime of the night was also fine)

I walked through your revolving door
Got no answer on the seventh floor
Elevator gave a low moan
The pigeons sagged the wire with their weight
Listening to the singing chambermaid
She sang 'They Checked Out an Hour Ago'

Kinda chuckled

Those melodies come back to me (Melodies come back to me)
In times beyond our heartbeat (Times beyond our heartbeat)

I guess I'm too slow yes I'm too, yes I'm too slow
But you said anytime of the day was fine (Anytime of the day was fine)
You said anytime of the night was also fine (You said anytime of the night was also fine)
Our heartbeat, our heartbeat our heartbeat

Long conversation idle chit-chat
Maybe dive in or maybe hang back
Idle conversation or idle chit-chat
Maybe dive in or maybe hang back

Emperor Penguin
Reference Window

I like the tone of your trumpet
C'mon let's spill some paint
Let's raise a glass of milk to the end of another day
and to the kiss that's still intangible
The kids are alright just unmanageable
They won't do a damn thing you say

Your voice is all detached on a radio wave breeze
We have another caller with a bachelor degree
Talkin' alien invasion is the only chance for unity
Well sorry to interrupt you caller
But that's a physical impossibility

That's a physical impossibility
That's a physical impossibility

You'd be tossed up or washed up
The narrator relates
In a spartan Antarctican walk for many days
Meet with Emperor Penguin devotion to the egg (Emperor Penguin)
And their women are swimming from half an ocean away (Women are swimming)

Don't sound so detached this is you and me
Just give me your opinion before you turn to leave
But your crust is just incredible
The radio was edible
When you said don't wipe your asses with your sleeve
You're a physical impossibility





All non-lyric content and Hip photographs 2006 Stephen Dame
Lyrics are the property and copyright of The Tragically Hip, Gordon Downie and Stripper's Union respectively.
Lyrics are provided for reference, education and personal use only.