Casual Ghosts

by Eric Peter Schwartz

supported by
Kevin Blight
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Kevin Blight Eric Schwartz has the highly uncommon ability to touch the heart with the most exquisitely crafted phrase. His prodigious output (the man seems to be a songwriting machine-gun) is rarely off target. Most of these tracks are more polished than previous albums and the whole work is a big step up in terms of writing, musicianship and production but is missing none of the charm, emotion and humour that makes this guy one of my favorite listens. Highly recommended. Favorite track: Starlight.
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credits

released May 4, 2015

All songs by E. P. Schwartz (except the Native American flute improvisation on "Starlight" by Jim Green)

EPS: Vocals, guitar, one-string canjo, piano, drums, percussion
Danny Schwartz: Vocals on "When Will The Sun?"
Millie Collins: Backing vocals on "When Will The Sun"
Stephen Richards: Keyboard and Bass on Icebergs
"Doc" Kinser: Harmonica on "Screaming At Love"
Heidi Schultz: Ukulele on "A Girl With A Ukulele"
Jim Green: Native American flute on "Starlight"
Chris Bell: Cello on "Starlight"

Produced by Eric Peter Schwartz and Danny Schwartz
(except "Icebergs produced by Eric Peter Schwartz and Stephen Richards)

Recorded at Back Third Audio in Aurora, IL and Southview Man-Cave in Aurora, IL

Back cover design by Dale Roe www.daleroe.com

One-string canjo built by Eric Goetzinger
Special thanks to Dan Hogan, Sherry Winchester-Schultz, Benjie Hughes.

This is for Dad.

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about

Eric Peter Schwartz Aurora, Illinois

I make guitary and facehole sounds that some people think are nice. I do this around the greater Chicago area most of the time.

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Track Name: When Will The Sun?
When will the sun jump up and hug me?
When will the sun cover my eyes?
When will the sun tell me he loves me?
When will the sun tell me no lies?

When will the sun kiss back the winter?
When will the sun dream like I dream?
When will the sun bow down to autumn?
When will the sun take notice of me?
Track Name: Bill Bixby
When I was a boy
maybe nine or ten
I felt the pull
to walk away from the cities of men
like Bill Bixby
I'd walk the land
like Bill Bixby

I'd change my name
and wash dishes
I'd kiss the girls
and see beautiful vistas
I'd see it all
fill and quiet my mind
like Bill Bixby

What I've seen of this world
I feel I've seen through glass
like my feet left the Earth
and never really touch land
and then cancer, cancer took the man
Cancer took Bill Bixby

Eleven Michigan miles
from the cabin to the dam
I found two feathers
and got a lay of the land
I felt like Bill Bixby

As my body aged
I grew accustom to wheels
I kept out of the sun
and grass never touched my heels
I lost the thread
but in the back of my mind
I kept Bill Bixby

It's far too late for these kinds of dreams
I work at eight and life stretches its seams
Silly boy leave this man alone
Bill Bixby was just an actor who called California home

Late last night
I felt the pull again
to take some time away
from the cities of men
to step off the wheels
and feel the land
find my Bill Bixby

Why did I wait
until my body had to fight
the truth of life
gravity is stronger than the mind
I will do everything I can
to find you Bill Bixby

I will find you Bill Bixby
Track Name: Hot Liquor
I feel sorry for you, Sport
if you catch her alone
she'd probably love you in half
she floats on through like a casual ghost
like The Devil in a jaunty hat

It's 4 AM on a Tuesday night
work is just hours away
your car is on the other side of town
because you just had to play

She only drinks hot liquor
even when it's hot outside
it gets into the blood much quicker
that's what she believes
it's what she prescribes
hot liquor
brings the red to her lips
hot liquor
brings the swing to her hips

A bottle of Jameson on the stove
next to a percolating coffee pot
spot of rum in her cocoa cup
hot saki shot when it's not

Apple cider over an open fire
spiced whisky swirling in
Hot sugar water and lemon juice
making Tanqueray Toddies with gin

She only drinks hot liquor
even when it's hot outside
it gets into the blood much quicker
that's what she believes
it's what she prescribes
hot liquor
brings the red to her lips
hot liquor
brings the swing to her hips

If you see her
walk on by
Buddy, you'll need her
every night
hasten your pace, sir
don't take your time
you'll lose your marbles
like I lost mine

feel sorry for me, Sport
I caugh her alone
now she's loved me in half
she floated on through like a casual ghost
like The Devil in a jaunty hat

It's 4 AM on a Tuesday night
work is just hours away
my car is on the other side of town
because I just had to play

She only drinks hot liquor
even when it's hot outside
it gets into the blood much quicker
that's what she believes
it's what she prescribes
hot liquor
brings the red to her lips
hot liquor
brings the swing to her hips
Track Name: Thorns In His Blood
The kid wants to call out the ghost
that he gave up
He's got one in the chamber
and he wants another crack at love
the air smells like lavender and blood
he wants another roll in the mud
but he doesn't know, Love doesn't want him around

Regret has a gun at sundown
and he's ready to draw
The Kid meets him in the street
with hope and that's all
don't bring a knife to a regret fight
you might not make it through the night
when Love doesn't want you around

(Chorus)
Night eats the day
and the moon eats away
at the soul
of a man in love
He can't fight it with bullets
and he curses the poets
whose words turn to
thorns in his blood

Love turns away on her balcony
and goes inside
The Kid lies loving out in the dust
wanting to die
Hope and Desire go to ground
trying hard not to make a sound
because Love doesn't want them around.

(CHORUS)

In the foothills of Youth
the Kid found a way to survive
he found a little cave
and dragged his beaten body in side
his wounds will need attention day and night
and he'll comeback ready to fight
for a time when Love
will want him around

(Chorus)
Track Name: Icebergs
One by one
we break off
in our own time
the blue fizzes
fresh into salt
come on in
the water's fine
we drift out
orphaned brothers
hoping to hold
on to who we are
long enough
to reach warmer waters

Drifting, riding
lazy on the tide
hoping to find a current
where we can abide
dreaming of summer
dreaming of summer

Some of us
melt away beneath the waves
before anyone knew
we were here
some of us drift
past South Pacific islands
before we disappear
some of us are home
to life
for a century
and don't
feel the years slip

And some of us sink ships

Drifting, riding
lazy on the tide
hoping to find a current
where we can abide
dreaming of summer
dreaming of summer

We may seem like we're towering white
gliding on the glass reflecting light
but there's so much more of us below the waterline
so much of us out of sight

No matter how far away
how far we want
how far we might
No matter where in the blue
we drift
we all miss
the Northern Lights
we miss our home
and the Northern Lights

Drifting, riding
lazy on the tide
hoping to find a current
where we can abide
dreaming of summer
dreaming of summer
Track Name: Soft Maracas
SOFT MARACAS
words and music by Eric Peter Schwartz

Redwing blackbird
telephone line
sound of wings
as it flies
like soft maracas
filling up
the sky

give this morning
a sound of its own
roll in joy
but keep it slow
soft maracas
keeping time
as I go

Redwing blackbird
against the snow
travel with me
where I go
soft maracas
dancing me home

Fly above and look down
cause all I want is now
all I want is now

Forcing love
was all I knew
it broke her heart
it broke mine too
now soft maracas
keep me steady
as I move through

Never thought
I would rise
from the heartache
in her eyes
but soft maracas
arrived just in time

Fly above and look down
cause all I want is now
all I want is now

Redwing blackbird
telephone line
sound of wings
as it flies
like soft maracas
filling up
the sky
Track Name: Through The Floor
THROUGH THE FLOOR by Eric Peter Schwartz

I spent the night on a barroom floor
thinking about how he topped me
I talked about life with a whiskey neat
all the while I was too drunk to see

Bartender, don't hold it against me
if I fall asleep at the bar
You see, I normally wouldn't come in here
I try not to fall this far

And in my drunken stupor
my fear fades away
every woman I see begins to entice me
though none could her place

so I say

"Excuse me, miss, I'm looking for something.
Like the quenching of desire drowned.
So tonight would you wrestle me to sleep?
Would you take me home and lay me down?"

"And, miss, if that doesn't cure me
I guess I left my heart at the door.
Thank you kindly for all your trouble
but I think I'll slide down through the floor

and go back to the bar."

I spent the night on a barroom floor.
Track Name: Screaming At Love
SCREAMING AT LOVE
(words and music by E.P. Schwartz)

Why am I not drinking tonight?
The moon is out and the stars are bright
good time to get a little bit foggy
good time to get a little bit foggy
why am I not drinking tonight?

Why am I not thinking of you?
It's after 10, it's what I do
you float in and make me nostalgic
float in and make me nostalgic
why am I not thinking of you?

Five feet from a bottle of whiskey
wouldn't take me long to find my hum
but my mind doesn't know the story
my mouth wants it but my hands aren't pouring
no

Why am I not screaming at love?
At the floor below and the roof above
Now is when I'd see your face
and take it out on this place
why am I not screaming at love?

Do I not love you anymore?
When I wasn't looking did I close the door?
Pretend this thing was never inside me
pretend this thing was never inside me
Do I not love you anymore?

Five feet from a phone to call you
but I'd rather hear the mice inside the wall
I don't feel you gone in the darkness
I just want to sleep and move along

I'm not drinking tonight
the moon is out and the stars are bright
should probably fix the holes in the drywall
should probably fix the holes in the drywall
I'm not drinking tonight
Track Name: A Girl With A Ukulele
A GIRL WITH A UKULELE
(words and music E.P. Schwartz)

Christmas lights on her bedroom wall
her cherry red lips against skin like a China doll
her shoulder tattoo and her vintage clothes
her pin-up girl hair and ring in her nose

She's a girl with a ukulele
a young thing with a flower behind her ear
strumming away on YouTube like she's on some South Pacific isle
because she knows we'd rather be there than here

Her cat's eye glasses are all the rage
and she cuts her bangs like Bettie Page
she prowls the night for Tiki bars and tacky kitsch
and just the right vinyl to scratch that itch

She's a girl with a ukulele
she tries to find beauty every day
and sitting here in my cynical forty-two
I wish I could see life her way

She'd be at home singing to sailors on a beach
Pearl Harbor before the war
blowing kisses to swabbies beneath a Hawaiian moon
a sultry strum to remind them what they're fighting for

She's a girl with a ukulele
we should walk a thrift store mile in her shoes
we should all be more like the effervescent, pixie girl
We'd all see the world sparkle like when it was new

Mahalo, girl with a ukulele
I probably love you, you passing strange
a simple tune to bedazzle a weathered soul
and a life that's her's to change
Track Name: When It's Time To Go
WHEN IT'S TIME TO GO
words and music by E.P. Schwartz

Please don't go
I know there's no way
you can stay
just know
I'd love you here forever

When you go
always know
I'm beside you all the way
but in my heart of hearts
I wish you could stay

The best thing I've ever done
The best thing we ever made
you made sunlight
through my mistakes

When you fly away
what will I be
Don't look back
don't turn around
once you're free

I'm ripped open
I'm spilling out
I can feel my fear of losing you
filling up my mouth

So when it's time to go
make it fast if you can
just know
that loving you
made me a man
Track Name: Starlight
STARLIGHT
(words and music by E.P. Schwartz)

Shipwrecked
heartbroken
living underneath
your roof again
it took so long
to find these words
I know I'll stop crying
but I don't know when

I said everything
I had to say
so I held your hand
'cause you'd have held mine
I felt you slip away
and I knew I'd never see you again
And I don't believe in ghosts

so how can I have hope?

It's been years now
we've been apart
trying to make this place my own
but I feel like I'm pushing you out
and I could feel these words
cracking through my chest

So here I lie
trying to sleep tonight
and there you lie
waiting to be starlight

Someday this Earth will burn
and scatter the things that were you and me
to the edges of the universe
we'll fly and dance and tumble
in and out of each other
at the speed of light
for billions of years

past magellanic clouds
past super novas
past planets filled with life
filled with fathers and sons

everything we've ever known
everyone we've ever loved
traveling on
nothing is destroyed

who needs Heaven?