Pandemic Reality

by mike skliar

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cuspofjuly Some of the best work yet from this prolific singer-songwriter. A well-rounded slice of life with depth, humor and lots of sonic interest. Favorite track: Pandemic blues.
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1.
Empty taxicabs Cruising empty streets Bankrupt drivers drive Highways of defeat Chefs and waiters wait Idle with no pay Tip jars sit untouched Café closed today Ghosts walk in the park, keeping six foot distance Not many are exempt from needing assistance Paycheck to paycheck Now counting cancellations An old decaying building Cracked to the foundation How much is going to change What will be restructured The myths of social contracts Now forever ruptured Pandemics and depressions have come and gone before Meteor in the night sky, are we the dinosuars? (c) M. Skliar 2020
2.
Bright summer morning, birds chattering Blue sky with grey clouds scattering But like a dream that blew away Replaced by bad news that’s here to stay I take a walk in a beautiful park Birds chirp, geese honk, dogs bark But all the people wearing masks outside A thousand pairs of sad eyes Open refrigerator, a kingly feast Foods from the north, south, west and east But oh yeah there’s that other thing I hear the tv news, and all that’s happening We talk and text, skype and zoom From the comfort of our rooms But I can’t visit and linger lounge and hang With family, friends, and the old gang I pass the clubs, bars and restaurants The brunch, the jazz, mimosa, croissant Just a memory, something to remember Will those places be around in December My moods go from sunny to dark The future is one big question mark But I still believe we’re gonna recover Still so much joy, left to discover (c) M. Skliar 2020
3.
Some want to get rid of Fauci Others blame China or 5G Some are worried about freedom Or thinking about the economy This ain’t the time for selfish behavior We gotta be each others’ saviors This is gonna take some time Maybe I’ll see you at Christmastime I got the pandemic, you got the pandemic We got the pandemic blues There’s no quick solution Except for strengthening our institutions Medical staff and front-line workers Gotta be paid more for their contribution If you’re thinking of a quick fix You’re not listening to scientists This is a hard way of living Maybe I’ll see you a year from thanksgiving I got the pandemic, you got the pandemic We got the pandemic blues We need a new commander in chief That we’re stuck with this one is beyond belief A two-bit clown and a lying thief Steering the ship of state into a reef If you’re still defending him, you’re a moron Time to get serious there’s a war on This is gonna take months and years I hope we’re bigger than our fears I got the pandemic , you got the pandemic, we got the pandemic blues (c) M. Skliar 2020
4.
Open the window at seven o’clock Open the window wide Sound that applause with everything you got Show them how they’re turning the tide Where would we be without our first responders Taking care of everyone The odds against them but they came thru Almost nothing that they can’t get done Open the window at seven o’clock Open the window wide Sound that applause with everything you got Show them how they’re turning the tide The way people rise up despite all their fear The least we can do is open the window and cheer Open the window at seven pm For the heroes of a thousand bedsides Sound that applause with everything you got Show them how you feel inside (c) M. Skliar 2020
5.
We’re living in a science fiction world v.2 We would not last year have recognized The things we took for granted Now they all are jeopardized things that used to worry us now don’t seem so pressing no shortage of reasons that things feel so depressing there’s little else to think about another day another cancellation we journey every day in a strange hallucination all the inequality and division that existed magnified by this moment forever we’ll be twisted we walk thru empty streets hand in hand like two ghosts the one thing I hold on to I’m here with the one I love the most Its an ending and a beginning Like a chrysalis shedding skin There’s a crack in the universe Let’s hope that the lights gets in (c) M. Skliar 2020
6.
Out for a jog when you’re not Caucasian Some racist idiot thinks its an invasion This stuff’s still going on across the nation How much longer, how much longer, how much longer will this continue Minimum wage workers are keeping us alive Its always the worker bees that take care of the hive tax cuts going to those with ten million or just five? How much longer, how much longer How much longer will this continue Oh the humanity, oh the absurdity The contradictions, fact vs fiction There’s an evil and vile captain of this here boat Only two choices this November, that’s all she wrote Don’t tell me on principle you’re not gonna vote How much longer, how much longer How much longer will this continue (c) M. Skliar 2020
7.
I’ve got no right, to sing the blues I don’t have it half as hard as many folks do I can’t complain, should not feel down So many others have had their lives turned around Some have had their futures, wrecked beyond repair I sing these fake blues, in my easy chair But its still not easy, it feels so strange Small amount of time, large amount of change There’ll be a reckoning, in the world to come We’ll never get back lost time or lost income But us lucky devils, who make it thru Have to make a better world, make it come true We owe it to the dead, it’s our obligation We gotta repair the world after our hibernation (c) M. Skliar 2020
8.
All the children ask their mothers Why do I have to stay inside? And why can’ we go and visit grandma Its only a short ride How to explain a pandemic Like trying to build a house from a toothpick There’s a monster No he can’t hurt you He will be gone soon We will take care of you We keep our distance And with persistence If we’re all careful That monster will be gone How long will it last, can’t it be over now? Why do I need a mask to play? And are there angels, are there magicians Who can cast a spell and make it go away? How to explain a pandemic How to explain all these statistics there are angels there are magicians some are nurses some are physicians and you’re a hero we are all heroes now flattening that curve till that monster’s gone somehow (c) M. Skliar 2020
9.
City hum 02:33
Socially distancing from myself Staying six feet away from my anxieties Let someone else shake hands with the devil Im gonna be sitting home alone with me Nothing’s gonna get me back on the subway No matter how many times you disinfect Never gonna put my ass back on mass transit The very thought of it, and I’m a wreck But wait, What makes this city hum, what makes this city run The only thing we have to fear is fear This moment’s gonna end, a new day is coming I just wish that day would hurry up and appear we used to be afraid of people with masks Now I’m afraid of people without don’t’ even talk to me about bikers and joggers just cover that pie hole when you go out But wait, What makes this city hum, what makes this city run The only thing we have to fear is fear This moment’s gonna end, a new day is coming I just wish that day would hurry up and appear (c) M. Skliar 2020
10.
Hints 03:12
We search for hints of encouraging signs This goes out to those on the front lines, from all of us on the side lines We cheer you at seven, in these crazy times we search for hints of encouraging news behind your mask I bet you’ve got the blues whatever we’ve lost there’s always more to lose but the things that make us strong are the things still true we search for hints of a miracle cure In the labs from Chicago to Kuala Lumpur The questions you are asking are premature Its gonna be a while before we feel secure Slow and steady is the only path But the things we will have lost, I don’t want to do the math We search for hints of encouraging signs This goes out to those on the front lines (c) M. Skliar 2020
11.
Socially distance and wash your hands someone's laughing while humans plan every storm runs out of rain are we just starting to feel the pain predictions are worthless the rest of the year in this block, city and hemisphere sure doesn't look like my downtown ramping up or hunkering down whats left to say, its beyond category a billion people a billion stories every storm eventually dies history will judge if we were wise (c) M. Skliar 2020
12.
January 20, 2021 can't come soon enough every day until that date is gonna be rough feels like the election of 2016 was several centuries ago if there's one thing we can agree on, orange man has got to go don't disappoint me don't let me down, no time for excuses or jive i don't care about perfection, just want to stay alive there are only two choices we have on Nov. 3rd aren't you sick and tired of a leader who is toxic and absurd (c) M. Skliar 2020

about

This album was written and recorded between mid-March and mid-May 2020, in the first two months of this 'pandemic age'. I'm here in New York City, which has been especially hard-hit with the coronavirus. These songs are observations of life here, how it has changed, what's remained, etc, since life changed for so many here on or about Friday, March 13, 2020. I write about the personal, the physical, the political, and how the fabric of the city has changed.

As of the time of this writing, its impossible to know the extent of the long-term effects of this, except to say its hard to imagine that they won't be profound and far-reaching. The impact on people's daily lives, the arts and cultural institutions, restaurants and stores, etc. will be felt for a while to come.

Although i had written and recorded an album recently ("Copper Wheat Penny from 1911", which was written in Feb 2020 and released in early March) I decided that documenting all the changes going on in song with this unfolding around us would be an interesting project. I could have kept on going, but after writing about 15 songs (these are the 'best 12' from that bunch) it seemed to be a logical place to launch these songs and recordings into the world.

A note about one of the recordings-
Out the window" is based on the real-life every-night-at-7pm thing that happens here in NYC, where people clap and applaud and make noise from their windows, all in support of the 'front line' health care workers. It started as a way to encourage health care workers at the end/beginning of their shift, and took on a life of its own. The sounds you hear throughout this recording are actually what I recorded with a condenser mic at the window, here on the UWS of Manhattan, one beautiful early May day at 7 pm.

credits

released May 23, 2020

Mike Skliar- acoustic guitars, harmonica, bass, mandolin, dobro, baritone guitar, electric piano, percussion, electric guitar, vocals.

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