The Best Of The Bantam Years

by Pete Lanctot and the Stray Dogs

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released January 22, 2013

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Pete Lanctot and the Stray Dogs Brooklyn, New York

Pete Lanctot leads his amorphous cast of Stray Dogs with avant garde fiddler, Ginger Dolden. Pete and the Stray Dogs takes form as an acoustic duo, as an electric five piece, and everything in between. Lanctot’s narrative songwriting is firmly rooted in blues, folk, country, and experimental music, offering pinhole views into the lives of characters that range from real to mythological. ... more

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Track Name: Wont Be A Fool Anymore
Well the last lights of day are fading
over city, man and beast.
There’s a glowing redness in the west.
There’s darkness in the east.
It’s a gravely road that we walk down,
but even bad luck doesn’t last.
I’ve been wearing the soles of my shoes down
limping away from the past.
A good friend ain’t easy to find these days,
The lucky only get three of four.
I’ve found no relief, but I’m cutting my teeth
and I won’t be a fool anymore.

I lost everything in 5 card stud poker
to Blacktop John and to Marley the Creep.
There’s no beginners luck with them around.
In Texas they all play for keeps.
I’ve got nothing but this tarpaulin I’m carrying
to keep out the wind and the rain.
I feel like a septuagenarian
in this twentysomething’s game.
I ran out of money and luck and tobacco.
I washed up naked and friendless on your shore.
I went all in when you gave me your hand,
but I won’t be a fool anymore.

Well I never have said that I missed you,
not even for a moment or two.
If you’d have given your lips I’d have kissed you.
Not everyone is as holy as you.
If I told you I’d be home for Christmas
you know I’d be telling a lie.
If you don’t find me on your wishlist
we’ll just meet in the sweet bye and bye.
It’s an ugly last thing to remember,
when I left and put a hole in your door.
I was a fool back then, but I’m at it again
and I won’t be a fool anymore.
No I won’t be a fool anymore.
Track Name: All That Nonsense Stuff
Stormclouds and thunder along the Oklahoma border line.
Sometimes I wonder how I ever could have made you mine.
In the darkness of morning where the new lights begin and increase,
My thoughts are on you, I can’t find a second of peace.
I’m still living in a small town where everybody knows each other’s name,
Where no one is corrupted by the powers of wealth and fame.
Some like to boast about the pretty ones they’ve had in their day.
They don’t even come close, you blow them all away.

The summer sun is on the run.
Poplars are swaying in the breeze.
Storm clouds gather over the hill.
You’ve got a million ways to bring me to my knees.

You gave me your heart and told me to guard it well.
What else could I do? You’ve still got me under your spell.
Sometimes things are hard, and sometimes wages are just plain rough.
Sometimes I wish you’d stop talking all that nonsense stuff.
Some folks get the book out, they scribble and they scrawl.
The keep a constant look out. We’re gonna forget about them all.
I gave you a ring, now I watch sweet time pass me by.
Some things all the money in the world could never buy.

The distant howl of a midnight owl
Reminds me of things you said.
I come to your window on my midnight prowl.
Open the shutters, baby, don’t go back to bed.

I’m going to have to search for some time, somethings aren’t so easy to replace
Sometimes you just have to cut the line. Sometimes defeat is better than disgrace.
I’m stuck in a rut. I never could stand to see you frown.
You keep your mouth shut, I don’t want to be the talk of the town.
Track Name: Go On Jesse
I’ve had enough of your bad news love.
I close my eyes and the spinning starts.
You’re still the one that I’m thinking of.
Lost all my money to the queen of hearts.

On the lawn crows peck and caw.
Off in the distance I hear wedding bells.
Looked out the window, can’t believe what I saw.
You were on the corner with someone else

Go on Jesse, go on and place your bet,
you’re as close to the heaven’s as you’re ever gonna get.

My hands are dry. My heart is stone.
My mind’s made up just wait and see.
The lights are on but no one’s home.
You know exactly where I’ll be.

Tumbler of bourbon, drunk up this week’s wage.
Smith and Wesson pistol in a roll top desk.
The Devil’s in the alley, all the world’s a stage.
We’re all dancers in a stranger burlesque.

Go on Jesse, go on and place your bet,
you’re as close to the heaven’s as you’re ever gonna get.

Crack the whip. Strike up the band.
Play that old Stephen Foster song.
I’m a stranger here in a strange new land.
I know my time here isn’t long.

I’ll take the first train out of town.
Already paid my civic debt.
She said have a cup of coffee, why don’t you sit down
before you do something you might regret.

Go on Jesse, go on and place your bet,
you’re as close to the heaven’s as you’re ever gonna get.
Track Name: Shake Your Soul
Leave the dishes.
Leave the rake.
Call your lawer.
Find out what’s at stake.
Put your name
down on my roll
and shake your soul.

Play my trumpet.
Ring my bell.
Lead your horse to water.
Throw him down the well.
Give me up
your body whole
and shake your soul.

You can brag of your knowledge
and boast of your vows.
It will all be forgotton
a hundred years from now.
You can stick around here
and start to mold
or shake your soul.

Take me down
along the track.
Let’s kill it kid
lets ball the jack
I’ll be your second man.
I’ll be your mole.
Just shake your soul

Jesus told Peter
“I’ll make you a fisher of men.
I asked you once,
I won’t ask again.
Lay down your nets,
you won’t have to troll.
Just shake your soul.”

Forget the mackerel.
Forget the trout.
Tell your captain
you’re cutting out.
Leave that ship
up on the shoal.
Shake your soul

I’ve got no time.
I just can’t wait
for you to untangle
the subtle threads of fate.
Don’t bother to take back
everything you stole.
Just shake your soul.

Forget your family.
Forget your friends.
Forget your dumb ideas
about morals and concequence.
Let your heart
out on parole.
Shake your soul.
Track Name: Front St Girls
Them front st. girls are crazy, they shimmy and they shake.
Them front st. girls are crazy, they shimmy and they shake.
But my eyes are getting hazy and I’m struggling to stay awake.

I could be real civil, baby, I could give you another chance.
I could be real civil, baby, I could give you another chance.
But you swear just like the devil and you know nothing of romance.

I’ve lined up my Ps and Qs, I’ve dotted my Ts now I’m crossing my Is
I’ve lined up my Ps and Qs, I’ve dotted my Ts now I’m crossing my Is
I’ve got no hard feelings for you, baby, it’s him that I despise.

There’s nothing funny these days about the price of sugar and oil.
There’s nothing funny these days about the price of sugar and oil.
It’s highway robbery. It could set your blood to boil.

You can’t have everything all at once at the same time.
You can’t have everything all at once at the same time.
Sometimes you get the whole conceit, sometimes you just get the rhyme.

There’s a new commissioner in town and he’s cleaning up the street.
He’s a clean cut kid, he’s got a list of things you can’t do on his beat.

My backyard is filling up with all this useless junk.
I’m gonna sell of my earthly possessions, I’m gonna go off and become a monk.

The machines are working now, there’s little left to do.
Take your gloves off mama, lets go off and start something brand new.

I said, “Let’s quit this city madness, let’s go back to Delacroix.”
but you only shop and nordstroms now, all you read is evelyn waugh

Them front st girls are crazy, they shimmy and they shake.
There must be some kind of computation error, there must be some kind of mistake.
Track Name: I Meant You
I left by the backdoor and stumbled out into the night and onto the street.
The pavement shined in the rain and the moon was the color of the hotel bar toilet seat.
There are never any stars in this town.
The sidewalks are empty and the leaves rustle up the block in the indian summer heat.

Down Broad, up Main, Left onto Fox Hill Lane,
I slink like a skunk into the corners of town.
A van pulls onto Lincoln place and turns it’s high beams down.
My luck’s about to change.
Someday soon I’ll be wearing a different crown.

Pacing from street to street, block to block, maybe 10 maybe more.
I think of you in that yellow dress, I think of the coming fall and the way things were before.
The night spills on and on.
Sometimes you have to wonder who’s minding the store.

Do you still drink the wine I sent you
In the house where we once lived.
When I called you knew I meant you.
What could be so hard to forgive.

Down by the arcade and the shut down shooting range
The painted angels on the merry go round look down accusing and strange.
And a neon sign blinks away the dust.
And behind glass the carnival prizes look out to the street through their pane.

People tell me things are clearer at a distance that you once held in doubt.
People often tell me things I wouldn’t know anything about,
But I know
Some things pass away unnoticed and some things you have to teach yourself to live without.

I listen to the sound of my feet echo of the high, abandoned warehouse walls.
Softly though the dark a nightbird calls.
The fog is thick.
The road narrows, the sidewalk ends.
I leave the town the town behind. I leave behind the laundromats and bars and the lowly tolling
early morning bells of St. Pauls.

When I’d blown my last lone cent you
said that love was just like water through a sieve.
When I called you knew I meant you.
What could be so hard to forgive?

Most nights I can hear the whistle of the Southern Bell as it goes by,
Bound for the gulf and new dreams, leaving the old spit up like smoke into an empty sky.
Maybe I’ll just get on and ride.
Maybe I’ll just get on and ride.
Maybe I’ll just get on and ride.
Track Name: Into Your Arms
I will come into your country,
I’ll abide by all your laws,
I will love you for your beauty,
I will take on all your flaws,
I will watch over your cities
and your valleys flocks and farms,
In the evening when the day is done
I’ll fold myself into your arms.

Into your arms, into your arms,
I’ll fold myself into your arms.
In the evening when the day is done
I’ll fold myself into your arms.

I will lay down all my weapons
when I stand before your gates,
Turn my daggers into bread knives,
Bang my bullets into plates,
I will keep the dogs of war at bay,
Call off all the alarms,
I will fall upon your mercy,
And fold myself into your arms.

Into your arms, into your arms,
I’ll fold myself into your arms.
I will fall upon your mercy,
And fold myself into your arms.

I will go out on the mountain,
I will stand up on the rock,
I will still the voice in me,
I’ll forget all idle talk,
I will wrestle with my ugly pride
In all it’s ugly forms,
When I come back into town
I’ll fold myself into your arms.

Into your arms, into your arms,
I’ll fold myself into your arms.
When I come back into town
I’ll fold myself into your arms.

I will stand out in the churchyard
All among the silent graves,
See the last light silhouetting
The boatmen and the Caves,
There'll be peace down in the valley
Far beyond all grief and harm,
When time will wipe every slate clean
I’ll fold myself into your arms.

Into your arms, into your arms,
I’ll fold myself into your arms.
When I come back into town
I’ll fold myself into your arms.