Loanwords

by Charlie Crane

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about

Loanwords is an album of songs inspired by and named after German vocabulary words for which there is no direct English translation. (All the songs are in English though - I never did pass high school German.) It's also a loose concept album about the post-collegiate, pre-professional trials and tribulations of folks in their early 20s, although that wasn't necessarily intentional.

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released December 12, 2012

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Charlie Crane Chicago, Illinois

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Track Name: Weltanschauung
A deep sea dive into the past
Coming unstuck in time
I twist and shift and lick my lips
Déjà vu on my mind
A quarter-century in this world and all I've learned is this
There's a plot in every motion and conversation in each kiss

But I can't tell you what I'm searching for - I haven't found it yet
And maybe there's a place they know the score - where there's a word for it
And I won't be lost in my language anymore

Coming up for air again
Fast enough to get the bends
On a Missouri mid-afternoon
In the arms of my best friend

I struggle to make sense of it
My lips move without control
I'm feeling smothered by the mother tongue
And I don't want to round to the nearest whole

And I can't be the first to think this way - there ought to be a word for it
But I'm stuck somewhere where no words can say that all their meanings fit
And I'm feeling lost in my language everyday
I'm feeling lost in my language everyday
Track Name: Zugzwang
This is no time for celebration
It's a hellacious time for all involved
So enough of the misplaced elation
Show a couple of stains in your steel resolve

Make no mistake, this is a rough patch
And now we're facing the 22nd catch
Like looking for needles in two equal bales of hay
I will have to accept that it's not going to go my way

This is a no-win situation
But if it isn't too contradictory
Be satisfied in your frustration
Be content with a Pyrrhic victory

Make no mistake, it's quite a heavy load
And now we're dealing with Morton's fork in the road
And the clock is still ticking, there is no conclusion to find
So I have to make peace with the choice to which I'm confined
Track Name: Uradel
The pocketbook prince is making sure his debts are paid
A fiver for the driver and a fiver for the maid
He's covering his tracks because the party is tonight
If everybody's paid off everybody is polite

But what would the king think to see his very own boy
Hobnobbing with a member of the hoi polloi?

You are cordially invited to an evening of black ties and white lies
You are cordially invited to an evening of black ties and white lies
And bright eyes with dark sides
King Cophetua's ghost is looming high
Cuz when the prince wants to impress he doesn't have to try

The pretty peasant princess smiles at everyone she sees
But little does she know she's got some spinach in her teeth
Daddy taught her all the benefits of dating in to wealth
And now she's got the finest noblepeople toasting to her health

But when she opens her mouth, trying to entertain
The king's monocle falls right into his champagne

You are cordially invited to an evening of black ties and white lies
You are cordially invited to an evening of black ties and white lies
And bright eyes with dark sides
King Cophetua's ghost is looming high
Cuz when the prince wants to impress he doesn't have to try
Track Name: Götterspeise
We've always been friends but it's hard to pin down
Where attraction begins and the friendship ends
And at parties the line tends to get further blurred
Cuz the guys stay away, they assume you're my girl

It's all quite platonic, but it couldn't hurt
To see what you would say to a casual flirt
So I make dirty comments as you make dirty drinks
And you laugh it all off with a blush and a wink

But as time goes by, your inhibitions drop
And you say the things you've only ever thought

Ambrosia ambrosia, it makes me concerned
Your consent can't be trusted, affections returned
Ambrosia ambrosia, your only defense
Cuz it's got the knack to make you lose common sense

Oh no...

So we lie on the sofa, and all I can do is
Make sure you don't let me take advantage of you
Oh, it would be easy, I see all the signs
I can tell by your leg as it's wrapped around mine

That you wouldn't reject me if I made a move
But first thing in the morning i know it would prove
To cause guilt and regret and be awkward and tense
But I look at your body and I can't stand the suspense

So I try to think of every lonely night
But I shake my head cuz I know it's not right

Ambrosia ambrosia, I think I'm obliged
To be responsible, for your trust is implied
Ambrosia ambrosia, I think you will find
What is good for the body's not good for the mind

Oh no...
Track Name: Katzenjammer
10 am sharp and there's something ringing in my ears
Searching for my phone among the half-empty bottles of beer

And piecing through the memories I have retained
It appears as though my condition can be explained
By the round that I bought to make me seem friendly
This is not how I pictured spending my 20s

I gather my things and I write a note to be polite
'Thanks for putting me up and putting up with me for the night'

But my predominant thought is 'never again'
Repeated like a mantra with a quick amen
And I know I'm the only one to blame
Cuz if we stayed awake, morning never would have came

And I could take a taxi past the building with the steeple
But the fare is steep, and I'm so cheap, I'll face the good people
And Saturday's clothes look even worse in the rain
When you're hanging your head on a Sunday morning walk of shame...
Track Name: Heimat
This is the place I live
Been here all my life
Never had to pack it up
It collects and multiplies

The city's where I want to be
I take the train half the week
But I don't want to leave until I'm sure
I can stand on my own feet

But how can I change
When my points of reference always stay the same?

It's nice to see the stars
When out walking late at night
But sometimes everything goes black
As I approach each street light

My folks are good to keep me 'round
Although I have to pay the rent
And neither of us wants to stay
In this place permanent

But how can I change
When my points of reference always stay the same?
Track Name: Luftschloss
We stapled three sheets to the window
So we couldn't see the light or hear the wind blow
We disconnected phones and told our friends to leave us alone

We closed our eyes just as the dawn broke
And as the sun rose we yawned and woke
Coffee and cream and attempting to remember our dreams

And it's true we might be living high in a castle in the sky
Forsaking all responsibility
But that don't bother you or I, because we're feeling so alive
We can't imagine there's anything else that we need

I'm afraid our parents resent us
We're unlicensed and licentious
And I stay on the couch downstairs when your folks are home

We stay up all night swapping drunk texts
They leave for work and we have hangover sex
Is it any wonder they hardly ever leave us alone?

And it's true we might be living high in a castle in the sky
Forsaking all responsibility
But that don't bother you or I, because we're feeling so alive
We can't imagine there's anything else that we need
Track Name: Treppenwitz
Silent at a stoplight on the passenger side
Mentally rephrasing ways to say 'thanks for the ride'
We both know you'd rather push me under the wheel
I've already breached the terms of my last appeal

Now I know what should've said then
But I won't get that chance again

Please don't think I'm trying to be flip
It's not a riposte or a comeback or quip
I choose my words carefully to be clear
Nothing's funny 'bout what's happening here

And I know what should've said then
But I won't get that chance again
Track Name: Angst
Lookin' out the window,
Seein' winter wind blow,
On a train to your place for the day

Meet you at the station,
It's instantly frustratin':
I can't think of anything to say

It's been such a while since
We have sat in silence
I forgot how much it frightens me

With a dread so nameless
Ominous and aimless
It's a mental game of hide and seek

Small talk leads to bigger stress
Every word a major inquisition
All I do is second guess
All you want's a little intuition
As each frozen second passes
The expectation becomes paralyzing
Every moment's angst amasses
I'm apologizing for apologizing

When we get to talking
Worry still is stalking
It's a self-fulfilling prophecy

It'll never end well
Walking upon eggshells
Saying everything so carefully

Readin' my expression
Only leaves you guessin'
Cuz I don't want to let on something's wrong

So I build a bubble
Never mention trouble
Till I sing about it in a song

Small talk leads to bigger stress
Every word a major inquisition
All I do is second guess
All you want's a little intuition
Looking glum and feeling nauseous
Nervous over small decision-making
Overwhelmed and overcautious
The span of choice is so intimidating
As each frozen second passes
The expectation becomes paralyzing
Every moment's angst amasses
I'm apologizing for apologizing

And I can't believe what I've committed to muscle memory
And where I'm at's a far ways off from where I thought I'd be
But please be patient my dear
I don't wanna stay forever here
And I know that I can persevere
Over existential fear
Track Name: Vergeblich
She says we need to talk - it's either good news or really bad
But if I had to put my money on it I would not bet good
So we sit on the sidewalk
She softly stutters as she strokes my hand
I ask if she wants coffee and she answers I don't think I should

So we walk to somewhere private and quiet
I know exactly where we're headed
'You're a great guy and I'm glad we tried it'
But with a tear in her eye, she said 'it's just like.

Trying to light a brick on fire
Trying to walk on a broken leg
Trying to drive on a flat tire
Fitting round holes to a triangle peg
It's a waste of time to care anymore
And when we're together it feels like a chore
And I should relinquish the keys to your door'

Tho things were sweet at the start, what good's remembering the past
When the confidence that I've been cultivating's been evaporated?
By another broken heart, even more painful than the last
But still I reminisce from time to time about the girls I've dated

And I've noticed some recurring patterns
From every time I've been left behind
But even though I feel completely shattered
I know I shouldn't try to change your mind

It'd be like
Trying to light a brick on fire
Trying to walk on a broken leg
Trying to drive on a flat tire
Fitting round holes to a triangle peg
You can't make somebody love you anymore
Best to put the pictures of you in a drawer
And to just surrender my key to your door
Track Name: Filmriss
One more time, Polaroid come off the shelf
Jogging my thoughts and reminding myself
I'll never forget you
But I can't quite summon your face

I keep it locked safely away in this room
In a box scented lightly with ancient perfume
There's only one copy
Some things just can't be replaced

But each time I hold it, the colours will fade
The detail gets hazy, the edges get frayed
Through the fingerprint fog I can make out your smile
But I fear even that will be gone in a while

So I catalog it in my memory banks
But the next lonely night when the picture is blank
I'll only recall
Tonight's secondhand glimpse of your face

I'm left with memories of memories
The more I squint to focus, the less I can see
The longer you live,
The more older thoughts will be erased
Track Name: Vollmondnacht
The moon was so low
It looked like it was falling to the earth
And you sit with me below

Looks as if it could crash upon the ground
So I'll hold you tight, all tonight
Looks as if it could crash upon the ground
But what a sight, what a sight

Hold an umbrella for you
As jagged fragments of moon fall from the sky
Find a window with a view

Looks as if it could crash upon the ground
So I'll hold you tight, all tonight
Looks as if it could crash upon the ground
But what a sight, what a sight

As the morning comes to pass
We awake to lunar shards on the balcony
So I sweep it up like glass

Looks as if it could crash upon the ground
So I'll hold you tight, all tonight
Looks as if it could crash upon the ground
But what a sight, what a sight
Track Name: Doppelgänger
There's a guy that looks just like me
And he's ruining my credibility
He's been spotted everywhere in town
Tryin' to drag my reputation down

My friends saw him with a mouthful of gin
Pickin' fights he knew he couldn't win
He's a menace and a cheat and a fake
Someone stop him before it's too late!

There's no explanation I can see
He's a mystery, and he's got it in for me

I'd never tell my baby lies
But my doppelgänger would, no surprise
I'd never make my baby cry
But my doppelgänger's guilty of both these crimes

Now my baby's gettin' me frustrated
Our relationship is complicated
She said I'm out too late each night
And that's when it turned into a fight

Cuz I haven't left the house in days
I've been sat here gettin' hammered and blazed
But then she turns on her phone
And I proceed to have my mind blown

By pictures of some guy who looks like me
Scandalous in theme, making mortal enemies

(oh no, this can't be good)

I'd never tell my baby lies
But my doppelgänger would, no surprise
I'd never make my baby cry
But my doppelgänger's guilty of both these crimes
I'm innocent of all these lies
I'm not the doppelgänger, I have alibis
Look at me straight in the eyes
He's a serious flight risk with no significant community ties!

All these good intentions that you see
They're the real me, not this phantom mystery
Track Name: Schadenfreude
When you point and shoot with your digital pistol
You can steal a soul and turn it into pixels
And give someone a name that they can never live down
Oh lord it's happening all over town

You know it's never been so easy to be a bully
Anyone can start anonymous animosity
Because there's only one dimension to an LCD screen
And it's not easy to forget what you've seen

Well I'm a fan of slapstick when it's Larry or Moe
And sometimes I laugh louder when it's someone I know
But if I saw an old lady fall down three flights of stairs
I'd try to help instead of just point and stare

And so I'd like to end my song with this little plea
To keep a sense of humor but retain empathy
And keep those cameras safely rolling, honey don't lock the door
Cause these days my key don't fit anymore
Track Name: Wiedersehen
'Tho we're far apart
I hold you in my heart
You're still a part of me
If just a memory

And I don't love you less
Although we're only friends
So I wish you all the best
Until we meet again

I wonder if you feel it sometimes too?

From this point I know
We'll go down separate roads
And if they intersect
I hope we'll reconnect

And if you need a hand
I'll have two to lend
But I won't be the same man
When we meet again

I know you'll be a different person too