A Serious Case of Midnight

by mike skliar

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about

Written and recorded between February and April, 2019 (mostly written in February, as part of 'February Album Writing Month') this 16-song album is the latest by Mike Skliar.

It covers many different subjects including getting older, politics and the state of the world, political correctness, growing up,binge watching, and the many comic possibilities of medical tests, sadness & death. It's actually more cheerful then it sounds from that description, really.

Lyrics to each song are here as well, should anyone want to read.

The song "Blind" is a co-write with Mark Powers, who played guitar and sings on the track as well (Mike plays mandolin and sings as well on that track)

Everything else on all the other tracks was written and performed by Mike, using acoustic guitars, harmonica, (there's more harmonica on this album for some reason, I guess it just felt like it fit), some keyboards (including two vintage Casio keyboards), bass, baritone guitar, mandolin, percussion, ukulele, vocals and background vocals.

Be advised about a 'NSFW" word in the song "people are here and then they're gone', which song is dedicated to the memory of Paul "Hoops" Turrell.

Thanks to friends and family, and to the online community at February Album Writing Month, a worldwide group of crazy songwriters I've been part of for many years, who challenge each other to write 14 songs in a 28 day month, among other things. It's a crazy idea that works. (check us all out at fawm dot org each February, and the site stays up for a few more months after Feb as well)

Thanks to everyone who listens, and/or has listened over the years - and feel free to contact me thru the usual social media channels, etc., too.

credits

released May 5, 2019

Mike Skliar- vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, harmonica, baritone and slide guitars, Casio keyboards, percussion, bass, background vocals.

On 'Blind'- Mark Powers played guitar and sang as well.

All songs (c) M. Skliar 2019 except 'Blind' (c) M. Skliar/M. Powers.

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Track Name: Everything is Political
Everything is political
Every gesture, every move
No reason to be cynical
Just dance your best stuff in that groove

The things you buy
The things you eat
The place you live
People you meet

The jokes you tell
The clothes you wear
The things that calm you
Or give you fear

Everything is political
Every gesture, every move
No reason to be cynical
Just dance your best stuff in that groove

What you binge watch
What you find funny
How and where
You make your money

The books you read
To your kids in bed
The things you do
Not things you’ve said

Everything is political
Every gesture, every move
No reason to be cynical
Just dance your best stuff in that groove

The charities you give, the ones you ignore
The thoughts you express, or stick in a drawer

Everything is political
Every gesture, every move
No reason to be cynical
Just dance your best stuff in that groove

© M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Mystery of family
Family is love
And love leads to madness
The crucible of
So much joy and sadness

Sometimes together
Sometimes split apart
As changeable as the weather
And the beating of a heart

There is no book of rules
Just a complex history
They grow hot or they grow cool
Every family’s a mystery

Families wax and wane
Like the phases of the moon
From a beautiful refrain
To a very bitter tune

I’ve seen all possibilities
From hell to the divine
From outright hostility
To heavens valentine

There is no book of rules
Just a complex history
The situations’ more nuanced
And always, somewhat of a mystery

The position that you hold
In a family dynamic
Seems so set in stone
But nothing’s automatic
A support system for one
Is a trap for another
A daughter or a son
A sister or a brother

There is no book of rules
just a complex history
or the rules are are always changing
in ways that are a mystery

we hate the ones we love
and love the ones we hate
in a co-dependent dance
that emotions will dictate
our children they reject it
but then perpetuate
battle plans, wars and truces
that they then negotiate

There is no book of rules
Just a complex history
They grow hot or they grow cool
Every family’s a mystery

(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: People are here and then they're gone
People are here and then they’re not
What the actual fuck
A number of spins around the sun
Depending on genetics and luck

I’ve known people who
Had roots like a mighty tree
Then one day the letter’s returned
No such addressee

People are alive and then they’re not
in this reality they're stuck
A number of spins around the sun
Depending on genetics and luck

Existence is time-sensitive
It’s all we know
Didn’t I just arrive here
And is it time to go?

People are here and then they’re not
from this fate you cannot duck
A number of spins around the sun
Depending on genetics and luck

not just potentially, but eventually,
existentially, eventually we run out of luck

People are here and then they’re not
What the actual fuck
A number of spins around the sun
Depending on genetics and luck

(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Serious case of Midnight
Midnight on this rock third one from the sun
Halfway thru the darkness, who knows what’s to come
Something set two years ago, there’s two long years remaining
in the thick of the rain forest, it just keeps on raining
The midnight monsters mutilate any thought that’s not polite
Its seriously a reckoning, a serious case of midnight

And midnight is a metaphor, a misery in the mud
Will midnight waters save us or drown us in the flood
If we can’t row together, this current will sink the ship
With a thousand stings and poison darts from petty dictatorship
Its time for all our virtues to stand up to their full height
If we are going to come thru this serious case of midnight

It happened at midnight, the ancient sages predicted
Will we afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted?
The dancing of the dragon has revealed a fatal flaw
But will we have the courage and the wisdom of the law
We are hanging in the balance between the darkness and the light
Its time to get serious, it’s a serious case of midnight



(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Sad fragile white man
Sad… fragile white man is sad
Sad sad sad sad sad
Times have changed he can no longer be
An asshole like his dad

He used to feel so secure
white males always seemed to come in first
Now looking around at the workforce today
His white male bubble is burst

His family’s been here three generations
When they came they didn’t speak the language
Now he’s horrified to find immigrants here
Who only partly know the language (see the irony)

He grew up with 2 bathrooms, boys and girls
In the boys room they’d beat up those effeminate
Now he’s and she’s want to be use different pronouns
Bathroom danger for white males better throw a fit

He’s angry at political correctness
As his white male privilege slowly expires
It’s good to be king, he says to his offspring
Its what fragile white males require

Sad… fragile white man is sad
Sad sad sad sad sad
Times have changed he can no longer be
An asshole like his dad



(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Born without the sports gene
(stage directions- gym class, a long time ago)

Ok I’ll take Murphy
I’ll take Sellers
I’ll take Serowitz
I’ll take Bellows
That leaves…
OK, you take Skliar
No you take Skliar
No you take him
If you take him, I’ll give you Murphy
OK, deal

I was born without a sports gene
Watching or playing no interest at all
Probably didn’t help much
Hearing what you just heard whenever we’d play ball

Gym class softball game
When I would come to bat
The outfield kids would come up in my face
Knowing if I hit the ball
It wouldn’t travel far at all

I was born without the sports gene
Or maybe it was never allowed to grow
My jock dad was disappointed
Who knows what happened, it was so long ago

It didn’t help that my dad was screwed up
Would make you feel horrible if a natural you weren’t
So after a while I gave up
Why bother swimming against the current

I was born without the sports gene
Don’t ask me to watch the game on TV
I couldn’t care less who is winning
Things like that not important to me

I started doing things I was better at
Funny thing was it was reading and writing
And I can say now in the long run
That took me more places way more exciting

I was born without the sports gene
Don’t ask me to watch the game on TV
I couldn’t care less who is winning
Things like that not important to me

I was born without the sports gene
But I, I , I, I can play this…

© M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: A racist, a con man, and a thief
A racist a con man and a cheat
But the right wing thinks he is neat
Not someone that I’d like to meet
A racist a con man and a cheat

You can’t be surprised by this testimony
From the beginning the don was such a phony
Most of what he says is baloney
You can’t be surprised by this testimony

A racist a con man and a cheat
In 2020 he’s got to be beat
Not someone that I’d like to meet
A racist a con man and a cheat

A racist a cheat and a con man
But this is what we need to understand
What do we do what is the plan
For a racist a cheat and a con man

A con man a cheat and a racist
There is more then ample basis
Look at those many orange faces
A con man a cheat and a racist

A racist a con man and a cheat
But the right wing thinks he is neat
Not someone that I’d like to meet
A racist a con man and a cheat


(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Blind (collab. w/ Mark Powers)
Blind blind making me blind
Telling myself time after time
I’m gonna live forever on a dime
All those thoughts making me blind

Tries tries how many tries
Never thought to asking why
Sometime laugh, sometime cry
How many times, how many tries

Fly fly, fly far away
No rhyme no reason to stay
Pack it up and cast away
No more time to find a way

Blind blind making me blind
Telling myself time after time
I’m gonna live forever on a dime
All those thoughts making me blind

written by Mark Powers & Mike Skliar
Track Name: Carnival barker president
Ladies and gentleman welcome to the worlds fair of 19 ought five
When you step into our time machine you’ll be glad you are alive
Journey to a future world 114 years from now
They’ll have machines for everything even milking a cow
Carnival barkers like me will have a curious fate
One of us will become president of the united states!

Yes from the ranks of swindlers who sell you patent medicine
And run those three card monte games, make you think you’ll win
It dices, it slices, it crawls on its belly like a reptile
Then becomes our great leader, morality defiled
Step this way, just twenty cents at the gate
See the future carnival barker president of the united states

(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: have you seen my sadness?
Have you seen my sadness?
I left it somewhere
Its gonna come back to me
When I least expect it
When I’m just not ready

Have you seen my depression?
It was taking a long vacation
Someplace that needs a passport
But it might feel like
It has to come home

Have you seen my obsessions?
They went to visit friends and family
But maybe they’re feeling lonely
Longing for a familiar place
they want to come home

Have you seen my sadness?
When it’s back we’ll get reacquainted
Meet the new neighbors
There’s been some changes here
My sadness might have to adapt

Have you seen my sadness?
It’s kind of like the ice in springtime
It gets smaller and starts to melt
And tho winter may come again
I cleared a path to spring



(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Binge watching
Everyone is watching one of 50 different mini series
Binge watching eyes open looking at a screen
Other things are happening everywhere around the world
Very few are reading and it makes me want to scream

When the oceans rise and rise and millions become refugees
It will be a subplot on one of those tv shows
Maybe then we’ll realize, stupid choices messed us up
I would say more but TV is on, I’ve got to go

© M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Pronouns
‘He him hers’
‘She her hers’
‘they them theirs’
whatever you prefer
That’s fine

I say all power to you
And your sense of self
Don’t leave your identity
Up on some shelf
Oh no

‘He him hers’
‘She her hers’
‘they them theirs’
whatever you prefer
That’s fine

Another great word set
If I may discuss
And also inclusive
Is ‘we’ and ‘us’

Outranking even
The ‘royal we’
Is ‘all of all of us’
One big family tree

‘He him hers’
‘She her hers’
‘they them theirs’
whatever you prefer
That’s fine

(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Heard you had to go for tests...
Heard you had to go for tests
Hoping it will turn out for the best
Maybe they’re just being cautious
You’re probably feeling nauseous
Heard you had to go for tests

Heard you need a second opinion
Happy to cheer you on as one of your minions
I know they’re just making sure
That’s what doctors are for
Heard you need a second opinion

Heard they’re doing a little procedure
Not something I’m sure you’re very eager (to do)
I’m sure this ain’t no picnic
But they’re gonna fix you up quick
Heard they’re doing a little procedure

© M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: Ruminations on the blues
You think you are praying to god, you might be praying to yourself
You think you’re praying to god, you might be praying to yourself
Is god in a prayer book, or in that math book up on the shelf


If god is what’s good within us, why does evil exist
If god is whats good within us, why does so much evil exist
What is good and what is evil, and who is it that makes that list

If god is powerful and good, why are there so many bad things
If god is powerful and good, why are there so many bad things
Talking and words may not answer that, sometimes you have to sing

There’s god, there’s the blues, they might be one and the same
There’s god, there’s the blues, they might be one and the same
Blue skies up above, that might just be god writing her name


(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: No one accused you of kindness
No one accused you of kindness
Or understanding others’ pain
No one saw you help another
Unless to help polish your name

No one finds your lies convincing
Except those blinded with hate
Only fools think that you’ve acted
To make America great

And I hope they erect a monument
To remind us how close we came
To losing everything that makes us human
in bold letters that monument proclaims

We hold these truths to be self-evident
That in this land justice shall prevail
And the greatest day ever for democracy
Is when you’re led in handcuffs off to jail



(c) M. Skliar 2019
Track Name: 59
By 59, you’re getting signs of what’s to be
If you’re not blind, you know that time’s no longer free
I know the line between whats mine and whats left out on the vine
By 59, I’ve gotten signs of what’s to be

59, 59, 59, 59

Next stop the big six oh, no lie
No place else to go unless you die
Theres an ebb and a flow, and some things you just don’t know
On that next stop the big six oh, no lie

Sometimes the body feels older than the mind,
but I don’t mind
Is it an uphill or a downhill climb?
We’re flying blind

But its not all doom and gloom and depression
And my room is filled with more and more possessions
Ive seen a landing on the moon, you never know what will bloom
Its not all doom gloom and depression

59,59,59,59.


(c) M. Skliar 2019

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