Why Birds Fly

by JOHN COMMON

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about

WHY BIRDS FLY
(2007 Free School Records)

WHY BIRDS FLY is JohnCommon’s second release as a solo artist. Recorded from 2005 to 2007, WHY BIRDS FLY continues Common’s experiments in combining words, melody, found sounds and starkly honest songwriting. WHY BIRDS FLY is an audio stroll through the valley of the shadow of relationships.

"John Common's WHY BIRDS FLY is a thirteen-song collection of scratched films and charred photos that chronicle how things come together and then fall apart. Call it the dark “disc two” from the sessions that produced GOOD TO BE BORN, Common’s critically acclaimed debut record. Common covers some intensely emotional ground on this unflinching new release. The disc also shows his breadth as both writer and producer, an artist at ease with quiet acoustic numbers, wordless sound landscapes and fully-orchestrated rock stunners. Wrapped in radio static and shot out into space, WHY BIRDS FLY is both a great question and a troubling answer." -- Marty Jones

"Why Birds Fly is even more uncommon than its acclaimed 2006 predecessor...the aural environment Common creates is so sumptuous that it rewards repeated listens even as it confounds expectations." -- WESTWORD MAGAZINE (Why Birds Fly)

"It may seem difficult to imagine a guy named John Common living a highly individual life, but believe it... his creative curiosity and detail-oriented aesthetic distinguish him from the drooling pack of earnest singer-songwriters." -- DENVER POST

"John Common has plenty of natural talent. But a more literal interpretation also applies to his latest recording, Why Birds Fly. Throughout tunes such as "Moonlight" and "Unseen Things," Common weaves traditional instrumentation with the sort of found sounds heard in forests at night: the ambient noises of creatures that creep, crawl or take wing. These subtle touches make his work seem natural in every sense of the word." -- BEST OF WESTWORD 2008

"He always seems to have the right words... with a repertoire that ranges from haunting to hopeful, pensive to provocative." -- COLORADO LOCAL LEGENDS

"Far too many performers settle for predictability — but Common constantly pushes himself, his songs and his arrangements onto paths that few travelers have trod. While his work can seem inconsistent at times, even the misses are intriguing — and the high points (like "Moonlight" and the preternatural "Not So Bad") truly take wing. — WESTWORD

"John approaches songwriting as though each song is a scene from a movie. The music and lyrics traverse in opposite directions. Music that grinds and roars, exhales and charges again in a fashion reminiscent of early Rolling Stones or Neil Young Two contrasting streams of expression meet to create an energetic dissonance that is pleasant to the troubled ear, in a word rock." -- BOULDER WEEKLY

"His face is a familiar one around town - although it's not as recognizable as his voice." -- DENVER POST

"John Common refuses to cave to category." -- DENVER DAILY NEWS

credits

released July 28, 2007

JOHN COMMON
WHY BIRDS FLY

Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
All songs by John Common (BMI)
Produced by John Common
Engineered by Scott Davies, Jeremy Lawton, John Common
Recorded at Emmasaurus Sound
Mixed and mastered by Jeremy Lawton
Art direction and design by John Common

Call
John Common - guitar, rhodes

Already There
John Common - guitar, vocals
Jeremy Lawton - conjunculator

Do You Hate
John Common - guitars, wurlitzer, piano, samples, vocals
Scott Davies - drums, samples
Steve Millin - bass
Jeremy Lawton - backing vocals

Moonlight
John Common - guitars, wurlitzer, piano, samples, vocals
Scott Davies - drums
Steve Millin - bass
Jeremy Lawton - conjunculator
Chris Eagleton - samples
Adam Lancaster - guitar

Before You Met Me
John Common - wurlitzer, rhodes, samples, vocals
Matt Gilliam - trumpet, fluegal horn

Flesh Wound
John Common - guitars, wurlitzer, samples, vocals
Scott Davies - drums, samples
Kevin Meyer - bass
Jed Marrs - backing vocals

Unseen Things
John Common - samples
Scott Davies - samples

LGM
John Common - guitar, banjo, samples, vocals
Jeremy Lawton - weisenborn

You Stay
John Common - guitars, wurlitzer, piano, vocals
Scott Davies - drums, samples
Steve Millin - bass

Wrong Number
John Common - guitar, wurlitzer, vocals
Scott Davies - drums
Kevin Meyer - bass, backing vocals
Jed Marrs - backing vocals

Not So Bad
John Common - guitar, wurlitzer, samples, vocals
Jeremy Lawton - weisenborn

Do You Hate (karaoke)
John Comon - samples, vocals
Jed Marrs - casio
Scott Davies - clave

Response
John Common - guitar, Rhodes

www.johncommon.com

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Track Name: LGM
LGM
copyright 2007 john common music

this world's a crazy fucked up mess
the animals can have it back
let's get married

burn the houses, bomb the streets
I want to go back to the tree
let's get married

somebody told me long ago
when you're ready you will know
I think I'm ready
ready for you and me

we've been alone since we were born
we'll be alone when this is gone
let's get married

somewhere out there
two roads converging
the intersection is where
we're headed babe

these chains we made are in our minds
it took a while to realize
let's get married
Track Name: Moonlight
MOONLIGHT
copyright 2007 john common music

you hear it on the radio
late at night when you sleep
dreaming of your one true love
floating toward you on a troubled sea
waiting for you every night
the lover who would never leave
heaven falling from the sky
and it's a lie you want to believe

impossible but it's true
the lover from your dreams
landed on your window sill
and made it possible to believe
closer, closer still but don't ever tell a soul
studying her cotton dress
and how it slips down to the floor

everybody knows
the pain of a lonely man
everybody knows
you can’t hold moonlight in your hands

chosen and you don't know why
waking from your secret sleep
back into this ugly life
where secrets are hidden deep
all the people who love to hate
all the people who love to kill
all the people who just want love
all the people who never will

everybody knows
the pain of a lonely man
everybody knows
the pain…
everybody knows
Track Name: Before You Met Me
BEFORE YOU MET ME
copyright 2007 john common music

it's an ugly morning
bruised and weeping
every cliché is coming true

you knew I was broken
and you tried to fix me
impossible to do

I was gone before you met me

when things got rocky
we bailed the water
and we both drowned
without a clue

I let you float away
what was I thinking
letting go of you

you turned the corner
that makes me happy
'cause moving on
is what we do
Track Name: Do You Hate
DO YOU HATE
copyright 2007 john common music

do you hate your name
do you hate your face
do you hide your hands
do they give you away
does it make you sick
do you want to die
when you hear that voice
do you go inside

do you see your dad
and the things he did
when you lie awake
in an empty bed
do you close the door
and then cry all night
do you get pissed off
when you hear the truth

what if we all died tonight
do you think that would be alright
what if all the lies we fight
just gave up and went home

have you had enough
are you checking out
is it time to burn
this old wooden house
is it easier
is it better for you
when you disappear
step out of view

what if we all died tonight
do you think that would be alright
what if all the lies you fight
just gave up and went home
Track Name: Flesh Wound
FLESH WOUND
copyright 2007 john common music

flesh would, I'm bleeding a little
a reddish stain on this gray affair
it's triage at two in the morning
go find someone who cares

random, the way that I met you
spilling drinks all over the bar
in drunken delusions of grandeur
you helped me find my car

go on, go. I'll stay home
go on, go to your parties…

sorry to leave you suspended
twirling fingers in your hair
ask me all of your questions
I’ll tell the truth I swear

I always seem to come undone
that tends to ruin all your fun
I'm such a drag to you, such a drag

I hope you find something better
I hope you find something better
I'll help you find someone better

simple is so complicated
everything good, everything bad
like walking away from a fire
we lost all we had
Track Name: Already There
ALREADY THERE
copyright 2007 john common music

way back, before I can remember
everything was shut down on me
I was living like a goldfish
swimming in my circle
waiting for a hand to pick me out

save me for later
when I'm less sedated
good god help me good
I'm already there

I was so lonely, living like a shut in
watching all my windows shut down
I got the silent treatment
then I started screaming
oh god come dig me out

save me for later
when I'm less sedated
oh good god help me good
I'm already there

the window is cold on my cheek
I'm getting old, don't you think
god help me good
I'm already there

mary interceding on my behalf
I need you now
it's early morning
the birds in the trees
are singing
Track Name: Unseen Things
UNSEEN THINGS
(Written by A. Katherin Hankey, 1866)

Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply, as to a little child,
For I am weak and weary, and helpless and defiled.
Track Name: You Stay
YOU STAY
copyright 2007 john common music

I'm getting up and I ain’t coming back
she says this at the heart attack
third table from the back

I love you but when you lose your buzz
you see totally clear it ain’t like it was
even if it ever was

you don't want to see me I know
you don't want to see me so I'll go
you stay, you stay

I know I'll see you at the same old bars
drivin' around in your car
you're never too far

'cause no one ever has the balls to leave
they just make believe
like they’re adam and eve

you don't want to see me I know
you don't want to see me so I'll go
you stay
Track Name: Wrong Number
WRONG NUMBER
copyright 2007 john common music

I didn't know, that I was falling
it wasn't me, that you were calling
I close my eyes and hear you whisper words into my ear
words I thought that only I could hear but I was wrong

I stood alone, outside your building
you weren't home, I felt silly
maybe it's just better if we never even meet
I'd probably fall down at your feet and kiss the ground

but I can always dream

would I find the right words to say
could I make you turn the other way
maybe you could call me back today

I'll get along, just fine without you
I'll sing this song, instead of doubt you
it's easier than waiting by a phone that never rings
I'd rather sing alone than never sing, this is goodbye

but I can always dream

would I find the right words to say
could I make you turn the other way
maybe you could call me back today
Track Name: Not So Bad
NOT SO BAD
copyright 2007 john common music

a deer in the snow scratching around
waiting to find something out

uncertainty, this solitude
all so bare, stripped away

crazy chance, foolish girl
I didn't know the mess I was
I want to know when I get home
you'll be there waiting for

me every day, work is a drag
go do the thing, money in
money out, money in
money out, money

it's a daily fight, we're suffering on
it's a daily walk, we're walking on
it's not so bad

I'm getting old, I'm feeling good
seeing strings, connection

the snow on the ground, your shoes in the hall
mess everywhere, connection
you cut yourself, blood on your shirt
I'll stitch it up, make it whole

deep as you want, everything
everything, everything
everything, everything
everything, every

it's a daily walk, we're walking on
it's a daily fight, we're fighting on
it's not so bad
it's not so bad at all
it's not so bad at all
Track Name: Do You Hate (karaoke)
DO YOU HATE
copyright 2007 john common music

do you hate your name
do you hate your face
do you hide your hands
do they give you away
does it make you sick
do you want to die
when you hear that voice
do you go inside

do you see your dad
and the things he did
when you lie awake
in an empty bed
do you close the door
and then cry all night
do you get pissed off
when you hear the truth

what if we all died tonight
do you think that would be alright
what if all the lies we fight
just gave up and went home

have you had enough
are you checking out
is it time to burn
this old wooden house
is it easier
is it better for you
when you disappear
step out of view

what if we all died tonight
do you think that would be alright
what if all the lies you fight
just gave up and went home