Pere Ubu Lyrics
The Long Goodbye

What I Heard On The Pop Radio

Save the emotional garbage
for someone who's gonna pretend
much better than I do
Gut up shut up
Take it like a man.

A baby voice gangsta dreamboat
A bearded toff who sings like a girl
They got something they're gonna wanna sell you
Gut up shut up
Take it like a man.

You got delusions
You have intentions
You think that this is real?
Gut up shut up
Take it like a man.

You want real? No you don't
Real is in my eye
Gut up shut up
Take it like a man.

You see I see
I see you
This eye
Gut up shut up
Take it like a man can.

Save the emotional garbage for someone
Who's gonna pretend better than I do
Almost anyone will
Gut up shut up
Take it like a man.

(Thomas) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


You're not human tonight Marlowe
Not human at all.

Your eye is strange
Your hand trembles in the rain.

You're a shadow on a wall
Waiting for the penny to drop.

You're a shadow on a wall
Waiting on a penny that's never going to fall.

You're not human tonight Marlowe
Not human at all.

(Thomas) ©2019 Cherry Red Songs, under exclusive license from Hearpen Music.

Flicking Cigarettes At The Sun

In the jet fuel dawn
Of a runway town
The sun is a spectacular orb
Perched upon the ground.

Yesterday haunts all your tomorrows
Flicking cigarettes at the sun
One more spark ought to see it done
Eucalyptus flames
Flickering through the streetcar names
Block after block.

Coffee's in the pot
Clock on the wall's about to drop.

Fare thee well Los Angeles
Your shuddering breath
Your ever-lingering death
Awkward and cruel.

I wish you Götterdämmerung Los Angeles
Here it is
Your flaming Dead Pool.

In Bay City
Waves pull away the sands
Grain by grain
Fare thee well Los Angeles.

(Thomas) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.

Road Is A Preacher

Land is a teacher
Road is a preacher
The wind is a psalm
The tires sound like rain.

I always pray that we might get along
Bye-bye baby
It's time that I am gone
Can I get a witness?

I'm out here again
The sky is my friend
It's open for business
Can I get a witness?

The wind is a psalm
The tires sound like rain
Bye-bye baby Time that I am gone
Can I get a witness?

(Thomas) ©2019 Cherry Red Songs, under exclusive license from Hearpen Music.

Who Stole The Signpost?

I came out here to find Harry Partch.

I drive the back roads
Mile markers ticking by
All the way from Barstow
To Big Rock Candy Mountain
Cigarettes grow on trees
Whiskey and soda bubble from rocks
I drove in vain.

I look to see the shadow
Of Harry's face
In the open doors
Of the one graffiti free box car
In a mile long freight train
Parked in the Mojave
I looked in vain.

South of San Clemente
I search the coast road
For the remains of a one pump diner
Where the honking horn
Sounds like a Zymo-Xyl
Harry's ghost is summoned to serve 5¢ gasoline
I searched in vain.

On a scrub hill
I study the thump-thump-thumping
Of the last lost oil rig
In Los Angeles
I listen for the trace of a Chromelodeon
In the tinnitus of LAX
it must be drowned.

Folks out here
Grind the parochial underfoot
and salt the ground
Where Artifice is King
the Abstract is the Thing
Who stole the signpost
from everywhere?

(Thomas) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.

The World (As We Can Know It)

There's ghosts in windows
Voices muffled through the walls
The more I know the less I see.

\ I'm howling
Progress is a funny thing.

I can hear you
and I see you
like you're not there.

(Thoma) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.

Fortunate Son

I hear voices in my head
That's me
My voice.

The problem with crazy people
They don't recognize that voice as their own
One person you don't want to be alienated from is yourself
That's got to cause problems.

My favorite voice speaks from under the lamplight
of a roadside diner
In the urban sprawl of Los Angeles
some time in the 40s
something like a Jim Thompson novel.

I like to speak from other places that don't exist
Waiting in line at a Dairy Freeze Whip
On a bayou outside Houston
Inside the ghost ruins
of the cities of my Martian ancestors
At the end counter table of the Waffle House
with the view of Walden Pond.

I was just there
A man about my age comes in
For lunch with his granddaughter
He punches in Fortunate Son and Layla
on the jukebox.

I'm looking out the window
Thinking about America
and I start to cry
So I pay the waitress for his meal
and tell her not to say who it was
but she does
and he comes out to thank me.

Thanks for playing the songs I answer
You like Eric Clapton? he asks
I think about what to say
It takes a moment
It's a good song I say.

Places that don't exist have something in common
They're real
Places that do exist aren't so real after awhile.

(Thomas) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.

The Road Ahead


The air itself is black
The susurration of the Interstate is become the breathing of an unnamable organism.

The parking lot outside the diner is almost empty
Light hangs in a column from a lamppost
The silhouette of a hat a face a cigarette
Fluid smoke expands into the columnated light laser'd
A voice.

I'm the Last of the Americans
I knew the Golden Age
I saw sunlight shine off its polished surfaces
I saw the dimness come
Even so I do not regret.

I cross the Great Continent
Riding radio waves
Oh my brothers
I too am a Free Citizen of the Lost Nation
I follow any signal until it ebbs
Fated background noise.

Inside the babel of proto-life electronic soup
Straining to hear
Adrift only moments
I coax a new carrier wave into amplitude
Off I go again
Into the night

Thus I cross the great continent
The Unmapped Dark
Like ancient mariners journeyed from one sighting of land to the next
In the rearview my face is lit
Beatific dashboard glow.

Free white and twenty-one
You can say you love me
But I'm a sonnuvagun
Tuned in I am home
The Last of the Americans
After us come barbarians.


There's a river that flows through the heart of darkness
Turning back on itself
Like a headless serpent
In its death throes.

Along its banks
Deep into the night
Natives are singing a strange song
Ore boats are coaxed upstream
Through impossible geometries
Eruptions of steam
The clang of heavy metals
and the throb of pink noise pulse
as life's blood
Flowing through mills and factories
linked by random spans of gravel roads
and ancient cantilevered bridges.

Flames rise from the ground
In rail yards
The air is dense and granular
Exaggerated Cyclopean tube works
are woven across roads that are on no maps
Through ballast dumps at the water's edge
Around hills that are glass shards of grouped colors

The confluence of fire and earth
births steel where the sound of the sun itself
is trapped inside rust-faced monolithic structures
Shamans who work the molten metals through the night
are standing outside
waiting for the bar to open
Their eyes
outlined by the paler flesh of goggle-protection
track our pilgrim's progress.

Imagine a journey up that river
No end in sight
The memory of there ever having been a starting point
faded and lost
Imagine time frozen
Leaving no way up and no way out
That was what it was like.


The machine
Magnificent and graceful
Bounced sunlight from its chromium surfaces
I had to see what it could do
I got it out on the Interstate
running through the Pennsylvania wilderness
and opened it up
Wildlife scattered in my wake
It was satisfying
A sign hove into view
Satisfied City Exit 1 Mile

Satisfied City is a good place to stop
I said to myself
I saw the road stretch ahead
in order to disappear over the next hill
I had to know
I drove on.

Across the flats of Indiana
Through the Indian megalopolis
of what would become East St Louis
Crossing the Mississippi
I came to another sign
Satisfied City Exit 1 Mile
Now that's odd
I said to myself
I looked ahead
I saw the road parallax to the horizon
I had to know
I drove on.

After another while
Another sign
You know the story
Thus I crossed the Great Continent.

Many miles later
The road is running out on me
I can see the end ahead
I'll drive my once magnificent vehicle
onto the beach in Bay City
Muffler dragging
Engine steaming
Doors hanging off
I'll walk to the water's edge
Standing before the waves
of the Immovable Pacific Object
I'll hope the end comes quickly
Before I can recall every Exit I passed to get here.


On the other side of every desert is Bay City
Which sits at the end of the road
At the farthest reach of the last straining lunge forward
Of an exhausted dream
At the end of the line
For every Free Citizen of the Future Passive Conditional
Where the irresistible westward urge
Collides with the immovable Pacific Object
and loses.

We take our place at the end of that long checkout line
While we wait for time to catch up
We face the mirror
We cross the desert
The buzz of neon on the horizon
draws us through parched heat
As if it were Reno Nevada itself
Sucking on that long straight straw
of that great lost highway US50.

After the test
After the epiphany
After the vision
the revelation and the satori
The end of the road is
and always has been
Bay City
Where all travelers must come to a Separate Peace
or be swallowed up.

(Thomas) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.


This town is rotten to the core
and the lady upstairs snores
There's a fire in the port
No one knows what water's for
This town is rotten

She has a dog
She has two dogs
And the lady upstairs snores.

What's that smell?
This town is downwind from Hell.

(Thomas) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.

Lovely Day

It's a lovely day by the sea
Mr. Potato Head is strumming at guitar
Beggar on the bench is acting lewd and crude
Weekend Father's got his kid out for a stroll
Wind turbines offshore are shredding the seagulls once more
So that's good
It is as it should be
On a lovely day by the sea.

Onions are frying
Chip wrappers are flying
Wind surfers are out pestering the fishing boats
Bongo Dredster is playing it just as good as white folks
New Age banners are slapping in the breeze
There's a new flavor on the board at the Dairy Freeze
Mungo Jerry is nursing a cup of tea
Watching the joggers and unwed mothers promenade.

Somebody must be lonely
But not that I can see
Somebody must be angry
But not that I can see
Something must be wrong
So that's good
It is as it should be
On a lovely day by the sea.

(Thomas) © 2019 Cherry Red Songs, under license from Ubu Projex.