One Foot In The Grave

Released: June 1994

One Foot In The Grave Cover

Armed primarily with a beat up, ragged sounding acoustic guitar, Beck looms like the bastard son of Woody Guthrie on this effort, delivering a neo-folk aesthetic mixed with the influence of front porch blues and traditional gospel undertones.

The 16 tracks within One Foot In The Grave bristle with Beck's patented wry delivery, his cryptically deadpan lyrics and brilliant, abstract imagery (who else could come up with lines like "there's a police siren singing like a tiger with no skin"?). The majority of the album adheres to the classic folk song motif. "He's A Mighty Good Leader," "Hollow Log" and "Fourteen Rivers, Fourteen Floods" are simple songs, sung in a wavering voice and accompanied by gentle guitar strumming.

The relatively austere mood of the aforementioned tracks is broken up by the inclusion of tracks like "Burnt Orange Peel" and "Ziplock Bag," which chug out a little anarchaos in the form of fuzzed-out lite punk with scorched, jagged guitar riffs.

Thematically, things stay on the mellow gold, dealing with forgotten longings and lost emotions. "Lonesome" and "Girl Dreams" manage to create a sense of restless melancholy, capturing the bewildered feeling of alienation that pervade the consciousness of America's wayward youth.

One Foot In The Grave is a loose, stripped down return to the grassroots of rock, a lovingly irreverent trip to the musical past. With this album Beck proves that he's an introspective, serious musician and not just some slacker inclined Generation X beat poet.

- Spence D.

Tracklist:

He's A Mighty Good Leader
Sleeping Bag
I Get Lonesome
Burnt Orange Peel
Cyanide Breath Mint
See Water
Ziplock Bag
Hollow Log
Forcefield
Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods
Asshole
I've Seen The Land Beyond

Outcome

Girl Dreams
Painted Eyelids
Atmospheric Conditions

Lyrics:

He's A Mighty Good Leader

He's a mighty good leader
He's a mighty good leader
He's a mighty good leader
All the way
All the way, lord
From up to heaven
He's a mighty good leader
All the way

He led my mother
He led my mother
He led my mother
All the way
All the way, lord
From up to heaven
He led my mother
All the way

He's a mighty good leader
He's a mighty good leader
He's a mighty good leader
All the way
All the way, lord
From up to heaven
He's a mighty good leader
All the way

[Top]

Sleeping Bag

Open up the door
Lay the orange juice on the floor
We're having a picnic on the other side of town

The sleeping bags on fire
And it's getting down to the wire
So grab yourself a spot and settle down awhile

Cos its getting hard to think
And my clothes are starting to shrink
And the moon is sagging down like a metal ball

And the world is a holiday
Smoking in an old ashtray
They just blow it out their nose and say ok

So lets try to make this last
The past is still the past
And tomorrow is just another crazy scam

[Top]

I Get Lonesome

Well there ain't nobody left to impress
And everyone's kissing their own hands
There's 666 on the kitchen floor
There ain't no fire in the pan

I get lonesome
I get lonesome
I get lonesome
I get lonesome

So glad to be a slab
Stiff as a stick on a board
I get thoughts and dirty socks
Piled in the corner

I get lonesome
I get lonesome
I get lonesome
I get lonesome

Getting fat on your own fear
Bring that beer over here
I stomp on the floor
Just to make a sound
I get lonesome

[Top]

Burnt Orange Peel

Long ago, with things to be
I got a garden hose and a color tv
I got time on my hands
I got time on my hands
Nobody cares what I do

Long ago, things to do
I got a burnt orange peel and a potato stew
I got work to get done
I got work to get done
Nobody knows where to run

You got a carton of milk and some sound advice
I've got trees that are fake but they smell so nice
Don't give me the flu
Nobody knows I'm with you

Back and forth, I dodge a fly
Like a feather in the sky
Write me out a check
Give me all your cash
Nobody knows, so let's just go home

[Top]

Cyanide Breath Mint

Definitely this is the wrong place to be
There's blood on the futon
There's a kid drinking fire
Going down to the sea
They got people to meet
Shaking hands with themselves
Looking out for themselves

When they ask you for credit
Give them a branch
When they want you to get it
Chew on the grass
I know, I know
'Cos they told me to tell you
There's nothing to tell you
There's nothing to sell you

In the afternoon
Riding the scapegoat
Burning equipment
Decomposing
Cool off your jets
Take off your sweats
I got a funny feeling
They got plastic in the afterlife

When they want you to cry
Leap into the sky
When they suck your mind,
Like a pigeon you'll fly
I know, I know
It's the positive people
Running from their time
Looking for some feeling

[Top]

See Water

Close your eyes and see water
Sliding up the back of your head
Folding into your clothing
Covering everything you said

Climb up into
Who's going to miss you

Dry up on the shoreline
Drinking everything you see
Offering things to the ladies
Bowing down in the mossen trees

Climb up into
Nobody's going to miss you

[Top]

Ziplock Bag

Go back home, bury my load
Yellow cat laying flat on the road

Been so long since I been gone
Ziplock bag holding my comb

[Top]

Hollow Log

Go where you want to
Do the things you feel
Walk around with a broken leg
And a hundred dollar bill

Get yourself a pistol
Get yourself a dog
Stay up all night gettin' drunk
Sleeping in a hollow log

Walk 'til you're restless
Sleep 'til you're tired
Wake up without thinking
You're the one that I desire

[Top]

Forcefield

The last survivor of a boiled crown
Another casualty with the casual frown
The janitor vandals they bark in your face
Juveniles with the piles and paste

It's a sensation
A bankrupt corpse
In the garbage classes
With the crutches of force

Don't be confused when your fuse is up
And you're taking a leak into your brother's cup
When the cup is filled you can run and be killed
In the billion miles of the muscles that build

Radiation
Feeling the force
Karaoke
Vomiting whores

The scalps of zero hailing the call
Rubbing in the blindness of them all
With the canker sores and the robot pills
Throwing imbeciles on the window sills

It's a sensation
A bankrupt corpse
In the garbage classes
With the crutches of force

Force
Force
Force

[Top]

Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods

Fourteen rivers, fourteen floods
Bend your body to the heavens above
Don't get drunk, don't get dry
Just bring your money next Saturday night

Forty miles on a cattle trail
With a half-dead mule and nothing on my mind
All my life I've been talking fast
Taking all the things that I should have let pass

Throw my hat on a coffin nail
Put another brick in the fire place
Well I don't know about you or me
But someone got loose back in town

[Top]

Asshole

Your brains went black when she took back her love
And put it out into the sun
The birds did fly when the heavens all went dry
And the cigarettes were smoking by themselves

She'll do anything
She'll do anything
She'll do anything to make you feel like an asshole

Call her name, she looks the same as you
Question marks stretched across her skin
She dangles carrots, makes you feel embarrassed
To be the fool you know you are

She'll do anything
She'll do anything
She'll do anything to make you feel like an asshole

[Top]

Ive Seen The Land Beyond

From these shores where we belong
I have seen the land beyond
Where the lord is strange and strong
I have seen the land beyond

There's no telling who'll be dead
When the pale horse is turning red.
And the tounges will burn in vain
And everything will feel the same

There's no patience, there's no peace
I have seen the land beyond
Where the gravestones never cease
I have seen the land beyond

Through the troubles of the years
through the heavenly appartition appears
And we're haunted by our own minds
When the spirit comes in disguise

From these shore where we belong
I have seen the land beyond
I'll be there and I'll be gone
I have seen the land beyond

[Top]

Outcome

Seventeen years in the city
Static clinging to the ceiling
Never did I think it would come to this
Outcome is different, than I expected

Riot cops, cheerleaders
Eyebrows painted on their heads
Mouthful of rotting cavities
Drinking Coca Cola in the street

Never did I think it would come to this
Outcome is different than I expected

Shot in the leg
Shot in the leg
My name is a bone
Nobody home
My hand is a wire
The sky is on fire
The drums aren't beating
Pistols in jeans
Left for dead
Left for dead
Left for dead
Dead as a fly

[Top]

Girl Dreams

You're just the girl of my dreams
But it seems my dreams never come true

I first met you down on Lover's Lane
The birds were insane, flapping all about
Softly you would sing, swinging in your swing
It wasn't night, it wasn't day

You're just the girl of my dreams
But it seems my dreams never come true

[Top]

Painted Eyelids

I wake up and look upon your painted eyelids
The world is your oyster
And the trashbags are your kids
The ceiling is invisible
There's a bird sinking through the sky
And every hour that passes
It's teachin me how to cry
Because it's lonely here
In the ugly part of town
The buildings are all vacant
And the telephones are down

There's a police siren singing
Like a tiger with no skin
The sewer drain is glowing
And I don't know what state I'm in
And the liver is on fire
There's chemicals and debris
And all the roads are blocked off
It's just too hard to see

So cancel my appointments
And set up a whole new show
Because I'm in need of a good hot meal
And a life to call my own

Get me a plate of money
Get me a blanket and a chair
The limitations are limitless
They're floating through the air

Because it's real and it's true
The things I see in you
And there's nothing I wouldn't talk about
With the clearest dream that ever drifted by

[Top]

Atmospheric Conditions

There's nobody
There's no mountain
There's no tunnel
You can't get from there to here
You can't get from here to there

There's nobody
There's no mountain
There's no tunnel
You can't get from there to here
You can't get from here to there

There hasn't been a change in the atmosphere
Nothing twisting round, burning down, coming round
There hasn't been a change for over a year
Slid it through, ride it through, hiding you
There hasn't been a change in the atmosphere
Shut it up, roll it up, follow you

Pull the tap
Give it a stab
There's no atmosphere
Dig a tunnel
Through the mountain
How many atmospheres are out there
There's a telephone
There to here

Gypsy haircut
Bearskin rug
And tambourines
A black piano
On the mountain
To the atmospheres are out there
There's a broken bottle
There's a...
Through the tunnel
Cut your hand on the atmosphere
Split in two
Band-aids on your hand
Split
The atmosphere
Is split in two
Staring at you

[Top]