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LIGHT THIS CITY LYRICS

Facing the Thousand

"Facing the Thousand" (2006)

1. Facing the Thousand
2. Cradle for a King
3. The Unwelcome Savior
4. Exile
5. Maddening Swarm
6. City of the Snares
7. The Eagle
8. Fear of Heights
9. Tracks of Decay
10. Like Every Song's Our Last







1. Facing the Thousand

In the distance, they are circling
I watch them go around and around, never tiring
The one near death is hypnotized and closes its eyes
One last time
Patiently they wait for that perfect moment to descend
And pick to pieces a once healthy
Body of passion and life

Itís me or itís you and I get to decide
Which one lives and which one dies
Where and when?
How and why?
HERE and NOW
A vital organ plucked out
Because I need to survive
Self-sacrifice is suicide

Circling with occasional cries
Of delight?
Of anticipation or remorse for natureís ceaseless patterns?
Binding every being to the same sick fate
What unfortunate creature must suffer
Watching a thousand deaths spiral slowly towards it

Itís me or itís you and I get to decide
Which one lives and which one dies
Where and when?
How and why?
HERE and NOW
A vital organ plucked out
Because I need to survive
Self-sacrifice is suicide

What unfortunate creature must suffer
Watching a thousand deaths spiral towards it
With the will but not the strength to move on
From this place
Just close your eyes, just breathe your last sigh
Just let go of this life
Just close your eyes, just breathe your last sigh
Just let go, itís come now, your time

How do you want us to die?
With regrets rotting away all of my success?
With longing eating away at my fulfillment?
Must every self-interested act inflict
Devastation on another?
Would you rather rot or be picked to pieces (still) alive?
How do you want us to die?




2. Cradle for a King

Everyone sees through you
How do you sleep at night?
Translucent eyelids dont keep out the light
Eyes that bulge apathetically
From your engorged (yet empty) head
Resting on a pillow bursting with dreams that will never take flight
Songs that one time soothed their weary minds and tired limbs
Become hauntingly, disturbingly, and loudly chanted hymns

Frozen-hearted martyr-maker
What keeps you safe and warm at night?
A blanket woven with the flowers of forced labor
Dyed and colored with the blood
That you robbed from prisoners and slaves
Admit it, you get off more when they are fighting to escape

And what holds you up there,
High above the rest of us?
Mighty only if the sheets weren't pulled over your head
The posts of your bed carved
From the bleached bones of your dead
The faces of your apparitions dripping with the tears they shed
This is where majesty lies awake feeling corruptly luxurious
Is this where dignity lies awake? In a cradle fit for a king?

Frozen-hearted martyr-maker
What keeps you safe and warm at night?
A blanket woven with the flowers of forced labor
Dyed and colored with the blood
That you robbed from prisoners and slaves
Admit it, you get off more when they are fighting to escape

You are not my hero; you're only my sovereign
Im not encouraged to follow in your noble, shallow footsteps;
Just expected to obey
And even though you're the one that represents all of humanity
You are still only human
The backbone of immortality breaks every time:
Our fatal flaws turn to fatal lies




3. The Unwelcome Savior

You will find that some of the most exquisite eyes
Mask the cruellest secrets
A villainess in a goddess disguise
I grew to easily distinguish your lies
Your glossy, sincere smile, always too eager to please

Everything good, everything hopeful that you ever said
An obvious falsity, another loss of innocence
The only truths youíd rarely let escape
Horrifying enough to chill even the most shadowed soul
You fucked up everybodyís life you touched
Howís that for an accomplishment?
ďSurprise! I made you this exclusive key to my closet.Ē
Well I never asked to see your skeletons.

How many crimes did you commit, guiltless and without mercy
Before you realized you longed to be caught?
In a way, I think you knew your secrets
Would break me and Iíd confess for you
If you had played this desperate game more cunningly

Everything good, everything hopeful that you ever said
An obvious falsity, another loss of innocence
The only truths youíd rarely let escape
Horrifying enough to chill even the most shadowed soul
You fucked up everybodyís life you touched
Howís that for an accomplishment?
ďSurprise! I made you this exclusive key to my closet.Ē
Well I never asked to see your skeletons.

I could have been your prisoner, your protégé, or your slave
But you succumbed to jealousy, an imaginary rivalry
Youíd never admit it, who could possibly rival a queen?
But thatís not at all what I mean

Iíd never pit myself against you
Youíre right Iím sick with terror
At the thought of being compared to you
But not because I think Iíd lose

My one worst fear
Is to become anything like you.




4. Exile

When you gaze into your polished metal plates
You picture the face of a man who longs to see his soul
But claws are claws, whether sharpened or painted or blunted
From hours of bounding, one-track-minded, through the snow
I have arrived, an exile too inferior for your highness to fight
Armored, not humored, and prepared to seize your life
The prisoner I came to rescue sits down to watch the fight
With tears in her eyes,

Who knew a tongue could do so much harm
Lying in oneís mouth?
Dancing to music that wasnít really there
Muttering about moments we never even shared
Your twisted jaw moves
But youíve lost all sound
How soon till your breath runs out?

When the others gaze into your polished eyes
As glassy as the dollís you hold to represent your soul
They witness the face of an animal acting like a man
In their confusion, you dressed them in sashes and perfume,
But the stench seeps through
I long to scream, ďMy country,
This is not how we were supposed to live!Ē
And with each mortifying blow, Iím fading rapidly
ďGet up!Ē I hear that faithful onlooker plead
She wonít insult me by looking away
When I start to bleed

Who knew a tongue could do so much harm
Lying in oneís mouth?
Dancing to music that wasnít really there
Muttering about moments we never even shared
Your twisted jaw moves
But youíve lost all sound
How soon till your breath runs out?

One leap, one strike, and the metal snaps away from your face
That chattering jaw comes unhinged
And your insincere tongue hangs down from your neck
I plunge through the ribs and grasp the steaming, slippery heart
It slides down my throat and I am king again
ďTear down these garish walls and let the prisoners free!
Throw their gaudy stones out to the sea!
Rip these dolls limb from limb, claws proudly unsheathed!
Our souls were never meant to be seen.Ē




5. Maddening Swarm

It may feel like itís too much to handle,
But itís not time yet.
Your body operates, automatic,
Like a breathless engine,
It shines in the swimming haze and heat.
While your mind,
Like a swarm of insects in a gust of wind,
Crumbles and reassembles,
Forgetting its original, innocent form.

No, itís not the time.
Donít let your frantic mind
Run you away
From me.
No no no, itís not the time
Youíll be alright
Donít let your frantic mind

In our oldest, wisest years
Weíll laugh,
Looking back
At our losses.
Yours, the self-control you longed to
Trust,
Mine, any adequate words to dissolve the
Mounting Pressure Moment.
And in our tissue-paper skin,
Weíll mock the frailties of youth.
And cherish the steel-solid minds
We acquired in time.

No, itís not the time.
Donít let your frantic mind
Run you away
From me.
No no no, itís not the time
Youíll be alright
Donít let your frantic mind


I know life starts in slow motion
And ends in a fast-forward-flash,
When all you want to do is rewind
So you can relive
Those days we spent
Never wondering about how it all will end
Remember the languid, mesmerizing
Hours we spent, spellbound,
Dreaming of the life we lead
Now?
Donít be disillusioned
Dreams and reality may
Never synchronize
But someday, weíll get away
With a perfect day
And weíll laugh,
Looking back.

The machine hums to the whine
Of the cloud, the swarm
No louder than before
When did it become
The anthem of impending tragedy?
A maddening melody building
In shrill intensity?
Maybe itís just a new song to sing us to sleep
Itís not going to end the way you think




6. City of the Snares

Follow me to solace and safety
Over the tar-blackened river and past the gleaming yellow eyes
I hope Iím right this time
I canít lose any more of you tonight
Theyíre trusting me to lead them, but they donít know
Iím just running from my fear
Are they catching on yet?
Letís change our course
Iím putting all that Iíve got into my last resort

Can I count on you to make it work?
Peril and risk prowling around every corner
Sudden death rushing at us from behind the clouds
Danger and threat stalking weary stragglers
Keeping us on the very tips of our toenails

The enemy has been on our scent for days,
Only miles away from revenge they crave
There has got to be a way
To cover our tracks
Or what happens when we stop running?
I canít be too panicked to protect
Tell me, when we opened your eyes
Did we kill you or save your life?

I thought weíd never break away
From the city of the snares, always fighting to forget,
Choking out their memories
I was almost intimidated by their sleek exteriors
But the truthís they were baited with the best
They claimed they had no choices left
What value does gilded, useless armour have

When you finally need to fight?
Stop with this show,
And repeat the pathetic blind surrender.
We may be outnumbered;
Weíre not oblivious, we are not cowards
Like every one of them
So why am I still plagued
With apprehension, hopelessness, guilt and shame?
In spite of myself, I wonder Regretfully,
when we opened your eyes,
Did we save your life?
How the hell did any of us survive?
Peril and risk dominating the night
Sudden death rushing at us from behind the clouds
Danger and threat stalking weary stragglers
Keeping us on the very tips of our toenails

When the casualties outweigh survivors,
Is that when Iíll know Iíve been defeated?
While the passive deny, we act on acceptance
Did we save you or did we kill you?

The dread and turmoil now behind us
An uncertain leader, weíre just fortunate
To have gotten through it all
Weíre chasing utopia at the top of the world
I can see it nowóhome.
Weíre almost there




7. The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands
Deformed from gripping the rock so tight
Close to the sun in lonely lands
But the wax never melts from his wings
Ringed with the azure world he stands
Emperor of the sky, lord of the ocean
The very image of a king

His outstretched feathers overwhelming the sky
And his innate pride to lead
Suggest power, not modesty
But he never kills without consuming
And though he is always watchful of his surroundings
As he skims the surface,
I suspect he doesnít realize the panic
His shadow induces
In the hearts of the creatures underneath
The overflowing surge of relief
They feel as he revisits
His distinguished position on the cliff
An immense wall of stone
Taking the place of a diamond covered throne
A shining ocean instead of a glittering palace
To signify his status

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls
Tiptoeing past the sentient, piercing eyes
He watches from his mountain walls
His mind once again boundless in flight
And like a thunderbolt, he falls
Racing heart, never a doubt
Or glance behind


His outstretched feathers overwhelming the sky
And his innate pride to lead
Suggest power, not modesty
But he never kills without consuming
And though he is always watchful of his surroundings
As he skims the surface,
I suspect he doesnít realize the panic
His shadow induces
In the hearts of the creatures underneath
The overflowing surge of relief
They feel as he revisits
His distinguished position on the cliff
An immense wall of stone
Taking the place of a diamond covered throne
A shining ocean instead of a glittering palace
To signify his status

Guided by instinct, his conscience remains unburdened
Never having to reflect within,
He focuses relentlessly on the outside world
He manifests the answer to the oldest mystery
The meaning of life
Nothing more than just
To live




8. Fear of Heights

At times, when my mind wanders with my feet,
My thoughts reach their destination before my body
Like a recurring dream,
I find myself traveling to lands I thought beyond my reach
So new and different from my actual hideaway
And before I return to that same familiar gate
Words come together magnetically,
Clearing way through the mess of obscurity
The knot of doubts restraining me
They form perfect letters to you in my imagination
And, when finally confessed, grant my release

Bodies bare of pretence, timid and undressed
Do you mean to win me with these praises and offences?
Why ignore me if you profess to adore me?
I didnít think you could stand the sight of me
At least you spoke honestly; my refusal was based on damaged pride,
Not an aversion to your advances

Obsessed with visions of the world, of night in distant places
What lies outside of constancy? Outside of these fences?
Passing the blurry lights, itís not my eyes,
Itís the world thatís unfocused, distracted
Iím well acquainted with your inelegance and vice
Youíre still more graceful than the night
That falls in each city with a sprawling indelicacy
Iím straying further from home
From my safe routine; and youíre trying to find your own
Can you blame me for inexperience? Just listen; itís all the same

Bodies bare of pretence, timid and undressed
Do you mean to win me with these praises and offences?
Why ignore me if you profess to adore me?

Somehow Iíve been lifted high above the tops of trees,
From this frightening height,
The buildings seem to be flattened in the streets
I tell myself, ďDonít look down,
Thereís no way to plummet charminglyĒ
And when I do I know youíll say ďWhat a pity,
Sheís just not what I expected her to be.Ē
But I canít let my fear of heights get the best of me
As my mind and body journey together in a parallel reality
I realize that if Iím falling, at least Iím free
I never want my feet to take me home




9. Tracks of Decay

Here comes the train, pained and wailing
Eye focused on you warily, but still unblinking
Is this the one Iím supposed to bring?
For this next journey, endless and complex
Injuries youíll never be prepared to dress
A hundred stops youíll sleep away
Then wake to wish you hadnít and
You take your time packing light
I never could comprehend
How it took you hours to finally end
Up with a list of twenty forgotten things
To the naïve eye (not the headlight),
You might appear to actually care for something
But youíre not guarding this life with your own,
Just risking mine
What a fucking waste. This time

Remember when I said you were bound to make another mistake?
Was it stupidity or a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Self-fulfilled, I should say
Unless you were planning on
One more fuck-up today?
Another idiotís dance, are we just supposed to watch and laugh?
Weíre far from amused; in fact we might as well be lying on the tracks

Here comes the crash, too fast to catch my heart,
Propelled from my chest while my body
Lurched and halted with the brakes
While everything else seems to slow around me
I canít believe this is happening again
I was never meant to be here, I complain
Because for a moment, the ride was steady,
But your devastation was inevitable
Expected, yet unavoidable,
Like the cycle of natural wildfire
The peril is far too close
To allow any delay in my stride
The deaths and wounds are far too real
For me just to stand and gape, wide-eyed
Like the crowd
That canít help themselves, or us
Iím sorry, but I wonít be entertained by your train wreck life

Will it be neglect or abuse
That puts you underground?
Your tracks are sore from overuse
And they're finally wearing down
A scar for every accident
New waste to block the way
All aboard your train wreck life
Last stop, Tracks of Decay!




10. Like Every Song's Our Last

Tonight was just another night of monotonous fear
Broken only by feeble thoughts of empty reassurance
It came like a bittersweet blow to your dull reality
A vision to scare the idleness from your hands

Did you leave behind a legacy?
Did you leave behind a single thing
Of real value
To those around you?
Well, did you love hard enough
When you were going to live forever?
Are you wasting time being afraid of letting go?
Of causing pain?
Are you wasting time being afraid of being afraid?

The present world drifts before my eyes like a fading memory
I feel like Iím grasping desperately for something
That disappeared before I had a chance to need it
And thenóthe vision to change my life on its last night

Well, what if you knew it to be true?
Now tonight is not just another night,
But your last one here on earth
And by tomorrow, youíll be gone
Along with all your good intentions
And urgent procrastinations

Well, what if you knew it to be true?
Would you finally find your courage
And say what needed to be said?
In a lifetime,
Can you say everything you want to say?
Are you going to die
Knowing you never apologized?

What will your last words be?
And who will be the one to hear them?
What will be the mark you leave?
And will it mean a single fucking thing?

Tonightís my final night
And Iím playing every song like itís my last
Tonightís my final night
And Iím singing every song like itís my last

 


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