Before Life After Death

by Bob Dey's Tank Engine Man

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Mark Jumper: guitars, vocals, percussion
Jem Stantz: field recordings
Pendrie Simons: drums, percussion
"Whitecat": keyboards, sample selection, programming


released July 15, 2014

All songs by Bob Dey's Tank Engine Man, based on recollections by Mark Jumper



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Bob Dey's Tank Engine Man Montreal, Québec

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Track Name: Funeral March
Steps on the way to the underground bell ringing,
buzzing place where underneath it is happening:
more steps he is taking by himself while mumbling
Track Name: Hesitating Sun
What can the Hesitating Sun do for fun?
It tries to leave but it cannot leave

Stays at home all of the time
Tries to sink into the sky

What happens to his soul when he sits and waits?
Surrounded by his papers and the things he's made?

Does it satisfy to be alone?
Is he required to give return?

A man that does not want to die
Is like a sun stuck in the sky
Clings like child to horizon line
Clutched to the succour of it's mother's side

If I should decay into a shrouding mist,
A moulding, crusting, lifeless past

The light has gone anyway
The night has come into the day

A man that wants not to be alive
Is like a Sun that would refuse to rise
Lamplight, candlelight is forced to shine,
Flicking and burning in the endless night
Though he wants not life nor death
Is wretched in a way that has not yet been said
For what he wants cannot be done
What can the Hesitating Sun do for fun?

Sun... Hesitate
Track Name: Future Is Bleaker
Oh, my ghost it glows like a super-8 projection!
In these piles of things of which I cannot recall the function!
A face cut deep in wood, oh I do not know it's muse!
A tiny, paper man in a clownish kind of suit!

Right and just desserts, like a penance for the sinner!

And I put it all in rows
And I laid it out in grids
And I've catalogued what's known
And made a note of what is hid
And eternally I've slaved
For the meagre things I've done
In pursuit of some acclaim
Or of something else to come

I"ve looked into the future and I can see that it is bleaker than it is right now

In this tortured room where time is meant to suture
Here I dreadful stare as I look into the future

And I hold back my cries
And I squeeze back my moan
In the grip of this place
That I now call my home
Which has sheltered my mind
As if buried alive
Track Name: Sad to Feel the Same
Sad to feel the same...
After all that I have seen and been through and the lessons I have learned

Sad to feel the same...
It's like I never saw a thing or did a thing and I never met the men that would come to change my mind

Sad to feel the same...
After all the time spent asking how to myself and twisting up the truth so that nothing remained clear
Track Name: Sit On a Dream
Just like a mummy, he was king
Now he's just a wrapping of remains
Awoke from the slumber of his death
Obligated by some unpaid debt

Tied back in his regal wicker throne
He slumps in a trouble-weary pose
While better men around him go to work
He reluctantly takes back his turn

He was a man that would sit on a dream

If at last he hears the bell ring
A crystal call that beckons as it sings
It will drag him again to the street
Propped up like a dummy in a seat

He was a man that would sit on a dream

He could rise to meet the clanging blast
Or watch parade marching past
But like a Dreamer he must wait
For the proper time and the proper place

He was a man that would sit on a dream
Track Name: Digging Out
Oh! Expelled at last by not his own hand by another's! And stepping into a circus, where he will ask the Circus Manager for a favor.
"Listen to my story and let me tell it again!"
Track Name: The Debate
(circus manager)
If you are dead, how is it now you stand before me?
If it's all true, then simply tell it as it goes

(mark jumper)
Can't you see the state I'm in,
the fragile bones and dripping skin?
The waiting Grave that's empty now
is proof enough of what I tell

(circus manager)
A tomb with no corpse is like a relic-ridden room
It appeals to the mind but it does not tell the truth

(mark jumper)
Oh my body is my tomb!
My idle hands and crippled mind!
Were you never once a man,
with lofty dreams and endless time?
I was ground into a dust
by slogging on and staying blind
But at last I have returned,
but at last, I've seen the light!

(circus manager)
I admit it intrigues, though my instincts say it's wrong
I will relent and I will listen to your song

(mark jumper)

(and his song...)
When at last you have grown and the man you've become
stands before you
And despite how you felt as a young man, now you can't explain
what has happened

You can't refuse your Mother's love,
no matter how hard you try

The way that you are, it confines and constricts and destroys you
All the things that you do, they were done first to you so of course
you repeat them

You can't refuse your Mother's love,
no matter how hard you try
Track Name: Working At First
Getting down to work now. All the ways and days back then in the beginning when only he was there and only he had himself to invent the things to do.
Track Name: Tried to Be

I've tried to be a better man
I've tried to do what other men can
I've tried to be a better man

I've tried to be something that no man can
I've tried to be a better man

(I drew up a plan for the rest of my days
I followed instructions, no matter how vague)

I gave up the things that I called my own
(I focused on things that would bring me success
and I wondered vainly how long it would last)

I took the critiques and I changed what was wrong
(I read all the books on how to manage my time
I walked through the hallways in the middle of the night)

I juggled so much that I'd never be free
(I’ve held the gaze of another man’s eyes
but I couldn't hide my own shuddering fright)

I beat on my brain so it wouldn't beat me
(my hopeful endeavour became desparate need
the light in my eyes became troubled with weeds)

I stood in the shadows of another man's cast
(I don't want nothing to happen to me
I don't want nothing to happen to me)

And I've tried to be a better man

(and a little bit of darkness)
Track Name: The Basement
Awakening up in the Basement of the DC/DI building.
Track Name: One Level at a Time
I awoke in a bungled time
And I looked around me shifting
Below me in swirling fire
The crowd was swaying, drifting

And I noticed the blood on the walls
In patterns it was threading
And pooling into a pond
In which the crowd was treading

I stood up to make a sound
Took a step on the landing
I looked out into the crowd
And I saw the people I knew
And they looked back up at me
And they said, "Hello, sir.
We did not expect to see,
did not expect to see you here!"

Just then from off to the left
I heard commotion coming
I was swept up into a line
Of arriving ghosts and mummies

So I left my place in line
And I talked to the leader
He said to me, "Son that's strange,
you're not on my list today."
And I asked, "What could that mean?
What could that mean for me?
And where am I supposed to go,
if I'm not supposed to go here?"
Track Name: Every Sound In a Row
All the splits and sample bits, laid out and sped up, and making Mark Jumper remember every tale he's told.
Track Name: The End
(ha na)

Let down, let go, let on as to what a wretch I've been
There I was, I was wrong, I will now refuse to go insane

Look 'round, look my boy, look around and see what you have done
Oh my! Oh no! Oh, I cannot really feel it anymore

(ha na)

There is nothing left to do
There is now power to be awoken
If at all I was broke
I am now no longer broken!

I have sat for much too long
In a brooding, troubled sinking
It's a strange a foolish thing
To be so ruled by what you're thinking!

(ha na)

(ha na)

When at last it is done
There is no need for recognition
When the word is understood
There is no need for repetition
When success is on the tongue
There is no need for asseveration

(ha na)